SAHM at wits end!!

Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I feel like the worst mother in the world. I am the stay at home mom of twin girls who are a few weeks shy of their 2nd birthday. I REALLY need help figuring out what to do with them. Everyone keeps telling me they shouldn't be watching any TV but I'm running out of ideas to keep them entertained. I need creative ideas. I have no money and no car and its over 100 outside so we can't go out. I used to be a preschool teacher 10 years ago. You'd think I could think of things but other than playdough and crayons, I'm clueless. If anyone has any good websites with ideas too, that would help. Everything I seem to find is for 3 and older. My girls are a bit behind developmentally too. They were 2 months preemie. I'd like to be able to create some sort of schedule to bring my stress level down and to keep them away from the TV. They read and play with blocks and puzzles but I feel guilty putting them in their room and not playing with them. Please help.

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Kim - posted on 09/13/2011

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Ugh.. Don't listen to her! You are the parent NOT her! And you need to tell her to stop saying you're doing something wrong. Not to be a b*tch, but she needs to know what her roll is, and that's to be the grandma! My boys are my first also, it is stressful to have two at once! Do whatever makes you feel like you are doing a great job, not what other people expect you to do. :)

Kim - posted on 09/13/2011

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You are by far a horrible mom! But in my opinion there is nothing wrong with kids watching tv. My boys will have cartoons on while they are playing, but the actual time they spent actually watching them, is probably about an hour a day. It is ok to let your kids play on their own, it teaches them to be independent and creative. You can't always be there to hold their hand. I leave my boys alone to play in the livingroom for short periods of time while I clean, do laundry or cook etc. I know to worry when it gets quiet, that means they are up to no good! But I keep the room as baby proofed as possible... but they can get out of control..lol There are very good educational cartoons for kids to watch these days. One of my boys actually will "talk" back to the tv and "answer questions" ( they don't actually talk yet) But they love these shows, so I let them watch them. There really is no harm in tv just as long as it's not used to babysit your kids all day long. But we all need a break once in a while for ourselves. I do sympathize with your inability to get out of the house, it must drive you nuts! I try to get out at least once a day or I go nuts. So stop thinking you are the worst mom ever! Because you aren't! There are moms out there that don't care about what their kids do all day and sit them in front of the tv with a snacks and let them get fat and lazy. So stop that negative thinking! You are an awesome mom!!

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haven;t read other posts yet (short on time as usual with twins) but I was in same boat as you exactly! ece and figured should know how to keep them happy but hey...when you don't get breaks or leave at the end of the day its a different story! re: tv...I was dead set against it til first two yrs. but caved at about 18 months and am so glad I did. we don't have a proper tv set up that's sfe for them so I downlaoded a pile of you tubes and bought elmo dvd's for computer. saves me big time some days.

thanks for everyone posting the links. will definitely check them out. I did get them into daycare recently but they've been sick and its been so hard. I look at the playroom and think man this looks like a friggin daycare how can they get so bored so fast. but they do!

and I too will leave them play now for short periods while getting dishes done and stuff. if they are having tantrums (throwing toys at me is their new favourite thing) and I'm going to lose it I tell them I don't like them throwing toys and leave for few minutes to sit on top of stairs (babygate closed) and chill to get my sanity back. then go back and talk to them briefly and try to keep it together. the earliest das were by far harder for me but toddlerhood is no picnic either. fun and crazy and busy...but very very challenging! so you're not alone. I have my meltdown moments.

oh one thing popped into mind sut now. see if you can find a cheap sol'n (used maybe) for a water table. I set t up with cars/little people/whatever and kept in kitchen. tossed cheerio type stuff in it. kept them happy for long time. til my son kept climging in it and dancing. outside it went :)

Candi - posted on 09/17/2011

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Don't feel bad putting them in their room. That builds rapport between sisters and allows them have some independence. At two, don't do it for too long, but you can expand as they get older. Some great web sites include www.starfall.com, www.sesamestreet.com, and the Super Why site on PBS.com. Do you have therapists coming in for their developmental delays? (That's free through your state's early intervention program. All EI is state mandated.) They can recommend other things to do. Get a sprinkler. We got one for $2.99 at Home Depot. Check out http://familyfun.go.com/. Schedule a toddler dance party in for 10 minutes every two hours or so. It gets some wiggles out. Our toddler dance parties often went for 45 minutes or longer, which was EXHAUSTING for me, but fun for them. There is a toddler radio station on demand, or you can program one into Pandora. Put them in the tub and pretend it's a swimming pool. This worked for my friend Meredith's daughter. There are also kids yoga dvds that are fun to play around with. Cook with them! My boys started "Helping" me cook at around 18 months. It's messy, but fun. Make playdoh together. (Look up a recipe for sparkle playdoh! so much fun!) Go on bug hunts when it's not too hot, or get plastic bugs and hide them around the house. You can set up treasure hunts at this age. Also, at 2, they start to love helping with things like laundry. Good luck!

Christy - posted on 09/16/2011

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I have twin girls and triplet boys and my sanity saver was Baby Wise and then Preschool Wise. Also, I don't see anything wrong with them playing on their own for portions of the day...it's actually good for them. It helps them to learn to be creative. If they are entertained 24/7, they will expect to be entertained going forward...which is why the reason they say no TV (however, I still use TV when I have fussy kiddos and I need to get something done). I don't feel bad about that either because it's not all of the time and I believe everything in moderation...right? Anyway, you are not a horrible mother because you can't entertain your kiddos all day. Reading your message wore me out just thinking about trying to do so. Motherhood comes with all kinds of guilt and we all play that game with ourselves. Just do your best and what you can to keep your sanity!

Penelope - posted on 09/16/2011

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Well, first: YOU ARE NOT THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD! Or if you are, then most of us who would admit it are, too! Second, I'd suggest that you find a way to take a break. Do you have any family or friends who would babysit? Even for an hour or two ? You need some down time, and as a SAHM of 2year old twins plus a one year old, I can totally relate. It's the only way to stay sane and keep balanced enough to meet your own standards as a mom. Emphasis on YOUR OWN STANDARDS. This is a coping time, a time when you need to listen less to others' judgments and more to your own brain. Do what you need to do to cope. If they need a half hour or an hour of tv in the am so you can have a shower--a shower makes a HUGE difference I find- then do it! If that's not safe, then bring them in the bathroom with you and shut the door so that you know they're safe and nearby. Or you can even leave them in their cribs to play games for an hour-again a safe place for them while you get a break. Work that into your routine before anything else. Once you find a way to do that consistently, then you can turn your head back to more things to do for the girls. There are tons of activities, probably already lurking in your own brain but you just need a little headspace in order to make room for them. You are a super mom, but you are HUMAN. Don't forget and don't punish yourself for it. *hugs*

Lynn - posted on 09/16/2011

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Hey Jennifer, I adopted twin girls at 7 so I didn't have them as babies... but I have had other 2 yr old foster kids at a local daycare center and they kept them pretty entertained. One of the things every kid seemed to enjoy was sand and water time (at different times of course!). They would have them in big containers and have stuff that you use in a sand box...shovels etc. When done playing, you store away for the next time. As for being a bad mom, any one who cares enough to ask questions, could not be bad. Don't stress about tv time, dont stress about them having to play alone sometimes... it all makes them better able to socialize etc. Keep smiling.

DANE - posted on 09/16/2011

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I'm not sure where you are in TX, but there are some places around me that are free, especially churches that have play areas. Now that the weather is better, hopefully parks are now an option again!

Jennifer - posted on 09/16/2011

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I'm in TX too. The multiples groups around here have membership fees and at the moment we're barely making ends meet so there just isn't extra money for that. Luckily the weather's been nice two days in a row. I really want to thank everyone for the advice. I talked to my Pastor as well and he reminded me that the girls are happy and healthy so clearly I'm doing something right. I'm trying to remember that no mom is perfect and a little TV, when it's appropriate content, is ok.

DANE - posted on 09/16/2011

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You are doing great! My b/g twins are nearly three and I felt the same way when they turned 2. I let them watch sesame street each day we are home and when that's over, that signifies that it's nap time so it all depends on you and not what others think. I did start trying to let them color and play with playdough when they turned 2. It didn't always work out so well at first, but after a while they loved it. We live in TX and it was always over 100 for months straight so we were a little trapped inside too. They do go through cycles where they are bored with their toys so I have learned to switch them out when I see they are at that point and it's like new toys for them. I hope this helps a little. Have you thought about joining a moms of multiples group? They are great for your sanity! Have a great day!

Jennie - posted on 09/16/2011

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First off, no one knows what you go through as a mother. Something that works for someone else, might not work for you. There is NOTHING wrong with letting your girls watch cartoons. And its good that the twins play together sometimes to give you some time alone so you can catch up on other things. Don't beat yourself up over it. I had twin girls 2 months preemie as well.

Tracy - posted on 09/16/2011

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I was in the same boat you are...I quit working full time and moved with hubby to a different city when my girls were one. I'm not a fan of the TV, but I definitely used it for what I jokingly call Mommy Time Outs. Let's face it we all need a break sometimes! And as for others advice, unless they have multiples, I'd just politely tell them thanks and go on about my merry way ignoring what they said...because it is WAY DIFFERENT having multiples than singles...especially first time around. When it was my Mom suggesting, ignoring didn't work, but my usual response was "That sounds great Mom, what do you suggest I do with the other one at while I'm doing x, y, z with this one?" That usually got her...GOOD LUCK! You could also try early morning walks when it's cooler outside...or play in the hose/sprinkler!

Suzanne - posted on 09/16/2011

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Hi, I really understand where you are coming from. My twin girls have just turned 3 and it has been hard since about 1 to keep them entertained and engaged in things. They are just so into everything and want you to be there for them. Here are some sites that I have found to have helped. Look through some tasks and see the things for the age groups that might help:



http://www.icanteachmychild.com/

http://childhood101.com/2011/09/q-is-for...

https://popet.myworkspace.com/popet_home

http://www.huggies.com.au/kids-activitie...

http://www.toddlertoddler.com/

http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/toddler-...



I hope that some of these ideas will help. I find, drawing and the collage is good as my girls seem to spend hours doing this. If you have a space for them to run around and play without too much supervision that is great too. Now my girls are old enough to run around the yard (have been doing this for over a year now), however I do check on them every so often and depnding on the weather I can do some things. Athough I find it hard to not be dragged into their games as they want to include me.



My girls were nearly 7 weeks premmie but I had them 6 weeks early. So don't fret, all will sort itself out. I can understand the worry. Just do your best and keep on teaching the girls as best you can. There is so many free things that you can do and if you have the time it will work.

Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2011

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Thanks Kim. It's hard because these are my first children and I did NOT have a great example to learn by from my own parents. Plus my mother just loves to tell me what I'm doing wrong.

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