The ‘Right’ Way

I have to admit that the last couple of weeks have not been the easiest weeks of parenthood for me.  It has been rough, the kids have been irritable and crying a lot and not going down to sleep too easily and not staying down.  We have tried going out and been deafened by loud shouting or crying and even HUGE big crocodile tears streaming down little faces.  I have been up multiple times during the night to roll Sausage back over or reapply the dummy and the relentlessness of it all has worn me down and exhausted me to a level I never knew before.  I have been tired and frustrated and feeling like it’s all a bit too much.

Now before I go on, I will take  a moment to just say that I do count my lucky stars and know that I have very little room to complain.  I have a lot of help with the Hope Babes, an awesome au pair in the form of my sister and a great domestic who is also brilliant with the kids.  I have a husband who is totally hands on and a great help with the little ones.  My babes mostly sleep through the night, well Pudding sleeps through every single night and has done for weeks or is it months already and Sausage only wakes up for a feed in the night very occasionally.  And so I know I shouldn’t complain, but this blog wouldn’t be honest if I couldn’t admit to how tough I have found these last weeks.

I think it started just before Sausage ended up in hospital and I guess in hindsight it was probably because he wasn’t at all well and was fractious in his illness.  Then there was the time in hospital which is probably the hardest week of my life.  Then we had two little babes who’s schedules had all been messed up and who were just not themselves and needed to get back to their routine.  At that point Pudding’s reflux became quite bad and she kept puking and waking herself up from all daytime naps and also once she was put down in the evenings, so that day time meant no rest with the babes and evenings dragged on late while we tried to get them to both be asleep so we could have dinner.  Then clever Sausage learnt to roll over from his tummy to his back and as he sleeps on his tummy this meant he was waking himself up day and night by rolling over and finding himself on his back.  Add to this that Chris has had so much work on and is under such pressure and I want so badly to keep the pressure of the kids away from him so he can cope with one pressure at a time.

Chris has said that the reason I am struggling so much with the way things are going at the moment is because I think there is a ‘Right Way’ to do things with babies.  Now this isn’t totally true, I know that every baby is different which is one of the major challenges with twins.  But I do also believe that there are better ways to do things and I believe that babies need routine and sleep and that if you get things ‘right’ for each child they will be easier and less moody and will sleep better etc etc etc.  I suppose I do think there is a right way after all.  And this has put so much pressure on me, because with things not going very well I am constantly thinking that I must be doing something ‘wrong’.

I think this is most clearly shown by the way I really really wish I could have a ‘do over’.  I want to start again.  I want to go back to the moment they were born and start again.  There are so many little things I would do differently knowing what I know now.  I would know so much better how to get them started on the breast, I would know better how to put them to sleep, I would not rock them to sleep or hold them ALL the time just because I wanted it.  I would be more driven by what they needed and wanted and less by my urge to keep them with me constantly.  I would be more independent with them, I would be less scared of their tears  and I would spend more time alone with my babies so that it wouldn’t be so daunting now.  Anyway so that is my baggage of the ‘right way’ to be the very best mother to my little munchkins.

Without being able to go back and do it all again, I am going back to the books instead and trying to follow some of the guidelines to see if they can make things a little easier.  We are back to sleep sense guides on putting them back to sleep after an hour and a half during the day so they don’t get over stimulated, we are back to no stimulation of them at the last feed so they go to sleep a little easier.  I have pulled out all the sleepy-time bath stuff I was given and we are using that in the hopes it helps them go to sleep.  And first night, last night went much better.  But I really do not want to be a slave to the routine or not be able to take my kids out.  I want them to cope with occasional breaks in routine and things being out of the ordinary, but how do you balance this.  You see my idea of right is a kid who has routine and knows when its bed time and has consistency in their lives giving them security and comfort, yet who can also have a break in that routine and not be a miserable little bugger.

How do you do it?  What is your right way?

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About MommyAtLast

Finally a Mommy to our Medical Miracle IVF Boy / Girl Twins who were born in November 2011. We overcame azoospermia using hormone therapy for my hubby to conceive our precious Hope Babes on our 4th IVF.
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9 Responses to The ‘Right’ Way

  1. Melinda says:

    I am not even going to try give advise…being Mom to a singleton is way different to being Mom to twins. And dont stress the “do over”…i think most Moms feel that way. I did things by the book…(sleep sense). We formed beautiful routines which were thrown out very quickly if there was anything wrong like illness or teething…so even the best formed plans collaps. I would look at my B and ask “What am I doing wrong?”
    The one thing that I did do that helped…I bought a little CD for Jadas room and every night I would put her down and play the CD softly in the background. I would also spray Lavender spray on her pillow…hey, if it works, yippee…if it doesn’t, then you have nice smelling babies.
    I was a big advocate for routine and structure. And still am..however I have realised that babies are humans that react to different situations so I mainly try and follow routine 50% of the time..the rest, I go with the flow otherwise I am going to stress myself out with my “controlling” ways…smile
    Hope it helps

  2. Michele says:

    My right way is the way that works in the moment. Sometimes I look back and think “WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING” and other times, I lock it away for the next time. Bobby and Maya just turned 2 and a half, and things are pretty zen here on a good day, but it takes time. Be gentle with yourself. The only right way is the way that works and that leaves you all okay (even if not happy)

  3. darylfaure says:

    Hun, you are doing brilliantly and are a great mom!

    I am a firm believer in routine, and I don’t know if it is a consequence of that, or just that I am blessed with a good sleeper, but I have a very easy child. I too followed the Baby Sense, Sleep Sense way, and am a firm believer in it. At almost 3 years old, my little guy still has a regular afternoon nap of almost 2 hours, and goes to bed like a dream. I do believe that sleep begets sleep, and that it is so easy for babies to get overtired and so fall into a vicious cycle. It is hard initially to get the routine going, and then one must be little more structured in planning your day so that you can be home at sleep times, but as they get older, you will find that it is easier to be more flexible.
    The advantage of being home with them when they need to sleep, is that when it magically all falls into place, you get to put your feet up to and catch some much needed shut eye.
    Having said that, I only seriously started sleep training after 6 months (BUT I only had one baby to manage).
    Don’t be hard on yourself, and trust your gut on this one.

  4. Pandora says:

    I quickly realised that there is a difference between a routine and a schedule. I am not good with schedules. At all. So when I went back to work, I followed the routines, but if things didn’t happen exactly at a specific time, it did not matter. And it worked for me quite well with disruptions or going away. As long as we followed the routine, it didn’t matter where we were, or if it was an hour later than usual, she would go to sleep. I also never just stuck to her cot, but also put her to sleep in our bed, or the camp cot, even her pram. She is still a good sleeper at 3, and still sleeps in the afternoon.
    There IS no right way, we just all have our own idea of the right way. I would also change a few things if I had a do-over. Before becoming a mom I had my firm belief of what I would and wouldn’t do, well, that flew out the window at hight speed!
    It will get easier as they get a bit older, and there are less nap times to work around. I also think they get more adaptable as well, and can cope better with change or disrutions to their routine as they get older. So hang in there.

  5. I don’t really think that there is any right way. Whatever is working for you IS the right way. A friend of mine once said that just as she got to know her baby he changed and she had to start again. It think you are doing great. I stand by this – Noone knows what they are doing! We are all just winging it as we go.

  6. zygotta says:

    mine is like yours to the T
    no last-feed stimulation, no staying awake beyond 1.5 h during daytime, no holding too much – letting him more time onhis own to study the world

    my routine relies more on going to a dark room, having his last meal in total silence, then turning on the humidifier for the noise more so than for humidity. No baths as a crutch – for the same reason you are giving. It’s easier to be out and about and find a dark place and turn on white noise on the phone than to give a bath…

  7. Cam says:

    Gosh…it is tough…just when you think you’ve got it all waxed, the babies change or start doing something differently.

    I am a firm believer in routine – for them and for us…and yes it does impact on us going out at night – I prefer not to go anyway after 6pm as it will disrupt their whole routine and heaven help me if they don’t go to sleep by 8pm (I NEED TIME out)…however, I think this may change as they get older…hope so.

    I think the answer is to try be realistic about how much things can and will change as we go along and be ready for the upheaval that comes with each stage…teething…solids…sickness…we need to be ready for whatever comes our way and there will be great stretches of sleep throughs and wonderful times, and then harder times like you have just been through…this too shall pass…hang in there hun xx

  8. Yvonne says:

    Just keep on doing what you are doing! You sound like a brilliant mom. They will eventually slot into their routines, with the odd hiccup along the way. I did the Gina Ford routine with both my babies and it worked for us. Your first duty is to try and survive…. All you can do is your best, and I assure you that is more than good enough for your babies Don’t get hung up on not getting it all perfect from the start, continuing processes counts for more than beginnings.

  9. You babes look healthy and happy so you must be doing it “right” !
    I am for a flexible structure too. I noticed that Zoé has to have a full, eating, changing, playing, napping cycle every 3.5 to 4 hours. At night, playing is replaced by sleeping. So this is how I manage but it must be so much more difficult with 2 babies !! WAW !!
    I also realize that nothing is linear in their progress, it is rather 2 steps forward, 1 backward and so on, since I think like that I seem not to get frustrated so much anymore when things “regress”.
    Good luck with mumyhood dear friend !!
    Sophie

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