Tips for taking care of IMA
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 8:24 am
I've found myself really neglecting my health and general welbeing, especially since my twins were born. I can sit in a doctor's office for nearly 2 hours to get their cough checked out, but left my own health problems go 2 months before mentioning them to anyone. I forget to eat or drink for hours, and put aside the best food for my kids, usually eating their leftovers afterwards or drinking tea instead of eating a meal. I bathe them all daily but I'm lucky if I have a 2 minute shower twice a week. I feel really terrible physically and mentally from the strain of just not taking care of myself, but I'm struggling to find a balance between their needs and mine.

Does anyone have any tips on how to take care of yourself while caring for lots of small kids?
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 8:28 am
I think you'd be in a special category with 4 under 3 but it's a feeling all mothers of little kids can probably relate to. The eating and sleeping is a struggle for me too so no advice there but with regard to showering, I made it a nightly routine that right when my husband comes back from maariv it's my turn to shower and take as long as I need. Either the babies are sleeping or he needs to be with them but when I'm showering, I'm not on duty.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 8:29 am
Lol. Get more help around the house. I mean it.
Get babysitting. Explain to your husband that it's a necessity for your long term health.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 8:58 am
Go out at night with friends one night a week for a breather.

Sit down for three meals a day. Why are you eating leftovers??

Drunk a lot.

Take your vitamins.

take walks.

Have a date night.

Take a nap midday or sleep in and have DH wake up for the kids

again, I don’t know your schedule and DH and what’s realistically possible but take one step today. Maybe you can hire a babysitter one morning a week or one evening?

Treat your children’s mommy and husbands wife with compassion.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 9:00 am
There are no magic solutions, really. What you're doing is beyond the physical and mental capacity of anyone, so of course you're dropping the balls. You simply need greater physical and emotional support, regardless of the cost. It's a standard expense for families in your situation. Taking care of your physical and mental health is a necessity, not a luxury- no less than that of your children. The same way you don't think twice about feeding them when they're hungry and not watering down their formula, even if it would save you money. You spend whatever is necessary to give yourself the ability to function properly as a mother.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 9:23 am
Best thing I did was send my 5 month old to the babysitter. And that was my only baby at the time. If you can find someone to take your twins for a few hours every day, do it!
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 9:28 am
I think you answered yourself in your first paragraph as to what you need Now you need to figure out how. It is really that you realize you need to prioritize your self care. It took me years to clue in. Even with people constantly telling me, that mommy needs care too!
This may sound extreme, but sometimes Ima's needs need to come even before the kids, because if ima isn't taken care of, the kids don't have an ima who is fully there to take care of them.

Some ideas:
Ask your husband that he encourage you to take care of your health. And tell him right away when you aren't well so he can help you( tell you to go to the doctor/ take a vitamin, make you a cup of tea). ( If you don't tell him, he won't guess on his own)
Make yourself a filling and nutritious breakfast once your kids are taken care of ( off to daycare/ sleeping/ playing quietly). Nibble along with them to tide yourself over)
The nightly shower idea above sounds wonderful.
Nap with the twins every day.
Get a babysitter once a week so you can do something you enjoy on your own.
( I'm a mom of 4 under 4 incl. Twins, and every time I see you post I marvel at how you manage!)
Note: these are just ideas that have worked for myself. You will need to figure out what works with your schedule and your family. I find that just one small thing, such as a good breakfast, goes a long way to making me feel human again!)
... And make sure you get enough water!
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 9:34 am
Another thing, when I was post partum I got these amazing breakfasts from a local organization that were basically enough food for breakfast and lunch that was filling, healthy, fresh and delicious. After my husband and I saw what a difference those made, we factored into our monthly budget to get breakfast like that from a bagel shop every so often and they make such a difference. Being well fed in the beginning of the day gives your day a huge boost.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 9:34 am
My oldest was 3 when my fourth was born and none were in daycare or preschool yet so I understand how you feel. For me, the answer was doing one thing from my whole laundry list of self care and it helped me feel better. If you are having health issues, then I think the first order of the day is to get yourself to a Dr. You will be surprised how much validation you get from that one thing.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 9:48 am
unexpected wrote:
My oldest was 3 when my fourth was born and none were in daycare or preschool yet so I understand how you feel. For me, the answer was doing one thing from my whole laundry list of self care and it helped me feel better. If you are having health issues, then I think the first order of the day is to get yourself to a Dr. You will be surprised how much validation you get from that one thing.

I think this is very wise and practical advice.
Feel good, op.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 10:43 am
Many thanks to everyone for the wonderful advice! Particularly the breakfast idea and the laundry list for self care, that's definitely something I really need to start investing in starting now. I found out today from my babies' pediatrician that I have erythema nodosum which is basically really painful welts on my legs and painful joints, which has basically forced me to reassess how I'm managing. BE"H these hard few months will pass and I'll get out the other end in one piece! Thanks again to everyone!
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 11:08 am
Protein shakes! It was my lifesaver and energy boost when I had 2 toddlers! Drink one in the morning and another one before the dinnertime- bathtime hour.. And ofcourse keep a water bottle handy all the time.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 11:25 am
I started making large pans of healthy meals that I like, and freezing them in single portion microwavable containers. Casseroles with lots of tuna and vegies, vegie and egg and cheese muffins, chili, lentil soups, pea soups, etc.
Once it's in the freezer, I encourage myself to microwave and eat it.
It gets boring and repetitive. But I feel so much better when I've eaten something real and not scraps.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 11:53 am
Seriously, you must snap out of this before it's too late. You are only showering twice a week? And you live in Israel? Seriously, that's not normal. Nobody does that. That's not a lack of self care, that's gross neglect.

I assume your dh comes home every evening. Put him in charge for half an hour every evening, and just shower. He can manage, he's an adult. And you won't manage if you continue like this.

Same thing with not eating (although I wish that would be my problem when stressed! I have the opposite). Anyway, if you don't eat, you will get sick. You are neglecting yourself. You won't be able to continue to function if you are sick, so best to prevent that, for your kids' sake as well as yours.

Are your older kids in gan/daycare?
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little neshamala


Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 11:57 am
Israeli c, your situation is pretty nuts, but you are absolutely right that you need to take care of yourself. You are Hashem's daughter. An actual princess, and you need to feel like one.

Some tips...

-when you make supper, double it and freeze some. Either freeze small portions for yourself to reheat, or freeze so you have a free supper night in the future, and use the free time for yourself.
-get a powerful countertop blender, like a ninja, that also has a smoothie cup option so you can blend yourself a drink directly in your cup. There are millions of filling and delicious recipes online, with many healthy options too. Maybe decorate your cup and get yourself a cute straw. A filling smoothie (you can add flax seeds, nuts, peanut butter for protein) can really tide you over and its easy to sip through the day.
-quick lunches like a deli (or any) sandwich, ramen noodle soup (you can make your own healthy soup mix if you dont want the store bought type) with some canned beans or veggies in it, oatmeal or farina in the microwave are all super quick and easy.

you deserve to feel clean and fresh. If longer relaxing showers/bubblebaths are simply not in the forecast right now, then go buy yourself an extra special shampoo or body scrub. Whatever you like. Give yourself an extra 90 seconds in the aisle to choose between the scents. Make it special. Coconut? Orange pomegranite? This is for YOU! Because you deserve to feel nice.

-I get that you have no time. But some things literally take 5 minutes.
-Lay on your bed for 5 minutes with your feet up on the wall, a scented candle and soft music. Put an alarm so you dont fall asleep lol.
-yoga. I can not emphasize enough how a simple vinyasa flow yoga sequence for only 5 minutes can completely transform your day. I literally get infused with energy and calm. Disclaimer-I asked my Rav (yeshivish, big posek) about yoga and he said its totally fine, but just to mute the audio if the instructor starts talking about sun gods and stuff. There are tons and tons of wonderful yoga instructors on youtube who stay clear of such talk. Ask your own Rav of course-I highly recommend this! And kids love to join in!
-I am not an advocate for screen time with children. But you know what, sometimes I am. Like now. Put each child/baby in a seat or car seat or whatever and let them watch some uncle moishy. If you dont let them watch that, consider putting on some home videos, your wedding video, whatever. 25 minutes of screen time will not hurt them, but it will help you carve some time for yourself. You can (gasp!)read a novel. Paint your toes. Draw. Write. Chill. Color in an adult coloring book.
Things like this are important for you. You need to feel like a princess in order to do your tafkid. Being stressed out, unhealthy and overall neglecting yourself is not doing your family any favors.

I wish you so much hatzlacha. Kudos for recognizing that this is important.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 12:33 pm
Is dh helping more these days?
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 12:40 pm
I started sending my daughter to a drop in babysitter once a week so that I can take a yoga class. It is invaluable.

Israeli_C, you definitely need some childcare help so that you can take care of yourself.
Make a list, like others have said.
Stock your freezer with ready to microwave, healthy food. Egg muffins (like a quiche) are great for breakfast and lunch on the go.
I like to make a pot of quinoa on Sunday and a pan of roasted veggies. Portion it out and you have snack/lunch for a few days. I also add some bulgarit cheese cubes.

Keep a water bottle handy and keep refilling it all day.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 2:19 pm
Can you get a hischool girl that has to fill her chesed hours to come after school to help you in the house with kids & chores, or to take out your twins outside for a stroll for a little bit so you can catch up on yourself?

You come first so that you can care for others. Make yourself a huge big plate of a healthy meal & share with your kids not you sharing from their plate, their leftovers.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 2:19 pm
Many thanks little neshamala, I definitely want to try some of your suggestions. Some sound so foreign to me (scented candles!! music!! yoga!!) It's been a long time since I had these things. I have one of those ninja shake makers but never had time to use it. I think I'll try to make an extra effort in the mornings- perhaps take 'shortcuts' like using soy milk instead of peeling almonds :/
DH has started washing the dishes when he finishes eating with the kids, giving DD her bath and putting DS to sleep. It's still mayhem here, especially as the twins get bigger and it's increasingly harder to put them to sleep.
My 3 year old is in gan til 4.30pm but my 2 year old (who is very demanding) is out by 1.30pm. He's one of these kids who's always doing something dangerous, it's hard to watch him.
I had childcare from a neighbour but she went awol. We paid her well above the normal rate (50NIS) to take DS out for a walk for 2 hours, but she's just one of these people who doesn't like being employed basically. Now looking for a fill in who I can trust, it's hard once DS had gotten attached to her to bring someone new.
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Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 2:22 pm
Can you get a home health aide from insurance or government to help you with twins & basic house chores?
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