Starting school is hard on everyone.
Us mamas(parents) loose our babies, they've made the transition from toddler to pre schooler.
Their independance has soared, their confidence raised tenfold- so why do I want to bring them down.
This time around it has been made harder emotionally for me, not because I'm loosing them to school, but because the power has been taken away from me, out of my hands and my beliefs and MY babes best interests ignored.
The school has decided its best to separate my twins! No conversation before on the schools so called policy, I naively didn't even think it was a thing.
I assumed I would be called into discuss whats best for my girls, assuming again wrongly that they would be together they have always been.
From conception to birth, from sharing a cot to sharing a room, from ballet to swimming they have done it all as a team, as partners (in crime) as BEST FRIENDS, as sisters AS TWINS.
Yes they are twins, but they are my two little girls, they are their own person, they are treated as such-we never treat them as one or a set. They do actually like different things and have different views, but they are mostly the same. We like to say....same, same but different.
They are strong willed, feisty, full of beans, ooze confidence and require your full attention, once you get to know them of course!
So to be told by an establishment(primary school) that they have a policy on twins and this is to seperate them without prior consulation infuriates me.
Why? some of you may be wondering...well, let me tell you this....
At 3 years old to have your comfort blanket, (best friend, Sister) taken away from you at an already axious time, for the first time you do something major is emotionally challenging and a little confusing.
After coaxing, encouraging them to form other relationships, I have observed from afar not wanting to interfere with their special relationship and watching them grow & evolve into what they have today is truly amazing.
Why then are they undoing all of the work us as twin parents have done? by splitting up this most magical and unique relationship, forcing them to create their own friendship circles as it would be good for them?
I needed guidence, I needed somebody on my side, I needed someone to tell me I....their Mum was right in this fight, I was choosing to fight.
My saviour, Voice of reason & understanding came from a TAMBA( twins and multiple births Association) who have amazing support on all sorts of areas. This is a charity where all the consultants are twin or multiple parents, so they fully understand your plight. They do this is their spare time which is so inspiring.
What I'm wanting isn't right for all sets of twins, but I feel its right for mine. I'm not sure its something you can fully understand unless you're a parent of multiples?
They are strong and independent BUT they like to know where the other one is...the only way I can best describe their relationship...is like an old married couple,when they loose their spouse after years of marriage, only knowing their love for each other. Imagine that loss-that emptiness-but its been forced upon you, by someone you trusted and not fully understanding why, because you were too little to voice your feelings, & have them considered.
To outsiders they'll appear fine, but these girls have a complex cogitative mind beyond their years, they soak information process and ask questions(even upto a year) later.
research shows that twins separated during the first few years of primary school showed more emotional problems(shyness, withdrawal, depression & anxiety) on average than non separated twins. The effect of separation at primary school was still detectable at age 12.
when we live in an age where mental illness is at the very forefront why would you want to induce stress & anxiety at such a young age?
I know at some point in their lives they will go their separate ways, BUT I want it to be on their terms-when they are old enough to tell me, when they are old enough to make that decision by themselves, without outside influences telling them they'll be fine.
Some may feel I'm being a bit dramatic, but I as their Mum I need to know I have done everything in my power to help(protect) them and stand up for what I believe is right for them...If I won't fight for them no one else will! Living with regret is harder than fighting for month or so.
When I started writing this blog, I was fired up, & an emotional mess, due to other family issues, also thinking am I doing the right thing.
The jury was still out, after being told initially that they would be separated. I have to say, the school have surpassed my expectations, they really deliberated and took the time to read the research I had given them. Im impressed that they took me seriously & went back to take to the pre school setting. The headteacher & head of foundation stage have been amazing and they have (for the first time ever) decided that my girls can stay together. It will be a first for the school and I hope that I have proved if you want something bad enough fight for it...do your research. You may be amazed at the outcome!!
to anyone who listened to me over the last few months & a Massive thank you to the girls pre school management team & key workers, your support has been crucial.