Can you give me a big hug and tell me it will get easier?(39 Posts)
I'm so tired. Bottom lip quiveringly tired.
DD is 2 and DTs are 24 wks.
I don't want to write a huge post listing all the reasons I'm struggling (besides, I'm sure most of you will have or are going through the same so will know anyway) but in brief: BF DTs; no routine; no sleep - ever; house a tip: feel trapped and isolated. Also feeling so guilty, no quality time with toddler and she is acting up for attention, not interacting properly with DTs, just zombie like most of the time. I'm really struggling.
I feel like everything would seem a little easier if I could just get some sleep.
Strong with just a dash of milk and 1/2 sugar please.....
I don't have any experience of your situation but I'm sure someone will be along in a minute.
Do you have any friends/family you can call on for support, even if it's just taking DD out for a bit or tidying the house? If you were my friend and you were struggling like this I would want you to let me know so that I could help support you.
Watching with interest (and fear).
My Dts are 3 weeks old and the exhaustion is unbelievable! Also desperate to get out the house but it takes forever to get them out for a walk.
Hope someone with wise words can help you (and me!)
Do you have any family local to help?
Can your toddler go to nursery at all?
Do yours dts sleep in the same room? Ours never did and me and dh had one each at night for the first 6 months or so.
Sleep is very important to me. Sometimes I'm in bed at 8! Could you try going to bed when the children do?
Sorry was in practical mode then and forgot the hug!
It does get easier I promise. Mine are 20 months now and make me laugh every day.
DTs now 9 months and DD was 2 when they were born. It's been though but it is much easier now. A routine does make a huge difference especially when someone else can help out too so they know what to do.
Put a wash on every night. Don't bother with ironing. Online shop. Batch cook and meal plan. If you can afford it get your DD in nursery a few hours a week, a cleaner for a bit and even a mothers help couple of evenings a week.
Try and go out yourself in the evenings, even for a couple of hours. It makes you feel so much better.
Hang in there, you will be fine and it is so worth it once they start playing with each other.
Sleep deprivation is a killer. You have my sympathy. (((hug))) It does get better though. My kids are now 4, 2 and 2. The days of broken nights are now a distant memory, though honestly I can't remember much of the first year!
My advice would be to get a routine sorted. With twins I think it is essential. Feeding routine first, and then a strong bedtime routine with bath/final feed/bed. At 24 weeks they should be big enough to sustain 6 hours at night without food. Even if the rest is broken if you get 6 hours solid sleep you'll feel a lot better.
I would also phone your health visitor and ask if there is any help you might be eligible for. My friend with twins(who is not on benefits or especially low income) got 2 free mornings a week at the council nursery as she was really struggling. Hers were 18 months though so yours might be a little young. But the HV might be able to get you a homestart volunteer.
Do you have any family or friends or DH who could help? Take the twins for a walk for 30 minutes whilst you read DD a story/or have a shower? Coudl your mum come to stay for a weekend and give you a break so you could sleep for 48 hours (bar feeding) and give you a chance to recharge?
Hope things improve soon, I'm sure they will
Thank you all for the replies. I've been quite tearful today as it's all getting on top of me somewhat so it's nice to have a little virtual support
I do have friends and family nearby but am guilty of not being completely honest about how difficult I'm finding things. Im sure my friends would like to help, family are less likely to unfortunately. DH is generally great but he works long hours so often isn't around or when he is, he's exhausted too.
I did actually contact SureStart and Homestart but neither could provide me with any assistance. SureStart did promise me a few hours a week but called me to revoke the offer due to a backlog of cases. Homestart don't cover my area.
I'm going to go through finances to see if there is any way we can afford a cleaner. I'm sure the state of the house is affecting my mood a great deal.
I'm wondering whether we need to switch to formula to be able to get a good routine going. Did any of you manage to get into a routine whilst BF? I'm getting close to switching anyway as it would at least mean that DH could help during the night, even if its just during a weekend when he doesn't have work the next day.
Re formula, we started giving a formula feed very early, at about 8.30 p.m. This was so that DP could do one while I did the other. This routine went on for many months, I bf all the rest of the feeds.
DP/my mum/one of my sisters/a friend took over, completely, for at least three hours, from about 5 p.m. until the 8 p.m. bottle. And I went to bed. I didn't always sleep all that time, but I was 'turned off' - not responsible. It made a huge difference. DP slept in the spare room for the first 8 months, it was the quid pro quo for the three hours in the early evening.
I didn't have a toddler to deal with as well and I do feel for you.
Please come clean to your friends and family. Humans are not really designed to have two or more at the same time and this stage is the most knackering.
And yes, it does get better. In fact, all in all it's been the most fun I've ever had. Mind you I think puberty's beginning to hit ddtwins, so I may not feel the same this time next year...
I know exactly how you feel. My DD1 was 2-and-a-half when the twins were born and I found it really hard-going. Lots of tears, lots of exhaustion, lots of struggling through the days.
I found, maybe like you, that on the odd day when I was not totally knackered I would have the energy to look around and see what a mess the house was in and feel overwhelmed and in tatters.
Here's some thoughts.
Firstly, you are so brilliant for breastfeeding your babies to this point. This has given them the best possible healthy start in life and the piles of clothing, the dust on the cupboards, the toys everywhere do not matter at all in comparison to this brilliant, brilliant thing you have done.
On your routine. I found mine did nap more reliably once I started them on solid food around six months. It was a stressful time getting them onto solids because often one would get upset in their bumbo while I was trying to feed the other, so it is not an easy stage, but they did sleep for longer periods. I was very determined about getting a morning nap (9.30am-ish) and a lunchtime-ish nap/ early afternoon nap. I just made them go down in their cots at those times from around 3 months, but it was only when they went onto solids that they started sleeping for say an hour or more at both nap times.
If you have not got this kind of routine, I would really try to implement it or something similar.
In terms of help, like you I had very little. Now mine are 13 months, it is much, much better and often quite fun. They play much more independently, but while I still worry about neglecting DD1 it is much easier to split my attention. When I think back, I think I could have made my life easier by spending just a little bit of money on some assistance. Girls from our local private nursery charge £5 an hour. I used to find the days ok until about 3pm, when we were all tired. I think, maybe I could have bought in a few hours help at the end of the day for a a few weeks just so it was a bit easier on me. I did it on maybe two or three occasions, but I could perhaps have done something consistently and lightened the load for those tough few months. I have good memories of the few days when I did have the nursery helpers. Knowing someone was going to knock on the door at 3pm two days a week would have cheered me up I think.
It really does get better so spending money to get over this hump, will not mean spending it forever. My DD1 is now three-and-a-half, and is also much less trying than she was at two-and-a-half. Of course your oldest will react to having two new siblings, but I think it is a tricky age anyway.
I hope this is some help. I would soooo make that cup of tea for you if I could.
nomore I haven't read the whole thread, but I've EBF my DTS and DD was 2 when they were born. We did get a routine going and still have one now so it is possible. And it does get easier I promise!
Now, at 7 months I have time for all of them, we're eating better, the house looksaalright and we sometimes sleep. DD had a really tough time to begin with but her and her brothers have such a great time together.
Of course we have our off days, but I just wanted to reassure you. You're doing brilliantly. X
It will get easier.
But it is so hard when they are tiny. I know what you mean about fessing up to how hard it is to friends. I also felt there was a use-by date on twin sympathy so stopped asking for help too soon. (My twins are 17 months, the other children are 3 and 6.)
Sleep is the key. Just having a guaranteed block of sleep, even if it's very short. Can your dh or a friend come and mind them at a set time so you can get your head down? I even paid a friend's mum to do this for me, just for 2 hrs once a week and it was great to know that whatever else happened in the week I had that time to look forward to.
What would help you get out of the house? If the twins are in a buggy and your DD is walking, that can be fairly good quality time as you chat to her and 'ignore' the twins for a bit.
It is so exhausting when they're little and you have another one and the babies are settled with solids/sleep! Hope you get some rest.
Hope things are looking brighter this morning. You are completely right, don't be afraid to ask your family and friends for help. I remember having a meltdown at about this age too. I think I was putting too much pressure on myself thinking I should be able to cope on my own by now, when really it's so hard still, especially if they're not sleeping well. I wish I hadn't struggled for so long. I ended up phoning my retired mother-in-law one morning begging her to come round just so I could have a shower for the first time in a week. She also then had the green light to be let loose cleaning the house, which she had been dying to do for weeks but didn't want to offend me. She then came in for an hour most mornings for a couple of months until we were into a routine and sleeping a bit better. I found however bad a night we'd had, if I could have a hot shower and a cup of tea in peace I could face the rest of the day!
Well done for bf, that in itself takes it out of you. However, unless you think the time is right or bf is part of the problem I would be wary of switching to bottles too hastily, as just adds another dimension of sterilising etc to your day. I put my twins on daytime bottles at about 7 months as one of them would want feeding every 1-2 hours during the day and I couldn't get the other one to concentrate on bf during the day, but she was waking every couple of hours hungry at night, so I was feeding every couple of hours 24 hours a day! At first they would only take 50-60ml at a time so still felt like I was constantly feeding, but after a couple of weeks we were down to 4 x 150ml bottles, plus bf first thing in the morning. Then I just went cold turkey and refused to feed at night. Only took a couple of horrible nights and they started sleeping much better and I would get a 6-7 hour stretch most nights. They are now a year old and I still bf first thing in the morning and sometimes for comfort/teething/colds. I'm not sure if it was bottles that helped with the routine or weaning as this happened at about the same time. Once they were on 3 solid meals a day it all just came together.
It does get easier, mine are now a year old and I actually think 5-6 months were the hardest bit (so far!)
No twins here but massive respect for all of you and all round.
It will get easier. Massive massive respect for EBF twins, but if you can nudge them into any sort of routine that will hugely help you. You'll be weaning in a few weeks so that will start to put some structure into your day, even if only 1 meal a day to begin with.
Once you're onto lunch if you can have a guaranteed afternoon nap each day you will know you have an hour or two to leave the house with them in a buggy snoozing, or nap at home, or get on with stuff. Such a help.
Mine are 13 months now and although some stuff is harder, generally it is so so much easier. They're jsut getting to the point where if we go out as long as we have some nappies and a banana, we can survive! (Obviously we do actually go out with enough food and luggage for a week abroad, but it's no longer quite so life-or-death!)
TELL PEOPLE HOW YOU FEEL! Please. My DTs are 19 months now and oh my god it's been tough - like you I wanted everyone to think I was coping when actually I was struggling desperately (and that's without another child to think about as well!). Once I opened up to my family about how much support I really needed, things changed for the better. You can do it all by yourself, but if you don't have to then please don't.
It's really really hard the first year, although I remember 6 months being a turning point and things looking up when they started to sleep more soundly and try solid food. Now they're older I look back and I honestly can't remember how we got through it, but we did and now I've got a little girl that likes to walk and "read" at the same time, and a little boy that shouts POO-BAG!! everywhere we go .
Everyone's right, routine is the way to go - it won't necessarily stop you feeling trapped, but it will give you a sense of control and a chance to take charge again. We put together a cuddlier version of a Gina Ford type thing based on what their natural sleeping and eating cycles seemed to be and we still run on a (different) routine for them now, it really does work.
Thank you for all of the replies and apologies for the sporadic responses. I've been pretty down recently but the boys slept from 9.30pm until 1am the other night and I was amazed at how much better I felt after just 3 hrs of unbroken sleep. Sleep is indeed the key.
You are all completely right of course, I do need to let people close to me know that I need help. Silly thing is that I'm sure if I asked, I would get help so I'm not sure what's stopping me really.
Also, I recall now that things did feel easier with DD once we past the 6 month mark. The combination of solids and introducing formula dramatically improved her sleep and she now sleeps for 12 hours overnight and usually has a 2hr nap after lunch too - I'll keep everything crossed that the boys follow suit
I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not yet doing grocery shopping online. Quite ridiculous really considering supermarket shopping is virtually impossible. If I get that sorted, it would help with batch cooking as I would actually have food in the house to cook with! Online shopping is number 1 on my list and sorting a cleaner is number 2!
With regard to routines, how did you all manage to get your twins to sleep in cots at the same time? If I put the boys down awake, no amount of shhh patting etc will sooth them. How did you manage it? I end up playing sleep tennis all day. As I get one to sleep, the other wakes and I spend a large part of the day running up and down the stairs. A lot of effort for little reward given that they sleep for such a short time.
You've helped me put things into perspective and given me confidence that it will get easier and hopefully not in the too distant future so thank you again. I'd better get cracking with weaning now hadn't I!
Will they sleep in the buggy? Can you use that to
force encourage a nap routine. I recline mine and drape a muslin over the top (like putting a parrot to bed...) and they nod off!
I was in a right state around the 12 week mark - both having completetly different 'routines'. A twin mum friend gave me a copy of Gina Ford and within a week, one was sleeping through the night and both were having 2 hour nap during the day. I felt like a new woman! I know its not popular round here, but having a detailed plan of what I was doing all day every day saved my sanity.
Ask for help! and get onto the online shopping. Sod the housework - so long as there are no environmental hazards then you're OK.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, I'm currently organising paperwork in my office
MNing while my two are downstairs watching a DVD.
Sorry if this is a silly question, but do you leave the pushchair in the house or go out walking?
I think you're doing amazingly well.
I struggled getting a routine just with one EBF baby!
Is there anyone who can help you plan a routine? I found I was so tired that I just couldn't see the wood for the trees and couldn't begin to see a pattern to the feeding and naps, although there was a small one emerging by itself.
Could you ask a friend or your mum or your DP to sit down with you and work out what seems to be naturally happening that you just need to tweak a bit, or go completely back to the drawing board and plan a brand new routine?
DS is 13 months and still naps in his pushchair in the flat
can't face trying to put him in his cot, the nights are bad enough . We're lucky that we have a long corridor we can push him down but if your babies will fall asleep just in the pushchair and maybe a bit of rocking that could help?
I find that DS naps much better in his pushchair in the flat than outside (less noise/intersting things to look at etc.) plus it means I get a rest too!
Not a daft question! I have friends who can get their Los down by jiggling the buggy indoors. My two have always needed a fair bit of walking - fine as I have a dog who needs walking too - but I could often get away with coming home early and letting them sleep in the porch in their buggy for a while. In fact that's basically how I ate lunch for a few months!
Get help. I gratefully and gleefully accepted any help going.
Made the world of difference.
Also made things much more sociable.
Everyone was delighted to be asked,and helped practically as well.
Win win all round as far as me and DH was concerned.
In short,I ditched my pride.
That way,everyone was able to enjoy the experience.
My older DD sort of helped force a routine as I found I had to fit the twins around her. I found it helped to tandem feed in the early days as it was so much quicker.
In terms of naps I started off feeding them to sleep, normally after they'd been up for two hours, then transferring to a cot I had downstairs. At about 5 months I started putting them down upstairs in their cot, then putting them down awake. First time they did cry for about ten mins but I left them to it and they've napped brilliantly since.
I reckon starting with that pattern of: wake up, feed, play, change nappies, put down awake for nap over the course of 2hrs will set you up for a basic routine. If they're awake for too long I find them much harder to settle.
Nowadays my boys always have a lovely long nap in the morning from about 830/9am. I stay at home for this one and it's my time to cook, play with DD etc. Then we go out for lunch/after and they nap in their buggies whilst we do something fun.
Sorry I've waffled a lot! Went on a night out last night and still slightly fuzzy!
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