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

Rachel - posted on 10/03/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

8

0

0

Hello,
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 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.
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 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!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kristen - posted on 10/05/2011

26

8

0

Rachel- I know very much how you feel. I am in a very similar situation. Im 24 and still with the father of my two boys. We live with my grandmother and I am a stay at home mom. Living with my grandmother is the sacrifice I made in order to stay home with my boys because it is very important to me. Some days I appreciate her help and others it drives me nuts. It makes me feel like I cant handle myself and my family when she cooks and cleans or just takes my laundry to clean it without asking. But I know I can handle my life, just not in the way that she expects me to. Sometimes for me it is like having 3 children because her expectations of me put weight on my shoulders as well. If my boys make a mess it only bothers me because it bothers her. It causes me a lot of stress to constantly feel like I have to keep the house showhome clean with 2 boys under 5. However, when she leaves on trips I feel relaxed, happy and find myself singing and dancing (literally!) in the kitchen. My "husband" can be a very negative person, and harsh with our 4 year old, always down on him for something. But he has also come a long way from the way he was when we met and hopefully he will keep in the right direction with his parenting because boy #2 is 10 months old! Also, I dont drive, I dont have friends with children that live close, I dont know anyone on my block and feel uncomfortable with other parents in my town because they are all 10 years older than me. I know their wasnt much for advice here but I hope you have comfort in knowing there are others in a similar situation and it does get better. The best advice I can give you is that you seem unsure of how you want to live/do things in your life, try to pinpoint what you want. There is lots of different information on the internet regarding parenting but the best thing for an 18 month old is distraction "no you cant play with the power cord but here is a ball, lets play catch!"

Meaghan Van - posted on 10/04/2011

32

5

0

Take a deep breath.... breath slowly.... I know how you feel, its overwhelming at times being a parent. and a mother especially as we are at home all the time looking after our wee ones. however there is light at the end of the tunnel. Dont worry too much about your hubby. Hes a grown up and can help you as you help him. Obviously you have some parenting skills if you have a "tight bond" with your son, youre obviously doing the right things by him as a mother. And if he is as bright and active as my son, who is only 22 months then he will be doing naughty things like banging on things hes not allowed to, throwing things inside the house, marking with his markers on your coffee table rather than on the paper you provided him. Lol... baby boys are sooo much work, and they test their boundaries everyday. The only thing that will eventually work in this regard is consistency. if he knows he isnt allowed to throw things in the house then be very consistent... take the things he is trying to throw out of his hand before he even does it, put them up high where he cant reach, until he has nothing left to throw. Its not usually an attitude thing (sometimes it is but usually not) You and hubby have to work out what your discipline routine is.My hubby and I have decided to give him three warnings about doing something really naughty and then he gets a small smack on his bum. The only thing I can suggest is sit down with hubby and really discuss it. your feelings on the matter and his too... that is one thing you definitely have to be united on.

Next to focus on housework and cooking... try to tackle even one thing a day. If you have a slow cooker, it will help you out a lot! You can pop in a roast, some potatoes ( which you dont have to peel, just wash (if theyre dirty) and cut them in half, a carrot or two and some onions, and no more than 1-2 cups of liquid and some garlic, salt and pepper. put it on high( if the meat is frozen) or low ( if the meat is thawed) and allow it to cook all day. and Voila you will have a nice dinner waiting for you at the end of the day. It does get easier...but you do have to apply yourself to trying to accomplish one thing a day. Whether that be making the bed, or putting away laundry, or cleaning the bathroom... eventually once you feel more confident you can just start doing two thins and then three as you get more confident about your time management.

Honestly my dear you are worrying far too much. You already are the strong pillar in your family... and someone whom your son trusts in... you are already more than half way there the rest of it will come i promise... I was like you too... completely overwhelmed and feeling depressed because it seemed to never get any easier... but it does...only if you just charge forward and apply yourself ... remember one thing at a time... there is no need to rush about and make yourself crazy over these things... that is something your son will notice, and will affect him... just casually start with one thing and build up from there

You could even make yourself a schedule on paper and try to stick to it as much as possible. no one needs to even see this schedule, you can tuck it away in a drawer if you want...but it will help you to get more organised... i did this for a while until i got my motivated feet under neath of me. These things that you want are not dreams for you darling, they are things you can have if you just plan for them... and dont beat yourself down before you even get started... be positive..." i will make my bed today" " i will make a nice dinner tonight" " i will fold my laundry this afternoon" one thing at a time... and trust me it does get easier... this coming from an unmitigated slob by nature... it does get easier! and if hubby doesnt say anything to encourage you then bring it up yourself and force a compliment... he will eventually get it that it means a lot for you for him to notice that you are trying. and dont forget to thank him profusely when ever he helps you out... like my hubby the other night after a very busy day with my son and 4 month old daughter, he did the dishes after supper for me... i came back from putting my son to bed as he was finishing up and i acted astounded and thanked him from the bottom of my heart... he has felt so good about it that he has pitched in a bit more... :) Dont worry you have all the elements to make a success of your home and family! you love both hubby and son, you obviously are devoted to both... now just get up, leave the computer alone and focus on one task until it is done! you will feel good about it all day! I hope this helps my friend ***hugs of encouragement***

Victoria - posted on 10/04/2011

19

19

0

Oh Rachel, I really feel for you. What's great is the love you have for your family. That's something that you can't force or train yourself in. Everything else can be learned and sorted out though. I'd agree, routine is key. I have a cleaning the house routine every morning and settle my youngest son down with something while I get on. Then mummy & baby time together to play. Then cooking while he sleeps so I have a meal prepared for evening. Play again when he wakes, dinner, bath, bed. Some days we go to playgroup etc but basically we follow routine, and without it I fall to bits and get disorganised.

I'd advise you to see your doctor as you sound depressed which will massively effect your motivation and energy.

Then I'd give your son to your mum for the day and do a top to bottom clean of the house to give you the best possible start in maintaining it daily. You could make some meals and freeze them too, just to make life easier!

Then plan your weeks. Trips out, time to play, clean, rest! And try to stick to it. If you're like me then having things under control will make you feel better.

Finally, I'd try to make sure you see your home as exactly that. Mum & Dads is great to visit, but it's no good for you or your family if you spend more time there than at home!

As for difficult demanding toddlers: I had the mother of all demanding toddlers in my first son. The only advice I can give is for you to firmly lead your playtimes in ways that re-enforce positive behaviour- taking turn games etc. I promise it'll get better. My eldest had me in tears a lot out of sheer frustration. He's growing into a lovely boy as he matures (he is seven now).

Good luck! Xxx

Janice - posted on 10/04/2011

1,890

18

63

Being depressed can make even little tasks seem impossible. I know because I have been very depressed for months now. Taking care of a home and child takes energy and confidence and depression will drain you of both. And its a viscious cycle - you have a a day and the house is a mess and then you feel worse because you didn't do what you think you should have. I don't know what type of healthcare coverage you have but I would urge you to get help.

I am finally getting help and feeling a bit better and when I do accomplish tasks (like keeping the sink clear for 2 days in a row) it helps me feel more empowered to do even more. My house isn't spotless and I still use nick jr and disney as a babysitter but slowly I am doing more. I'm sorry you are feeling so bad but I hope you get help and can make the positive changes that you want to make.

Tosha - posted on 10/05/2011

9

0

0

hang in there!!! you have to make a decision and stick with it! wake up in the morning and say i am a great mom a fantastic wife and sexy woman!!! who cares what doesnt get done focus on what does there are many days i wake up with a list and only half if any gets accomplished and before i used to only think of what didnt get done now i focus on what did. what i do is right a to do list one for what has to get done today and one for what has to get done this week and yet another one for what has to get done this month or whenever it can be:) my biggest focuss are laundry supper cuddles with the kids ( as im not good at playing im one of those moms that has no imagination) and at least keeping the toys outside of the bed rooms tidied any thing else that gets done is gravy i also found if i just give myself one extra task a day wether is groc shopping, cleaning out a closet or my pantry i feel a lot better about my self and my stay at home mom/house wife being successful:)

14 Comments

View replies by

Stacey-Ann - posted on 12/06/2013

1

0

0

I can totally relate to you ... Only difference is I live with my mom ... it is a sacrifice. My mom likes to say "when you and your brother was younger I did" ... and she was a mom of two - sometimes I feel so useless. My husband has a very time consuming job - which leaves 95% of the parenting to me, and although he tries - they have this FUN FUN relationship ... and I am the NO don't do that relationship ... don't get me wrong we have fun too. It's just my daughter is high energy and very willful ... and during the day although she tests me - we have an understanding ... BUT ... when my parents are home especially my mom - my daughter tends to test me even more and then I look like to over emotional mom ... it's to the point where my mom and I are bumping heads - which creates this funky atmosphere that was not there before ...
I get so upset because she raised us in the caribbean and not to take away from all the great things she did ... but we had room to run and trees to climb and just be able to be kids - I live in the city where I do not trust my daughter to be out of my site for two seconds ...

I guess that is why we call it sacrifice ...

I just try to remember to keep calm and think about my daughter ...

Janessa - posted on 10/10/2011

289

10

0

Your child was given to you, you are the best mother for him, don't ever doubt that. I would recommend focusing more on your relationship with your husband, because that is what will matter the most in the stability of your son. I wouldn't stay at your parents as hard as that may be, but you and your son need your husband, and decide between you and him what method of discipline you will use and don't stray from that, even if it doesn't work the first time. Consistency is key. It will pay off in the long run. Make sure both you and him are on the same page. Bringing parents into it can do more harm than good. Your husband could feel threatened by it. Obviously you need them in your life, but it is you and your husband that should be doing the raising. Don't worry about the house until you get this one thing figured out. You take too much on and it can be overwhelming and then you don't do anything. Just take one step at a time. Prayer has always worked when I needed inspiration where I lacked. Being a mother is very challenging, but don't doubt yourself. You have it in you because you love your family. Love is the key. Good-luck

Kristen - posted on 10/06/2011

26

8

0

My parents too, raised me to be very irresponsible and sheltered. And Ive spent the last 10 years trying to correct it. It wasnt until about the last year or so that I really figured out how I want to raise my kids, and my oldest is 4. There are things from when he was little that I will change with the baby now but I think that happens to every parent, no matter the age. The oldest is always the guineapig. lol

Rachel - posted on 10/06/2011

8

0

0

Kristen, I guess we both can relate to each other... I know it feels like you have someone watching how you raise your kids and it adds more pressure than there already is... sure there are positives to get help from our parents/ grandparents in parenting but of coure there has to be negatives also like feeling like you are compromising your freedom as the parent. Do you think it would help to talk to your grandmother about cutting you some slack with cleaning? I know how grandparents like neatness but maybe talking to her will help...
Your right about being unsure...ahhhh... its not that easy for me to just focus on one aspiration and chase it... sometimes I give myelf a headache with the question "what do I want?" that I just shrug it off and try to get through the day in one peice :/

Rachel - posted on 10/06/2011

8

0

0

Thank you guys all soooo much! I just got a chance to read these posts, you guys seem so caring and Im really touched to get such uplifting replies! Almost every answer points to me be being hard on myself.. and I do agree. I think it's because Im relatively new at the whole home-maker thing.. I don't know what and how much to expect of myself. I also come from a home where my parents did like everything for us (and still do i.e. my mom helping me with ds), which I know is not healthy, and I feel like I am now paying the price by finding it so hard to adjust to married life. I guess with everything baby steps is the most promising way, so that's where I'll start... Im gonna keep refering back to your answers along the way :)

Tiffiny - posted on 10/05/2011

84

32

1

if ur son is happy then ur a great mom..... there is no written handbook that says what u have to do or what not to do..... i have 4 kids ranging from 2mths - 7 yrs, and its very hard i was a stay at home mom but just recently i had to find a job to help pay the bills ..... there have been times where u just wanna give up but then u sit at night and watch ur children sleeping after a hard days work and then all seems good again..... dinner doesn't need to be done at any certain time just because back in the day when our grandparents were our age and had dinner on the table when hubby got home from work (and u don't always have to have a home cooked meal , some nights we do simple stuff bologna sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly pizza w/ pillsbury crust just have fun doing it .....)doesn't mean we have to do the same.... as long as there are smiles and laughter in ur household then ur doing everything right ..... a house doesn't have to be clean 24/7 so chill and have some fun with ur son

Bryanna - posted on 10/04/2011

19

18

0

When it comes to your LO, talk with hubby and make sure you are on the same page with discipline. Follow through was always the hard part for me. Time outs DO work if done properly. (if you've ever watched supernanny, her method is really good) get eye contact and give a firm warning, explain what they did wrong and that time out is the punishment, set the timer (1min per year of age) and do not talk to them until they've completed the time out. If LO gets up just put him back until he sits for the time. Then explain again why he was put there, have him apologize and give love and kisses. It will take a few times of you doing this for him to realize 'mom/dad means business' then he should sit well, might cry the whole time, but he'll sit.
I've done the school/mom thing too.. Thank goodness for online classes. If you have books to read from you can read them to little one. A story is a story.
Make clean up a game that LO can help with. My 2yo loves to sweep and if pick up is a game or a race he loves to join in. He also likes to help load the dishwasher and washing machine. Lately he wants to help cook too.
I also have found that my LO slows down when the tv o's on.. Sometimes I'll just put one of his shows on so I can do stuff myself.
Good luck! Hang in there! It'll all work out!

Rachel - posted on 10/04/2011

8

0

0

Thanks Katherine, your right about not making a big deal about housework, and I deff. agree about limiting my time spent at my my parents'. I guess Im rushing too fast to reach this balance, I didn't realize it takes a while for my family to get there. For some reason I thought it would just start out that way :/
Thanks so much again :)

Katherine - posted on 10/03/2011

469

0

34

you have alot of things you want to do, but haven't yet accomplished....you've got along way to go before you reach this stable life you dream of.

becoming a mom is something so great and amazing, who cares if your house is clean, that they toys are put way, what matters is that your son and family are happy, healthy and fed.

If i were in your shoes, i would want to move to somewhere that had more children in the area along with other young moms. (im a young mom myself, i'm 26 and my son is just over 6 months), i would then start all over, you would have a blank slate for organizing your new place, decluttering, getting rid of stuff you don't need!!!!

I would try to stay away from spending a ton of time or all of your time at your parents house, that could be making things worse (as you said they do spoil their grandchildren and most of them don't really care that they are spoiling them).

being a mom, wife, cook, cleaner etc takes alot, i stay at home with my son, my hubby works out of town and is gone 4 nights a week. we're in the middle of selling our house, moving into a new one, finishing renovations and trying to keep our house clean for showings. so currently i'm a maid, mother and cook. Thats all i seem to do, feed the babe, clean the house, cook and fed myself, repeat....

it gets better....

going to the discipline..have you tried putting your ds on time outs in his crib/playpen, he's very young right now for sitting on a chair/stool or stair, but if he's in his crib/play pen theres nothing for him to play with, he's left alone for a few minutes to think about things and calm down and he's safe and contained. just a thought

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms