How Do You Know If What You’re Feeling Is Normal?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself basically since the day the twiglets were born. I felt utterly and completely overwhelmed in those first few weeks, even months, and constantly found myself wondering ‘is this normal?’ In the very early days, when we first brought our tiny bundles home, the midwives and health visitor were keeping a very close eye on me as they were concerned about my emotional state. I talked in previous blog posts about how I was pretty traumatised by their birth, and the problem with this is that you have no time whatsoever to make sense of it and come to terms with it – you’re immediately thrust into the toughest job of your life, with more responsibility than you’ve ever dealt with before. Not to mention the fact that my undercarriage was in tatters, I was desperately and futilely attempting to produce milk and get even one baby to stay on a tit for longer than five seconds, and I was a ball of raging hormones. When you put it like that, then maybe the fact that I could barely get a sentence out without bursting into tears was normal – I still don’t know and I don’t think I ever will…
Recently I have found myself asking this same question again… Is what I’m feeling normal? And yet again, I just don’t know. I know that I’ve not been feeling quite like myself, which is about the vaguest way of putting it, but it’s a feeling that’s so hard to describe… just feeling ‘not quite right’ but when you can’t put your finger on exactly what’s wrong. I do know that I feel very very tired and I wonder if that’s the whole crux of it. I’m not sure if the exhaustion has got worse or if I’ve just begun to notice it more because I’ve actually been getting more decent nights lately so would expect to be feeling more awake and alert! As it is, sometimes I get overcome by a wave of exhaustion which makes me feel achy all over and, if we’re out walking or something, almost dizzy. If we’re at home, I sometimes can’t help but to just go to sleep for a bit – obviously knowing the twigs are safely contained in the living room, watching tv or something. But it’s not exactly ideal to say the least and just seems more extreme than ever, especially considering there was a time when I used to be up about 20 times in the night with them and don’t remember feeling quite like this then. I wonder if there may be a physical reason such as low iron or B12, as I’ve had problems with these in the past… 🤔
As well as having these waves of exhaustion, I’ve been feeling like my patience is at an all-time low and I’m on such a short fuse. Again, is this just normal? Two-year old twins would test anyone’s patience and can be incredibly frustrating. Now that they don’t always nap, it definitely feels very relentless which I know I’m struggling with, despite them being at nursery for two days a week. I feel like I’m just not being anything like the parent I want to be. I believe in gentle parenting and talking to children at their level etc, yet I find myself constantly snapping and shouting and even losing my temper so much more than I feel I should, and I just can’t seem to control it. It scares me how angry I sometimes feel – like I know in my heart of hearts I would never do anything to hurt them but nevertheless it does genuinely scare me when I feel that loss of control over my emotions. And it seems so ridiculous – like, they’re two for Christ’s sake, I mean what can they really be doing that’s so bad?? But, as I’m sure any parent of a toddler or two will know, these tiny humans can be unbelievably astute at knowing which buttons to press and will do so tirelessly just for sh*ts and gigs 😭 Getting angry is inevitably followed by massive guilt, often tears and just feeling really low and crap. But then there are times when the twiglets are behaving nicely, or being sweet to each other or to me, or they say something really lovely, and I just feel overwhelmed by love for them, really happy and so aware of how lucky I am. It just feels a bit at the moment that there’s no real middle ground – it’s like one extreme or the other. I know that it’s pretty normal for parenting to feel up and down but to what extent?
Anyway, I keep wondering whether I should maybe talk to someone, you know, professional and shiz, like a GP. But I’m torn. On one hand I worry they’ll just laugh me out the room and call me a timewaster for whinging that I’m tired when I have two-year old twins 🙈 (I do know that’s not quuuite what would happen 🙊🤣) And on the other, I worry that if I start admitting I’m struggling, someone will see through me and realise I’m a fraud and not actually capable of looking after my bubbas and, like, take them away or something (I’m fully aware of how silly that also sounds 🙈) So I think I will start by taking some vitamin supplements and see if that makes any difference – hopefully there’s a simple explanation like a vitamin deficiency, or maybe it’s just a random period of feeling down, or maybe it’s just a normal way to feel when you have two little ones going through a challenging stage of development and you’ve been sleep-deprived for nearly three years… Who the hell knows? I guess only time will tell. As always when I start opening up about any struggles or problems I might have, I feel horrendously guilty for moaning when there are so so many people out there, other mums I follow on Instagram etc, who are going through real shitty shit stuff in their lives right now. So it feels ridiculous and quite self-indulgent for me to be whinging that I feel tired and a bit weird 🙈 But I always remind myself that if everyone thought like that, no-one would ever talk about their feelings and therefore be able to deal with them, as there’s always going to be someone going through something worse. Whatever the reasons, our feelings are all important and valid (that’s what I tell myself when I’m being a whiny cow anyway 🙈🤣) So, do let me know if you’ve had a similar experience and what, if anything, helped – I’d love to hear from you 😊