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What about me?

(14 Posts)
Solo2 Fri 14-Aug-09 19:30:13

Not sure if this is the right message board to post about this? When do i get time for me??

I have 8 yr old twin sons and feel as if an 'era' of their lives is coming to an end - the years of constant, intense mothering (I've been single from the start)...their first 5 yrs when they didn't sleep through the night....the B-Feeding till they were 28 months old....the constant recurrent tummy bugs, month after month....the nappies...the toys...the mess...starting school....juggling a full-time business alone whilst parenting too...

Well, now they're 8 and have very different but still v complicated needs. They're both completely different from each other (non-identical twins). They are often v imcompatible - one being v sociably, active, mischievous/ macho and the other geeky, sedentary, scholarly, good with adults...

I feel as if I need in some ways to be even more there for them and never feel I have enough or any quality time with either one..but then I also feel exhausted after so many years, on my own (no family or ex to give input - emotional, financial or practical)...What about my unfulfilled needs?

Is there anyone on this forum in a similar position - ie, with twins in middle childhood and who also works full-time self-employed - and is single too? or anyone who identifies with what I'm writing?

Anyone cracked the art of having time for yourself, as well as managing to give enough to the parenting thing and not feel too guilty?

Sorry this is long!

jennyroper Fri 14-Aug-09 21:15:03

wow you have had an unbelievably intense experience with your twins.
My twins are just 9 months old and have a 2 year old son too. I am not in the same position as you but just wanted to write something as your story is so heartfelt.
I think regardless of your situation, if you have twins, you always feel like neither of them get enough time from you and when you are away from them you feel like you should be with them.
By the way I met someone recently who had had twins witrh his girlfriend then they split up. His twins are 5 now and I wondered whether he realised the pressure his ex girlfied must have been under for the last 5 years.
Good on you for raising twin boys when they grow up they will be blown away by the good job they will realise you have done.
And when they have children, their wives will be in awe of you

magnummum Fri 14-Aug-09 21:51:54

Can't add anything useful as mine are only 14 weeks! I can empathise with not feeling like you're there for them as I'm currently coming to terms with not being able to give dd1 who has just turned 3 all my attention.

But, just wanted to say that you sound as though you have been doing an awesome job and I'm sure you'll get some great support on here. smile

kathryn2804 Mon 17-Aug-09 16:04:11

Can you afford a Saturday football or music group? You could have an hour or two to yourself then.

Have they got any school friends where they could go round for tea or a sleepover every so often?

I know it doesn't help, but people are always telling me that 'one day soon, you will hardly see them and tey won't want to be with you, so make the most of it!' Not very useful, but probably true!

frumpygrumpy Mon 17-Aug-09 19:28:39

Ah, you need the daily chat thread on multiples.........it was borne of this feeling!!! grin Its the thread entitled "D'y ever wonder........" join us xxxxxxx

frumpygrumpy Mon 17-Aug-09 19:29:37

this is where we are sometimes it moves slow, sometimes fast. Right now we have many newbies who are pg.

frumpygrumpy Mon 17-Aug-09 21:43:39

Sorry, I had to rush off, I meant to say.....we have many newbies who are pg but most of us have twins who are older than that. Even a set of triplets who are just starting secondary school. We all fluctuate in our stories and our situations, we all have ups and downs. We pass tissues when we need to.......and we laugh when there is a giggle to share. Wine is always available, as are incontinence knickers.

Anytime.....hop in, post away. Keep returning, then we'll know you mean it grin

Solo2 Tue 18-Aug-09 13:21:12

Thanks for supportive messages and in a minute, I'll try the multiples site you showed me. Thanks. Re. Sat. morning clubs, the biggest problems I have with my twins is their complete incompatibility. One hates anything sporty (is slightly dyspraxic and can barely cycle without stabilisers yet, loves reading, working on his PC, compiling lists of birds, memorisisng historical facts, planning the 'twon' he wants to design and build when he's a grown-up. He talks like a mini Professor, can cite endless historical facts and dates and whilst he's never fit the diagnosis of Asperger's (I've had him assessed twice), is clearly 'geeky', great with adults (his teachers love him) and not v good with his peers. The other, who's probably brighter than twin, hates anything involving sitting still/ reading/ writing and has made a great start socially at his new school last Sept. but not so great academically. He's popular with peers but less so with teachers. He likes to be up and moving at all times and is better than average coordinated...You get the picture? A sports club with peers would be great for him but hopeless for his twin. A 'miniature railway society' or a 'historical interest group' would be great for the other but hopeless for the sporty sociable one. As I'm alone, I can barely ever manage the logistics of having one somewhere and the other in a different place/ club etc etc. Of course I could do one thing at a time for each one and have the other to myself but then that's still no break for me. Sometimes I can ask other mums to take one somewhere but as it's so hard to reciprocate, I rarely like to. As for playdates (I couldn't at all manage hosting sleepovers yet!!!, they are so hard when they happen. If each has a friend here, then the two 'factions' end up annoying each other or my geeky sons's geeky friend inclines towards the more sociable twin (who's really popular with all children) and this upsets geeky son. Sometimes I have one twin plus friend here and other at another friend's and that's fine except then I get no break at all and half the playdates are spent travelling to the twin's outside the home playdate...

bellabelly Thu 03-Sep-09 01:00:55

Solo2, I have no words of wisdom - my twins are only 2 yrs old so haven't reached your stage yet - but wanted to say that I am totally in AWE of you having been alone from the start. I often feel the "what about me?" thing and that is with pretty hands on help from my DH, at weekends and bedtimes at least, I think you are amazing for having brought up your DTs singlehandedly. Hope that doesn't sound patronising or anything, it's just that sometimes I think we all need to be told what a brilliant (and tough) job we are doing - hope you know what a great mum you are.

kdk Thu 03-Sep-09 21:55:59

Can't really help you but just wanted to add my feelings of respect for you!

Like you, I'm a single mum of twins - only mine are a boy and a girl - they are only five but are already very different and I sometimes wonder how I will cope with differing friends/interests etc - can only hope I manage as well as you - and I have only vague memories of me time!

To me, you sound like you're doing a fantastic job - and I'm sure it will get easier especially when they get to secondary school.

Solo2 Sat 05-Sep-09 10:19:15

Thanks of the support. I veer between thinking - what a lousy parent I am - to - hey, I'm doing OK. Praise helps, as there's no one in my/our lives to give feedback and I constantly measure myself against other mums who either have single children or at least no multiples and have a partner and family to help. Like, take music practice....my twins each play two instruments but unless I actively sit beside them and make lots of supportive comments, they refuse to do any practice at all. Meanwhile, their friends are racing ahead with various music exams...not to mention success in other extra-curricular activities and I think - how do they do it?! I realise that maybe the Dad takes one to football and Gran sits and listens to another play piano and Mum maybe helps another with a homework project and there am I, trying to do absolutely everything on my own, from running my business, cleaning the house, sewing on name labels, monitoring homework, music practice etc etc. No wonder my twins don't seem to succeed as much as their peers. But I still feel guilty. I see other single boys raised by two parents and several relatives/ nannies etc and they may have had 2 to 3 first years of their lives, before a sibling comes along, with all that concentrated attention and input. Meanwhile, all I remember in those first few years is having visual hallucinations due to getting only 10 minute naps day and night and often no sleep at all for several nights and days on end....There was no time at all for the kind of structured activities that other infants got from several adults. Most of all, I'm aware that my twins have no one else in their lives at all who loves them, except me and this scares me at times. But the other side of this is that, like right now, one of the twins is singing, "Mummy, I love you, I really, really love you..." whilst sitting on the toilet and the other has just rushed in to hug me and said, "You're the best Mummy in the world!" So I also feel incredibly lucky and happy.

swanriver Mon 07-Sep-09 22:28:47

Just keep feeling lucky and happy; I think the early days leave us with bad feelings that take a lot of detoxification. We often beat us ourselves up about how different it would have been if the babies had more attention, we hadn't been so stressed and miserable etc. On the other hand, they got something special - each other - and you got a family all in one go. Try to come to terms with the bad start (if that's what you feel it was). Loads of kids don't learn ANY musical instrument. Certainly just getting one 9 year old to practice his violin takes a lot of input (I have a singleton ds1) - it's not just your problem...

Horses for courses, - adapt yourself to what you can manage rather than feeling guilty about things you can't. I never had half the playdates singleton parents arranged, but that's because I needed less, my twins loved each other to play with - so hey I don't care. Now they have their own friends, but I still try not to over manage socializing - they still get lots of fun hanging out with each other too.

swanriver Mon 07-Sep-09 22:41:18

It has also just struck me re-reading your post that they may be each "staking their claim" on your time by having different interests and characters. After all parents with several siblings have the same problem of lots of different characters all vying for attention. Perhaps because you feel this is a "twin" issue you have invested a lot of time worrying about how to satisfy their individual needs. It is sometimes not necessary to give your all. Try and show them you can still appreciate them when doing fun things together - so they don't need to invest so much energy specializing beng different. It may be that this is their strategy for maximizing your attention, and precisely what is sapping your strength.
I only say this because I notice the subtle (and one could say manipulative) ways in our family that our three kids have carved out their "niche", exhausting us in the process. Whereas really we should have tried harder to concentrate on the teambuilding...I suppose that's what teachers do!

loubloutwinmum Tue 08-Sep-09 11:23:48

Just felt I had to comment also Solo2 - you are amazing and I really take my hat off to you for bringing up twin boys as a single parent and working full time. My twin girls are now 6 and I have a very hands on and supportive DH and help from a close family. Despite this I have had times when I feel utterly exhausted and compromised! I too feel I do not organise enough after school activities as it is just sometimes so hard to co-ordinate as my girls too have very different interests and I have to juggle my work, childcare and my sanity and sometimes something just has to give. I struggle sometimes trying to ensure I give them both equal attention, praise, love but at the end of the day I just do my best. Not a day goes by when my gorgeous girls don't shower me with kisses and tell me they love me - so I must be doing OK.

I just wanted to say that I really admire you and wish I could suggest something that would really help you in a practical way. Your boys sound lovely and obviously adore you and you have a very strong, close relationship with them. You are doing a great job and just take some time to congratulate yourself about that and don't beat yourself up about what you not doing!

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