Am I failing as a mom if I don’t have a sensory bin?

mom stressed out failing as a mom

Do you worry you’re failing as a mom if you’re not doing all the things the other moms seem to be doing? You are not alone.

A common theme that comes up a lot in our community is failing as a mom. We get so many questions about what moms should be doing, or shouldn’t be doing, or how much they should be doing to be a “good mom”. Just today, a mom of twins asked us this question:

Am I failing as a mom because I haven’t done a sensory bin with my 21-month-olds? Any pointers on how to do this with twins? Just the thought of it makes me feel exhausted.

She may have been kidding when she asked if she was failing as a mom, but even if it was a joke… there is a hint of truth behind it. All moms worry that they are failing at some point. Here is what the Twiniversity community had to say about failing as a mom — and how it’s complete b*llshit! (Plus some helpful tips on sensory bins!)

Failing as a Mom?

Are your twins, fed, clothed, diapered, read to, talked to, held, loved?… Then, no, you’re not failing. Even if you’re off on some of these things on some days, then you’re probably just a B or C, not an F ? Overwhelmed is human. I left the sensory stuff for outdoors and other people’s houses at playdates ?  There’s a lot of sensory in playing in the rain or exploring mud puddles and a lot less to clean up than some texture bowl in your living room ?  – Traci R.

If you managed to get dressed and brush your teeth today you have achieved something, 21 months with twins is full on and intense. Don’t worry about any of that crap. The clean up in your own home takes 10 times longer than 5 seconds of fun that really doesn’t do that much. Go easy on yourself. – Georgina G.

You are not failing as a mom because you don’t have a sensory bin! First of all, my 16 year old twins are not hindered in life by not having a sensory bin when they were toddlers. I didn’t do a lot of things because I was overwhelmed, lived away from family, and my husband traveled a lot. I do have regrets like not playing with their toys with them more. I used that time to catch up on other things and at the time just trying to get through each day. As for sensory, they get that from so many everyday things. If you want to be more purposeful and keep it simple, use everyday things like different materials, or there are sets of handheld balls, books, and stuffed animals created for sensory play. It doesn’t need to be every day or a set time to play in the box. Plus, they will have lots of opportunities for sensory as they turn 3, 4 (preschool) and kindergarten. Enjoy your babies first and foremost. It goes by in the blink of an eye. – Candy S.

mom and twins let it go failing as a mom

What’s a sensory bin? ?‍♀️  Just let them play in the dirt like the rest of us bad moms. ? Come to the dark side. – Amber B.

Just giving them a bath is sensory time. Cut yourself some slack. You are doing great. – Melanie L.

I’m going to go ahead and say no since I don’t know what a sensory bin is. My boys will be 3 at the end of December and they seem to be well-adjusted. – Nicole G.

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Am I failing because I have no idea what that is? Is that a bin you put random stuff in for them to play around in? That just screams mess to me and that’s exhausting, LOL. Grab things around the house and play with them. Towels, slippers, water bottle, whisk, cold, warm, loofa, wipe bag. – Jennifer M.

You are not failing, hun.. the babies are fed, they are warm, they are happy, and they are alive. Do not let others dictate to you what a good mum is!! You will drive yourself crazy and feel disappointed. – Dianne W.

Definitely not failing as a mom. You are not alone in this. – Jackelyn P.

mom with baby on floor mat covid article failing as a mom

I’m Jealous of My Friends Who Didn’t Have Twins

My twins are 4 and I’ve never heard of a sensory bin. My version of a sensory bin was “go outside”, and if it came out of the southbound end of a northbound animal don’t touch it LOL (we live on a farm with lots of animals). They jump in mud puddles and play with their food, sometimes and within reason, LOL. Go easy on yourself and I’m sure you are a wonderful Mom. If they are happy and healthy, that’s what matters! – Vanessa L.

Know that somewhere some mom sees you and thinks, “Wow, I wish I could be more like her.”

Sensory bins give me anxiety. Your kids will be ok. – Claire C.

Twins were all about survival for me. We did what I could mentally handle. And my boys are just fine even though we never have done a sensory bin (they’re almost 5). – Chandler L.

mom and twins #marvelousmom failing as a mom

You are not failing as a mom because you haven’t done a sensory bin! Twins are a different ball game when it comes to activities like that. Just do/play whatever you/they want! – Jessica L.

No! You’re not failing! Some people are about sensory bins and some are not. Your babies will be just fine with or without. I can guarantee that they are getting plenty of sensory play throughout their day without you even knowing it. Easy sensory idea…water table, fill with some shaving cream, throw a couple cars or figures in it and voila! Or if you’re in a colder climate just get a large sterilite bin, fill that with shaving cream and call it a day lol. Seriously though, you have enough to worry about. You’re doing a great job keeping twins fed, clothed, and alive. ❤️  – Leigh B.

What’s the Biggest Challenge of Having Twins?

Nope! Definitely haven’t done it with mine. One of my twins puts everything in his mouth still at 21 months so a sensory bin is the last thing on my agenda. – Caitlin Y.

Honestly, you can get two bins from dollar tree and put things in them – feathers, whipped cream, legos, sand, snow, water, links, cars, balls, squishy sensory toys, fabric scraps, etc… When I taught toddlers we used to have a theme each week. You can give them each a bucket or let them share… you could also use a cardboard box (depending on what you put in it). Not a fail at all – hope it helps. – Jennifer J.

mom and twin boys failing as a mom

The rice, shaving cream, sand, etc is all stuff that will get thrown around everywhere with my 20 mo old boys – or they’ll try to eat it. I’ve tried Play-doh, finger paint, Crayola magic markers, and crayons and all they do is put it in their mouth like they do everything else. Water table – they just want to splash water everywhere and stick their face in the water to drink it….my kids have never walked barefoot outside because I think it’s gross, nor have they played in mud puddles because, again, I think it’s gross and I don’t like to get dirty….Even at the beach they wear Natives because the sand is usually hot and burns your feet (we live in Charleston SC)….my kids are fine and get plenty dirty because they are boys so, no, you are absolutely not failing as a mom. Let them do that stuff at preschool ? – Andrea P.

Pediatric occupational therapist here and I haven’t even done one because, yes, the thought of it with twin 2 year olds seems exhausting! ?  – Annelise B.

The Bittersweet Reality of Being a Twin Mom

As a preschool teacher, sensory is important but sensory bins are not. Everything you let them touch, taste, smell is sensory. You can try giving them a taste test by giving them an orange and a lemon. Water beads in a ziploc bag, paint in a ziploc bag. Edible playdough and paint. Shaving cream with food coloring in the bathtub. Fake snow in the bathtub. Supervised bubble wrap. Smelling flowers. Smelling different foods. Cooked spaghetti. Literally anything you can think of. You’re doing great momma! – Arielle D.

You are absolutely not failing as a mom!! But if you’d like to have some super simple easy to clean up ideas, I’ll list a few I did with my twinnies. Put down a large bath towel on the kitchen floor. Small dish tub from Dollar Tree and add a few suds, a couple of wash clothes or scrubbies, and a few toys to wash! Or you could give them a few potatoes and a TEENY bit of water to “help” you wash veggies for dinner. (I often popped my kids into their high chairs for this activity!) A handful of cooked spaghetti with a couple of measuring cups. Or give them shaving cream in the bathtub right before their bath! Let them play for a few minutes, and then bathe them! Or just giving them scoops and cups in the bath. It doesn’t have to be a big elaborate set up. – Dawn F.

I can assure you, I never gave my twins a sensory bin and they are now 12 and fully functioning normal-ish humans who are intellectually gifted. Anything can be sensory. Put their food on a plate. There you go, sensory output and motor skills. – Stacie E.

parenting twins failing as a mom

I’m glad you asked this! My boys are 16 months and I always feel like I’m not doing what I “should” be with them. It makes me feel better that someone else isn’t either! – Maureen J.

Honestly, just get used to the fact that you will end up NOT doing a lot of the things the singleton parents are doing because it’s just not logistically/mentally possible. It’s fine. Your twins will get paid back tenfold in the amount of fun they will have with each other. Signed, a mom who has never (and never will do) Elf on the Shelf despite the fact that every other kid in her twins’ Kindergarten class has one. ??‍♀️?❤️❤️ – Kristy K.

I have three kids. I never did a sensory bin with any of them. Too much mess to even consider dealing with for me. They are 12 and 8 now. So far nobody seems any worse for not having had one. – Mickaella G.

Mama of Newborn Twins: I See You.

Life is a sensory bin. Just play with them. If you’re in the kitchen, let them touch the rice or flour. When in the tub, they are playing with water. At the beach, they touch the sand. Let them go barefoot, etc. I am a preschool teacher and sensory bins are a requirement but really that’s because we are trying to bring in experiences that you wouldn’t have in a “regular” classroom. Say you are wrapping gifts. Save the scraps and let them rip the paper or roll into balls. A lot of talking aloud. “Gasp. Did you hear that paper ripping? I am going to rip it again. Let’s listen. What else can we do with the paper?” And open ended questions. You aren’t going to get answers at such a young age but all that rich vocabulary will favor their neurological growth. – Jessica G.

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Never think that!!! Here are the most realistic sensory activities cause I tried a lot of them. The best ones were edible playdough that I made cause they eat everything. ?‍♀️  And then we played with a lot of shaving cream on the shower doors — you could also do it on the bathtub wall. It has to be highly monitored because you do not want them to eat that! Other than that in the summer we play outside 6 plus hours a day playing with rocks, water, mud, sand, sticks, leaves, all outdoor stuff… best sensory you can get! Snow in the winter. Don’t ever feel like a failure; I’m sure you’re doing great! – Rachel L.

Dude… I haven’t done anything a lot of parents seem to do in the mom groups. They’re still smart and active. Hell, the other day, one of them climbed a tree at school and hollered “I am the squirrel queen!” before falling out of it ?  ahhhh Kindergarten. – Keke K.

Girrrlll… just the twins playing with each other is sensory enough!!! Get some rest, mamas. Don’t stress and stay in your own comfortable lane. If you’re up to the task, why not — but if not, LET IT GO ? ? Keep up the good work — it’s the thought that counts ? – Victoria J.

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