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#1 of 31 Old 03-25-2008, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 3 year old twins and an almost 3 month old baby and everyone assumes I must have full-time help. I don't and never have.

I do have someone come clean our house once a week and my parents live close by and my Mom could come help if I ever needed it. She watched the girls when I had OB appointments, or for Ian's ped appointments. Today she went for a walk with me with all 3 kids. That kind of thing.

In my local parents of multiples club, it seems like most people hire a night nurse for the first several months a few nights a week to get rest. Didn't make sense for us given our sleeping arrangements and my desire to exclusively nurse.

Do you have help with your kids, or did you when they were babies?

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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#2 of 31 Old 03-25-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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Yes on both counts, though I didn't plan on it while I was pregnant.

I hired a nightime doula when my twins were about 2 or 3 weeks old b/c it was clear that there was no way my dh could help me at night (all night) and still function at work. (I still exclusively bf'd, no bottles - the doula would hold the babies so I could sleep and bring them to me to nurse.) This might have not been necessary if I hadn't had a completely traumatic and physically difficult c-section, but who knows. Our babies were very high needs and would ONLY sleep while being held. DH and I just couldn't do it alone.

I continue to have some help to this day (they are now 4 yo). In the early years it was more of a mother's helper kind of thing, and now it's a regular babysitter so that I can exercise, go to dr's appts, etc.
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#3 of 31 Old 03-25-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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The plan, at this second, is that DH will take a week off, my mom will come for 2 weeks, and then my DH will take another week (he's commissioned sales so splitting the weeks up is financially more doable for us). I still have to clear that with my mom because she was thinking about coming to help before but I really think after is going to be better.

That gives me 4 weeks of help. I can handle the nighttime, I need help during the day as I have four other small children. I need someone to keep up the cleaning, cooking, and kid needs while I focus on resting and nursing. I am praying that I'll be back to somewhat normal at 4 weeks.
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#4 of 31 Old 03-25-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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I did and still do.

We don't have any family nearby, and that's the kind of help I especially need (can you watch the girls for an hour while I go to DS's school, can you watch DS for an hour while I take the girls to the library, etc.)

In the early days, we had our parents in and out a bit, and when DDs were three months, started having a mother's help come twice a week, mostly to entertain DS, but sometime fold clothes and hold babes. I started back to work PT when they were six months and we had/have a bit more help, but still I find that I most need it just to juggle the needs of three very different little ones. In winter, hauling everyone around to appts or errands isn't a ton of fun. Sometimes you just need someone to be with the kids while you try to get caught up on laundry, cooking, etc.

We also hired a twice a month housecleaner for the first two years which was AWESOME! We justified it from our budget by saying we were saving by not buying formula... I told DH with that kind of incentive, I'd be nursing until they were 17! As it was, we had to end it when we moved houses, and I am thinking of having someone come once a month for deep bathroom and kitchen scrubbing just because I can't find the time to do that regularly...

Anyway. Help. I needed and need lots of it. Nights were OK for us (well, as OK as you can be nursing all night for 18 months) but daytime help, and positive attention to older DS, was what we needed.
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#5 of 31 Old 03-25-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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Yes and I am so grateful!

We PLANNED to BF exclusively, but the preterm rupture of membranes and resulting NICU stay interfered with that a little...all these bottles. And they had a hard time nursing (still do...).

So while I'm pumping and transitioning to nursing, my mom is here. Thankfully. So I have some time to practice nursing and pump and cuddle my 4 week old babies...and still eat! Hopefully we will be nursing entirely as she's ready to leave.

After that, we'll take things as they come. My mom lives a plane ride away, no other family around, so I will need some kind of babysitter for appts. etc. or something I guess. Or at least another Mom that I can swap babysitting hours with.
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#6 of 31 Old 03-25-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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I have full-time daytime help. For 3 weeks I didn't (a couple months ago) and it was insane. I basically fed babies all day and watched the house get worse and worse and my older children ignored. Night-time wasn't so bad in the beginning, but DH did help a lot and was probably a little too tired for work. I have a history of PPD so it was very important for me to get as much help as possible during the day. My mom was here until the babies were 3wk old and she left the same day my DH had to go back to work so that was hard.

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#7 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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We had an every-other-week housecleaning service that started when I was on bedrest.

When the babies came home from NICU, one or both of my parents came over every day. I was exclusively pumping and Kate was still on oxygen, my husband was leaving for work at 8am and not getting back until 10pm most nights - I would've freaking drowned without my parents.

We never had any hired help other than the cleaners, though. I had night nurse fantasies, but it's so expensive and since I had to pump overnight for a long time anyway, there didn't seem to be a point in it. I wouldn't mind some nighttime help now, at 2 years old, except they only want mommymommymommy at night now. I should've spent the money and gotten some sleep when I could - if only I'd known!

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#8 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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We hired a cleaning woman when I was 7 months pregnant, I just couldn't keep up, and continued with her until the babies were 8 months old (I'm still having a hard time keeping up ). All of my family and DH's lives close by and everyone wanted to help, but I really wanted it to be [B]my[B] experience, so we accepted visitors but declined help.

I think we were and continue to be very fortunate that both babies are avid nursers and easy going. DH took the first week off after the twins were born, and very gradually went back to work. It makes a world of difference that he owns his own business, and is available for appointments and when I need an extra hand. At 9 1/2 months we have yet to leave our twins, and I'm beginning to wonder when that momentous occasion will occur!

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#9 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 02:24 AM
 
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No help. None. I have become a lot more impatient and stressed out and my apartment is a disaster ... it really is so much work with just one person.
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#10 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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No help here either. I did live near my parents until about 8 months ago and got occassional help from my mom then (usually in the form of her offering to take the older kids off my hands, which wasn't really the type of help I desperately needed). Also, while I was living there, I hired cleaning people but I could only afford for them to come once a month, so I'd hardly count that in as much help (although it was nice). But nope, never had a pp doula, night nurse, nanny, anything. While help would be super great, I think I'd have a hard time being comfy with another person taking that role with my children.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#11 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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I have said to my DH on many occasions... how in the world would we have managed if we were home in the USA when our twins were born. There's no way we could have afforded the help we can easily get here. I do not know how you moms do it basically on your own. I would be so stressed, mean, depressed, frustrated, etc.. Some days I can barely function and that's with help. The help that I have right now is a young lady just out of highschool. It is like having a teenager in the house, but she's hard working, trainable, funny, cleans etc. Speaks no English which is great for my language studies. And that also helps me do all of the parenting.

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#12 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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This is an interesting thread for me to read. Wondering what I'm getting into here .

Right now we have the plan that dh will take a few weeks off work. We also have my SIL coming to stay off and on for about a month. She will be great with helping to parent my older two children as well as all other household duties and keeping me sane. Grandparents will probably help out a bit but not sure how much. We are also looking into hiring a neighbourhood girl for 2-3 mornings/week once my dh goes back to work to mostly play with and make sure my older two get a chance to play outside, help out with snacks, very light cleaning duties like helping the kids pick up their toys, laundry, etc...

All other friends and family have been instructed to bring food

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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#13 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Yes, bring on the food! My friends wanted to throw me a shower. I had everything I needed already. So instead they provided me with meals MWF for 2 months after my mom left! I miss getting food delivered!

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We are also looking into hiring a neighbourhood girl for 2-3 mornings/week once my dh goes back to work to mostly play with and make sure my older two get a chance to play outside, help out with snacks, very light cleaning duties like helping the kids pick up their toys, laundry, etc...
This is what my helper does too. Light cleaning, ironing, take DS out to play, rock a baby, etc.

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#14 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Food is basically the extent of our help right now. My mother was here for a week after the birth, and my best friend for a week after that. The babies didn't come home from the NICU until the very end of my best friend's stay, of course, so while it was nice to have her here, I barely saw her at all My mother came back for a week after they came home. Now the same best friend has organized other, more local friends into meal delivery for two months! We are very grateful.

Mama to twins Wren and Robin, 3/3/08.
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#15 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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We have no help at all right now. I do get pretty stressed at times, mostly when we have an appt or something that needs to happen on a time line. And I wouldn't say our house is the cleanest it's ever been (uh, by a long shot) but it's not like it's a health risk or anything, lol. I've learned to let a lot of things go and relax more, which is good for me anyway. In the beginning, dh took a couple weeks off work. My SIL stayed with us for one week and then my parents stayed for another week. We don't have any family close by. So by about 3 weeks pp I was completely on my own. WHat I did have for the first several months was a lot of friends who were willing to help out with my older dd, bring food, do the occassional load of laundry, and just come by to hang out with us so I could feel like a real person for a bit. Honestly, a bit more help in the beginning might have been good for us, but at this point I feel like things are running pretty smoothly (my twins turned 2 last week, but I'd say I've felt this way since they were a year old).
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#16 of 31 Old 03-26-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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I was a single mom when my twins were born (and during my pregnancy). My parents came about 3w before the boys were born, and stayed for 3 months.

I could not have done it without them.

Aside from being really helpful, it was a healing time for my parents and me. They were less than thrilled to find out their only child who had just graduated from college and was working as a waitress was pregnant -- and single. Oh yeah, and it was twins. And they had TTTS.

After they left, I was okay, but I had a lot of help from the women at the church I attended. They made meals, cleaned my small apartment, did my laundry.

When I met and married dh, and the kids and I moved x-country to be a family, my in-laws helped a lot. My mil took the boys overnight once a week. It was heaven.

I also had a cleaning person every other week (when we could afford it).

Now my boys are 5yo, my older dd is 3yo, and my newest dd is 5mo. I'm not in dire need of help, like I was when they were babies. I clean a different area of my house every day. When they are in kindy next year I plan to have a CLEAN house!

ETA: I agree with the pp; when my twins were 1yo I felt like I had things under control. (And that's when we decided to have more kids...)

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#17 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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I have 3 year old twins and an almost 3 month old baby and everyone assumes I must have full-time help. I don't and never have.

I do have someone come clean our house once a week and my parents live close by and my Mom could come help if I ever needed it. She watched the girls when I had OB appointments, or for Ian's ped appointments. Today she went for a walk with me with all 3 kids. That kind of thing.

In my local parents of multiples club, it seems like most people hire a night nurse for the first several months a few nights a week to get rest. Didn't make sense for us given our sleeping arrangements and my desire to exclusively nurse.

Do you have help with your kids, or did you when they were babies?
No I don't. No i didn't. You have much more help than I could ever dream of. YOu are very lucky to have that. But it doesn't matter how much or how little you have, I am glad you are with your babies. They need you.
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#18 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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No help. None. I have become a lot more impatient and stressed out and my apartment is a disaster ... it really is so much work with just one person.
I don't, but I could use some help. A cleaning person would be great. Or some help during the 5-6 days each week my partner is traveling. I too have become a stressed out mom- short tempered, no fun, always sick, etc. I don't like it but don't know how to change it. And sadly the letters 'cio' have been talked about because the sleep deprivation is now a family safety issue.

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#19 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 09:05 AM
 
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Mumm The sleep deprivation is incredible. Mine are a month younger and I figure I'd be lucky to get just 3hr sleep in a row. Has yet to happen that I can remember.

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#20 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I have help five mornings a week.
And I have someone come and clean.
I don't really see why some people treat it as a moral issue. If I am with my kids all day but someone else is there to help me out I don't see the problem.
I mean it makes it possible for me to spend some one-on-one time with each kid and serve them healthy food made from scratch.
Maybe you can do that alone but I can't. It also makes me a much happier more fun mama and I don't see the harm in that.
As long as the people you hire agree with your parenting principles and you spend time with your kids I don't see the problem.
Of course, I understand that a lot of people can't afford it but if you can I would urge you to get all the help you feel you need.
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#21 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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We had a little help from my father for about a month, but after that it has been me and my husband alone. Yes, I could really use some help with cleaning and nighttime help (I am sooo sleep deprived). My husband has just started working 12 hour shifts so it is mostly me all day and mostly all night. We have no family nearby. We are still having sleeping issues (neither are great sleepers). I have become extremely short-tempered and not very motivated to do much as is reading and playing. I am really going to consider cleaning help and babysitting soon so my husband and I can get away without the babes for a little while.

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#22 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I have help five mornings a week.
And I have someone come and clean.
I don't really see why some people treat it as a moral issue. If I am with my kids all day but someone else is there to help me out I don't see the problem.
I mean it makes it possible for me to spend some one-on-one time with each kid and serve them healthy food made from scratch.
Maybe you can do that alone but I can't. It also makes me a much happier more fun mama and I don't see the harm in that.
As long as the people you hire agree with your parenting principles and you spend time with your kids I don't see the problem.
Of course, I understand that a lot of people can't afford it but if you can I would urge you to get all the help you feel you need.
I'm surprised you feel judged. I think it is great to be able to delegate. Only jealousy coming from me! I don't think you have to clean your own toilet(s) to be good mom.

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#23 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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I didn't mean to sound snippy!
I wasn't responding to anything in the thread, just the general attitude that it is somehow reprehensible to have help when you're a SAHM.
I just don't want new MoMs to feel like they have to do it alone in order to feel good about how they parent, that's all.
Sorry if it came off wrong!
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#24 of 31 Old 03-27-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure how to answer? I WAH, we run a small business from our home and I do paperwork, so I do have a HS girl come over usually 2 afternoons a week to help watch the kids while I do paperwork. The family has 3 girls and they have been taking turns sitting/helping me since DD#1 was 6 months old. The oldest one is now in college. That said, I don't really feel like it's enough help. I could certainly use someone to help me clean. No one helps me at night (not even DH). He does get the older 2 in bed, but now he's working later so I'm doing it all usually 2 or 3 nights a week. I guess I just deal with the caos, sometimes I do get stressed out, but I somehow just deal with it. RIght now we are all 6 in a little house, about 1000sqft, and it jsut is NOT big enough. I feel like I'm tripping over everything and everything is jsut a mess. We are in the process of building a house, though, so I know the end of the unorganization is coming Sometimes I wonder how we do it. THe most stressful things on a marriage are running a small business (check), building a house (check) and having a baby (check, check... that's just with one baby, we have twins!). We must be made for each other b/c we really rarely fight
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#25 of 31 Old 03-28-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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I didn't mean to sound snippy!
I wasn't responding to anything in the thread, just the general attitude that it is somehow reprehensible to have help when you're a SAHM.
I just don't want new MoMs to feel like they have to do it alone in order to feel good about how they parent, that's all.
Sorry if it came off wrong!
Yikes, I really don't think anyone should try to parent in a vacuum, esp. those of us with multiples. It's healthy to have help and people to lean on, whether it's in the way of hired help, family, friends, whatever.
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#26 of 31 Old 03-28-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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Very interesting thread. Thanks for starting it, and for all the various responses.

I agree that (money aside) moms should be *allowed* as much help as they want/need so they can best parent their children. I also think that the degree of help wanted/needed depends more on the personalities of the children than of the mother. For example, some babies start sleeping through the night much earlier than others. Some toddlers are more high energy than others. Et cetera.

I'll just say that having gone through an uncomfortable twin pg and now with 5 week old babies, I could not even imagine doing all this AND having several other kids to teach and guide and play with, as well as a house to care for and family to shop for and feed. (I mean, my premies aren't even allowed in a store yet!) And so many of you have done/are doing just that. Hats off to you!
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#27 of 31 Old 03-29-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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I don't, but I could use some help. A cleaning person would be great. Or some help during the 5-6 days each week my partner is traveling. I too have become a stressed out mom- short tempered, no fun, always sick, etc. I don't like it but don't know how to change it. And sadly the letters 'cio' have been talked about because the sleep deprivation is now a family safety issue.
Just wanted to say YES YES YES. Stressed out, short-tempered, no fun. I manage--no help, husband gone 14+ hours a day and lots of overnights--but I feel like a failure.
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#28 of 31 Old 03-29-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Yup! I've been thinking about it and I need a grandma who can stay home with a sleeping baby while I do school drop off/pick up. Someone who may not be able to play ball in the yard, but who can read books, play games, listen to the kids and who will solicit calmness and reason. And is physically able to get the kids out of the house in case of a fire, but who can't actually change a diaper would be fine.

Of course i'd also do well with 2 consecutive hours of sleep!

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#29 of 31 Old 03-30-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Nope, no help. Babes were in the hosptial for 2 weeks, then for the next 4 weeks either DH or my MIL where home with me. But from 6 weeks on, it's been all me.

There have been moments of complete insanity, but for the most part everything is fine. House isn't as clean as I'd like it to be, weekly cleaning service would be awesome. I've thought about having a mother's helper come in a few times a week, but I'd rather save the $$ for a family vacation I think.

My DH does have a fairly flexible job and understanding boss. He can come home early when I have appointments and Saturday is my day to get out of the house and find some sanity.
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#30 of 31 Old 03-30-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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Gosh yes, I can't even imagine how much easier things would seem if I could grocery shop or drop off my oldest at preschool without dragging along everyone. All the buckling, tansferring to stroller, and back. It seems herculean to go to the store somedays! Or a shower. I'd really just like to be able to shower more often. But, I can't trust the 5 and 3 year olds to supervise the babies. Heck, I can't trust them not to harm the babies!

If I take time alone for me out of the equation, the thing I miss most is having solid one on one time with my older two children. I miss that.
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