Im not coping....any advice for me?

Tracy - posted on 10/25/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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Im a stay at home mom and mother of 2. A 5yr old son and a 20 month old daughter. My daughter is an EXTREMELY busy little girl and you have to watch her 24/7. Between soccer practice, swimming lessons, cleaning house, helping my hubby with admin, accounts etc, grocery shopping, cooking lunch and dinner for 5 people (kids eating different meals to adults) every day and all the otherr running around and errands that need to be done to keep the home running smoothly, I just struggle to find balance. I am always ratty with my kids and find myself counting the hours to their bed time. I do try and take "me" time when I can, but it seems like it is not enough...im STILL not coping. I feel by admiting Im not coping, its faliure! How much "me" time do the Mommies out there take to avoid melt down?

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Brandy - posted on 10/25/2010

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you dont sound like a failure you just sound busy and stressed out which is completely normal, its hard to be a SAHM! but it sounds like youre the one running the entire house hold! you are married and one of your children is 5 already thats old enough for both of them to take on some responsibility. maybe you should make some charts to let everyone see what it is that you have to do for the week and then delegate some of those responsibilities to your husband and your son. then try to do some things ahead of time for example you could make up dinners ahead of time and have your son help and then freeze them for later, your daughter could be sitting nearby in a highchair with a snack watching or doing her own activity. make a chore list so that you dont have to take on the whole world in one day, you could encourage your son to help do simple chores with a sticker chart and rewards. and while your 5 yr old is at school or an activity you can put your daughter down for a nap to have some mommy time. this is when i have my alone time, and its usually about an hour a day. another thing you might want to consider is cooking one meal for everyone. breakfast lunch and dinner is alot of work you shouldnt have to work extra hard to please everyone in the house, put your foot down and set some rules, make a schedual, you should have a time for every meal and snack and no food in between. and try to make alternating favorites from night to night. and once your kids are in bed that should be your time as well. you shouldnt be finishing up more house work etc..you should be relaxing. another thing that we do is on fridays we dont have any appts schedualed so my husband usually lets me sleep in and we have an activity planned for the day, going to the park or out to eat for lunch etc and then after my husband goes to work my daughter comes with me to run errands and grocery shop, and then we come home, she naps and when i get her up i give her a snack and we head to grandmas house. sometimes i stay and visit and sometimes i leave her there to spend alone time with grandma and if grandma isnt available that day then we play together at home i make dinner or order pizza we eat dinner in the living room to switch it up then bath time and end up watching a movie and cuddling until bedtime. which is really nice because shes 20mths as well and very active and very rambunctious but shes usually pretty tired out by the end of our fridays lol. i hope some of these suggestions have helped and im sure you can find your way as long as you keep trying, good luck super mom!

[deleted account]

Tracy --- if you are a failure, then so are the rest of us! We are all struggling to find the balance between taking care of our home and all our loved ones......and squeezing that much needed time for ourselves. No one can keep going, and going and going at any job. Why should SAHM's have to? Everyone else is allowed to have a rant from time to time about their job....why should we struggle in silence.....and shame? Well, you have nothing to be ashamed of and anyone who makes you feel like that is the one that should be ashamed. All I can say is that you have to find what works for you. My coping mechanisms might not work for you. Sometimes I put on music and we dance right there in the kitchen and well.....lunch will be a little late today. then the next morning I could be stressed out banshee trying to get everyone out the door and wonder where the heck that cool dancing queen went!? All I know is that at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how clean the house is, the laundry, well, okay groceries might be important, but aside from that ....I just want to know I tried my best. And if it was a bad day, I just have to forgive myself and move on. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe the laundry will get done, maybe it won't. Maybe the baby will sleep all night and I'll have enough energy for everyone and everything. Or maybe it will just be one of those days when my kids watch way too much TV and eat KD and hot dogs. You just have to let somethings go.....because the secret is.....you can't do it all. you just can't....not well anyway. something will have to give and look what it is...YOU. we end of at the bottom of the list and then of course we have nothing left to give. I know there is a great debate regarding how much the working man" should have to help out at home and with the kids... I'm afraid to even go there. But hopefully your mans' knuckles have left the ground and he is tuned into his wife's needs as well as his own. I hope he wouldn't stand by and watch you sink. So if he is the kind of man to offer help, take it AND just let him do it, don't say a word but thanks. Other than that, you just have to find what works for you. and remember, they are not young forever, so this too shall pass.

Kristi - posted on 10/25/2010

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I am with Brandy on sharing some of your load with your hubby and 5 yr old son. And, you are NOT a failure, you just have a lot on your plate. Being a parent is the single most difficult job in the world, and being a SAHM is like being a parent on steroids. As a SAHM, you don't get a lot of "me time", unless of course, you have someone in your corner helping you out. We made a chore chart for our 4 year old, and he does things like dusting, watering the plants, feeding the pets and helping take the garbage out. He is also required to pick his toys up every day, whatever he gets out, he picks up. That alone is a big help to me. Maybe you could also schedule out a time for you a day, treat it as though it were an appointment of some sort. Or while your son is at school, sit down and read to your daughter; it doesn't even have to be a children's book. Reading is very relaxing, and it may even put her to sleep for a while. If that doesn't work, you may have to sacrifice an extra curricular activity, as bad as you don't want to. Everyone needs a little "me time" and no one should feel guilty for wanting it. When the little ones are asleep at night, do nothing but relax, all that housework will be there waiting on you tomorrow. Space out some of the things you find yourself having to do, remember Rome wasn't built in a day =).

Avvy - posted on 10/27/2010

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He mom, just by knowing you're not coping,well that means you are in touch with your feelings and that's the first step!Tracy melt downs are inevitable,I would be more concerned if you never felt like this.I am impressed that your home runs smoothly mine quite often seems like a land mine has hit!. What would make you feel better? Make a list for your self so you can see it on paper, it might sound silly but putting what you need on paper helps you focus and it helps you wrap your head around the situation,and after you list your items ,just take one and DO IT for yourself! Good mothering is great mothering,ask for help when you need it!

Joan - posted on 10/27/2010

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it sounds like me time is not the real issue here. i think your plate is way to full. try to reavaluate what you are doing and decide what is actually necessary. maybe cut back on some activities. sometimes we just need to learn how to say no.

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Stephanie - posted on 07/12/2012

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you need to share the responcibility with your partner its not fare you are doing all this by yourself! tell him to help or he'l be making his own tea . you are not a failure hun you just need him to give you a wee rest and do his bit around the house aswell
hope things get easier for you .
i usauly put my feet up when kids are in bed and have some mummy time
just remember your never a failure and that life never came with instructions

Jahaira - posted on 10/28/2010

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You have to have your hubby help you out a little more so you don't lose your mind...

Ilene - posted on 10/28/2010

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I don't know how to answer that because I'm not sure I ever found it. Sometimes I'll let my son (13 yrs) make his own dinner if he doesn't like what I make. For instance, he hates homeade spegetti so I let him make chef boi r dee for himself. Other than that, mostly my family eats what is made for them. When my dad 1rst told me what he saw, I was appauled. He said that because the kids usually got their way like that, that is why my kids were acting like spoiled rotten brats. I told him he was old and it's not the 80's anymore but when I started doing some of what he suggested the kids became more respectful. It was a real battle at 1rst and still can be at times, but for the most part the dinner advise he gave me saves me lots of time and some sanity. My kids hear stuff like if you dont eat your dinner, no snack, and whatever, then starve. That one makes them think and they don't like it so usually dinner is eaten. You're not a failure, you just need to find your nitch. What about your husband? Can you talk to him. He would be the one that could help you the most I would think. Maybe he could watch the kids for a few hours and you could go out or go into your own world while jammin to your favorite music. That one if my personal fave.

Claire - posted on 10/28/2010

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Please don't feel like a failure addmitting that you are not copiong is the hardest and bravest thing you can do, asking for help is hard and many people don't do it so good on you for knowing when its all to much and asking for help.
I know exaclty what you are going thorugh i had 4 kids, my 4 year old was recently diagnosed as Intellectually Disabled and my 3 month old baby was braced for clicky hips. All things that are out of my comtrol and both things that could be a hell of alot worse but my god i felt like such a pathetic excuse for a mother... what sort of mother can't fix her children's problems is what i was thinking. The best thing i did to help deal with it was cry. If you feel like you need it have a huge cry one day when they have gone to bed. It can make you feel alot better.
Also i have this little poster on my wall that i read everyday and whenever it all feels to much.
"I can handle whatever happens today.
I am stronger then i think.
It's ok to ask for help when i need it
I'm doing my best
I will find courage when I feel like it's all too much
I am loving and giving
I am Proud of myself
I will keep going no matter what
Its all worth it
I AM WORTH IT!!!!!!!"

That poster has really helped me. I read it all the time and still it chokes me up when i do.
God do i know what you mean sitting here typing this i have my 4 year old hanging off one arm so i'm typing with one hand my 2 year old asking for breakfast (its 6:33am where i am) all i wanted for 5 minutes to reply to your post but hey what can you do :)
But i would say bollocks the housework as long as the house is clean bu not tidy then its fine, kids live there and kids can be messy, if anyone comes over and doesnt like that the house is not tidy then they can clean it themselves.
I hope you feel better soon :)

Tiffany - posted on 10/28/2010

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You are not a failure first of all! Don't think that you are. It is hard work being a SAHM. I think you need to sit down with your hubby and figure something out. Get him to give you a break more, or if he is working where he can't then talk about hiring a babysitter once a week so you can get some me time. Also, try making only 1 meal...there's no need to make all these separate meals. I haven't had me time since my daughter was born a year ago, so I know how hard that can be and I just have the one. My sister in law has 4 and she feels like she is drowning she says, but my brother helps a lot on his days off and gives her a break and lets her sleep in. I would talk with your hubby and see if he could give you a break at least once a week. And if you get to the point where you're too stressed, cry it out. It may sound silly, but sometimes a good cry is all it takes to feel better and then you'll be laughing at yourself...and we all know laughter is the best medicine. =)

Alison - posted on 10/28/2010

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why not try activities like play groups and that 2 tirer them out and u get stuff done i had the same problem and im now on anti deppresion

Tina - posted on 10/28/2010

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Tracy,
One thing that I had to realize after I quit my corporate world job a few years ago and became a stay at home mom is that "You are only ONE Person". Remember that. it's okay if one day goes by and you haven't cleaned, cooked etc. What I stared to do was design a plan for me. In other words, if you know the following day you have a busy day then prepared the night before. Put a chicken in the crockpot and have it cook all day for your dinner while you are driving the kids around for their games or lessons. While they are napping they clean one thing in the house or do only on thing that day like the laundry. Don't try to do everything in one day. Go easy on your self and things will get better trust me. It's hard and it's alright if you are waiting for the bedtime because that's your time and you need it to reenergize for the next day. Be kind to yourself. And by all means ask for help when you need it. Blessings to you and your family.
Tina

Melissa - posted on 10/28/2010

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Hi there...I just wanted to commend you first. The fact that you do all of this and keep things running shows what a great mom you are. I only have one child, a 7 yr. old boy, but have countless medical issues that sometimes overtake my days..so I can kind of relate. The one thing it's taken me all of 7 yrs to understand is that IT'S OK to get overwhelmed. Sometimes the best thing for a mommy is to stop, take a step back and look around. Start with the most important and work your way down. If mommy isn't happy..in the end no one will be. I agree about getting the kids more involved with helping..it helps you and starts to show them responsibility. Take a lil time for yourself and talk always talk with ur partner..it helps. Hope you feel better (:

Vegemite - posted on 10/27/2010

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I don't cope either and there's no shame in admitting that. My kids are 36 and 15 months and go to day care twice a week so I can have me time and get those things done that are just easier to do when there's no kids around. It really does makes life easier and me and my little family happier.

[deleted account]

I 'm very sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed and with the list you posted I can see why you are. I dont know of a single mother who ever feels they have "enough" alone times. And I know there are some times I need more than others. What can you change in this routine to help yourself? Is there a reason the kids have different meals are their allergies? Cleaning house a lone is a NEVER ending job. I have a very tidy home to most people but it is never the way I want it to be, But when night comes I don't do chores period after bed time. Because I don't stop all day. Ok sometimes I cheat but my hubby will make me stop lol. Have you atold your husband how you are feeling? It is not failing to admit you are having a hard time coping failing is saying nothing and having a breakdown because you didn't notice how you were feeling and reach out to other people for support. My 14 month old refuses to nap and never stops moving and he is the youngest of 5 so I understand what you are saying and really hope you find the tweeks you need in your schedule to make it a little better on you. Hugs

Liz - posted on 10/27/2010

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I know this is working for me so I just have a suggestion. To help me get organized, I made a list of ALL the chores I do and how often they need to be done. Then I divided them up for each day of the week and wrote them in my planner. That way, in case I forget what my "chores" for the day are, I can quickly check my planner to see. This way, my home stays neat and I don't have to stress about having too much to do on any particular day.

[deleted account]

1st.....stop making separate meals for adults verse kids. Kids can eat the same things adults do by those ages and they won't starve if they decide they don't want to eat it.
2nd...involve your 20 month old in "helping" you. She can get a damp washcloth and wipe all sorts of things without actually doing any good but as long as she believes she is helping she will be thrilled. Try coloring time or books or telling stories when you are cooking to help keep her busy. She can always help you get things you need or run trash to the trashcan.
3rd....take every minute of nap time for granted and get as much done as you can. i.e. phone calls, bleaching things, etc.

I hope this helps in some way.
good luck and god bless

Shannon - posted on 10/27/2010

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Hey Sit take a breather it will be alright it won't always be this way, I have 5 boys and sometimes it's really busy, when they were little i had 3 of them 11 months a part and that meant 3 in diapers and bottles so I know what busy is but the good news is they get older and it gets easyier not so rush rush and you get to enjoy some down time maybe not a lot but you will find in time it will come and don't feel guilty all parents at some point pray for bed time to come

Lisa - posted on 10/27/2010

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There are many times that I will make my kids a separate meal, however, those meals are quick and easy. Baked chicken nuggets, a vegetable, with a piece of bread and fruit. Or a turkey hot dog, etc. I agree with Leslie in that I don't want a battle at dinner. I want to teach my kids to enjoy their foods and not make it a struggle to eat healthy. I'd rather they learn to make healthy choices now and for us it's worked, my kids favorite snacks are raisins, apples, string cheese, yogurt, blueberries, bananas, etc. My daughter brings snack every other week to school and once her teacher told me I pick healthier snacks than she does and I told her that Emily always picks the snack to bring to school.

Christa - posted on 10/26/2010

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Tracy, Slow down....first thing you have to realize; you CAN'T do everything!! Except some changes...not everything is going to get done everyday and kids may have to start eating whatever the meal is. You will be okay. It isn't easy, but change is a must. Don't beat yourself up so bad...I am sure you are doing a GREAT job!!

[deleted account]

Leslie,
ok I see how sometimes you would need to fix a differant meal if the dinners spicy or if they are young. My kids are all over 5 now and they each get to make a suggestion of what they want for dinner so in our house its not a matter of "eat what I cook because thats what I say". I'm a chef by trade so I cook all sorts of foods. I guess i'm just blessed with children with a wide palatte. I have just noticed recently many moms cooking seperate meals for there kids and I can imagine how much extra time that would take. If my kids or husband don't like something I usually don't bother fixing it when they are around :)

Jackie - posted on 10/26/2010

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Hi Tracy, I have a 6 month old baby and he just wants to be on the go all the time. It can get hard at times because he wants me to hold him all the time. However this is pretty easy next to what your life holds. I think the only thing that I can possibly advise on is maybe if you stop doing the admin and accounts with your husband and maybe use that time for yourself. It is hard to keep kids entertained. are there any centres around you which have toddler playtime?

[deleted account]

Summer.....I did sometimes when they were at the toddler stage. For example, if my husband and I were having steaks (we like rare) or salmon, I wouldn't have expected a 2 year old to eat that. Or sometimes we like a meal that's got a bit of spice to it, then I will cook something different. My MIL thought this was crazy, but I think this is another one of those situations where balance is the key. If we are having a "simple" dish....pasta, chicken, pork chops, veggie, potato/rice then they get the same. But we also do special meals for the kids too. We have Restaurant Night -- everyone gets to "order" what they want - just like from a menu (yes, usually a weekend meal for this), we have Movie Pizza Night on the Fridays my husband works (easy for mommy and everyone is tired from the busy week), and of course the kids favourite meal is......Backwards Night...yep, dessert first. I think you have to be realistic sometimes and eliminate the number of battles you have in a day. I don't like food to become an issue of control, so I do allow some choice. Far more important to me is that it is usually healthy, they have to sit properly at the table and show proper manners, contribute to the dinner conversation. They don't always have to finish their plate if they are full......but don't ask for dessert then. And I like them to try a bite of something before determining if they truly like it. If they are being stubborn and doing "I don't want to eat supper" or keep leaving the table....then yes, the plate is cleared and we'll see you at breakfast. Then they have either go to bed, or sit quietly at the table until everyone else is finished. I think these are far more valuable lessons to be learned then just "you eat what mommy makes" all the time.

[deleted account]

You have alot of good responses. I had one question though. Why do you make different meals for your kids? My kids know that what I cook for dinner, is whats for dinner. They eat or they go to bed a little hungry. Do many moms cook seperate meals for there kids?

Lisa - posted on 10/26/2010

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Sometimes as SAHMs, we think everything has to be done and in reality, it doesn't. If it means the kids get a movie with popcorn so you can stop and breathe let them watch 2 movies!! When I first started staying home I thought we had to have "real" meals for dinner and a nice lunch when hubby wasn't traveling. I've pared down our meals so they are quick and simple and save nice meals for weekends when there is more time.
I thought the house had to be spotless and laundry done and put away every day. It's not possible, or at least it's not in my world. Our oldest is almost 4 and she's in charge of picking up toys before bedtime. Our youngest is almost 2 and both kids know that at the end of the day their bath towels and dirty clothes get taken to the laundry.
It’s hard to find balance with everything that goes on and some days it’s more of a struggle then others. Make sure you enjoy time with your kids every day. Make them your relaxation and your hired help! My kids love to help clean (they sweep and use the swiffer), my daughter will help with dusting, my youngest likes to take the towels to the bathroom and both will carry their clothes from the laundry room to their bedroom. It seems like little things that shouldn’t add up to a lot of time and it’s not always perfect but it does help.
And if you’re feeling stressed out, call in sick once in awhile. Stay in your pajamas and spend the morning being silly with your kids. Watch movies and hang out together. Everyone will feel better!

Candy - posted on 10/26/2010

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You havent failed anyone. You do however need to remember YOU make the schedule. YOU can cut and add things. YOU are in charge of it.Maybe you need to trim somethings off or spread them out a little.

Tracy - posted on 10/26/2010

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Ladies, thank you so much for the advice!!! Great advice!!! I was almost in tears reading some of this. I had no idea (call me silly), that a 5 year old could have chores!! Well, best i get that star chart out and get cracking on what he can start doing from TOMORROW!! ha ha ha....thank you again! You have brigthened my day and made me feel more "normal" (if thats possible). xx

Bonnie - posted on 10/25/2010

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Oh Tracy, you happen to sound a lot like me. At times I try to do a lot more than I can handle. I am also a SAHM. I have two boys who are 2 and 4. My 4 year old is now in school between 2 and 3 days a week and I thought that would help free up some time for as I just have my 2 year old during those 7 hours, but it really hasn't. For the most part I am still trying to be super mom and bite off more than I can chew. I also run most of the house on a daily basis, but i've learned that it is okay if my husband volunteers to do a load of laundry, the dishes in the evening or make a bed. I have also learned that my house doesn't always have to be clean/tidy. Some days I know I am a machine. If I am not having any company who cares really. I do a couple to a few things each day and I know that by the time I am done I will need to start all over again pretty much, but so be it. It is way less stressful and tiring that way.

Melissa - posted on 10/25/2010

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You have to share the Load!!!! Spend more time at home with family and maybe cut out one of the kids activities....after the kids go to bed...Take a rest! Dont clean or do anything that isnt relaxing to you!

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