I’ve got to be selfish to survive

I forgot your birthday, failed to send you a card, missed posting a birthday message on your facebook wall, and didn’t make your birthday drinks?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

You’ve made the effort to come to visit and I’ve got no food in, I’ve run out of coffee and the house is filthy?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

We had plans to meet up, and I’ve just phoned/texted/emailed you with less than 24 hours to go to cancel?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

I promised you I’d design you a poster, help with your fundraising, set up a website, and I didn’t deliver?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

I haven’t seen you for ages, and keep promising to call to fix a time to meet up?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

You’re going through a really tough time, or planning something incredible like a wedding, and I’m not there to offer support or share your excitement?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

I owe you a blog post, a review, a vlog, a reply to your email or I haven’t commented on your blog for months ?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to be selfish to survive.

Because right now, I’m drowning. I’m spiralling downwards fast, and I can’t get back up for air. The last six months (or more) have been relentless and they’ve taken their toll. I may have survived the first year with twins, but the second year is just as hard, in different ways. The physical and mental demands of two toddlers are exhausting.

I’m supposed to be ‘back to reality’, out of that first year’s fog, but I feel like I made it halfway and got stuck. Because although I got myself back to work and organised childcare, and planned my days with the kids, I failed somewhere along the line to make time for myself. And now I’m paying the price for that.

29 comments to I’ve got to be selfish to survive

  • Don’t feel bad, we have to do what we have to do.

    I’ve found that whatever we do as parents we seem to forever juggling and feeling guilty so the best thing to do is try and do what’s best for you and your little family.

    Screw the rest of ‘em ;-)

  • Here here, I hear you. You are hereby forgiven for all of the above and anyone who says otherwise can go jump. Now go and put the kettle on and rest that full, busy head :)

  • God! I know just how you feel. Not only have I got double the children this year, but my partner is so busy with work he really gets home before 8 or 9 at night, and has been working 7 days a week.

    So we’ve gone from two adults caring for one child, to one adult caring for two children. AND I started back working when Lil Sis was just two months old. AND we moved house (just like you’re doing!)

    Some days I look around and feel so utterly overwhelmed I’ll have a little cry out of pure frustration!!!!! But, of course, crying doesn’t unload the dishwasher, or make lunch for Big Sis, or return that email I’ve been trying to write for three days!!!

    So, like you, I’ve just had to prioritise. Like how blood leaves the limbs when you’re badly injured to concentrate on repairing core organs, I’ve had to withdraw myself from all the non-essentials to get by, like meeting friends, talking on the phone, taking long baths, going to the gym, returning social emails, etc.. etc…

    They’ll still be there when I have got a bit more time to myself, and if people don’t understand they can just get stuffed!!

    We’ll look back and laugh… won’t we????? :) xxxxx

    • Young Mummy

      Love the analogy with repairing core organs – that is so spot on. I hope there are still friends left when I resurface. Like you say, the good ones should still be around, and those are the ones that really count. Sounds like you have so much on your plate – I think you’re incredible. I know that doesn’t really help when you’re struggling, but when I next see you I’ll give you a big hug as I reckon you need it. x

  • lovely post, and something a lot of us can relate to.
    Those that matter will understand, and those that don’t won’t – and you don’t need to worry about those.

  • Oh Jesus girl I can relate to every single word of this and I only have one. (I say only…)
    All I can and will say is, you WILL make it through. One step at a time. Not day by day, but hour by hour – or even minute by minute. I started blogging for all the reasons you have just mentioned above, at a very dark time. 3 years on I am still just about hanging in there and things are still really f*ckin tough … but I’m still here and you will do the same – you’ll hang on. You won’t give up because you can’t … and you’ll come out the other end and will be ok. I promise. Let’s face it, I’m Ms Chaos, so if I can do it, you can too. I still have no time for myself, but I’m learning to be brutal in deciding what is important to me, what will help me through / inspire me / keep me going and to cut out the crap. There are so many other activities that really are just superficial and which do not play an essential role in my ‘survival’ just at the moment. Often it’s more a ‘putting stuff on ice’ than getting rid of them altogether, but doing that deliberately and with careful thought, is actually quite a relief and even when maxed out, you’ll find you can take a couple of free breaths every now and again.
    I have no idea if you can understand any of this babble, but I understand yours. You have used a lot of the same words and expressions to describe what you’re going through and reading your piece is like reliving those times again. I feel like my luck is now just starting to change after a very long struggle. I’m far from there yet, but it shows that it will happen. I never stop believing deep down that it will get better – even on the dark days. I think it’s that that has pulled me through. Don’t give up Babe and you’ll come out of it.
    God this is waffley!! I hope I haven’t insulted you by piling in like this, but I really do get it and I’d like to say if you need someone to blurt to at any time, I’m here.

    Take good care Girl.


    • Young Mummy

      Such a brilliant comment, and everything you say makes perfect sense. I need to be ok with ‘putting stuff on ice’ and I’m working on that! x

  • Sweetheart I know exactly where you are – and yes, the best thing you can do is to be selfish, sometimes you just need to focus on you and yours and ignore everything

    I’ve so been here – at the moment I’m not doing things that I should but you know what, real friends and other mums will cut you slack – you’ve had an awful amount on your plate and you know what, with twins it doesn’t get easier in the same way it does with a singleton

    Cut yourself some slack my friend and don’t beat yourself up about stuff that others are just shrugging off

    With hugs, love and heaps of understanding xx

  • second year of twins – been there!

    You’ll be fine lovely – if you ever want a chat from someone who is through the toddler years just get in touch.

    stay happy :)


    • Young Mummy

      Actually, that would be great. The toddler stuff is very overwhelming at the moment, so would be good to chat sometime soon. Thanks x

  • It’s tough.

    We all know it’s tough. We all make mistakes, forget people, forget circumstances, get caught in our own fog.

    And we’ll all come through it. Eventually. Life happens. I cannot imagine what it’s like with twins. You’re doing a great job, and doing what’s right for you and your family first and foremost. Everyone else will catch up eventually.

    Big hugs xxx

    • Young Mummy

      I think it’s great to share it with a blog post because you can get words of support that give you a little boost. Big hugs back to you x

  • I hear you- I could have written it myself about my life. Sorry you’re having a hard time….unfortunately, I’ve learnt that the only way it gets easier on you is if you’re easier on yourself- not easy to do, I’m still trying!

  • Kinda improves in the second year with twins, well sort of…year 2 seems a lot better than year one in this household! Fug will clear, try not to over think and commit too much of your time. Silly to state the obvs but enjoy the time when you are a mum to two. With 3 its much harder….hope it all improves and I know you have such a lot on your plate right now. Throw away that excel spread sheet of how your life should be xx

    • Young Mummy

      I found 12-18 months much easier, but now, although I’m enjoying it a lot more than the first year, I am finding it totally exhausting, physically and mentally. Toddlers naturally want to test you all the time, and it’s hard when you’re getting a double hit of it. Dealing with a tantrum takes all your focus and energy, but that’s impossible when there’s another little person demanding your attention at the same time. Not sure what the answer is, just need to find techniques to cope with it.

  • IT’s funny how we all think it’ll get easier after the first year, but in my humble opinion the 2nd is about 100 times harder because your little person (or persons in your case) can move and they move bloody fast and they can shout, scream and be stubborn in a much more, well frustrating way really. I don’t have twins but I have 2 toddlers, 18 months apart and I can tell you that sometimes I just want to walk out the door and keep on walking. Then when I’m at work and someones gives me shit to deal with I lose it, I just can’t be everything to everyone. I got myself in right pickle when I was writing my book, writing my blog, writing a business blog, working 5 days a week and trying to be a decent mum and wife. I ended up having a complete meltdown and my real friends understood. Sometimes something has to give. For me now it’s my writing and my business I want to set up so I can finally get out of my awful work situation. But I’ll pick that stuff back up when I’m stronger. And that is the best I can do. As for friends and family and all the other things we feel bad about, I agree with the earlier comments. Real friends and those who love you get it, they just do.

    Wow! Sorry about that, only stopped by to say hi and thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. Don’t feel under ANY pressure to reply btw. Just don’t. Chin up xxxx

  • Young Mummy

    Thanks lovely. Although it’s horrible hearing that you’re in a similar situation, it’s somehow comforting to know I’m not the only one struggling! I think we convince ourselves (or I do, anyway) that we can do everything, and that we’re coping and then suddenly it hits you. Hope you can find a way out soon. x

  • Oh Darling Girl. Motherhood separates the wheat from the chaff. The ones which matter, stay. My only tiny little piece of advice is make some Me time even if it is only 5 minutes and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. This took a looong time for me to learn. I have to recharge my batteries, my OH works long long hours and lately it has been 6 days a week and a huge worry so I have been carrying the family all but solo. I recharge by watering the garden, knitting 4 rows, buying Country Living,taking photographs of apple blossom…all small things which allow me a moment to breath. I really AM here if you need ANYTHING. xxx

  • I am finding it more draining to look after Piran now he has reached this age, as he tests boundaries and tries to exert his independence. I cannot imagine that times two.

    You and your family are your priority. That’s not selfish, just good sense.

    You better come and see me this weekend though ;)

  • A post I could have written my self, always feeling sorry or guilty but am just about doing what I can to survive x

  • You do what you have to do for you and yours, that’s what’s important.

  • Hi, have been looking on Bing for that topic and took me ages to finally find a blog that provides the needed infos – and that not in boring way, quite opposite. Rarely to find and the design is cool as well. Maybe just change the link colour to green, but that just besides. Thanks again and I’ll check this blog more often now. Site bookmarked! Thank you so much for sharing it up! See you

  • Elaine

    It’s ironic- I found this post searching online feeling tired and selfish from a completely different perspective. As a single woman who has watched my girlfriends get married and have beautiful children, it’s been hard to see their lives move in a different direction. I’ve celebrated baby showers, kid’s birthdays, made casseroles for new moms, babysat, driven 2 hours out of my way into the ‘burbs to give my friends a break with the kids so that they can nap…. only to experience sadness that because their priorities have changed, and their kids and families need to be their priority- they can’t be there for me.

    The saying that “motherhood separates the wheat from the chaff, the ones which matter, stay” goes both ways.

    So too, does the feeling of “doing what we need to survive”. Because for me to survive- emotionally and spiritually- I need friendships of substance. As much as I know that I until I’m a mom, I won’t even be able to understand the busy-ness and impossible schedules-I do know that at the end of a hard day, I need friends who can provide a listening ear. That when I am celebrating a birthday, and there isn’t a special someone to wish me a happy birthday when I wake up in the morning next to me or fingerpaint me a picture… I need friends who will pick up the phone and wish me happy birthday.

    I have some friends who are moms who are able to make time to be my friend, in the same way that I make time to be their for them as their family grows. There might be less time spent together, fewer calls… but our friendship still deepens.

    But for those friends who can no longer fit me in… for months and then years… Yes I do appreciate their need to survive… I really, really do.

    But even though there are no hard feelings, I move on to survive too.

    • Heather

      Hi Elaine, thank you so much for your comment, it’s really made me think. I can totally identify with you, and fully respect that you too feel that you have to move on. It makes me incredibly sad that I might have to bid farewell to some really amazing friendships, but maybe that’s what will just have to happen, and I will have to hope that, after these early years with the twins have passed, and I regain some semblance of a life for me, that I’ll meet other people who will become truly great new friends. And in the meantime, I think I need to up the place some of my best friends hold on my priority list, so that I can be sure I make more time for them.

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