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?