My twins are 2.5mo (1mo adjusted) and I have a 3yo DD1. I am overwhelmed with DD1 i wore her or held her all day when she was born--I could always respond immediately when she cried. I feel like all I am now is an assembly line pumping, feeding expressed BM or trying to nurse and trying to care for DD1s needs, make snacks, lunch, etc. Whenever I am caring for one the other (or other two) are screaming. I feel so sad right now--I get so upset when the babies cry and I can't care for them right away. I try wearing one or the other in a sling, but then I feel guilty for not wearing the other too. but between pumping and nursing there is not much time for wearing... I feel like I have gotten zero bonding time. please help.
Is it possible to AP twins...felling like a failure
You have to be gentle with yourself. Life with twins is very different that life with an only.
I remember I asked for adviceon how to be an attached parent from the Dr. Sears website when my boys were small, and got no response. You kind of just have to make what you've got work. There are times when one (or both) will cry. It is not possible to immediately attend to each child when you have two infants and an older. Sometimes one has to wait. My best advice is to try not to always make the same one wait.
what ever you can do with two at the same time is a benefit-- rocking, nursing, walking in the stroller.
Good luck, and again, be gentle with yourself.
It will get better. I had to go through the nightmare of pumping/nursing with two older children as well and right around four months it got better. By six months it was good and now at almost a year it is great. You just have to survive these first several months and all your hard work will pay off. I know it is so different - I never wore my twins, I also felt strange wearing one and not the other. I did not co-sleep with them which was really wierd and I had breastfeeding problems.
Hang in there!
One of the best pieces of advice I got early on when my girls were a few weeks old was from a LLL leader who said you can't parent two babies the same way you would parent one. I wrote it down along with the helpful advice she was giving me over the phone about pumping before nursing or after and how to pick one up and without unlatching the other and all those other practical bits of advice. It's something that I've come back to many times. No matter how much I want to, I can't always be there for both babies the way I would like to. I think the previous poster was right on in saying be gentle with yourself. It does get easier! I couldn't wear both in the beginning but did it a lot later on, especially once we we able to stop pumping! Around 3 months was a big turning point for us, and around 6 months was when I really started feeling capable of doing it all, though I had been surviving before that. I don't know what kind of support or help you have, but having people around to take care of the household stuff helped me be able to focus on breastfeeding and baby care. *hugs*
When my babies were born I was very ill and I wasn't able to do some of the things I had come to associate with AP-- they came home from the hospital without me, I had to pump and dump and formula feed for their first three weeks, I couldn't co-sleep because it was important for me to get uninterrupted sleep, and I was too weak to babywear. As time went on, I was able to breastfeed, but not tandem nurse, so one would have to wait. And you know, you just do the best you can. I tell myself that my twins get lots of opportunities to learn and practice patience, LOL! I co-sleep with one and my husband slept downstairs with the other because they kept waking each other up. The babies are 18 months old now and we're only just starting to sleep in the same bed again.
I would say the very most important aspect of AP, at least for me, is the gentleness and the connection. If you can maintain a calm and loving atmosphere, even when they're crying and fussing, it can go a long way in covering a lot of those rough moments. That isn't to say you can't ever be upset, but if you can "hold the space," to use a Waldorf term, you might find that they feed off your calmness. And you find the bonding time when you can. You pump and you sing. You nurse one and you chat with the other in the bouncy seat. You wear one and push the other in the stroller. You read a story to all of them while pumping or nursing. You let the three-year-old fetch and carry and make the babies smile.
It really does get better, and I can honestly say that mothering my twins has made me a much better parent. It's sort of "extreme parenting" and it ends up making you a stronger mother.
Peace to you. I'll be thinking of you and if I can be of any help feel free to message me.
It's hard. But one of the biggest lessons of parenthood, and especially multiple parenthood, is flexibility. You're doing a great job at a very hard task. It's hard to remember that sometimes, but you are. Your interpretation of attachment parenting will have to be flexible and change to fit what is possible with your current family. And the babies will be grumpy sometimes, and you can talk and sing to the one who is waiting (and I concur, make sure it's not always the same one waiting). I feel like I sang for the first six months straight. Except when I was crying,and sometimes both at the same time. And I still sing and talk constantly.
Be gentle with yourself. You are doing something awe inspiring.
If there's one thing I've learned it's that you gotta be flexible with twins. It's a very different world! You are not a bad mama if a baby or two have to cry. They will not feel abandoned in the few minutes you need to address the other's needs. With my babies, I look for little opportunities for bonding time. I try to spend time with one when the other is sleeping if they don't happen to want to nap at the same time. I will wear one and then trade after a while. When they were very small, I wore both in a twin carry in my moby. In the evenings when DH is home, we each take a baby and have some one on one time with each and then we trade. It's difficult, but you will bond with them. Just look for the little opportunities and jump on them.
I will second everyone in saying that it does get easier. My twins are 5 months now and I'm starting to see it.
Maybe change your definition of what AP is??? I do know that esp when the twins were under a year old, unless I was tandem nursing them, I always like I was short-changing one of them somehow. Even if one was sleeping and not needing anything from me, when I was cuddling the other I felt like I was not doing well enough by the one that was sleeping. It seemed like I flipped back and forth between feeling inadequate or guilty about how well I mothered them. Not all the time, but far more than I ever did with my singletons.
One thing I really missed was babywearing. I just couldn't find a way to do it and it really bothered me. I ended up accepting it, like a lot of things that have been out of my control to change since I have had my girls. Define success in a new way, one that is relevant to you and your situation.
I'm wondering how the past few days have been. I'm usually a lurker but wanted to respond! My twins are just shy of 5 months and I've got a 3 year old as well. I'm also trying to make sense of parenting all three in a meaningful and attached way. Some of our days are great and some are a total disaster. We've just had two good days in a row, who knows what tomorrow will look like! I'm trying to take it day by day and be kind to myself - it is hard work with two infants, and very different from just one. Hang in there! ((((Hugs))))
thanks mamas- I really needed your support. I'm just not the mama I want to be lately. DD1 is 3 and that brings its own challenges. I feel like I am repeating myself all.day.long with her--clearly I'm not being effective. Then, I see my twins growing so fast and at the end of each day I just feel full of regret of what I WISH I could have/would have done. It makes me so sad to think I can't have those things- especially because of our rocky start (NICU)- I long for that one-on-one time I had with DD1.
I found it hard to listen to the extra bit of crying that was inevitable, but it doesn't mean you're not APing imo. You're probably APing each twin more effectively than mainstream moms with singletons. We have to keep it in perspective. I did use more 'gadgets' than with my singletons, but I also wore them when I could, used a parent facing pushchair for one twin and carried the other when we went out, and found that I babywore them MORE as they got older, (because nursing was so intense in the early days they had plenty of contact anyway).
I also had SCBU babies and it was a huge consolation to me that we could do skin to skin and have them in bed with us, (I had a co sleeper as they got a bit bigger and would switch for the nursing baby), as part of the healing journey after all the intervention - I would cry that other parents go home with bottles and put their babies in a cot in another room.
You are doing more than you realise
I know this is an old thread, but I just "re-joined" the forums and this was the first that I read because the title called out to me. I have 2mo twin girls and a 6yo and I have had the feelings of failure also. I hate when they cry and I can't meet their needs right away. They have this special nack for waking up at the same time and being HUNGRY! I want to thank the Gryffinndork, Annette for the kind words that you posted, they made me feel better. ThankfulMama, I hope things are going better for you.
Also really needed to read this thread today as I could've written the original post myself. I have 6 week old triplets and a three year old. I'm not exclusively bfing and finding time to pump right now (we're also relocating for work) is laughable. I'm also still weak from months of modified bedrest and just can't do what I want to do with the babes, or my older son. I took my first shower in almost a week today and cried through the whole thing. This is hard work and it there are times when it just blows and sometimes all I can do is cry along with them. It's hard to cut yourself some slack and know you are doing all you can do when it isn't the way you want.
Thanks for all the positive words you shared Mamas!
You need to be gentle with yourself. You are AP parenting the family you have. With one baby, that looks different than two babies and a toddler, or three babies and a school child. But every time one adds children it changes the dynamic. Those twins have a twin. That is AWESOME. And they have the family they were born into. And you can only parent the children you have, not some ideal view of child/parent/family.You are doing great. It just looks a little different than you had expected.
I haven't been in the mothering forums for quite some time...but I saw this thread and read your post. My heart aches for you. Indeed this is a unique journey.
My older children were 4 and 2 when my babies were born (they are now nearly 1 1/2). My oldest daughter and I have the same bond and connection as you described you have with yours.
To be honest, some moms find that it gets incredibly easier within just a few months. For me personally, I still have to sometimes remind myself that, as other posters noted, it isn't possible to parent multiples like a singleton.
My advice is to let yourself feel how you feel. Moms feel guilty over everything, especially if you AP. Adding twins to the mix is its own challenge. It's okay to have a bad day...lose your patience...want to lock yourself in another room because you're drowning in chaos. :-)
My personal experience isn't so much that having twins gets "easier" (IMO each stage brings different challenges), but as they grow, you do as well, and you will get better at juggling everything and everyone. Your oldest will remain close to you, which some days will be a ray of sunshine when you need it most. (Both my older kids adore their twin siblings - you will experience that too) And while it can be overwhelming and awkward to be unable to do things the way you did the first time around, you will get to a point where it won't bother you quite as much and you have an easier time accepting it. Don't fret if acquiring that mindset takes awhile (or if you continue to wonder or periodically feel inadequate as they age. We are not perfect!).
Reach out to other moms of multiples (this place is perfect) to vent, cry and share in the craziness. I find that one of the hardest parts of having twins is how "fun" everyone always thinks it is (and they make sure to tell you so!) when inside you cringe knowing it is the hardest experience you've ever encountered. For me, having twins has been the greatest challenge of my life thus far!
Try to take it day by day ... in those early months, set very low expectations for yourself (I felt like a champion if I did laundry AND made dinner in the same day!) ... recognize that you are an incredible, amazing mother that loves her children so much that she worries about failing them. (There are plenty of mothers that never even consider that!) All of your fellow moms of multiples recognize that this takes HARD work, a learning curve, and self-sacrifice you probably didn't know you possessed.
You are a rock star! Keep your head up, try to get through the rough days, and soon enough you'll be posting on a forum with your own advice to another mom that needs some comfort. :-)
I know this is an old thread but it is my exact situation right now. My twins are about 3 months, DD is 3. I love all my babies but the guilt of failing them all is so strong. I was so depressed and crying yesterday bc the twins were inconsolable all day and by 4 I couldnt take it. My 3 year old who is so in tune with me lost it and hit her sister, not hard but still. I was so upset I just sent her to her room abd once I was calm went to her and asked her about it. She said she just wanted her to stop crying, I feel like she did it for me. She could see I was so upset. This breaks my heart. I want to "hold the space" and maintain a calm but I'm failing. I patented dd exactly how I wanted, we are so bonded - the twins still feel so new and they aren't . All my support says it should be better by now, nobody wants to help out anymore. I try abd explain how hard I'm trying but I feel like everyone is annoyed that I still need help. I'm annoyed at myself as well. I barely find time to play with the twins bc I'm just so overwhelmed when they aren't needing me I just want to veg out. I never did this with my dd. so I am just seeking additional words of support. I want to be the baby wearing happy AP momma I once was.
I am the OP, and I am now 8months out. In some ways it DOES get easier, but it still makes me very unsettled and sometimes tearful that I cannot parent the twins like I parented my 3yo DD1. Sometimes--a lot of time-- the babies cry and I cannot pick them up right away. I always wore DD1 and I do wear the twins, but I feel like I get paralyzed by the thought of holding one and not the other--I wore them together when they were little, but not too often because between nursing preemies and pumping there was not much time. I do wear one or the other now, but still feel guilty about the one not in the carrier (ugh!) I miss the one-on-one I had with DD. Hang in there mama, it is rough but you will find your way. I have a similar relationship with my DD--very close-- and she has had a very rough time adjusting to the lack of one-on-one. I miss her dearly. We still co-sleep so I get to snuggle her at night and I need that.