Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Feeling like a failure


I'm writing this when I'm supposed to be napping - during my daughter's nap. I just put her in her crib, and I'm supposed to use the next 1.5 hours or so to get rest, but I have to get something off my chest. I feel like a failure as a mom. And as a pregnant person. I know I should be easier on myself, and this is hard, and blah blah blah. But I really expected so much more from myself, and I just failed miserably. 

I had these wonderful visions of myself as a Part-time SAHM. I was going to do all kinds of educational things with Alex - I asked and received for Christmas annual passes to the zoo and the children's museum. I've only been to each once. It's too hard running after a toddler when I'm so freaking huge, and any kind of physical activity causes BH contractions.  We got this great house with a fabulous backyard. Alex loves to go outside and climb up the hill and back down. But it's steep - much too steep for a 17 month old to do herself. So I have to go with her, which completely exhausts me, and causes BH contractions. So we stay inside, playing with toys that we're both bored of, reading books that we're bored of, and coloring (bored too). She cries every time I let the dogs outside and don't let her - I feel so bad, but I just can't handle it. There's a park only about 1/2 mile away, and she can walk there and back by herself, I don't even need to push her in a stroller anymore, but I can't do it. 

On Mondays and Fridays she goes to daycare, which is just phenomenal. They just implemented a new computer system where they take videos and pictures throughout the day, and send them to you each day. It's so obvious that she loves this place, and she gets so much out of it. Her vocabulary is just exploding. Between sign and verbal words, I can understand about 80% of what she wants, which I think is pretty incredible for her age. She can sort by color, and loves learning all kinds of things. 

My MIL also comes over most Wednesdays to watch Alex. I say most - she's definitely not the most reliable of child care. But she loves Alex and takes good care of her. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the hardest - these are the days when I'm responsible by myself. I hate that the only days when I'm completely a SAHM are the hardest days. They're so hard physically - my body is screaming at the end of the day, and I crawl into bed as soon as I put her into bed at 7:30. I have BH like crazy, and my back hurts, and my butt has sciatic pain, and my hemorrhoids hurt, and my heartburn hurts, and my hip hurts, and I could go on... 

Our au pair gets here next Friday. I'm so excited to have her come, but I also feel like a failure needing full-time child care. Yes, I'm working part-time, but I'm paying someone to work 45 hours per week when I'm only working 20 hours! And we're even considering leaving Alex in daycare for 2 days per week - she's just getting so much out of it that is seems bad to pull her out. Yes, it will be tough financially but I know that neither the au pair nor I will be able to give her the education and social experiences like she's getting now. Yep, continuing to feel like a failure... 

My pregnancy is going ok. Both boys are healthy, but at the last growth scan they decreased on the growth scale. At my 24 week scan, baby a was 48% and baby b was 32%. Then last week at my 28 week scan, baby a is now 23% and baby b is 29%. The doc said that both babies seem healthy, but this can happen in later pregnancy as they start to run out of room and nutrients - they can start to drop on the growth scale. She said she wasn't really concerned unless they got below 10% but we'll be monitoring them more closely. Growth scans every 3 weeks, and it will likely go to 2 weeks or more often. My cervix still looks great - over 4 cm. So even though I'm having a ton of BH contractions, it doesn't seem to be affecting my body. But my doc said to try to take it easy - lay down as much as possible, at least as much as I'm up during the day. I'm trying to eat as much as possible, especially protein, and I've gained the appropriate amount based on my pre-pregnancy weight and the guidelines in Dr. Luke's book, but I still feel like I'm failing my boys if they're running out of nutrients and not growing like they should. 

The doc's suggestion to lay down as much as possible is really hard with a toddler that runs. But it makes me feel a little better about the 2 hours spent snuggling in my bed this morning watching Yo Gabba Gabba... A little...

I know this will all work out in the end, but none of this was how I wanted Alex's young life to be, with a mom that couldn't play with her, and go outside with her, or do much with her. I'm about to outsource even the little bit of time that I have been spending with her to an au pair, and I feel even more guilty. I'm happy that we have two healthy boys (please God, help them grow!) coming and I'm thankful for my family, but I can't help feeling like Alex is getting the short end of the stick here. And it will even get worse when the boys get here, and I won't even have time to snuggle in bed watching TV. 

23 comments:

  1. Oh honey. I'm so sorry you're having a hard time. I completely understand what you're saying. (haven't been there of course, but I do understand where you're coming from)

    I guess my advice would be to try to think more long-term. She might be missing out on some things right now, but it's a sacrifice everyone is making in order to give her two brothers. TWO BROTHERS! They are going to be around her entire life, playing, arguing, growing up together, creating memories, and will be there when you and your hubby are old, and the three of them can complain about you together. That's a lifelong gift you're giving her.

    So yes, sometimes she misses out on climbing hills and playing outside...tiny little sacrifices she won't even remember in thirty years. But when she's pregnant with her own babies she'll remember "wow, my mom did this with TWO babies at once all while wrangling a toddler!" And she won't think "what a lazy ass who laid in bed with me and watched TV". I guarantee she'll think you're a hero!

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  2. Oh my...Alex! Stop please my friend! It's not like you are full of energy and not wanting to do things with little Alex out of laziness! You are pregnant with twins! I find it impossibly hard if I'm with Oliver for a few ours on my own at the weekend, I'm dreading my husband saying he has to pop in to work to do something while I'm home with the toddler. And Oliver is great, like your Alex, full of energy etc. One friend asked me if I was taking Oliver out of the creche as I go on maternity leave...that didn't even cross my mind!! For one thing he loves it and the progress he's making are unbelievable, but above all, I know it would be impossible for me to keep sane, minding one new born and having to entertain a two-and-a-quarter year old. Don't be so hard on yourself, honestly. You really need to rest to give your babies the best chance of growing, and GET ALL THE HELP you need to achieve this! Much love, I wish I could help but I'd be even more useless!! Fran

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  3. I was just thinking about you and I'm SO glad you posted. I'm sorry things are hard, but I agree with everyone else, you are pregnant with twins, so of course your energy level will be low (almost non-existence some days I'm sure). But you are doing the best you can. And do not feel guilty at all!! Once the au pair comes, you will be able to rest more so those babies can grow! Again, do not feel guilty!!

    Keep Alex and day care if you can. It will be good for her socially and academically too. I'm sure the au pair will have plenty to do once the babies are born.

    I noticed you didn't mention your husband. Did he stay at the old house until you sold it or until he found a job where you are? I can't remember what the situation was.

    Get some rest and know that you have a lot of virtual support here in the blogosphere!

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  4. Bubbles. Lots of bubbles.

    I am not pregnant with twins. I am pregnant with one, and I, too, and whooped. My solution? Bubbles on the porch. A loves bubbles, so we have multiple bubble blowing things. I lie on my side while he blows bubbles. I, too, blow bubbles. And think of all the education that Bubbles offers: count the bubbles; what shape are the bubbles; they go up and down; the wind blows east, west, north, south; big and little bubbles. I'm telling you--everything you need to know about life is in the bubble solution and wand!!!!

    Bubbles have saved me for the past 12 weeks!!!

    XOXOXOXO

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  5. I feel the same way, and I'm only pregnant with one child and see my toddler about 5 hours a day after I get home from work. I honestly couldn't imagine doing it all day long and I too feel bad when I'd rather sit on the couch than take her for a walk outside. Don't beat yourself up though, pregnancy is hard - we have to cut ourselves a break and make sure we are taking care of ALL of our kids, and that includes us too while pregnant. To get some fresh air, I've been putting Chloe in her swing, and when my back starts to hurt, I'll pull up a chair and push her that way. She could care less if I'm standing or sitting, but she just loves to be outside. Good luck mama, not too much longer now!

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  6. I agree with the ladies above - for the few months that you're feeling too big and tired to run around outside with her, you're giving her a LIFETIME of playing with 2 brothers. It will all be worth it lady!

    Also, my girlfriend has an au pair every summer (she and her husband own a restaurant whose busy season is summer) and it is a GODSEND for them to have someone to watch the 3 kids under 5. There are tons of cultures where there is much more family around to help out ALL the time - don't feel like a failure for needing help!!

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  7. You should call me, no really. I have stories. I have been there, right there, you'll feel better after we talk, promise!

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  8. First of all, can I tell you how jealous I am of your cervix?! Wow! Good job! Next, I know your feelings, as I am feeling them myself right now. E's behavior has been "off" for days and I know it is because I'm not really there for him. (I can only do so much on bed rest.) I keep telling myself that this is temporary and in a couple of months things will hopefully be back to normal. Keep telling yourself the same thing. Your babies will be here soon enough. In the meantime just do what you can do to take care of yourself.

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  9. Oh Honey. I am so sorry. I can't believe you didn't feel this sooner. I am not pregnant, I am not a SAHM, and my hubby is a true 50/50 parent and I am overwhelmed.

    The most important thing to remember is that you are doing your absolute best! I think you are always going to have to balance your guilt over bringing #2 and 3 into the mix. I have yet to hear someone say they aren't struggling with guilt with number 2.

    You are going to make this happen and a year from now you will have your dream family. It will all be worth it and Alex will never know the difference.

    Thinking of you.

    Just remember you are a GREAT mom!!!

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  10. I can totally relate to you on the failure part. I am 20 weeks pregnant with #3 (spontaneous after 2 IVFs) and I am only solely responsible for 1 hour a day-and it causes me so much anxiety and stress. And I always feel like I'm failing at being a mother and wife and runner of the house! I think as mothers we all feel at some point we're lacking. Don't beat yourself up-you'll pull through. You have tons of people cheering you on!

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  11. I cannot imagine having gone through my twin pregnancy WITH a toddler. You're rockin it more than you know. I know it doesn't feel like it in the moment, but this is gonna get better. And eventually it'll be GREAT. This is just the now, but it'll pass. Hang in there, you're doing awesome!

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  12. You aren't a failure! I can barely keep up with my 18 month old and I'm not pregnant. I'm considering enrolling her in a daycare for once a week where one of her friends goes so I can maybe just maybe get something done. We don't have to follow some terribly unrealistic TV/movie/book perfection of SAHM-hood. We only have to do what we can and love them. The love is the only thing they really need. As long as you are providing love, you are winning as a mom. :-) Hang it there. Soon the new one will be here and it will be a whole new crazy world.

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  13. Hi Alex!! So good to hear from you on here. Your situation sounds overwhelming, but like others have said, I hope you don't beat yourself up too much (easier said than done with all the pregnancy hormones added on top of the challenges!).

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  14. Oh Alex, I'm sorry sweetie! You have every right to feel the way you do. It makes sense. But you are a wonderful person and a great mommy! You have a lot going on and being pregnant (with twins) is tough! Please don't be too hard on yourself. I know it's not easy though. I'm thinking of you!! Praying those babies keep growing and thriving!

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  15. DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP, LADY! 17 months was a really really hard age! It's exhausting. Accept the help - you are pregnant with twins, you are working, you are not at your physical best. I remember 3rd trimester last time I was absolutely exhausted, so I can only imagine what it is like with twins. You will get through this, Alex will be just fine. Your no 1 priority is keeping those kids inside cooking and healthy. You are doing really well at a lot. hugs!

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  16. It's so good to hear from you! I know we want to do it ALL but the fact is we just can't. Happy you have help on the way and honestly little Alex will NEVER remember this time when you couldn't do absolutely everything she wanted. Hang in there {{{HUGS}}}

    PS Thanks for your post on my blog, it's good to know I'm not the only one who wasn't recommended a fetal echo with #1 IVF baby but was with #2 (and 3 in your case). I was a little surprised.

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  17. You are not a failure! It's so easy to get overwhelmed and focus on what you are not doing rather than what you are. You are growing 2 precious brothers for Alex, working to provide for your family and giving Alex a great life both at home and at school. Be kind to yourself- you are doing a great job!

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  18. Yeah, I'd say - I can totally see the "what am I denying my daughter?" reflection as you think about all the activities she might enjoy with siblings - except that won't be the case for baby Alex! I like to think I'm neutral 'cause I don't have kids, and it seems to me that any kid will have to deal with limitations to what his parents can give - whether it's because of their jobs, or their financial position, or their not-as-awesome yard, or not having siblings to play with, or 'cause mom broke her leg or dad has to travel for work or what-have-you. Some limitations are truly hardships, but with everything else, the small peson is just learning the lessons of people: you work with the limitations you have, and be grateful for what there is. That's a valuable thing, too. I'm frankly stunned that you can do as much as you do. You don't sound at all like a failure to me!

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  19. Hugs. you are not a failure my friend. I am thinking of you.

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  20. A terrible mother would never think she was a terrible mother. The fact that you even worry about all of this means that you are doing the best job as a mom. You love that girl like crazy and want the best for her. She will remember quality time reading books and being loved by mom. In her eyes, you are the best mom. It will be rough balancing babies, but what joy to have such a brood!

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  21. Try to be kind to yourself. You're doing a far better job than you give yourself credit for and I have no doubt that Alex is still loving all of the time together. But you DO have to take care of yourself and those boys. Try and rest as best you can and cut yourself some slack!!

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  22. I'm sorry it's taken me awhile to comment, but I really wanted to tell you that when I read this what I heard was definitely not "terrible mother," it was "Alex is thriving!" You are doing the absolute best you can to be a good mother to all your babies, and you're doing a better job of it than most would in your situation, I'm sure. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is recognized when we have limitations and put them in capable hands. It sounds like you've done an amazing job of that. She's lucky to have so much cuddling and reading time with you, among all the other things you do for her, and she's lucky to have daycare and other people to give her the other things she needs right now. Good job!!

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  23. Oh girl! I felt this way at the end of my pregnancy...I feel you. You're doing the best you can and it's absolutely good enough. I just have to echo everything everyone said above. Be kind and gentle to yourself. XO

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