to think my friend is deluded or am I just pessimistic?

(65 Posts)
MrsHuxtable Tue 21-May-13 13:53:54

So, my childless friend and I just had a conversation about having twins that are born a maximum of 2 years after a first child. (I'm newly pregnant with No2 and due to increased twin risk worried that it's what might happen to me).

I said that I know someone who has this set-up and that the women is a wreck. She openly admitted that just running away is on her mind a lot. I can totally understand this as it must be so hard, physically and emotionally. It's a constant cycle of nappies, feeding, winding, nappies, feeding, winding. When one baby goes to sleep at night, the other wakes. and then there's the toddler in the terrible twos. No family around to help out either. A husband working long hours. The hassle of getting around with 3 so little etc.

My friend on the other hand thinks it sounds like a lovely set-up and that it wouldn't be a problem. That because you already have a child and are therefore an experienced mum, it would all be a breeze.

Is my friend being utterly deluded because she doesn't even know what it's like to look after one child?

Or am I being a pessimistic git who is an incompetent mother because I think I would be a total wreck under the circumstances described?

I have a friend who has that kind of gap, she and the dad say they basically don't remember the first year or so of the twins life, it was so exhausting and difficult.

Now they are older I get the impression they quite enjoy having got the chaos out,the way early on though.

Bogeyface Tue 21-May-13 14:03:11

I have to admit that I have always felt that the hardest jump was going from 1 child to 2. You think you know what you are doing, which you do with a newborn, however a newborn and a toddler is a totally different kettle of chaos! So I can imagine that going from 1 to 3 in one go must be hell on toast.

Sorry!

BTW, I have 6 and it gets easier with each one after #3!

lolalou22 Tue 21-May-13 14:05:08

I have 2 year old twins and a 4 month old baby and must admit its hard sometimes but i am so glad the twins came first as they play together quite lovely when their getting along giving me chance to look aft and play with the baby. think the other way around would defiantly be tougher and i agree the first year of the twins life is just a blur i don't remember very much of it at all (thank goodness for video cameras lol) so the thought of a two year old as well gee wizz exhausted.com indeed

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 21-May-13 14:08:08

Yes of course your friend is utterly deluded! Tbh, if she hasn't had kids yet, I would take any child rearing comments she makes with a pinch of salt. Luckily twins are not in my family at all, but with hindsight I probably would have coped better if DS2 were twins, rather than DS1. But don't get me wrong, I'm sure it would still have been hell grin

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 21-May-13 14:09:06

And lolalou has just proved me completely wrong - I don't have twins, so what do I know?!

Dawndonna Tue 21-May-13 14:10:25

19months between ds2 and twin dds. First year absolutely exhausting, but it's been fab and doable. Twins are sixteen and a half now!

PoppyWearer Tue 21-May-13 14:11:45

I know someone with that setup and it was only when the twins were getting towards 1yo that she started to feel a bit more normal and get out of the house once in a while.

She also had to get quite a lot of help around the house to keep the family afloat in terms of housework and admin.

Definitely not easy.

You have to ignore your childless friend and not challenge her, until you have children, you cannot imagine how demanding they can be.

I know people with that age gap and it is family support that makes the difference.

My friend has twin boys (and three more children), who are now two years old, they are like a little tag team, one distracts,whilst the other gets into mischief. They are the cutest pair, ever, she has had to child proof her house, though and still puts them in nursery, when she is off work. She has family help, also.

I don't think being an experienced Mum makes that much of a difference. I have just become a Nan (i do overnight care) and it is wonderful, you have none of the stress that new Mums, filled with hormones and recovering from birth, have,or a partnership to consider.

She has no idea how children can impact on a couple.

Friend is being deluded. One of the very first things I did after I had a baby was revise my previous thinking that having twins (at all) was a charming idea. Never mind having twins in the "tricky second baby" slot that Bogeyface describes.

However there's little comfort in being right if this is a situation you think you might be facing! It could well be true that an experienced mother might be better placed to hit the ground running with twins in the sense that you have the advantage of perspective now and can see the bigger picture about what matters and what is pfb stuff that can get chucked out the window if needs must.

NotYoMomma Tue 21-May-13 14:19:46

I think she is.deluded but you are also pessimistic.

Your post is totally negative and a bit doom and gloom

MrsHuxtable Tue 21-May-13 14:21:33

God, that's another thing she keeps going on about. The importance of staying passionate lovers when you have a baby etc.

I don't generally challenge her but she always manages to make comments that make me feel inadequate as a mum and wife.

Apparently all other babies she knows sleep through at 3 months (DD is 15 months and doesn't), nobody she knows breastfeed for longer than 6 months other than me, she had never heard of it. She can't believe that DH and I haven't had a childfree holiday yet (we don't want to and also don't have any family in the country).

The list goes on.

I work 20 hours a week, study 30 hours and look after DD 4 days a week (DH is at home the other 3) so the 30 hours studying are when DD sleeps and my friend can't understand that I said, I will probably not go back to work after DC2 or only 1 day a week, as I couldn't imagine coping with 2 children, that amount of work and studying.

Bogeyface Tue 21-May-13 14:22:40

Actually that is a good point about not being PFB. Our best man and his wife had twins and they ran themselves ragged with doing everything "right". She was surprised that I didnt bath my lot every night when they were babies, and that a wet-wipe-wash followed by "that'll do" didnt mean they died of dirt!

By the time they had their 3rd child they were a lot more relaxed, so I am sure that you would be too.

pollyblue Tue 21-May-13 14:22:52

I had my twins 12 days after my first dd turned 2.

I am not a wreck grin I have no family support (though a couple of close friends have given fantastic emergency help on occassion) as they all live miles away, so DH and i muddle through as best we can. He works, i went to college part time when the twins were 14 months old (he had the dcs then) - they're now 6 and 4 and i'm still studying part time.

I think the key is to be super organised and resolutely cheerful in the face of chaos and much noise. Everything passes and yes, there are tricky patches but overall it has been fantastic and i wouldn't change it for the world.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 21-May-13 14:23:08

I had dd1 who was 3 when dtds were born and know a number of mums with a smaller age gap. For me it is constant but not unpleasant. The laughter of 3 far out weighs everything else. It depends on the babies really. Dd1 was horrendous as a new born - colic, reflux and constant crying/refusing to sleep. Dtds were prem and fab sleepers... Dh returned from his 1st day back at work after paternity leave to find dd1 and I had baked cakes and cooked dinner! (and I was still smiling). I love having twins - financial strain is the hardest as childcare was more than I earn so had to give up sad

ClairesTravellingCircus Tue 21-May-13 14:23:43

As someone who has a 12yo, 8yo and 15 mo twins I think you are absolutely right!!

I know a few people with the toddler+baby twins set up and it is very hard unless you have lots of help, and then it's still hard!!

pollyblue Tue 21-May-13 14:25:25

MrsH you're friend sounds a bit of a tit grin

Bogeyface Tue 21-May-13 14:26:00

God, that's another thing she keeps going on about. The importance of staying passionate lovers when you have a baby etc.

Sorry but that is hilarious and exactly the sort of thing a non parent would say grin

I don't generally challenge her but she always manages to make comments that make me feel inadequate as a mum and wife.
The only person who can make you feel inadequate is you! She hasnt had children so her "opinion" isnt actually based in fact or on her own experiences, but on what she sees and what other people tell her. You can safely ignore any of her so-called "advice" and just wait until she has a child of her own. Then, when she is shuffling around in her PJ's at lunchtime, barely awake and funtioning, you can remind her how important it is to stay a passionate lover to her husband grin

TheRealFellatio Tue 21-May-13 14:27:31

I know someone who had twins when her other children were 4 years 3 months, and 3 years old exactly.

she barely left the house for five years. YANBU.

BalloonSlayer Tue 21-May-13 14:27:55

The clue is in the term "childless friend."

Her opinions on what parenthood is like are as valid as mine about what it is like to be an astronaut and land on the Moon. "So I said to Neil Armstrong, Couldn't you have spoken a bit more clearly? Those breathing masks aren't all that cumbersome."

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 21-May-13 14:28:08

Newborn/baby twins are really hard, even without an older one, but 3 would be a nightmare I imagine.

Lovely when they're all older though!

TheRealFellatio Tue 21-May-13 14:28:21

I mean for 5 years from being heavily pg with twins, until the point at which they were all at school. It was just too traumatic. grin

Lioninthesun Tue 21-May-13 14:28:51

She can't really comment knowledgeably if she hasn't had one child yet... I would just smile and wait for her to have hers wink and then you can remind her of your earlier convo's in a friendly way. Try not to be too hard on her or yourself. We all do the 'my child will never do this/that' when childless, and you sound as though you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself, so try not to worry about this!

ZenGardener Tue 21-May-13 14:29:06

I have 4 year old twins, plus a two year old and am pregnant with #4. My husband works away from home during the week and no family around to help.

I'm very happy though. The house is a constant mess but I do my best.

I do think having the twins first helped as baby #3 is quite easy going. The three of them play together well but there are a lot of fights/arguments too.

I'm quite a laid back person though. I don't sweat the small stuff. There are days I spend a little longer than necessary in the toilet just to escape the noise for a few minutes.

I have a friend who only has one child and finds motherhood very stressful. She worries about every little thing. I think a lot depends on your personality.

pollyblue Tue 21-May-13 14:29:13

your even, tsk

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