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How do you manage this all? I need help! - Page 4

post #61 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
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.
I have a homemade mei tai and a ring sling....I can wear my 2 1/2 yr old (30lbs) on my back in the mei tai for about 1/2 hr while I cook supper, longer if we were walking, before needing to put her down. 5months is about the age when they want to see things so a back carry would be great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
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.
I use nursing time for phone calls if need be. First I'll get the diaper changed (which I usually do on the floor so I can talk, sing, play games with babe) then nurse him, make a phone call if need be, then put him in the swing to nap. If I nurse him upstairs I swaddle him first and play white noise in the background which really seems to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
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.... Someone mentioned having husband prepare some snacks ready for me - husband is as swamped as I am if not more and I do all the food here, so maybe I'll just need to somehow find time to prepare some snacks ahead of time for myself? I still don't know what to do about fixing my meals though... I've been munching all day with no set meals and I've been very starving all day. Another thing is, many of you eat while entertaining your baby, which I've tried doing, but I ended up feeling overloaded trying to multi-task and I can never eat without any interruption. My mind ends up feeling as if I didn't eat (because I wasn't paying attention when I was eating), then I'm just hungry again.
Before me and the kids come downstairs I nurse babe so that he can go in the exersaucer while me and the toddler eat. He is also rolling over quite a bit so some toys on the floor keep him entertained. I have eaten my breakfast on the floor quite a bit so that I can talk to him between bites. I usually eat something quick like cereal and banana, oatmeal, or if I'm being spoiled eggs on toast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
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...

Please keep the advice and sharing coming, this is great.
The only thing I can say to this is multitasking is something you learn....I use the playmat and exersaucer at various times during the day. Not everyday, and certainly not all day, but for when I'm getting supper ready, doing something with my 2 year old, or really want to take a bathroom break alone. I have also started involving the kids in whatever tasks I'm doing. My 2 year old helps me sweep, mop, put away groceries (she LOVES putting away the toilet paper lol)....and with the babe I'll sit on the floor while I do my paperwork or phone calls.

My advice to you:

- use your Ergo for errands, cooking dinner, light housework, you can even get a ring sling that doesn't retain water and have a shower
- figure out what housework NEEDS to be done....don't try to do it all....its really not worth it. Hubby expects to do housework at night (usually just helping me with the kitchen) but honestly, he could really care less if it gets done. Its mostly for my sanity!
- get a mommy friend!!! I have made some awesome connections with moms and I too thought they 'had it all together'. I was rather intimidated when I first learned about attachment parenting and thought everything in their life was perfect :P No, they're just like me They too have messy floors, have bad days, and get mad at their husbands. And now we call each other at crazy hours and chat!

I have more to say but babe is fussing...and its almost 3am so I should go! LOL keep coming back here for support this is an AMAZING board! I would love to hear how you're doing
post #62 of 80
It's overwhelming isn't it?
BetsyS had great advice
Quote:
At 5 months old, I'm not doing a lot of "playing". I do a lot of holding them (in the sling/carrier), and they live life with me. Errands, grocery shopping, and regular shopping are part of living life and entertaining baby. You go grocery shopping, and you talk to the baby the whole time. You pick up an apple and you say something about it. That's interacting. They love it, and you're spending great time with him.
This is how I have lived until my babies start to crawl and then it doesn't end, just gradually decreases. DS (nearly 8 months) has one giggly playtime a day, usually in the late afternoon and usually instigated by him. Otherwise he just hangs out soaking everything up and loving it
Breastfeeding in a sling has been a lifesaver for me both times. Especially for the munchies you described. Baby starts to nurse & mama gets hungry? Mama heads to the kitchen while baby eats & gets herself a snack. Email etc I'm usually FAK (NAK in the US I think). Mother's groups, we go to homeschool groups and a ballet class for DD atm and again DS just comes along in the sling. Flylady is useful for the house here too. It might or might not be useful for you. What's probably more useful though is to really evaluate what "doing it all" actually is. A good starting point is did both mama and baby get to the end of the day alive, and fed? If yes then good! Anything else is extra and worth a serious pat on the back
post #63 of 80
I had to check to make sure that I hadn't written your post! I feel exactly the same way and constantly felt (and still do I guess) guilty about him being on the floor, in his bouncer, in his swing, in his carseat, etc because I always needed two free hands for getting things done around the house. I have an 8 mo old now. So you are not alone. Before having a baby, I used to wonder how in the world a mom couldn't find the time to take a shower. Now I know!

And, I have a Baby Bjorn too, but I end up getting up to go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, grab a bite to eat and it's much easier to not have him in front attached because I spend a lot of time on the couch. Plus, when I have him in the Bjorn and am trying to type e-mails, he grabs at the keyboard, and I just can't keep his hands off the "new toy". So, perhaps that is something you might face as well. And, my DS does not nap during the day unless he falls asleep while nursing, so that provides limitations.

After the first few months, I finally put his bouncer in the kitchen so that I can watch him while I make meals, though I'm still struggling with how to get dinner made and feed him while he's starting to get fussy because it's time for bed between 6:30/7pm. We just got a high chair, and I do think he loves being up higher so that he has a different perspective. He loves banging his hands/toys on the tray top too. So, I would definitely recommend that.

Just about everyday, I marvel at how mom's who work outside the home, then come home to a baby (or more) and presumably cook, and have to get their kids(s) to bed, etc. in such a narrow window of time. I don't know how they do it! I stay home all day and I am struggling to get anything done.

Like others have said, your baby only wants to be around you and will benefit from being in the same room or running errands with you. They don't always have to be entertained per se. Just being in your presence is what they need.
post #64 of 80
For me it is hard to not feel like I should do everything at home because I am there. I am getting better at it. Dh is always telling met to just leave stuff or let him do the grocery shopping. So I do. There is a lot of pressure, also from ourselves, that if we stay at home with our kids we also have to be June Cleaver or something too. You don't. Spending your day with your babe is your job.

For me what works is this, I make a list of 3, max 4 things I want to get done in a day. Some days I only get 2 done but whatever. I clean one room of my apartment a day. Thats it, 45 minutes max usually. So I never feel overwhlemed by teh cleaning and I don't live in a dirty place.

I babywear when running errands or doing dishes. I shower with dd2 in the bouncy chair. Dd1 is in preschool so that gives us more structure to our day with pickups and stuff. Afternoons are quiet time, kids nap (or at least have to stay in their room quietly) while I go online, read, fold laundry, relax. Then play time here or with friends. If there are no playgroups near you, start one. Then dinner prep.

It takes getting used to being a sahm. But what you are doing is normal. Just try top prioritize time for you as well!
post #65 of 80
I had to reply even after all the great advice you've gotten... Don't underestimate what a huge life-change you're going through. When I had my first DD, I know I could've written your OP, it was so stressful to try and figure all this stuff out. And yeah, you imagine that you can get all this stuff done while baby naps... except baby doesn't nap... and won't be put down for long enough to accomplish everything. It will totally get better, and you will figure out how to get all the stuff you need to get done, but be easy on yourself! Be easy on yourself! Do make sure you get some time to yourself, and figure out some way for you to get some social connection, daily if possible!

I just want to encourage you as much as I can, I'm now the SAHM of 3, and it's way easier than with my first. Partially because I am willing to let the baby cry while I pee or eat and not feel guilty about it, and partially because I have gained some skills in prioritizing and planning that make my life easier.

You're going to love the Ergo... get some help figuring it out if you don't love it at first. DD2 was 20 lbs at 6mo, and I can still carry her comfortably now that she's 2. You can get so many more things done with babe on your back (like laundry) and going on a walk means carrying baby with you and chatting or just being together. Which is really what its all about.
post #66 of 80
You have gotten a lot of great advice on prioritizing and organizing your time and the tasks you set out to do.

I loved my Ergo carrier - hopefully that will give you some freedom to get things done with babe in tow.

I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of involving dc in your life rather than feeling like you have to put your life on hold to give dc your undivided attention. There are so many fun ways to get little ones involved and, as they get older, giving them a sense of contributing to the family. It is wonderfully quality time together. That will evolve more and more as dc gets a little older - at 5 months it is harder - but chatting with dc, talking about what you are doing, playing and peekabooing as you do it, sets the stage.

What I have not seen so much yet on this thread is, beyond figuring out how to accomplish all the things you need to do (beginning with eating nourishing food every day), is figuring out what it is that you WANT to do every day - what it is that recharges you, makes you feel grounded, gives you the energy and centeredness that you need to face the endless tasks and demands of motherhood. Is it exercise? Reading? Talking with a friend? A creative endeavor? Even just a few minutes a day spent on something that nourishes me can make a HUGE difference in my attitude towards everything else.
post #67 of 80
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post #68 of 80
I can only nod in agreement to the wise answers a lot of these mamas are giving. When I had my first child, I felt much like you...like nothing ever got done, at least until I learned to carry him on my back. Even then, I was always behind on things and our apartment was a complete mess.

This time (with DS2) things have been a bit easier, and I've learned some useful strategies for coping. Someone mentioned Flylady, and that has been really helpful for me. She even has a section on her site about "Flying with a Baby." Not sure if it will be helpful for you, but you can check it out.

The other thing that is a lifesaver for me that I don't think anyone has mentioned, is a good stroller. Strollers aren't for everyone, I know, and not all babies like them, but I find that putting the kids in the stroller and going for a walk is often the way I cope when things are tough. I get some exercise, the baby usually falls asleep, and the toddler gets some fresh air (and walks some of the way, so he gets some exercise too.) I feel so much more on top of things after some time outside. We live in a cold climate, but have a Mountain Buggy with big wheels, so it can handle the snow well, as well as good footmuffs, sheepskins in the stroller to insulate, etc. Depending on where you live and the gear you have, going out for walks in the winter might not work, but I did want to mention it. I know I couldn't function without going outside a bit (almost) every day.
post #69 of 80
Here are some suggestions:

- make a family schedule and a cleaning routine. I cannot tell you how much this helped for me, my day runs smoothly, I get everything that I wanted to accomplish that day finished with time left over to relax. Start by doing a weekend clean/organize, make sure that everything has a place, and as you go throughout your day, put everything that you take out back. Make a schedule of what you will do with your child during the day, like reading time, music time, etc, and just don't make it too rigid. for example, say you schedule 9:00 reading time 10:00 ,music time etc but then the baby falls asleep or wants to eat at 9:15 well that's fine interrupt your schedule and continue on when the spontaneous activity is over. It just makes everything so much easier. For cleaning, I do like, monday washing windows and glass, tuesdays vaccumming and dusting, etc. that way i dont have to spend more than say an hour or less a day cleaning but everything stays clean and organized. then in the morning, i have a quick tidy up routine, swishing the toilet and wiping the counters, making the beds, and a night routine, changing the garbages, doing the dishes, etc. so that that's always done too.

- get a baby wrap so that you can wear your baby to do activities/chores if you need to. yes, doing things like laundry is difficult when wearing the baby, but if you do it a few times, you'll get used to it and you'll feel better about getting it done.

- have lots of places to put the baby down. To sleep, and to play. somewhere upstairs, somewhere downstairs, etc. then if you have something to do that you cant wear the baby to do, then you can put her down for a bit and get it done.

-plan your meals. it will make things a lot easier if you plan what you are going to eat for the week. then when you have a few minutes of free time you can say "hey im having________ to eat tomorrow, i may as well chop the ________"

I hope that helps a little. I found it took a while to get into a routine in the beginning but it was such a life saver.
post #70 of 80
A lot of this advice has been great advice about organizing and wearing your baby. While I agree all of that is wonderful and has helped me tremendously, I would like to bring up two other points to consider.

1. Is your baby high needs? Nursing constantly, can’t put them down, sleeps on you only, fussing continuously? These articles from Dr. Sears talk about what a high needs baby is, their experience with a high needs child, and some ways to soothe fussy babies. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T050400.asp http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t050200.asp http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp I think it is important to realize when you have a high needs child you cannot just “put them in the jumper” to get things done. Not only will the baby get very distressed because you are not meeting their needs, but you won’t be able to focus on getting anything done with a hysterically screaming baby next to you. High needs babies respond to people like mom, dad, and sister, not things such as high chairs, swings, and jumpers. So wearing your baby is your best bet so baby can be with you, but still don’t have expectations that are too high. If you have to nurse your baby every hour there is really only so much you can get done. You really just have to be patient with high needs babies and keep saying “this too shall pass”. I have high needs babies and I must say that while other moms may seem to get everything together by the time the baby is a few months old, with a high needs child it is more like a few years old. It does get better, just be patient!

2. Could you possibly be suffering from a little depression? Postpartum or just in general. Being stressed/depressed will make it so much harder to focus on tasks and organize your life. You must find ways to get breaks and fill up your own cup. It is very stressful to parent a high needs child. It is draining. It’s hard enough to even shower for goodness sakes let alone have other stresses such as money, crazy ex spouses, etc. Just really do what you have to do to keep your sanity. If you end up eating more frozen dinners and always have the house messy it is okay! Go for a walk. Read while the baby naps on you, or nap with the baby! Just do whatever you have to do to stay sane and know that in a few years everything will get better. You are doing great!
post #71 of 80
It is easy to feel overwhelmed as a SAHM. To put things into perspective and hopefully help you relax a bit :

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
post #72 of 80
I know you've gotten a lot of responses and perhaps someone has already said this..

It really sounds like all you need is a baby carrier! I do everything I need to do during the day, while holding my baby. That way she's getting lots of touch and different life experiences. I never leave her in a carseat (except in the car) and I've never used the fancy stroller that I own. You'll get more confident with parenting as time goes on and be able to accomplish more for yourself. I don't play with my kids all the much, however, I do hold my baby a good majority of the day so I am interacting with her. You really should make the time to gets some other mommy friends, it will help you immensely.

I wake up and make breakfast for my 6yo and myself. Usually my DD is playing on the floor at this time (she's been sitting unassisted since 4.5mo).

Then I usually sit on the computer and check emails for a bit with her in my lap.

Around 9:00am she goes down for a nap, so I use that time to get ready for the day and do any laundry, help my 6yo with violin, etc.

Around 10:30 we all go for a walk with her in a Mei Tai (she's 6mo).

Around 11:30 I make lunch for everyone, often with my DD in her carrier.

12-2:00 is nap time, often for me too!

2-3:30 I run errands, grocery shop or clean the house.

3:30-6:00 consists of another nap and either violin lessons, mommies night or I'm making dinner.

6-8:00 my DH usually plays with the kids for a while. I can do chores or read MDC

8:00-10:30 kids are all in bed.. Adult tv/snuggle time.
post #73 of 80
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post #74 of 80
I have a "Priorities" list that I used during the really young stages.
1) Nurse.
2) Eat.
3) Meal prep.
4) Dishes (so I can continue to eat )

From there it varied, depending on what needed to be done, including clothes, shower, wash floors, phone calls etc. Not a whole lot of out of house stuff (bc I don't drive).
I agree with trying a different carrier, although it's not the lifesaver with some babies that it is with others.
post #75 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrappedupmama View Post
A lot of this advice has been great advice about organizing and wearing your baby. While I agree all of that is wonderful and has helped me tremendously, I would like to bring up two other points to consider.

1. Is your baby high needs? Nursing constantly, can’t put them down, sleeps on you only, fussing continuously? These articles from Dr. Sears talk about what a high needs baby is, their experience with a high needs child, and some ways to soothe fussy babies. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T050400.asp http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t050200.asp http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp I think it is important to realize when you have a high needs child you cannot just “put them in the jumper” to get things done. Not only will the baby get very distressed because you are not meeting their needs, but you won’t be able to focus on getting anything done with a hysterically screaming baby next to you. High needs babies respond to people like mom, dad, and sister, not things such as high chairs, swings, and jumpers. So wearing your baby is your best bet so baby can be with you, but still don’t have expectations that are too high. If you have to nurse your baby every hour there is really only so much you can get done. You really just have to be patient with high needs babies and keep saying “this too shall pass”. I have high needs babies and I must say that while other moms may seem to get everything together by the time the baby is a few months old, with a high needs child it is more like a few years old. It does get better, just be patient!

2. Could you possibly be suffering from a little depression? Postpartum or just in general. Being stressed/depressed will make it so much harder to focus on tasks and organize your life. You must find ways to get breaks and fill up your own cup. It is very stressful to parent a high needs child. It is draining. It’s hard enough to even shower for goodness sakes let alone have other stresses such as money, crazy ex spouses, etc. Just really do what you have to do to keep your sanity. If you end up eating more frozen dinners and always have the house messy it is okay! Go for a walk. Read while the baby naps on you, or nap with the baby! Just do whatever you have to do to stay sane and know that in a few years everything will get better. You are doing great!

Planning still helps of course, but I really think you need to lower your expectations of and be kind to yourself.
post #76 of 80
I think it just takes some time to get used to managing everything, my son is 8 months old and i'm still learning time management. But as the other ladies here have said, don;t expect so much from yourself! take the time to just lay in bed and nurse your babe! this is the only time you can do it and you will look back and appreciate the time you had with them at home! ... i think we all expect to be able to just do everything so easily because we are at home but in reality, taking care of a baby is a full time job 24/7 by itself..
post #77 of 80
It gets easier when they can sit up by themselves and pick things up to play a little bit, and it gets much easier again around a year. Hang in there! And don't worry about having a perfect house. You and the baby are more important!
post #78 of 80
it is so comforting to know many moms feel this way. but how much i didn't know until i became a mom!! i can't believe women have been so strong and doing all this all this time!
currently i have a 2 year old, a new full time job (home-based), another job (random times, 24 hr call), the house, school, a husband, and a dog to take care of and it definitely is kicking my butt sometimes. My son is so patient and good but a toddler full of energy so he needs me with him more than ever. it's definitely easier that he can play a bit by himself now and walk on his own and all that but until now, i could hardly clean the house by the time my husband came home. then my husband felt like he had to do all the taking care of and didn't feel i was showing him care and appreciation....anyways, that's another story.
But being a mama is for sure a juggle! Babywearing is definitely the way to go when they are little -you can avoid all the car seat time and snuggle. I try not taking the car and bike or bus instead although it's hard not to take the car where we live. my son loves his front seat on my bike so when i do this (which is not often at all..), he gets so excited he doesn't mind being strapped in. The car, I have to get creative with these days..music, snacks, toys, books, giving him 'driving time' when we're parked (although we end up sitting in the car for an hour at a parking lot sometimes).

But at the end of the day, I look at my son. I see his peaceful, joyful face and think to myself that I must be doing something right. I let him know always that he is being heard and mommy tries her best to respond. I try my best to engage him in all the activities that I do so he feels involved and not just tagging along. he's my barometer on how well things are going so i try to stay in tune with it and respond. that is the best i can do now and most i can give. it's also important to learn to take little breaks. I try hard not to show him tv (helps that we dont have cable or a tv set up) but he loves sesame street and so if i have to get some work done on the computer, i put sesame street on half of my screen while i work on the other half. i guess we all try to figure out how to work it out right? what matters is that we care and we listen. not just to our babies but to ourselves!!
thank you mamas for sharing your experiences because it definitely takes some weight off my shoulders!
post #79 of 80
There really is so much to do that it's easy to feel like you aren't getting anything accomplished, but it's all just the process of becoming accustomed to parenting. When you settle into your role better, it'll be much easier to manage everything, I promise. You still won't get much relaxation time, I'm afraid, but that's the nature of caring for another little person who relies on you for everything.
post #80 of 80
I'm in agreement that you would definitely benefit from a backpack. I think it would solve a lot of your troubles. My daughter who just turned one has spent many happy hours on my back since she was about 5 months old when I had to move her from the front to the back. I have used a metal frame backpack that I got at babys-r-us and an Ergo, she likes both but she was up higher and could see more from the bigger backpack. I think she has been on my back for almost every meal I have cooked. You can really get so much more done when they are back there and I think most babies love it. When ever its time to make dinner I just put her in the backpack and get to work. Also making extra food for dinner makes lunch much easier as we usually just heat up some leftovers. She would also ride on my back while I did dishes or was outside playing with her 2 year old brother and to go shopping and a number of other times, she has also taken many naps on my back. The reason I say she 'did' ride is that now that she is 1 she doesn't quite as much because a lot of the time she just wants to be down on the floor playing. But she still rides quite a bit. My back definitely gets tired, but it has been worth it.

I would definitely invest in a backpack.
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