Guilt at expanding family(18 Posts)
I have a 2.5 year old DS and twins born a week or so ago. I'm struggling with a lot of things right now (unsurprisingly) but the biggest of these is guilt at what expanding the family means for my DS. He's so far adapted quite well, but I have caught some looks of confusion and sadness in his face occasionally. I'm doing my best to make sure as much as possible is normal for him, but inevitably my time with him has been reduced. And this makes me so sad. I can't even say goodnight to him without wanting to cry because I've got to rush off and feed the babies, so DH gets to do bedtime. Please tell me I'm being stupid. I'm mourning the fact that my previous days with him (I work part-time) are probably over for the foreseeable future. I'm exhausted because of the demands of the babies and the recovery from the birth still, and I feel like I'm failing as a mother to DS. I also feel I'm failing as a mother to the babies because we're having feeding problems, but that's another post entirely. Please tell me these feelings are normal and they'll go away and my little family will be lovely. I worry that I could be sliding into so,e sort of depression, but hoping it's just hormones and sleep deprivation.
These feelings will go away, and your little family will be lovely
Honestly! They're a week old, you're all adjusting, it will get better, of course it will be bloody hard work for a few years yet, but the babies will go longer between feeds, and you'll get some time back with DS.
Do you ask him to help? Pass wipes, nappies etc? I found my DS loved being involved, and feeling like the big brother
Congratulations on your twins!
Thanks. I do know I'm being silly. I don't know any older siblings who resent their younger ones being around, unless there's something mine aren't telling me. I'd probably feel similarly if I'd given him just one sibling, but every feeling I've got about everything at the moment is magnified because I've had twins. Everything seems more complicated and difficult than with one.
You are a hero, OP, and your DS is so lucky to have two siblings so close in age.
Tell your midwife how you're feeling. You will be high risk for pnd with twins & a toddler. I think you should get more support set up sooner rather than later. Can you afford a mothers help/postnatal doula? What about home start? Are you in contact with tamba? How much leave does DP have? Can he take extra unpaid leave?
Could you put DS in nursery extra days for a couple of months?
DS is staying at nursery his usual days, which I don't want to increase because I don't want him to feel like he's being sent away because of the new babies. We've got a nanny one day a week when I'll have all three of them, so hopefully thatll give me time with him. No extra leave for DH unfortunately (teacher) but mine and his family are going to alternate coming over once a week to help out.
I'm at a point where I'm seriously considering giving up breastfeeding the babies because of the effect it's having on my time with my son and my mental health. Feeding two takes hours, and they aren't very good at it, so it just takes over everything.
You are doing great!
I remember feeling like this - I think every second time mum does.
Feeding might improve soon - if you can hang in there. Although I have no clue about twins.
Your son will be fine - you love him and he loves you. Breaking all the little routines seems hard but won't matter in the long term.
Ditch the guilt - it is making it all harder
Talk feeding options over with your midwife/HV. I tied myself in knots trying to bf my prem DD, when I finally switched to formula the relief was massive, but I would've loved to have cracked bf with her.
Agree you should talk to the professionals every step of the way, about how you're feeling
I'm at risk of getting myself into trouble here, but I really think you should stop BF. Breast isn't always best, not when it comes to a mother's mental health. I wasn't able to BF DS1 and felt so horrendously guilty when at 5 weeks old I finally stopped pumping and switched to formula. It meant I didn't really enjoy the first 4 - 5 months of my baby's life because I was so tied up in knots about not being able to BF. With DS2 I tried BF and although everyone told me his latch was great, we would BF successfully, yada, yada, I dreaded every feed because it was so flipping painful and he was sicking up my blood because my nipples were lacerated! No time to pump with a three year old in tow as well so at 8 days I switched to bottle feeding and it was the best thing I could have done for me and my family. More time with DS because a bottle is quicker to give. Also DH could help, so more sleep for me. I cannot begin to imagine how you go about BF twins!!
Honestly, BF is not the be all and end all, give yourself a break, go and get some formula and let go of the guilt. It will make your life just that little bit easier, which with twins and a two year old, you need.
Sorry all the BF Nazis out there, but we are under too much pressure to BF at the expense of everything else.
Congratulations on your new babies. DS1 will be fine and in a year or so he won't remember a time when they weren't around. He will love having two siblings so close in age to him.
Good luck xx
I'm on the verge of giving up the breastfeeding. I did it last time and just planned to do the same again, but feeding twins is hard. Babies have had some formula, so it's just a case of making the decision as to when to stop. They had a bottle thus morning to give me a break as I had a friend over who I don't see often. It was brilliant. i just need to weigh up mental health and time with family vs believing that breastfeeding would be the best start for my babies.
I have to say the only way I managed with newborn ds2 and 18m old ds2 post cs was by other people being able to feed ds2. It gave me precious time with ds1 and it meant dh and I could share. I did the same with numbers 3 and 4. I know plenty on mumsnet BF twins and multiple children but all mums, babies and families are different.
I'm a great believer in breastfeeding but an even greater believer in mums feeling well and happy. Several generations of children were almost all given formula and went on to live healthy happy lives. It is not by far the worst thing you can do to your children.
Yeah I'm all for breastfeeding, I'm a bit of a 'nipple nazi' but honestly, twins and a toddler.... Do what is manageable. They've had a week of breastmilk which is brilliant. It might get easier but if it doesn't, just switch to formula. That way you can share feeds, spend time with your son, get some sleep without the enormous pressure of being their only source of nourishment.
Good luck OP. It's still such early days, you're all still adjusting.
Don't know about twins, don't know about feeding but wanted to say I have the same age gap between my two kids. I honestly think nothing better has happened to our family than the arrival of dd2. She is a year old now and can play with her big sister. They get so much joy out of each other and it's just so quiet and dull when one is not here.
I remember dd1 being all confused at how boring dd2 was at the start but Keep going op, you'll get there in no time.
It's crazy how motherhood comes with so much guilt. I'm feeling guilty because we've decided NOT to have more children and our DD will be an only child. I keep looking at her wondering "Are you sad? Are you lonely?"
You're amazing! Just do whatever is easiest for you. A happy mum will mean happy babies.
(Sounds like the best excuse for a perfect prep machine)
BF isn't forever, although it can feel like it! If you want to continue, maybe set yourself a date - another week or two - when you'll reassess whether to drop it. If that idea fills you with dread, then perhaps you are best to phase it out sooner.
With a toddler and a newborn, I felt much freer when going out than I had with a newborn DC1 because there was so much faff involved with preparing bottles ahead of time, keeping them chilled... But I didn't have twins and I'm not you. Do what works for your family. You're awesome! And FWIW, there's 2.5 years between me and my brother, and I don't remember life without him. Your DC1 won't either.
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