Is it only me or is this job extremely challenging?

Maricela - posted on 04/23/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have 3 kids. A 14 year old, a 5 year old and a 2 year old. I have always been a working mom, this is the first time ever that I am actually at home with my kids, but sometimes they get out of hand and I just can't take it. Yet, the laundry still needs to get done, the house needs to get cleaned, and dinner still needs to get cooked. To top it off because I am the one who is always here for them now even when my honey is home it is all about Mom, mom, and mom. I get so tired. Any suggestions on how to make things a little easier and less stressful?

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I hear you! It is overwhelming to take care of the kids and the house, especially when your job is never really done. There's always laundry, dirty dishes, and the dirt that my kids track in is never ending! Some days I feel like all I do is clean up after the kids. What helped me was creating a weekly cleaning schedule for myself, taking one area of the house per day and just focusing on that. For example, on Mondays, I do errands (groceries, post office, banking, etc. On Tuesdays, I clean the bedrooms and upstairs bathroom, On Wednesdays, I clean the kitchen and downstairs bathroom, On Thursdays, I clean the living room and playroom, and on Fridays I clean the family room in the basement and my office. I do two loads of laundry each day and spend 30 minutes picking up the house and doing a general clean up all over the house each day so that things say neat. I have my son clean up his playroom every night before bed so that it never gets that bad. I also try to have my cleaning time in the mornings when my daughter is taking her morning nap and my son can help me or entertain himself while I get it done. Once it's done, my kids have my attention and we can do other fun things like play outside, read books, do art projects, etc. It took me almost a year after my daughter was born to get into this routine and make it work, but now, things are great.
One day, my husband suggested that I treat staying at home just like I did my career as a teacher... Have a daily schedule, and give it my all, just like I did when I was working. At first I was really angry with him for not understanding how hard I work at home, but after a while, I realized that he was right. This is my "career" now and I should find a way to do it to the best of my ability, giving it the same atention and dedication that I gave my teaching career. Good luck to you and to finding your own groove for what works for you and your family!

Jessica - posted on 04/27/2010

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Sarah, I actually took a window sash and spray painted the different sections with chalk board paint and hung it in the hallway. There are 6 (panes). I use those to make notes to myself of important things that I do not want to forget. Right now I have paying for Ezra's summer camp up there. Plus I like the look of it. It is kind of L.L. Bean or Land's End looking (in that cottagie looking way that is trendy right now).

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Rebekah - posted on 04/28/2010

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I have no idea, my husband also calls himself "the baby". He has a labor job and is tired but geez! I usually get a reprieve when my daughter takes a nap and he's at work. I calm down with a nice cup of coffee and a book. My husband does take over when i'm sick. thats it.

Rebeca - posted on 04/28/2010

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I also went from having a career to being a stay at home mum and my kids are now 12 and 9 yrs old and my 9 yr old son still hassles me constantly; if he is thirsty, he is hungry, he is tired, he has a headache, he wants me to read him a book, his sister is being mean etc. He will sit next to me or follow me around the house complaining. I say "why dont you go tell your father and leave me alone for a bit" but he just wants mum mum mum.

It is hard, and you need to have time out to relax and take good care of yourself so you do not get too stressed. As far as wanting everything to be perfect (like I used to ), I started to relax and just enjoy my children after I found the following poem; (not sure who the author is)

Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there
Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere
For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door
I should apologise, I guess, for toys strewn on the floor
But I sat down with the children, and we played and laughed and read
And if the windows do not shine, their eyes will shine instead
For when at times I'm forced to choose, the one job or the other
I'd like to cook and clean and scrub
But first I'll be a MOTHER!

Hope that helps. Good Luck.

Eileen - posted on 04/28/2010

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One year, my husband asked what I wanted for Mother's Day. I told him it was a day off. I was a SAHM with two girls ages 8 and 4 who had just started homeschooling. Ever since then, he gives me at least two days a month off, depending on his own work schedule. Most experts recommend at least one day each week, or a couple hours every day! Now, my children are 16 and 11. Some things are easier, but there are always new challenges.

Jessica - posted on 04/28/2010

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Sarah, I bought the chalk board paint at my local harware store. It was not a spray. I bought it in a can but it was easy to apply and resonably priced.

[deleted account]

Great idea! I didn't know that the chalkboard paint comes in a spray... that sounds really cool. I'll have to look for it. Would I be able to find it at a hardware store? I have a great spot in my kitchen for something like that. Right now I just make endless lists on paper and half the time I lose them! Thanks for sharing your idea!

Jessica - posted on 04/27/2010

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I agree with you Kristy in that if the kids are home and healthy at the end of the day and dinner is on the table all of the "to do" lists can go away. The important things are already taken care of.

User - posted on 04/27/2010

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Wow, that was like I wrote that myself!! That goes the same4 for me...I'll just wait for a reply.

Dawna - posted on 04/26/2010

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when you were working did your husband help with the housework? if so, you might try explaining that now that you are home with the kids, your "job" is to take care of the kids, not clean house. he should still be pitching in with the housework, because being home with kids is a full-time job, and cleaning is another full-time job, and no one person can possibly be expected to do both all the time without eventually falling apart. maybe leave him home with them all one day while you go out and have him do all the things he would expect you to do while you're home; that way he'll see how much work it really is. good luck!

Kristy - posted on 04/26/2010

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I totally feel you Maricela. It seems like life was a bit easier when I was working, kind of expected the house to be a little upside down due to work. However, now I find that I am a stay-at-home mom and the house is still a bit upside down at times due to all the other demands of the day. The difference, I feel way more stressed out when it is because that is my job -- keep a clean house, dinner on table, I always said if I wasn't working that would be my responsibility. Now when my husband comes home and the house isn't perfect I feel as if I am slacking on my job, not pulling my weight. My husband would never complain though; he is a good guy. No, the pressure is totally self-induced, so if you find a way to make things easier and less stress...please let me know, lol.

Jessica - posted on 04/26/2010

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My List: I have a housekeeper that cleans my bathroom once a week. My youngest gets shipped off to my sisters' two times a week and my mother's on Saturdays. I am maticulous about finding ways to make grocery shopping fun. (Thats the one time that it is "okay" for mother's to shop and everyone leaves you alone about going).

Lyn - posted on 04/25/2010

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Enlist the help of your 14 year old. This teaches them responsibility as well as will make a great "day out" with him/her as a reward for helping out. Put the laundry on at night when kids are asleep, have your 14 year old fold them, have your 5 year old "teach" your 2 year old how to build blocks out of cardboard boxes. Althought it may make you feel your home is not tidy for a moment, it will keep them entertained for hours! Who knew?! paper boxes! lol Also, I allot a specific amount of time for tidying up. Usually about 7 pm at night. When u wake up, it will still be clean, and you will have the whole day to do what you need to. Ask hubby to just do the floors, etc. good luck!

Kate - posted on 04/25/2010

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Quite a few times my husband walked in the door after work to me putting on my shoes to go 'out'. l just get away from the house. Somtimes l go shopping, somtimes to the library, sometimes l leave not knowing where l want to go. l also try to go out once a month with my stay-at-home mom friends for dinner. David's dream has always been to not have to work, and my dream was to have a stay-at-home husband. Unfortunately, David realizes he wouldn't be able to handle the kids and the house all day. But in a way, l'm lucky he knows it or he would want me to go to work and then l'd have all the housework, too.
l wish more stay-at-home moms could get a bit tougher and just tell dad your going out for awhile and go. The kids will survive, their tough and your not gone that long. And dad will appreciate you a lot more, he will understand real fast what your talking about when you say how hard it is.
lt will help your kids understand they can go to dad, too, when he's home. lt doesn't always have to be mom all the time.

Rebecca - posted on 04/24/2010

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tell me about it. i don't have as much experience as you, but i have two children. 15 months and 6 weeks. sometimes i have to just take a 5 minute break, block everything out (screaming, crying, no matter what), breathe, and think of something pleasent. hahaha. its very stressful and i have to thank my husband SOOOO much for being my backbone and rock.

Maricela - posted on 04/24/2010

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. It really made my day !! I underdstand that I am lucky to get the chance to spend this time with my kids.....there are just those days when I need to vent. (If you know what I mean). Anyway thanks again ladies !!!

Jeney - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm a stay at home mom of 5... 10, 8, 7, 6 and 23 months.... (blended family) and I know your pain!! It seems as soon as you get one thing done there's something else. Just relax and make sure you find yourself some me time. Even if its just to take a hot bath at night and close your eyes. This always seems to make me feel better. Right now I'm going through potty training as well so finding time is so hard. My husband is sure to tell me how much he appreciates everything I do and that always helps to keep me going as well. Try to get out of the house as often as you can as well... getting away always makes you realize what you have and miss it. good luck

Kelina - posted on 04/24/2010

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I recommend getting out of the house when you can on your own, not for something household related. Go to the pool by yourself, heck go to dinner or a movie by yourself. I love being home with my son but sometimes when my husband walks in that door I'm about ready to walk right out of it becasue he's almost as bad as our one year old! Good luck!

Lily - posted on 04/24/2010

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hi there Maricela,
MATE I TOTALLY agree with you on this one, it is a challenging job being a mum and sometimes it makes me think...what the hell was i like when i was a young girl to my mum hahaha!...
anyways you need to get into a routine when you can become WONDER WOMAN, its a on going job, but someone has to do it, maybe sit down with your honey and tell him, when you get home from work or where ever, you need time to yourself, the kids are all yours, entertain them, i need to catch up with what i need to do :) your 14 year old get that one to help you around the house, in the mornings and after school, your 5 year old can help around too, im not sure, but if i works for me then try it :)
GOOD LUCK

Elizabeth - posted on 04/24/2010

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Make some just "you" time (whether it's being at a friends' house or doing a hobby, just do something to get you out and around other adults) and try to make it at least once or twice a week. Also, be willing to be ok if things do slip (really that just life). Be willing to have just fun days where your house isn't really there (even if it's just in your mind), but you are with your kids having fun. Tell your children when your tired and are feeling stressed. Be willing to give yourself a five minute break (make sure you little ones are safe and relax). It's ok to be human your children need to see it. Plus your 14 year old should be able to help you out more (even if it's not perfect it's help). I'm sure your doing fine and things will get to be less stressful. Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 04/23/2010

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If you find out let me know! lol I have no idea but I totally completely understand where u r coming from I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and if feels like u NEVER get a break I told my husband I need to get a job so I can have a break lol good luck and just think one day u will look back and be so happy u were able to spend this time with them. (the key word is one day)

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