Q&A: "help for a shitty mom"

Encouragement needed. Kelly, who has a 3-year-old son and 4-month-old twin boys, is in a world of pain. She writes:

"I really need help. Or validation. Or something. You're the only person I know to ask and won't tell me I'm a total loser.

I am about to lose my mind. The boys still aren't sleeping. Actually, they are on this fucked up schedule where 1 will go to sleep at 9:30pm and sleep 3-4 hours, then wake up, eat, and sleep for 5-6 hours. The other will go to sleep at 9:30 and sleep for 6 hours straight, eat, then wake again after 3 hours. I am about to lose my mind. Oh...wait...I already said that. I won't even mention about how they don't always go back to sleep after I feed them. That is another whole pain in my ass.

The worst part is that I am really getting resentful of them and I'm to the point of mostly not even liking them. It is completely stupid because they are babies for God's sake. I know it isn't their fault and they are just being babies, but SHIT ALMIGHTY I am dying here. Today, they didn't want to go to sleep at naptime...they both cried uncontrollably, even after rocking and even after putting them in the swings (and BTW...I am using the damn swings as a crutch, but I AM SO TIRED). I finally had to throw them in the car and drive. They fell asleep for 15 minutes and promptly woke up when I got home.

I have never been a fan of CIO (didn't need to with SuperAiden, the perfect baby but terrible toddler). My heart would break at the thought of letting my baby scream, but I am starting to do it now and the worst part is I don't feel bad about it. It is awful...letting a 4 month old baby cry his little heart out, but I just don't know what to do anymore.

My mom was here 5 days/week, but she is 72 and can only handle 1 baby at a time. (She's now at her vacation place in Florida for a well-deserved month vacation.) My husband is worthless with all 3, but seems to think I should be able to handle this after all my nanny experience (which I probably could IF I COULD GET SOME SLEEP). I can't even nap during the day because they take those bullshit 45 minute naps and I can't always get them back to sleep...even if I put them in the swings. Then, of course, Aiden will need to use the bathroom at least once during his 2 hour rest time. He doesn't go potty by heimself because A. he's in that "I can't do it...help me!" phase; B. he gets distracted and will wander through the house/fill the sink/go outside/find something to hurt himself/make a mess.

Between me no longer having a job and my husband's 35+% pay cut from 2008, hiring someone is really not in the cards right now. And even finding someone is so. much. work.

I really wanted these little twits...I even wanted twins. I knew the first few months would suck, but I really didn't expect things to suck this bad. For this long.

And regarding the going to bed thing, we talked about how my husband can just stay up and wake the 3 hour sleeper to feed him before bed, but what do I do about milk supply? I am already struggling (as I did with Aiden). I'm taking fenugreek and goat's rue. As it is, they eat every 2 hours during the day (another sucky chapter to this story), but if I go 4 hours, I can't pump any more than if I pumped after 2 hours. I'm afraid of what will happen if I go 6 hours. I'm already supplementing and I really don't want to supplement more if I can help it.

I want to look back on this time fondly (like I do with Aiden), but right now all I see is a crazed lunatic mother who yells all the time and resents the kids she so badly wanted. WTF do I do???"

Oh, crap. I am so, so sorry that you're in this awful place right now.

I don't know exactly how to fix things, but I can give you a reality check:

1. It's really OK that you hate things right now, and even that you resent your babies. You won't forever. A lot of us have, especially in the really early days like this. It's easy to feel love all the time when you're not under constant physical torture.

2. It sounds to me like your prioritizing a lot of ideals over your own health. Maybe take a step back and assess how you'll feel in 5 years about supplementing or doing CIO or having a really crappy come-to-Jesus conversation with your husband vs. spiraling down into emotional despair and physical ruin that make take you months if not years to climb back out of. There are a lot of women out there who are eternally grateful that they supplemented (or switched entirely) with formula, or did sleep things they don't actually approve of (CIO or cosleeping being the top two examples I can think of), or just told their partners the truth: You need to step up or I could end up in the hospital and you'll have to do it all by yourself. You made the decisions you did about these things when you had a whole different set of information than you do now.

3. You have twins. And a kid who can't go to the bathroom by himself yet. That's hardcore. Of course it's really difficult. You're doing an amazing job.

4. Tell someone. I mean, besides me, because I'm thousands of miles away and can't give you the physical help you need. But your local friends, they love you. And they will feel horrible when they find out how much you were hurting and that they didn't know to help. Please give them the gift of trusting them enough to let them know this about you and help you. As someone who's not currently sleep-deprived except by the stupid Olympics schedule, I would feel like you were really my friend if you trusted me enough to ask me for help. They will, too.

5. It's not going to be like this forever. If you can keep waking up every morning, eventually it will get better. It'll get better faster if you ask for help. But it'll get better no matter what.

Are there any moms of multiples who want to offer sympathy or stories or suggestions about getting the babies on similar schedules?

Any moms of singletons who want to offer sympathy or stories or support?

Please do.