Help! I feel like all I have for my son is love...?

Rachel - posted on 10/03/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hello,
I have already posted this in the young moms community.
I hope I can get some help from some moms out there. I am 25 years old and stay-at-home/studying mom. My 18 month old toddler is the light of my life. He is highly social and fun to be around, and everyone who knows him always tells us what an amazingly adorable and bright little boy he is. He's also *very* active and curious boy, and *very* strong-willed (in terms of doing things his way). He is super attached to me and we have a very tight bond. As any mom, my biggest dream is to raise him into a strong, happy, well-balanced young man who believes in himself and is independent too.
However I need so much help I dont even know where to start. I am not living the picture of family that I dreamed of. I am not independent myself to start with, I depend loads on my mother, husband, and part-time nanny in parenting and housework. Some days Ill wake up resolved to tackle housework and taking care of my ds without anybody's help, and only after breakfast and some playtime, the house is already a disaster, Im pulling out my hair and I feel like I am drowning. It's gotten so bad that I spend much of the week staying at my mother's so she can help me with my ds. I even depend on her for cooking. I WISH I could be like the other moms I see who have 2 or 3 kids, zero help from anyone, and a (i wont use the word perfect) stable home with a nice home-cooked meal everyday. I am sure that what I am lacking in my family and my life is routine, and order, but getting organized for me is sooooo much easier said than done. Some days are better than others but mostly I am depressed because I feel like my son deserves a much better mother than me. I have this torturing fear that my lack of organization, initiative, and zero parenting skills is going to impact his life in a negative way, if it hasn't already.
I know my husband wishes I had more control over this issue, though he is very patient with me and tries to help where he can, but I am sure he also is not living the family life he pictured. When I am at my parents house he prefers to stay at home and this has sort of distanced us as a couple and a family. We disagree and argue a lot about how to discipline him. I wish we cold see eye-to-eye more because soon my ds will be more aware of what's going on and seeing us divided about him, I fear, will undermine our authority as parents. It's near impossible to stop him from doing something, esp throwing everything he can, and I have tried time-outs, saying NO, ignoring it, explaining/reasoning with him, my husband has even tried light spanks on his diaper (though I didn't think it was a good idea), every method under the sun, it doesn't work! I think staying at my parents' is helping in many ways as there are many kids for my ds to play with in their neighborhood (whereas dh and I live in a flat) But Im afraid it has negatively affected his discipline... since grandparents like to spoil. I have even started getting remarks about ds being a spoiled baby.... aaahhh!!
Lately it has been getting so bad - as DS is growing up and becoming more of his own person, and more impossible to control, and my house is becoming a disaster zone - that Ive started to think I should not have gotten married. I know these thoughts stem from frustration and I kindly ask that I get spared from comments like I should've known that I don't have what it takes before I got into it. I'm here now, and I am desperate for some advice and insights, especially from moms who have been there.
In all this darkness and chaos I have a tiny spec of hope that I can save my family and myself from this destructive situatution, somehow, at least for the sake of my ds. But I dont have the right tools right now and I don't know where to get them. I want to stop feeling like a complete failure at parenting and home-making. I want to raise a well-loved, yet disciplined child and I just can't strike a balance between the two. I wish to be the strong pilllar in my family, whom everyone can depend on. I really want to build a loving home with a solid foundation. I hope these are not merely dreams for me... please help!
ps. sorry for being so wordy, thanks to those with enought patience to read this lol.

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Michelle - posted on 10/04/2011

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Just an update on today from me. I am a busy Mum of 3 (10, 7.5 & 18 months). My acheivement today was vacuuming the lounge and dining/kitchen. I also managed to wash the bottles!!! The good thing is when my husband gets home he will notice what I have done, not what I haven't done.
The other things I have done is play with my children, feed them and give them my time and love. That's the most important things I can do for my children. The housework can wait. it will still be there tomorrow. My children will grow up too fast and I don't want to look back at this time in my life and wish I had spent less time cleaning!!!

Neva - posted on 10/03/2011

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I agree that you are being way way to hard on yourself and you expect a lot from your son, as well. 18 month olds are little whirlwinds of energy and they are going to go through the house and make a huge mess in a short amount of time. If he throws things, which 18 month olds also do, simply say no throwing and take that toy away. At 18 months redirecting his play is more effective than time outs. I would not spank, as this only teaches him that hitting when you are frustrated is okay. It also sounds as if you are sufferring from depression. This may still be post partum depression, as it can last much longer than the early post partum period. I would talk to your doctor about that. You and your husband should sit down and discuss a strategy for discipline so that you present a united front and are consistent. Your doctor may also have resources for parenting classes in your area. Another resource is a local MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group. Mothers get together to talk about parenting issues, have speakers, there are older mothers to mentor younger mothers and they also provide a couple of hours of play time for the child a couple of times a month. Try not to compare yourself to what you think other mother's are accomplishing. Their reality may be much less glamorous than it looks on the outside.

User - posted on 10/03/2011

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First of all, well done for seeing the importance of creating a strong bond with your son. Parenting is the most impoortant job you're doing right now, the housework can wait. I agree that you should maybe speak to your doctor, as you may be depressed.

As far as finding a good routine for housework goes, try Flylady. www.flylady.net
She encourages you to take babysteps and teaches how to break away from perfectionism, which can bring you down.

Michelle - posted on 10/03/2011

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I totally agree with what Katherine has said. We aren't supermum's we have battles to get things done everyday. If you took a look at my house today you would probably run a mile!!!!!!!
Have you spoken to your doctor about the possibility of Post Natal Depression? I know your son is 18 months but sometimes it can show it's ugly head later. It may even help to seek a councellor. I had a very dark time when I was pregnant with my 3rd child due to some problems at work. Talking to a social worker made me realise that I am a great person just they way I am. I don't have to live up to anyone else's expectations.
I also have a wondeful husband that doesn't even bat an eyelid if the place is a bombsite when he gets home from work.

Katherine - posted on 10/03/2011

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I think you are being way to hard on yourself. Raising a child is a lot of work and so is upkeep of the house.
If you asked half of us on here we have messy houses lol.


Read through the pinned threads, there is a lot of info in them for what you are looking for, as well as communities to go to.
I do think you both need to be on board with discipline and there is a great community called, Positive Parenting that you can look up and join. Here is a venting community: http://www.circleofmoms.com/moms-who-nee...

Here is Positive Behavior: http://www.circleofmoms.com/positive-beh...

Here is Bitchin Ladies: http://www.circleofmoms.com/ladies-bitch...

These communities will help you a ton.

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Rachel - posted on 10/04/2011

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Wow, thanks for your advice ladies. Just reading them has given me some relief. This is actually my first post on the site and I came to it while searching for a nice place where moms can vent and give each other some words of wisdom. I really ought to look into post partum depression... I admit I might have been avoiding facing it because I might be in some denial regarding it. I guess I am being a bit hard on myself but reading each of your comments really helps to get a fresh perspective on things, and the references you guys gave me will hopefully be a huge help. Thanks so much :)

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