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Anyone else a single parent with twins?

(27 Posts)
bodgejob Wed 31-Dec-08 20:52:44

I'm frazzled! I've got twin boys 20 mnths old and a 4 year old son .I have recently hit rock bottom. I left my ex 8 mnths ago because he was bloody useless. My family do not offer much help. My hv suggested toddler groups and anti-depressants-great! Im just finding everthing a mission at mo and need a break. I do have a homestart volunteer once a week but it isnt enough. Its the school run again next week and i'm dreading the morning routine of getting 3 under fives out of the house for 8 am . Cannot afford childcare for the twins but dont know if I can do another year without a break. Im doing more than is physically possible for one person. HELP![SAD]

kdk Wed 31-Dec-08 21:08:31

HI bodgejob

Can't really offer you more than sympathy! I'm a single mother of b/g twins but mine are 4.5 now so probably a bit easier - and I can't begin to imagine what it's like having two littlies and a four-year-old ...

I've been on my own since mine were six months old - and probably for the same reason as you ie my xh was a waste of space and I just felt I"d rather be a single mother to my kids rather than a single parent to my kids and my ex if that makes sense ...

One thing I had to learn to do (still not very good at it!) is ask for help and admit that sometimes I wasn't coping very well.

You've managed eight months on your own - and things will get easier. Wishing your peace and strength and sending you many hugs ....

bodgejob Wed 31-Dec-08 21:25:53

That is exactly why I left my x
Thanx so much, its good to know there are others who have been in the same situation as myself.
Have no choice but to carry on and hope things get easier.

uncletrev Sun 01-Feb-09 17:17:57

kdk

Found your post on here via google search for "single parent twins"

A friend of mine has just announced that she is pregent with twins and is single. I have tried doing some research into what books are availabale for her that are specifically about raising twins as a single a parent but amazon drew a blank on that one.

Do you have any suggestions.

Im writting this and not her as as she is Estonian and only has average English skills.

Any pointers with regards her sitiation would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Trev

kdk Mon 02-Feb-09 14:18:13

Hi Trev

can't really help with books regarding single parents and twins - don't think I've ever seen one ... <thinks to self .... maybe a niche market book .... thinks I've got enough on plate at moment>

All I can say is that it is bl**dy hard work - get as much help as possible either paid or from parents/family/friends.

Things do eventually get easier ... they do, I'm sure they do. No really, they do and they start school and you have a bit more time for yourself but she will probably find it v v hard at first and need all the help she can get.

Some colleges offer nursery nurse students to mums with twins - is there a local college near her - or homestart. Other thing that could help is seeing if there's a Twinsclub near her - try www.twinsclub.co.uk/ or Tamba www.tamba.org.uk/

hope this helps and let me know if you/she need to know anything more

uncletrev Mon 02-Feb-09 23:46:05

we are both in Estonia so the uk organistions wont work out but I will check to see just in case there is something like that locally. Do you have any thoughts about products specifically made for twins and which might be worth greater consideration etc, like side by side prams vs one in front of other etc?

kdk Tue 03-Feb-09 14:08:03

Can't really help with buggies - mine are thankfully long past that stage and even in the past four years the range of what is available has changed a lot. I"m sure someone else will be able to advise you - think there has been a thread before about buggies.

If she plans to breastfeed she should get a proper supportive cushion - I used an inflatable one, some people swear by v-shaped ones. IMO I wouldn't bother with baby baths, moses baskets etc unless you're offered them - not worth the money.

If you look at the TAMBA site, think there is a list of essentials and probably a review of twin buggies.

Hopefully someone on here who has had their DTs more recently may be able to help ...

uncletrev Tue 03-Feb-09 22:20:24

ok, thanks!

ruledbytwins Tue 17-Mar-09 00:31:58

bodgejob - i know what you mean. hang on in there. mine have just turned 2 and DH (not so much of the D now) has buggered off claiming it was all too much hard work. ha!

i think i just want to punch the next person who looks on sympathetically and thinks they're saying something helpful like "oh i don't know how you do it...".

all i want from them is to come round and do the bloody washing or clean the loo or let me have a nap or pour me a drink or something useful!

not sure how i can help but if you want to rant or just share ideas, or just know that you are so not on your own in all this, then post back.

have you tried your local college? i had some help from a student doing a childcare course who had to do work experience and she came round for 2 days a week and took the kids/washing/whatever off my hands for a bit. it was all free and you have to stay to supervise, but it means you get a bit of a break and adult conversation.

take care,

ruledbytwins x

JJsandcat Tue 17-Mar-09 03:08:08

Hi bodgejob,

I'm not a mum of twins but wanted to ask if there's anyone in your community (esp. if it's a small village) that may be able to help you out, just for another day or for specific tasks (laundry, etc). Churches and other christian organizations may be a good starting point. Maybe speak to your vicar (if you can) and ask him if he knows anyone that would help as you don't know who to turn to and cannot cope. In our village some women (usually 40+) help elderly or ill neighbours with bathing, laundry, cooking, cleaning. It's free and they are very nice!

Do you have friends that you could ask? I'm a mum, too and I wouldn't mind doing batch cooking or laundry or whatever for someone in your situation at all. Don't worry if you'll burden them, they will understand!

Maybe other parents on the multiples threads or large families can point you into the right direction. Just a thought.

Good luck!

knockedgymnast Tue 17-Mar-09 17:39:46

Hi ya. Sorry to hear that you are feeling so down. My ex and I split up becaue he was useless as well. This was when my twin boys were just a few months old and my daughter was around one. It is a struggle, it is a real struggle and I didn't really have any family etc nearby to help.

The boys are now nearly 11 and my daughter's twelve but I well remember the feelings of lonliness and depression.

I know it sounds really crap but you will get through it, eventually. I'm sorry I'm not being much help but I really do understand your pain. Raising children alone is not easy and you're doing it by yourself. You really are doing an amazing job and you should be so proud of yourself smile

kdk Tue 17-Mar-09 20:54:07

Hi bodgejob - just wondering how you are and how you are getting on ... Let us know how you are doing - one thing I was thinking is whether you could offer a room in return for help with childcare? Was something I was thinking of at one time.

Anyway hope you are all well and see that people are concerned and want to know how you are managing.

chellimum Tue 17-Mar-09 21:51:39

Hi there. I nly just seen you thread. I am a single parent with twin boys (15 months) and i also have 2 other children 4 and 6, Know exactly how you feel and it can be mad at times.. I have good and bad days. My family are nearby and i rather resent the fact they wont help me..I do my best but it makes me feel sad for them sometimes as they all have to share my time but then on the other hand i think well at leat they will all have eachother when they grow up..It so nice to know I am not the only one out there as I have often thought I am. The school run is tough. But the way I see it I try and get everything ready the night before ( if i dont pass out from being so tired lol.)..and u can only do what u can ,,if u late now and again then so be it!!!

bodgejob Tue 17-Mar-09 22:41:53

Hi everyone who has replied to my post and thanks for the support. I am so comforted by the fact i am not alone in this situation.

Ruledbytwins I know what you mean by the sympathy thing it really isn't helpful. If anything it makes you feel worse. Will phone the colleges tomorrow and see about a student to help.Sorry to hear about your husband but if he was as useless as mine you are better off without him.

JJ thanks for the idea of community support will look into it.

Knocked well done for surviving and getting through alone, it is reassuring to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Chellium you are not alone . I have just layed out al the little ones clothes for tomorrow so will see how it goes.I have family nearby but they are not offering any help and that does upset me but it's their loss at the end of the day.

Kdk thanks for your support . Things are still challenging but I have some more ideas to try now so thanks everyone.

ChrissieL Sun 22-Mar-09 21:03:44

Hi Bodgejob,

I run a club for single parents (www.SingleWithKids.co.uk) and we have a number of member with twins and also 3 members with triplets. And - they all put the rest of us to shame ! I've met two of the ladies with the triplets and they're the most organised but chilled out people you could hope to meet - I think you have to take the attitude that you WILL manage, and if the housework takes a back seat then so be it.... It's amazing what we can all cope with when we have to.

Although I don't have twins, my children are a year apart and that's presented its own challenges at times, but I wouldn't change it for the world, in fact at times it's easier because they have a ready-made friend as well as sparring partner.

Chrissie x

ruledbytwins Thu 02-Apr-09 21:09:54

Bodgejob - how are things going? Did you have any luck pinning anyone down to help out??

Everyone else who is a single parent with twins: hang on in there! Thank you for your kind words and advice! It's really reassuring to know that people do survive knocks like this (if a 'knock' is the right word, but you know what I mean), and it's also reassuring to know that there are some really practical tips to coping.

I've taken recently to having a nap for an hour just after the girls are in bed in the evenings (usually between 7-8), otherwise I get so exhausted I simply can't cope with the dishwasher, clothes for the next day, sorting out stuff for work and all that kind of stuff. I then tend to stay up a bit later than I would do normally, but that nap gives me the boost I need to get everything done before passing out completely and not having got anything done.

Oh, and asking for help - I've really learnt to take people up on their offers of "anything that I can do to help", especially if they weren't expecting me to get back to them! I've now got some nice new shelves up, getting new lino in the kitchen and am getting help doing some decorating over Easter. If you don't ask, you don't get!

Stay strong x

piximon Thu 02-Apr-09 22:02:31

bodgejob I am not a lone parent so I hope you don't mind me posting, but my dh works away through the week (not the same in any way as being a single parent I know), so I have experience of dealing with lots of little ones single handed.

I have b/g dts (2) and ds1 (6) dd1 (4) and ds3 (1). I am very organised. Have to be, we use public transport for the school run and bus only runs half hourly. I do the lunches the night before, for all of us if possible, it's one less thing to worry about. I make lots of big meals and freeze the rest to do lunch or dinner on the days I can barely muster the energy to breathe. I also get clothes etc out the night before as suggested. Letters etc from the school get dealt with immediately (dates on calendar, forms signed and handed back same day if possible).

Accept all offers of help and join as many groups as you can. The more time you are out the more hands there should in theory be to help, also the less time your dts will have to wreck the house. Rest during their nap time if you can.

I hope things get easier for you. Do you have a Surestart crèche near to you? I used to be able to drop my dd off for two hours a week to give me a break when pg and it was free. Also some nurseries now offer funded placements from about 2 years and mothers of dts often get higher priority for early placements, it depends where you live.

I usually keep a stash of food on me to keep my dts quiet if I need to speak to the teachers etc. I've had to abandon my buggy now (buses not disabled friendly) but when I used to use it I would keep it stocked with enough stuff for one day (nappies etc).

Sending you lots of positive vibes and hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in.

cee75 Tue 23-Mar-10 21:44:59

hi i know exactally how you feel i have twin boys nearly 3 and also 2 older boys and althought i have a partner who is good with the kids when not at work he does absolutely nothing around the house but a bit of hoovering i feel like everything is left to me and i sometimes dont know how i am going to face another day being me i cry all the time i`m even crying writing this i wish i could tell you it will get easier but i just dont know i love my kids but i am utterly misserable and tiered beyond beliefe i hope you get some comfort knowing you are not alone xx

bodgejob Thu 08-Apr-10 23:57:59

Hi cee75. Just noticed your post and wanted to offer my support.

Its a year since my original post, twins also nearly 3 and life is still manic.

I know exacly how you feel,the resentment of feeling everything falls on your shoulders is too much to bear at times. It is all I can do to get through the next day . My mother keeps telling me that it takes 2 adults to look after the twins . Well why don't you bloody help me more then ? soooooooooo annoying!

I have found I have gathered a little more strength now by asking more for help and trying to catch up with sleep at any given oppotunity.Could your hubby not play with kids whilst you take a nap ? Even if you cannot sleep just resting helps you recharge your batteries. Just try to ignore the housework and prioritise your health. Easier said than done cause I know the carnage boys create .

I do hope you feel better soon . I find it comes in cycles, you feel like things are getting easier then it gets harder again.
Mine are constantly falling out at the mo and trashing everthing in the house .Sometimes you have to walk away and sit in a quiet place for a few minutes then decide what to tackle first then come back to the stuation calmly. There is only so much one person can deal with .

Take care xxx

kdk Fri 09-Apr-10 15:12:36

Hi Cee - haven't got any practical advice but just wanted to say it does get easier especially once DTs start nursery/school. I've been on my own since my b/g twins were six months old - and even before that was pretty much operating as a single mum which was why I decided that wasn't worth staying in my marriage ... The first few years were a f*cking nightmare - and to be honest I feel resentful at how little of their babyhood I remember mainly down to sheer exhaustion/frustration/resentment - but it does pass.

I second what bodge says, accept any offers of help, pay for it if necessary and threaten to leave your dh if that will make him take on his share - refer him to the article about the number of marital/relationship breakdowns in twins and higher order multiple families if that will make him see sense.

Failing that just go out one weekend afternoon, especially if it's warm - go to the nearest park and sleep - it's what I used to do.

Sorry for the length of this, just want to reassure you, you're not alone in feeling like this ... and that there is light at the end of the tunnel - mine are nearly six now and while they still tire me out, they are also fantastic human beings who inspire, amaze and amuse me (when they're not fighting or bickering that is!)

IlikePudding Tue 13-Apr-10 10:02:11

I am a widower with twins. My DD's (non-identical twins) are 16 and I have raised them pretty much on my own since they were 11. I am a teacher which made things easier because I was off work during the school holidays and so could look after them without needing expensive childcare.

I would like to think that Ruth, my late wife, would agree that the three of us have done our best. And that is all you can ever do.

IlikePudding Wed 21-Apr-10 08:12:18

Bump - the thread seemed to have stalled and mutual support for twinners is too valuable just to walk away from surely??

IlikePudding Wed 21-Apr-10 08:16:28

While I am on line I would like to say that the casual away Ruth's family distanced themselves from the three of us after her death was weird. After the first couple of weeks they went back to the one phone call a fortnight routine we had had before Ruth got ill. Is was if nothing had happened confused

Jemeraldx Mon 17-Jan-11 03:28:32

I have identical twin boys & I really do feel your pain. I want to be single being with my oh is like having another child and my mother is a nightmare she helps physically but not emotionally she constantly critisises & my health visitors been as much use as a chocolate fireguard the twins don't make my life hard everyone else does sometimes it feels like i'm alone even though i'm surrounded by people but i can't imagine how hard it is for u having other kids aswell all i can say is it won't last forever.

Galdos Tue 07-Jun-11 22:28:54

I have b & g twins aged 7, and an elder d aged 10. Their mum died just over a year ago, but in her last year she wasn't up to doing much. As older parents (I am 7 years older than my wife), our own parents are dead or too elderly and infirm, and siblings are scattered to distant places, so little family help, and only if arranged long in advance. I have paid help weekdays when at work, which is essential, but the greatest support, as well as good practical help, is through the mums network through the kids' local primary school. Find the right community, and plug in. I endorse Jeremaldx's comment about other people making life hard. At first, managing the offers of help was almost a full time job in itself. It's much better now. It remains very difficult having to do absolutely everything with 3 kids in tow, even simple stuff like post a letter. I have started to leave them on their own sometimes, but nervously in case of SS and I don't want d1 to be made to feel more of a carer than she wants to be. She's still a kid. Watch your own health too - mine has definitely suffered with the stress and strain and I am now on a cocktail of tablets to keep my heart going.

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