Looking for some advice…encouragement…something. I have never felt so inadequate as a mother and like I’m failing on a regular basis.
I had identical twin girls in May. Short version is that they were mono/mono twins, came earlier than I wanted despite my desperate attempts to go as long as possible past recommendations, and we spent over a month in the NICU. They’ve been home for a little over a month now – but because the NICU we were in really focuses only on bottling rather than taking the time to let mothers establish strong breastfeeding, they are still struggling with nursing. So, my days are often spent alternating nursing sessions with one while bottling the other (or bottling both, or periodically tandem nursing but we aren’t very coordinated at that yet) … and then pumping, washing parts, and everything else that needs to be done.
I have two older kids, 4 and 2. And every single day I feel like our world is completely upside down. Is it normal to feel beyond overwhelmed and secretly wish you had just one newborn?? To top it off, they demand physical contact almost constantly. So, once feeding is finished and I need to pump, pee, assist other children, the babies are screaming to be held until they’re picked up and immediately settle/sleep. Or if one is content, the other one is freaking out.
There never seems to be enough time. With just feeding and pumping alone, I barely have time to get my other kids anything they need. I feel like I’m constantly telling them to “wait a minute … be patient until I’m finished feeding the babies …” etc, as they are starving for breakfast/lunch/snacks, wanting a toy on a top shelf, what have you. Meanwhile, I’m somehow supposed to get in all the fluid and food required to keep producing the milk in the first place! HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!
It seems like everything would be so much simpler if they could master nursing. It would give me more sleep at night and free up more time in the day to eliminate making bottles/pumping/washing parts. But just the logistics of having twins is kind of kicking my @$$! I feel so guilty not being able to do things with my older kids. I’m a huge AP advocate – and right now I feel like I’m barely getting by.
The general population doesn’t really understand the challenges of four children, let alone twin newborns. People either say “Twins! That’s so fun!” (yes, loads at this point) or constantly ask “do you have help?” Am I the only mom that doesn’t? I mean, realistically, do women have lots of people that can just hang out at their house all day long? I don’t have retired parents. All of my friends have their own children and/or jobs. So, really, who does that leave? I can’t afford to pay someone to help me, and I’m not one to enjoy strangers in my home – so, it seems like this scenario needs to be mastered by me and me alone.
Every day I’m left wondering … “how am I going to do this?” Mamas, seriously, how did/do you do this??? I realize that I’m incredibly blessed to have two healthy babies – but I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that I regularly ask “why, why, WHY ME!?!?”