Help! I'm overwhelmed!!

Molly Ann - posted on 10/09/2012 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I have been married for 4 years, have a 3 and a 1 1/2 year old and another one on the way. I am exhausted and worried about losing it when my daughter arrives. Anyone have any sanity saving tips that they can share with me? Color me overwhelmed! Molly Ann Smith

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Tara - posted on 10/09/2012

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Parenthood is almost all trial and error. I am all for teaching/allowing toddlers to do some things on their own. I like to allow my children to try things slightly beyond their age before I deem them not ready. Cut yourself some slack; allow mistakes and messes, they're part of life... and you cannot be a perfect wife, mother, and housekeeper all at the same time. Try to keep 30 minutes for yourself at some point of every day. SLEEP when THEY SLEEP. Allow someone else to help out, even if they do it wrong.



Even if you take every piece of decent advice that you find; sometimes you have to leave someone in a highchair, someone in a crib, someone behind a safety gate... and just walk away for a few minutes. Know that they will forgive you and they will thrive with a happier Mom. :)



Good luck, Congratulations, and enjoy the simple moments!

Ella - posted on 10/10/2012

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Your certainly not alone on this one Hun,parenting is one big overwhelming madness.MY advice get as much help as possible,gus strict sleep routine for young ones and for every child at nite and don't sweat the small stuff xx

Sally - posted on 10/09/2012

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I really appreciate your sincerity about feeling overwhelmed!!

Too often mothers don't give each other breaks but I wanted to applaud you for

Your honesty!! But back to your dilemma, 1.) first take a deep breath in fact I recommend

Taking a few nice deep ones. This is what I do and I promise it really works wonders!!, 2.) you can do this! I tell myself. " if other women can do this, so can I!" 3.) remember to not be so hard on yourself. All children care about is you. All they want is Mommy! They don't care about laundry, housework etc. those things are important but not as important as you are to them. 4.) baby wearing helps ALOT! It keeps you sane & baby soothed, while tending to your other munchikens. 5.) if you can afford preschool for your 4 year old it's a win win. But if not, tiring them out with age appropriate games work too. I recommend "The Happy Mommy Handbook: the ultimate How- to Guide on keeping your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and motivated to learn" by Katie Norris & Susan case. I found this to be helpful:0) 6.) include your older child in assisting you, you just might be pleasantly surprised. 6.) but above all, remind yourself that these precious years pass so quickly and they only happen once ( I try to remember this especially when I get the BiG messes lol). I hope I helped in some small way because all of us mommies are in this together :0)

Karen - posted on 10/09/2012

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Start training your 3 year old now to do a few things independently (either playing or "jobs" like dusting, "washing" the windows, getting dressed etc,). Anything he can do for himself will help. My littles like to paint the walls with water (they dip the paintbrush in the water (a small bit in a plastic bowl in case it spills) and then "paint" the walls/windows.). While you nurse the baby the other two can have a snack independently, watch Baby Einstien (On The Go is a fave in our house) or read beside you. Your new baby will get used to sleeping on her own very quickly becasue she'll have to! If your 3 year old is potty trained make sure he pees before you sit down to nurse!

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Molly Ann - posted on 10/11/2012

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Thank you everyone for your helpful comments!! I am enjoying reading through all of them and am happy to know that there are people out there that are going through what I am and can support me. Thanks!! :)

Amanda - posted on 10/11/2012

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I have an 8 year old a 3 year old and a 1 year old and the Rules I live by are Take Deep Breaths, Don't cry over spilled milk(juice etc.), and Appoligize when wrong... Time outs are for Mommy too, make sure the children are safe then let them cry if need be, have a cup of coffee/tea etc, scream in a pillow, just focus on your breaths, what ever it may be to reapprouch the situation with a clearer head...There have been times when I have just finished mopping the floor when someone spills something, and as quickly I want to curse and scream I hear the words in my head "don't cry over spilled milk" with that saying and 10 deep breaths I almost never loose my cool, I just clean it up tell the kids okay and go about our day, you have to ask yourslef is it really worth getting worked up over, in some cases the child is already upset that their drink is on the floor do they really need you to yell at them too? In most cases, No. And finally on those days that I lose my self control no matter what the situation is I appoligize to my children for yelling/snaping, I explain to my 8yr old that mommy is sorry for yelling at her I am having a bad day/moment etc. It doesn't excuse my behavour but let's her know it wasn't her fault...now ppl please don't get me wrong some situation call for disipline, but this woman is asking for help not to be become overwhelmed, and I'm just trying to show that a more relaxed approach may help, but to each there own, also I was never really big on routines but since my family has found our groove even the simplist and mild of routine is a God send, I suggest you find one that works for you, example my 3 are in bed and asleep by 9:30/10 I know this isn't ideal for young children but it's what works for our family dynamic. One last thing, we are all supermoms but is okay to accept/ask for help being able to do that makes you even more super ;)

Tammy - posted on 10/10/2012

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I only had one child but he had colic for the first six months of his life and I was completely overwhelmed! Sometimes I would have to put him in his crib and go outside where I couldn't hear him, but could see him through a window. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh air was amazingly calming. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. Even for someone else to just take them to the park or for a walk will give you some breathing room. There are lots of people out there who don't have any little ones and would be glad for a chance to play with yours at the park or in the yard, or even at your house while you lie down for a nap. Also, taking the kids to the park or for a walk yourself will tire them out so they will be ready for an early bedtime. I know getting them on a schedule may be hard but really try it. An early bedtime for them means more time for you!

Donna - posted on 10/10/2012

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Amber is right on!!! My 4 boys are now 33,32,29,28. I spent many hours on the floor when they were little. After the youngest they pretty much entertained each other. Those were very precious times, dishes, dusting, housework in general always took a backseat to my boys!

Amber - posted on 10/10/2012

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Get on the ground with them. Little ones need to be comfortable entertaining themselves and you can help them achieve this by holding them less, getting low and bringing out ALL the toys. And play! Imagin. Teach. Pick moments when they are engaged to get up for a snack or a bathroom break. They will notice you've left but insure them you'll return to play in a moment. Come back & play again. When you feel yourself getting bored, warn the little darlings you'll play for only five more minutes because you have to feed the dogs, fix dinner or do laundry. Play on the floor with them a few times a day. Increase your break times a little each day. Before you know it, they will be playing & pretending with each other more frequently than fighting and those endless days of them competing for your attention will evolve into self discoveries, self confidence & independence. Get the baby comfortable with tummy time. Don't waste your time. What you're doing, when you get kids comfortable on the ground is making a BIG BIG world, look smaller. And when you pretend, you're giving life to objects. Zoo animals, traińs and doll houses/tree houses are the only toys you'll need. Then invest in paints & brushes. They'll spend hours painting at the kitchen table while you clean up or dish up. Picking up ALL the toys EVERYDAY is annoying. Especially if the toys are in your living room, but their independence and your freedom is worth it!

Christine - posted on 10/10/2012

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Hi. Not sure where you live, but you might want to consider having a postpartum doula come and stay with you for at least a couple of weeks after your baby is born. I live in Philly and here we charge $25.00 an hour. We do everything for you with the exception of cleaning and driving!

Jacque - posted on 10/10/2012

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Im the mom to 11 kids and here is what I did when they where small. For starters NEVER SLEEP WITH YOUR BABY!!!!!!! You are wore out you dont want to roll over and kill your baby.. and at 11:30 am make lunch than at noon everyday all the kids take nap until 2:30 pm. (naps are not for kids they are for moms to regroup). sleep when they are sleeping. and bedtime at 8pm. Good luck It may be hard But it does get easier. My kids are.24,22,20,15,14,12,11,10,8,8,and the baby is 5.

Kathleen - posted on 10/10/2012

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Wow! Well I had two girls 3 1/2 years apart early in our marriage. That was pretty easy (looking back) as both went to daycare at 6wks as I was working full time. However, between the ages of 40 and 45 I had 3 more (2 more girls and a boy). I quickly learned about being overwhelmed and still struggle some even though two are now in school and the youngest is 4. You have to find some help. Check for local Mom groups on facebook. This will get you out of the house with adults (yes with your kids) but with people in your same situation. You can then maybe find one or more willing to trade a day or two a month when you can drop the kids and have a few hours for yourself. Failing that, try your church. Maybe there are some "grannies" who might be willing to help you for a few hours once or twice a week. The best advice I can offer is that you need to let go of trying to be the perfect mom. She does not exist! Parenting is messy at best. Be patient with yourself and your little ones and with your husband. I know that sometimes I want to strangle the husband for seeming to resent that I had to clean up after a baby rather than snuggle with him. Talk to him (calmly) about your state of mind. Tell him you need him to help when he is home but give him an hour or so to wind down from work, if possible. If you can afford it, get someone to come in once a month or once a week to do a thorough house cleaning for you until after the new baby comes. I was so physically exhausted with baby number five that simple chores were torture. Mostly you just need to realize that soon they will be old enough to dress themselves, feed themselves, entertain themselves, etc. You just have to get through it one day at a time. Remember to breathe and pray, breathe and pray....and repeat as needed. You can do this! You are more capable than you know!

Korine - posted on 10/10/2012

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By our 7 year anniversary we had 5 children. our first two were a uear and 5 days apart. then another came 16 mths later, then 19, then 22. I understand the overwhelming feeling of what your taking one. but remind yourself daily that God will only give you what He knows you can handle. i find comfort in that. things at home can get crazy and messy but at the end of the day when you are tucking them into bed you'll thank your lucky stars.

Erica - posted on 10/10/2012

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I have 3 years old triplets, and all this time the only help I had was my husbands e some friends that ocaginally drop by to give me a break.

The only thing I can think it helped listen from anyone... It gets better, it won't be always this difficult. And I gotta tell you, it's true, it has getting better and not so insane anymore.

Wish you all luck,

Erica

Lynn - posted on 10/09/2012

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If you can afford it start sending the two

Older ones a day or two a week to a daycare or a sitters house. Gives you time a lone with the new baby or before baby comes. And gives your little ones some time with other kids. It's good for them my oldest goes once to twice a week while I am on mat leave.

Remember the little things around the house can wait, if your kids are content watching a movie or tv show sit and relax with them.

Get your husband to do kid duty for a day or for

A few hours. My husband pretty much is on kid duty on the weekends on his

Days off. I help some but it's mainly daddy time.

When you get really frustrated walk away and breathe. It will pass.

Tamara - posted on 10/09/2012

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Ditto! My oldest are 19mos apart & my youngest will be 20 mos apart. Im gonna read everyones suggestions too! Hang in there!!!

Chantell - posted on 10/09/2012

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Be kind to your self and ask for help from your family and friends, I personally didn't like someone else helping with washing and cooking, however I found it more helpful for someone else to watch the kids for a while so I could do these tasks. Look after yourself do some "self care" everyday, just something small like take a bath or paint your toenails or what ever makes you happy!

Holly - posted on 10/09/2012

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I'm a single, stay at home mom, with three girls 5 and under and a 4th due in 2 months. I can promise you that routine and schedule are by far the best things for children and your own sanity. My children know the rules and they all have chores, responsibility, and a 7-8 pm bedtim. There are still difficult days, but since I have done this our home has changed to a very positive environment. I also make sure I get a very good workout in everyday, this will help you have a positive attitude (try Jillian Michaels DVD's they are 20 min and very difficult). It takes time to get a routine, bit once it is in place it will save your world! Good luck, I imagine you are am awesome mom who loves you're family or you wouldn't be asking for help!

Monique - posted on 10/09/2012

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Perhaps consider asking for coping tips from your familie sprevious generations of both mums and dads (alive if possible, or a close relative who knows these without you having to take too much energy to do this). Chances are these generations had less modern "conveniences" and this may help you to notice moreso what you ARE capable of;) All the best!

Jenny - posted on 10/09/2012

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I've been right where you are! I actually think its easier after the baby comes than while you are pregnant. For awhile a successful day was that the kids and I were alive, fed and the house was still standing. Clothing was optional. :) also I think I worried more about what I would do after the baby came and it was never as bad as I thought it might be. ( well usually not as bad). You will get through it! It is some of the hardest times but also some of the best!! Laugh a lot, don't be hard in yourself and enjoy the little things!

Laura - posted on 10/09/2012

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so normal to feel a little freaked out! I had 4 kids in 5 years ( no multiples) you will find WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! you might have to tweak things a little as you go, but you will fall into a routine, try to keep some consistency, especially for your first child, Take a few minutes each day to take a deep breath! Have faith and confidence in yourself! You will get in a groove, and just run with it!!!

Amanda - posted on 10/09/2012

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Don't be hard on yourself. Take some you time. I have 4 children ages 9, 5,4 and 8 months. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most of all, realize that there is no such thing as a perfect parent and that thigns eill get better. :)

Sarah - posted on 10/09/2012

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Hi, Molly Ann. I understand your situation oh-so well. I have four kids, ages 5, 4, 2, and 9 months. My husband works very long hours, and I have no one else to help most of the time. It's really easy to get overwhelmed and stressed in a situation like that!



I try to be a gentle, easygoing mom, but there are days where I get overwhelmed and let it get the best of me! I rely on "table time," where we get out activities that must be done at the table; play-doh, coloring paper and crayons, puzzles, etc. a lot. We also get a lot of outside play, preferably at the playground where you can socialize a bit, too, and when it gets really bad, I admit I'll pop in a movie. I also think it's important to make sure to get in me time every day, even if it's just lying in bed reading a book while you nurse the baby to sleep. "Me" time doesn't have to be "alone" time...that's something I had to learn the hard way. With so many little ones, "me" time is RARELY "alone time." Just doing something for yourself every day can help you relax and feel ready to tackle the day. Put on your makeup, sneak a piece of chocolate, read a book in bed, or do whatever makes you feel like an individual. :) It will get easier, eventually. I think the first year is the hardest, as far as feeling forever "on call." And babywearing makes everything easier, too. I loved my moby wrap. If you don't already baby wear, look into it! It allows you to nurse the baby, carry her around, and still have two free hands for anything else that needs to be done.

[deleted account]

Well I completely understand you are not alone.I had 4 1/2 month old twins when I got pregnant with my daughter.They are now 7,7&6. The ages of your babes right now are tough.My saving grace besides much prayer...was the book Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child.Dr Mark Weisebloom...spelling may be off..I am tired.

Take care of you so you can take care of them..

Good luck

T

Chelsea - posted on 10/09/2012

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I'm not in your shoes, but I understand the overwhelming part. I have a 3 year old and due in 5 weeks and I have huge anxiety but can't take my meds. I calm myself down by telling myself that one, after the baby is here my body can start going back to normal and ill feel better not only about myself but I can lift my 3 year old around easier and pick up and move things around. Then I tell myself my 3 year old will be able to help me since she's really good at that already, she will be great. And also, my anxiety will not be so bad since I can go back on my meds and I won't be so fatigued. And that I really wanted this family and I knew it would be hard work but its so fun to watch my oldest grow up, i know it will be just as it more fun to watch the new one, and see my family come together and love each other, and before I know it this one will be just as helpful and grown up like just like her sister and it will all be worth the hard work that was put in. Don't know if this helps but it's the only way to keep my sanity since I don't get much of a break with this pregnancy and being a mother at the same time. So positive thoughts are the most I have sometimes. Good luck

STACY - posted on 10/09/2012

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call in a nanny to give you a break a day or two each week. a tip: try to put newborn down when your 1 yr old naps, getting them on the same schedule will help you with quality time w/ the 3 year old. does your older one attend preschool? also look into meal planning. plan some 30 minute meals. plan bi-weekly or monthly to assure yourself you dont have to worry about 'whats for dinner". when i had my 2nd i invested in 2 of those plastic 3 drawer cabinet things - target $15 and i keep them in the living area where we spend most of our time...in those i have ALL my necessities or what i may need for the day; diapers, wipes, xtra clothes, bibs, socks, toys, dry snax, anything...so its handy! i try also to prepare for the next day the evening before after all kiddos are ni nite. however i attend school too so i have hmwrk on top of mommy duties and wifey duties. i too am married but i feel your pain. i sleep maybe 4-5 hours a nite and my 10 month old still wakes up at least once or twice. :/ it does get easier in time though.

Samantha - posted on 10/09/2012

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I'm going through the exact thing right now and I feel like I'm going to go crazy!!!!!

Samantha - posted on 10/09/2012

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I'm going through the exact thing right now and I feel like I'm going to go crazy!!!!!

Rachelle - posted on 10/09/2012

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Whatever works!! Get that baby swing out, buy the baby food in a jar and sleep with your baby if that's what it takes! Ask for help when you need it. Swaddle. Sleep when you can. Do not be hard on yourself. And my best advice for myself, do not eat at night just because it is the only time u have to sit and eat. That's how u get fat. Me not you.

Dana - posted on 10/09/2012

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If you can afford it... get a PT helper/sitter, but to be with u and your family in the home during times that are hectic... your 2 little ones can play with this person while you get closer to birth, when recovering and etc...

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