A mother wrote me and asked me to address a matter that coincidentally corresponds to a news story that has engendered passionate feelings and opinions. Married gay partners who fathered boy/girl twins with a surrogate split up and moved with their biological offspring to opposite coasts. The couple’s selfish intent to rob the twins of their connection seems unfathomable. The reader’s inquiry also involves a divorce. However, contrary to these men’s selfish motives, this mother is deeply concerned about doing what is in the best interests of her 5-year-old boy/girl twins. She wonders if separating the twins would be preferable in terms of parental and financial resources:
Am I going to be a great mom taking care of both children doing the duty of two parents with one income by myself or just a mediocre one? Most likely I will be an average one, at best. If we need to split them up in order to be the best parents we can be, then I want to consider that.
This mother worries that she cannot be an adequate parent if she is a single mother living on one income and possibly working. She cares deeply about the well-being of her twins and would consider separating them only if she felt that such an arrangement would be in their best interests.
This mother’s attitude of sacrifice, self-reflection, and empathy demonstrates what is sorely lacking in the two fathers’ decision to brush aside any qualms about separating their children because of their inability to work through their difficulties.
Her maternal love is admirable and inspirational. Her relationship and connection to her children is far more important than money or material goods. If the divorce is amicable and she and her husband will not have difficulties working out visitations, I see no reason why she would need or want to separate her son and daughter at this point in their lives. Her 5-year-olds require her consistent presence and love, especially during this crucial transition. The healthiest thing she can do is maintain a civil relationship with the twins’ father so that the children continue to feel secure and loved.
Remember, the average “good enough mother” is what we strive to be at our best. Getting lost in perfectionist goals and expectations leads us down a path of depression and despair, which makes us less than adequate parenting models.
Do you know any twins who were raised separately?