04 June 2007

Hellloooo, Monday

I think I'm hitting that overwhelmed point that basically everyone—grief experts, social workers, friends, family—said I would hit at some point. This weekend was hard.
On the surface, it was a perfectly fine weekend, and many parts were truly enjoyable. Good stuff:
  • I spent all afternoon and evening on Friday with a friend who was in from out of town. That was a real treat.
  • Saturday, a friend's husband installed a storm door on our house. I love being able to have the front door open and not let in bugs and neighborhood cats that don't belong to me.
  • Saturday afternoon, I took a walk with a friend and her baby. It was hot and muggy, but good to get out.
  • Saturday night, friends came over to help with the babes, then we made homemade pizza, watched a movie, and had ice cream.
  • Sunday morning a friend's dad tethered my bookshelves to the walls, a seriously important babyproofing objective.
  • Sunday afternoon I saw some friends of John's. It was somewhat of an obligation visit, but it turned out to be pretty fun.
What I have to complain about is John's absence. I felt it really acutely this weekend for some reason. I'm already starting to feel so worn thin doing so much on my own—even though I get so much help. Plus I just miss John and I miss sharing a life and our kids with him. This was the first weekend in a long time that I often felt teary over little things. I know it's OK to feel that way, but it's not fun and it makes single parenting that much harder.

I felt a lot of frustration both about single parenting and about twin parenting this weekend. The twins were somewhat cranky; both of them have summer colds that are giving them a fair amount of grief, poor things. But I felt so consumed by my own sadness that it was hard for me to give to them in the way that they needed me to give. Even though I knew they didn't feel well, I found myself frustrated by things that they did that I know to be age-appropriate and/or a result of feeling sick and annoyed. For example:
  • Suddenly they are serious snots about eating. They are at that awkward stage of wanting to feed themselves but not being all that thrilled about their self feeding food options. They are picky now, or at least pickier than they used to be. They like to knock their food on the floor and often refuse to let me put food in their mouths. They bang their water cups on their trays and then drop them on the floor. All told, they barely eat anything. All of this drives me crazy even though I know they are not doing anything that is not typical of most one-year-olds. The only thing that seems to work is me putting a selection of finger foods on their trays, then busying myself doing other things around the kitchen while they "eat." I guess that's OK, but for some reason it bugs me. Bah, baby eating habits: so dull I've bored even myself, and I'm obsessed with my kids.
  • The fighting over toys! Oh, the fighting! Maddie wants what Riley has. Riley wants what Maddie has. They grab. They cry. I try to mediate so they at least hear the language of sharing, and I also try to distract and entertain. But it's exhausting. I put away a bunch of toys that are sure to cause a squabble every. single. time. we get them out. That helps, but I find the mediation tedious, and, at this age, not always successful.
I spent some time this weekend with friends who have singletons. I try really, really hard not to compare what it's like to have a singleton v. having twins, or to complain about how much harder it is to have twins. I know that some things are not harder: all new parents have had to adjust to life with a baby/with babies, and that is nontrivial if you have one or two (or more!) But the truth is that it's just logistically easier if you only have one kid. It just is. And it's way easier if you only have one kid and you have two able-bodied parents.

When I'm around my friends with singletons, what I find difficult is to refrain from judging myself and my kids. I can easily start to feel like a lesser parent when I'm around singleton parents. I feel like I have to spend so much time mediating disputes, making sure everyone is diapered/fed/safe, and just taking care of all kinds of logistics that I am left with a smaller slice of the pie to devote to fun and games. For example, I try to read my kids stories while we do bottles at bedtime, but it's a three-ring circus to keep everyone eating and relatively contained. If we get a story read, it's the icing on the cake. I've tried feeding/reading to one while the other one holds his or her own bottle, I've tried propping them both on Boppies while they hold their own bottles and I read . . . some days it works, most days there's no story going on, and they are so tired by that point that it doesn't work to do story after bottle. If you only have one kid, one parent can read while the other feeds, or one parent can do it all because there is not another one to manage at the same time.

I watched some friends interact with their 2.5 year old this weekend and I was amazed at all of the fun and learning that goes on. My friends make everything a game for their daughter, and she's smart as a whip to boot. Watching them made me feel like all I do is go through the motions. Everything gets done, but the fun is sucked right out of it. I'm so tired all the time, and there is just so much to do logistically. I feel like my kids get the short end of the stick sometimes, for example as I sit on the couch and watch the news in the morning while they entertain themselves in the living room for twenty minutes. I justify things like that by saying that I need that time for myself, but they need me, too.

The other aspect of that is not judging my kids. I sometimes feel like I have really cranky kids. They cry way more than the singleton kids I know. They have to wait more. They have to share more. There's one of me and two of them, and they are too young to understand why I can't hold them all the time, take care of them all the time. I'm constantly deciding who needs me more between two babies who would both like to be with me. I admit that I'm sometimes envious of my singleton parent friends who can wear their babies more or take a fussy baby back to bed with them in the morning (not happening on my own with two wiggly babies!) I have cut back on breastfeeding since I've been a single mom because it's logistically tricky to do with twins, especially on my own in public. My split attention makes it seem sometimes that my kids are crankier than most when, in fairness, they are just one-year-olds who don't get as much parental attention as a single baby with two parents does. I hate that my kids get shortchanged like that, and I'm jealous of my friends who are have the simpler situation.

Of course, I would not trade having twins for having a singleton. It's just that I feel bad for Maddie and Riley that they don't have their dad and I feel bad for me that I don't have my husband. I'm sad and tired. I think the babies feel the same way. I wish that I could be two people and hold everyone who wanted to be held all the time. I wish that I didn't have to multitask so much. I wish John were alive and healthy.

Mornings like the one we had today don't help. Riley woke up and cried almost every hour last night; I think his cold is still bothering him. It was not the kind of crying that required intervention from me, but it did wake me up every time. So I started the day off feeling not well rested, as did Riley. Everything was high drama for the little man this morning. Oh, the indignity of having to wear shoes! To eat breakfast! To get a clean diaper! To hang out in the playroom! Woe to Riley! We finally made it through getting dressed and having breakfast, and I got them packed up to go out to the car. Maddie was in the backpack and Riley was in my arms, and I was bedecked—as I am every day—with the diaper bag and my work bag. We staggered out the door into the rain. I noticed that the canopy over our deck was collecting water and sagging precariously. I attempted to get some of the water out and ended up sending a cascade of water down my front. Ugh. No time to change; I figured I'd just blast the heat in the car. As I unloaded Maddie from the backpack, I had a backpack malfunction and banged her head into the hatchback of the station wagon. Poor little girl. We all looked like drowned rats by the time we got to daycare, and I felt like I'd lived an entire day even though it had just started.

I'll at least end all of this with a good thing, a cute thing. I was driving home from my friends' house last night at about 6:30. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw that Maddie and Riley were holding hands between their carseats. Very sweet. They are very good babies. Sometimes I feel like I could be a better mother, but then again, I suppose most parents feel that from time to time.


Denise said...

It sounds like you are doing great.

I remember feeling a similar way when we adopted our second child. I would watch people who still just had one and think, my God, everything is so calm and happy, and everyone is so cranky at our house.

But now that our little guy is a bit older and not so high-maintenance, he and his brother laugh and play and get so much out of their relationship, that it seems easier having two.

serenity said...

A grey rainy Monday indeed, eh?

For what it's worth, *I* think you're doing great with the twins. You can only do so much, you know?

Hugs and the hopes that it gets easier. For today at least...

Sandra said...

I'm sorry you are having a bad time, a bad day.

My husband is leaving for 11 days, and I'm freaking out about it. I'm a SAHM, but for some reason the idea that he won't be home in the evenings to help me terrifies me. I can't imagine having to do everything myself.

I hope the rest of the day is better for you.

LeggyP said...

Please be kind to yourself. Its been less than 2 months since John died and you are just now coming out of the coma that is early grief. So his loss is hitting you full force now in addition to coping with the logistical stresses of being a single parent. Plus twins with colds- ugh, that's enough to send anyone over the edge. Thinking of you...

OTRgirl said...

Sigh. I've been wondering when 'go-mode' would ebb into the grey fog of depression/lethargy. At least, that was the first cycle for me. (the 'joys' of anger, sadness, and acceptance came later) I can't imagine hitting that fog with the demands of twins.

What impresses me though is that your core concern (at least what comes through in the entry) is that the twins not be short-changed by any of your limitations.

Anonymous said...

It's OK for it not to be fine, for it to be hard. It is. I've been widowed, and had to solo parent 2 small kids for long periods (though NOT twins, and not both crises at the same time). You are always on duty - no matter what, and that is relentless and hard.

I really resonated to the banging cups and food on the floor...

Advice? Can someone you trust take the twins once a month so you can be COMPLETELY off duty for 24 hours? I can't tell you what that did for my sanity/mood/etc.

And you are a GREAT mother!

Anonymous said...

The worst thing you can do right now is compare yourself or your kids to anyone else. First of all, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. What you may perceive as "calm" or "perfect" may be anything but. Secondly, please be kind to yourself and give yourself a break! Your children are doing wonderfully. Keep yourself in the moment if you can. You love your children but remember to love yourself also. This is the best gift you can give to them and yourself.

amy said...

i once read somewhere that having small children is like being pecked to death by ducks.

The sour side of motherhood/parenthood--it is tedious, boring, annoying, and NOT fun. there is the other parts of course, the smiles and moments that make it easy and fun--but i think that, as parents, we are sometimes too reluctant to talk about the negative stuff, less it makes us seem--gasp!--less than the wonderful, loving parents we want to be and we wish we were more often.

And it's hard NOT to be hard on ourselves too, to beat ourselves up when we let them watch tv or we watch tv while they're awake, to do something we label as "selfish" instead of the purposeful interacting we've been told we should be doing most of the time. The "shoulds" and "coulds" are brutal, we as parents can be our own worst enemy in this regard.

It'll get easier, harder, then easier, then harder--it's the rollercoaster of parenthood, and I can offer no advice, no way to make it better except to acknowledge and validate that the way you feel is the way most of us feel--you're just more out-loud honest about it.

take care of yourself too!

Amy said...

Poor Momma! Give yourself a good, hard pat on the back. You are doing an amazing job, and your kids are strong spirits. You realize how you feel, and that alone is half the battle. Comparing (as you know), does nothing for you, your kids, your friends or their kids. I don't believe any one thing/situation is necessarily "better" than the other; there are two of us and two kids and sometimes it's easy, and sometimes it sucks donkey balls. You think one could hold one baby and the other read? What if they both want momma? My kids are four years apart and sometimes they fight over me. They're not twins and they still fight/squabble/rip toys out of each others' hands. *sigh* It's just a little reminder that the other side always seems greener. Hang in there! Your kids are beautiful inside and out.

Jolene said...

I don't have any parenting advice since I'm not a parent yet but I can tell you 2 things...(1) I think you're doing an AMAZING job as a single mommy and your kids are far from being shortchanged, and (2) I wish John was alive and healthy too. :(

winecat said...

I don't have any parenting advice either but from what I read of your posts you're doing an amazing job with Maddie & Riley.

Dealing with grief, loss and anger are hard on their own let alone having to parent 2 infants as part of the package.

Please give yourself a break! I love the idea that anon left about seeing if you can find someone to take the babes for a day so you can have time for you.

Thinking of you and the babes and wishing you well.

Rachel said...

You are right that you have it much, much harder than someone who has one kid + a partner to help out. I'm sorry that you are having such a rough time. It will get easier, eventually, as they are able to do more for themselves. I know that's not much comfort when you're in the middle of it. . .

Your children may not have the luxury of a lot of the one-on-one parent time that other kids do, but they have each other, and as they get older I think that will actually make your life a little easier, because they will enjoy playing together. Besides, I don't know how much good it does to read to a little baby anyway. I tried, but it was a long time before Bella was actually interested.

laughing mommy said...

Holding hands between carseats? That is the sweetest thing I've heard in a long while. I'm so glad those two babies have each other, and that they have you for a mom. I think you are doing an amazing job of mothering those two. You should be proud of yourself for all you do.

a said...

I don't know if this would make you feel any better, but I'm a mom of one with a full-time father/husband to boot and too often(guilt, guilt, guilt!) I also feel as though I'm dragging around, just trying to get through the bare motions, that things aren't routine enough, or predictable, that I KNOW what would make babygirl happier/calmer/more engaged in any given moment but I just don't have the energy/will to do it. This is not to say, of course, that I don't love my daughter in boundless, unquantifiable amounts, that we don't have a wonderful/bonded time together-- I do and we do. But I am suggesting keeping all of your observations in perspective.

Remember, people's houses are always cleaner when they're having people over. In the company of friends or family or really anybody outside of the house it's hard not to feel as though you are "on stage" as a parent--- and most people act accordingly. This is easier to do with just one baby. Besides, when you're out or with friends you don't have the day to day stuff of the house right in front of you. And you have interaction amongst adults!

Riley and Maddie need what they are getting: you and each other. Your face. The one constant, the predictable day in and day out.

Sometimes "good enough" is the best thing.

Having said all this--- you're doing so much, and grieving so much and so fresh and it's so so so HARD. Reading your description of your morning made me want to crawl back into bed! But you didn't. And your kids saw that. THey are learning a lot about strength, and as would be indicated by handholding(rare though it may seem!)--- love. From you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The other day G took Buddy to the doctor while I stayed home with Bean. Bean and I went for a walk to the library and later that night, I told G how EASY it was. To just go to the library. With one child.

I can't imagine how hard it is to take care of both on your own. I won't say I know your pain, but I can understand part of it (a very small little part of it). At that age, I complained/cried to anyone who would listen about how much our twins fought. All the time.

I will tell you that the fighting will get better. Just a few weeks ago, we met another little girl and Bean shared with her right away, with no complaints or problems. The little girl's father was very impressed and we were very proud. I know it seems like a faraway light at the end of the tunnel, but they really will learn how to share after the smoke clears. I promise. And share very well.

I wish there was some way I could help you. I BOW DOWN TO YOU that you are still nursing. I think that in itself is a coup and you are doing great. I know that doesn't help much when you are so frustrated/tired/sad, but know this: your twins are incredibly lucky to have you and yes, while their dad is gone they will get to know him through you, and they will truly appreciate you, respect you, and pull from your strength. And if/when you show that it's all sometimes too much for you, they will learn from that too. You're only human. And, you are amazing.

Snickollet said...

HalfMama--Recently, I took just Maddie grocery shopping (my dad drove a sleeping Riley around in the car while we shopped). It was a breeze, and so much fun. Even when she got fussy, I was able to hold her without having Riley there to get jealous/decide to freak out, too. I was able to relax and not spend all my time thinking, "I have to get out of here before someone melts down."

Of course I know that singletons have meltdowns in the grocery store, too. I just find that dealing with a kid one-on-one feels like a luxury compared to two-on-one, especially when the kids feed off of each other.

Glad to hear that the sharing thing will get easier. They are too young to get it right now, I know.

We're muddling through. It just feels HARD right now!

Christine said...

Oh, Snick. You are going through so much. And without your beloved John. It IS harder having two than one, and two the exact same age! Cut yourself some slack, and know that FWIW, I think you're a great mom. :)

Janice Vandyk said...

I always struggled with my twins when they were younger! My sister had just one baby the same time as me and i always was very jealous of how easy one was! but trust me it gets easier with twins! mine are nearly 4 now and are a lot less needy! and i think every twin mom goes through a stage where they wish there wasn't so much work and demands from two babies, so it does not make you a bad mom!
Take Care!

Drowned Girl said...

Yeah, most parents feel like that sometimes.

I get worn out with just with one. And you're doing it alone, and grieving.

I just want to send you a hug.

It will get easier.

PS They'll lie still to be read to when they're older.


Amy said...

Sorry to hear you had an emotional weekend. :(

As a mom of twins I remember how hard it was to feel like I was meeting all of the babies needs. Never mind making sure they were clean, fed, changed, I felt I could have been giving more emotional TIME. But we are only human and we can only do our best right?

And you are.

Olivia said...

what a shitty start to your day. :( i really hope it looked up for you.

the fact that you're so worried about how your parenting limitations will affect your kiddos is evidence that you are a fantastic mom. i think being a good mom is acknowledging, accepting and coping with our limitations. i'd say, check, check and check. so you're good, in my opinion, if it counts. :) i know it's easier said than done (i constantly have to remind myself of this, even as the parent of a singleton), but try to remember that. you love your kids and you do all you can. that's all that matters.

Angela said...

Wow, it sounds like a really tough day even though it's just begun. You are doing an amazing job and your concerns about Riley and Madison not getting enough time with you or self doubt about parenting, I can only say, they are so truly blessed and lucky to have you as a Mom. It is so clear to me that you have a truly wonderful and giving heart, your love and concern for your babies is truly inspiring, no need to compare yourself with other parents, you're doing an amazing job. We all have self doubt and insecurities about our parenting abilities, and I agree it's so hard not to compare yourself with others, you are human so you are allowed to get discouraged and frustrated with your kids, give yourself some slack and try not to be so hard on yourself.

I am so very sorry it's so hard, I really cannot even imagine how extremely difficult it must be for you, I am so happy to read that you are letting friends help out and you are seeing friends and having fun.
Your babies sound like perfectly normal and wonderful siblings who will grab toys and bop each other on the head one minute and the next are holding hands and snuggling, it does get better, though I know a lot of days even though mine are singletons, it felt like they would never learn to share, play or get along together. Hang in there.

carosgram said...

Thinking of you and sending you good juju

Yankee T said...

Although, as you know, my single parenting situation was very different, and my children are not twins, I remember clearly thinking that I was stretched so thin sometimes that my kids were missing out. In the long run, they're not. They'll be fine. You are in the most difficult of situations. Go easy on yourself. I'm sorry about this morning, though, those days are tough. Hang in there. You're amazing!

Tiffany said...

You are a super mom!! I have a 2 year old and I cannot image life with twins or as you are doing it twins with only one parent. You amaze me how well you keep it together - but you have to do what you have to do. Other moms have always told me that the first year is the hardest. You will look back when the twins are 1.5 to 2 years old and you will be amazed at how you survived. I saw a friend of mine the other day with her twins. She was at the county building working on a computer and her 2 year old twins (only a few weeks older than my daughter) were sitting in their stroller. They were restless but way more behave then my daughter would have been!


scarp said...

"I watched some friends interact with their 2.5 year old this weekend and I was amazed at all of the fun and learning that goes on. My friends make everything a game for their daughter, and she's smart as a whip to boot. Watching them made me feel like all I do is go through the motions. Everything gets done, but the fun is sucked right out of it."

For what it is worth...2.5 is just a fun, fun age, and your kids will be just as fun and you'll be able to have very similar interactions with them once they reach that age. Think about how much more fun the twins are to be with now than they were at 3-6 months, and how much less you have to worry about the lgistics now than you did then. Similar transformation occurs when they cross the @ year threshold.

scarp said...

that was supposed to say "cross the 2 year threshold"...

Dorcasina said...

You are dealing with an unbelievable number of things--loss, twins, single parenting...grief, grief, and more grief.

Cut yourself and those adorable babies LOTS of slack. I have been thinking about parenting a LOT, and have been thinking about how much of who we are comes from outside our families. As much as I beat myself up for the same thing (and I sat on the basement floor and cried on Saturday, b/c I couldn't get the bbq to work, and I missed my husband, and I wanted to be having "fun" bbq-ing with my daughter, but it felt lonely and sad without him), I do honestly believe that the love is what really matters--and with all that you are giving them, Riley and Maddie with both grow up to be awesome people. Letting yourself be sad and overwhelmed is not going to do them any damage, nor is a little bit of crankiness. I have been astounded by how loving my daughter is when I am sad. She says "Are you frustrated, Mama?" when she sees me working up to overload, and she has become a more loving, caring person because I really need her...much better than the kids I know whose parents do everything for them in ways that I simply can't manage by yourself.

Do you still have my phone number? Feel free to call...or come out for a visit! And see how a lazy single mother of a singleton cuts herself slack everywhere...
sending love and encouragement and the wish that you will give yourself many, many breaks--and take every bit of help and support that is offered.

kim said...

I can only say what's been said here before: you're a terrific mom who's giving your kids *exactly* what they need (you, each other, and lots of love). Don't forget that a lot of their behavior comes down to the stage that they're in; while babies just eat and sleep, 1 year olds make messes and learn to deal with their growing sense of independence. One day, they'll be able to occupy each other for long stretches of time... until then, just do what you have to do to get there. You've got lots of people out here rootin' for you!

Amy said...

One more comment? Was thinking of your post today and wanted to let you know there are benefits to having twins too (besides loving them each madly and being thankful for them which I know you are!)

When they get older they PLAY together. Yes, this sounds obvious but when singletons (like my firstborn) hit the 'play with me- I am so bored, I wish I had someone to play with!' stage yours have a built in friend.

In many ways having twins was actually EASIER as time went on.

Go easy on yourself my dear. I cannot imagine how you must feel right now with John so recently gone.

I don't pray but will send all the positive vibes I can your way...

And the next time you have the opportunity? Do something special for YOURSELF.

Anna said...

For what it's worth, I have been in awe of your ability to cope with everything. I was thinking about a few things in particular.

1)You are so strong that you were able to rally for the first two months after John's death. Now that the initial crisis is over, you're healthy enough to feel you emotions, including the really painful, exhausted feelings.

2)Maybe you feel that the twins are missing out on individual time with you now, but I have a friend who has a twin (and was raised by a single mom) and now she has this partner for the rest of her life (in addition to her actual life partner). I'm kinda jealous sometimes! So you've given them a real gift that will last way beyond this difficult time.

3) My heart ached when you described your sadness about missing John and wishing that the twins had their dad. I wish we could ease that pain. But I do think that the twins are so very blessed to have a mom who can help them see sadness as a part of life and can create a home where it's ok to have those feelings. In that sense, the twins have so much more love and nurturing than many children with two parents (which is not to minimize your feelings of loss at all -- just to say that even in your saddest moments, you're not hurting them).

liz said...

Someone else said it here too, but 2.5 yo is HUGELY different from 1 yo. There is just no comparison.

You are doing a great job. Give yourself credit for getting through each day.

Anonymous said...

As Mama to one of each, I can say with authority that it is even so much easier to make it look like fun with the 2.5 year old than with the one year old. Hang in there- they do get easier as they age! I am awed by how well you do.


tripsmom said...

Your just a typical mom with multiples - dont feel bad. I have 2.5 year old triplet girls and I ALWAYS envy single parents, but I also never have sypathy for a parent with one child who complains because they have no idea. They DO get to interact better with their children and they DO have things more under control - of course, there is only 1! BUT you will see that your 2 are going to be able to be more independant and will be able to entertain themselves better than an singleton - I see it now when I visit my friends, one child is always looking for a parent to entertain him/her. As for the fighting and crying: welcome to the world of multiples, it is normal, normal, normal. I also have to pay attention to the one who is "demanding" it the most at the specific moment, but then the next day the other usually has a turn. As for storey reading: very rarely happens in our house as there is always one that is a distraction for the other two. I have a friend who's son watches a whole Barney video, my three will sit still for 5 minutes as they distract each other and soon whatever is on the TV is forgotten - maybe this is better as I prefer them to play rather than watch TV. Good luck with your 2, I'm sure you'll do fine.

Anonymous said...

Here comes a comment from the other side...
I am a twin now at the age of 35. I know that we did a lot of fighting when we were younger, but my brother has alwas been a very, very special person to me. I love him very dearly and I feel that there is almost nobody as close to me as he is - although we are very different from each other. So even if it is difficult quite often for you, you know that they will always have each other. That is such a gift !
I have three children of my own and due to my husbands work I'm on my own with the children quite often - it is hard sometimes ! Everything I read about you and how you deal with it sounds just so good to me. You are really doing a great job - no need to worry about it !
Please take care !

Rev Dr Mom said...


Everyone here has said it, but I'll say it again: yes, it is hard, but you are an amazing mom.

I'm so glad you have friends around to give you support. Be good to yourself!

Jason Dufair said...

Hoping your Tuesday is going better than your Monday did :-)

Glory Laine said...

You are a fantasic mother!!!! Your babies are healthy and holding hands. . . how sweet is that? I was so thankful my first was a singleton because adjusting to motherhood is hard enough. My twins didn't come with the 1st time parent shock so it has been easier to adjust but my gosh it's just harder. Mine are not quite walking yet so I know I am really in for it then. Lots of love and hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

What you are doing is hard. No way around that. Post more pics of the kiddos. That will make all of US happy, will keep a good record of their growth for you, focus more on the positive. You are in a situation that many people would fail at. Miserably. And we who don't know you but read what you write -- we can see the strong woman you are. Truly. Take it one-day-at-a-time. There's just no better way to do it.Oh, and NO COMPARING. Ever. Cece

Sunny said...

"What I have to complain about is John's absence"

Well, DUH sweetie. It totally sucks.

And, single parenting=hard

Just try to be good to yourself and hang in there.

ShabbyDoll said...

Snickollet - As one parent in a two-parent household, of a singleton about the same age as your babies, I have to say: YES! You have it so much harder. And it absoLUTEly is not fair, no matter how you slice it. I think of you often when I face challenges with Fi, and I wonder if I would be able to do it. The answer is, again, YES. Because it's just what you do, right?

But I think the bigger concern in your post is if this challenge for you is making you short-change your babies. And I fully believe that it is not. Here are some things your little ones are getting that mine is not:
- constant companionship (oh, how I sometimes wish that Fi had another baby to play or laugh with in the mornings)
- early understanding of sharing, including sharing you!
- better understanding of other kids their age

And I can't speak for other parents of 1-year-olds, but I can't read Fi a bedtime story every night, mostly because she likes to kick books better than she likes to listen to them right now. And 20 minutes of alone play time is great for them! Heck, Fi gets more alone play time than that, just in the first few hours of the day! And Fi is clearly a genius already, so you obviously have nothing to worry about. :)

Anonymous said...

It definitely sounds like you're doing the best you can, sweetie, so cut yourself some slack. your situation isn't perfect (in a perfect world, John would still be here), so don't expect your mothering to be perfect.

Also: ask for help. ask much as you can. you have friends and family that love you and want to help. (anyone who has raised a singleton knows how much work is involved in one, and probably shudders at the thought of taking on more, single-handedly).

that said, I am a twin raised by a (mostly) single mother, and can tell you my experience: yes, I sometimes wished I had more one-on-one time with my mom. yes, I sometimes fantasized about being an only child (sorry, it's true, but I'm very close to my twin now), and yes, I do wish I had learned that my mother had a normal "speaking" voice (she was always yelling, until I went away to college...)

But. I knew she loved me. I knew she sacrificed lots. I knew she did the best she could. It's hard for little kids to understand, but, eventually, they will.

Bethany said...

Riley and Maddie might be getting a smaller slice of the mama-fun pie, so to speak, than a singleton gets. But they will always have each other--that is a real advantage! It's easy to forget from the adult perspective how important other kids are to kids, you know?

You've probably tried this already, but it didn't occur to me till my daughter was almost two, so I will tell you anyway. Have you tried just *telling* stories during bottle time? Either fairy tales and myths you already know, or made-up stories, or a recounting of their day in story form, or stories about John? There doesn't have to be a book in front of them for them to develop a love of words. :-)

Anonymous said...

My sister had twins and moved away from family about 2 months later. She had a husband but he was often away for work for an entire week. I think there were plenty of days when all she could manage was to keep everybody alive until the end of the day. And she wasn't trying to manage grief too. So don't beat yourself up too much. Her twins are 26 now, were straight-A students and in the National Guard, and one flies blackhawk helicopters. Your babies have a parent who cares and that's enough.