When does it get easier? - Mothering Forums
Parenting Multiples > When does it get easier?
Tigerchild's Avatar Tigerchild 03:05 AM 11-17-2003
I'm starting a new thread on this, so that I don't become an off-topic downer on another one.

I don't feel like I'm doubly blessed with twins. I think each child I have is an individual blessing, but if I could choose I would most definitely never have chosen to have two come at once. I keep wondering when I will not be wrung dry at the end of the day.

The first six weeks were pure hell and I'm glad I don't remember much of them except for the good parts that my MIL wisely insisted I write down right at the time they happened. Now is better, but I am so exhausted I can hardly coherantly think. I have let go everything I possibly can (housework, ect.). The guys are sweet, pretty damn calm babies all things considering. My girl is very laid back and wonderful.

But I am still feeling very overwhelmed, particularly at night--that tends to be when my emotional coping mechanism is at a low.

The pre-mobile phase is not my favorite, maybe I will feel better when Tom and/or Dylan can move around a bit more and not be quite so dependant on me. Maybe this is a hold over from a traumatic pregnancy and first couple of weeks. Or maybe I am a horrible person who doesn't find much romance in the infant stage, I dunno.

But I hear constant gushing stories from other people in my mothers of multiples group too. I am starting to wonder if I am some kind of freak that 3 under 2 is really really really hard and not very much fun for me. Are those other folks fibbing a bit about how ecstatic they find it all? (granted, most of them do NOT have other children, or if they do they are preschool age, not 1 year olds.) Experienced mamas, I could really use some reassurance that this too will pass and that I'm not some horrible detached monster for wishing that it would pass RIGHT NOW instead of when it does. :/

And expectant mamas, the reason why I was loathe to put this in the other thread is because my feelings/experience do NOT have to be yours. Right now I am torn between thinking this is a personal deficiency on my part or residual difficulty because of what happened in the last month prenatally and first 3 weeks postpartum. Maybe both. Most people have wonderful twin pregnancies, if the stories I hear from other moms of multiples are correct. Most people do agree with me that the first 6 weeks are like boot camp to the infinite power, but most people claim that after that things got remarkably easier, where that has not yet happened fully for me.

hotmamacita's Avatar hotmamacita 05:45 AM 11-17-2003
Hey chica.
You are still in a hard place. Hang in there. I totally UNDERSTAND.

You are not deficient. YOu are not a monster. YOu have TWO babies and no help. IT IS HARD.

Did I mention that it is hard?

Sorry also about your experience with the multiples groups. I can introduce you to some more honest and humble moms in those groups. The ones who don't have any help, like us, are the ones who have been so hepful to me in honestly expressing how difficult life with twins is.

The moms I have spoken to, in three different multiples groups, have all told me that there are significant milestones and lessening degrees of difficulty. Six weeks, three months, six months, one year, two years....

Well, at six months, I was expecting relief. No but a slow shift that at 9, 10 and now at 11 months I am really seeing.

Hang in there, mama. more sleep will come, more joy will come...but for now, life is hard. Just wait until they are making each other crack up, climbing over each other and playing with each other or their big sister.

I gotta go. My dh wants me to listen to him.
MamaLeah's Avatar MamaLeah 03:51 AM 11-18-2003
Last week I was at the park and a mom of twins the same age as my twins (and a three year old, just like I have) came over and gushed, "Oh, you have twins, isn't it just the MOST fun?" I said, "Well, we are starting to have more fun now, but the first six months form me were very hard. I'm noticing at a year that things are starting to even out." And then she said, "Oh my god, you know what I call the first six months of my twins life? 'Total, complete hell!'"

As grateful as I was for her candidness, I thought to myself, if I had gushed back about it being pure fun, blah, blah, blah...would we have had this totally phony conversation and both of us left feeling like something was wrong with us for not feeling how we are supposed to feel?

Anyway, I think it is REALLY hard. My oldest daughter was 27 months when my next two were born. I feel isolated because I feel like no one knows how hard it is. It doesn't help that I have two friends with twins (no older siblings) who really don't seem to be struggling at all.

Perhaps there are some things for you to explore to share your load, find assistance, make your situation more what you want, but I will agree that it is hard.

Your original questions: My babies are now 14 months and it IS getting easier every day. Mobility introduces new challenges, but we are all a ton happier today than we were six months or even three months ago.

Hugs to you.
babydoll's Avatar babydoll 04:28 AM 11-18-2003
I don't have multiples but I do know what it feels like to be completely exhausted with a new baby. One thing that my pre-mobile dd really loved from about 1 month on was the baby einstein dvd's. they would calm her down in an instant! I did not sit her in front of the tv for hours or anything - but if you are feeling very overwhelmed you might try them - they are MESMERIZING to babies and heck with 3 I bet you could use a little time to you know take care of the basics - brush your teeth, use the bathroom, have lunch every once in awhile. I noticed that our local library has them and so does family video - they rent kids stuff for FREE at family video and of course the library is free.

Good luck to you and I hope things get easier soon!

CurlyTop's Avatar CurlyTop 05:11 AM 11-18-2003
Hi Luv,

You are certainly not alone, and you are absolutely right it is hard. You are doing one of the most challenging, demanding, and impactful jobs in the world. And you receive almost no support from society and almost no recognition for the work you do. Hard, thankless, work. Consider that parenting is shaping societies future: a future president of the United States is someones baby right now, just for example.

Yes it absolutely gets easier. The challenges change and the kids themselves become more fun. My DDs hug each other, twin-talk and crack each other up, wrestle on the floor laughing, and sleep together in a twin bed. All really sweet moments. They also don't get enough 1:1 time, get frustrated that they can't have mom to themselves, yank toys away from each other, and push each other off of chairs sometimes. I can see them growing closer to each other though, recognizing their sisterhood. It is rewarding.

The day-to-day tactics of caring for three children under 2 years old is exhausting. Exhausted, you don't have as much resilience and patience, and carefreeness to enjoy the moments. Without help, you're headed for a meltdown. I suggest you find a caring, non-judgemental friend who you can talk to. Say everything you have been holding in, knowing she won't try to solve your problems. If you don't have someone like this, pm me! Vent it all, every thought you can't believe you're having: you want to check out and not leave a forwarding address! Everything. You'll feel better once all the cluttered thoughts and feelings are out.

The old saying goes, the days are long and the years are short. It's true. Remember that these days will pass and you will have happy memories. Try to enjoy it today.

Periwinkle's Avatar Periwinkle 08:48 PM 11-20-2003
Oh mama. Lots of {{{{hugs}}}} to you.

It does get easier. It really really does. When they start sleeping well and eating well, and able to amuse themselves for a little while (not unattended, just playing with a rattle or having fun during tummy time!). And yes, once they're moving. I saw a huge difference after around 6 months when they could sit up and play and were sleeping through the night and napping regularly, and then another huge leap around 9-10 months when they got moving and were eating pick-up solids. So.... that's an eternity where you are now I know.

When I was in the middle of that infant phase, I had a thought that is admittedly a little morose, but it always made me feel better nonetheless:

If this were 100 or more years ago, my babies would probably not be here. And I might have made it or I might not have, b/c I probably would have bled out. (I don't know your pregnancy/delivery situation, but SO MANY of us had at least one complication.) Human beings WERE NOT designed to have twins. Anthropologic evidence puts the rate at well under 1 in 100, most of which ended in the death of at least one fetus/baby or mother or both. Add to that the fact that we don't live in that nice village society anymore where your mom lives with you and your sister lives across the street, and all your female friends and family members live within 100 yards of you. So let's suffice it to say that you are not experiencing something "natural", something that you could in any way be prepared to take on (from a continuum perspective). (This offends people sometimes when I say it, but I just mean that the combination of having both twins alive PLUS this living far away from all but one or two family/friends world we live in makes for one crazy time.) SO.... you are doing the best you can, pure and simple. You do sound like a loving, caring mama, and I'm sure you're doing just fine, better than just fine in fact. But you just have to get through it, like the Nike ad, "Just do it". No it is so NOT easy but you can do it, you are doing it. Also, do not beat yourself up for not living up to 100% of your AP ideals. Everyone in this situation has to make some compromises, and do what works for their own situation. Just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Every couple of months brings huge changes.

That was kind of philosophical, but it really helped me put things in perspective when I was feeling like I was about to lose it. Hope it helps just a little.

mamacate's Avatar mamacate 01:48 AM 11-22-2003
Just a quick note to agree with the others. This is H-A-R-D! And it does get easier. I think it differs for different kids/moms, but for us it got a lot easier when they were able to crawl (I'll warn you though, that the month during which they were working on crawling made me think I was going to tear my hair out). I found that when I probed a bit more into those glowing "isn't this fun" stories I found nearby, retired, helpful grandparents, nannies, doulas, a dh/partner at home...it's just not something that is really do-able with just one person by herself (and with a toddler too! OMG!). As a wise MOT told me, this is EXTREME parenting!

I'll admit that it didn't get as much easier as I expected from what people told me until pretty recently. But I think that has a lot to do with temperament. My kids are pretty active and spunky, and we have had BIG biting issues from very early on with my DS, so I think it took longer than for us.

I read a really good book about the *honesty* issue (loved the story about meeting the other MOT in the park!): "The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood." I borrowed it from my LLL meeting. Good stuff.

(((HUGS))) and hang in there. My motto: "This too shall pass!"

Piglet68's Avatar Piglet68 04:08 PM 11-25-2003

(mamacate: your "location" always makes me giggle!)
Tortuga Mama's Avatar Tortuga Mama 09:56 PM 12-08-2003

I haven't posted in a very long time, but wanted to add some words of reassurance to those already posted. I have a four year old and two nine month old twin girls. I agree with the mantra "this too shall pass" and you will remember things more fondly with some distance from the work of it all and some extra sleep - for me that may be in a year or two!

That being said, the day to day is grueling at times and for me the longer I have gone on at times the more tired I have been. It has gotten more fun and more rewarding as the babies have gotten more interactive, but each stage has brought new challenges (beginning to deal with sibling stuff.) My own key to my sanity has been to take a couple minutes per day for me. I found that just a shower at night when I can drown out everything with the sound of the water has helped me cope when I'm overwhelmed. I also have been lucky to be around honest parents who have let me know that they too have felt these feelings at times and that it is normal and to be expected. Even when I feel like there is not another minute to be squeezed out of the day, I try to at least take a five minute shower so that I'm taking care of myself as well as my children. I also do this at night when my partner is home so I don't have to watch the children. At times I've had my daughter in with me, but mostly just me.

I hope this doesn't sound too negative, I mean to say, it's normal what you feel, take a few minutes for yourself and remember that it will seem better with time and sleep!

Cheers -

hotmamacita's Avatar hotmamacita 07:00 AM 12-09-2003
Originally posted by Piglet68

(mamacate: your "location" always makes me giggle!)
oh, i never noticed. THAT IS HYSTERICAL!!!!! They really do pile up don't they. Yeah, mamacate. Keep it up, chica!
lazucchini's Avatar lazucchini 05:13 PM 12-10-2003
I'm sobbing as I read this thread! Hits home so well! My twin girls are now 8 months old and I have a daughter who's 12 next week as well as boys 10, 6 and almost 4 years old. I also broke my leg this summer when the girls were just a couple of months old. So I thought that things would be so much better when I could walk.......but that's only part of the picture! I'm struggling to get the others to their classes (we're home educators), performances and outings. Lately we've stayed at home a lot and I still seem to be struggling just with laundry and meals.
Yesterday we had two errands to run and I didn't manage to get out of my pajamas until nearly 3pm because I had somebody attached to a breast non-stop! Then we got to the store and one of them pooped before we could get the last few items.......we make it to the van to change diapers and it's raining (someday I'm going to figure out how to make a changing table that is the right height and sets up in a car seat!!! Then I'll make a fortune, huh?) Then we dash home to meet my mom, who's taking eldest daughter to her dance rehearsal.
My greatest challenge right now is that nursing is just draining and they PINCH me........it hurts and I'm frustrated at being outsmarted by them and their little fingers! Last night, after that very trying day where all I accomplished was nursing, I realized I hadn't eaten enough, so I started shaking and then my husband called and he was still over 45 minutes away........I just cried!

We do have some days where things go well and I accomplish a few things like I used to be able to do...........but so many of our recent days I've just wanted to be able to quit. Actually I just want to sleep for about 4 hours and then I'm certain all would be well!!! :-)

Once the girls were old enough to actually try to go to a meeting like the Mothers of Multiples, they're too old to attend with me because the group in my area doesn't allow babies except nurslings under 6 months!!! Can you believe that? I haven't found a good LLL group and my friends are all supportive and kind, but just have no idea what twins are like.

I know this will get easier as they grow and change. I've been through these stages......but right in the middle of it feels really challenging. I long for a friend with twins to relate with!

Peace to you all........I'm glad to have found this forum.
sleeping queen's Avatar sleeping queen 12:52 AM 12-26-2003
My dd was 10 when my twins were born and I couldn't of done it with out a second set of hands. On Friday I have a young lady that comes and helps me. Some weeks I just lived for Friday so I could have a break. It does get easier. Mine will be 1 in a week and they are good about amusing themselves, except I call them my wrecking crew.

Some one told me once it was two babies , but ten times the work.
hotmamacita's Avatar hotmamacita 07:03 AM 12-27-2003
[QUOTE]Originally posted by lazucchini
I'm sobbing as I read this thread! ......

I know this will get easier as they grow and change. I've been through these stages......but right in the middle of it feels really challenging. I long for a friend with twins to relate with!

Peace to you all........I'm glad to have found this forum.


My heart goes out to you mama. That first year is ROUGH and you have had additional stuff to deal with on top of it. I had all sorts of stuff come up too and I can say that I've been there.

Please use this forum for support and please feel free to PM me with any other needs or questions.

I look forward to getting to know a little more about your story and your twins.

twopeasinpod's Avatar twopeasinpod 07:26 AM 12-27-2003
I know that spot, and still wander in/out of 'twinshock', as we call it around here on a DAILY basis

I am nowhere near the phase of calm everyone else with twins seems to have at 9 months. I kept counting the days until 12 weeks, when all-knowing said it was "easier"
and they would magically both latch easily and grow plump...it never really came. So I can relate.

I am also dealing with PPD, which no one seems to be able to so my insanity seems like the end of the world, when actually it's sleep deprivation.

You said your "emotional coping mechanism" is low at night, THANK YOU for putting it so eloquently. nights are so hard for me ...right now @ 1:23 as a matter of fact, NAK, DH snoring, tired beyond tired, haven't eaten, showered....blah blah

My PPD therapist prescribed sleeping pills so I would actually sleep, instead of staying awake after nursing....sigh

I know I am not helping much, lol
I just wanted you to know you are not alone, and reading your post has helped my sad & lonely state a little...

hotmamacita's Avatar hotmamacita 09:01 AM 12-27-2003
s to you too, two peas in a pod. I ya!!!!!!

ButtercupKara's Avatar ButtercupKara 12:04 PM 12-27-2003
It does get so much easier. My twins are now 3. They were good babies and the first year was still hell. Your babies will be so cute with each other soon. I have noticed the mothers I have talked to that said it is so much fun and the kids are easy, do not have any other kids. I guess since they have not had the chance to just care for one baby the twins are easy. Is there anyone that will come and watch them a few hours a week so you can shower sleep or what ever you want? Just remember they grow up so fast. Hopefully when they are all grown up we will not remember all the hell. (((((HUGS))))))