Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mommy Challenges

So i am in the middle of my second week "flying solo". As expected there are good days and then the "not-so-good" days as well. Today in a brief interval of quiet-time, i was talking to my new friend and triplet mom, Kristi, once again discussing our struggles with finding the best way to handle/train our multiples.

and our conclusion...who knows??? we're just going at it day by day trying to figure out what works best for us.

Having two newborns is quite challenging because most times there just isn't enough of me to go around. They both always want to be held and loved and i really wish i could do that for them, but its just not physically possible. I seem to always be worrying and second-guessing myself. Sometimes just doing what i need to do to meet their basic needs takes so much time that i feel like i don't have enough time to just hold them and love on them. And then other times when i do have time to hold them i worry that i am doing it too much and they might get used to it and expect it all the time and i can't have them expecting to be held all the time, because i just can't physically do that and then they get upset and cry...A LOT.

Which brings me to the other issue...crying. Man oh man, what a long day of non-stop crying can do to a person. It is frustrating and nerve -wrecking just because its crying but then it is also frustrating because as a mom I want to be able to fix the problem...make them both happy, but that's not realistic. They reality is, twice the babies = twice the crying. One baby crying will many times start up the other one and i can't let it bother me--although many times it does.

I have read countless articles about the effects of crying it out, the ferber method, baby wise, attending to every cry immediately, etc and everyone seems to have their own opinion and i can see pros and cons of each. I can't really judge anyone on how they handle their baby because i believe every baby/family has different needs but I do believe though that a little crying never hurt anyone and in house of multiples crying is just a fact of life. The babies have to learn/be trained to wait, share, be patient and be independent--especially in a one-parent household which we are the majority of every day since Mike is gone around 14 hours a day and then will be for sure in a few months when Mike deploys.

For now we tend to lean toward the teachings from Dr. Marc Weissbluth, the author of Healthy Sleep Habits, which uses a form of "crying it out" with a time limit. When all basic needs have been met, like diaper, feeding, temperature, boogers, etc we let them cry in hopes that they will soothe themselves. After about 45 mins to an hour we will go in pick them up calm them down and try again. Most of the time, thankfully they quiet themselves. All the articles about how letting your babies 'cry it out' will cause them to have emotional problems later in life seems a bit harsh and is quite scary to a mom of multiples who just can't attend to every whimper and cry.

Geez...being a mom sure has got me second-guessing myself a lot. It's amazing that you can love someone so much and want to do everything you can for them and it gets you worrying about whether you are doing the right thing or not...i know, i know i have at least 18 more years of this...i better get used to it!


mary beth wilkerson said...

the first year is very hard as a singleton parent too, I can not imagine doubling it. but i can say for certainty that this will eventually pass as the babies become more self sufficent. the first 6 months are definitly the hardest but evenually they sit up on their own, crawl, etc and will even feed themselves their own bottle! i am glad u are making friends and creating a local upport network this is priceless! keep up the good work mom!

Richard and Sarah said...

I think you're an awesome mom - I seriously don't know how you do it. I'm so nervous about just one! But, my sister's always said that sometimes they just have to cry it out; especially when everything's been taking care of (feeding, diapers, etc.). That will be our policy, too, but I know it'll be hard, especially in the beginning.

Dana said...

I can't imagine the stress you are under, but I am sure you are doing a great job! I am reading the baby whisperer (tracy Hogg). Now the lady does seem a little crazy, but she makes some really great points and has a schedule that a few of my mom friends swear by! now, I can't say that it works by experience, but I plan on trying it, just from the rave reviews. She really focuses on the individual baby and their personality. She gives you some categories that you can classify your baby as and she talks about ways they are communicating and how to minimize the crying by tuning into what they are really trying to say. I know - sounds crazy, but my best friend said that she is really in tune with her daughter and has learned too identify her cries and what she needs. IE - she won't be happy if she is up for longer than an hour. I know it seems nuts but I tthought I would pass it along. Hope you all are doing well - the twins look great and you look great!