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Need to vent. Share some perspective with me if you can.

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I heard somewhere today about difficult twin teens. It really unleashed my flood gates a little. I was hoping that by sharing with you MOMs, someone can give me better way of looking at things.

Little people, little problems; bigger people, bigger problems? That advice has me kicking myself for not driving to Nebraska when you could still drop off your kids and not look back. (Mostly kidding.)

Pregnancy was pretty good. A fun and hopeful time. I braced myself for the twins, and was told we just had to get through the first three / six months. There were some tough moments, but it was easy overall. I have these beautiful, perfect girls. They slept, nursed, and sat / laid there.

From about five months on, things have just gotten harder and harder. Solid food added a time-consuming activity where there was no time. Separation anxiety is a killer. The babies whine and scream their soul-crushing wail if I'm not holding them both. So I do. I sit there and hold my increasingly heavy 9 month olds, or worse carry them both around, while they literally tear my hair out. I'm either at work, or home holding both babies, or listening to them scream. Sometime both.

I have it relatively easy: healthy, well developing babies, supportive family, comfortable life. But my husband and I are strained to the very brink of breaking. And now I know better. Things are going to get harder. Much harder. The babies will have to learn to feed themselves - tack on extra feeding time. They'll grow into their budding attitudes. Toddlerhood is ahead.

Sure the babies are cute, and doing new things every day. They giggle and play together. When they do, I can barely enjoy it, I'm too worn out, or taking those precious few moments to brush my teeth, clean the house, manage some family paperwork at top speed so as not to "waste" a moment with two hands.

Don't really remember why my husband and I, after four happy years together, did this to ourselves. At this stage, there's very little joy in our lives. The highlight of my last few months was not the vacation in Cape Cod (so much stress), not the fancy dinner out for my birthday (40 minutes of rushing through a meal to get home before the babies went ballistic). It was commuting with sleeping babies, listening to a murder mystery on book tape. I was happy to see traffic.

Don't know how parenting is supposed to be. I can put a good face on for the babies, and be warm to them. It means I snap and pout with my husband; we've got to vent somewhere. And on well rested days where everything goes well, everything goes well. But it's not fun. I'm not relaxed, inspired, I don't know why I get out of bed in the morning besides the fact that I have to. And there's no end in sight. Maybe when the girls are four. Maybe not.

Why do we do this? Where can I find joy and pleasure in my life again?
post #2 of 28
Gena: I have no advice for you, as my twins are still in utero. But I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time right now.
post #3 of 28
Oh Sweetie!

I don't have much time to post right now, but I just wanted to tell you I am holding you in my prayers!! I feel so sad for you. My heart just aches reading your post.

I'm a very patient, positive person. I think for me it's very easy to find one thing about my day that makes me feel good and gives me energy to go on. However, my DH suffers from depression- I had him read your post and he told me that he can totally understand where you're coming from. It's that overwhelming feeling that it's never going to end and there's no hope in sight...

I know there are many things we can do as moms to help relieve the stress- I'm not sure if you're wanting specific ideas. What I think I'm hearing from your post is that you are needing help ASAP! I think with twins it so very difficult because everything is magnified so much more when they are difficult!

You mentioned that you are healthy. I'm wondering if there's a chance something medically could be going on that is causing you to feel the way you do. I would want to rule out anything that you could treat. I learned that my B12 was deficient by a blood test and after taking supplements I feel a ton better. I know that can also cause anxiety and depression too.

Please know this comes from a loving place and experience... have you thought about post partum depression? I know there are many antidepressants that are safe to take if you are breastfeeding. Also, I know there are natural supplements you can take too.

Sending positive energy your way.....
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mamas! I'm a little embarassed by my post. Things really aren't that bad. I'm raising my babies the way I want, and managing what's important to me. They get lots of attention love and stimulation, I work hard to feed them the best (lots of pumping/nursing and homemade food) and we've been lucky that they haven't had any health or development problems. We've very blessed.

Expectant moms, please disregard! I'm just running low. Being a twin mom is a challenge. But neither my DH or I would trade it for anything.

Venting does help a little. Your support helps a lot. Now I just have to find some balance, some way to recharge my batteries.

Mama of 5, you may be right. I have been feeding myself pretty badly, lots of sugar, and not much exercise. Don't think it's PPD, although anything's possible. Do husbands get that too?

Mostly I need to take a deep breath and do something nice for myself. Maybe skip out of work and wander around Barnes and Noble with a fancy coffee drink. Sounds good just about now . . .

Thanks MOMs!
post #5 of 28
First of all, big hugs.

It sounds like things are overwhelming right now, and it sounds like you are feeling down and not so sure about the future, too. Even the best of us can feel like this, so be gentle on yourself, mama.

I agree w/Mamaof5boys as far as looking into depression. Also, I think that sugar triggers moodiness and energy surges/crashes for me, so I try to keep it to a minimum. I also know that a lack of sleep knocks everything out of perspective and make me feel crazy... and who among us consistently gets good sleep?!

Beyond that, here are some ideas for what they are worth:

1. Figure out what you need and want. You can't enjoy your family if your own needs and your important desires aren't met. There's a reason for the saying, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"!
Do you need more time to enjoy your babies?
Do you need more time for yourself?
More bonding time with your husband?
Would you rather work out of the home less?

2. Brainstorm ways to get what you need.
To free yourself a bit, can you hire someone to help clean and do laundry?
If you want alone time, could you and your DH or other family member arrange a schedule for you to get out and do something for you (same goes for time with DH)?
If you want to work less, could you arrange and budget for it with your DH?

3. Implement! Try things and then tweak things here and there and hopefully eventually you will be able to find more moments of peace and less moments of despair & chaos.

I think that part of the problem is that as women, we are expected to wear so many hats - mother, wife, daughter, worker, and on and on. I feel like the women's liberation movement tricked us into thinking that we can (and should) have and do it all. Add in the dissolution of many social support systems and strong communities, and all too often we do have to do it all, or more than what any one person/family should have to take on alone. I don't know where I'm going with this... except to say that it's hard, and that if you have to debunk the 'I can do it all' myth for your sanity, by golly, get rid of it!

Another idea is to keep a gratitude journal, and write down 3 things a day that make you happy or that you are grateful for; I used this in the past to work myself out of a dark place.

We're all here for you
post #6 of 28
Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post
Mostly I need to take a deep breath and do something nice for myself. Maybe skip out of work and wander around Barnes and Noble with a fancy coffee drink. Sounds good just about now . . .
Could I join you????? That sounds great!!!

Just know that you can vent anytime.... I agree, it does seem to help! You mentioned your DH and PPD- you can PM me if you want to more info about that in our family.

Hope the coffee helps and you can feel positive energy coming to you!!
post #7 of 28
Can we have a depressed dads thread !?!?!
post #8 of 28
Originally Posted by shukr View Post
Can we have a depressed dads thread !?!?!
Hi Shukr!

I never did get back to you about a post you made on another thread.... sorry!! It's been so crazy around here!!

My DH was going along fine in life until the stress of kids.... and now we have 5 Bless his heart, he is the most giving person I know.... He kept agreeing to more because he knew how much I wanted them. We were going to only have 4...... He adores them immensely, it's just SOOOOO much work!!!! I don't know how you do it Shukr!!
post #9 of 28
Not a MTM here, but my good friend has triplets AND twins (8 years apart, different fathers) and makes it look so easy...

As far as big/little goes (I have kids 15, 12, and 7), I would say that while it gets more intense emotionally as they get older, it definitely gets less intense physically.

Soon, they will no longer need carrying, help falling asleep, help eating, help to get in the car, help to get up the stairs, etc. It is a whole new world when parenting stops being physical - you can finally get the rest you need to actually parent. I actually have excess energy these days, and go to a Pilates studio twice a week for fun.

Also, as they get older, they enjoy leaving you more and more - school, playdates, sleepovers, camp, etc. so you can recharge.

Yesterday I was sick and stayed in bed the whole day - they basically parented themselves and did a reasonable job. So just hang in there a few more years (a day at a time...) and you'll be FREE!

Good luck, Lisa
post #10 of 28
no time...
just wanted to say it gets easier! different is maybe a better word? but for me, also easier. NOTHING was harder than the first year. husband gone, one twin always in the hospital, no family nearby... hard. now mine are two and life is amazing and totally different and funny and just good. hang in there! i agree with what everyone said and i also think you just need to "zen" your way through that first year. it will become such a blur, if you even remember anything at all. (i will add that i am just way better with the toddler-on-up ages than the whole newborn-one y/o thing)
post #11 of 28
My twins are 14 years old, and a joy to me every single day. We survived tweenhood and are entering into some terrific teenage years.

That said, the first two years were HECK. Like the OP, my babies were healthy, active, normal, cheerful. They did normal baby/toddler things - like bite each other, pull ech others' hair, throw toys, wake up in the middle of the night. DH and I would literally tag off if one of us was leaving the room, so we knew who was on security detail.

Sleep deprivation was a big part of it. My boys didn't sleep through the night until they were 9 months old, and I hit the wall at about 6 months. We quit going to church, so one of us could sleep in on Saturday morning, the other on Sunday morning (we both worked full time, so naps weren't an option).

I know the days seem endless and the light at the end of the tunnel seems like an oncoming train, but it DOES get better. Right now your babies are VERY needy. In a few months they will be able to do more and more for themselves - they will still be a ton of work, but it's a different set of activities. You will realize that you are actually finishing a meal while it's still warm, and you can leave the children alone together for 10 minutes without someone getting hurt.

Then they will learn to play together and entertain each other. I remember one afternoon my sons going from my closet (which was a firetruck, complete with hats), to a box in the living room, which was a boat, to the dining room, where Tigger's house was under the table. They went from one to the other in rotation for HOURS!! It was delightful to watch, and I didn't have to do a THING! You mihgt find you can unload the entire dishwasher without interruption!

You mentioned housework. Would it reduce your stress a bit of you could hire a cleaning person every couple of weeks? We did this for about a year, and it relieved a huge burden.

Hang in there long enough, and you too can enjoy days like this with your wonderful twins:

ETA that 3 was a real turning point for us, and 4 was even better.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Much better! Even though I didn't think I had the time, I forced myself out for that bookstore coffee. It's one of my guilt-free happy places. It gave me enough of myself back to get happy about the positive thoughts you've all shared.

Now a month of sleeping and I'd be ready for whatever comes my way next.

Thanks again. I really needed your boost, mamas!

PS - Love the pic, nd deadhead! That's something to get excited about.
post #13 of 28
Another thing I wanted to add - don't be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you can have a friend come over the help with bathtime, or some other occasion that seems hard to deal with. Do you have a friend or relative who could come over for coffe for an hour, and watch the babies while you take a long hot bath or shower? As you discovered with your bookstore break, just being "off duty" for a short period of time can do a world of good.

In my experience, friends and neighbors are more than willing to help out where twins are involved - they're just so grateful it's you and not them!
post #14 of 28
I also have little time, so a quick post before I have to go nurse, but it does get easier. Honestly, I didn't really didn't enjoy a lot of the first 1 1/2 years with our older son, but now that he is 2, it is much easier. It changes, but the all consumingness of it all decreases. You are NOT alone, which I think helps to know. Mine our 5 months and I struggle to get through most days, and yet I have a lot of help. It's almost embarassing, but I try really hard not to beat myself up about it.

I also sometimes need to take a step back and realize that even if other mothers are out there having a wonderful time in motherhood, once size does not fit all. I call it the conspiracy of motherhood. Everyone thinks you are supposed to be happy and fullfilled just because you are a mother, but it's a hard job and tough work. I'm glad you got a bit of a break today and are feeling better.
post #15 of 28

SO sorry to hear that you are going through that . I will be praying for you. Things always look worse when you put it down in writing, don't they? That being said, it's okay to be feeling the way you are. You sound like you are a wonderful mother, trying to do your best and taking such good and loving care of your babies. This is a hard job.

I have never suffered with PPD, but had a period of time when the babies started solids (hormone shift, anyone?) and I hit bottom. I kept trying to tell myself to suck it up and get over it, but in hindsight I was really struggling more than I let on. I had feelings and emotions that I have never had and they were not fun. I felt like I couldn't tell my husband because I was having sad thought about him, too. It really felt like an attack. Anyway, I say this because I think I should have gone a talked it out with someone outside my immediate family life that I could trust. I'm fine now, but I think that would have helped me then. That's my :
post #16 of 28
Just sending hugs and encouragement your way. I remember many points between 9 and 15 months (times when it *should* have been easier than those insane newborn days) thinking `what were we THINKING? we brought this on ourselves?`And a lot of thinking `this isn`t any fun for ANYONE.`

I think all the PP have given a lot of wisdom and I would try to do all of those things (get out of the house, B vitamins, hire help and ask for help, figure out the things you DO enjoy with your babes and do that... etc.) I found I *really* liked doing things with just one babe. No one stared. It was so easy! And I felt like I got to know them a little better that way. Even now, with 3.5 year olds, DP and I try to take all our kids on one-on-one dates as much as possible.

For me, it also helped to know I wasn`t alone. And like you, I felt guilty for not loving every minute of it (especially with healthy babes, pretty solid breastfeeding experiences, a great partner). But you aren`t alone. And there is nothing wrong with not loving every minute of it. But if you can find the bits you DO love, and try to do more of that... then the balance of good and not-so-good might swing the other way.

Hang in there, mama.
post #17 of 28

I have days like that too. Thinking of you.
post #18 of 28

I was feeling totally like you the day you posted and have enjoyed hearing everyone's ideas. My twins are just 2 months, but I'm just so tired some days. It's not every day like in the beginning, but it's tough. DD is still not sleeping now at 2:40am! She likes to fight sleep, which means I don't get sleep either. Today was a much better day for me too, so I think there are good days and bad days and that will continue for quite some time....we just can't give up, our kids are counting on us to keep it together.
post #19 of 28

Almost everyday I think of how hard things are going to get. My twins are just over 5 months and I'm almost dreading the days when they're crawling. And then I think about the day they'll be eating solids. And then I think about the day they'll be walking (in two different directions). And then.....and then.... The upside to this is that I am mostly enjoying every day with my babies because I keep imagining that things could be more difficult. We definitely have some hard days though. Like today when both babies are sick and having a hard time staying asleep for naps and I feel like I can't hold them both. And even when I do they're both still crying (Of course, they're both sleeping now so I'm probably jinxing it by writing about it)

Take care!
post #20 of 28
I can totally relate to so much of what you wrote. I found the first year+ to be really hard on an emotional level. I think I did struggle with ppd although mine didn't present the way I would have expected (I'm very familiar with how depression feels but this didn't feel like that - instead I had rage which is also a sign as it turns out). I did get through it but I feel like in retrospect I couldn't have made a few changes that would have helped me cope better with the stress of the situation. First, I should have reached out more to friends and family for help. When we first had the boys I had a couple of friends tell me how they were going to come weekly to help with whatever I needed but since I didn't proactively plan their visits, it just never really happened. I wish I had done that. I did find a great network of online friends, all moms of twins, who parent in the same general way as me which I found really invaluable. Other people just didn't understand why I didn't let the babies CIO or my commitment to breastfeeding or whatever so to have people who understood my parenting ideals and supported me in fighting for them was really, really helpful. I think it would have been good to have dh babysit the babies once a week for maybe 2 hours so I could have some "me" time. It took a long time before I was comfortable leaving them with him for any length of time - I remember that even around the time they had turned 2, I went out for a short while (just running nearby errands) and when I called to check on him he just told me how they were screaming the entire time and wouldn't be happy until I got home. That stressed me out and of course I cut my errands short and came right home. I realized later that that wasn't fair for him to do to me - he needed to step up and figure out how to take care of them w/o me (we have 2 older kids after all - it's not like he doesn't know how to be a dad) and after a long talk about it he finally figured things out and now has his own groove with them. To go along with the time away plan - as I'm finally getting to that point with my own twins I'm realizing that I've lost a lot of my own identity with this mom gig and I need to carve out something in my life that is just about me. These are your first so hopefully you don't feel like you've lost your own identity yet but keep my words in mind. It's easy when we love these little people so desperately that we martyr ourselves to the point that we barely have any self left. I believe now that we can and should do both - meet their needs in a way that we believe is best but at the same time give ourselves just a little amount of recouping time each week to maintain the relationship we have with ourselves and don't forget the relationship you must still maintain with your partner (I haven't mastered that part yet - it's a challenge). Last, I found that b/c everything was always so stressful and busy, I leaned heavily on junk food for myself (while feeding my family properly) b/c I'd just want something to eat NOW and didn't want to wait so I ate lots and lots of bowls of ice cream w/caramel, lots of chocolate bars, and mochas. These things helped kill my appetite but the problem is that (besides the obvious) all that sugar contributed to the rage and short-tempered issues I was struggling desperately with and making me a nutjob, quite frankley. I cut out sugar awhile ago and it really truly has made a profound impact on my life. I'm not crazy mom anymore. Life is still really stressful - in fact it's even more so in this past week as my dh just got injured and is off his feet for a couple of months - but I'm dealing with it like a sane person now. What a difference! So that might not be your issue at all but I've got to mention it b/c I'm sure someone else out there can relate. I knew it was something I needed to do pretty much the entire time but just couldn't bring myself to do it. Finally I did and I never want to go back. We're all much happier now.

Oh - one last thing! I really do feel like life with twins gets easier. There are some challenges now that I didn't have in the first year that *are* really hard, BUT I just love where they are now. They are so much fun. They are funny little people and watching their true personalities appear is just the best! They do fight with each other plenty but they also love each other and play really well lots of times together. I can only image it getting better and better and better - not that each stage won't present a new challenge but I think with it we'll shed some of the frustration that exists when dealing with babies and younger children who can't clearly communicate their thoughts or physically can't do what it is they'd like to do.

Big Hang in there and make sure both you & dh get time alone for yourselves and together and I'm sure you'll be okay. Dh and I only just had our first date ever since our twins were born (they're over 2 1/2 now) and we absolutely should NOT have waited that long. Lean on people - I think you've got to with a bigger family or with twins.
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