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I don't get to have a life apparently. - Page 3

post #41 of 64
In general, m_m I think you're right, and I do think many women tend to view their partners as an additional child. I also understand that video gaming is a soft addiction, and many people cannot break the habit without a push. DH used to be that way. It was pre-kids, but I had to be really forceful about it or he would have wasted his life in front of the computer screen. I hate to use the word intervention b/c I think it's over-used, but yeah, that's what is sometimes needed when it comes to gaming.
post #42 of 64
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
Your schedule looks pretty much the norm to me, and if that leads to a good day, then why not just do that all the time? I think if you wanted to have more flexibility you could just make the snacks and the naptimes on point and then the rest could be whatever you like. I do find that if I am on with snacks and naptime, then it curbs hyperness/fussiness. When you go to the park, and you do remember to bring a snack, do you find that helps?
Also, get your exercise at the park. Don't just follow them around, CHASE them, run circles around them. Swoop them up and down. Climb up the sides of the play structures as they go up the stairs. And get them moving twice as much as you. With any luck, that'll help them sleep when you get home and give you some time to yourself.
post #43 of 64
I feel ya mama. I have 2 young kids, but they are a bit farther in age. My spirited girl is on the cusp of 4 and let me tell you, she is a different kid than a year ago, like not even the same person in the body. She listens most of the time, she is good with her brother-most of the time, she doesn't bolt on me in public, she doesn't need constant interaction. I am on the computer and my kids are playing in the living room, watching a DVD, this is my "me" time.

My DH is very involved, we both work, it is busy and frustrating at times. Personally I am so glad I am not a SAHM anymore, I still am home with the kids most days, but working part-time has made me a much more patient, attentive mother because I'm not just thinking about Dh getting home and saving my sanity.

I have active children, no doubt about it, most people who I know don't have 10 month olds who refuse to nap, and are constantly on the go, DH and I just make kids who can't sit still most of the time, that is just the way it is.

I do think that you need to talk to your DH, my Dh stays up watching movies half the night, yet he still is there in the morning helping out and doing what needs to be done.
post #44 of 64
Originally Posted by ariatrance View Post
That does need to change, yes, but I don't really have time to run into the bedroom every 5 minutes to wake him up while tending kids/making breakfast.
But you have a 3 year old. "Go get your shirt on, Daddy's in the bedroom, he'll help you. "
post #45 of 64
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
But you have a 3 year old. "Go get your shirt on, Daddy's in the bedroom, he'll help you. "
LOL, that's what I do
post #46 of 64
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
There's nothing wrong with telling him "TAG! You're it." and having him take the kids to the park so you can have the house to yourself. I bet he'll come home and look like it nearly killed him. LMBO! You should smile sweetly and say "Yes, it sucks some days".
Some people really need direct instruction.

What would happen if you said "Hon, I need to get out and go for a walk in the morning by myself four days a week. That way I'll use up some of my extra energy and I'll be a better parent. Which 4 days work best for you to be up with the kids while I take my walk?" (or in the evening or whenever).

That does two things -- it expresses your need and it asks him to help you in a non-accusatory way. Both of those are sometimes hard to do when we're feeling overwhelmed. That also leaves WOW out of it -- if he chooses to stay up late playing WOW on a night before it's 'your' morning, that's his choice. But his choice should not affect your getting a little bit of time to recharge. I've stayed up late reading, and regretted it the next morning. But I wouldn't make dh cover for me if I'd agreed get up a certain time because he needed me.

But seriously, it's DH's own fault if he stays up late and is tired the next day. Guess what? There are things that I'd love to stay up all night doing. When he's at work and you're at home, obviously you're responsible for 100% of childcare and housework. The second he gets home, the workload is 50% on each of you. Why does his job get to end, while yours is 24/7? That's just not how having young children works. And that's not to say that you have to have some tit for tat arrangement where neither of you ever get a break... just the opposite, actually. He needs cool off time from the stresses of his week, but so do you.
I agree 100% -- childrearing and marriage are rarely 50-50, but there are creative ways to make sure that even if it's 90-10 that the person who's doing the 90 gets that 10% of time that they need to stay sane.

I WOH and dh works from home. Because of that, he does a lot more of the day to day stuff. It's hard this summer because the kids are home and I'm teaching summer school. What I try to do is be there for the kids from the time I get home until shortly after dinner. That gives him an hour or so of time when he doesn't have to be interrupted. After dinner, it's mostly me, but he does step in a fair amount. But when all is said and done, he's still putting in more kid time than I am these days. That's just how it is. When I'm done with summer school, roles will reverse.
post #47 of 64
A lot of preschools have scholarships!
post #48 of 64
My kids are the same age as yours (oldest is six months older, younger is two months younger). And I also spend half my day at the park, and no, no books. Though, I do like being outside and at least there are other moms of other active kids at the park to talk too. That saves my sanity!

We do our park time in the afternoon, but that's only because we have pre-school. It's subsidized. If I were you I'd be going door to door once a week begging for any way to get the older child in a school. Begging, literally. Asking every pre-school if they know of ANY program your child would be eligible for. Just one day a week, if that is your chore (you could also call).

That's me this week, looking for a cheaper permanent alternative for my three-year-old. Whee. Not fun. But worth it.

We also have a rigid schedule and no, no me time 'till they're in bed.

I also stay up until the baby wakes to nurse because I am so nervous. I just can't sleep until I do that last nurse. It sucks!!! I'm typing now thinking... she'll wake any minute... and then the moment I think, tonight's the night! Tonight she'll STTN! YES!

I go to sleep...and ten minutes later she wakes. *It doesn't matter what time I go to bed.*

I totally know how you feel.

But you have a 3 year old. "Go get your shirt on, Daddy's in the bedroom, he'll help you. "
You don't know my husband... ten minutes later, he'll be standing over me asking for breakfast and I'll ask where the pre-schooler is, and she's doing something else entirely.

I'm pretty sure the OP's husband is at least that clueless. At least mine doesn't waste time on video games!

OP, I feel your pain. Do your kids have anyone to meet at the park? Are there other kids, so at least you talk to their moms and feel like an adult? Could you drive to a different park? I'm going to be honest- we drive from park to park to find the ones where other kids my kids' ages are. So I don't have to play with them. I find that ridiculous. I play with them the rest of the day, I shouldn't have to at a park.

I mean, I will, of course. I do. But not like, the whole two to four hours!
post #49 of 64
Even tit for tat is not so bad for a while...it'll change and get better eventually. My DH and I felt like that for a while--we both needed downtime so much that there wasn't too much FAMILY time happening. But the whole tit for tat thing--you do have to make it happen. My DH is honestly great--but even with him I had to be very direct about how and when and what was helpful and how and when and where I needed it. And, conversely--I had to get better about taking help when he offered it and I didn't need it. I had to get better at banking those offers and that time so that I had more reserves to DEAL with everything later.

Now DD is five and she is so big and independent in so many ways! And this week we have my 11 year old god-daughter visiting and I swear--she's so grown up, I can imagine actually getting my life back at that point...

Hang in there--you are doing a lot with two little ones. Be honest, take some help, and don't be too hard on yourself or your loved ones. Nobody's perfect...
post #50 of 64
I haven't read every reply.

OP - you have a 3 yo and a 1 yo. It really does mean you have almost no life - at this point in time. I've been there. My kids are now 5 and 3 and I will say it is a HUMONGOUS difference - like night and day. With a 3 yo and 1 yo I couldn't have a cup of tea without sticking one on my boob and cleaning up the spilled mess from the crying other one. By the time I got to my tea, if I ever did, it was cold. 90% of the time. Now I can have a hot cup of tea and even read the paper (mind you not all of it, but maybe 1 or 2 articles with minor interruptions), while my 5 yo pours breakfast cereal and juice for himself and the 3 yo, and both of them put their dishes in the dishwasher when done (with reminding). So I think you will get some parts of your life back, just not now.

Regarding DH - as the pp mentioned, make clear exactly what you need, when. "I need to go for a walk every saturday morning from 9 until 10" "I need you to make dinner tonight please. There is broccoli in the frige and pasta in the cupboard." "I need to go out with friends tonight"... whatever. And then accept the help, as it is given, and that it may be different than how you would have done it, but that is perfectly OK. You might get broccoli with cheese sauce instead of steamed with garlic, but whatever.
post #51 of 64
Are you doing EC? or are the potty trained? Honesty if they are having a lot of accidents it sounds like they are not potty trained and should maybe still be in diapers. If you are doing EC never ever getting a breakis just part of that. You literally do have to focus in your children all.the.time. They are counting on you to catch subtle cues that they need to go. By three your child should not be having accidents. Perhaps you could build potty breaks into your daily routien. If you are doing Ec and it has become too much don't feel bad ditching it. You are free to make whatever choices suit your family each day. It does not make you a failure if you try some parenting ideal only to see it does not work best for your family. You are a unique and individual mother and what helps you be the best you is not some ideal in a book or messege board but whatever works best for you and your family.

Speaking of daily routien...Do you have one? If not get one. Maybe an hour of focused play at the park (chase those babies!!!! make them run! ) and then move on. Some park time but you be the one to decide how long it lasts. OrAlso nap time. Even if they do not sleep an hour of rest/quiet time (even if they protest at first. Most kids will submit to a routien if you stick to it long enough and will stop resisting after a while.) Predictictable sleep wake schedules, eating schedules and activities schedules are good for toddlers and preschoolers. Especially ones who are high strung.

How about a class or two where someone else takes over? you can then sit and read a book. Its glorious. trust me.

Sending them to grandma's house is not dumping them. Mine spend all kinds of time with grandma and papa and it is a beautiful relationship. They are now old enough to go back and forth on their own whenever they desire a visit. Oh, that our grandchildren would pop in just to see us when we are older! BLISS! But that relationship has to start young.
post #52 of 64
I agree, incidentally, about EC. We EC. I do NOT let my 1-y-o peeing on the floor bother me. It is just... not an irritant. It can't be. If it were, that would probably push me over the edge. If it bothers you, then she needs diapers. At least a cloth diaper to absorb the pee. Could you look at the trading post for free-for-shipping one-size fitteds as very absorbent training pants?

Rarely is a child at 18 months ready to be dry all the time without help from a parent. So I do agree that if that is an additional stressor, you need to take time off from that, at least with the 1-y-o.

Oh, and my kids still protest naptime. They do fall asleep eventually. We have to do the WHOLE ROUTINE PERFECTLY every single time, and they still protest, and every day I wonder what I'm doing wrong because they still. reject. the. routine. and it kills me but yes, I need that rest and the entire country napped until kindergarten until VERY recently so darnit, I'm doing it no matter what.

The one positive thing about afternoon playing (because it ruins dinner, dontcha know* ) is that it is a natural consequence for the nap. We go after you have kept your eyes shut for at least one hour. No nap, no park. Of course, I do not believe that would be possible if it were not for pre-school.

I really hope you can find SOMETHING. I would go batpoop crazy without preschool, I really would.

*Yes, I have a slow cooker, and fast broiled meat recipes, and salad recipes, but come on, let's be honest... it's not the same.
post #53 of 64
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
You don't know my husband... ten minutes later, he'll be standing over me asking for breakfast and I'll ask where the pre-schooler is, and she's doing something else entirely.

And if that were my DH I would leave the house.

He's a grown man. He's a father. He WILL figure it out, if he's put in the position where he has to.

OP- I don't have any words of wisdom for you. I'm just sorry you're having such a tough time.
post #54 of 64
While you certainly will be busy and not have much time to yourself with two kids that age, you should get some time to yourself! Talk to DH, he needs to take over parenting duties at least a couple more hours a week. If he wants to stay up late playing games, fine, but either way he needs to be up taking care of the kids on the days you agree to so you can take care of yourself.

Beyond DH, is there anyone else that could help give you a break? Maybe parent friends you could trade babysitting with or just get together with some if that helps? Can a friend or relative come visit for a few days or a week and helps out wherever possible to give you sort of a mini-vacation. Sometimes that is all I need to recharge and I only have one, I'm sure I will need much more with two!

Biggest thing is DH needs to step up more. Ask for help first and if that doesn't work, demand help, don't take no for an answer!
post #55 of 64
I think you totally deserve a life even with a 1 yo and 3yo. I actually have an almost 1yo and a 3.5 yo and I am finally getting to have a life, but I really have to make it happen. I work hard to make sure that I have plenty of things in my life that fill my cup.

Sleep-- This is the hardest, most difficult thing about parenting to me. If it weren't for how little sleep I've gotten for the past 3+ years, I would have half a dozen kids. Right now my husband (who woh) and I switch off every single day. One person is up at 5 with the baby and the other person sleeps until 8 when the baby goes back to bed and dh has to get ready to leave for work. On the weekend, we each get one day and then we can sleep until 9 or 10. Am I still exhausted? Yes. However the fairness of it helps (when dd was a baby i got up 90% of the time and really grew to resent it). Also lots of coffee.

Time to your self -- You know I'm really lucky because dd does go to preschool 3 afternoons a week and we can afford the occasional babysitter (though at the price we pay it is still a rare treat) But I know other families that don't send there kids to preschool or have sitters but still manage to give the mama some me-time. I personally like to go out for a walk after I put the baby to bed. Dh does my 3yo's bedtime with her which is a bit later. So around 7:45-8 I grab my ipod and walk out the door. I get exercise but also I usually listen to a podcast or music I like which is enjoyable too. I'm thinking about trying audio books as well (my library has some books available for free audio downloads maybe yours does too). Can your dh do bedtime for one (or on occasion both) of the kids? I really feel that after a year there is no reason a toddler can't learn to be soothed to sleep occasionally by another pair of loving hands. I still nurse around the clock when I'm home but by 9 months or so my kids (who never took/take bottles or any milk substitute) were able to be put to bed by Daddy without nursing. So tonight when Daddy walks in the door I'm handing the reigns over to him and I'm going to meet my Uncle for Dinner and a Movie. The other night I waited until the kids were both asleep and then headed out to the movies by myself. Setting up a babysitting co-op would be another great idea. You could either trade with just another mom on the weekdays or on the weekend trade with another couple. If you go to an early movie followed by dinner you can still be back to pick the kids up by bedtime. Definitely find out about scholarships at the YMCA (I know ours offers them). It is totally worth going for 2 hours of childcare, you don't even have to work out. Ours has a sauna and a hot tub. I can drop the kids off and bring a book and just sit in the sauna and read, or I surf the web on my iphone while riding the recumbent cycle.

Getting me-time when you can't get away from your kids- Sometimes you need a break emotionally even when you can't get away physically. I think this a good time to do tv. We like to get dvd's from the library to watch. I usually put a video on during ds's nap time and then dd watches while I use the computer and eat my lunch. When we're having a hard day I take both kids into the back yard and put them in our swings and push them while I read (I have a chair set up behind the swings to sit in, so if you're at the park you could be pushing them while listening to an audio book or something instead). On the rare occasion my 3 yo is playing nicely by herself, I will then throw ds into the meitai on my back. Then I put a dvd for myself into my laptop and watch it while I clean the house. Also, while I do enjoy the park, I try to always make it a playdate instead of going by myself. If there is someone for the kids to play with then they leave me alone a bit, and I really need to have lots of adult interaction to stay sane, so that's how I meet that need. I also don't think my high needs 3yo would stay in a stroller for an hour (though my 1 yo who is not high needs probably would). We do go on a lot of walks but I just let my dd get in and out of the stroller and that helps. Also I usually make the walk purposeful, so she stays motivated to make it to our destination, for example we walk to the park, library or up to the bakery for crossiant and coffee.

Okay I think I had more ideas, but got distracted by dd and now we have to leave for the park, so if I remember I'll come back and post more.
post #56 of 64
I just wanted to throw out a couple of suggestions!

For the park, I would get a cheap MP3 player and get e-books from the library, or cheap music downloads, so I could at least listen to something while watching the kids play.

And one thing that has helped me, is a yoga video for the kids. I realize it's screen time so that may not be an option for you. We have long, cold winters and I thought it was an acceptable compromise between watching a movie and being active (because even though they were watching a screen, they were moving their bodies). Now both kids talk about doing their "belly breathing" when they are upset. If some screen time is an option, you might find something that works for YOUR kids so you are not the only one trying to entertain them.

And add me to the list of people who think your DH needs to parent when at home, in the morning or at night!
post #57 of 64
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I can't speak for the OP, but for me I pretty much knew because I wasn't wondering, "Is she spirited?" It was more like I just had to assure myself, when she was a baby, that it wasn't "cry it out," even if it lasted for hours, because she was crying in my arms as I walked with her and kept offering the breast and singing and dancing and trying everything I could think of ...

It wasn't something that crept up on me -- it jumped right up and hit me in the face, LOL.

But for others it might be different.
BOTH my kids did that. 8 months of our lives were spent with children screaming every evening. ugh. all we could do was walk around with them or sometimes i could get ds2 to nurse through it after about an hour of screaming.
surprisingly, even though my ds2 is VERY active, he and his brother are both fantastic in the car (so much so that when i forgot toys on a major trip, there was only one meltdown in a 4 hour traffic jam from ds2 and the other 4 hours or so of driving was smooth sailing) and in strollers (ds1 is too old for a stroller now though so he just walks along if he's with me.) i don't drive though so we're constantly walking all over town. from the time he was an infant, ds2 has been in the stroller, winter, summer, spring, fall. doesn't matter. so he's used to it. maybe that's the case with OP's friends? daily walks every day several times a day from infancy? if i ask him, do you want to go pick up sawyer?, he puts himself in the jogging stroller, taking a truck or something with him if he wants one (his brother goes to a daily summer program for 2.5 hours so we drop him off, take a 4k walk/jog and then pick him up later on.) the stroller can't be sitting still for long though or we get freak-outs. i have to be walking or jogging or there better be food or a DVD on in front of him LOL
post #58 of 64
the thing to remember is that if he gives up sleep to playWOW he has chosen that over sleep and perhaps he needs to start covering your walks. I completely get the need to rant...Rant away.... unless Dh is working that late I don't let him get away with sleeping in... of course I just had an emergency c section and blood transfusions so I cannnot do anything right now... but otherwise I make him take them to the play ground and I have chosen to do the chores I enjoy (well at least don't hate) because my standards are lower than his, so everything eventually gets done.
post #59 of 64
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I have been there, and mine aren't as close in age, and only one is spirited, and she's the one who is old enough where it isn't quite so big a deal anymore.

And when my husband is sleeping in, it's because he's been working till 2 am, not playing games.

I don't blame you for venting at all, mama!
yes to this!! my younger is the handful but they both get going at times. it is such a struggle to be with them all day long and do all the night time parenting.

hang in there mama. every once in awhile the stars align and my two are great and i see the light at the end of the tunnel, we will be able to go out and do more things very soon!
post #60 of 64
I'll tell you what your problem is right now: Your husband!

You say you're parenting 24/7...where is he? If he's off playing WOW, he needs a kick in the pants. So what if he stayed up till 2 playing it...it's a GAME. If he was working on a presentation for work or something, then letting him sleep in would be understandable...but I would NOT be okay letting him sleep in while I go crazy just because he played a game too late into the night.

He needs to be helping you so you can get some time to yourself. Even if it's just 20 minutes in the bathroom with a book...you still need SOMETHING for yourself and there is nothing wrong with demanding that. Personally, I'd say "here take the kids" and go for a walk alone in the evening once it has cooled off a bit.
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