If you find your multiples 'easy' - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 10-12-2009, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think it's all about the attitude you approach the challenges with?

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#2 of 28 Old 10-12-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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A few months back my mom said, "wow, I don't know what people mean about the first year with twins being so hard."

Now, I know exactly what she meant. We had a fairly easy time with it. And the subtext was that twin toddlers were tougher than newborns, which for us is sometimes true. (Ignore that, expectant MoMs!)

What I said to my mom was, sure, our first year was OK, but remember:
- the twins were our first and only children
- they're the first grandchildren with lots of hands on grandparent and uncle/aunt help
- I had an uncomplicated vaginal birth and easy recovery
- they've been 100% breastfed, no formula mixing, cleaning and shopping
- no allergies, ear infections, colic, reflux
- No NICU time
- No problems, just healthy little girls that need a lot of attention and loving

And still I wouldn't say twins are easy. For me, luxury is folding clean clothes right out of the dryer and not having them sit in a wrinkling pile for a week. True luxury is having one on one time with a babe. I'm either at work or with one or both of my girls. Great, but it's a lot, especially when trying to do anything else.

Compared to many other twin moms, I have it "easy," and with the right perspective I might say it is. But there are too many times I collapse when the babies go down for a nap, depressed that my house is so dirty but too tired to do anything about it. I do consider myself lucky to have my girls, lucky things go so well with us, and lucky to get out on my own once or twice a month.

But no, it's not easy.

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#3 of 28 Old 10-12-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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more importantly the personalities of the babies. My b/g were reasonably easy in that they settled into similar sleep patterns, slept well, didn't have colic, were happy and most importantly had similar and good sleep patterns. The next child...oh heavens, she was shiny bright and awake all the time. Her needs were overwhelming and insistent, I am tired just remembering back.
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#4 of 28 Old 10-12-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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That's so interesting that you say that ... Everyone keeps telling me how hard it's going to be with newborn twins .... but I'm not freaking out about the new babies part. It's the entertaining of twin boy toddlers that worries me! Chasing them when they are running in every direction ... that's what sounds exhausting to me!

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#5 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post
A few months back my mom said, "wow, I don't know what people mean about the first year with twins being so hard."

Now, I know exactly what she meant. We had a fairly easy time with it. And the subtext was that twin toddlers were tougher than newborns, which for us is sometimes true. (Ignore that, expectant MoMs!)

What I said to my mom was, sure, our first year was OK, but remember:
- I had an uncomplicated vaginal birth and easy recovery
- they've been 100% breastfed, no formula mixing, cleaning and shopping
- no allergies, ear infections, colic, reflux
- No NICU time
- No problems, just healthy little girls that need a lot of attention and loving

And still I wouldn't say twins are easy. For me, luxury is folding clean clothes right out of the dryer and not having them sit in a wrinkling pile for a week. True luxury is having one on one time with a babe. I'm either at work or with one or both of my girls. Great, but it's a lot, especially when trying to do anything else.

Compared to many other twin moms, I have it "easy," and with the right perspective I might say it is. But there are too many times I collapse when the babies go down for a nap, depressed that my house is so dirty but too tired to do anything about it. I do consider myself lucky to have my girls, lucky things go so well with us, and lucky to get out on my own once or twice a month.

But no, it's not easy.
I've copied most of your points of what has made your situation "easy" because they apply to me as well. And I coloured my favourite ITA parts.

But to me, that really does all sound "easy" compared with what I could be dealing with. I'd rather deal with this than fussy eaters, or non-sleeping kids (nevermind any real health or social problems!) So I don't see it as an endlessly-sunshiny attitude on my part. . . more of an intolerance of other situations. Makes this seem pretty sweet!

Toddlers have been way more work than newborns. I can't even begin to list all the stuff they've messed up or wrecked. You'd think that after three older kids, you are pretty much "safe" (either it's resilient, or it's already broken). But nope!

Six kids, sixth sense, six degrees of separation. . . from sanity!
Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
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#6 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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I wouldn't say my life is easy, but I have found that there have been many times in the past 2.5 years when the hardest part has been parenting my eldest. Individually, the trips have each been so much easier than my eldest. There have been long periods where the three of them together felt easy compared to him.

I think that the kids' temperaments have a huge impact on how easy or challenging things really are. Beyond that, my attitude makes a big difference.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#7 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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I wouldn't say my life is easy, but I have found that there have been many times in the past 2.5 years when the hardest part has been parenting my eldest. Individually, the trips have each been so much easier than my eldest. There have been long periods where the three of them together felt easy compared to him.

I think that the kids' temperaments have a huge impact on how easy or challenging things really are. Beyond that, my attitude makes a big difference.
Here too. The days when ds1 is in school and I have the 3 younger at home feel so easy compared to the days when he is home. Temperament definitely plays a role.

My twins were fairly "easy" babies so our first year was busy but fairly organized and we seemed to get through it fine. I think my attitude definitely was a factor in making things easier with the twins. I still think (for us anyways) that having twins as #3 and #4 was easier in that we were much more laid-back about things and didn't have the first baby worries. I had breastfed twice before, coslept and found out some of the little tricks that make things easier. Of course, having older children does make things much busier and chaotic but if you can accept that than it'll work out. Now that we've entered the toddler years I have to say that I'm missing the "easy" baby year - lol. Wow!!

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#8 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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It's all in the perspective. Isabella was so challenging that, after that, anything seemed "easy". I literally barely put her down for the first 6 months. When I did, she screamed.

I don't think my twins are easy necessarily but they are "easier" than she was and easier than many sets of twins by far. Mostly, I've just seen them as completely delightful. It may be their personalities or the fact that I've always been about 7-9 months pregnant at this stage of toddlerhood but it's not nearly as hard as it was with my older singletons.

That being said, my babies are only 16 months old. We've got PLENTY of time for me to need to eat my words.
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#9 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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I was JUST talking to my husband about this! After hearing my MIL say repeatedly how impossible our lives were going to be during my pregnancy I vowed to keep a positive attitude about caring for our babies (we also have a 2 year old).

Yes, life is more stressful because it requires more organization, but we're not unhappy. I say it a lot as my mantra. (My MIL still insists that we have a hard life no matter how often I tell her that we are happy and fine... someday she'll believe us!)

I think babies and toddlers are particularly sensitive to your mood and so maintaining a calm and peaceful attitude can be very helpful.
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#10 of 28 Old 10-13-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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My twins were and are "easy" in comparison to a lot of things, but no, I don't really think it's "easy". Full term, gentle home/water birth, nursing right away, no severe colic, no health challenges, great support system in my life, lots of loving family and friends, all these things I really know made our lives easier. And having done it all before helped too, and I definitely still think DD1 takes the cake on being challenging, as much as I love her, lol!
Maybe when you know how hard it could be, you can see that at times, things are "easy".
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#11 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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It's hard work, but mine are easy. Their personalities make them that way. If I'd had 2 of my firstborn, I'd have been institutionalized.

Laid back, compliant twins + breastfeeding has made it not so bad.

Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to love.gif DD (9yr), DS luxlove.gif (3yr), & 2twins.gif UC twin DDs (5yr)

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#12 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much for sharing all these replies. so much food for thought. it seems like there is a huge dose of gratitude in all your words??

i found the first 11 months 'easy' but then i think i went into shock that it is actually real. LOL. kwim?! OMG, we actually went through all that!! maybe some PTS with the preemie thing. and i got used to having some spontaneous moments in my life pre-twins as dd was almost 4 when they were born. i've gone back to life as it was when i had my first two i guess, and i never thought that would happen!!!

but it could have been so much more awful. i didn't know if they were going to make it. i'm actually lucky we went to 32 weeks. we get to b'feed after the wobbly start. they've met their targets developmentally so far (despite weighing 13lbs even and 16lbs at one year )

there was a lot of trauma for me in their medical care and management. maybe i just need to purge that somehow....

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#13 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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there was a lot of trauma for me in their medical care and management. maybe i just need to purge that somehow....
Wow, I think a lot of us can relate to that. Wish I knew how. Time helps, but it may just be something we always carry with us.

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#14 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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I actually find that after the first year is over that life is getting "easier" (whatever that means). But I think that with a year under my belt of having twins (they are 16 months old now) I am better prepared to manage day to day life. I get them out to tons of stuff now, we have been through the first year of managing sickness running through 3 kids (my daughter was 2 when the twins were born) instead of one, they are moving which makes life logistically easier on many fronts but definentely keeps me on my toes... in other words we are surviving extremely well and now really heading into the fun phase of personalities growing, ability to do things with them, etc. etc... I of course have always loved my twins but now I am no longer scared of them and at the beginning I think that I was at times All this said, attitude plays a huge roll, the days that I am frustrated now and at the beginning change the course of everyones day and with that first year gone, I am a more relaxed twin mom.... and easy twins babes certainly helps.
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#15 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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my twins are easy and it is at least 90% just the babies that they are. they are happy just sitting watching me do whatever most the time. they sleep all night and always have. they love the car. they like watching their siblings play. now they are old enough where they like to sit and play together. my dd was not nearly as easy and there was only one of her.

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#16 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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Alwats have STTN?!? You are so LUCKY!

For me the first year was the hardest. My girls didn't sleep for long stretches at all and always needed the boob. I have finally regained my sanity. Around one year was a turning point when they could walk, but 18 mos was the magic number for sleep for us. My girls are pretty even tempered, so that has helped a ton. I will never, never, ever, ever call twins easy, but it is pretty downright joyful around here.

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#17 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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I think attitude definitely helps. My twins are my only children so I cannot compare how easy or difficult they are to singletons.

I found the first two years to be difficult...preemies, NICU stays, unable to breastfeed, health issues, therapies, my son cried just about all of the time and I felt I spent all of my time putting out fires and never enjoying having the babies. (My house and I were also complete disasters.) I cannot remember my attitude but even a great one may not have made life easier.

After age two I found them to be much easier (even though my daughter’s personality can be very challenging). I think attitude, expectations, and under-scheduling or knowing limitations can make life much easier. I remind myself of their ages and what I can truly expect. I pick my battles and am probably considered lenient. I also feel like I missed the first two years of their lives which are just an unpleasant blur and am determined to make the most of the rest of the years. I'm not sure if this makes sense but...When planning activities or even trips out of the house I really take into consideration the children and make my life easier by under-scheduling, not leaving at certain times, etc. I am happy to have the luxury of staying home. We don't run to the stores often, or have multiple activities in a day. They have plenty of play time which makes out of the house time more enjoyable for them - and me since they tend to behave. The days I am stressed or too busy the children seem more difficult when really it is because I am expecting too much, rushing them too much, or responding to them in a way that doesn’t achieve the best results – like being too short, raising my voice, etc…

Of course, this works for our family partly because of my personality. I have friends who have the complete opposite theory. The more they are out of the house with their children, the more routines, or the more activities planned, the easier their lives with children.

Also, as they get older I think having twins is easier than having two children of different ages. They play together well, can do the same things, etc...
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#18 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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I will never, never, ever, ever call twins easy, but it is pretty downright joyful around here.
OK, that's the perfect answer.

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#19 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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Honestly, for me it was mostly personality and health issues. I had one super easy twin with no health issues and the other was super high needs with multiple food allergies and silent reflux. If I had had 2 of Ava, life would really have been cake. If I had gotten 2 of Jude....I can't imagine. He rocks, but OMG he was a hard baby. I think attitude helped us through the first year though. I was so grateful to have them and wasn't into complaining about the negative stuff (for the most part). I can look back now that they are 3 and say that the first year was hard hard hard. I also had a 2 yr old and 3 yr old at the time too so I am sure that played into it.

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#20 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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I dunno. I had a pretty positive attitude, but it still has been pretty bad around here. AFter the first 6 months, it's been SO much easier, and gets easier everyday, but I still feel shell-shocked most of the time.

Denise, mama to ds1 (03/26/05) and boy/girl twins born 08/12/08
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#21 of 28 Old 10-14-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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Alwats have STTN?!? You are so LUCKY!
i know! my daughter was an all night nurser/had to be in arms all day/didn't sleep well until age 2 baby. i actually got pregnant the month after she started sleeping well (at 3 she still often wakes up once or twice). i really really do appreciate how well we have it with these guys. i promise i am not taking it for granted.

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#22 of 28 Old 10-21-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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My twins were and are "easy" in comparison to a lot of things, but no, I don't really think it's "easy".

I pretty much agree with this and the others who've said things along the lines of "these babies are easy, but 'it' is not easy." I actually couldn't tell if you meant finding the individual multiples to be "easy babies" or finding it easy to have multiples....finding having twins to be "easy."

I have, generally speaking, two easy babies. Easy-ish babies? They can challenge my patience and all, but they are cheerful, pretty self-directed, good sleepers (again, typically.) They get into these jags when they don't nap at the same time (and when it gets completely opposite, then NOTHING seems easy!) but in general, when things are going normally, they are pretty easy babies.

But....there are two of them. Even easy babies take a lot of care, and take a lot out of you. You don't have colic or excessive fussiness, you may not have reflux issues and long periods with them fighting sleep or waking frequently, but you still have to care for two babies and it takes a lot of work, time, energy. And mine are toddlers and that's a whole new thing, where having two can really make moments feel impossible.

Even though they still are "easy" kids.

In conversation, I qualify with what wonderful, easygoing babies they are. But that there are two of them, and it can be exhausting to care for them.

I do, at random times in almost every day, feel crazy-joyful about how great they are, how funny and sweet, how they are wonderfully easy and really just princes. I look at my husband and gush about how lucky we are, how it's so amazing to have them both, and how they really are just the kinds of babies you'd pick if you could pick. And a lot of what I am loving is the twin experience, as well as just the fact of who these babies are, personally. Yes, the "easy" thing comes up a lot and I very much appreciate their flexibility and resilience. But even so, I constantly feel overwhelmed, taxed beyond my resources, frustrated, etc. I couldn't say it's really easy.
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#23 of 28 Old 10-25-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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Attitude certainly helps. I think the past 6.75 years could have been a lot harder if I weren't able to laugh in a lot of really difficult situations. But I do not find parenting any of my children to be "easy." Some parts are always easy for me (the loving, the snuggling, the playing, creating, and adventuring), and some parts are always hard (the worrying, the lack of sleep, the sibling rivalry).

I found the first year to be mostly delightful. I still don't think I'd call it easy, but nor did I find it difficult (overall). Since then, there have been times when having twins is like having less than ONE kid . . . when they're getting along wonderfully and entertaining each other and simply increasing the amount of joy in a given moment. And then, there have been times when having twins is like having FOUR kids . . . when they're constantly fighting and being jealous and making each other miserable and can't agree on anything.

I have noticed that one hour of "difficult" in an otherwise "easy" day can flavor my whole mindset in a negative way. I try not to let that happen. I try to focus on the positive, and not let hard times overshadow good times.

Most people I know who have a truly easy time with their twins (beyond infancy) have boy/girl twins. Not sure if it's just a coincidence or if there is less competition and jealousy with boy/girl twins than with girl/girl or boy/boy pairs.

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#24 of 28 Old 10-26-2009, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh well. i have b/g so maybe there is hope later on....

when i said 'easy' i mean in the sense that it doesn't make you scared everyday you know. the happy moments outweigh the crying and you wouldn't change it for anything.

i'm a *bit* fed up of hearing ppl say how much they want twins, how great it must be, how easy it must be do two nappies at the same time, bath them and put them to bed together. eugh. like that's our everyday reality. it all runs smoothly and we just do it twice over at exactly the same time. dream on

i had my first two ten months apart and it was sooooo hard. (they are same sex and i can see how it would've been easier earlier if they'd been opposite) but basically, i sometimes feel right back to being a new parent again, but i'm b'feeding them both this time (as opposed to only one) and have waaaay more housework, children to educate, weaker body etc. they are not laid back characters at all. dd screams every time she has a nappy change/ has to get changed, every time we go out and when she's in a car seat. maybe some of it is how scbu affected her sensory integration. ds is a tank who has determination and climbing power
otherwise, they are happy and lovely little people. giggling together and whacking each other round the head. gouging each others eyes as they tandem nurse. all the good bits of sibling love

but yeah, what i wanted to see is how it is for others making similar attachment choices where they can. i'd like to attend my local twins club but i've had a less than positive interaction on the forum and so it doesn't feel like i can see into the real life of other mothers with twins without being told that it would be easier if i bottle feed, put children in school, use disposables....whatever.

i think my choices are worth it, but wondered if maybe mainstream is right and i should do all the above but reading your input, how i feel is ok. it's not out of proportion. we all can benefit from a little (or a lot of) help.

hope that makes sense.

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#25 of 28 Old 10-26-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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i think my choices are worth it, but wondered if maybe mainstream is right and i should do all the above but reading your input, how i feel is ok. it's not out of proportion. we all can benefit from a little (or a lot of) help.
What I wish we had was communal living. Enough of this nuclear family silliness! Of course AP is hard when we are isolated as women caring for children. So who wants to live like humans are supposed to be living - !IN GROUPS! - and then all of us mamas and babes can live in our own circle, help one another, trade babies & share responsibilities, and laugh, joke, story tell, & sing all the while. I feel like if I had other women around in a close-knit community, not only would life be simpler & more joyful, but I'd also have more time for doing things other than child care - things that are rewarding to me b/c they are also valuable or joyful or part of my essence... or even a little alone time. I feel sad that in our society, women have to chose between raising their children or doing something else (aka 'work') that they also enjoy for valid reasons; the dichotomy isn't fair and it doesn't honor us.

Shukr, I'm sorry that people seem to be telling you how easy having twins is. Perhaps you should invite them over to help?! (Since my tribal living is likely just a dream... otherwise I'd be right there to help you!)

I hope that your DD is able to cope without as much crying as she gets older. IMO, the crying is what can make things very hard for us Mums, particularly when there is nothing we can do to help.

I have to admit that I do use sposies... I tried cloth for a while but just couldn't make it work without me going crazy from leaks, clean-ups, and never-ending laundry.

You are one busy mama. Be gentle on yourself.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#26 of 28 Old 10-27-2009, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kjoy2 View Post
I feel like if I had other women around in a close-knit community, not only would life be simpler & more joyful, but I'd also have more time for doing things other than child care - things that are rewarding to me b/c they are also valuable or joyful or part of my essence... or even a little alone time. I feel sad that in our society, women have to chose between raising their children or doing something else (aka 'work') that they also enjoy for valid reasons; the dichotomy isn't fair and it doesn't honor us.
wow - this is a big part of it kjoy2, you're so right.

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#27 of 28 Old 11-01-2009, 05:20 AM
 
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I'm told a couple times a month that G-d knew exactly who to give triplets to. That said, I had quite a bit of ppd in the beginning and missed a lot of those first few months. After I got myself into a routine and made a concerted effort and purposeful decision to enjoy their childhood it became easy. We still have battles over putting things away, limiting TV, not hitting each other, not scaring the parrot, not wasting food, etc.

kjoy2, I always say I want to find an Orthodox Sephardic Jewish commune to live on. Will never happen, but I can pray!

Miriam , mom to jumpers.gif
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#28 of 28 Old 11-01-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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It is hard but then again it's not! My girls have been the best and we do much better with my mom "not" around! She is so hyper that is really affects the girls. I'm very laid back than she is but yet my discipline is way more strict than hers. She does not follow through where I do. That has been key for me with the girls. They have tons of freedom than most kids it seems do not, but what they can and can't do is very cut and dry with their boundaries. It works very well for the girls it seems. So we'll see how it goes with our son due in just a few weeks!

Mamma to identical twin girls (June, 2006 born at 30 weeks), new bundle of joy due August, 2011
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