My heart sank as I read the headline the other week about a tragic twin story.
Firstly because the tragedy of losing two beautiful babies from the world, secondly because it was their mother who caused it but thirdly it’s difficult to understand how these things happen but I personally wish for a different timeline, one in which she was able to get the help she needed.
I wholeheartedly understand how difficult being a multiple mum is.
I’ve said it before, it is relentless. If you’re lucky you might get half an hour to an hour a couple of times of day to yourself. Sometimes I have to schedule when I’ll go to the toilet because they’re being particularly awful and don’t want me to leave the room. Other times I get woken at half two in the morning and stay awake rocking a baby to sleep in the rocking chair til 5 in the morning and get woken up half an hour later.
I’m extremely lucky to have a partner to unload on, to help me navigate through what can be excruciatingly difficult and frustrating days and nights as well as have a supportive network of family and friends that keep me sane.
I know that I am very lucky to have really well behaved children and I struggle. We (all parents) need support from time to time and actually some separation is good for not only you but the children as well.
I was recently treated to a meal out with my husband, the first time we were both away from the children for a few hours and although it was weird, it was also great to have some headspace. It was nice to see the real world again, as new parents will know it’s a bit like going into a time vortex where feeding, changing nappies and attempting to sleep become all consuming. But it was also nice to spend some quality time with the husband. Being a twin parent doesn’t provide a lot of time and I think if we’re both honest we probably felt a little neglected. I had two hours sleep the night before and still went out.
I think it’s important for your sanity to have that break. Which is why I’ve booked two tickets to Aquaman this week and booked in Nanny’s to babysit their Grandchildren.
We’re lucky to have the opportunity (courtesy of family). Not everyone is. But even if you get some help with the children that might give you some time to yourself. Whatever opportunity you get to have a break – take it.
The reason I have written this article is to let you know, especially if you’re a twin parent, that there will be times where you feel like you’re losing your marbles. It’s normal! However when you feel like that you must talk it through and get help.
For instance before I had girls I was convinced I was going to die. I didn’t tell anyone about it apart from my husband and midwife because I knew I was being irrational. I convinced myself that I would die from the caesarian. I hadn’t got my head around how I would be a mother because I didn’t think I would be able to experience it. It’s so crazy when I think about it now but it was so consuming at the time. When I had given birth I thought I would contract an illness of some sort that meant I wouldn’t be around for much longer than a few weeks. Looking back I have no doubt it was the hormones and the lack of sleep that caused it but it was fear and anxiety driving these thoughts. But because I spoke about it I was able to tackle the problem and come up with solutions to be able to overcome it. Obviously I hoped nothing did happen but I know now that I was way too focused on it that I had become completely irrational.
There are so many stories you read about where people weren’t able to reach out and get the help they needed. I cannot stress how important it is to try and do this. I know it’s not easy but know you are never alone, even if you feel like you are alone there will always be someone there willing to help you.
I felt compelled to write this article because we all experience difficult times in our lives. Every life matters and if you’re struggling to cope, get the help you need. Never feel like you’re alone. Sometimes you may be slightly irrational but talking helps.
Tonight when I put my children to sleep, I’ll hold them just a little bit tighter, when I get angry at them I’ll think about how lucky I am to have them, and when I feel like I can’t cope I’ll get the help I need.