When mothering multiples get overwhelming... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When mothering multiples gets overwhelming...

What do you do to rein in your emotions and cope with the overwhelming feelings that present themselves while mothering multiples?

I love my twins to pieces- but there are waves of difficulty that accompany the waves of joy that I've experienced in their eight months of life. 

Right now, I'm just having a down moment- I'm overwhelmed. I'm in the middle of opening a business while trying to not talk 'business stuff' while I'm in the mommy zone, my house is a dump, I'm sleep deprived beyond what I would have ever believed to be manageable in my 'past life', the cloth diapers aren't happening, the boys went from being very securely attached to me to 'oh my god, I'm not attached to mom's hip- I'm gonna scream!', I don't remember the last time I ate an actual meal and not grab-as-you-go foods, I miss real quality time with my partner not just nagging at him over silly little things time...

Now, off my soap box. If this is bad, then ultimately I have it, really, really good. I'm just struggling to keep things in perspective.

Mind sharing how you get back on that horse when you fall off? How do you keep yourself in check during moments of being overwhelmed? 

People used to have 10 kids in a family- how the hell is having two this hard!!?

Thanks!

 

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

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#2 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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No advice, but I have DS1 right now (2.5yo) with twins due in August.. I'm interested to know what people say. I struggled so much the first 15mo of DS life, I have no idea how I will do it with 3 all under 3.

 

Do you have any outside support right now? Or are the twins 100% on you? I remember just getting a babysitter when DS was 6 weeks old so I could have a shower, go for a walk and get a coffee felt like the best 2 hour vacation of my life because I was so exhausted (WOHM) and overwhelmed with all the emotions of being a new parent and a new parent with zero support.

 

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#3 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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My twins were #7 & #8 and I firmly believe that having twins is nothing like having one at a time.  It's just so different and overwhelmining.  When you have one baby and he/she is suddenly stricken with separation anxiety you just scoop babe up and continue on with whatever you were doing.  But what do you do when your hands are full with two??? Suddenly everything comes to a halt there's nothing to do but hold them, or let them cry (I cant do that).  Some will tell you babywearing is the answer, and I did do that with my other ones a LOT, but just could NOT do it with the twins.  This is my long way of saying that it's not the fact of just two and people do fine with way more.  It's having two at the same time that have the exact same needs and are in a very needy time of life.  They will grow and this will pass, but for now it is going to be challenging.

TBH, not knowing you personally or your motivations, I really question the starting up a business thing at this time.  If it were a business you had going before, that would be different, somewhat.  But you really got a lot on your plate with just the babies, ANYTHING else at all is really pushing it.  If you are going to continue with these committments, it would do you a lot of good to get some help.  There's a lot of ways that can take form and be accomplished, but really necessary.  My twins are 21 mths and I still need a lot of help.  Not trying to be critical, just something that stood out to me when I read your post.

I have found a LOT of the time with the twins I have to dial my expectations way down.  What keeps everyone reasonably clean, adequately fed and safe?  That's what you do.  Cloth diapers are great (we do them only at home, not while we are out and not all the time either), but if there is another way that makes life less complicated and gives you more time/energy for something more important, then do it!   Use paper plates for a little while if necessary.  Buy frozen meals, or deli sandwiches, instant potatoes, take out, bagged salads, pre-cut fruit or  (fill in the blank) so that you can get fed with less time and effort from you.  Maybe it's not very economical, but you don't need to eat that way all the time, just those days when things are not going well and you are short on time/energy.  Be realistic about how and where you can spend your time, look ahead and think ahead. 

So when you get overwhelmed, stop.  Reassess.  Think, what can I do to get through this moment with everyone healthy and safe?  If you're trying to plan an meal, just do sandwiches and fruit.  If you are overwhelmed with laundry, just wash the stuff that's needed for that moment.  Simple things like that will help you get through the day.

   

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#4 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 09:20 PM
 
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What QueenofChaos said.

 

People didn't used to do just fine with ten kids. Communities did fine with people who had ten kids. And ten kids didn't mean ten babies. Two babies is a lot of babies. It's hard.

 

When I am completely at the end of my rope, I make sure the babies are safe and I go get a glass of milk or some peanut butter and take a deep breath or ten. Or I load the babies in the stroller and go for a walk. Or I send a horrified note to my partner or my mom, and try to make it funny. Or, if it's all I can manage, just send a text asking for a hug and saying that I am struggling.

 

Twins are an exercise in letting go of what isn't *completely* necessary. If cloth diapers aren't working, let them go. It will be okay.

 

It sounds like you need some help, with some combination of childcare, and maybe housecleaning (I find it easier to have someone come clean my house than come play with my kids...some people feel the opposite). And childcare can be a helper or a babysitter or a friend who can play with your kids (I find that people who can't handle both babies themselves can sometimes take both babies for a walk just fine, and that can give you an hour for whatever you need most (nap, laundry, read a book, work things).

 

Around that age, we started eating dinner as a family. Our girls can sit at high chairs, either at home or out (someplace that doesn't mind food on the floor, like our local taqueria), and they are happy to sit and eat while we have some grown up time and hang out with them at the same time. It's not alone time, but it's good. Walks are good for reconnecting, too.

 

This is hard, and you're doing great. And the down moment will pass.

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#5 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 10:17 PM
 
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Quote:

 

Twins are an exercise in letting go of what isn't *completely* necessary. If cloth diapers aren't working, let them go. It will be okay.

 

I think this just about sums it up. My twins turned 8 in Feb. It's been a rocky ride, but I still remember those crazy baby days. You just have to keep remembering that "This Too Shall Pass" and it won't really matter if they ate cheerios for supper 3 nights in a row, or didn't quite get out of PJs until the next night when you (maybe) changed the PJs.

 

Practical advice, do you know anyone with other slightly older kids? I found at that age my best helpers were between 8 & 10 ish. They can build block towers and let the babies knock them down, read stories, roll a ball back and forth, ect. Yes, you need to be right there, but you can be watching dishes. Bonus those kids turned into my best babysitters when they were older. They knew me and my expectations, I knew them, my kids knew them, they were part of the family. Beg, borrow, or steal your friends  8 - tweeny aged kids to play with yours. 

 

Good luck and just keep repeating that they won't be young forever, and pretty soon you will be dealing with pre-teen social stuff.... fighting....oh, just keep remember the fun you have in store. One day those baby days will be a blink of an eye.

 

Oh, and the biggest thing. ENJOY your babies. They really grow up way to fast. When you look back you will not think of how tired you were, or how messy the house was, but of the first time they played peek a boo together, or them chasing each other around the living room, etc.


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#6 of 19 Old 04-02-2012, 03:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post

TBH, not knowing you personally or your motivations, I really question the starting up a business thing at this time.  If it were a business you had going before, that would be different, somewhat.  But you really got a lot on your plate with just the babies, ANYTHING else at all is really pushing it.  If you are going to continue with these committments, it would do you a lot of good to get some help.  There's a lot of ways that can take form and be accomplished, but really necessary.  My twins are 21 mths and I still need a lot of help.  Not trying to be critical, just something that stood out to me when I read your post.


Please don't flame me... but I actually can totally relate to wanting to start something else while having twins/babies etc. I was looking at a PhD program and a faculty position just earlier this year which I was seriously considering accepting then decided I would force myself to take a year or so off and just work part time on my full time obligations (I also run my own business) rather then tackle something new but it was really really hard for me to do this.

 

I think for some women, or at least for me, I need something outside of my children to feel whole. There are times (ok quiet often sometimes) I find parenting boring, I crave the stimulation of my business and having adult conversations, lecturing to graduate students. I wish I could be a stay at home mom and be totally happy- my life would be much easier but its just not who I am.. I tried with DS and was miserable.. 

 

Quote:

What keeps everyone reasonably clean, adequately fed and safe?  That's what you do. 

 

I had a friend tell me something like this and it really stuck. She said 'Today was a good day if no one died, we all got feed and are safe' She said that should be your only goal everyday for a while and nothing else. I keep reminding myself of that.
 

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Originally Posted by rinap View Post

People didn't used to do just fine with ten kids. Communities did fine with people who had ten kids. And ten kids didn't mean ten babies. Two babies is a lot of babies. It's hard.

.....

 

It sounds like you need some help, with some combination of childcare, and maybe housecleaning (I find it easier to have someone come clean my house than come play with my kids...some people feel the opposite). And childcare can be a helper or a babysitter or a friend who can play with your kids (I find that people who can't handle both babies themselves can sometimes take both babies for a walk just fine, and that can give you an hour for whatever you need most (nap, laundry, read a book, work things).



Yes yes yes, I know its hard when you're exhausted and completely overwhelmed but get help. It is literally the best thing I ever did for myself (to hire a housekeeper and a babysitter 1-2 times a week)


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#7 of 19 Old 04-02-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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the suggestion of cutting out starting a business was strictly a time/energy conservation thing.  if doing this energizes you, do it!  for me it would  just be an added stressor  that would exhaust me.  whatever works, do it!

 

and I have to 2nd (or 3rd?) the idea of twins forcing you to discover the bare necessities. 

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#8 of 19 Old 04-02-2012, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I so greatly appreciate the responses! I was having a whirlwind of a day when I originally posted this, and it passed. Things do get overwhelming, but really, they're moments, and then they're over. I find in the heat of those moments though it's so, so easy to lose perspective of the bigger picture. Thanks for being an ear for me, and for all the advice.

 

I do feel I'm executing my options as far as getting help goes. And I appreciate the recommendations. Maybe I could look into getting more help again if these overwhelmed moments seem to get more frequent. They come and go.

My partner and I moved to a new area when the boys were very young (not that I recommend moving with 3 weeks old twins- but again, it was a moment, and it's done, and we survived!) which put us practically within a stone's throw of some helpful family members vs. not having any support where we were residing. 

 

And just since the business was touched on a bit, I'll touch on it a bit too. I've been working in the Early Childhood Education field, and am in the position of opening up my own child care centre. A wonderful option for me returning to work, though not essentially taking care of other people's children while paying into separate child care options for my own- which is what would have been the case in staying with my former place of employment. I'm so fortunate to be in this situation- again, I just completely lost sight of it the day I posted this. There's a lot of work going into it, but the pay off is huge. I have the rare opportunity of throwing myself into a job I love, while first and foremost engaging in real quality time with my children throughout their young lives.

I'm realizing the hard way too my professional background works wonders for the practical application of caring for children, and is a HUGE hurdle for me to get over the fact that just because I used to be oh-so developmentally appropriate, consistent, loving, warm, and all things wonderful for little children at work, doesn't mean I can always keep it together and be perfect all the time. As an educator I slept at night, as a mom- I don't always. I'm doing my best.

 

And I never thought much about hiring on older children as mother's helpers- or "baby helpers"! I've actually since chatted with a twin mom (mother of four all told) who was living away from family/friend supports at the time of her twins births, so she enlisted a few kids around that age range from the neighbourhood to come play with babies while she cleaned, showered, etc. She had a little extra help at the time, then essentially raised her own care providers- now they're teenagers and completely know the ropes, plus her kids are familiar and happy with them, and she and her hubby can actually get out of the house for dates! Go them! Great idea :)

 

Today is a unique, special, sad and odd day for me. I'm in a fortunate position of learning to look at the greater picture all the more, and that lesson is so vital. I received news of a dear person who passed, and today also met a fresh, new family member- just a day old. Life cycles on, and we have to enjoy the ride as much as possible. I love the moments in which that fact practically beats me over the head with it's truth, I need it sometimes.

 

All the best. Thank you all once again. With love. :)

 

 


 

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

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#9 of 19 Old 04-02-2012, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithappened View Post

I think for some women, or at least for me, I need something outside of my children to feel whole. 


Thank you for touching on this too! I've seen too many women get caught up in unneeded guilt over taking on their interests or passions once entered in the realm of motherhood. How great it is your children are raised by a strong mommy who realizes the importance of continuous self growth. We all need that!

 

 

 

 

All the responses are wonderful. Thank you all once again. 

 


 

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

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#10 of 19 Old 04-02-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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when mothering of multiples gets overwhelming....

and it sure does....           

some little thing happens just when you need it to remind you that you have, in fact, won the lottery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

this afternoon my son walked for the first time, over to his sister.  

 

 

and i just happened to be filming the whole thing

 

 

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partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

 
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#11 of 19 Old 04-03-2012, 01:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post

the suggestion of cutting out starting a business was strictly a time/energy conservation thing.  if doing this energizes you, do it!  for me it would  just be an added stressor  that would exhaust me.  whatever works, do it!


No I agree and whatever works.. I just live abroad in a country that really really looks down on women who do anything else and so as a result Ive become some sort of advocate for 'that type' luxlove.gif

 

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Originally Posted by AndreaJay View Post

And I never thought much about hiring on older children as mother's helpers- or "baby helpers"! I've actually since chatted with a twin mom (mother of four all told) who was living away from family/friend supports at the time of her twins births, so she enlisted a few kids around that age range from the neighbourhood to come play with babies while she cleaned, showered, etc. She had a little extra help at the time, then essentially raised her own care providers- now they're teenagers and completely know the ropes, plus her kids are familiar and happy with them, and she and her hubby can actually get out of the house for dates! Go them! Great idea :)
 

 

Yes, we live very very very far away from any family which is actually willing to help (as in, 24 hours by air, far away) and I've basically had to create my 'own village to raise a child' because otherwise its just DH and I which 24/7/365, as everyone knows gets exhausting.. I am really nervous about the twins arrival but I am working on lining up help so that we have help when we need it, rather then when its too late.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaJay View Post
Thank you for touching on this too! I've seen too many women get caught up in unneeded guilt over taking on their interests or passions once entered in the realm of motherhood. How great it is your children are raised by a strong mommy who realizes the importance of continuous self growth. We all need that!


Thanks. I appreciate hearing that, its lonely sometimes over here.

 


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#12 of 19 Old 04-03-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

when mothering of multiples gets overwhelming....

and it sure does....           

some little thing happens just when you need it to remind you that you have, in fact, won the lottery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

this afternoon my son walked for the first time, over to his sister.  

 

 

and i just happened to be filming the whole thing

 

 



Awww...how sweet!


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#13 of 19 Old 04-03-2012, 05:24 PM
 
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*hugs* Andrea!  I think we all have those moments and those days and you know why?  Because it is hard!  You sound like you are doing an amazing job.  I find that I feel most overwhelmed when my girls are going through super clingy times too.  I just want them off of me sometimes.  I don't even need to be out of the house, or in another room, I just want to be able to make dinner without a baby on my hip and sit down for a pee without a baby in my lap, kwim?  I know that for me it helps to even have company over just to play with the girls and distract them some so they aren't so attached to me. 

 

And like Adorkable said, when you're in a low, something will happen that reminds you how lucky you are...this week my girls were outside and one was up a little slope and the other wanted to get there but wasn't sure how and Z actually held out her hand to M and they walked up together, holding hands.  It was such a sweet moment for me - and really did make me feel like the luckiest mom ever.


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#14 of 19 Old 04-11-2012, 09:02 PM
 
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I read this whole thread the other day & can so relate. Unfortunately my brain is too fried to try a decent response right now. We had a rough night last night & my head was spinning with stress, feeling like this is never going to get easier & like I will always need help. Things are always better in the light of day.


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#15 of 19 Old 04-21-2012, 07:20 PM
 
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I was coming to the forum tonight to write a similar post. I have triplet 2.5 year olds (b/b/g), an older DD (8), and now an 8 mo old. Yikes! When my last baby was born, I had 4 UNDER 2. Yup. I have developed many strategies to combat stress, getting overwhelmed, stress, you name it. My top ones are: coming on to mothering and reading/writing. No joke. Seriously. Another one, plan a photo day with your kids or a photo hour where you try and take cool/great shots of your kids. I find it lifts my spirits even if I don't get any good photos. It sort of reminds me of the importance of everyday life. Try to find a routine, not a schedule. Library day / baking day / launry day, whatever, so that you have (or feel like) some control over the day's events. And my three favorite combats to feeling overwhelmed: caffeine, dark chocolate, and wine. :-)
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#16 of 19 Old 04-27-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Barefoot Farmer- Lady, you rock! It must be said! Thanks for posting, and enjoy your bundles and bundles of babies!

 

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

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#17 of 19 Old 04-28-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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I found wine solves most things. innocent.gif
 


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#18 of 19 Old 04-28-2012, 07:38 AM
 
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#19 of 19 Old 05-03-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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Quote:

Twins are an exercise in letting go of what isn't *completely* necessary.

 

I think the whole thread can be summed up in this one sentence. I couldn't agree more. We are all here because we have similar feelings on so many parenting decisions, and those decisions are sometimes (often?) harder than other options. But with multiples, you just have to survive sometimes. I want to EBF these triplets, and I want to ECD them. However, I know that both might not be possible. And I know that I will drop ECDing faster than a hot potato if it becomes too much. Twins are HARD, you are doing great!


Mama to nine gorgeous babies, with finale #10 due April'14.
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