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Grandma of twins ,very tired.


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#1 sewtired67

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

My DD had unexpected twins 6 weeks ago. They were born at home with midwives. She lives within walking distance and I have tried to do everything I can but I can't nor do I think I should do everything. She is successfully nursing both babies and they are doing well. She and her husband are into attachment parenting so the babies sleep with them. There is nowhere else to lay the babies down.  She spends almost all of her time in bed upstairs. I have suggested putting the crib up downstairs so she can resume a life. I have done all the cleaning, laundry, most of the cooking. My SIL works shifts so I have been sleeping there when he works midnight. Last night was a difficult night with the boys and my DD  became demanding about me not being there when she needs me, she didn't et a bath yesterday and when she calls me sometimes the boys wake up before I get up there. I'm there most of the time.I had been keeping the cats(4) litter box clean but SIL just let the bags set in the hall till garbage day, but I started to cut back on some of the things I've been doing.

 

They bought an old house that needs a lot of work. Before the babies were born, I was painting, refinishing floors, sewing curtains etc. SIL doesn't finish anything he starts. In the summer he painted the kitchen but did not finish the trim.I stripped the cabinets and  stained them but when it came time for the polyurethane he wanted to do it. Now DD can't stand not having the doors on her cabinets and expects me do do it. I'm tired and frustrated and right now. What do I do? How can I make them step up. 

 

Am I wrong? I  held my babies a lot. DD is the youngest of 3, she's 10, 12 years younger than her brother and sister.They live out of town but I'm visiting this weekend. I have 3 other GSs and 1 GD. So what do you all think?

 

 I'm sympathetic to DD, nursing can be exhausting and she has 2 so I know she's tired.When  SIL isn't working he spends most of the time in bed with DD and boys.

 



#2 Guest_GoogleEarth_*

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:41 PM

First, my hat is off to you for all your wonderful help. 

 

Might I ask, is your DD incapacitated in some way that means she physically cannot help you with more tasks? Like she had an extremely difficult labor, there's a lot of tearing, or other physical issues that might keep her from going up and down stairs 6 weeks after birth? Is there some sort of emotional incapacity do you think that's keeping her from "stepping" up as you say? What does she say, if anything, about the amount of help she receives from her DH? Or is it just plain to you that he is NOT helping, b/c otherwise, you would have to much work to do at her house. 

 

If she is not, then my answer to you is going to be tough for your heart, but the right thing to do--you need to start saying, "No," and stop allowing her to take advantage of you. 

 

I delivered my son by cesarean. Despite the fact I had major abdominal surgery, I was out of the hospital in two days. I was certainly able to care for myself in the most basic ways after two weeks at home, e.g. I was able to make small meals for myself (a sandwich), I was able to shower with the baby asleep in his bouncer, in the bathroom with me, and I was able to take my son to his doctor appointments. I understand that your DD is facing doing all of these basic things times two--but it's been 6 weeks. Surely by this time, she is capable of doing at least two of these three basic things with two babies. 1. Being able to make herself a sandwich and eat. 2. Being able to take a shower for at least 5 min. Doing these two things, on her own, means she can still spend time in bed with her babies. 

 

I think you need to just start saying no. Honestly, you cannot make them step up, but you can remove yourself from being used. And if it hurts too much to say no all at once, by all means, learn how to set limits for yourself through baby steps. 

 

Say something like, "I can come by Tuesdays and Thursdays for four hours only"--and some of the time, you're helping with the babies, and some of the time you're helping with domestic stuff.  Or, tell her, "DD, come 8 weeks postpartum, I will not be doing your laundry anymore." What's the worst she can do? Yell at you because you won't clean her dirty clothes? I do not agree that you should be--6 weeks out--doing ALL the domestic chores in her household, by yourself. I do believe that her husband should have begun to pitch in at some point regardless of how much he works. Yes, he would like to spend time with his wife and babies....after he comes home and throws a load of laundry in the wash. Or folds a load on the table. 10 minutes out of an hour picking up and 50 minutes in bed with the wife and babies seems like a pretty good deal to me. Thems the breaks when you make babies. To me, you should not still be doing ALL for her, 6 weeks out. I can understand her asking for help with some of the new tasks before her, but not all of them.


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#3 tedybearnana

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:13 AM

GE - i think you gave some excellent advice to sewtired. i agree with everything you said.

 

sewtired, while i think you're 'good as gold' and hope there is at least SOME appreciation and pats on the back for all you've done for them. i also agree with GE that some ToughLove is in order and you need to start backing off of doing all of this. unless there are extenuating circumstances, she needs to get herself out of bed and downstairs, doing stuff for herself.

 

i'm sure twins are more difficult than one - but i nursed and it didn't make me all that tired. it was actually sort of a rest time for me and bonding time, too. right now, if she's nursing, there will be a little extra time feeding two and twice the diapers and loads of baby laundry.

 

the principle of ToughLove (having lots of experience with it) - is to "take a stand" on what you are pretty sure you can handle. the next week, either that didn't work or it did - you get whatever support from the other members and either stick with that stand, or, if accomplished, make another, maybe a little harder. you can call the members for support or help if necessary and we all agreed to that as a part of being in the group. you have US to be your group.   

 

i believe, since it's been 6 weeks, it would be good to cut back on some of what your doing and insist that THEY handle the cat litter, etc, as well as some of the things. i don't know what hours your dsil works, but if it's just one job with rotated shifts (which DO make you more tired if it's a short rotation) - he is certainly well enough to do some of the chores for his family, as well as your dd.

 

can i say that imo (in my opinion), you are being taken advantage of and if you don't want that to happen any more, YOU need to stop it. we can encourage you, but we can't do it for you. that's ToughLove.  (one family even took in my son for several weeks when i had tried stand after stand and he outwaited me, believing he could get away with it. he lived with them until we could make him a believer that we WOULD do it - AND that he negotiated his way back home with talks between the 5 of us - the parents he was staying with, us and my son - who was, i believe 16. we reached a contract, signed by all, including son about what we/he would do or not do if he came home. after the agreement, we let him come home).

 

my feeling is that you are being used, used, used. i think that's your feeling, also - from what i read in your post. they've got quite a deal going - great for them, not so good for you. my thought is that you 'take a stand' that you can handle and GE basically gave you one, already. i would do NO repairs, painting/staining/sealing on their cabinets, etc. you might fix up some frozen meals they can defrost to help out that way, at least for a little while. my guess is that staying in bed all that time has helped atrophy her muscles, so she's going to have to now 'get her sea legs back under her'. going up and down those stairs and doing some of the work will help her do that. i would be doing only genuinely meaningful needs and cut your time in half for a few days, then cutting back more until you've 'cut out' "doing for them that they should be doing for themselves" (a good 12 step definition to "enabling" someone, which seems to be what you're doing. your dsil certainly didn't have a baby and should hop to - and start doing some of it, as well as your dd).

 

going out of town this weekend to visit your other kids and grandkids is a very good start! good for you! it will be very good for them to be on their own and YOU deserve a REST! hugs to you.               


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#4 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:22 AM

I agree that you're being used, big time!  If it's not feeling good to do it, stop doing it!

 

Also, it's not good for your daughter to be in bed all the time.  She's not going to heal or otherwise recuperate properly, from the babies' birth.  Seriously.  She needs to get up and do things that require movement.

 

I'm also thinking she might have some post-partum depression if she's not willing to do things.  What do you think?


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#5 PinkRedYellow

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:35 AM

HI and welcome! You sound like a very loving and generous Mom and Grandma. I think it's wonderful of you to have done all for them that you have done. I do, I really do, so please don't be offended by what I'm about to say. It's not criticism, I understand because you are a kind and giving person you want to help your daughter and her babies. That said -  Stop. Seriously...you asked how to get them to step up. They will step up when you are no longer doing it for them. I have twins myself. Cabinet doors are the last thing on the to-do list when you have two six week old babies. :lol: Unless, you just have to say the word and someone else does it for you. Do yourself a favor and pull back. Only do what you truly want to do, whatever will not leave you feeling taken avantage of and resentful. The cabinets might still be unfinished a year from now. That is okay. One day, during naptime, your daughter will suck it up and do it herself.


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#6 WhichWayU

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:41 PM

Is your Dear Daughter ill?  You didn't say she is.  Is she depressed? Why is she spending all her time upstairs in bed when her babies are almost two months old? Why is he spending all his time in bed when he gets home.  That's weird.  A.P. doesn't mean stay in bed all day.

 

DD and SIL don't need to step up when they have a full time maid, a full time chef, and a nanny as their unpaid staff doing everything for them.  You step back and eventually someone in that house will have to make dinner if they want to eat it.  She's an attachment parent, great.  She still is a homeowner too.  She still is an adult.  She still is a pet owner.  She's still a wife.  One doesn't preclude the others. Being an attachment parent doesn't mean grandmom automatically signed up to do everything else for her that she wants done.

 

Your DD is taking advantage of you.  But you know the old saying: no one can take advantage of you without your permission;) So we here online give you permission to stop giving DD permission to take advantage of you. :)

 

You live within walking distance and you do all the cleaning, laundry, most of the cooking, keeping the 4 cats' litter box clean and spend the night while your SIL works third shift.  She want you to keep doing that AND now she wants you to polyeurathane her cabinets. Her husband says he wants to do that.  I wouldn't dare step on his toes so I would stay away from those cabinets.  (She wants it done faster,  you know darn well she can always kick him out of bed for an afternoon or two to do it. Not that you should say that to them, not at all. Just borrow a tip from SIL , and don't ever get around to it).

 

AND she complains that you're not there enough doing enough. Lets's guess... AND she's complaining you're going away to visit your other children and grandchildren?? Right??  As if you are her personal property that she owns.  Of course she doesn't want to lose her personal houseservant for even a weekend.   I'm so glad you're giving yourself permission to go away!!   Have a great weekend!  



#7 tedybearnana

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:29 PM

sewtired - i hope you're having a wonderful time with the rest of your family. i also hope you are not worrying one whit about how your dd and dsil are managing things! 

 

you've gotten a lot of good advice from different portions of our membership - mils, dils and others. there were those who understand, and i believe practice attachment parenting. from what i understand, i don't believe attachment parenting has anything to do with enslaving your mother to do everything for you for weeks. i hope you can take the parts you like and leave the rest, but please know that we care a lot about you. we tend to sort of 'adopt' people who are being used and are encouraging you to take the hard steps to tell your dd and sil "no more". whatever SHE can't do - then HE needs to do. i'm afraid they may have sold you a bill of goods on what this 'attachment' deal really is. i'm looking forward to your comments of what our friends have given you when you get back. it may take small steps at a time - whatever it takes, please step out and do even a little less at a time. if you can manage to do less more quickly, great! hugs to you ~ tedy  



#8 iluvalmonds

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:55 AM

WWU pretty much covered everything. I just booked at what you've been doing to help them out! Go head superwoman!

#9 rosered135

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:44 AM

Welcome sewtired! Congratulations on being the new GM (grandmother) of twins! I'm mom/MIL/ GM, myself and another one who says bravo for being there for your DD and family! I get your feeling "tired and frustrated," however. Most GPs are at least tired after helping their AC (adult children) with household chores or childcare but whew! - I got exhausted just reading about all you do! 

 

So I also agree with those who feel it's time to begin pulling back! And I'm chiming in with those who want to know if DD is sick, in some way, or, maybe suffering from PPD (post-partum depression)? If not, after 6 weeks, IMO, she certainly should be able to begin doing more for herself. Perhaps she's feeling a little overwhelmed, even though another mom might not. So I wouldn't drop out of the picture, altogether. But I agree with those who suggest that you begin to cut back.

 

I'm a little confused though. You tell us you're at DD's "most of the time" and you've been doing "all the cleaning, laundry and most of the cooking." Yet, the night b4 you posted, DD complained about your "not being there when she needs" you. Chances are, she was just letting off steam b/c she had a rough night with the boys. If so, I would just chalk that up to her own  frustration and fatigue and not let it phase me too much. But is it possible that, with all good intentions, you're focusing on the 'wrong" tasks and times of day? Maybe she'd like more help with the babies, even if, say, the laundry slides a little? Or perhaps she feels very alone when DH can't be there at night and would like you to be there, then, more often (I know you are sometimes) instead of so much in the daytime? That might not work for you, I understand, but that may be where her gripe is coming from. And I'm not  criticizing you, just feeling around for possibilities.

 

Then again, it might be a symptom of PPD. Or, of course, part of the syndrome of taking advantage.

 

As far as SIL is concerned, I'm sorry he doesn't finish what he starts in a timely fashion. I applaud him for wanting to spend time with his DW (dear wife) and new babies but I'm sure he could find time for other things. And DD probably appreciates the time he spends with her and the twins - perhaps he takes over some of their care when he's with them - changing diapers, etc?- but, if so,  then she needs to accept that some things, such as the cabinets, won't get done any time soon.

 

But please rest assured that this is not your problem!  Of course, you feel for DD - you're her mom - but she and SIL need to work this out between themselves, just as they will have to work out many other issues together, throughout their lives, as hustband-and-wife and as parents of those 2 boys! It's not  your job to step in and solve the problem by fininshing those cabinets, etc. And as a PP said, that probably wouldn't totally resolve the issue - b/c while it might make DD happy, it would very likely antagonize SIL. Also, I trust that you're not  voicing complaints, yourself, to either DD or SIL about his not doing the trim in the kitchen or fininshing the cabinets and only expressing these concerns to us. Otherwise, it will just cause tension between you and them.

 

B/c as GE said, "you cannot make them step up" but you can begin to pull back. If you do, you may be surprised at how quickly SIL gets those cabinets done, etc. But if he and DD decide to let it go, for a while, that's ok, too. The point is that, as you start to remove yourself, not only will you get a break and begin to feel better, but hopefully, DD and SIL will figure things out as a couple.

 

I'm glad you're away this weekend and getting a chance to spend time with your other AC (adult children) and GC! And I think it's a good sign that DD and SIL are ok with this. Despite DD's complaints the other night, perhaps it shows they're ready to start living more on their own again. Yes!

 

I notice, though, that you haven't been back in this thread since you posted it. I'm guessing that's b/c you were busy getting ready for your trip, perhaps still helping out at DD's and now, of course, away for the weekend. I hope you're having a great time and look forward to talking with you when you come back in!



#10 tedybearnana

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:50 PM

gosh, sew tired! i do so hope that you have had a great weekend and got some rest, as well as the enjoyment of being with your other dc's and grandkids. i'm anxious to hear what you think of our 'suggestions' - and, please remember, they are ONLY suggestions! we, (it seems as if it's about all of us who have come to the conclusion) seem to feel you are being taken advantage of, by both your dd and dsil.

 

there IS one problem some of us have been thinking as a possiblity, that there might be some post-partum depression going on. IF that's the case, she needs to tell her ob/gyn or her pcp to ask what sort of help she needs for that.

 

true, i only had one child at a time, but i had been sick for months before the birth of my lst child and was put on bed rest for 4 months because i couldn't get over a bad bout of bronchitis. (the most boring 4 months of my life!) because i had to quit work WAY early. my dh had to take a 2nd job to support us. when i had each of my ds's (2), i spent a week at my mom's home when i got out of the hospital and then went home to take care of myself and my son(s) basically on my own. my dh came home to sleep, eat a meal and went back to work. my mom worked, but invited me over for some meals (i lived in a rent house around the corner with the lst and somewhat further away with the 2nd). no, it wasn't real easy, especially as i had depression problems, but my dh and i managed. he brought home the bacon, i managed to sort of take care of the house and the baby (and this was back during the cloth diaper days!) pampers had just come out, but we couldn't afford them except for special occasions as going to church, etc.

 

i guess my point is, it CAN be done, unless if she might have severe depression - but there are remedies for that. also, her dh doesn't work 2 jobs as mine did, leaving me to care for the baby AND house by myself.

 

i hope you'll be able to start backing off some, maybe asking your dd for a list of HER priorities that you can pick and choose from as YOUR priorities to help her - or not. i would strike through the cabinet deal and let her know that is NOT an option. i/we look forward to hearing from you! ~ tedy      



#11 sewtired67

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

Thank you all for the support. I had a great weekend at Dublin on Sat and yesterday celebrated again with cousins at a family get together. This morning I went for breakfast with a dear friend. I have backed off a lot and and the sky didn't fall.

Yes, DD has had health issues. She has fibromyalgia but seldom complains. I know she feels horrible when she's tired. She doesn't seem depressed. She had both an easy pregnancy and delivery, although she did seem tired most of the time.She struggles with anemia but has been eating more red meat + supplements. No, she did not try to make me give up my trip to Columbus. One thing I can say about all 3 of my children is they never seem to mind time spent with the other kids. My DS moved back to Ohio last summer after living in FL for 9 years. I now typically go to my son's house. My other DD lives about 10 min away from him and she and her family usually drive over there mostly because my DD's house isn't baby proof and DS has a 19month old son.

I have ignored any requests that I don't want to do, I don't see those dishes that need to be put in the dishwasher and I have only washed the babies clothes. They seem to be eating because there are dirty dishes.

I think DD knows she was taking advantage and she has backed off.She's talking about nice weather and getting outside and putting the boys in their new stroller but that won't happen this week.  She invited a couple of her friends to see the babies this week so maybe the worst is behind her.

DSIL has worked a lot of extra hours, not by choice, overtime is mandatory but that should stop soon. He worked like this in November also. He's young so I think he can take it.  This week is afternoon shift and I think that's the easiest to get rest. It's after 1PM and no one has called me so they are managing.  

I really thank everyone for their comments. Sometimes you just need some one else's take on a situation even if you already know what you should do. 



#12 tedybearnana

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:20 PM

i'm so happy, sewtired. i'm glad you had a great time with the rest of your kids and the 'newish' baby. also glad ds has moved back closer (from Fla.). i'm sure that makes you happy.

 

fibromyalgia makes you tired and also causes pain, as i understand it. i understand how that might make her not want to be trekking up and down with 2 babies, but, as SHE chose to have them, even tho the 2nd seems to have been a surprise (!? how did they not know that - was it because she used midwives at home and THEY didn't catch it - and are they identical? been meaning to ask about that.) i can understand that 2 might be a more daunting task, but it does seem that they are managing more and more on their own - like eating. of course, i guess the dishes may be waiting for you, who knows?

 

it really is good that they are taking on more and more. hooray for them! AND YOU!        



#13 Cobaltblue

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:58 AM

I have Fibromyalgia.  Stress can cause pain and fatigue.  I hope she is on some good Nutritionals.  I take several.  This helps me with my Fibro.  Also the weather change can cause the pain and fatigue.  When there are days with pain, then the next day is full of fatigue.  Going up and down those steps could be hard for her but she will have to find a solution to this problem. 

 

I am glad that you cut back on your help.  I am also glad that you got to spend time with your out of town family.  You needed this.  I see better days ahead for you.  Yeah!!!



#14 tedybearnana

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

hi cobaltblue - fibromyalgia has to be an awful issue to deal with. i'm really sorry you and sewtired's dd have it. i can only imagine how hard it is to deal with raising 2 grandchildren (no matter HOW much you love those girls and are glad you can take care of them), while having this problem. i'm also pretty sure, sewtired, one of the reasons she was taking such advantage of you and lazing around in bed. of course, i don't think that was ALL of it. i'm just glad you are stepping back and letting her take her life back by being a wife and mother and taking care (between them) of her children and home. of course, it's ok to help out as you choose to but am very happy you are not having to practically live there any more. HOORAY FOR YOU!    



#15 rosered135

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:01 PM

Sewtired, I, too, am glad that you got back to us and gave us more info! And that you had a lovely visit with your other AC and GC!

 

No doubt, fibromyalgia may be making things more difficult for the new mom. I was also thinking more about the breastfeeding... Having breastfed both my DDs, as I recall, in the first week or so it can  be tiring, since newborn breastfeeders get up to eat, every couple of hours. By 6 weeks, as I recall, they usually are eating less often but with twins, depending on how DD handled things, the schedule may still be very erratic. 

 

I was also thinking more about the fact that you say the twins were "unexpected." An exciting surpirse, a double joy, but  it may have really thrown DD and DSIL and it may have taken them a while to fully adjust. I imagine there must have been a scramble for more clothes, etc. (I'm sure you were helpful in that though).

 

Regardless, I'm another one who's glad you're saying "No" to more things now and that they're taking on more responsibility for themselves! Good for all of you! And one of the great things about twins, I understand, is that some things get much easier, much faster than when, say, parents have 2 kids of different ages - b/c they both start school at the same time, etc. So all of this is likely to get even better with time. Enjoy! And glad it helped to talk to us!
 



#16 TheDil

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:42 PM

First of all, congrats to you for being a grandma of twins! Secondly, I think it is great that you are helping your daughter. I know lots of grandparents that don't want to help after a baby is born. They would rather hold the baby and let the new mother wait on them. So kudos to you for that. However, I think that by doing so much for your daughter she has come to expect that from you and I think that you need to just stop. She is six weeks postpartum so she should be healed and is most likely just tired. She needs to get into a routine and be able to care for her babies and run her house without help. She is never  going to learn to do that if you are there doing everything for her.



#17 tedybearnana

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:15 AM

Thank you, TheDil - i think you make a lot of sense and not only have we, as a group been encouraging her to do exactly that, but she seems to be making that decision for herself and backing off, tho i don't believe she wants to bow completely OUT - after all, these are her gks and dd - she just wants to not be used. even with the fibromyalgia the dd has, she's going to have to learn to cope, even getting up and down the stairs when she has to. i apprecicate the support for her and i'm sure sewtired will, also! thank you. with your practical and fair attitude, you'll be welcome here any time. thank you for posting. 



#18 sewtired67

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 11:48 PM

DD was asked to judge a talent contest at her high school this Sunday.It takes about an hour and half.   The girl winning then is the representative to a much larger contest with other schools mid summer. She holds a BA in theater with a concentration in musical theater and has been very active in the arts locally. She represented her school 13 years ago. She seems only a little concerned about the boys but I assured her they will be fine.  One of the teachers who is friends with DD said she'd help me with the boys so it looks like she's going to focus on something else and have a lot of fun while she's at it. Meanwhile there is less tension between us. She laughs when I call her room "the Cave" so for now everything is fine.



#19 tedybearnana

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

hooray! sewtired!! i think this will be very good for her, will get her out of the house and doing something fun and showing her that, though very important, her entire world hasn't become tunnel vision on her twins. she'll fix herself up to look nice, go, have a great time and that will encourage her to get back to at least part of her life that she had previously.... at least to a degree. did she work before the babies came or will she be working? day care, sadly will be doubled.

 

anyway, you and her friend should have a nice time babysitting and doing something VERY helpful for your dd - reminding her there's a world out there that she's missing by staying in her CAVE, lol.    



#20 sewtired67

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:15 AM

Saturday was our first spring like day this year. DD took the boys for a long walk and they loved it. She has decided to do this when they have their fussy time weather permitting. She's spending less time in the cave and showing interest in the house. She's having the outside painted  soon( I guess she knew I just couldn't do it).I'm doing only what I want and ignoring what I don't want to do.Thanks again for the support.