How to cope with being a very young mom of 2 kids

Shonda - posted on 12/12/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I'm 21 yrs old going on 22 (very young) and I have 2 kids. I have a 4 yr old son who goes to preschool 4 days a week for 5 hours and a 5 yr old daughter who is in kindergarten. I love them both very much , but sometimes I feel like I never get a break. Me and their father who is also young (25) is still together and been together since day one. He works 2 jobs full-time , because he says he don't want me to work. He's home at 4pm everyday during the week except on thurs-sun he goes to his second job from 5pm-1:30 pm. So they are with both of us after school but he's just getting in from work and I need my me time too. I just feel overwhelmed sometimes like I never can do anything for myself w/o me having to do a mother duty in between. We have no support from any of their grandparents because none of them are around. We do not have a close family at all, it's just us. I need some tips on coping with being a young mother and still living my life young. Thanks for reading this!

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You need to take time for yourself while your kids are at school. Even though I am swamped most days, I ALWAYS set aside at least an hour for myself. Put your tasks in order of priority and make sure "me time" is near the top.

You have 5 hours, unless you have a giant house, you should be able to keep it pretty clean in about 2 hours a day. I set a timer for 10 minutes per room. For that 10 minutes I stay in that room and clean--it is amazing how much you can do in 10 minutes if you stay focused and avoid running from one room to another. My house has 10 rooms, I clean 8 per day and rotate the ones that don't need cleaning everyday. Once you've cleaned a room, close the door and don't go back in there (except for the living areas of course). Use the remaining 40 minutes to sort/fold laundry and vacuum.

Do all of your shopping and errands on one or two days--not only will you spend less, but you will waste less time in the car, getting ready to go, etc.



Also, it is okay to skip the cleaning once a week or so (I don't clean on my errands days)--a room that hasn't been vacuumed in a day is no harder to vacuum than one that was vacuumed the day before. Obviously some things must be done every day, like the kitchen, laundry, and beds, but the rest can wait if you are truly swamped.





One last tip for evenings after hubby is home. My husband needs about 30-45 minutes of "Me Time" to switch gears from business to family. I let him retreat to his home office for that time right when he gets home, but after 45 minutes, I expect him to come out and play with our child so that I can get on with dinner, clean the kitchen, etc. I am a sahm, so I don't ask him to help with chores, but he is a father, and he must spend time building a father/son relationship with our child, and I can use the time he is doing that to prep for the next day.

Patricia - posted on 12/13/2012

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Even though I clean at night I still wake up the next day to messes made late at night-ha by my Husband. I can only imagine. I am an older Mom so I cannot relate to being a young Mother, but I wouldn't have been ready at your age. I actually didn't get married until I was almost 24.



Everyone needs "me" time where you don't have to worry about cleaning or kids.

Shonda - posted on 12/13/2012

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Thanks for your support Jennelle and Patricia. I will really look into play dates and little kids book groups. And to answer your question Jodi I don't get my "ME TIME" when my son goes to school for 5HRS is because I'm too busy at home cleaning, prepping dinner, and getting them ready for the next day. By the time I'm done with all of that 5hrs is GONE!! That is not a lot of time with 2 kids and so much to do. Now you might ask "oh why can't you clean the night before"? And the answer to that is I DO. It's just I either never get to finish or the kids tear the house right back up. I love my kids till the death of me , but it is a lot harder when your young with kids. Study's shows it. I am a great mother just looking for a little bit of tips , every mother has their moment when they feel like they haven't did anything for themselves in a week or so.

Janelle - posted on 12/12/2012

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Hi Shonda,



I had my first child when I was 25 years old. I can't imagine what it would have been like to start at... what?... 16? 17? But you've made it through the toughest part, the kids are now potty trained and in school.



I don't know if this is a solution for you but try and remember that the trials of raising a family are not age specific. There are many moms like yourself of different ages. Keep an open mind/heart with the other moms you meet who are older.



Also if you don't work and your home is your work and you never get a break form it even when the kids are in school then all you can do is savor those 4 hours when they're in school. It feels a bit like a turn around trip but it gets better.



Find out where the other moms are hanging out after school, which parks are best. Who your kids are friends with and if they will spend a little time at the park after school.



Its the little things that matter, especially since your raising young children and no one is going to be curing cancer or saving a major rain forest for a while. It can be challenging to find cooking, cleaning and boogie wiping satisfying in life. But they're worth it.



Just curious: what would you be doing right now if you didn't have them? I have no idea how I would answer that question, but I think I was ready for a family. Raising a family is a more genuine joy than the facades of youthful endeavors.



Not that I think you're saying you regret having children, Not at all. But I'm curious if you feel things would have been different if you had waited until you were older to start a family? I honestly feel like I didn't really grow up until I had children. Like after high school ended and before I had children I was in limbo. But I suppose that limbo time is valuable.



Rest assured it will get easier as they get older. And in the mean time pursue something that will challenge you. Be a writer, painter, knitter, lawyer (hehe ;-) you never know. Just keep the ability to grow beyond boogie wiping alive. There's more to yourself to discover, and there's so much changing we do as the years move on. Enjoy the journey.

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2012

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How is it you can't get a break when you get at LEAST 5 hours for 4 days a week away from your children? Why can't you use that time to have some of your "me" time? And if it is time with your husband you are after, book a date night with him once a week when he doesn't have to work, and make sure you organise kids to bed early.

Patricia - posted on 12/12/2012

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Do you have any playgroups or Mother groups that you can get in touch with? Maybe go and do something while they are in school?

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