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How do you manage this all? I need help! - Page 2

post #21 of 80
: And one word A SLING!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
What I've learned in the years since I've been home (wow, has it really been that long? Six years this month!), is that the housework and the errands and the telephone calls and all the rest of it are still going to be there tomorrow, and ten years from now when they're in school all day, but they're only going to be little once. I think for me the solution to this feeling was to let a lot of stuff go-- let the house be kind of skanky for awhile, and eat less-than-entirely-ideal food, and let the laundry pile up a bit, and focus on doing the things that enriched my relationships.

I'll be honest, though-- that kind of focused time, to do just one thing at a time for a length of time, really doesn't come back until they're older. That was one of the hardest things about becoming a mother, for me-- that you have to be constantly interruptable. It takes time, and some self-acceptance, to get used to that. Be patient with yourself! You sound like you're trying to do everything right, and nobody can do everything right all the time.

I have noticed, though, that my kids when they were babies and toddlers, were at their very happiest when they were near by me, watching me be focused on my own adult tasks.
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I'm not getting why you can't eat. What happens when you put your son down on a blanket on the floor while you fix breakfast or lunch for yourself?
Well if her kid is anything like mine he howls when left on the floor without constant attention.

OP I add my vote to the get-a-highchair club. I put my son in his in the AM and I can make breakfast. I've got about 10-15 minutes before he freaks out.
post #23 of 80
Two suggestions:

1) get a Maya Wrap sling and wear the baby constantly; you will be able to move about and the baby will benefit greatly. And it makes nursing in public very discreet and easy!

2) Lower your standards for achievement around the house re: cleaning and meals

Seriously! It all gets easier, but to help enjoy your situation now, I'd recommend those two things VERY strongly.
post #24 of 80
Everyone I have talked with says the Baby bjorn is not comfortable for either them, the baby, or both. A wrap puts the baby is a normal position, (kinda like a squat) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44snbbszTps and puts them tummy to tummy, skin to skin more so than a "carrier". The point isn't just to carry baby, but to bond with baby. When tummy to tummy, you can look in his/her eyes, make funny faces, they can see you eat, which is actually very entertaining to them, and you can give kisses and all that too, and BF is right there!! If you are bottle feeding, which we had to due to poor support/help with BF, you can prop a bottle up safely, and still be hands free. It's not hard on the back at all in my opinion. Like I said before, my son is 26 lb, and I still wear him.

Don't take the "organization" quotes as offense. As a mom, you do have to kinda juggle, but you do get used to it. You sound so much like me at 5 mo PP. At that time I hadn't had my cycle back because of crazy hormones and the thought of the chance of us being pregnant then at 5 mo PP made me go into a panic attack!!!

Seriously though, break up the week, and only expect yourself to do one major thing a day, ie, laundry, groceries/errands, kitchen, floors, etc. I strongly recommend when baby naps, you nap. I know that is hard, and you know things need to be done, but if you are well rested, you are giving your body a chance to re cooperate from pregnancy and birth and hormone cocktails, and you will find you can multi-task so much better, and you are happier .

The truth is, at the end of the day, there is always going to be something left undone, you are most likely to regret that thing being bonding with your baby.

Also, my baby, NEVER would be put down, NOT EVEN FOR 5 MIN!!! That's why he napped in the wrap. Otherwise, he would be up in 10 min.

Much love to you!
post #25 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
Thank you all! Very helpful you've been. Here are some of my comments:

Sling or carrier: great and I have one (Baby Bjorn, baby is in the front). I use it but my 5 month old is 23 pounds and I can only stand wearing him 30min at a time. And when I do wear him, he is huge and very much in the way of me doing stuff so I have to go much slower.

Baby nurses every 1-2 hours, and between that and changing/diaper, time is broken into scattered minutes here and there instead of chunks to work with.

nap: It takes 30min to 1 hour to settle baby down for nap, and he only naps for 20-40 minutes (this is usually when I try to cram in EVERYTHING - eat, email, phone call, wash diaper...). Sometimes he is crying teething or just fussy & uncomfortable so I need to take care of him.

eating - I'll start trying to eat with him like many of you do, but I don't have the time to prepare breakfast and lunch for myself...

I see the general theme here being that many of you multi-task and do so very well. But so far I haven't worked well trying to multi-task because I end up feeling like on one hand, baby never got my undivided attention (which I consider my loss too), and on the other hand, I'm extremely frustrated trying to finish my STUFF (whatever it is that I'm trying to do at the time) while trying to multi task and hang with baby at the same time.... I work much better (and faster/efficient) focusing on one thing at a time....

oh, another thing, my son is so highly active and curious he often can't stand doing one thing for a long time without moving around (of course I have to move him) and seeing something different every few minutes...
Just a few thoughts....

My DD is now 21 months old and I have been home the entire time. It has been wonderful and also exhausting and frustrating. I think a lot of women have to find their own way--what works for them and their babies. Cut yourself some slack.

As for some of the points you brought up above: a different carrier could allow you to comfortably wear your baby on your front, back and side and allow the ability to nurse while he is in it.

As for the multi-tasking, IMO there is no way around it! There is always much to do along with a baby that can and often does need attention often.

I used to have a blanket I used for tummy time and surrounded it with different things (mirror, stuffed animals, etc). The view changes every time they wiggle a little.

It sounds like you are really struggling and I agree with PP about maybe trying to do too much. Which things are mandatory and which could be left--even if it isn't ideal?
post #26 of 80
What if you make a HUGE crockpot full of chili on Monday morning, eat it for supper Monday night, but leave enough to have 2 or 4 days of lunches that week as well? A pot of soup would work well for that, too, perhaps something hearty like chicken rice or I don't know, whatever you like best.

My DH loves to take salads for lunch to work, so on Sunday night, he often takes 5 little plastic containers (tupperware or whatever) and puts spinach/lettuce, all sorts of veggies on top, then he takes a five mini-baggies or containers and puts crunchies/sunflower seeds/croutons in them and five little containers and puts salad dressing in them. Voila, in the morning, all he needs to do is pull out his lunch cooler, throw in the veggies, the toppings and the dressing and he's got lunch. Could you try something like that?

DH does that with sandwiches for a few days at a time, too, sometimes made with leftovers from dinner, just packages them up, a few days worth and takes one each day.

Make sure you keeps lots of fruit and veggies like carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower on hand, so that you can spend a few minutes one evening or morning washing and cutting them up, and putting them in a container that you can just open and munch on immediately. I find that eating crunchy veggies really takes away cravings for me, and satisfies my hunger for a while when I don't have the time or energy to make a meal.

Yogurts, perhaps even in individual serving sizes, are really quick, easy and satisfying snacks, too, as are trail mix, crackers and cheese, boxed cereals.

I think the previously posted ideas of using a good high chair for baby entertainment is a great one, too. I totally used to do that at that age, long before DS would eat anything (after 6 months), I would put him up there with a bunch of toys and cloth books and drag the high chair around with me as I accomplished stuff. He would be sitting right beside me (inches away) in the kitchen while I cooked or cleaned. He would be sitting right beside me while I loaded and folded laundry. I would talk to him, sing songs, play music and remember to look at and engage him constantly, talk about what he was doing and it would afford me 30-45 minutes to try to get some stuff done. Of course, the amount of time got even better the older he got.

Another idea is to get a mother's helper, if you really feel a need for say, an hour a day of being able to focus. If there is a tween or teen in your neighborhood, see if they will come over and entertain, hold and play with your baby for an hour, while you go into a different part of the house and accomplish something. Or pay the tween to do something for you, like fold laundry (remove all underwear first, perhaps?), vacuum, dust, sweep floors or whatever, light jobs, while you give undivided attention to your baby. Then you won't feel guilty or like nothing is being accomplished and you can probably get away with paying the tween $5-8.

One thing that I did when my babies were that age (and it was heaven) was that I ordered groceries online via Peapod and Webvan where I lived. Where I live now, we have no grocery delivery at all, but if you have any available, really think about utilizing it. I would place my grocery order at 11pm and have it there around noon the next day and not have to leave the house! I only paid a small amount more for the service but I found I bought less on impulse and overall saved money anyway. Plus, I didn't have to dress us or time my trips with nursing and napping and weather and all of that.
post #27 of 80
I agree, the baby bjorn is not especially comfortable. I like a Maya wrap or a moby wrap (homemade).

Make a list in the morning with 2 or 3 things on it that are most important to you.
Spend 10 minutes on tummy time, playing with baby. Take a shower. Eat one solid meal. Go on a walk for 20 minutes. Things like that. And don't let things get in your way. If you're fixing or eating your meal and the phone rings, don't answer it. If the baby fusses, set him up with something and for just that little period, let him fuss a little.

I mostly had this problem with my first child, he slept a lot less and protested a lot more about being put down than the others did. So I can sympathize. But even at this age, I think that you can put time in with the baby and wear him around but if you have to set him down, set him down. Just tell yourself you're only doing it for things that are higher priority.
post #28 of 80
Definately get a different carrier (a wrap, ring sling or a mei tai)

If you are not home then the house doesn't get messy, so just leave

Granola Bars, yogurt, fruit, veggies, microwave meals (the weight watchers ones are yummy), leftovers (if you plan for 1 pound of chicken, then make 2 and use the other as sandwich or wraps or in pasta), things that you can start the oven and go back and throw in the oven to cook for an hour or so until you do have the time to eat (pot pie or baked potatoe or a frozen meal) are lifesavers.

If you have to put all but 2 of every dish away. Then you HAVE to quickly clean your dish and you don't have a pile of dishes

always have a half full sink of HOT water in the kitchen. You may run it three times a day but at least then it is easy to wipe down the counters right after you make meals and easy to put that dirty dish into soak if you don't have time to clean it.

give up on some of your ideals. it may be a neat house, or gourmet meals at every meal. Cereal/Soup or a sandwhich are completely acceptable meal ideas.

brainstorm with your DH how to get the help you need. he may be busy but that doesn't mean he can't help out as well. you both need to do work around the house.

only do one thing a day. If that is vaccum then cool, if it is have a shower sure. It might be getting out to a moms group. just one thing. anything else is gravy and once you have done your one thing then allow yourself to just rest and play with little one.

it is a completely different mind set. if you want it to work then it will work. however if you are constantly making excuses and huge lists then it won't

mothers helpers, cleaning people, convience items (paperplates, take out and disposible diapers) are sometimes worth more for our sanity then anything else.

forgive yourself each day. there is always tomorrow. and just embrace the Chaos.
post #29 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Well if her kid is anything like mine he howls when left on the floor without constant attention.
That's why I'm the mean mom If I have to go to the bathroom or am really starving, my baby crying on the floor when I will be right back in three minutes does not deter me from leaving to get something to eat. So that I can keep on making milk. So that she can eat, too.

We had a Snugli carrier and it was so much of a pain to get baby in and out that we stopped using it.
post #30 of 80
Well I'm not a SAHM (I work full-time, but from home & watching him the whole time) so I don't know about all the "extras" like mommy groups etc. because I simply don't have time for that. But a few things that work for me:

- Eating (breakfast especially!!) is tough but what helps me is, DH or I bake a whole bunch of muffins every week, so I can keep one nearby for the morning. We try to make lots of extra food for dinner every night so that there will be enough leftover for my lunch, and also keep a few TJ's frozen dinners on hand just in case.

-Showering, I am FINALLY managing to shower during my lunch break if DS doesn't end up napping at that time (he will only nap in my lap!), otherwise DH takes him in the evening while I shower. But when it's just me, I put him in the highchair & talk to him while I shower (used the swing when he was younger, same idea).

-Emails etc., well I am on the computer all day long for work and my DS has never had to be in a bouncer or anything. If he's calm or sleepy I will hold him in my lap & play music while I work, otherwise I let him wander around the childproofed room that I work out of.

-Cleaning, DH pitches in a lot, but we also kind of lowered our standards. We try to keep the kitchen & bathroom clean and the floors vacuumed but if laundry piles up or the junk drawer is overflowing or the bed isn't made, WHO CARES? lol as long as it's not filthy and you can find a clean plate or a pair of jeans, don't worry about it.

I don't remember the other things you mentioned in your post but in general I think your to-do list is just too long. Do you really need to do ALL of those things every day!?!?

Oh and another thing that may help, set aside one day a month to do deep cleaning. One night to pay bills. One afternoon a week to do errands... one day a month to yourself where DH watches the baby... whatever system you need to work out, but just knowing you have a time scheduled to do those things might take a lot of the pressure off you. Also, you could set aside one hour a day to JUST play with the baby. You could do everything else you need to all day long, but from 1-2pm (or whatever time) is baby time and baby is your ONLY focus... KWIM?

ETA: My DS was (still is but starting to improve) VERY VERY high needs... I don't know if your baby is the same way but it does make you feel a bit crazy at the end of the day. I used to have to go out to the car & read or something for 5 minutes while DH held DS -- he'd be screaming his head off 'cause he only wanted ME but I needed the 5 minutes for my sanity and he needed to learn to bond with DH!

As far as your last question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
IHow much time and do you spend giving your kids undivided attention (playing, reading, activities...)? How much time do you spend on errands, household care (cooking, cleaning, bills, necessary phone calls, etc), and how much time for yourself (relax, email, read, exercise...)?
A day for me looks like this:
8-9 hours - working while watching DS (nursing, some interaction, holding for naps, but not really "playing" with him)
8-10 hours - sleeping (we cosleep which is also good bonding time for us)
1-2 hours - cooking &/or essential cleaning, bills, etc.
15-20 minutes reading or watching TV alone while DH has DS
The other hour or two is basically spent nursing, playing, trying to get DS to sleep, etc.
We do errands mostly on weekends and I wish I had time for exercise, social life, etc. but I just don't. I'm curious to hear others' breakdowns of the day!!
post #31 of 80
OP, one thing that I wonder about is if you are getting enough healthy fats and proteins in your diet. As a nursing mom, those are so very important! Baked oatmeal w/nuts (make ahead super quickly the night before and pop in the oven in the morning) and some yummy whole milk on it goes a long way. Guacamole and chips, pita chips and hummus, cheese, etc....And honestly, moms just have to learn to eat when they can sometimes. I can't remember NOT having a child in my lap or nursing or in the sling during my meals for like 4 years, lol.

And so many of us have been there w/the extremely fussy child. I know I have. I had one I couldn't leave for 2 seconds for 3 years!
post #32 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicky2 View Post
And honestly, moms just have to learn to eat when they can sometimes. I can't remember NOT having a child in my lap or nursing or in the sling during my meals for like 4 years, lol.

Oooo when my DS was about 7 mos old we went out to eat & he had a dirty diaper, I asked DH to change him, my food came, DH comes back with the baby (he takes FOREVER to change diapers for some reason!) and my food was all gone. He felt bad leaving me to eat alone but I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! That was the best, most relaxing 10 minutes since the baby was born!!! lol
post #33 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
That's why I'm the mean mom If I have to go to the bathroom or am really starving, my baby crying on the floor when I will be right back in three minutes does not deter me from leaving to get something to eat. So that I can keep on making milk. So that she can eat, too.

We had a Snugli carrier and it was so much of a pain to get baby in and out that we stopped using it.
I guess I was a mean mom, too. If I needed to go to the bathroom I went. If I was hungry, I ate. I ate fast, too!
post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Oooo when my DS was about 7 mos old we went out to eat & he had a dirty diaper, I asked DH to change him, my food came, DH comes back with the baby (he takes FOREVER to change diapers for some reason!) and my food was all gone. He felt bad leaving me to eat alone but I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! That was the best, most relaxing 10 minutes since the baby was born!!! lol
ROFL! I'd be willing to bet you looked somewhat like a vacuum cleaner on speed! BTDT!!!

And while we're on the subject of having to do everything w/baby attached, how 'bout those tummy viruses that hit *right* as the baby wakes up.... ~~shudder~~
post #35 of 80
Thread Starter 
After reading all your responses, here are some of my thoughts, learning, and some more questions.

- Years later I probably won't regret having not done some of the STUFF, but I will definitely regret not bonding with my son (as I already miss his new born days). So I'm going to arrange for spending quality time (undivided attention) with my son a top priority. As one of you said and I agree - I didn't give up my career to be a housekeeper or a household secratery; I gave up my career to be with my son. That should put things into perspective for me. (unfortunately the household still needs to be managed while I be with my son, so that's the challenge....)

- I really need to dedicate some time during the day when I just plain be with him, giving undivided attention. And then, I need to keep his little cat naps sacred to myself, meaning that I plan for one of the naps to do something for myself (read a magazine, etc), and the other nap for me to nap with him. (Yeah, that's all the naps from him for a day! I'm in the "my baby doesn't nap" group). And the really important thing for me is to only take ONE errand trip a week, and also only aim for ONE major task be done each day.

- Baby carrier: Will try a different one. need recommendations. But question-- can I really move around and do thing efficiently with a 23 lb, 1/3 my size, infant right in front of my chest? With my current carrier (Baby Bjorn) my son is really in my way. For safety reasons I can't cut/chop food with him in front (I can hardly reach my arms far out enough), I can't cook things, it's hard to lower my body to reach something close to the floor, It's hard to do grocery shoping because again his gient body is in my way. And mostly, I can only bare his weight for so long, then I'm totally exsaulsted. Would a different carrier change all this? If so, which one?

- Food: handy snacks prepared ahead of time (I'll need to find that time to prepare), and cook meals in bulk and freeze them (I'll also need to find that time). That's actually what I used to do before baby to simplify meal planning for 2 working professionals (me & husband). Now with baby, it's a challenge to find time & energy even for bulk cooking. By the way, besides making dinner and trying to feed myself during the day, I also make & pack my husband's lunch every day I can. Do you do that too or you let your husband's take care of their own lunches?

- "Only expect yourself to do one thing a day" - that's good advice. I need to try hard on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I'm not getting why you can't eat. What happens when you put your son down on a blanket on the floor while you fix breakfast or lunch for yourself?
Great question. Let me explain how it is for me to do anything with baby around and same goes for eating:

Baby starts fussing 2 minutes after I situate him. Then I have to stop what I'm doing and get him, attend to him for a few minutes until I can put him down again, 2 minutes later he starts fussing again, then I have to stop again...it just goes on until I finish or completely stop what I'm doing. And this is EXTREMELY stressful to me to be trying to complete a task in hand with a baby (alarm clock) fussying every 2 minutes. Just to give you an example, last night while trying to make dinner I sat baby next to me in the kitchen. 2 minutes later he started fussing. I had to stop, drop the raw chicken, wash my hands real well and come get him. Attended to him for a few minutes, sat him down, a minute later, I had to drop the raw chicken and hurry up washing my hand so I can get him again, by then I forgot something was cooking and I overcooked.... I felt INCREDIBLY anxious trying to cook the damn dinner, totally irriated that baby kept fussing, and was wishing that baby would just go away and leave me alone somehow :-O How terrible is that? I don't want baby to go away; I just wanted to finish my task, but I got to the point where I was actually aggrivated with a little baby who I can't get enough of - that's how bad (anxious & stressful) it is for me to try and do ANYTHING with baby around. Exactly the same goes for eating - stressful to me, keeps me tense all the time knowing that I've got an alarm clock that goes off every couple minutes. I could hurry and still eat, but I feel like I'm always trying to HURRY up, and I think that's part of the feeling that leaves me so burnt out at the end of the day. Feels like I'm being chased all day and I need to keep running and hurrying up all day, and on the other hand, I feel bad that my son is crying out for some needs or my attention all day long while I try to do MY STUFF and I'm not attending to his needs.

On "baby fussy/needing constant attention", a few of you said you were just "mean moms" who kind of ignored the baby's noises. I don't think I have what it takes to do that. And also, I can really see his reasons for fussing so frequently recently - he is learning & practicing lots of new skills that he doesn't have down yet. When he tries so hard to get a toy into his mouth and it just won't go in the right way, or when he tries so hard to pick up something and he just can't grip it right, it's so extremely frustrating to even watch that process. I let him practice on his own and figure it out, but he needs help at times, and he gets frustrated a lot. That's why every few minutes he is fussing about something, and I feel really bad leaving him alone helplessly while I work on my stuff. I want him to know I'm here for him (and therefore feel safe, secure, trusting); I don't want him to think he is not important and he always has to wait until I finish my stuff or that I don't have time to attend to him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
What I'm saying is, you're not doing anything wrong. It's quite amazing how hard you can work all day with an infant, and end the day feeling like you haven't done anything.
Yeah! Isn't that amazing? It does make me wonder what I'm doing wrong....

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I would wonder with one child why do you have so much running around to do?
Many of my to-do's aren't exactly child related. While some have mentioned that I'm trying to do too much, and that many things can be put off (or left undone), I'm going to share some of my to-do's just to see if it looks any different from what a typical SAHM (you ladies) have, and how come I'm feeling so swampped while many of you actually have the luxury to just hold and be with your baby all day and don't have as many need-to-do's as me. Here are just a few examples of my STUFF:

- Errands like post office, bank, library, grocery shop, shop for other household necessaties, pharmacy, oil change, change tires on car...
- Appointments like doctor's visits for myself & my son; weekly physical therapy for my son; weekly appointment for his skull treatment, my dental work...
- going though short-sale of a house--got tons of paperwork and phone calls needing my attention every day
- Shopping/looking for new stove because ours broke
- Phone calls like: insurance claim for my car, medical billing errors & insurance coverage, plan for my wisdom teeth pulling & check insurance coverage, return friends' calls...
- Research & Learn/read: product reviews to find new car sear, research better diaper options, read baby sleeping book because I need some help getting my son to nap & sleep better, come to this forum to learn about being a better SAHM & get advice...
- Random things like: find hospital birth record for shots, back up photos, print & send photos to overseas grandparents, order contact lenses, review life insurance...

I don't even have vacuum, laundry and tidy up the house on my list anymore because I'm accepting to live with the mess and let those things go, but most things on my list (the examples I gave you above) actually NEED to be taken care of. I've already cut out a lot by living with piled laundry, messy house and pizza for dinner some nights, I'm not sure what else I can cut out because many things on my list does need to be taken care of.... What does your list look like? Any similarity with mine at all or am I really way out there? It may be that I have high expectations of myself, but many (most) things on my list can't really be left undone... Those who are able to spend lots of time being with your kids, please shd some light here on how you have the time (or what you're NOT doing that allows you the time). (Maybe I'm the only one that needs to do all these things?....)
post #36 of 80
Bottom line, you have to take care of yourself, in order to take care of a child.

A baby crying for a few minutes, so Mom can pee, wash herself, or eat a quick bite, is not going to harm him/her for life.
post #37 of 80
If you get a carrier that goes on your back, such as an Ergo or mei tai or any of those (ask in the "Babywearing" forum for more details), it will be easier to do things than with a carrier on your front.
post #38 of 80
I agree that it is a whole lot easier to do stuff (like cook) with the baby on your back than on your front. Some folks love the Ergo; I really liked my Tough Traveler Montana backpack. It was sturdy and compact (not like those huge hiking packs). I don't know how I would have gotten any cooking done or gone on any walking errands without it.

I also agree with TinkerBelle that a baby fussing or even crying for a few minutes while you take care of yourself is not going to do any harm.

Most importantly: OP, you seem to feel a huge amount of pressure to spend "quality time" with your baby, in addition to everything else you have to accomplish. He is with you all day long. That is quality time right there, a baby with a parent. Believe me, other sahms are not sitting around gazing into our babies' eyes all day long, lying around in bed and googling at them. Sure, I used to do this in the mornings before we got up to start the day. And occasionally during the day at odd moments. But that was not my focus.

You don't need to do anything extra in order to bond with your baby. You already are spending lots of time with him. You are nursing him, he's with you every moment of the day; that's bonding, right there. You have a lot on your plate. Take some pressure off yourself.
post #39 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post

- Baby carrier: Will try a different one. need recommendations. But question-- can I really move around and do thing efficiently with a 23 lb, 1/3 my size, infant right in front of my chest? With my current carrier (Baby Bjorn) my son is really in my way. For safety reasons I can't cut/chop food with him in front (I can hardly reach my arms far out enough), I can't cook things, it's hard to lower my body to reach something close to the floor, It's hard to do grocery shoping because again his gient body is in my way. And mostly, I can only bare his weight for so long, then I'm totally exsaulsted. Would a different carrier change all this? If so, which one?

Mei Tai or Ergo. Totally will change your life. Wearing a baby way up high (the higher the better) on your back will be so much more comfy than a front carry. Or try a ring sling for a hip carry. 5 mos is plenty big enough for hip or back riding, unless there is a physical reason he cannot hold up his head? You mentioned physical therapy, what is that for if you don't mind my asking? If he has a physical reason that he cannot be on your back, what about using a swing in the kitchen or by your computer/phone when you are working. Just make eye contact and touch as often as you can while you are working. Or a bouncy seat up on the kitchen counter RIGHT next to you can help alot. Even after my babies were officially 'too big' for one, I still used it on occasion while I was cooking (I was RIGHT there so no danger of Baby squirming out and getting into danger).


- Food: handy snacks prepared ahead of time (I'll need to find that time to prepare), and cook meals in bulk and freeze them (I'll also need to find that time). That's actually what I used to do before baby to simplify meal planning for 2 working professionals (me & husband). Now with baby, it's a challenge to find time & energy even for bulk cooking. By the way, besides making dinner and trying to feed myself during the day, I also make & pack my husband's lunch every day I can. Do you do that too or you let your husband's take care of their own lunches?

When you come home from the grocery, make yourself some bowls of veggie sticks before you even put up the groceries. Slice some cheese and put that in a bowl. Boil some eggs. Don't even put those items up until you do this. Make a blender of smoothie and stick in the fridge. Flavor some kefir (or buy flavored) and have it ready to grab a glass of.

Anytime you cook anything, make an extra. Don't worry about a whole weekend of cooking. Just one extra thing, several times a week to feed your freezer will help so much.

Yes, I pack my dh's lunch and have for many, many years. I do it the night before. I never have time in the a.m. Every other Friday he fends for himself (just how the carpool works out).


Great question. Let me explain how it is for me to do anything with baby around and same goes for eating:

Baby starts fussing 2 minutes after I situate him. Then I have to stop what I'm doing and get him, attend to him for a few minutes until I can put him down again, 2 minutes later he starts fussing again, then I have to stop again...it just goes on until I finish or completely stop what I'm doing. And this is EXTREMELY stressful to me to be trying to complete a task in hand with a baby (alarm clock) fussying every 2 minutes. Just to give you an example, last night while trying to make dinner I sat baby next to me in the kitchen. 2 minutes later he started fussing. I had to stop, drop the raw chicken, wash my hands real well and come get him. Attended to him for a few minutes, sat him down, a minute later, I had to drop the raw chicken and hurry up washing my hand so I can get him again, by then I forgot something was cooking and I overcooked.... I felt INCREDIBLY anxious trying to cook the damn dinner, totally irriated that baby kept fussing, and was wishing that baby would just go away and leave me alone somehow :-O How terrible is that? I don't want baby to go away; I just wanted to finish my task, but I got to the point where I was actually aggrivated with a little baby who I can't get enough of - that's how bad (anxious & stressful) it is for me to try and do ANYTHING with baby around. Exactly the same goes for eating - stressful to me, keeps me tense all the time knowing that I've got an alarm clock that goes off every couple minutes. I could hurry and still eat, but I feel like I'm always trying to HURRY up, and I think that's part of the feeling that leaves me so burnt out at the end of the day. Feels like I'm being chased all day and I need to keep running and hurrying up all day, and on the other hand, I feel bad that my son is crying out for some needs or my attention all day long while I try to do MY STUFF and I'm not attending to his needs.

On "baby fussy/needing constant attention", a few of you said you were just "mean moms" who kind of ignored the baby's noises. I don't think I have what it takes to do that. And also, I can really see his reasons for fussing so frequently recently - he is learning & practicing lots of new skills that he doesn't have down yet. When he tries so hard to get a toy into his mouth and it just won't go in the right way, or when he tries so hard to pick up something and he just can't grip it right, it's so extremely frustrating to even watch that process. I let him practice on his own and figure it out, but he needs help at times, and he gets frustrated a lot. That's why every few minutes he is fussing about something, and I feel really bad leaving him alone helplessly while I work on my stuff. I want him to know I'm here for him (and therefore feel safe, secure, trusting); I don't want him to think he is not important and he always has to wait until I finish my stuff or that I don't have time to attend to him.

He is 5 mos old. My bet is that he's not actually as frustrated w/that toy so much as teething. Even if you see no signs of teething, ALL my kids were frustrated, drooling, fussy little messes at that age (when they weren't busy being extremely cute, of course!). Instead of some of his toys, try a frozen washcloth (squeeze most of the water out first, so there's not huge ice crystals all over it). Put it in a baggie and stick in the freezer til it's frozen (I always kept LOTS in the freezer) and then give it to him to gnaw on.

Babies/toddlers need to experience some frustration. That's healthy for them! They don't need to get to the point of full blown wailing, but a little frustration is not going to hurt one bit.

I don't think it sounds like you are in danger of your baby not knowing you are there for him. Moms HAVE to get other things done, within reason, of course. You have to eat so you will make milk so he can eat. That's a fact. How fussy do you think he'd be if there was no milk?

One of the biggest kitchen helps I learned was to buy those cheap disposable gloves. When I am working w/something that is very messy (like raw meat, or doughs, etc.) those gloves are a lifesaver. I would never want to pick up my baby w/raw chicken on my hands either and am very OCD about handwashing. W/the gloves you just yank 'em off and put 'em in the trash and tend to baby and then use another pair. Yeah, you'll go thru alot, but it won't be forever.

We all want time to just be w/our kids. However, at our house we believe that the child is NOT the center of our world at all times. They can't be, or my house would fall down around me. Sometimes they have to wait a few minutes. Sometimes they don't get what they want at all. It's part of life and learning to belong in a world full of lots of other people.



Many of my to-do's aren't exactly child related. While some have mentioned that I'm trying to do too much, and that many things can be put off (or left undone), I'm going to share some of my to-do's just to see if it looks any different from what a typical SAHM (you ladies) have, and how come I'm feeling so swampped while many of you actually have the luxury to just hold and be with your baby all day and don't have as many need-to-do's as me. Here are just a few examples of my STUFF:

- Errands like post office, bank, library, grocery shop, shop for other household necessaties, pharmacy, oil change, change tires on car...

These don't need to be done every day, so see which ones you can combine, give to hubby, or skip. Pharmacy stuff can be switched to home delivery, can it not? Oil changes and tires can be combined and only done every so often anyway.

Try more online shopping, which can be done w/Baby nursing or on your lap playing w/a toy. Alice.com can help you organize your household necessities and automatically ship to you however often you need. Amazon.com has tons of stuff! Get the Prime and you'll get quick, free shipping for one fee a year.

Bank....you can mail deposits and do all other banking online usually.

- Appointments like doctor's visits for myself & my son; weekly physical therapy for my son; weekly appointment for his skull treatment, my dental work...

Not sure what you could change here...

- going though short-sale of a house--got tons of paperwork and phone calls needing my attention every day

Set a time frame each day that you can try to take care of some of this stuff, maybe a naptime, or a nursing time so baby will be occupied? Just gather everything you need before you start nursing. Can you talk hands-free for the phone calls?


- Shopping/looking for new stove because ours broke

Again, online.

- Phone calls like: insurance claim for my car, medical billing errors & insurance coverage, plan for my wisdom teeth pulling & check insurance coverage, return friends' calls...

Again w/the set time frame once a week?


- Research & Learn/read: product reviews to find new car sear, research better diaper options, read baby sleeping book because I need some help getting my son to nap & sleep better, come to this forum to learn about being a better SAHM & get advice...

Leave this as an "I'll get to it as I can" thing. Maybe pick one every 2 wks to work on?

- Random things like: find hospital birth record for shots, back up photos, print & send photos to overseas grandparents, order contact lenses, review life insurance...

Again, this stuff doesn't need to be done each day. Get out a calendar and do one a week, or one every 2 wks.

I don't even have vacuum, laundry and tidy up the house on my list anymore because I'm accepting to live with the mess and let those things go, but most things on my list (the examples I gave you above) actually NEED to be taken care of. I've already cut out a lot by living with piled laundry, messy house and pizza for dinner some nights, I'm not sure what else I can cut out because many things on my list does need to be taken care of.... What does your list look like?

Very similar. I just have to space it out. Add to it homeschooling my 3 kids, dealing w/my adult dd (lives here)and her mental issues (Asperger's, OCD, GAD, major depression, severe social phobias, and psychosis), so that involves occasionally going to her appts w/her (and therefore finding someone to watch my other 3 kids), helping her w/her medication, etc..., taking care of my mentally and physically handicapped MIL (lives in a house on our property) which involves getting her on her bus for her therapy groups twice weekly, doling out her prescriptions, and fixing all the 'situations' she creates because of her mental illness, feeding/haying/watering/cleaning hutches for our domestic rabbits we raise for meat, feeding/watering/cleaning up after our chickens and guineas, feeding/haying/watering and cleaning up after our dairy goats, taking care of a 3000 sq ft garden (preparing soil, planning, planting, weeding, harvesting, and processing harvest), butchering (my dh and kids do this part) rabbits, chickens, goats, and pigs, and all the processing (I do this part) of said beasts so we can eat, and a whole host of other things. Yk, bills, household problems, cooking almost everything from scratch, and supervising the children and their chores.

Any similarity with mine at all or am I really way out there? It may be that I have high expectations of myself, but many (most) things on my list can't really be left undone... Those who are able to spend lots of time being with your kids, please shd some light here on how you have the time (or what you're NOT doing that allows you the time). (Maybe I'm the only one that needs to do all these things?....)
I only do what I can. If it doesn't get done (w/the exception of feeding my family and taking care of livestock and gardening), then it gets done when I or someone else can do it. When we first moved out here to our little farm, we had to rush and build a home for MIL and my dh's great aunt, who then came and was on Hospice care til she passed away(I did all her other care myself) in our home. My dh was in school and working full time. VERY little else got done, but we survived.

I'm not putting my list out here to make you feel like you get even less done. Just to show you that it CAN be done, but I also don't beat myself up if I slack in an area or two sometimes. I am not Supermom. I am just doing the best I can w/what I've got.

You ask what I DON'T do that allows me the time to really be there for my kids? Alot. I just try to be as organized as I can (very hard for me, btw! as I'm not naturally organized at all), and wade thru it all. My family, though is really big on family time. We tackle much of this together because many hands make light work. We work hard, but we play hard too, and just enjoy the time we have together as much as possible and try not to sweat the small stuff.

Good luck in your journey, Mama!

ETA: I don't know why my comments look like that, lol. I commented on alot of your stuff so read the quoted part, too.
post #40 of 80
I guess I'm still not sure why you have so much "stuff" to do. Do you really have to do all of those things every day?!?! We have a house and a mortgage and car repairs and mail to send and groceries and all... but it definitely doesn't weigh on me the way it seems to weigh on you (how's that for a tongue twister? lol) We shop for groceries every other weekend. We buy things like canned beans & dry pasta & frozen veggies and freeze fresh loaves of bread and tortillas... so we don't have as much fresh produce etc. as I would like by the second week but when we run out we live off the less perishable food 'til we're able to go shopping again. We go to the post office once a month (can you buy all your stamps, flat rate boxes, etc. in one trip?) and we pay bills one or two nights a month. I do almost all of my banking & bill-paying online & a lot of it is automatic so I don't have to do a thing. It sounds like you need to organize & streamline a bit. Also, what does your DH do to help out? I know you'll say he works full time & you don't etc. but if he understood how stressed you were, maybe he wouldn't mind running to the post office or making a couple calls on his lunch break, buying or packing his own lunch, or taking care of the car repairs. Can he take some of the weight off your shoulders?

I use a moby-style wrap (made my own) and I think I can do a bit more than that when necessary but you have a big kid (my son is about that size too now) so I know it *can* be a physical strain. But a different carrier may help some.

Do you leave him on the floor while you do stuff? Maybe he'd prefer to be closer to your level (in a high chair or something)? My DS was the same way at that age though, I couldn't put him down for a second, and like you I refused to just let him fuss & cry even for a couple minutes. It really does get better though (for my DS that was somewhere between 9-10 mos but he still has tough days). Just responding to his needs is "quality time" and they really can't "play" so much yet... You are with him every minute of every day, that's great. Maybe just setting aside 15 minutes or so to devote totally to him will make you feel better?

I really feel for you because I felt exactly the same just a few months ago. And I had to WAH full time on top of that!!! I think a lot of it is the pressure you are putting on yourself. You need to prioritize, you need to make some sort of schedule or routine for managing the necessities like groceries and bills... With a high-needs kid you have to remember to take a break when you need it. Your DH needs bonding time with the baby anyway, so pick a good time and have DH play with the baby for 15-30 minutes a day and you can relax & have a break from that constant fussing. Believe me, I understand where you're coming from. But you ARE spending a lot of time with your baby!! I think you're just feeling so stressed & harried so it's not how you imagined.
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