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moms of larger families, does this ever bother you? - Page 4

post #61 of 100
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It only makes it more difficult when you encounter a mom of many who clearly is trying to make everyone around her understand that she had is soooo bad.
This is my neighbor to a tee. If God Himself came down and gave her three wishes she would say, "Only three??"

She never commiserates, only complains. There is a huge difference IMO.
post #62 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landover View Post



Thank you... yes. When I see a mom of one do it, it doesn't bother me as much because I truly think that she might not have realized what exactly she was "getting herself into". However, when a mom of five is doing just this I think that she must have known that it was going to be that way. This does not void her right to seek support, but if she goes to every random playgroup and goes on and on about how hard she has it then folks are giong to do a double take.
Alright, this makes more sense to me - and I see what you are saying here. We do hope for #5, and yes, by now surely I know it's not easy to have lots of kids. And I could see how if I were to complain, on a regular basis, about how hard I had it - it could be annoying to those I am complaining to... b/c yeah, I did do this to myself. This is true. Bring on the chaos! LOL.
post #63 of 100
Thank you ladies. I think it took me awhile to express my point correctly, but I am so glad to see that I have not offended anyone.
post #64 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landover View Post
A-Wha??? How did you *not* know what was going to happen? I mean seriously, despite the temperament of a new baby, did you really not think that having a high needs baby (or a high needs four year old) was a possibility? Further, even if a newbie is a great baby they are still...... a BABY? Not trying to be rude at all, but you didn't think a four year old might break and throw things? Seriously, I imagine that said four year old was also probably a high needs three year old when you got pregnant.
Yes. He was. However, he was considerably less high needs than he'd been at two, and there were certain environmental factors involved (this household was pretty stressed after my son was stillborn, and it had an impact on all my kids, including ds2). I had no idea he'd still be this rough to to deal with by the time he was four...no idea at all. And, no - I didn't think a four year old would break and thrown things, at least not more than occasionally, because it's outside my experience with kids.

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Being that tired sucks, but you are making my point for me here. You are exhausted, depleted, and strung out because of all of the kids you have. Anybody who thinks it through would have been able to predict that you would be overly tired and stressed (which is precisely WHY most people do not have that many kids).
Actually, I'm this exhausted, depleted and strung out for a lot of reasons related to having kids, but not because I have them. Each of my siblings has four children, and neither of them is this physically wiped out (well, my sister is...but she also had major bypass surgery in December).

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I am sorry you are tired, but my ONLY point is that it was a very foreseeable thing. And... complaining about being overly tired and stressed when you have a houseful of kids might put someone off a little. That's my sole point.
If it puts someone off, that's their problem, not mine. I don't happen to like listening to career women (or men, for that matter) go on about how busy they are, and how they can't keep up, etc...doesn't mean I need to get nasty about how they "asked for it" and/or "should have expected it".

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This is funny because I am about to have my third kid in four years, and we are not done. I think having a large family is a decision that must be made with your eyes wide open to what is going to happen (or what could happen) and the DESIRE to take that on. When someone who has many children starts to complain I just have to wonder... isn't this exactly what you signed up for?

I live my vocation cheerfully and with a sense of honor and purpose. My husband and I decide together each month if we should add another baby to the family. Involved in that decision is my state of being and whether or not I have the time and energy to properly cultivate another child at the moment (mentality, spiritually, etc). I do not think large families are something to be romanticized and then once someone has one they say.... "How was I supposed to know I would be this tired and stressed! I am going to complain about my situation and choices to everyone around me!!" I am a devote catholic, and I have many friends who have 7 or more. Do they get stressed, you bet. Do they complain all of the time about crazy lives, business, fatigue, and stress. No way. They live their vocations with joy because it is exactly what they CHOSE with their eyes wide open.
That's great. If you're able to get through life without ever venting/complaining about your stress, that's truly great. Not everybody can do that. For me, I do better when I vent off sometimes.

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I think it is wonderful that you wanted a large family. But, I do not think you can claim for one minute that you didn't realize that you might have to deal with a four year old that needs a lot of attention *and* a newborn who also needs a lot of attention at the same time.
Well, as a matter of fact, I can "claim" that...because I didn't. I had no idea whatsoever that I was going to end up with one child who needs more time, attention and crisis management than my other three combined...or any of my nieces or nephews. Yes - it was a possibility, but it's one I failed to think about.

I guess I shouldn't complain about my stillborn son, either...we all know that could happen when we get pregnant.

Ugh.


FWIW: Over the years, I've had several moms of 3 and 4 kids tell me it gets easier as the family gets bigger. I tended to assume they knew what they were talking about. I had no reason to think having a third or fourth child was going to make things exponentially harder. And...joy is very, very hard for me. I only experience it in flashes.
post #65 of 100
I often try to remember, that in a way, who has it "harder" is not so much based in the facts of our situation, but rather in the difference between what we are hoping for, and what we get.

A mom of 1 could be hoping for hours to herself, and only get 30 minutes because the LO didn't nap well that day. A mom of 10 could be hoping to get 10 minutes of peace while she drinks her coffee, and only get 3. 30 minutes looks like a lot of time when you are only getting 3 minutes. And it is. But not so much if you were counting on four times that.
post #66 of 100
post #67 of 100
For me, going from one to two has been extremely difficult. DS will be 4 in April and DD was just born in January, so there is a rather large age gap between the two. I'm still learning how to juggle life with two. My son is extremely whiney and needy; always has been, so that makes it tough when I am confined to the chair/couch nursing the baby. Then there's my DD who only naps for about an hour and a half in the mornings and that's IT! She's only 7 weeks old, too, so I expected much longer naps and defintely more than one. When she's awake, and that's most of the day, she is attached to me at the boob, so I can't get a thing done. Did I mention my son no longer naps, either? Needless to say, for me it's been a tough transition, but of course, so well worth it.
post #68 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
Being the new mom of one baby (my first child) was much harder than being the mom of 4 closely-spaced kiddos. Truly.

Having a child was life changing. Everything was different, and I was learning as I went along. As I added more children to my family, it became easier each time. I'd learned new parenting skills, I'd figured out how to effectively deal with multiple-child issues. Things that baffled me when I was the mother of one baby became old hat. I've become a much better mother the more experience I have.
yes I am a mom of 4 and totally agree its was such a hard adjustment from none to 1- you have all the time you want to yourself then along comes baby and now you have no time I do think having your first is a bit harder that having 4 sometimes.

I do homeschool so I dont understand how moms whose kids are in school have no free time though
post #69 of 100
The cure to complaining would be Non-Violent Communication and a little self-inquiry. So, first, we would ask what is it the complaining person is needing. We delve into that (listening, reflecting, asking) because it doesn't help unless we find the truth about their need. Once the need is truthfully defined, the next step would be to brainstorm ways of meeting that need.

I'm not Buddhist, but I think we could learn from them: how do we reduce suffering in the world?

If someone is complaining of suffering, it also seems to go away pretty quickly when we start really listening to them. Most people start to take it back once they have a light shining on them, like now they have to tell the truth. Then, they can see for themselves if there is something they need, or the problem vanishes. Either way, problem is getting closer to being solved.

Another way of doing the inquiry is to learn The Work and use it, surreptitiously, in conversation... sort of do The Work for them as if you are in their shoes, with compassion. "So, you're going through a difficult time right now?" Naomi Aldort coaches this beautifully--she is a facilitator of The Work.

In my experience, ALL parents need a little help now and then. Mothers need helpers. We have to create the resources we need.

Adjusting to my first child was difficult. I jumped in too soon with a second child and that put me under again for awhile, but I started doing The Work then and brought up my game--my husband actually noticed and our relationship improved greatly. We got a high-energy dog and I reached my personal threshhold. I made the decision to get the dog, but fortunately I could get rid of the dog. I am now experiencing a health crisis due to low hormones and stress. I have the ability to try to not conceive again and to work on my health. In the meantime, I have always felt pretty inept as a mother... of "just two"! In fact, I came on MDC tonight to look up parenting advice, maybe related to my burning question for the past 5 years: "How does 'she' do it? How do other mothers make it look so easy. How could I have more of a routine and get the kids to bed at the same time every night, etc. etc.??" Many of my answers come by just remembering my dear friends who certainly don't "have it all together." We share our struggles and complaints and we LISTEN to each other.

Who knows why we make decisions? I notice that thoughts are thinking me. Where the heck do some of them come from? Outta left field!

The other mother struggling IS me. We are all One. We don't always know how to handle the social situation, but we can start by connecting with our own hearts.
post #70 of 100
Ah, no way mamas! I reserve the right to complain! Life can suck whether you "chose" something or not.

I chose to have another baby but I didn't know that was going to come with only ONE choice for my neuroscience class. And that the teacher was crazy. So I just went through the 1st trimester with a toddler while writing 2 APA 8 page papers a WEEK plus a 15 page APA final paper. While still taking 3 other classes (and this is an 8 week session). Complain away I did! Quite heavily to anyone who listened.

A mama might have chosen to have 1, 2, 5, or 10 kids but at any given time the immediate circumstance could definitely warrant complaining! Such as when the baby stays up all night or the kids all get chickenpox the week Grandma is visiting or when your 4yo pulls all the fish out of the little pond in the neighbor's yard...


I don't think the mamas who complain are at fault here...I find it more disturbing to see how long this thread has gone on with a bunch of people sitting around deciding who has the "right" to complain!
post #71 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post

A mama might have chosen to have 1, 2, 5, or 10 kids but at any given time the immediate circumstance could definitely warrant complaining! Such as when the baby stays up all night or the kids all get chickenpox the week Grandma is visiting or when your 4yo pulls all the fish out of the little pond in the neighbor's yard...

yeah to that!

I only complained about this to DH today, and no one else (until now )... but man, my 6 yo DS was up for hours last night crying due to an earache. I tried so many things to make him comfy and fall asleep (this is when I wished I had children's pain reliever on hand - and dang straight I bought some today), but it meant that I got little sleep last night. Luckily, he felt better in the AM, just sleepy himself so I kept him home today to rest, but really, I think it's okay to complain about stuff like this. It doesn't matter that I have four kids, so I should have known I'd miss sleep often (and actually, this isn't true b/c my kids rarely get sick, and have been easy to get back to sleep) -- in fact, that DS is my 2nd child. So, if I had stopped after my magical girl and boy - I still would have been up last night with a sleepless kiddo.

I think it's one thing to be annoyed w/someone who seems to complain and be unhappy in life on a regular basis. It's another thing for a mother of 1 or 15 to complain when she's had a bad day/night. No reason to pass any judgment based on number of offspring.
post #72 of 100
Wow. I think the only thing in the world the OP meant was that she sees moms of one or two who complain freely and get sympathy but if she complains/vents one little iota, she gets told that she does't have the right too because she chose it. All she was saying is that she doesn't get heard. That she isn't allowed the same luxury to vent as everyone else in her circle. And then a million people jumped on her for attacking moms of onlies, turning it into a competition or saying how she has it harder. I dont think she did any of that, she just. wants to be heard.

I feel the same way. I have four kids. I'm not allowed to say I'm tired, that the house is a wreck or that I haven't slept eight hours a night all week. I get told those exact words, "you chose this" and "what did you think would happen?" , "you should have thought about that before you had all those kids" yet moms of two don't get told those things. But they already had the experience of having a child too. So to recap, if you have one or two kids, it seems socially acceptable to be tired or have a rough day. Three of more, tough.

We ALL chose to have kids, if it's one or ten, so what? My mom chooses not to have a job but she still complains about not having extra money to spend. It seems it's ok and socially acceptable to complain about the consequences of your choices if it's anything BUT having more than the socially acceptable number of kids.

Did I know that having four kids would be harder than having one? Yes and no. In some ways it's easier, in some ways harder. Some of things, good and bad, I anticipated, some I didn't.

To sum up, no matter what I chose, I still have a right to my feelings and to express those feelings, just like anybody else.
post #73 of 100
Anglyn- I think this is probably one of the best posts on this subject I have ever seen. Thanks!
post #74 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
It seems it's ok and socially acceptable to complain about the consequences of your choices if it's anything BUT having more than the socially acceptable number of kids.
I'd never thought of it that way, but you may have a point. Nobody told me (or any of the legion of other women I know) that "you picked him" when I complained about my ex. My marriage was actually falling apart, but when someone vents about some normal day-to-day thing their partner does within a healthy marriage, the reaction usually isn't, "well, you chose him", either.

The only other life issue, besides a "big" family (I really don't think four kids is that big), that I see this kind of reaction to is overconsumption. There are defintiely people ready to roll their eyes when the person with the brand new car, huge house, dinner out five nights a week, huge tv, etc. lifestyle complains about not being able to pay their bills. It's the only other one I can think of.
post #75 of 100
Storm Bride- I find it is a homeschooling issue too. Heaven forbid you express any discontent about your kids when you've chosen to homeschool.
post #76 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
Storm Bride- I find it is a homeschooling issue too. Heaven forbid you express any discontent about your kids when you've chosen to homeschool.
Ah - haven't run into that one, but I expect I will, eventually. It doesn't make any sense to me, but I can remember other moms being really weird with me, because I wasn't looking forward to ds1 going back to school every September. Apparently, I was being some kind of martyr or something...??
post #77 of 100
Well, the reality is that people perceive anything other than doing it the "normal" (i.e. mainstream) way as choosing to make work for yourself. Breastfeeding is another example.
post #78 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
Well, the reality is that people perceive anything other than doing it the "normal" (i.e. mainstream) way as choosing to make work for yourself. Breastfeeding is another example.
The breastfeeding thing blows my mind. I remember babysitting my nephew and having to get him a bottle. I will never understand why people think breastfeeding is harder work! (Yes - I know the difficulty in breastfeeding varies from one person to another. I just mean that, in general, formula is way more work.)
post #79 of 100
Oh that's true! I get told all the time (about homeschooling), "Oh, I could never do that! I don't have the patience!" and I find it odd that the child this mom took care of for four years suddenly, at age five, becomes burdensome.
post #80 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Oh that's true! I get told all the time (about homeschooling), "Oh, I could never do that! I don't have the patience!" and I find it odd that the child this mom took care of for four years suddenly, at age five, becomes burdensome.
A friend who is a teacher said something like this to me recently. I think it is because for her, teaching is really a ton of work, and she can't imagine trying to do it and taking care of younger kids at the same time. But she doesn't make the connection that a lot of the work she has to do is administrative, or related to testing and reporting, or trying to get a whole class to move along at the same time, and so on.

People in general seem to think teaching kids is really really hard and specialized and requires knowledge.
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