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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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I guess I just need some reassurance for this question. I

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Hello Steven,
I guess I just need some reassurance for this question. I recently had twins, a boy and a girl, and they are almost 4 months old now. I pretty much stay at home all the time. We used to hang out all the time with my husband's sister and her husband as well as our aunt who is similar to my sister-in-law's age. Both women have children close in age and they also grew up together along with my husband. Anyway, we always rented a house in the summer and we all had a great time. Now, I just heard that they are doing that this year also and I cannot help feeling left out. I sort of think I should have had my children earlier so all of them would be close in age and we could all hang out. It would be so helpful to have someone with kids similar age but the youngest one from our group will turn 8 this year. If I had my kids earlier, all of us could be going places and this way, I feel left out and alone and they both do stuff together. Is it going to always be this way? I feel like I made a mistake waiting to have children. Life could be so great now with all of us together and our kids playing together. This sucks. Is this a normal way to feel?

This is a very normal way to feel. You had children at a time when others were already significantly along in the process. You made a choice that was based on your needs and was not simply an arbitrary matter. You did what was best for you at that time. And, it is wonderful that you have twins. That is a terrific and marvelous thing, one that most people do not experience. But, there are good and bad to all choices, and in the short term this can be very stressful and isolating as you have been pressed into a life stage that the others have already completed.

The best news is that this isolating stage will not last. As your children develop and grow out of their high needs stage (about age 1-1.5) they will become a big and essential part of this social group. True, they will not relate the same to this first group of children as there is a large gap in age. But they will have the support and modeling of a group of teens-preteens just when they need it. And, that is developmentally wonderful for both of these groups. Both will need each other in he near future. Simply said, it will not remain so isolating and lonely all the time.

But, for a brief period of time it will be harder as you have a huge development t gap. You have babies vs their "kids". But the speed of your children's development will equalize this fairly quickly.

You are also at a point in your own life where you naturally feel discouraged. 3-5 months after the birth of children is the (no kidding) lowest point on the life satisfaction scale: The stress, fatigue and exhaustion just play havoc with your emotions. It is very easy at this point to feel like you have done nothing correctly and that you somehow missed the bus so to speak. You did not. It was a good choice for you and it will equalize. It is that this is, right now, lousy.

Feeling left out is no fun. It makes people feel everything from unwanted to unimportant to rejected and even betrayed. But, again, this will correct itself in due course. You did nothing wrong in waiting to have children. It was a good choice and it was right for you and... look at the wonderful results. Long term this will fade quickly, but for a while it is normal to feel so odd and isolated. Steven

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello Steven,
Thank you for your response. I needed some time to think about it and I know you are right. However, I still cannot help but feel lonely, rejected and isolated and the worst part is that I think my husband feels this way also. Our friends just got back from that trip and they had a great time apparently, WITHOUT us. I know it sounds awfully selfish but I sort of hoped that they would miss us just a little. But obviously not. I hate that feeling. I love my babies very much, don't get me wrong, but I just cannot help the feeling of rejection. I have been depressed lately because I feel that I will not be a good mom, someone who my kids will consider fun. I keep comparing myself to my husband's sister and I am jealous of her. I mean she just has such an imagination with children. She is a great cook, a superb hostess, an amazing mom and she has a good life. Everyone wants to be around her because of her great sense of humor. I am so not like that and I am afraid that I will never be. I don't know where these feelings are coming from but they are not pleasant. I should be happy as I have a great husband, two wonderful babies and a good life also. I just feel very inadequate in many things, as a wife and a mother. sometimes even as a person. I don't want to feel this way.

If I may be so bold. This issue is not about children or even how you feel your husband might feel. Compassionately said, this is about how you feel about yourself. You have been hurt, and, I believe, feel inferior as a result. This comparison that you do with your husband's sister is common for many people who feel as you do now. What happens is that we set up an ideal person and then compare our (perceived) less than stellar self to her/him.

The truth is that these feelings can be overcome. I know that you do not have a lot of time or resources, but it is apparent that you need some support and assurance about yourself. I strongly suspect that your past is comings harshly into your present. As supportively as I can say this, think about talking with someone face to face about these issues. This is not just about you feeling alone or insecure about parenting. And, as a result, it can be overcome and you can feel better. Ask your family doctor about a referral to a counselor. This is the best practice for what you described and you can feel much better in short order. You are worth it and we all need some assistance sometime. Steven

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