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Feeling lonely - singleton mums just don't get it...

(35 Posts)
marmitesarnie Wed 08-Jul-09 08:35:34

Hi all

I have 15wk old twin boys, who are gorgeous. Thought I was doing ok (well, just about keeping my head above water anyway!) until started to attend my local post natal "support" groups for new mums. Has plunged me into depression, after having to listen to all the singleton mums whinging on about lack of sleep, colic etc (whilst having had time to put on full make up!!) with me sitting there frantically trying to juggle two screaming babies thinking "you just havn't got a clue". Feel like my whole experience from the horrific pregnancy, traumatic birth with pre-eclampsia, baby in SCBU and just whole getting to grips with twins thing and the sheer physical relentlessness of it, has been sooooo different from mums who just had one. Just makes me feel very isolated and down. It doesn't help when all people say to you is "I don't know how you do it".

The health visitors are rubbish too - have offered me no extra help and seem to have no concept of just what a mission it is to organise two babies at the same time to get to these things on time and then to try and keep them both happy outside your normal environment. I don't want to stop going to the group, as I feel I need to get out there, but it's just such a disheartening and isolating experience and I find it so stressful. I don't like to go on too much to the singleton mums about my experiences, as everthing they've got to moan about I can beat hands down with bells on, but then that leaves me with no one to whinge to at all really. Even my family doesn't seem to realise how hard it is. Sorry for the rant and moan, but does anyone else out there feel the same way?

hullygully Wed 08-Jul-09 08:42:43

Ask your HV about twin/triplet birth support groups, there are usually a couple around - you might find more empathy there!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 08-Jul-09 09:11:08

Well despite not having twins I used to feel the same way when my friends with sleeping babies moaned about anything - my baby just never ever slept for more than an hour or two and I was existing on about two hours a night for months.

I think you need to do what hullygully suggests and find someone who can actually emthatise with what you are going through! If you are getting some understanding from somewhere else it might free you up to enjoy the baby group you can go to more.

namechange100 Wed 08-Jul-09 09:18:27

Please look for alternatives to this group or it will pull you down further. Keep posting on here too - there are penty on multiple births/large familes threads.

I am a mum of one and used to think 'how do they do it' about the other mums looking good:make up on, hair done etc.

I didnt get much from the mother and toddler group really. But I did go to other stuff. Keep getting out n about though, it does get easier and you will meet some like minded mums at some point.

(I namechanged for other reasons)

throckenholt Wed 08-Jul-09 09:23:39

join the did you ever wonder.. threads - lots of empathy there.

Having twins is exhausting in the first year. Try not to compare with how others seem to be coping - just do what you have to do and ignore all stupid comments. You cope because you have to - just they they would if they had twins. Don't be shy of asking the organiser of your support group to come and cuddle one of yours while you have the other one.

It does get better - honest

katedan Wed 08-Jul-09 14:25:06

Find your nearest twinsclub/group. Search on the internet or ask your nearest liabry or Childrens infomration centre. You will find other mums in the same boat as you and are also juggling two or more babies. It is a great way to meet new friends and get help.

I was a mum of singeltons before I had my twin girls so I have been in both camps. In two years time when your twins play together and you can have a cup of tea and they are entertaing a board toddler or juggling another newborn you will be the smug one I promise!

Congrats on your double bundle of joy.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 08-Jul-09 14:40:26

If you are keeping your head above water, you are doing great!
It is hard to listen to all, that and I think you do just have to bite your tongue and wish multiples on them next time! wink

Have you been in touch with Homestart? They support families with children under 5 and often support mums of multiples. You may find at their support groups there are other mums of multiples you can meet who really do understand what it is like. They also offer a form of volunteer help for 2 hours a week.

Also, you don't have to keep them both happy all of the time, you can't always divide yourself in two! I think with two there can be an element of feeling you are missing out too, which makes it harder, and it is isolating. It took me months really to get used the idea, I think I was still looking at them after 6mnths or so, thinking 'omg, I've got TWO!'. I don't think anyone can understand unless they've been there, and especially once you've done both single and multiples you do realise how utterly different it is!

Do join th ed'ya ever threads, they've been a lifeline to me in the past. I don't visit so much any more, my dts are now 4, and I can't keep up with the threads, but they are a lovely bunch of ladies.

EffieGadsby Wed 08-Jul-09 14:44:23

I can't give any words of wisdom on the twins issue, but seeing this reminded me of the piece on Woman's Hour on Monday, on the lack of specialised support for women having multiples, although the focus of the item is ante rather than post natal. Anyway, it might be interesting and possibly useful for you.

www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/02/2009_27_mon.shtml

potplant Wed 08-Jul-09 15:22:32

I had the same feelings as you. It is hard when your experience is so much different from everyone else's - you turn into the freak show.

Ditto the idea of finding a local twins club. I can't tell you how excited I was the first time I attended mine, I didn't even realise how isloated I felt at the HV run post-natal group.

muddleduck Wed 08-Jul-09 15:27:51

FWIW as one of those annoying singleton mums I now look back on those early days and think what the feck did I do all day when I only had one dc to look after.

hattyyellow Wed 08-Jul-09 15:32:35

Just to add to the others, I have 4 year old twins and it does get easier! I found singleton baby groups really stressful - in the first year with twins you are so tired, so stressed and making so many adjustments its very easy to feel resentful.

My cousin's wife had a baby the week before my twins and just used to gawp at me saying "I'm not being funny but everytime I'm battling in the night to feed him, I just think of you and I feel so much better" and her classic "I'd just have to kill myself if I'd had twins". I know now that she was trying to say that I was doing so well, that she was so impressed, that I was a good mum - but at 3 months old I felt that I was battling enough negative emotions (I love my girls but why, oh why two of them at once) and was too hormonal and tired to look for the meanings behind what people were saying.

It's a desperate battle between wanting to ask for help and passionately not wanting people to feel sorry for you/think you are somehow disadvantaged to have your much loved children.

I went to a twins club when my girls were about 6 months and it was such a revelation.

Or find another baby group, sometimes people just gawp at you and sometimes you get people who don't have twins but who actually quietly and discreetly help/fetch you a cup of tea/distract the babies. I think it depends on the mums. Those who already have other kids or more than one child tend to be a bit more understanding..

Try to remember that this is a phase that will get easier. When they are both sitting up (somewhere around 6 months) it'll be a lot easier as they can sit and stuff toys in their mouths and you will have a hand free to drink tea and eat biscuits and you won't feel so much the centre of attention.

Huge hugs to you - I remember that stage so well. And we went onto have another babe so it must work out okay!

tkband3 Wed 08-Jul-09 15:37:35

As Throckenholt and Chops have said join us here for plenty of support from mums of twins, triplets and more. Some of us have older children, some have babies, but we have all experienced exactly what you are going through. We're always happy to listen to a rant or moan smile.

Have a look here for a twins club in your area. I started going to one when my two were about 6 weeks old and it was so much more supportive than other baby/toddler groups. The mums of the toddler twins who were happy to play were more than happy to hold a baby or two, while the babies' mums had a much needed break, a warm (for a change smile) cuppa and a supportive chat. Even when it took me the whole morning to get there, just for 20 minutes, it was worthwhile and I felt I'd achieved something!

Also, if you are really finding things are getting you down, you could give Twinline a call on 0800 138 0509. They're open in the mornings or the evenings (details on the TAMBA website).

Things do get easier, although there's no denying the first few months are tough. For me, the early months are a complete blur of sleep deprivation and anxiety but my DTs are now 4 and start full-time school in September and I don't know what I'll do with myself grin.

Let us know where you are - one of us might be close by and able to pop round to give you a break for a bit.

MarsLady Wed 08-Jul-09 17:47:33

Hi marmitesarnie. Ditto the good advice below. Do try to join a twins club (though sometimes the very effort can seem too much... I remember it well).

As TK said, let us know where you are (town rather than full address my lovely) and if one of us is near then we could maybe come with gin coffee and cake and a spare pair of hands.

We're here on the d'y ever threads and also on the anyone else pregnant with twins threads.

Now.. remember the age old mantra

This too will pass...
This too will pass...

grin

victoriagirl Wed 08-Jul-09 19:41:10

I could have written your post- I totally understand how you feel. If I am honest I still feel like it some days now (mine are 17mths)You will start enjoying your two and soon will start feeling a little bit smug about how well you manage two when other people seem to struggle so much with just one. But I remember wanting to cry in my post natal group as I was such a spectacle and I hated it. My sanity came when I joined the local twins club too- finally a whole room full of people 'who just get it'. Even my closest friends just don't seem able to get what its like having twins. But if I am honest, I probably would have been the same if I hadn't been blessed with two little bundles. And now, I am preparing to reap the benefits as they are starting to have their second children (if we survive the toddler years that is...!)
You're doing brilliantly. Just give yourself a huge pat on the back for making it out of the house to get to the group. I still shudder when I remember mine.

oooggs Wed 08-Jul-09 20:08:59

twins group is a life line and like they say it honestly does get easier otherwise I wouldn't have had anymore wink with such a small age gap!!

The other thread is fantastic and they have dragged helped me along in my hours of need. My dts are 27 mths now (new baby is 5 mths) and what you are experiencing is a distance memory.

And you are doing very well (I still haven't found the time to put make up on) and relish in the thought of in a couple of years time your two will entertain each other at these groups and you can sit back and smile

accessorizequeen Wed 08-Jul-09 20:53:48

It's bloody hard at this stage, marmitesarnie, no question (and the first year, although more rewarding as they start 'doing' things). Going somewhere that makes you feel worse is pointless. I feel like a spectacle at most of these places but I find things that are more activity-led (like massage) take the attention off the gawping. Massage possible with twins (although worth asking first!) the class leader can take one baby and you take other. I also go to a music group (already went for my 2yo) and the dt's love it from 4 months they were entranced.

If you do have a helper/mum/homestart volunteer who can go with you to one thing a week it will help. But I do find with baby groups, it's very individual - I hate most of them, twins or not, worth persevering to find something you feel comfortable with.

I find it such a relief to come on here and find others who feel the same as I STILL haven't made it to twins club as I always have other things on with my older dc's. Esp Chops saying OMG I have 2 babies grin. I only got used to it about 6 weeks ago (mine are 9 months!).

Do keep coming on here marmite, I think there are a couple of others on MN at the moment with similar age dt's (1stMrsF for a start) for a start and those of us with older twins to reassure you that it does get better.

moptop Thu 09-Jul-09 19:49:16

It's absolutely awful those first few months. I can't say anything other than to get help where you can.

FWIW, I've always hated "mums & tots' groups - where people just sit around being competitive about who's the most tired or who's baby/child is the most advanced.

What I have enjoyed though, is activity groups - music, signing, massage, whatever. I know it's early days for you, but getting out is crucial for your mental health! Theer are often groups at your local library. And,at these sort of groups, because there's often a bigger age range, there maybe a mum with an older baby who can help out. You may need to ask as people rarely offer help - I'm always asking random strangers to hold a baby!

My boys are 10 months old (and I have a 3yo old girl) and life is fun again (sometimes!)

kim111 Thu 09-Jul-09 21:54:43

Just wanted to recommend Surestart centres. Thankfully I live within a mile of 2 and going to their Under Ones groups and "Stay and Plays" has been a revelation! They have people who work there who will look after / entertain one baby or even both sometimes! Compared to the total stress of normal Mother and Toddler groups they are wonderful and they have great toys!

kathryn2804 Wed 15-Jul-09 14:24:57

Twins Clubs are great. Started going to my local one when babies were 6 weeks old. Then joined another too! Loved it so much i now run the local one

Multiple Mums really understand and are always ready to hold a screamer, unlike singleton Mums who tend to cuddle their own all day!! Plus you tend to get older toddlers at twins clubs so the Mums have a spare pair of hands to help, and usually really want to to eleviate the broodyness!!

used2bthin Wed 15-Jul-09 14:39:52

I used to feel like this for different reasons (dd bor with serious condition the first year was lots of hospital and adjusting to all the medical stuff) I used to come away feeling really lonely and feeling worse some days, I also used to feel that I was always banging on about how different it was for me but somehow couldn't stop myself! I bet if you found a group for parents of multiples you would feel less frustrated as you could talk to them about how annoying it can be listening to people moan about something that sounds like a luxury to you (for me I used to think I wish I could worry about normal stuff).

I also agree that surestart etres can be great, just less intense than the baby groups.

LaLoose Wed 15-Jul-09 15:02:22

Hello MarmiteSarnie,

I am new here, but I have 4-month-old b/g twins and I wanted to lend my support. For what it's worth I think you're doing great just to get to the bleedin' group... I find it hard to summon up the energy to leave the house! I feel isolated and very down today, too, so you are not alone. Sorry - not very good cheerleading from me!

Yes, health visitors are complete pants. I asked two days ago for some help changing to formula (I have had ENOUGH of breastfeeding and my hair is falling out) and haven't heard anything yet.

I don't know how mothers do the full make-up thing. It took me two months to find my make-up bag, but I've no clue where it is now. And if I see another mother of a newborn looking hot in tight white jeans, smelling of fragrance and with a pedicure, I may well scream. I look like a tramp.

So yes, I feel the same way. Keep your pecker up. I have heard it gets better, but I'm in one of those moods today when I find that hard to believe.

xxx

1stMrsF Fri 17-Jul-09 20:15:47

Hey Marmite

As AQ says I am at similar stage. My DTs are 11 weeks today and I'm just starting to get to the stage of wanting to get out of the house and feeling that I just about can. I've been to my first NCT meet of our antenatal group and luckily found it very supportive, but completely understand what you are saying about keeping too happy - I was a bath of sweat the whole time I was there. Not to mention the difficulties of getting there, carring two car seats plus the huge change bag etc. I also found the HV team a bit useless. To be fair, they have been very supportive when I turn up at clinic (not often!) but they, like all the midwives I met during my pregnancy, seem to have no idea about twins. They just keep banging on about baby massage because I could get someone to come to the house to teach DH and me to do it - how does that help me get out and about?

So far, not got any actual experience to offer, but here are some of my ideas and perhaps we can keep swapping experiences:

I have already joined my local twins club - so far not managed to get there since I went a few times whilst pg, but I know that it's possible and find the mums with older twins so inspiring (they are dressed in clean clothes, their children are well fed, they don't seem insane etc. etc.)

There is a local 'buggy walk' here, they are part of the Action Aid walks - guided walks in your local area to help people meet other like minded individuals - my thought was that in the buggy, the babies will sleep, allowing me to talk to other mums. You can find out about them on the Action Aid website, but I found out about the ones here from a local notice board poster.

Are you breastfeeding? The group I'm going to try is the Baby Cafe - at least I can get some help with the bf so it's not a wasted journey if it turns out to be rubbish!

Good luck, keep posting here, the ladies on the D'y ever threads and our any one else with twins thread have really helped me, both with practical ideas and just understanding.

toddlerntwins Sat 18-Jul-09 01:15:08

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You're actually going out and about on your own- congrats! You are doing great! I have id girl twins and a son who is 2 1/2 yrs. The ONLY ones who will understand you are moms of multiples. Are there any support groups around you? Don't talk to moms of singletons- they will drag you down with their 'problems.' It's all about perspective. It will get easier in some respects, and harder in others, but hang in there. You've got my support!

And remember- soon we'll be laughing at the moms of singletons, when they have to constantly entertain their 1, and our 2 are entertaining each other!smile

BEMIE Sat 18-Jul-09 22:20:21

I have twin girls - just one year old. I have found a couple of things really useful over the last year...

Things WILL get easier and the babies change all the time. There will be new challenges and the old ones will soon get forgotten.
People always told me the time would go so fast and to enjoy every moment, this is so true. It only seems like yesterday that I was coming home from hospital and now they are 1.
When people tell you "I don't know how you do it" - take it as a complement. I am always tempted to say "one baby must be a doddle"
Try not to compete with other mums (especially of singletons) - just feel proud of what you are doing. Do it your way.
Plan something that is important to you into your daily routine - mine is putting on my make-up (sad I know, but not a day has gone past in the last year where I havn't done my make up)
Take time to enjoy the babies - together and individually where possible.
I believe twins learn to be more patient earlier than singletons.
Lastly, I remember discussing with my GP about feeling guilty about stopping breast feeding etc. She said, welcome to being a mum, there is and always will be something to feel guilty about! If I start to feel guilty about something, I remember this and smile.

My girls play very happily with their toys, books etc. Seeing them laughing at each other and playing together is the best thing in the world.

1stMrsF Wed 29-Jul-09 21:22:10

I did the buggy walk today. It was good - as I predicted, because they were in the buggy I could interact with other mums and not worry about them as much. Tried to have a cup of coffee in the cafe afterwards - nightmare. All other mums parked buggies and picked up babies, carried on laps around table. Me - tried to keep buggy moving with DT1 crying inside, whilst trying to feed DT2! Gave up, went home. But the walking bit was good and I will go back.

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