Mother of three feeling overwhelmed, HELP?!

User - posted on 10/31/2011 ( 31 moms have responded )

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I am a mother of three kids. Ages three, two, and 6 months. It wasn't the plan to have these kids all so close together, but that is just how it happened. I am just feeling like I am totally overwhelmed with my responsibilities. I feel that I have lost myself in motherhood and have no sense of self. I am so bored with my life. It is the same thing everyday. I change diapers, usually have to change my son's bedding every morning because he has wet it, get breakfast ready, try and do laundry, vacuum, sweep, mop, dishes, clean toilets, showers...the list goes on and on. Then I get lunch ready and prepare for dinner. In the meantime I have been trying to keep my three and two year-old from fighting over everything, and breastfeeding my 6 month old every three hours. Cleaning up messes they make. On top of that I have to work part-time and I struggle with it. I am a nurse and have been so disappointed with my expectations of what that meant. Being a nurse has been so much more stressful than I could have ever imagined. Bottom line is, I don't want to have to work, but I can't afford not to. I know, I am whining. I know, I got myself into this. I take full responsibility. I am just struggling and need some words of wisdom. Suggestions on how to better manage my little group. I am not going to see a doctor. I am not going to get on medications (I have nothing against people that do, but it is just not for me). I just need to get some sort of structure to my mothering and a routine. I have some other health conditions that limit my capabilities and I feel like I am just keeping my head above water. I go through phases where I am doing good, but right now I am in a bad place. I am yelling a lot. Getting easily irritated, frustrated, and just angry. I don't want that for my children. I feel like I am failing. Anybody else have kids this close together? How did you make it through?

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Nikki - posted on 11/01/2011

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I posted something similar to this when I felt like I was at my breaking point and I have been improving over the last week and taking a little time out each day for myself has really helped :) I have been feeling unmotivated, tired, angry and unorganized. I also work part time and was dealing with alot of stress at work which I was bringing home. I talked to my husband first and he told me I should start having a night out every other week to myself and he would put the kids to bed.......I have had 2 so far and they were amazing(I usually get a coffee and go to the mall or last time I got a haircut). I am going to see my doctor but not for a prescription I just want to see if there is anything else going on with my body and I am gonna try the natural methods to make me happier. Don't do any more cleaning then you have to for the next little bit......set aside an hour a day (set a timer) and get as much cleaning in that time as you can.......try to do this in the morning if you can, then you can enjoy the rest of ur day. Also set aside some mommy time during naps and just relax.......I like to watch a movie and sometimes I fold laundry but I don't kick myself if it doesn't get done. Scheduling is also the best advice I can offer.......my kids have a strict bedtime that we almost never break and I look forward to relaxing with my hubby in the evenings. I am also a list maker, so I posted a realistic list of the stuff I want to get done this month before the holidays and it feels great everytime I cross one off............I feel like I am failing all the time, I think it's normal. Somedays I feel like supermom when the house is spotless and dinner is cooking in the oven and other days(today) I feel like a failure when I am tired, the house is messy and I am so unmotivated. Hang in there....I know how ur feeling.

Anna - posted on 11/02/2011

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Hello Celeste, what a plateful of life you have!!!!! I really sympathise with you and know how difficult life can be with little ones. I have a 2 & a half year old daughter and twin 10 month old girls. But I still think Your situation must be so much harder. Well done for breastfeeding still. If you set your mind to it, you can do anything! I dont have any great advice, except I have a pram that holds all three children and it saved my life. I walk everyday. I sometimes walk for an hour and a half. While I do need catch up days to clean my house thoroughly, right now what is more important than a perfect home is my sanity...exercise and a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for you. Just walk. Kids love it and everyone will be happy. Or go to a park and let your toddlers run wild. Also, perhaps when your kids are fighting, maybe let them fight for 3-5 minutes...see if twy work it out on there own? If ou intervene all the time it may stress you more and make them unhappier? My twins already irritate each other a lot by climbing in their backs and squashing each other...I have been doing a lot of yelling too. But now I'm trying to ignore it. Either they learn to get over it and play together or they get separated...and that can't happen all the time can it? All the very best. As I said I certainly don't have any special answers, as I struggle too, but you can do anything! You really can. And as for the work thing...in your break, have a quiet cup of tea and jut take that much needed silence that you probably don't get at home. You are a champion. Be kind to yourself. X

Yonit - posted on 09/18/2012

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I came online because I am feeling overwhelmed, and I could have written the exact same thing as you- also with the working part time part. I have 6 kids, age 9,7,5,4,3,18 months. I feel like the day never ends. Bedtime drags on as each one wants something else, and I often get angry and yell, and then I end up falling asleep with one of them just to keep them quiet, and then I lost my "own" time. I'd also like to hear how other people manage. Especially the bedtime thing. Thanks for sharing you experience. You're not alone.

Ayana - posted on 12/15/2011

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Let me start by saying GOD won't put on you the stuff you can't handle. Women are strong especially the mothers out here. I have a 5year old and a 1year old. They drive me nuts. I started feeding them the same time everyday. Breakfast snack cartoons lunch snack nap playtime something educational then dinner. After dinner a family movie then sleep. While they are taking naps I clean the hardest things first then when I cook I always clean as I go. Then while they sleep I do the rest. You always need time for yourself. So while you go to work try going out after work and getting some you time for about an hour before you go home. Im telling you. You can also take time out to exercise and let the kids do it as well. It gets better once you get your foot in the door believe me.

Janessa - posted on 11/04/2011

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Hi, I know a bit about what you are going through. I have 4 children My oldest is 5 1/2 and my youngest is 6 months. I can tell you I have good days and bad days, but mostly good days, and this is what I do. First I make sure I have me time everyday. I put my oldest in afternoon kindergarten because she is mostly done with naps, and my other 3 go down for a nap. If you have a hard time getting them down for a nap, at least make sure you have quiet time, my idea of quiet time, is them in bed at least trying to go to sleep, but you could have them look at books, watch a movie, whatever. During this time, 3 days during the "work" week I clean, the other 2 days, like today I do what I want to do, read, facebook, nap. I also make sure I have things like book club, or church activities, that I get to go to, and my husband, or a babysitter stays with the kids. I never try and clean or anything in the morning, that is my time to just enjoy the kids, read to them, play with them whatever. I do know a little about what it is like to work with kids too, I was teaching school when my first and second were born. At that time because I was away from them so much in the day, when I got home I was with them. I could do this though because my husband was staying at home and going to school, so he took up some of the housecleaning, etc. But most importantly, prayer is ultimately what helps, because there are some days when I just cannot change the way I feel, and I cannot figure out what to do, and through prayer my feelings change and I receive inspiration. Anyways, hope that helps. Good-luck, you are normal. It is not for the faint of heart, and you are saint for doing it.

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Ania - posted on 12/14/2011

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You are a hero to me woman! Do not beat yourself up. I have almost a two year old and I'm pregnant and I'm whining. You have the full right to feel the way you feel. I don't know how you do it. The only wisdom I can give you is that it won't last forever. Think about it 2 more years of this extremely hard work and it will get better, because kids will get older and who knows maybe they will go to preschool or something like that. Also maybe you are more unhappy with your career than your responsibilities at home. I just finished my masters in education and have beed teaching in a bad school and it made me miserable, stressed and unappriciated I'm done with it at least for a while. I'm lucky because we can survive on one income. Try to find one day on a weekend or wherever and do something for yourself engage someone from your family, husband or someone else to take care of kids for 2 hours so you can go and spend time alone, reading, having coffee or gym or whatever you like

Aleisha - posted on 12/10/2011

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hi im also a mum of 3 boys. 6,4 and 4 1/2 months.im the same.my life iz the kids and thats it.but iv gt 1 in skool and 1 startn next year.id start 2 bottle feed as its nt so demanding on u.also try and do at lest 1 thing 4 ur self daily or weekly.dsnt have to be big.like havn a bath anything realy but it has 2 be for u only.iv also lernt nt 2 stess on little things as much as i tend 2 do like house work.thats 1thing thats always faithfull.lol.it dos gt easier and if ur happy relaxd sort off the kids will be 2.all the best

Tina - posted on 12/08/2011

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I think alot of woman can understand where you are coming from I have a 17 month old and a 5 months old. I deflinately understand how you feel. Being a mum is tough. A working mum even tougher. It certainly doesn't make you a failure. In time when the kids are older and able to do more for themselves it's become a little easier to cope. Medication certainly isn't for everyone and doesn't solve the problem. It's good just to get some time away from the house. Easier said then done I know. Even if it's just putting the kids in the car and going for a little bit of a drive put some music on you like. Even at home put some enjoyable music on if you can get a moment to yourself to take a relaxing bath read a book just get a little bit of me time if you can. Find a way when your youngest is sleeping find a way to keep the older ones busy so you can do something for yourself. It's not going to solve everything but atleast have a little bit of time for you. It's not easy sometimes I know and you have to push on and know it's all going to be ok in the long run.

Sherri - posted on 12/07/2011

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Hi my name is Sherri I have a 12 year old a 5 year old and a 19 month old and it is verry stressful !! I was a single mom for a long time i just recently got married to a great guy the 3rd baby is his he works so much i work part time and im over whelmed also my son the 12 year old has adhd and schoolwork , homework he struggles with and cries every night and i cant help i dont even know how to do the work and then i got my 5 year old begging for attention and then the 20 month year old is so crabby wants to be held 24 7 with dinner chores ec. i wanna scream all the time my husband is a hard worker but he is a majorrrr slob i have put on so much wieght its depressing ... I feel you and my kids arnt as close as yours what makes me feel better is i keep saying to myself 1 i am lucky i could have children there are women out there dying to have kids and cant 2 my children could be disabled and there not there healthy 3 there my best friends and it could all be worse like no home no food no clothes when im sad they are sad to ... We have to be happy for what we have god wouldnt give us anything we couldnt handle :) I am a neat freek and it got so overwhelming i read a article that said the dishes vacuuming ec will be there tmr your moments with your child you cant get back and they grow way to fast as you know heads up girl im with ya :)

Claire - posted on 11/10/2011

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Wow, it's good to know there are other people going through the same things. I have 4 girls 7yrs,3yrs,25mths and 4 mths and I'm feeling so overwhelmed. There is always so much to do. I'm breastfeeding my youngest so she is always attached to me. My 3 and 2 yr old are always causing mayhem and my 7 yr old needs help with school work etc. I wish I could split myself in to 4 people. I'm having a meltdown now just thinking how I'm gonna get the 3 little ones out to pick my eldest up from school in the rain. I hope it gets easier because right now I feel like a total failure. :(

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Well my girls are 3, 2 and 3 months. I can't tell you how to get through it because I am still figuring that one out too! I am lucky because I am a SAHM. My husband does want me to get a part time job which I am very undecided about. Extra money and time away might be nice but I just can't see me having the time to take on anything else. When I am tired or stressed, I find myself yelling a lot at the girls. So on days like that I will first of all admit to myself and i will even warn my oldest that mommy is just tired and I will nap when they do or skip cleaning. For me I get really overwhelmed because I have to cook all the meals for them (dairy and wheat allergies) even on those days you'd prefer to just get takeout ... we can't. Today at 6 I didn't have the kitchen clean or dinner cooked, but I just took the sleeping newborn to the movies and had 2 hours pretty much to myself. Sometimes you just have to! Then you can come back better for you, your husband and even more importantly your children. You can do it! Just go day by day and force yourself to take time for you.

User - posted on 11/02/2011

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I want to thank everyone for responding to me. Such great ideas and even more than that, it is nice to know that I am not alone. It is always so easy to think that you are the only mom who is struggling and every other woman is an amazing mother. I just seriously want to express my gratitude for so many responses. I will take your advice and use it. I will try to set aside time just for me, let go of some of the cleaning that overwhelms me, and spend more time playing with my kids. Thanks again!!!

Jacqueline - posted on 11/02/2011

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Hi, I can relate I am a mother of 5 and I have no life outside of my kids. I try to get atleast 2 days a month to myself. I get a sitter and go out with my friends for a night and return the next day. It's not much but it helps. I have an 11, 9,5,3 and 2.

Amity - posted on 11/02/2011

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I know exactly what you're feeling. I know I feel like that often. That's mohterhood sometimes. I don't think people fully understand how stressful, time consuming it is. All these expectations people put on mothers is unreasonable. It is hard, hard work and so very tiring. People talk about the terrible twos but I have actually found that 3 is the most difficult age so to start with you are dealing with 2 children at a very frustrating time of their lives. They will get over it. 6 months is also a difficult stage because babies tend to be more demanding. They don't like it when you walk away. They often have more trouble going to sleep. All the post birth hormones of happiness have well and truly worn off. The reality of sleepless nights has finally set in. You're exhausted. I know how you feel. 6 months of not sleeping properly has well and truly kicked in. It is so tough.
Like Susanna said, you have to let go of the house work. You aren't going to have a clean house for a few years yet. It this sooo hard to do and I still struggle with it on a daily basis but you just don't have time to do it and be a good mum. Get down on the floor with them and play trucks. They will remember that. They won't remember the clean bathroom. There will be less fighting between them if you are playing with them. Tickle them because that will make you laugh too.
Get onto the flylady facebook group. Like her. She has some great and easy to impliment housework routine tips.
I actually found the hardest jump time wise was 2-3. I could easily manage 2 children. 3 requires so much more time initially. Get a hobby that gets you out of the house once a week or lets you escape in the house. I scrapbook. That gets me out of the house and allows me me time at home. Set aside me time. Turn off the tv and read a book or exercise or knit or scrapbook. You'll feel better for it.
Hang in there. You're doing a great job. It is hard, hard work

Susanna - posted on 11/02/2011

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I can totally sympathize...my little ones are 2 1/2 and 1 years old. I work part-time as a nurse, too. It's very easy to feel burned out and exhausted when you're spending all of your time caring for very needy -and often very demanding- patients and children, no matter how much you love them :-) I'm still figuring out myself how to not be overwhelmed by it all, but my advice is this: give up on the cleaning as much as possible. Yeah, it's hard to let it go, but you can only do so much. A dirty bathroom can wait; your sanity is more important. When you do clean, focus on the stuff that's just going to get worse over time. For instance, dishes and laundry are just going to keep on piling up, but vacuuming is a once-and-done kind of chore; it can wait. If at all possible, set aside some time each week to get away from it all...my husband lets me "escape" on Thursday mornings :-)

Cristin - posted on 11/02/2011

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I understand how you feel. I have a 3 yr old, 2 yr old and 5 month old. But I am a stay at home mom, which makes it easier. I find getting in a routine definitely helps me. I have a weekly chore routine still trying to get this pefected but I began by sitting down and putting 5-6 simple weekly chores on a schedule and get one done a day) Try to do one load of laundry a day and follow through with it till it gets all put away, then I also have a list of 4-5 monthly chores that get rotated for Saturdays or when I have free time to get them done. This should keep the basis of your chores. I think it would help to to get a meal chart giong for dinner, because I am terrible at dinner time...my poor husband gets Tons of frozen pizza :) These are ideas of what I am trying to do to keep my house a little more clean (granted with three bambinos your house will never be spotless unless they sleep 24 hours a day!) and keeping life simplier. Also try to make time for yourself, easier said than done but it will make a world of difference for you. Now, that my chores are on a schedule I am also tring to implement a daily schedule for the children--Very hard I know but I think it will help me and my mother says "children thrive on a schedule" --Just a little advice from someone whose in almost the same boat...also do things that make you happy and smile, read the funnies in the paper, get some fresh air, drink a nice big hot chocolate or make cookies. Its sometimes the simple things :) Keep your chin up and this phase will soon pass! God Bless!

Yvette - posted on 11/02/2011

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I completely understand. I have those days...weeks sometimes. I don't have 3 kids but my girls are 11 months apart. Wasn't planned either. I sometimes think this is a normal feeling. But I struggle like you. I'm still trying to get more organized & clutter free. I keep telling myself one day soon. :) Now I am just trying to take it one day at a time.

Angie - posted on 11/02/2011

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I have a 3 yr old, 2 yr old and in two weeks a 6mos old! But ours were planned. Sadly, the two yr old has been having sleep issues that we're working with, but there hasn't even been nap time in our house for a couple of months now. That makes it harder, but luckily, I'm a SAHM so I don't have the added stress of working outside of the home. I also have a hard time with scheduling. I have no idea where the time goes! It's not often, but when I can get out, I feel amazing! Most of the time, I feel like a horrible parent - but maybe that means we're on the right track!?

Ashley - posted on 11/02/2011

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I have 4 kids ages 6,5,4, and 18 months..i go to school full time and work part time. i have the same issues you do. It is very important to make time for your self..make sure ur kids go to bed around 8 and make some time for u during there nap time and after bed time. It is also important to make sure that you spend time with each of your kids individually and together. The individual time lets them know that u do care and love them and it does make a huge difference in their behavior. These are some things that work for me and I hope that they work for you too.

Stephanie - posted on 11/02/2011

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I only have two and I planned for them to be this close (over 2 and a half and 17 mths). In hindsight I should have given myself a bit more time - health reasons being one. I work part time - 5 days per fortnight - and my husband has been unemployed for 4 yrs. I don't mind my job but the days I'm off are sometimes quite difficult. My husband does a training course on Tue & Thurs mornings, but other than that he is usually home with me and he looks after the boys when I'm working. I would echo what others are saying about trying to get some me time for yourself. I go to the gym 6 days a week, usually while the kids are at creche or in the evening when they're gone to bed. It is only in the last few months that I have gotten into this routine and I'm thankful every day for it. It sounds to me like you're nowhere near failing. You would probably think my house is a tip cos I wouldn't do that much housework in a week! We barely do what's necessary to keep the place ticking over! Our boys are always fighting too, mainly because they're so different -ds1 is more placid, likes tv, books drawing etc ds2 likes to climb and is always "in the way" of ds1! My mum tells me when ds2 gets a bit older (around 2+) they'll be great buddy's and keep each other entertained. It's terrible but I'm wishing the days away. Anyway chin up and rest assured you're doing a great job. Try and organise some time for yourself - a short walk even or a chance to meet up with a girlfriend etc. We all need to recharge the batteries and give the brains and bodies a rest from time to time. Good luck!

Zahra - posted on 11/01/2011

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Not alone. I feel like I'm losing it most of the time. My two boys are just turned 4 and 2.5 and my daughter is 9months. The boys fight all the time and will take any opportunity to break something or make a mess or fight. So they require constant attention. I think the best thing is to go outside. Kids can't do much damage or fight over toys etc when in the park and can't mess up the house either. Play groups are really good for the same reason and because it's a child friendly environment I find they fight less and are less destructive then anyways. Unfortunately we are currently living in Malaysia and there is no such thing as playgroup here and I don't know other mothers. Night time is our time so the only schedule we follow strictly is the bedtime.

Joy - posted on 11/01/2011

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I'm another mother that wants you to know that you are not alone. My little girl will be 3 in March and I have twins that will be 2 in February. 3 so close together is not easy and I too often feel overwhelmed. I just reminded my husband today I don't get "sick days!" As others have said finding a routine that works for you is really important but I think the most important thing is taking time for yourself each day. Unfortunately I know all too well what it's like to not get to shower, do the things you use to enjoy doing etc. I make my me time simple...insist on grocery shopping by yourself, don't feel guilty napping when the kids do, don't pick up during nap time they are just going to get it right back out, read, shop, scrapbook, take a night or even a lunch hour to yourself....it really makes a world of difference!

Lisa - posted on 11/01/2011

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I only have 2 little ones (almost 3yo and 21mo) instead of 3 but I understand the craziness. The first thing I do is when I feel like I'm about to start screaming: I go outside for a minute or two and take long, deep breaths (it really does help me calm down). The second thing I do is pick cleaning tasks that each child doesn't hinder me (and sort of helps me); I have one helping me and the other is off safely playing with Duplo blocks (their favorite toy--each of them could play for hours if the other one doesn't bother them) which helps to reduce the number of times I have to break up fights. We recently added storytime at the library to our weekly routine and it is a wonderful break from the monotony.

Anne - posted on 11/01/2011

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For routines I suggest www.flylady.net implementing her suggestions returned my sanity.
Apart from that, big hugs. Say to yourself, this too shall pass.

Anne - posted on 11/01/2011

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For routines I suggest www.flylady.net implementing her suggestions returned my sanity.
Apart from that, big hugs. Say to yourself, this too shall pass.

Rachael - posted on 11/01/2011

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You are definitley not alone. I only have 2 boys and most days I feel like I'm failing. My youngest will be 2 in December and I am just NOW feeling like myself again. There were many times when my husband was sick of me and when I was sick of myself but couldn't pull out of it. My only advice is to take time for yourself and be patient. It will get easier as your childrens dependency on you lessens! Good luck!

Amber - posted on 10/31/2011

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I know exactly how you feel. My children are a little older, 10, 5 and 4. With the three of them, at least two are fighting what seems like all the time, and the other one is getting into something or making some sort of mess. My husband says if I ask him he'll help out, but when I do he ignores me or says flat out no - although I feel I shouldn't have to ask in the first place for help. I also work full time, and was a full time student until last week, when my courses were finally completed. I went to the doctor & had to be put back on medication as I felt as if I was no longer in control of myself as I yelled all the time. Medication has helped me, but I've also found that getting out of the house does help, although that is easier said than done. I found that if I "disappear" from my family for a few minutes at a time, hide in the laundry room and just take a breather for a minute, and even taking the trash out gives me a second of fresh air and escape that is needed. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. If you find anything that works, please let me know!

Katherine - posted on 10/31/2011

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You need to talk to other moms. Why don't you try meetup.com. your local library, play dates, etc....I can't imagine having 3 kids so close together. But you definitely need some other mom time.

Caitlin - posted on 10/31/2011

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You're not alone in feeling this way. I have an almost 3 yr old, 21 month old and a 1 month old (almost). It's hard, I feel like i'm going crazy most fo the time, i never stop moving, and I feel like i'm doing a crappy job most of the time. I just keep telling myself that it will get better, that soon when they are school aged, my life will start to even out a bit. I dont' really have any advice sadly, but you aren't alone, and not sure where you live, but heading into winter is always a down time for us, especially with a new baby because it's hard to get out even to the park because it's getting WAY too cold. I use nap times as a bit of a sanity break for me, and I don't worry if the house looks like a disaster sometimes (which it does often) and I take a bit of time for myself (usually after they go to bed - like taking a bath). I find it helps me stay calmer. Oh, and I LOVE to read, even if it's only 2-3 pages a day, just because it helps me relax, and I knwo theres not much of that in a house with so many younguns!

Patrice - posted on 10/31/2011

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Hey Celisse!
I'm sorry you are so stressed, I have been there my kids are older now I have a 11 year old 8year old and 7year old. It is and was a struggle when they were younger. Try your hardest to break your day to day routine. Get out the house with the kids if you can. Sit at the park talk to other moms in your area. I wish I had the magic words to say that would help. But I don't so just stay connected with people I wish you the best.

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