Mother of 2

Demi - posted on 04/19/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I am a mother of two daughters, my oldest is 2 1/2 years old and my youngest will be 1 in two weeks. I do college online and I work part-time and I cook, clean, wash clothes and still take care of them and I just want to know when will it get easier ? I feel frustrated at times, exhausted and angry and it's not my girls fault but still . . . it's hard to juggle ! any suggestions on how to keep my calm? and be happy regardless?

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I actually had someone e-mail me something similar like it and this was my response to her. I hope it helps you in some ways to. Kind of long so bear with me.



Teaching my girls how to help around the house I started by age 1 and I just encouraged them to "help" me fold their clothes as I folded mine. I usually redid theirs a lot for the first year. Now I get informed by my youngest (age 3) that hers are fine and "it's ok mom" as she goes to put them up. I would prefer to have all the clothes nice and neat the way I do mine but theirs aren't really that bad. I just pick my battles and remember that even as a kid I wished my mom would let me do things more my way than hers sometimes. I remember that they are people and though I think my way is best they will have their own way even if I don't agree that it is the best way. :) I have noticed by letting them learn with their own clothes and having siblings they tend to try harder to do it "the right way like mom" more as they get older. I also prefer to have certain drawers in the dressers. They don't. I let them go and put up their clothes so they can decide where to put them. Then I just don't look unless I have to. :) lol

Some other things I do is;

Meal Time:

I have them help set the table with forks, spoons, cups etc. I usually put out the bottle of water, milk, etc before the meal so that I can pour it when we sit down for the meal. All of my girls have to clean up their own dinner dishes and have since age 2. I use the light plastic plates for light weight ease on the younger girls. (heavy plates equal mess on floor and a cry in horror from the child)

Bed/BathTime:

I have bath time every night right after dinner. They girls split up and the 8yr old goes to take a shower while the 3 and 4 yr old take a bath together. The two smaller ones have always put their clothes in the dirty clothes basket when getting undressed and typically have already picked out their nightgowns so those are usually in the bathroom waiting already. If not they do take a bath and then run to their room to pick it out afterwards. I let them decide. They clean up their toys from the tub every night and dry the floor with their towels if they splashed. (they usually do) They then, of course, put those towels in the dirty clothes.

Schoolwork & house cleaning:

As for the rest of the house cleaning and schoolwork I honestly homeschool they girls so usually while they are working on their schoolwork I am cleaning up the kitchen, living room, or preparing the next lessons. I clean the bathroom during "game/movie time" which is right after our physical education time each day. (gives them a small break and I can clean the bathrooms in peace.) Of course the only way they get the "game/movie time" is if their chores are done. Even my youngest has them. My 8yr old has to make sure the dirty clothes gets taken down stairs everyday, my two youngest have to help dust and keep the table clean. All three girls have to keep their toys, rooms, and school stuff cleaned up. If those things aren't done then no one watches the television until it is. Even if it is just one of them that isn't finished. I tell the girls every day all the time that we are a team and a team has to work together and support each other. If one of us needs help then the others have to help no matter what. That you never know when you will need that help so make sure to help each other when the help is needed.



I do know that when I worked full time nights, then came home and took care of my girls all day it was very hard but doable. I would nap with my youngest 2 (they were still napping at the time) and I would sleep for a few more hours after they went to bed and before I had to go to work. Of course I still had to record all of the things we did in school each day and plan out work for each childs homeschooling for at least one or two more days, grade papers, etc. I did all of that while on my breaks or in the slow hours of the morning. (worked as a nurse) I ran 20hr days when I worked full time and was home with the girls full time. Life is much easier as a SAHM but even that has changed as I will have to go back to work to support us yet again but this time permanently back to work. (husband is no longer with us)



I consider this my greatest gift in the world:

I know that no matter how hard it is/seems now that in just a few short years I will be wishing for my "babies" back. The older they get the more independent they are and I know I will miss the baby/toddler they were just as much as I will love watching who they are becoming. Try to think about long term when picking battles. 1. Will this really matter in 5 or 10 yrs? 2. Don't be afraid to back off and think about something for a few minutes before dealing with it either. Especially if you aren't sure how you want to handle the situation/problem/ etc. 3. Remember that at 2 and 3 yrs old your babies are still babies. They won't be for much longer so try to enjoy them as much as you can. IF you still feel overwhelmed with the amount of work then make out a cleaning schedule and do certain things everyday and other things every other day or even once a week. Dusting isn't a big thing and little ones usually love to help clean. They can get everything below and you can do everything else. (working together) They can help put up clean dishes that go down on their level and you can get everything else. (hint: put a chair by the silverware drawer and let them put up all the silverware) IF you have pets make it the kids responsible to feed them before they eat breakfast and before dinner. If the pets don't have food then wait the meal until the child feeds the pets and washes hands again. Learn to love and cherish the little moments in everything from time with each kid to the 5-10 minute shower at night.

Lisa - posted on 04/19/2011

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As they get a little older they become more independent. I have a 4 YO, 2 YO, and 3 month old. Somedays I don't feel like I get anything done because the baby needs my attention. The 2 YO and 4 YO are getting more independent so they can entertain themselves....sometimes.

I bought a necklace that has a key and the word joy stamped on it. When I get frustrated, I touch the necklace and it reminds me to find joy in my life. For me, that worked. It's something physical that grounds me when I'm losing it! :)

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2011

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Have your daughters get involved with the little things they can do. I would also talk to your husband about how you're feeling, he may not realize it and just think you are super mom. Maybe he can pick up some of the daily chores. I wear a silver bracelet that says live, laugh, love on the charm, whenever I get frustrated I hold the charm to remind me of what I have.

Michelle - posted on 04/20/2011

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Don't forget you have a PARTNER. Sounds like he needs to step it up and contribute to the family with the children and housework. You both are part of a family and part of that in my mind is the unwritten rule that you help each other out and not just financially.



BTW, I find when you have kids your lucky to just able pick up the toys and get the grungies off the floor and little else. Housework isn't the end all be all. Small steps. Start by picking up, then once a week clean if you can, laundry put a load in when you leave fold before bed. It helps from laundry getting piled up.



Your oldest is old enough to start some simple chores. I use a vitamin jar that each child decorated to put their marbles in. Easy chores get one marble and then more marbles for more complicated chores.



Good luck!

Tinker1987 - posted on 04/19/2011

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You need to aside some time for just YOU.my fiance is away in camp working alot.so my mother comes over once a week and it allows me to leave and go do something window shop or get my nails done...as for getting easier i dont think it does until your kids start get independant enough to learn to put away their clothes ect. i believe i was 7 when i started doing my own laundry. i was fascinated by it and my mom didnt mind she just made sure i knew how to run the right cycles lol

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Stifler's - posted on 04/20/2011

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I would suggest knowing the difference between clean mess and dirty mess. Clean mess = toys. Dirty mess = trash that hasn't been taken out, food on the floor, cockroaches, spillage that hasn't been wiped up. Toys on the floor isn't even counted as mess and should only be put away at the end of the day to save your mental health.

Demi - posted on 04/19/2011

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Lisa and Keli, Thanks that made me feel better and opened my eyes a little lol thanks a ton :) keep in touch !

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