The First Time I Lost It
Everyone has their good qualities and bad, but anyone who knows me will know that patience is one of my top qualities. It’s partly just my personality and it’s partly because I’ve been placed in real life situations where I’ve had to learn patience. (I once had a co-worker who would have probably exhausted the patience of Mother Teresa.) So when it came to staying at home with crying babies, I thought that I was perfectly ready for the challenge. For the most part, I’ve been right.
As I’ve said before, the first 3-4 months with twins can be a bit of a blur. The sleep deprivation can be horrific, even with twins who are pretty easy to care for like ours are. If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram, you’ll have seen photos like this:
These are the types of photos that most people put up, because they are the ones that are the cutest. It makes everyone go “awwww!” and even makes some people want another baby! They’re designed to show off the best times of you and your family and that’s completely natural and ok.
What people don’t usually put up very often are pictures like this:
This is what it’s like down in the trenches from day to day. These are all the moments between the lovely smiles and laughs that your babies give you. When you’re home on your own and you have a screaming baby or two, sometimes frustration can get the better of you.
I don’t remember the day exactly, but I do remember a few key points. One was that both babies hadn’t really settled throughout the night, or that day. Their sleeping was erratic and it seemed that each time one would fall asleep, the other would cry and wake them up again. Feeding them only stopped the crying temporarily. They would start back up again and it was like being trapped in the garage of a fire station with the sirens on all the trucks blaring. I remember gripping one tightly to me as I tried in vain for the 30th time to rock her to sleep. In that moment I distinctly remember thinking to myself “so this is why people shake their babies.” I felt guilty for even thinking that, but I was so tired I could barely see through the fog in my brain. I picked them both up, took them to their cots, put them down, closed the door most of the way and walked outside.
I couldn’t believe that Mr Patience himself had run out of patience. I felt really down and like I’d lost the battle. But as I took a few minutes to calm myself and gather my thoughts, I realised that I had actually won the battle. There is nothing in the parenting handbook that can prepare you for the hard times. In can be any situation with kids of any age. Everyone is different, everyone reacts differently. The key when you lose it mentally is not to take it out on the kids or yourself.
Just as I sat down to read this, there was a story about a woman whose baby died after she shook it. It’s so sad to read things like this. There was another article I read about a new mum with depression. That can be another unintended side effect to being home with a newborn.
For me, I’ve been able to keep it together since. There have been a couple of times where I’ve felt helpless and everyone goes through those times. The key is to be able to set up ways in which you can cope (see my previous post) and if you can’t cope, ask for help.
Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your cool? How did you cope? Comment below or on my Facebook page!