I'm able to request help from HomeStart because I'm expecting twins. Normally they provide help to people suffering through bereavement, health/financial problems that sort of thing. But they also provide help to families of multiples.
So is it unreasonable to ask for this help when we really don't qualify on any other grounds.
Yanbu, I work with an organisation closely linked to our local home start and they say they're there to provide support to anyone that needs it, go for it! Especially with a ton of budget cuts coming, every person on their books is them proving they need to exist!
It it unreasonable when it's a charity and presumably they have finite resources that might otherwise go to a family who are really struggling. Albeit I might find it really helpful to have some help with twins as a first time mum when DH goes back to work.
The second bit is I don't really get what I would have the volunteer do. They come once a week for 2-3 hours, but I can't ask them to cook or clean. And especially when the boys are little I don't really get what they'll do. They can watch the boys while I have a nap (but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that) or while I have a shower (but that's only 20 minutes).
Apparently people enjoy having a good chat to them but they're just a stranger at the start. Also since I know they have safeguarding responsibilities will I feel the need to clean and tidy and look like I'm totally coping every time they come, taking away the whole point of their support?
So AIBU requesting their support when I'm not sure I really need or want it?
There are no qualifying grounds other than you are a parent who needs support. I am a Homestart volunteer and the family i support need nothing more than an extra pair of hands and a bit of company for the mum once a week.
I would advise you to call and talk to your local co-ordinator. In my experience all the Homestart managers are absolutely brilliant and approachable.
If you don't need any help don't refer yourself.
If you need someone to watch the babies while you shower/nap/do some housework on or help you take both of them to the HV, library, park, then do.
I think my mum felt the need to have the place spotless when i arrived but 6 months on we are more like friends now and she is much more relaxed. I look after the little ones while she does whatever chores she wants or we chat over tea. If it is twins she can rock one if they are unsettled or help you if you have appointments with them or let you go have a bath. I love going to visit them and the family seem to love me going!
I'm also a HomeStart volunteer. Anyone with under fives who needs a little bit extra help qualifies.
It could be just an extra pair of hands to help you get out so you could go to a group once a week. Or someone to take the babies out for a walk while you do whatever!
We don't mind a mess and don't need to see you "coping". We do not judge and just want to help.
Talk to HomeStart and they will send someone to talk to you and see what help could be offered.
PM me if you want any more info.
Do you have family help?
I had a Homestart volunteer because I had 2 under 18 months and no family help. She doesn’t come any more because it was time to let her help another family but I loved having her. She is a lovely lovely lady.
I used to take the time to do a class I couldn’t do with them both - gave me half an hour of one on one time with each of them which I loved and didn’t get otherwise. If the class wasn’t on it gave me an easier couple of hours a week - We’d normally get out and do something that I’d struggle to do on my own then she’d watch the DC whilst I prepped their lunch. I’d also leave her with them if I had an appointment eg I had a physio appointment - much much easier on my own than with a toddler climbing on you and baby screaming.
It sounds like these are your first? Take the help. You can always say you don’t need it once you’re settled into things.
Thank you. I think I'm just struggling between my natural inclination to be self sufficient and taking on board advice that I will need all the help I can get.
@newmumwithquestions I won't have any family help mid week. That does all sound very helpful.
If you don't need or want the support from HomeStart then YWBU for asking them for it.
If, once your twins are born, you find you need extra support (even just for a short time) YWNBU in asking them for some help.
Not having had twins I don't know how much harder it is looking after two of the same age at the same time, but I believe it can be incredibly hard. You might find it a doddle, or you might end up feeling you need someone else who can be there for you.
If you make HomeStart aware you are having twins they might be able to have someone ready to come and visit you at short notice if you decide you need it. If they are not 'needed' then they don't need to come out.
If they have someone who has had twins available for you it might just help you to have someone to talk to who has been through what you are going through and who understands what you are going through if things get hard.
I would absolutely take the help OP. I refer the families I work with to homestart, they are truly a lifeline to some mothers. Everyone I have ever come across are lovely with this calming manner about them. I wish I had known about them when I had my DS, I suffered with PND and someone to chat to would have changed those first few months for me.
I had a home start volunteer. She was lovely and she helped me when I had a baby with health problems and a lively toddler. She used to come round once a week and help me with hospital appointments. She would play with my toddler so I could concentrate on what the Dr was saying. She was great.
Take it! The idea of getting to see another adult on a regular basis was a God send when I remember the days of being home with 3, five years old and younger.
The idea that you wouldn't have anything to do when a volunteer was there when you are having twins is laughable actually! You'll be begging for help once they're here OP. They will cure you of self-sufficiency forever!
Thanks @IsItThatTimeAlready131 that totally makes sense, except I've been told it can take a long time to get matched with a volunteer and to get the process started now before the boys are here. So I'm having to guess how I'm going to feel/cope, which is hard.
You're probably right @Movablefeast! I really don't know what's coming do I?
Ahahahaha. Wait until you have them. There is a reason why people with twins qualify. The won’t babysit while you go out, but they will watch the children while you get on with jobs. You can’t ask them to cook and clean on their own, but usually if you are cleaning yourself they will help you.
Ring them up, and a coordinator will meet with you to discuss what sort of help can be offered. You may find it useful for a volunteer to come with you to, say, a doctor's or dentist's appointment for yourself, so that you can focus on that and the volunteer will look after the babies in the waiting room. She may be able to go with you to do a supermarket shop. Hold one baby whilst you are tending to the other. When/if you are ready to take them to groups, she can come with you to be an extra pair of hands. There are loads of things where you will find an extra pair of hands welcome!
Bear in mind that the one I volunteer for has a three month waiting list, so I would apply soon!
Also, if you feel "guilty" about accepting help - and you really, really shouldn't - you could always give them a token payment to help with running costs once you have finished using the service. There is no need to, no one will judge you if you don't (I have volunteered for over 10 years and never known anyone do this!), but it might ease your conscience (despite the fact that there is no need for your conscience to be troubled!!).
It’s kind of like the difference between having a cleaner around or having your Mum over. You can’t treat them like a paid employee saying ‘do this, do that’ and leave them to it. But they will watch the kids while you hoover and do the bathroom or if you’re washing up they will come in and wipe down the work surfaces and table and chat, or do the washing up.
Someone i knew had triplets and she had a Homestart volunteer just to help her get organised and keep her sane. When they started walking she couldn't get them all out at once without help. Once they were at school she decided to go on the Homestart board to repay all the help she had received over the 5 years her triplets were growing up. They are a great organisation.
Yes take the help. I worked for them (but I wasn't allowed to help/befriend any parents as I'm not a parent..strict criteria) so stayed on the fundraising side but yes, definitely you should contact them. You certainly qualify.
I've been a pro bono trustee of a similar charity for years - just resigning now as I think it'll be too much when I'm on maternity leave. So I'd definitely be up for doing that sort of thing again in the future.
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