I just feel like giving up. - Mothering Forums
Parenting Multiples > I just feel like giving up.
dear abbey's Avatar dear abbey 07:24 AM 10-31-2011

Hi, everyone- I'm the mother of two fraternal twin girls, 6 weeks old, and a lovely boy who just turned 3. I worked part-time with my son but have recently stopped working to stay home with everyone. My son is in preschool 3 days a week (currently the 3 days I worked before, so he's still going there all day at this point). We hope to transition him back to half-days very soon since we've given up one income so I can stay home.

 

I'm feeling like I'm not any good at this. I always thought of myself as a good mother before - creative, fun, and kind, and I had a great relationship with my son. We bonded quickly and have always been close. Now I look at these two red, screaming girls and feel mostly frustrated that they need so much...which is terrible! I feel so guilty about it. After all, it isn't their fault that they are newborns or that there are two of them or that there is already a needy preschooler in the house.

 

I was on bed rest all summer, so I have relaxed a lot in my standards about housekeeping...but seriously, the trash has to be taken out at some point, and we do need clean(ish) clothes to wear and food to eat (and dishes to eat it from). There are minimum standards that have to be met. I relied so much on help over the summer when I couldn't get up for 12 weeks - now that I'm up and around, I hate to keep asking the same people to come help me. Also, I think people generally assume I have it together (because I almost always have it together...just not lately).

 

I'm exhausted. My husband and I split up the nights so that I could get one longer chunk of sleep - he takes the girls from about 8pm - midnight and feeds them expressed milk that I pump during the day. I have kind of figured out the tandem nursing thing, but it usually results in pretty sore nipples since their latch isn't as good that way. I feel like I nurse all the time all day long, and one of my daughters spits up multiple times after every feeding, so I am always changing her clothes (which she hates, so she screams more). I didn't feel so aggravated and frustrated when my son cried, and I'm afraid it means I'm not doing a good job bonding with the girls. They mostly just make me tired. Sometimes I can't even figure out why they are crying or what they want from me.

 

I know that it's supposed to get easier. but I'm wondering how I'm going to make it until it does. My son isn't even here right now, and I'm having trouble coping. My mom had been coming up to help us out on the two days my husband is working and my son isn't at preschool/day care, but this is the first week she won't be coming. I don't feel at all ready or able to handle all three of them on my own.

 

besides, someone (me) is supposed to figure out what we are going to have for dinner this week, pay the bills, wash clothes, etc.

 

Most days I can't even get a long enough break to take a shower. Right now, both girls are yelling in the crib while I'm typing this. I'm struggling not to feel irritated at them. I just want to go outside by myself, walk to the end of the driveway, start running and not come back for a long time.

 

I'm sorry for being so negative. I just feel awful.

 

Can someone tell me that there's light at the end of what feels like an endless tunnel? and is there anything I can do in the meantime to feel better? I feel like I'm failing everyone, especially the babies and my son. They deserve way better than I'm giving right now.



~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 07:54 AM 10-31-2011

oh i wish i could hug you!

 

it does get better, 6 weeks was just about when mine started waking up and really wanting stuff, but could still do absolutely nothing for themselves so it was really the hardest age for me. Now as i type this, my 10 month olds are playing in the living room with each other and with out me since they woke up, nearly 40 minutes ago, i have actually started having a few minutes to myself in the mornings, since they seem so happy to just hang out.

 

this is really the time you should ask for help, it is hard, they are so little and the seemingly circular need for all their things is on a loop that seems so short. the moment you get done, it seems to start over again.

 

im glad to hear that you are getting at least some sleep, that is huge, i wished i had gotten 4 hours, so congrats on prioritizing that.

 

as for the spitting up, wow our life got a whole lot better when we found waterproof bibs! they are soooo much easier to change than clothiers are! we ended up with two 10 packs of Green Sprouts ones, they were nice and soft and our twins wore then nearly every day till they were maybe 5 month or so, basically for us once they were learning to sit they also seem to stop spitting up as much, same muscles area control both apparently. They have a handful of different color combo and are nice and simple and dont have images all over them so i could always find one that made any given outfit look even cuter it seemed. I really can't think of a single other item that we bought that made things easier like those bibs did!

 

next this is do you have a good twin stroller? maybe even one with a toddler seat or a ride along board. Get one, now, really. Just my opinion, but for me getting out of the house was the best medicine in the world, my twins loved watching the trees so much at the young ages and still walks around her are the best, and heck i was never a walk type of gal before i had them.

 

next this is its ok to be bummed out from time to time, its hard its not in your head. With that in mind, if you are feeling it all the time or even a lot, you might let folks know and talk to someone, with twins the hormones are huge and the chance that you are having trouble from all the ups and downs and could have a touch of PPD is greater, make sure to check in with your care provider about how you feel.

 

 

most of all just hugs


~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 07:57 AM 10-31-2011

the other thing is since you have had one already, make sure not to get too attached to the way you did things with the first, its ok to take a different approach with two on your plate.

 

around here it is sometimes hard for ladies to start using pacifiers over comfort nursing or strollers over baby wearing, but with twins we do whatever just them and you thru the day.


rinap's Avatar rinap 08:28 AM 10-31-2011

Your babies are still very, very little. You're doing a great job. But right now there are three kids. And you're just barely off of bed rest. In any sane world, you'd still be considered an invalid yourself. Bedrest is a big whack to your system. So you need to be gentle to yourself  as you do things, and you need to keep asking for help, even though it sucks and you would rather (I know I would rather) be able to do things on your own.

 

I wish I could be more helpful, but I'm still skating on the breaking point. And I've given up on bonding with my girls. They're very bonded with their father. It's my job to take care of them, so I take care of them. And they're very well bonded to each other. That will have to be enough.


merryns.mom's Avatar merryns.mom 04:43 PM 10-31-2011

i'm with you! my boys are 5 weeks old and the last few nights are constant crying fests with all of us...i've actually said things like cry it out and cereal in the bottle and formula. they nurse for hours and are never satisfied.  i have a 3 year old too that i previously coslept with and she doesnt understand why i never come to bed anymore.

 

i am at my breaking point and would love to have a few hrs of uninterrupted sleep. one baby would be so easy, 2 is the hardest thing i've ever done.

 

i pray it gets easier


Shuli's Avatar Shuli 05:10 AM 11-01-2011

When my boys were born I cried every day for the first three months. And they were my first, I can't even imagine how overwhelmed you feel. There were days where I just didn't even bother getting dressed or putting on a bra because of all the nursing. I also found that going for walks helped. We had a small park up the road from us and I would take them and walk them around the trail and they would fall asleep and I would sit on a park bench and read a book. It was heaven. My DH worked part time at that point and he knew that if he wanted clean underware he'd have to do the laundry himself :-). I got in touch with the pastor where we prayed and asked for help. There was a group of retirees who were only too happy to come over and help hold a baby (or two) while I took a shower, or help fold laundry. I also switched to bio degradable disposable dishes until I was able to handle washing them. My community would come over with frozen dinners so my poor DH wouldn't starve :-) Can you ask someone to come by and give you a reprieve when your you DS is in preschool? Maybe a neighbor can come by and play with the girls while you take a shower, pee, put on a load of laundry? Do you have some close friends that you can ask for help? I know that asking for help is hard, I struggled with this part of being a MoM but in the end I had no choice if I wanted to keep some semblance of sanity. I wish that I could come by and babysit for you while you took a nap. I really understand how hard it can be. HUGS!


queenofchaos's Avatar queenofchaos 08:40 AM 11-02-2011

You are doing a tremendous job, whether you think/feel it or not!  Just the fact that you are concerned about what is going on and how you are coping is a big sign that you are very attached.  Being attached does NOT mean you always feel positive towards your children.

What PP said about the PPD thing, YES!  It would be unrealistic to expect to go thru 'twinsanity' w/out at least a touch of PPD.

You absolutley MUST get some help in the house.  Until the babies are at least 6 mths old.  AT LEAST.  It doesn't matter what others think, you really do need it.  My girls are 16 mths old (today!)  and I still need help from time to time.  It is understandable that you want to be able to do it all for yourself and your children, but not realistic.  If you sense that people are not understanding or willing to help, ask.  If they say they don't understand and are unwilling to help, look elsewhere.  Very hard, but absolutely necessary.

Hang in there! 


nktigger99's Avatar nktigger99 08:50 AM 11-06-2011

If you feel you need help still ask for it.  Like I tell my toddlers...nothing wrong with asking for help!  If people are willing why not?

 

I never had help just because it was just never available for me...we still got through....you just have to take it day by day....don't look to next week or tomorrow just the here and now.  I have a 2 and 3 year old in addition to the twins and some days that is the hardest part...not feeling like I am neglecting them in order to take care of my boys.  But you will find a balance.  Now at 5 months it is pretty easy most days...I have found a good groove and feel like the kids all get my attention pretty equal. We just bought and moved to a new home 2 weeks ago which was a little crazy but we have more room which makes it easier(everyone isn't on top of each other).  For cleaning I honestly do at least 45 minutes after all 4 kids are in bed...also the mornings my kids are the happiest so that is when I do anything I can (also do all appointments in the morning)...somedays that may mean nothing but others I can get a lot done. 

 

I let go a lot of my ideals when I found out we were having twins...no cloth diapering...4 yes I said 4 kids in diapers full-time...no way was I washing that many diapers...I Happily formula feed my boys...The boys sleep in their swings as opossed to full-time co-sleeping...my toddlers watch TV....but we are all still alive and I have no regrets....

 

I am very sad to hear of moms who are not bonding with your babies...I would really encourage those moms to talk to someone about PPD....


twinpossible's Avatar twinpossible 06:59 PM 11-06-2011

I cried like a small child in bed while my mother watched the girls for the first 2 days we were home. After that I cried off and on for about 2 weeks. It is SO overwhelming having twins (mine were also on feeding tubes when they came home which added to my panic). I have three tricks that keep me sane but everyone is different so these may or may not work for you as well.

1) I joined Stroller Strides and get out of the house 4 mornings a week to exercise, chat with other mommas and breath some fresh air.

2) My husband and I sat down and developed a chore list for ourselves. Everyday each of us have 2 chores to do. I know it seems funny that I gave myself chores but I found that when I first came home I was trying to do too much. I was trying to be super mom. Reality is, we need to pace ourselves. Some days I barely get time to eat let alone do the dishes! If we stick to the schedule then I know that each week the bathrooms get cleaned, the kitchen gets a rub down, the plants get watered and the trash is taken out. Sometimes I have to wait until my husband comes home to do my chores so I can strap a baby to me and let him deal with the other one.

3) I have a nanny who comes over as a "mother's helper" to watch the girls while I shower, eat, clean or do what ever else I need to do. It is not too hard to find a college student to pay a few bucks an hour to help you out!

It does get better, remember, you are still on a hormone roller coaster and have fatigue from birth. Give yourself a little room to be overwhelmed and sad, it is all very very normal!


nktigger99's Avatar nktigger99 07:14 PM 11-06-2011

Twinpossible....

 

I really wanted to do stroller strides but with a 2 and 3 year old there was no way....I always look at the website and think it would be so neat!


twinpossible's Avatar twinpossible 08:06 AM 11-07-2011

nktigger99 - It is a lot of fun. I wonder sometimes if I will be able to continue if we get pregnant with #3. I bet you could get another mom to push a double stroller! It would be crazy with TWO double strollers but I mentioned #3 to the girls and they said that they would push the other stroller for me :)


dknees's Avatar dknees 03:41 PM 11-07-2011

It WILL get easier!!!!!!!

 

My twins are now 3 and my older child is now 6. It was really hard at first. I honestly don't remember the much of the first 3 months of their lives. Except for when I look at a couple of pictures, I'll remember a detail or two, but it was HARD. I work FTOH, and am fortunate enough to have a nanny. I would hand the kids off to her at 8am and go take a shower for work. I'd come back downstairs and the living room would be clean, dishwasher running and both babies would be fed, changed and snuggled up in their bouncy chairs and I'd feel like the biggest failure because my nanny accomplished in 30 minutes what I could not accomplish in an entire day.

 

It does get easier, I promise. For me, it just got progressively easier every day. Not noticeably easier, but I'd look back and think, "wow, today was much easier than things were a few weeks ago." I would say by 4 months old, I was actually able to cook dinner a couple of nights a week (I adore cooking, so I made it a priority) and even get clothes washed once in a while. By 6 months, I could see daylight. By 1 year, I was amazed that I almost had free time a couple of evenings a week to get online.

 

Take help if it's offered. I put all my friends on "retainer" and when the twins were 6 months old, I took them out to dinner,  and gave them a heartfelt thank you card basically outlining all the things they had done to help and how grateful I was. One neighbor was kind enough to call me almost every time she went to the store. I gave her a Target gift card (it was a gift from a relative for the babies) and then gave her my list whenever she offered to get something from there. She used my gift card, so I never had to worry about giving her money, and I told her to get herself some Starbucks (in Target) as a thank you every now and again for being my courier.

 

Be easy on yourself, you are doing the best you can with the resources you have. The best thing you can give your kids is love, and they are obviously loved :)  My standards for housekeeping were pretty low. THey still are. At 3, my kids still make horrendous messes that I can't keep up with. I could, but I choose to play with my kids when I get home from work, rather than clean the house. If you don't have time to do dishes, buy paper. I know it's wasteful, but if it helps you get through the day, then do it. It's not like you'll be using paper plates forever. And, I found that people wanted to help but didn't know what to do. So, I started listing chores I needed help with and asking friends to pick what they'd like. I asked for 2 meals/week, asked for someone to grab 3 loads of baby laundry a week (basically every other day) and asked for someone to come watch the kids for an hour so I could do whatever I wanted (usually it was shower and actually eat food while it was hot).

 

It was hard to not spend so much time and energy with my older child. He wanted to go out and play, but we couldn't because one was sleeping, or needed to be fed, or whatever. He did okay. He wasn't always happy about it, but he's a fantastic child and he doesn't seem to suffer any adverse effects from being placed in front of a tv or wii for hours at a time so I could deal with little ones.  I did have to learn to let the little ones cry. They were not able to nurse (one has a heart condition that would not allow her to nurse and the other refused and I got too tired of fighting) but I pumped until they were 2.5. There were times I was pumping and they were screaming to be fed. I just had to let them cry for a few minutes, I think they're okay now, even though it was not what i would have preferred. I didn't hold them as much as I wanted to, and I didn't do as much for anyone as i wanted, but we muddled through somehow and we're all here to tell the tale. It's still not easy per se, but SO much better than where we started. I am sure you could pull up some of my old posts and see all the craziness that my life entailed during that time.

 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It might not be as bright as you'd like, but it's there. I"m sure you are a great mom. Give yourself a ton of slack.  Give your kids a kiss and a snuggle (that always made me feel better) and give yourself a 5 minutes break every now and again, even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom and turn on the shower so you don't have to hear screaming kids. :)


Tigerle's Avatar Tigerle 02:11 PM 11-29-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

 

as for the spitting up, wow our life got a whole lot better when we found waterproof bibs! they are soooo much easier to change than clothiers are! we ended up with two 10 packs of Green Sprouts ones, they were nice and soft and our twins wore then nearly every day till they were maybe 5 month or so, basically for us once they were learning to sit they also seem to stop spitting up as much, same muscles area control both apparently. They have a handful of different color combo and are nice and simple and dont have images all over them so i could always find one that made any given outfit look even cuter it seemed. I really can't think of a single other item that we bought that made things easier like those bibs did!

wandering over...I do not have twins, but had a preemie with reflux and this caught my eye. BUY BIBS! BUY THEM NOW! I thought I was going to go crazy with changing him and me every two hours round the clock and then a friend of my mom's gave me four large slip-on bibs, the kind that just slips over their heads with a t-shirt like neckline. Didn't even have to be water proof for us, just cotton helped. I even figured out how to place the bib during nursing so the first wash of spit up near the end of the nursing session and then during burping so the second round over my shoulder would end up on the bib, not our clothing. Rip off wet bib, put on new one until the next round. Repeat (I think I had around 25  bibs or so in the end). Voila. Hours saved to the day. Literally.


ladydodson's Avatar ladydodson 09:30 PM 12-01-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

the other thing is since you have had one already, make sure not to get too attached to the way you did things with the first, its ok to take a different approach with two on your plate.

 

around here it is sometimes hard for ladies to start using pacifiers over comfort nursing or strollers over baby wearing, but with twins we do whatever just them and you thru the day.



i am one of those moms! my baby a uses a pacifier intermittently and they ride in strollers almost 100 percent more than any of their sibs since i like to wear babies...but you do what you can.

 

and i HEAR YOU on the wanting to run away...and keep running! but maybe if you could find a way to get out of the house with or without the kids...fresh air always helps. also, maybe a bath/shower for you and the boy while the littles lay and listen? i know my girls were really calmed by the sound of the water and being clean myself always gave me a fresh perspective...

 

it will get better. it DOES get easier. but mostly it just gets DIFFERENT. i know my mantra for those early weeks was 'IM DOING IT'...lol, just like labor.

 

 


~bookcase~'s Avatar ~bookcase~ 04:18 AM 12-06-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladydodson View Post



 

it will get better. it DOES get easier. but mostly it just gets DIFFERENT. i know my mantra for those early weeks was 'IM DOING IT'...lol, just like labor.

 

 


I love this - yes yes yes!

 

I had been a SAHM for 9 years when I had our twins and it still took adjusting to - be gentle on yourself as you have lots of big transitions happening right now. Second children are one of the hardest transitions, let alone when second turns out to be second and third (your eldest child and yourself haven't just lost a one to one relationship, you've gained so many more!!!!), you just had a massive lifestyle change from what is usually ego satisfying work outside the home to second rate citizen as a SAHM ('out there' does not celebrate SAHM's - we have to create that vibe ourselves), and the transition to multiples is a big deal in it's own right.

 

We ate lots of frozen foods, pizza, chips etc for AGES as I could stick them in the oven and get back to nursing orngbiggrin.gif

 

6 weeks is very, very early for any baby, but more so with multiples. Walk to the end of your drive and walk back inside again (assuming that will take you no more than a few minutes) - you will have had the fresh air, quiet and space without compromising anyone. When your dh is around walk round the block. Try to sing!

 

It will get better hug2.gif

 

 

 

 


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