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moms of larger families, does this ever bother you? - Page 5

post #81 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
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.
I have my M.Ed. and think that homeschooling would probably be best for my oldest child. The thing that is holding me back isn't the concern of teaching him (or more accurately him learning) but household management and family balance. When the heck would I clean my floors and prep dinner and clean up the general clutter if I had 4 kids with me all day, every day? When would I sneak my ice cream and check in here at mdc?

I'm afraid I would end up hating my kids (and them hating me) if they didn't have the break school provides for us all. So i "don't know how you do it" but in a household management sort of way.
post #82 of 100
I know exactly what you mean. My BFF has one nearly 2-year-old and thinks her life is absolutely overwhelming and exhausting. I have to say, I don't feel much sympathy since my kids are 8, 4, and 2, and my husband lives away from us over half the time for work, so I do mostly everything by myself while working at home full-time. But there are other problems she has that I don't (financial & marriage issues), so I try to remember that she is probably more stressed when it comes down to it.
post #83 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
But there are other problems she has that I don't (financial & marriage issues), so I try to remember that she is probably more stressed when it comes down to it.
Yeah. Four kids, stressful as it is (especially with ds2), is a walk in the park compared to one kid, massive financial strain, and a disintegrating marriage. DS1 was a picnic...the others aren't a picnic - but I have a functional life.
post #84 of 100
I honestly think we should take people's word for it when they say they are overwhelmed.
post #85 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I honestly think we should take people's word for it when they say they are overwhelmed.
Good point. It is awful to have your feelings invalidated. On the flip side, I'm trying hard to only say positive things about other people's families unless they bring up hardships. For instance, while I might be tempted to say "you have your hands full" when I see a mom out shopping with 4 kids, it would be nicer to say "they look like a fun bunch." That is, if I really have to say anything at all, which I usually don't.

But if she is feeling overwhelmed at the time, would that be a kick in the gut? Like maybe she'll feel that she should be enjoying her fun bunch instead of dreading the last two aisles? Ah, who knows.

But I totally agree with the above statement. We should, to the best of our ability, listen to eachother and sympathize as much as possible, though I know it's hard when you're dealing with a complainer.

I know I'm guilty of telling my little you'll-never-guess-what-DD-did-this-time stories, just to get a laugh, but I know it's a fine line between that and seeming negative all the time.
post #86 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
Good point. It is awful to have your feelings invalidated. On the flip side, I'm trying hard to only say positive things about other people's families unless they bring up hardships. For instance, while I might be tempted to say "you have your hands full" when I see a mom out shopping with 4 kids, it would be nicer to say "they look like a fun bunch." That is, if I really have to say anything at all, which I usually don't.

But if she is feeling overwhelmed at the time, would that be a kick in the gut? Like maybe she'll feel that she should be enjoying her fun bunch instead of dreading the last two aisles? Ah, who knows.
When I'm feeling overwhelmend, and someone says something along the lines of "that looks like fun", I tend to take it as I think it's meant...both not wanting to assume that I must just hate my kids and a way of helping me focus on the positive. They are a fun bunch. It's not their fault that I'm not always up to having that much fun.

I have to say that I really don't get the hate for "you have your hands full", though. I've heard it a couple of times. When a mom is carrying a baby, one of her kids has disappeared (near a creek!), another is running pell mell for a parking lot, and another (not mine - I give a neighbour's son a ride to and from preschool) is doing the "I can't hear you - no I don't need a jacket" thing...she does have her hands full! The short walk from the preschool door to the minivan is probably the hardest 10 minutes of my week...and it should only be 2 minutes, and it happens three times a week.
post #87 of 100
The way I look at it, we all have different energy levels and different health statuses, different marriages, different financial situations, and different kids. We also are approaching our situations from different kinds of background experience.

So, rather than feeling irritated when someone else is overwhelmed by a situation that I think would be easy for me -- why not just be glad for the experience, knowledge, and skills I have that make some things easier for me than they are for others?

Of course, I don't really know for sure that if I'd find it easy being in that other mom's shoes with her husband, her income level, etcetera.

But lately I've been realizing how misogynistic we women sometimes tend to be toward one another. And the whole idea that women don't really know when they are overwhelmed and need a break -- it just seems like more devaluing of women's opinions, to me.

Of course, if the griping moms are the same ones asking the OP, "Why did you have three?" if she ever says she's overwhelmed, then that is wrong and it might be a good idea for her to tell them how this makes her feel.
post #88 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
I know I'm guilty of telling my little you'll-never-guess-what-DD-did-this-time stories, just to get a laugh, but I know it's a fine line between that and seeming negative all the time.
I've done that before, too. But then sometimes I get weird looks because the other moms are thinking I should have punished my child for that crazy thing she did ...

I s'pose it's moms like me who give the more rigid disciplinarians the impression that either you are doing it their way, or you are just sitting back and smirking about how cute your child is as she goes on a mass-murder rampage.
post #89 of 100
I hate my laptop SO much right now! If you breath on it wrong, it navigates away and loses my entire post! And it was long. Ok, again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
I have my M.Ed. and think that homeschooling would probably be best for my oldest child. The thing that is holding me back isn't the concern of teaching him (or more accurately him learning) but household management and family balance. When the heck would I clean my floors and prep dinner and clean up the general clutter if I had 4 kids with me all day, every day? When would I sneak my ice cream and check in here at mdc?

I'm afraid I would end up hating my kids (and them hating me) if they didn't have the break school provides for us all. So i "don't know how you do it" but in a household management sort of way.
For me, when my dd turned "school age", taking care of her and her two younger brothers and running the house was absolutely no different than it had been BEFORE she turned that age. In fact, it was easier, but I find older kids easier. They can wait, they can help you, can wash their own hands and wipe their own butts and turn lights and tvs off and on and put on their own shoes and hand you a diaper for the baby and entertain themselves for periods of time and they are fun to talk to.

Of course, we aren't "sit at the kitchen table" kind of homeschoolers, but more of unschoolers. And at the first grade age level, she knows everything any first grader does, only she learned it in a ridiculously shorter time. And bonus, her brother who isn't "school age" yet, knows roughly two thirds of what she does ALREADY from watching and soaking it up.

I have an 18 year old who went through public school and when he was dd's age, I spent much more time helping him with homework and to study for tests than I now spent on the sum total of her school and she knows every bit as much as he did, probably more. And without the stress induced tummy aches that he had. And he was an honor student, it wasn't that he struggled in school, but school was stressful to him. Given dd's personality, it would be for her too.

I mean no offense to anyone, but I don't see how school is a break for the child. That's like saying work is a break for me. Not really. Does it get me out of the house? Yes. Is it relaxing? Not so much.

For me personally, the getting my oldest up and to school in the mornings and to bed at night was a freaking nightmare. But some kids are morning larks and I imagine that makes it much easier! So, for me and I'm not saying it should be the same for everyone, but for me, homeschooling is easier or at least less stressful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Yeah. Four kids, stressful as it is (especially with ds2), is a walk in the park compared to one kid, massive financial strain, and a disintegrating marriage. DS1 was a picnic...the others aren't a picnic - but I have a functional life.
So true! When my oldest was little (and he was an only child for 11 years) I was in a miserable marriage, struggled financially and was just generally not happy. Fast forward, now I have four, at one point six living at home (inherited two nephews when I married dh) plus my disabled fil who lives with us, but my stress levels are so much lower because I have a happy marriage, which just makes up for anything else! Plus a stable income, that helps too! So, it's certainly not just how many kids you have. Plus ds1 was SO high needs! I knew early on that I could in no way handle him and a baby. I had to wait. DD was so freaking easy that we had ds2 19months later!! So there are life circumstances, there are the personalities of the kids and let's face it, the personality of the parent. Some people can't handle as much as others.

I had a professor say once that "everyone, if they have one child or twelve, has one more than they can competently handle" which made me laugh cuz it's kinda true. You don't realize until you are in the situation that perhaps I have bitten off more than I can chew.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
Anglyn- I think this is probably one of the best posts on this subject I have ever seen. Thanks!
Thank you!!!
post #90 of 100
I think it's really interesting how mothers compare experiences and one thing I do find often is this sense that we don't understand each other.

I believe that for a person experiencing parenthood for the first time, having gone from 100% selfish to a huge change in terms of priorities, yes only having one hour of quiet every day could seem really hard and overwhelming.

I have 4 kids and a full time, hugely demanding and accountable job, and a husband who is gone 75-80 hours a week. I absolutely work my arse off and I pass out at 10 p.m. every night from exhaustion.

I don't complain or brag about what it takes to run my household. I prefer to try and be an unflappable and relaxed as possible. I love it so much and I love encouraging people to not hesitate about having more children if deep down they would love to do so. Sometimes I remind my husband how much is going into keeping this family running since he is so often absent, but overall I stay pretty quiet about my home life.

I do sometimes laugh at the young kids who are freaking out with just one child and I'm always tempted to say, "hello....try living my life...you wouldn't last 24 hours" (and they probably wouldn't).

But I have learned that for them, at that moment, they really *are* feeling every bit as overwhelmed and deprived of "me time" as I sometimes feel, and that is totally okay.

I wonder if that made any sense. I feel pretty strongly about this, I hope I didn't come across badly or judging; I just have learned to re-frame things in terms like this and it really has enriched my life.
post #91 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulgrrrl View Post
I think it's really interesting how mothers compare experiences and one thing I do find often is this sense that we don't understand each other.

I believe that for a person experiencing parenthood for the first time, having gone from 100% selfish to a huge change in terms of priorities, yes only having one hour of quiet every day could seem really hard and overwhelming.

I have 4 kids and a full time, hugely demanding and accountable job, and a husband who is gone 75-80 hours a week. I absolutely work my arse off and I pass out at 10 p.m. every night from exhaustion.

I don't complain or brag about what it takes to run my household. I prefer to try and be an unflappable and relaxed as possible. I love it so much and I love encouraging people to not hesitate about having more children if deep down they would love to do so. Sometimes I remind my husband how much is going into keeping this family running since he is so often absent, but overall I stay pretty quiet about my home life.

I do sometimes laugh at the young kids who are freaking out with just one child and I'm always tempted to say, "hello....try living my life...you wouldn't last 24 hours" (and they probably wouldn't).

But I have learned that for them, at that moment, they really *are* feeling every bit as overwhelmed and deprived of "me time" as I sometimes feel, and that is totally okay.

I wonder if that made any sense. I feel pretty strongly about this, I hope I didn't come across badly or judging; I just have learned to re-frame things in terms like this and it really has enriched my life.
I could have written most of this! Five kids at home right now, full time job, full time school, etc and was actually surprised when I started getting all the "you must be superwoman" comments! I jokingly tell them that I have adult ADHD and that's why I can't sit still!

When I was working full time to put myself through college and had a child at home, I use to silently shake my head at my fellow students or coworkers who would complain that with 12 hours of classes, they could not possibly work more than 10 hours a week! Or, how were they suppose to live on x amount of money a week (when their parents payed for everything and they were working for spending money at the same pay rate I was supporting a child on!). It's really all in your perspective you know.

I have walked into a clients home who obviously makes gobs of money and felt a little jealous only to go into another home of a client who is living it squalor and then feel bad about my earlier jealousy/ingratitude. Because those people think I"M rich, and I'm far from it! It's all in perspective.
post #92 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post
I came back from a playgroup with moms who, for the most part, have just one child each with a few moms of two mixed in. It seemed like the moms were all complaining about how they can't get anything done and their child doesn't take a long enough nap so they can have some down time. It irritated me since I have three little kids at home, two of whom no longer take naps, and I'm expecting again.
They have NO idea of your work load. The same way that you had no idea before you had three kids. All they know is that their workload has increased significantly. It's all about perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post
It seems like the few times I've mentioned that I'm tired or overwhelmed I get unsympathetic looks and am told things like 'I'd be tired too if I was you' or 'then why are you having another'. I can't even voice a complaint but I look uncaring if I don't sympathize with the SAHMs of one who only get three hours a day to themselves.

Does anyone else feel this way?
It's quite possible that they really can't imagine why you're having another. Clearly, one child is overwhelming them, right?
post #93 of 100
Honestly, I just find the implication that one mom has it so much harder than the other (so therefore the mom with the "easier" situation can't complain) just insulting and judgmental.

I have one child and it has been incredibly hard for me. I could write out a laundry list of reasons why, but there's no need. It's all relative. One person's difficulty could be no big deal to someone else. I KNOW moms with more kids have it very hard and that is one reason why we are only having one. We have been having that hard of a time (coupled with other reasons.)

You know, it has bothered me that maybe somehow I'm less of a mother because I feel I can only handle one, and attitudes like this don't help.

Once again, I know it must be very difficult... but that doesn't negate the struggles of moms with only one.

Something else my dh and I have often wondered, and I'm not implying that anyone on this board is doing this, is how many moms that supposedly have it easier let their kids CIO or don't put as much effort into their kids as other moms. Effort does have something to do with it. My dd hasn't slept more than 4 hours at a time (an that was only once or twice) since she was a newborn. She's 20 months.
post #94 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipper26 View Post
Honestly, I just find the implication that one mom has it so much harder than the other (so therefore the mom with the "easier" situation can't complain) just insulting and judgmental.
I totally agree. There is always someone who is going to have it worse off then you. That does not immediately invalidate your feelings.
post #95 of 100
Years ago I read about some study that showed getting married was more stressful than suffering a death in the family. Reading this thread made me realize how, as others are saying, it's really all a matter of perspective.

For some of us, becoming a parent for the first time is more stressful than adjusting to additional children. For some, going from working full time to staying home full time is more stressful than going from staying at home to working.

And for some it's the complete opposite. Different people, different perspectives, different experiences.
post #96 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipper26 View Post
Something else my dh and I have often wondered, and I'm not implying that anyone on this board is doing this, is how many moms that supposedly have it easier let their kids CIO or don't put as much effort into their kids as other moms. Effort does have something to do with it. My dd hasn't slept more than 4 hours at a time (an that was only once or twice) since she was a newborn. She's 20 months.
I don't think I would agree with this statement. The many moms who have stated to me that motherhood was "too" hard, or that they were overwhelmed have been almost exclusively non ap types. This is just anecdotal of course, but in the past 11 years of meeting and talking with other new moms that has been what I see. I certainly do not CIO, I put ALOT of effort into parenting, but I do not have a hard time. I am a very patient person, my children have been a mixed bag of high needs and very laid back. Anyhow, I am just trying to point out that to say the mom who is complaining is putting more effort into her child/ren is somewhat insulting in itself. And with that said I truly hope you are able to get some solid sleep for both of you soon! Sleep is vitally important!
post #97 of 100
did you not plan on all the bebes? I'm not sure what you're looking for either. Of course you don't have an ounce of time... you have almost 4 kids!
post #98 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendybird View Post
I don't think I would agree with this statement. The many moms who have stated to me that motherhood was "too" hard, or that they were overwhelmed have been almost exclusively non ap types. This is just anecdotal of course, but in the past 11 years of meeting and talking with other new moms that has been what I see. I certainly do not CIO, I put ALOT of effort into parenting, but I do not have a hard time. I am a very patient person, my children have been a mixed bag of high needs and very laid back. Anyhow, I am just trying to point out that to say the mom who is complaining is putting more effort into her child/ren is somewhat insulting in itself. And with that said I truly hope you are able to get some solid sleep for both of you soon! Sleep is vitally important!
I see what you are saying. "Effort" is another relative term and doesn't have much to do with this particular discussion. I actually almost deleted that paragraph. I guess I was just trying to say that even "just one' can be really rough, especially with lack of sleep for a very long time. My best friend's high needs babe (in the sleep category) was her second. She could never nap, b/c she had a toddler, and then she went back to work with no sleep.

I guess I'm just really happy that she's there for me and I know she empathizes with me rather than rolling her eyes b/c it was harder for her than for me. She knows it's still hard.

And if I were less high strung, maybe I'd roll with all of it better, but unfortunately, my middle name is anxiety.
post #99 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimL View Post
did you not plan on all the bebes? I'm not sure what you're looking for either. Of course you don't have an ounce of time... you have almost 4 kids!
As already discussed upthread, if those of us with a bunch of kids have no right to complain about any of it, because we wanted those kids, then those with only one have no right to complain, either.

The "who has it worst?" sweepstakes does nobody any good. I'd be very upset if I were the OP...but I also don't see the point in dismissing the problems of people with only one child, either.
post #100 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
As already discussed upthread, if those of us with a bunch of kids have no right to complain about any of it, because we wanted those kids, then those with only one have no right to complain, either.
That's awesome!
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