I have an older dd I homeschool and 7 month old twins. I feel like I did really well for the first couple of months - new baby hormones maybe? Ever since it's just been a downward spiral. I get more and more overwhelmed every day. These babies are so different from my oldest. They cry so much, NEVER sleep ... it's really making me crazy. I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I'm failing all of us.
Everyone acts as if I should have it all together by now ... especially dh. He wants all the housework and cooking and errands and such done the same as before the twins and just will not relent. Obviously there's some marital issues here. I'm completely unsupported by him emotionally. We've talked about it, he knows how I feel and doesn't care. He won't go to therapy or counceling or do anything about it.
I'm in desperate need of support and just can't find it. I have very little family and none of them live nearby. The local multiples group only has meetings once a month in the evening at bedtime and the kids aren't allowed to come. It's just impossible to get to that.
I tried to find a mother's helper but what I need is someone occasionally during the day to give me some relief to cook and clean and shop and help my older dd with schoolwork. It's been impossible to find someone trustworthy and affordable to come part time during the day. I've asked friends and church and nothing yet ...
I don't know what I'm asking here. I'm just wondering if it's been this hard for everyone else? Will it get better eventually? Does it have to get worse to get better?
mama to three little ladies
I'm so sorry you are not being support in this by your partner. Sending you peaceful vibes and comfort from afar. For what it is worth, if you want people to back you up, I'm sure MANY of us could concur with you that there is NO way things are going to magically go back to how they were before the twins came. Show him our comments if you think it would help. I have 14 month old twins, and NO other children and there is no way in hell I could have all the housework done, errands run and cooking done the way I did before they came along. No way. I'm in the same boat...no family or friends around to help (we moved in the middle of my pregnancy for my dh's job), and basically, my house is always a mess (and dirty), and if it weren't for DH doing most of the dinner cooking, and helping me when he is home, well, I don't know what would happen. With dealing with their sleep/nap needs, feeding them, letting them have some play time, I rarely get out of the house, other than stroller walks when I am on my own with them. Most of the twin books will say, "you have probably never felt as isolated in your life as you have in the last year" and that has certainly been true for me. We each run errands when we can, on our own, as it is just easier, and fall into bed exhausted every night at about 9:30. Granted, we are older parents 42 and 44. But still, multiples are exhausting. It is NOT the same experience as having one singleton, or even kids of different ages. And when one is like your or me, with no support network nearby, it is damned near impossible to have a life outside of these babies. If I had my family and friends from back home surrounding me right now, there is no doubt in my mind that things would be easier. Hard, yes. But not day to day feeling like I'm in a grinding routine of hardship and sameness. Your husband needs a big wakeup call.
I suspect it will get easier in time. I do already see a big difference now, even though things are still hard. So please hang in there. Once your babies get down to two naps a day, life will be loads easier already. I keep envisioning this journey like a giant coiled spiral. Things get easier and easier as you progress up the spiral, but, you keep coming around in a circle as you go up...old challenges rear their heads, new ones come along to throw a kink in your routine. But you are still going up and up, even if it doesn't feel like it. I am guessing that by the time twins get to be about 4 or 5, the "hardness" level is probably on par with anyone who has more than one child. But right now, no. So yes, yes it has been as hard as you say...at least for me. It's not just you. I don't think it has to get worse; it's just that spiral and all of its twists and turns. I know it doesn't help much, but please know that I will be thinking of you.
It's hard, hard, hard. And it's not reasonable to expect that everything gets done. There are two issues with your husband: one is whether you feel emotionally supported. The other is that the two of you need to be splitting up the work. Twins are hard. Seven month old twins are still hard. Things don't get done. That's when you need two parents to both step in and get the necessary ones done. And challenging twins (which it sounds like you have) are a lot harder.
I don't really have advice, but I will say it's just hard. I struggled a lot for the first year. A lot a lot. It got easier at a year.
But I still struggle with 2 2 1/2 year-olds.
Oh my goodness: I have a 5-year old and 20 month twins, and I agree with the other moms who have responded- it is just very hard! My two little girls did not sleep or nap well either: so many times I would try to nurse them to sleep, and they wouldn't sleep, and I would end up going for a walk or a drive just to get them to sleep. It was so very exhausting. I can't imagine also homeschooling a child: it was all I could do to get my daughter dropped off for her 3-hour preschool program every day. And my husband cooked dinner most nights, and I did almost no house cleaning. It's SO much just keeping three kids fed and clean. We were so fortunate to find a reasonably priced cleaning service that we used in our house every two weeks. It was all I could do to de-clutter so that the service could clean, let alone actually clean! Now we've moved and can't afford help cleaning, so my hubby and I just clean together a little bit every night and for an hour on the weekend. But we NEVER would have had energy for that at 7 months. My guy still comes home from work and cooks dinner regularly. If you're going to cook fresh food, even a really simple dinner, it's just too hard to do with two babies pulling on your legs and yelling at you. I wonder if there's a deeper reason your husband has a wall up when it comes to empathizing with you. I know that my hubby and I sometimes were too tired to sympathize with each other. At other times, he dumped on me because he simply didn't want to do more work himself. I always told him that I sympathized with him, and that of course he deserved more rest, but we just didn't have any space in our lives for more rest. It was tough: I've definitely never worked so hard as that first 14 months or so. Once my girls were really moving around well so that they could be more independent (for short times), and were sleeping better, our lives started to get slowly easier. But it still gets harder here and there: last week we had the stomach flu. :-)
At seven months, I was still only showering every four days or so. I used to pee in my pants occasionally, because I would ignore the urge while getting the girls changed and out the door for my older daughter's preschool drop-off, and by the time I got near a bathroom again . . . whoops. It was CRAZY! I used to run around with sweat down to my belt-line. And again: I wasn't cleaning a lot or cooking every night. I was just keeping everyone fed and changed, and happy most of the time. I just remembered one thing that really helped me mentally many days: I would just approach each day as a walking meditation. One thing at a time, one foot in front of the other, breathe deep. When things got really bad I would find a little way to treat myself- even just taking everyone to Target, so that I could sit still for the van ride. I often ate a ton of dark chocolate in the afternoon, to create "me" time and enjoy something. When I type it out it sounds pretty desperate, but of course these were really happy times, too. It's just so intense to have two!
I love simple slow-cooker meals. Schedules do not come at all easily to me, but at 15 months I listened to someone's advice and put the girls on a pretty rigid daily schedule, and they responded really well to that. I didn't think it was possible, but it was great. Other than that, just be very kind to yourself. I felt very distant from my husband for large chunks of time, because our relationship was all business, and we were working so hard. Take a moment once in a while to remind each other of how much work you're doing, and how you intend to reconnect on the other end of this.
My two girls are 20 months now, and they are so hilarious. It's amazing how different they are, and very fun to see their different approaches to life really emerging. They mostly ignored or antagonized each other until the past 3-4 months, and they are finally really starting to play sometimes. They still need a lot of help and monitoring in their interactions. But they also obviously love each other: they even gang up and stand up for each other to me, which is thrilling (Mae helped Natalie escape today when Nat didn't want her diaper changed!) Sometimes I still wake up thinking that I just can't do it: that I don't have the energy to face my day. But I have a much clearer picture now of how it's going to keep getting easier, and how we're all going to survive.
Good luck and best wishes! You have so many sister moms who have dirty floors and laundry everywhere and would give a pint of blood for a full day of rest. :-) I'll think of you tomorrow when I'm cleaning up from breakfast: chipping oatmeal off the floor, wall, and ceiling while my girls are tearing the living room apart.
I've been wanting to respond for the past few days, but am usually too exhausted to string a proper sentence together, let alone form a meaningful reply that will convey how big a hug I would like to give you. I've got 22 month old twins and a 4 yr old DS. My house is such a disaster that I'm embarassed to invite most friends over (save the ones that have lots of kids, and houses as messy/dirty as mine). My inlaws have old friends who had twin boys some 35 years ago. When our girls were born, they sent us a gift and card which read, "don't worry about the housework, you can clean next year." It should have said, "you can clean in ten years."
I so agree with all the pps - multiples are hard. Taking care of three little people is all encompassing. Your husband's expectations are not reasonable or realistic: there's NO WAY life will go back to the way it was before you had twins. Sometimes some things have got to give. In my experience, things do get easier, but there are still really hard days.
I know you feel like you're failing everyone, but I can guarantee you that you're not. You're doing a much better job than you're giving yourself credit for. Be kind to yourself and add me to the list of people that are thinking of you and sending hugs and support.
Thank you for all the support. I really appreciate it. It's been sooooooo hard finding anyone who understands what I'm going through. I'm having such a hard time trying to figure out if it's just supposed to be this hard or if something is wrong with me. Am I angry and depressed and exhausted because I'm overwhelmed and need to keep thinking it will get better, or do I have PPD, or am I really just doing this all wrong?
mama to three little ladies
I often feel like an alien talking to other parents. It's hard. That doesn't mean you don't have PPD. Keep an eye on that. And get help if you can. Does the local twin group have online boards? Sometimes that can be good for finding helpers (especially as the twins in the group start going to school) and finding others nearby you can meet up with for moral support. The mother's helper thing is very very hard. I spent a long time finding one (and this is the third search I've done).
But yes, sometimes on bad days I hold on to two things: 1) this will get better and 2) the thing I'm struggling is a very hard thing.
My twins arent born yet (could be anyday, or another couple weeks) and I have been more than overwhelmed expecting their arrival. I have a 5 yr old and an 18 mos. old at the moment, and pretty soon are going to have 2 new boys as well. I know that things are going to be hard, and I already feel like I am failing my kids being huge and pregnant, unable to gather enough energy to make a decent meal, or get the laundry done... we never seem to have any socks (we cloth diaper, so those take priority over jeans and socks), the floors are always filthy, and I am always exhausted. My husband has not been able to find work, but is out all day every day trying to do so, and I have no clue how we are going to manage once the babies arrive. Like other moms who have posted here, I am far away from any family who can help, and I wish I could move back to be near them for some help, but we a scraping together change to get the things we need as it is, so moving is impossible. You know, Im sorry that I wrote my burdens, I just had to get it off my chest as I have no one to talk to about this, and felt not so alone for a moment when reading this post and its replies. Maybe there is some university student studying early childhood development or childrens education that need to spend some time with kids to complete their course that could help you out?