Is it normal to not love having twins at first? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if other moms felt this way at first and if it gets better. I have twin newborns and have to say I am not enjoying it as much as I enjoyed having my dd1. I feel like a milk machine and like I don't even really get to enjoy either of the girls that much. With dd1 I just held her, sang to her, stared at her and loved her all day long but with the twins I feel like I am either tandum nursing so they aren't getting 1-1 or I am passing one off to someone so I can nurse the other. I am so exhausted and touched out that, if I can set them down to sleep, I do instead just sitting and enjoying holding them. I find myself thinking a lot about how much easier it would be if I only had one new baby and how much more attention I could be giving one new baby as well as to my 3 year old dd. I have alot of support from dh and my mom who has basically moved in so I am getting sleep and help around the house but I still can't help but think that although I love both girls individually I wish they had arrived separately. I feel guilty that I am not giving them as much attention, then i feel guilty for feeling bad that I wish they had come separately. I just don't see the positives yet. I was so excited to have twins but now I just feel overwhelmed and like my parenting will always be out of a place of survival and "good enough". I am hoping this passes as they get older, that it gets easier to give everyone attention, that I will have time to enjoy mothering more consistently instead of just trying to get by, and that as they start to interact with each other more I will start seeing that there are bennefits for them and my dd1 in being twins instead just feeling like they are getting cheated.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:35 AM
 
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i think it's normal to have ups and downs. mine were preemie, so by the time they came home i didn't want to let go for a moment!! but i can see that i would have not felt this if they'd been term. also, they are my 5th and 6th - 1st and second were 10 months apart and i was soooooo touched out for a few years it's a lot getting used to our space being taken up by other people 24/7

be gentle on yourself and get rid of any 'right' or 'wrong' thoughts....bonding is a process, not a moment iyswim.

i think i can still say that i love our twins but i don't love having twins

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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I really really can relate! I just kept nodding my head as I read your post. I struggled with exactly the same thing. I don't have any other kids, just the boys, but yes, I longed to be like my friends who all got to just have one at a time and while I felt bad & guilty & ungrateful for feeling like that, I couldn't help it. When they are so young everything is so much work and yes, I didn't feel like I got to appreciate them/just be with them, love them, because it was just non-stop and I was so exhausted. It felt so unfair sometimes. And I felt/feel bad for my boys because I feel like they didn't get as much loving as I wish they would have from me, but instead got a constantly tired and frustrated mommy who always felt inadequate and scraping just to keep up.

But, I was actually just thinking about this a little bit yesterday - that I haven't been having the thoughts about "if I could have just had them one at a time..." nearly as much. They boys are 2.5 now, and while it is not exactly easy (understatement...), it's much better now that they can walk and talk and do some simple things for themselves. I still don't feel able to give them as much individual attention as I think they deserve or as I want to be able to, but I'm hoping that will get better as they get older, because I think it has already. I'm starting to see some of the very cool things about having twins now that they are playing together and giving each other hugs and telling each other "I love you".

So, I know it might not help much, but it sounds like you're doing what you can, and the fact is that it is just really hard in the beginning, and it is ok if you aren't able to enjoy them or spend as much focused time on them as you wish you could. It sounds like you are taking such good care of them, and while I know it feels crappy and not enough to you, it is. They are getting the love they need in addition to their physical needs. And it will get easier - granted in a year or two... but it will.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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My girls are 16 months old, and I've just begun to enjoy the fact that there are two of them... they play together about as much as they try to bite one another/fight... so there is a bit of light these days

Newborn through 9 months was all about survival, IMO.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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so normal.

the first 4 months (mine wer 2 mos early, keep in mind) were just HARD. it was definitely the toughest thing i have ever done. but after that, bit by bit, it gets better for me. the guilt never goes away re: individual attention, but once you're not chained to the nursing pillow + the babes can entertain themselves a bit, it gets a whole lot less overwhelming.

you are in the thick of it. it will get better!!
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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I remember that I was on the phone crying to my DH almost every day after my mom left (she was here for a month). I claim I got him fired from that job 'cause there were days were he just left and came home I just needed him. Maybe it would help to take five or ten minutes every day to just be with one (if you have a great support system going for you) at a time. That may take the pressure off and you would feel like you are getting in time. It sounds like all of their needs are being met, you just aren't meeting yours.

We all understand how you feel about not having enough time for everyone and everything. It is really hard, but in the end it all balances out. I still feel guilty about not spending enough time with Raphi because Danny was so high needs. I had to rock Danny to sleep while Raphi was just put in his crib with his paci and blanket and "fended for himself". By about three months it does get better when you can put one down and cuddle with one and then switch when the other one gets a little fussy. It will get easier, it just takes time.

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Old 09-30-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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Absolutely! I think it's hardest when you've already had a singleton and you know how much easier it is with one baby. I say as I try to type with one twin attempting to smash the other in the desk door.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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Completely NORMAL! I felt many of the samethings. It gets easier as they get more interactive - and more fun. Hang in there - you will delight in how they play together and the special relationship they have as they grow :-)
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:59 AM
 
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...ditto on the completely normal to feel that way. DH & I joke that your memory gets erased from the ist 3 months & that it is pure survival. He also joked that he really understtod why sleep deprivation was a form of torture...

...around 4 months it gets better since sleeping/eating patterns emerge and some predictability returns to your day.

...around 6 months you see the light

at some point after that I think for me is when I was able to cherish the specialness of having twins.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lilysmama1124 View Post
Just wondering if other moms felt this way at first and if it gets better. I have twin newborns and have to say I am not enjoying it as much as I enjoyed having my dd1. I feel like a milk machine and like I don't even really get to enjoy either of the girls that much. With dd1 I just held her, sang to her, stared at her and loved her all day long but with the twins I feel like I am either tandum nursing so they aren't getting 1-1 or I am passing one off to someone so I can nurse the other. I am so exhausted and touched out that, if I can set them down to sleep, I do instead just sitting and enjoying holding them. I find myself thinking a lot about how much easier it would be if I only had one new baby and how much more attention I could be giving one new baby as well as to my 3 year old dd. I have alot of support from dh and my mom who has basically moved in so I am getting sleep and help around the house but I still can't help but think that although I love both girls individually I wish they had arrived separately. I feel guilty that I am not giving them as much attention, then i feel guilty for feeling bad that I wish they had come separately. I just don't see the positives yet. I was so excited to have twins but now I just feel overwhelmed and like my parenting will always be out of a place of survival and "good enough". I am hoping this passes as they get older, that it gets easier to give everyone attention, that I will have time to enjoy mothering more consistently instead of just trying to get by, and that as they start to interact with each other more I will start seeing that there are bennefits for them and my dd1 in being twins instead just feeling like they are getting cheated.
I can't say I've felt this way. I was reluctant to post the other day when I read this thread, because although I can't share your experience, I certainly am still trying to be supportive and didn't want my post to be taken as dismissive of your experience.

Ever since the twins were born, I have only felt lucky to win that fantastic "lottery" and get to witness and partake in the upbringing of MZ twins. I guess part of this is my background situation of fighting really hard for a very low-intervention vaginal birth and getting it. Sort of made everything after that feel like "Whew! We made it! Everything else will be a piece of cake" I'm not sure if there's any parallel in your background, but that was very helpful for me in keeping the early days in perspective.

Other things that were helpful included that my husband felt just as excited and pleased about that whole thing as I did. You really need someone in "your corner".

When I felt "itchy" to go running around but was pinned down nursing, I really just tried to reflect on how easy I had it: two exclusively-nursing babies without major difficulties. Even when I was feeling "touched out" it always seemed (to me at least) that formula feeding would have been a lot more complicated and demanding of me.

You say that you feel guilty for not giving each girl the attention she deserves. Can you take solace in considering that your feelings of over-stimulation and "touch out" are an absolute indicator that you are giving them all kinds of attention?

I think you are being awfully hard on yourself in considering your parenting only "good enough". It means what it says: "good enough". Nobody is saying "good enough" can't be improved upon, but that doesn't mean it's inadequate, either.

As for twins feeling cheated by lack of attention: my perspective has always been that the extra attention they receive for being part of a set (both within the family and within general society) coupled with the fact that each twin has that altogether rare human experience of having an intrinsic connection with another same-age individual - from birth - more than makes up for receiving less one-on-one time with Mom and Dad.

I wonder if part of your critical eye on your situation is not simply the difference between first baby versus subsequent children. I'm not overlooking that two newborns put do extra pressure on time, household duties, etc. But I know that I did not have as much dreamy, lovey time with #2 and #3 and they were singletons. You have not had that same "easing in" that I had to a busier household, so the change probably appears more dramatic. I just know that over the years, I've heard other moms talking about special one-on-one times with their newborns and many bemoan not having the luxury of hours to get lost in cuddling like they did with their first babies.

Hope things re-centre themselves for you soon.

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Old 10-03-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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Another affirmation here that you are totally normal. Those early months are very "survival" based. And that is completely okay. I had to drop any standards I had for myself and just do the basics (feed, diaper, sleep). I went through a phase a few weeks after they were born where I went a little bananas trying to be the "old me" but better because I was so releived to not be pregnant anymore. I ran myself into the ground and had a good cry. That was when I realized that "now is not the time to aspire to be a 'great' mom" (you know the ideal you have in your head that is impossible to attain! ) but that "now is the time to do whatever I can to take care of the children and myself".

I also needed tons of breaks (WAY more than I needed with my other singletons). I was pretty blown away by how much time I really needed, and felt a little guilty (for about 10 seconds! ). If you want any advice, I would certainly say to take whatever time you can to recharge your battery, and to make it preventative - don't start taking a break when you are losing your mind - take it asap.

I can say that it gets WAY BETTER! Ok, I know that every experience is different, but for us it got a little easier at 6 mo., WAY easier at 12 mo, WAY WAY easier at 18 mo (with it's added challenges, which I would take hands down over newborn challenges - maybe that's just me, though!) and I can say at 21 months LIFE ROCKS! Seriously. Not like I am eating bon-bons (whatever those are anyways) and reading novels during the day, but it is so much less "chicken with head cut off mama" around here. And before you start thinking that that is a long ways off, it will go by quicker than you think and you will probably forget most of the first year anyways . Ha!

Peace and prayers to and for you and keep us posted!

mother to girl (8), boy (7), girl (5) and twin boys (12/07) and a little boy due Feb 5!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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totally normal!!!!! my twins are 13mo now, and it has gotten a little easier. i did worry about spending more time with one and not the other (as one has major medical issues), but over time, their needs have ebbed ands flowed. i feel like now i can at least cuddle with each one while the others are playing quietly.

my older ds was 3 when the babies came. i do feel like he felt lost in the shuffle a bit at first, even though he adores being a big brother. i tried to take any little opportunity to be alone with him. any little errand i had to run, i made sure he came with me. there were nights my dh didn't get home from work until 9, and at 9pm, we'd race off to target to buy things we needed, he'd be in his pajamas! i'd try to stop at the playground or something on the way home if i could. even if only for 5 minutes. we also pushed his bed time back about 15 min, so he and i could still go through his bedtime routine alone, after the babies had fallen asleep. we instituted "our favorite thing" at night, where we have to tell each other what our favorite thing was during the day. We still do that, and i try to make my favorite thing something i did with him. my dh works a lot of weekends (at least 2 per month, but usually 3-4) so on saturdays, we get up, feed the babies and make sure they're safe or contained, and we make pancakes. sometimes the babies cried a bit, and i felt guitly, but it really made a difference with my older guy's behavior. not the heathiest thing to eat, but it's something he can read the recipe and do most everything, like crack the eggs, measure the buttermilk, etc. since he loves to cook, i try to have him help with lunch/dinner/baking as much as possible. i usually have one baby on my back while we cook. when the babies were really tiny, i'd put them both (sleeping) in their bouncers and put them right by the front door. my 3yo and i would head out front, leaving the door open so we could see and hear the babies from outside. that gave us a lot of freedom, without a lot of hassle. and then there was always my neighbors. they took my 3yo a lot for playdates (there are a ton of kids in my neighborhood) and usually took one baby too. or, i'd farm them out to 3 different places if i could, just so i could take a shower or something.

we have a nanny during the week, as i work oh, so i do have some help. she literally saved my sanity by washing dishes, cds and other laundry for me. if i didn't have that knowledge that "i just have to get through to monday until she can come" i probably would have lost it looking at all the stuff strewn about our house.

i know it's hard. it does get easier. though i have to tell you that it's still not "easy" for us. my sick baby is doing much better, hopefully no more surgeries for 2 years. we can actually GO places now, even though it's a pita to get everyone in and out of the car, lol. AND, we're actually planning a trip back east to visit my family, 14 hours in the car! i'm a little scared of the drive with 3 small kids, but ecstatic that we've gotten to the point where we can actually go somewhere and have settled into a 'normal' pattern.

good luck to you.

Denise, mama to ds1 (03/26/05) and boy/girl twins born 08/12/08
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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I had some pretty severe PPD with my twins and I had moments when I just wanted someone to take them away. I got help and I resented them less, but I never really bonded with them. It took a long time and they are certainly VERY bonded to me so I know I did right by them. Twins is so hard and there are so many factors to drive up to not being able to bond. I know my c-section was part of it. I really blamed them for having had to get one. I was really angry for a long time. They had colic, they didn't sleep, they needed to be in arms all the time. I had to hire help even though we're a family with three adults! It was SOOOO hard. Having a toddler just compounded it. The first year with them was a nightmare and It took a long time to get to a place were things becames somewhat normal.

The really sad thing is I didn't really bond with them until I got pregnant with this new baby, then I had all the hormones or something and I just thought they were so precious. Granted they were also much easier kids to deal with at this point too, but it was really a profound shift in my feelings toward them. Now that they're two I really LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom of multiples. I love the attention they always get, I love the way they interact, I love the way they will play their secret games and laugh at their secret jokes. I esp love what amazing little girls they are becoming. They're so full of love and nurturing for everyone. They're the first to see someone in pain and giving them a a kiss and a rub and say "is OK, all better now". I thought when they were little that I was such a horrible mother for not giving them the time I have Elliott, but it didn't matter they got what they needed and everything I had and that was just fine.

Like someone else said, you're in the thick of it. Once they get mobile your life will be totally different and you'll get to enjoy them instead of feeling spent all the time. Twins are really an incredible blessing, they just have a tendency to burn a mama out in their first year!

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Old 10-09-2009, 12:28 AM
 
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OK, my twins are now 7. Years, that is. I went through hell to conceive them, carried them to full term, was able to nurse both of them, and I still had many days where I felt as you do even as I was kissing the ground with gratitude. SO normal - don't feel bad about it for a minute. And yes, it does pass as they get older and you are not so overwhelmed. I homeschool them now and I am so glad that they have a built-in, same age/gender playmate!
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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To the OP, I think it's completely normal, and 99% of us have been there, in some shape, form or fashion. Hell --- I felt this way through my pregnancy. I KNEW I was incredibly, undeniably blessed, and I felt so guilty, because I wasn't over the moon thrilled. I was excited, but the scared/worried/panicked feelings came close to outweighing the good feelings. My husband and I have a joke -- when each of us leaves, we tell the other one not to run off to Mexico. There are days when you just want to escape --- just for a few hours.

I have a very dear friend who has a very similar set up as I do ... her kids are 15, 3.5, and twins 2. She's the only momma I can call, and CRY/WAIL, because I happen to be miserable that day. She understands how hard it is, since she's in the trenches with me.

Novella --- I have to hand it to you. You've certainly handled being a twin momma with grace and serenity. Wish I were more like you -- there's a lot of screaming and crying going on over here.

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Old 10-09-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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Twins can be really hard, that's for sure. I was shocked to find out there were two in thereat 13 weeks, saddened by the loss of H2O birthing with my midwifes at a fabu birth center here, terrified through a high risk pregnancy, and heartbreakingly certain there was no way they would both make it out of the NICU without major trouble in the future.

Happily, Molly and Desmond were fine and are fine, 28 m old no with no issues. The first 6 months were nearly impossible for me, and there were many days when I wished I could run off to Costa Rica, Canada, a hidden cabin in the woods, prison - really, anywhere else but with the kids. It can be incredibly draining and difficult, and it is relentless.

It does get better, and it gets easier in many ways. I think the big difference for me is getting a lot more positive things back in return - our relationships are two-way streets now. I get hugs and kisses, "Thank You mama", "Good Job mama", and big smiles, laughs, and jokes from both of them. It's hard not to fall seriously in love with them every day. I am blessed with two independent, intelligent, active, headstrong, and loving monkeys. Of course, I'm ready to leave them out on the curb with a "FREE KIDS" sign around their necks at least twice a day. Once I'd gotten through the first year I knew how hard it really can get, and knew I could handle whatever they threw at me. Food, tantrums, toys, poop - all of it is a cinch compared to constantly nursing, changing, rocking two colicky infants, with whom I never got to spend any individual time.

Keep on keepin' on, sister. You never get more than you can handle, although at times it may seem like you do.

Mama to Molly and Desmond, June 2007
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:49 AM
 
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Novella --- I have to hand it to you. You've certainly handled being a twin momma with grace and serenity. Wish I were more like you -- there's a lot of screaming and crying going on over here.
Did I mention ?

"Grace?" "Serenity?!" I've seen photos of you with your babes and although it appears to me that those attributes would apply to you, I'm pretty sure no one I've ever met has described me that way.

I work FT in what became a home office after an abrupt change in child care arrangements. It's certainly not infrequent that some pinching and screaming occurs mid-call and I'm attempting to sound serene while apologizing to my caller and explaining that it's a home office. It's surprising how often the caller just chuckles and say that he/she used to have a home office, too.

Part of what makes it so easy for me to always feel lucky even when things suck, is that my husband and I always dreamed of having MZ twins!

Maybe we should apply our mental energies toward dreaming up a major lottery win!

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Old 10-12-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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Just wondering if other moms felt this way at first and if it gets better. I have twin newborns and have to say I am not enjoying it as much as I enjoyed having my dd1. I feel like a milk machine and like I don't even really get to enjoy either of the girls that much. With dd1 I just held her, sang to her, stared at her and loved her all day long but with the twins I feel like I am either tandum nursing so they aren't getting 1-1 or I am passing one off to someone so I can nurse the other. I am so exhausted and touched out that, if I can set them down to sleep, I do instead just sitting and enjoying holding them. I find myself thinking a lot about how much easier it would be if I only had one new baby and how much more attention I could be giving one new baby as well as to my 3 year old dd. I have alot of support from dh and my mom who has basically moved in so I am getting sleep and help around the house but I still can't help but think that although I love both girls individually I wish they had arrived separately. I feel guilty that I am not giving them as much attention, then i feel guilty for feeling bad that I wish they had come separately. I just don't see the positives yet. I was so excited to have twins but now I just feel overwhelmed and like my parenting will always be out of a place of survival and "good enough". I am hoping this passes as they get older, that it gets easier to give everyone attention, that I will have time to enjoy mothering more consistently instead of just trying to get by, and that as they start to interact with each other more I will start seeing that there are bennefits for them and my dd1 in being twins instead just feeling like they are getting cheated.
my twins are 3 weeks old and i'm definitely feeling like this and struggling to work through these feelings. my poor 3yo dd...i feel so bad for her and like our special bond is gone i just keep hoping things get better, but i have a feeling they will get harder first. my mom is still here right now but she goes home in 2 weeks and i have absolutely no idea how i'm going to handle 3 children by myself. i'm terrified.

mariah...wife to j(11/13/04) and mama to anwyn (08/18/06), my little lost one (06/29/08), kaeden and jamison (09/20/09).
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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my twins are 3 weeks old and i'm definitely feeling like this and struggling to work through these feelings. my poor 3yo dd...i feel so bad for her and like our special bond is gone i just keep hoping things get better, but i have a feeling they will get harder first. my mom is still here right now but she goes home in 2 weeks and i have absolutely no idea how i'm going to handle 3 children by myself. i'm terrified.
It will be very hard, but then it will get much, much better. Those first months were so taxing on me!

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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livingfree - i will be blunt - the first 4 months (mine were 2mos preemie) were probably the craziest time of my life. most certainly the hardest thing i've ever done. but it has gotten progressively easier since then. once they can start playing with toys, and you get into a daily rhythm with them... life will be so much better. mine are now 8mos and they're an absolute joy and immensely fun!
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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I think it is totally normal to feel that way, I know I sure did.

My circumstances were quite a bit different than most. I didn't have 9 months to prepare for one baby, let alone two. I had a matter of hours to get ready. The twins are actually my neice and nephew whom we have now adopted, they were born with drugs in their system and the state stepped in and took custody of them. When they were released from the hospital they came to me. I got a call from the state asking me if I could come pick them up in a couple of hours, having had no idea before then that they were going to have me take them.

I was totally overwhelmed. Not only had my mom died 3 days before the twins were born, but here I was with two new babies to take care of and I was pregnant (although I didn't know it at the time). Talk about EMOTIONAL!!!!

I cried every single day for the first 8 months or so. I was working full time and on the days I worked my 22 yo daughter was there to help with the twins, but on my days off she was at her other nanny job so it was just me with two babies (hubby was working out of town). I remember calling my daughter in tears, saying I just can't do it anymore. Thankfully we had friends close by who when I was at my breaking point would sometimes come over and keep me company and help out by holding a baby. The problem was, I had a REALLY hard time asking for help. I had sooooo many people offer to help, but it was so hard for me to admit to anyone other than my husband and daughter that I was having trouble. I felt like a "should" be able to do it ALL and was embarassed to admit that I couldn't. Looking back, I wish I had taken the help I was offered, I think it would have made a huge difference.

Things got even more hectic when the new baby came. The twins were only 8 months old at the time. The good news was that my daughter had quit her other nanny job so was with us full time and hubby had gotten transferred back home, so while it was hectic things were slowly starting to get easier

The twins are now 3 and Caitlyn is 2 1/2, while life is still hectic, it has gotten much, MUCH easier I am really LOVING this age

Mom to, Cassi,, 25 yo daughter, 4 yo twins, Carson & Camryn 3 yo Caitlyn and my wonderful 14 yo neice, Carlie
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:28 AM
 
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Welcome to parenting multiples . . .. I don't know if that feeling every totally goes away. I still find myself wondering what it would be like to have more time to focus on this child or that . . . so yes, its normal. I think it is very normal.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:57 AM
 
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absolutely normal. I spend the first year wishing i only had one and felt immensely guilty about it too!
But once we got to 6 months for me it got easier. they could sit up, would chew on a crust of bread and it just got easier.

I doubt you believe that now though lol!

Good luck!

photoblogging crafty Mama to 3 boys (8/04 and twins 08/07)
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
Welcome to parenting multiples . . .. I don't know if that feeling every totally goes away. I still find myself wondering what it would be like to have more time to focus on this child or that . . . so yes, its normal. I think it is very normal.
That's me, too.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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