I am a single mother of 5 yr old twin (fraternal) boys. Their father left when I was pregnant, so it has been the three of us since day one. My sons started Kindergarten this year. Honestly, I knew that one was more ready than the other, but financially, I couldn't afford daycare/preschool anymore. It is very stressful and demanding being a single mom and although my twins are my only children, I am pretty sure being a single mom of twins is even more stressful & demanding... I am exhausted every day, and some days I just don't have anything left to give. They are constantly bickering & I try to stay consistent w/discipline & routine, but inevitably I find myself slipping in both areas. I love my sons more than life itself & I try very hard to not compare them, but one is a better listener, helper, etc. This morning I found myself saying "why can't you just listen like your brother does?" and as the words were coming out of my mouth I knew it was wrong, but couldn't stop myself. My son's face crumpled & he said, "AJ is better than me. I am a bad kid". To which I immediately wrapped my arms around him and said "NO, you are not bad LJ!!" and proceeded to tell him how smart, funny, and sweet his is. Yet, I feel like such a worthless mom...I trashed my son's self esteem in the matter of seconds. Please give me some advice on how to correct this. How do I train myself to not compare them?? It drives me crazy when others compare them, and I correct them when they do. But somehow, I have managed to over look the fact that I compare them... It breaks my heart that he would say that about himself...I may lose my temper, but I do not tell them they are bad kids. I have told both on a regular basis that they are making bad choices (when they legitimately are)...but never meant for him to think HE was bad, just that his choices were. I feel like such a bad mom, totally incompetent mom. I work over 40 hrs a week and desperately want the time I do get to spend with my children to be positive, not spent arguing. I am doing the best I can, but just feel like a failure. Also, I would like to mention that I do not have the opportunity to spend one on one time w/either of them. We are always together which I feel might be part of the problem. Any advice is much appreciated!!
Oh AJLJMommy I feel for you. It is very tough being a single mom, not to mention that you've been solo since their birth. That's five years of tough if you ask me.
Do you have family members that could help you out, like play with them or take them places? Also, 5 year old boys need to get their energy out. Can you enroll them in soccer or basketball or something? Let them spend some time with others so you don't have to be "on" in parental mode all them time.
You need some help, mama! Don't worry, though, we all say things to our children that we wish we hadn't said. Be kind to yourself and know that what you did after that was awesome. You obviously love your boys so so so much, which means that they feel it and know it. Love like that doesn't go undetected :)
What you need, though, is some help. Someone to take over for a while here and there. Someone to spend Saturday mornings with them on a regular basis, or something like that. Do you have any family? I wonder if you can barter something with a friend to do that.
Talk to their teacher and see if she is aware of any free programs for kids their age. Explain your situation - you don't have much money, you have been completely single since day one, and you're feeling that they are at a point where they need others in their lives to be with them now and then outside of the structure of school. How old do they need to be to get a 'big brother'?
Good luck. xoxo
Thank you for your kind words and understanding. Being a mom is the hardest job out there, isn't it?! :) We live in a very small community & I have inquired with the closest "Big Brother" program, but was told the waiting list is 2 1/2 yrs long due to no male volunteers. I have contacted our local SRS (DCFS) office & asked about any programs that are available and was told there aren't any except for abused children. Budget cuts were the end to all of the other programs...
As far as family goes, my mom has helped me in the past, but recently had a stroke and is no longer capable. My younger sister helps me with my boys so that I can work extra to make ends meet. With as much as she helps already, I don't want to burden her by asking for additional favors. Not to mention, since my mom's stroke, we both help her as much as we can. My father is alive and well, but drives a truck for a living and it has been 3 months since any of us have seen him. As far as friends go...well, I don't have any anymore. After you have to decline invitations because you don't have a babysitter for so long, they just stop asking, then stop calling. My oldest and dearest friends went away to college and never came back to our small town. They are in other states now and hours away.
It's just the Three Musketeers, as I like to call us. :) I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place, have tried every avenue I can think of but to no avail. I appreciate hearing that I am right in feeling like I could use some help & deserve a break once in a while. Even though, I more than likely won't be receiving one any time soon, just knowing that my feelings are justified and not just me being a selfish & bad mom means the world to me. I keep reminding myself that if "God brings you to it, He will see you through it". I do love my boys more than life itself & pray multiple times a day that they will look back on their childhood fondly. I am giving it all I've got, hopefully its enough!!
Thank you again for taking time to respond and offer suggestions.
I cant say I know exactly how you feel when it comes to being a mother but I do understand whats going on because I have a mother and I went through the stage where I thought my brother was better than me but what I learn was we where equal my mother love both of us the same. She sat down with the both of us and told me that I love both of you equal but sometimes I wish you had some of your brother characteristics and the same with your brother but you don't, but that doesn't mean I love you or him more, I love you both equal. What I learn tho my brother was older than me and he could see the things my mother was going through everyday and me being young didn't realize how much stress I put on my mother on top of what she had to deal with at work,bills,etc... So I believe your very strong independent Woman and you deserve more so I know you want to spend more time with your kids and be financially free so I am going to show you what I learned to where you can make money at home and spend more time with your family after you establish yourself. If you would like to no more write me back