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How many of you SAHMs have help with childcare ????

Poll Results: How many of you SAHMs have help with childcare (not incl. dh or dp) ?

  • 3% (1)
    YES - More than 45 hours/week (e.g., full-time or live-in nanny)
  • 3% (1)
    YES - Between 20 and 45 hours/week (e.g., nanny or night nurse)
  • 13% (4)
    YES - Between 5 and 25 hours/week (e.g., mother's helper, grandma)
  • 6% (2)
    YES - Less than 5 hours/week (e.g., occasional babysitter)
  • 13% (4)
    YES - We had help at first, but not anymore
  • 53% (16)
    NO - We have never had any "outside" help
  • 6% (2)
    Other - please explain
30 Total Votes  
post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was wondering how many of you mothers of multiples have help with childcare from someone outside of your immediate family... such as a nanny or mother's helper, a kind family member or friend, a night nurse or doula, or even a regular babysitter?
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Here's the reason I was curious. I think mothers of twins have a more difficult time with AP overall, given that we either have to delay the needs of one baby or have someone else meet the needs of that baby for us. I have part-time help during the day and it has made life a lot easier, but at the same time, it is difficult to see someone else pick up my little one when s/he's upset b/c I'm nursing the other one!! Though it does allow me to spend 1:1 time with each of them instead of constantly doing it in a group, and I like that very much.
post #3 of 14
I don't have any. I would like some just during the dinnertime hours so I could tidy up and cook, but for now, I am managing. But then I do both babes together when they both need to nurse and separately when they are on different schedules (which is often). When they are on different schedules, one is usually asleep while the other is awake.
post #4 of 14
I was thinking of this too...

My husband has decided to take a year off from taking on any projects (he's a freelance programmer, generally only working now and then when we need some relatively immediate funds and don't want to pull it out of investments or whatever, or when he gets bored. ;>). He did this with Fiona too, and it was wonderful!

I'm planning on nursing exclusively though, so I don't think it's going to free me up to do anything much--I'm sure I'll want to get in as much time with my girl as possible! However, we're going to be hiring someone to do basic lawn maintenance, and someone to come in and clean every other week. So hopefully that will help keep things under control a bit.

I have a lot of love and respect for people who do most of that on their own! That is totally incomprehensible to me. However, I will say that hiring outside help for household tasks (at least when we've been researching it) is a lot less expensive than what I charged in my nannying days!

Is anyone going to hire a 'mother's helper' type of person, very part time, who might also babysit now and then once the kids get older? I'm interested in someone like that, but don't know if I'd be able to find someone brave enough to take on 3 under 2!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
One of the best things we did was institute a weekly "date night." I wish we had done it sooner. We've been doing it for 1 month now and it is amazing.

We recently hired the nanny who works for friends of ours, helping to care for their 1 year-old twin girls (miraculous find!). She comes to our house every Friday night around 5:30 and feeds the babies their dinner (all solids now) and then puts them to bed (around 7:30) with a bottle of EBM. We typically get home by 8 or 9, having gone to dinner or out to a movie nearby. The first time I was a wreck... I literally had not been separated from them at all except for quick grocery store trips, etc. But it went well and it was SOOOO worth it. It also helped that she is a pro with twins already! This provided the balance I desperately needed between AP etc. etc. and gettin' out of the d#*n house!!! :LOL

Tigerchild, I completley understand not getting much free time due to exclusively BFing. I did that for first 6 months, but then it was so crazy keeping my milk production up (I had to pump around the clock for 30-45 min. each session AND nurse 2 babies all the time!!). I joked on another thread that ds and dd were sleeping through but there I was up 3x/night pumping!! But that was me. I wish I could have kept going, but I am at least happy that I am still nursing (and giving EBM when possible), though about 1/4 of their milk intake is now formula, plus they eat 3 squares a day of solids at this point. If you can do it exclusively for longer, that is so wonderful!!!

Laralou - maybe a neighborhood girl could come over after school and help out for a couple of hours? That would allow you to still BF if you're doing that, but would also enable you to get dinnre on.

Isn't it sad that in this society we are so isolated from other women to help with childcare???? I think of that a lot. Traditionally, there would be grandmothers, sisters, in-laws, and other trusted women living in the same dwelling (or nearby) to assist with housework and/or childcare. Now we have to go it alone! It's not natural IMO. (End of rant!!)
post #6 of 14
My babies are five weeks old today, and it is my second day all alone with them all day. Yesterday went fairly well. I took them downtown and double-slung them, and walked around trying to feel like a normal person. It was pretty fun. We had a doula come from the hospital for 20 hours because we left a day early (after three nights instead of four), and that's what the hospital does to compinsate. She did some housework and some diaper changing, but she didn't make too much of an impact. I would like to hire someone, maybe a high school student, to come in the afternoons for a couple of hours and either take the babies for a walk so that I can nap, or take one baby out so that I can have one-on-one time with the other. My guys are on the exact same schedule for eating and sleeping (which, during the day, they'll only do to constant motion, hence no naps for me), so I never get to bond with them one at a time. We put up some signs around town looking for a mother's helper, but haven't had much response yet. If we do get someone, it'll probably be for 6-10 hours a weeek. My incredibly generous grandmother offered to pay after coming to visit and getting completely overwhelmed just watching us try to juggle things. Otherwise we definitely wouldn't be able to afford any help.

I really wish I could have someone here just for the 10 minutes of changing diapers and dressing in the mornings. It's so hard for me to listen to the other babe screaming as I try to get one of them ready.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Lexbeach, I remember those days well. It is so hard doing it without help (we didn't have anyone until they were 3 months old - BIG mistake for us!!), and I really know what you're going through. You sound like you're keeping your head above water, which is really a huge accomplishment in and of itself.

The newborn phase seems to last forever, but I gather from your short hospital stay that the twins were full term or close to it?? WAY TO GO!! This will make it a lot easier, and within a couple of weeks, things should start to settle down into a work-able rhythm. Getting past 6 weeks (corrected) age, babies start to organize themselves a little bit, sleeping their longer stretches at night instead of midday and so on.

T -- I see you are from Northampton. I love that town! I went to school there and my mother in law lives in a town nearby too - we visit her fairly often and it's always great to be back. It should be warming up soon, which should make those rare outings even more special!
post #8 of 14
I've actually decided that I really like being alone with Luke and Jazz. When they get fussy, I either let them hang out on my boobs forever, or take them somewhere (for a walk/drive). So, for now, we're holding off on hiring someone. Dp gets home at 3:00, and that's when they start to get fussy anyway.

Twinmommy: Did you go to Smith? Dp and I are both Smithies, she is class of '99, and I am class of '02. I also love Northampton!

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sounds like you are doing all the right things! With twins you REALLY get the sense of being the human pacifier, no?! My guys were a few weeks early and so being smaller, nursed all the time! as in, every hour or so EACH! Yikes. Fortunately that tapers off to every couple or few hours as they get to be big guys. Not that I didn't like hanging out on our couch all day. ha ha
post #10 of 14
I was really lucky to have both sets of Grandparents living close by. I had help every day for the first six months. My son had just turned three at the time my daughters were born and he still needed a lot of my attention. I just could not handle letting either of my girls cry and so having another set of hands was invaluable for me. I also remember getting on the phone and talking to other mothers of twins on those days when I thought I wouldn't make it.

When my dd's were a little older I hired a midwife student to come in a couple afternoons a week. She learned a lot about twins and I loved hearing about her midwifery studies and experiences.

Twinmommy it sounds like you are doing a great job juggling two babies!! Hang in there!

post #11 of 14
Wow, you mammas seem to really have it together!!!! When we brought Duncan and Natalie home from the NICU, we put them in their crib (we didn't know much about AP) and breathed a big sigh of relief (both babes were at home!!!). That was the last moment of quiet we had!!! I called my dad and mom and asked if we could come and stay with them. We stayed there for about 2-3 weeks untill we had it together. Unfortunately, after that, my DH had to start going out of town for the week and would be home on the weekends. That was hard. It was me and 2 month-old twins and a five year old who had to be at kindergarten every morning. I do wish I could go back and do it all over again. More AP and less survival techniques. Probably, if I had done more AP, it would've been easier. I'm almost positive it would have been. Can't change the past, tho. . Now we do co-sleep with the twins and the baby as much as we can!!!
post #12 of 14
Originally posted by GoodWillHunter
Unfortunately, after that, my DH had to start going out of town for the week and would be home on the weekends. That was hard. It was me and 2 month-old twins and a five year old who had to be at kindergarten every morning.
I am living this right now. My dh went back to work at 2 mos too. He works out of town and comes home on the weekends (sometimes every other weekend). It is just me, almost-6-month-old twins, and a 9yo who goes to school each morning. Glad to know someone else has been in almost my exact position!

Originally posted by GoodWillHunter
I do wish I could go back and do it all over again. More AP and less survival techniques. Probably, if I had done more AP, it would've been easier. I'm almost positive it would have been. Can't change the past, tho. . Now we do co-sleep with the twins and the baby as much as we can!!!
Trust me, even if you could do it again, it would still be mostly survival techniques. You would still be . There is very little ap that I haven't compromised at some point out of sheer desperation!
post #13 of 14
My partner was between jobs the 1st month so I had him home to help. He now works 12 hr days 5 days a week and an 8 hr day the 6th. We have not had help except my friends who also have their hands full with children sometime take my son who is 3 1/2 yr. I wish so badly I had more help. I have not been nearly as responsive to any of my three boys (3 1/2 yr and the twins are 6 months) as I would have liked to be this last 5 months. It is so hard. So many times I feel as though I am doing such a poor job but I am doing the best I can. My temper has been so short with my oldest on a daily basis. My partner's father had leukemia (he was diagnosed 2 months before the twins were born) so they were not able to help at all and my family is out of the picture. My partner's fahter passed away in this last month so we are moving up their in a few weeks to be close to her (around the block!!!!). There are also aunties and other relatives up there. I am looking forward to having daily help and being the kind of parent I want to be, being able to respond to my children more consistantly and perhaps feeling a bit more sane. I miss being a fun mom. I feel since I have had my two youngest I just work at surviving the day, not fully enjoy it. I do love my kids but man has it been hard! I say the more help you can get the better.
post #14 of 14
I'm sorry you're still in that same position. I'm just glad my kiddos are happy kids. They get into all kinds of trouble now, but I love them. Most of the time!
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