Tales From A Twin Mom:
Why My Children Are Harnessed
To the parent at the mall that was whispering about me while I shopped, I would like to make a few things clear. Yes, my twins were walking around with harnesses. Yes, I do understand that harnesses are usually for dogs, and yes, I am aware that I should find other methods to keep my children by my side as I shop. However, before you start preaching about how silly I look, please understand that I have twins. I have twins that do not want to sit in the stroller any more. Twins that are testing their boundaries. By boundaries, I mean hiding in the middle of clothing racks silently while I yell in pure desperation for them. I know that all children test their boundaries, but twins seem to push themselves to entertain the other by constantly topping the other’s creativity. I would say that doubles the speed at which they learn new ways to freak me out. You can say it doesn’t matter, but when one claims to have seen the other run down the store hallway when, in fact, they are hiding right behind me can take its toll on my stress level. Understand that I, just like yourself, want to keep my children safe at all times. In order to do that, I must be able to keep track of them while also taking care of my errands and responsibilities.
Read more: Tales From A Twin Mom: We Are All Moms
It’s easy to point the finger and say I must be a horrible mother for showing up in public with my children in leashes, but that’s just not fair. I don’t tug at them or tell them to sit. I let them walk around and get the exercise that they need. I shouldn’t be judged by you or anyone else because I use a different method. I shouldn’t always have to get a babysitter in order to go out, or stay home with them until they learn to stand by my side. That would just be cruel. Yes, I’m sure there are other ways to take them out, but you would also be pointing the finger if I had them strapped in a stroller and they were having a never ending meltdown. Instead, I choose to put harnesses on them. I let them walk around and feel like they’re big.
At first, I had my doubts leaving the house with the harnesses. I knew I would be judged and gawked at. This was not an easy decision for me, but please try to put yourself in my shoes before you go crazy criticizing my decision. Look at my children and realize that they are happy. Understand that I have two hands and two legs; and if each child runs in a different direction, there would be no way I could run and get them both. Who knows what you’d be thinking if all you witnessed was me getting there just in time to keep one child from jumping on the escalator? I won’t be using these harnesses when they’re older, but for the time being I will do whatever it takes to keep my children out of harm’s way. Maybe instead of whispering, you should bend down and talk to them so you can see for yourself how proud they are that they’re not in a “baby” stroller.
I see other twin parents (or parents of more than one child) walk around with their children unharnessed; and I wish I could do the same. Unfortunately, my children are not there yet. Being a parent should not be about second guessing your decisions because of a fear of judgement. It should be about feeling confident enough to do things your own way. I am a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child, so please have a little empathy and respect my parenting decision. The tables may turn one day; and if they do, I would never judge you.