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anyone else home with kids, on their own, doing it all? - Page 2

post #21 of 27
I do it all on my own but I only have one LO at home. I've gotten a sitter twice since she was born, once at night after she had gone to sleep and once when I had to have surgery other than that it's she and I. The thing that helps me most is to take care of myself first. I make sure that I have healthy meals, rest, and a positive attitude. I do lots of yoga (at home in my bedroom) and meditation when I am feeling run down or stressed or starting to get overwhelmed. And I make sure to spend time with my friends, mostly inviting them over for meals or sewing. Hang in there, and don't be afraid to ask for some help if you need it.
post #22 of 27
I have my kids do quiet time every day. As far as enforcing it, if you do TV at all you can always take that away for the day if they come out of quiet time. This sucks for mom the first few times, but if you work it into your day every day they get into the rhythm much much faster than you might think. But you do have to be consistent with it. I also found it helpful if I was doing something REALLY boring during that time so they were not keen to join me (I suggest at first you just nap). Then, once we had it firmly established, I watched my shows on DVD while folding laundry during quiet time as my mid-day break. I started with just a half hour quiet time and worked it up to a full hour.

My kids used to go to bed late and get up early. I read a bunch of books on the subject and decided on the following plan that really worked for us:
if your ds doesn't fall asleep until 10:30, don't start bedtime until 10:00. Make it short and sweet. Bath, teeth brushed, quick story, into bed, lights out (stay in there on a chair if you want). I did that for a week. Then the next week I moved up the start of bedtime to 9:45 with light out at 10:15. I moved it by just 15 minutes a week over SEVERAL weeks. Believe it or not, I got from a 10:00 bedtime all the way to a 7:00 bedtime. I found out that if I moved it earlier than 7:00 they got up earlier than they used to. So 7:00 it was. But if they need to stay up til 8:00 to see dh, then 8:00 is still plenty better than 10:30.
I also bought a lamp that comes on gradually (but any cheap timer for a lamp will work) and set it to the time that they were allowed out of their rooms. If they woke up before the lamp came one, they had to stay in their room. Which eventually led to them sleeping in a bit more.

I think if you consistently address those two things your life will become much much easier! Imagine a one hour break all to yourself in the middle of the day, plus plenty of adult time in the evening AND still time for a full nights rest. Sounds like heaven! It was hard to get there, but oh so worth it
post #23 of 27
Another SAHM with a (former) military husband.

I did 24/7/365 for a 15 month deployment. My DD1 was attached, and no one else watched her almost ever. And now my husband is a contractor, and travels for a week at a time about every other week. Starting when dd2 was 2 weeks old. Honestly, I almost couldn't do it. It took me 10+weeks to heal from the birth because I couldn't rest.

I almost sent DD1 to preschool... But then for less $$$ per month, I signed up for a family membership at the local YMCA. They have free childcare while you are working out. I would not drop my 6mo off at daycare, but having someone else hold her in the next room while I lift weights or swim for 30 min is GREAT. If she cries, they come get me. And they have a room full of toys and other kids for 3yo DD1 to play with. And I get to work out! Then I get them all out and we swim together.

We go every weekday, and for the first time in 3 years, I feel like I have my head above water.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post
I'm a single, SAHM so I am by myself all the time.

I just suck it up and do it because I have to (much like you I imagine). I get my kids to bed at 7.30pm and after that I have time to do things for me. I would say that your kids are severly sleep deprived and would suggest that you do anything in your power to get them to bed earlier. Not only will it be good for them, it will be good for you.
I am a single stay at home mom of two. My son will be in oct and my dd 4 at the end of this month. I am currently living with my other so I can go to college for the first time. i only go to school from 5-9 tue and thurdays. Other than that I have that constantly. sure i live with my mother but that is more of a source of agrivation that help. Although, I do admit when she does help it is wonderful! Because of not getting home til 9 on tue and thur their bed time seems to have moved to 930-10 when it was 8 or 830 before I started school. I need to get to bed by 730. Oh i would love that. I would have so much more time for studying. would i be able to have 2 different bed times? one for normal days and one for the days when I am in school? they stay up on those days because my mother has to come and pick me up from school as i don't drive.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiaMama View Post
Another SAHM with a (former) military husband.

I did 24/7/365 for a 15 month deployment. My DD1 was attached, and no one else watched her almost ever. And now my husband is a contractor, and travels for a week at a time about every other week. Starting when dd2 was 2 weeks old. Honestly, I almost couldn't do it. It took me 10+weeks to heal from the birth because I couldn't rest.

I almost sent DD1 to preschool... But then for less $$$ per month, I signed up for a family membership at the local YMCA. They have free childcare while you are working out. I would not drop my 6mo off at daycare, but having someone else hold her in the next room while I lift weights or swim for 30 min is GREAT. If she cries, they come get me. And they have a room full of toys and other kids for 3yo DD1 to play with. And I get to work out! Then I get them all out and we swim together.

We go every weekday, and for the first time in 3 years, I feel like I have my head above water.
i love the ymca idea!
post #26 of 27
My DH is military so hes gone ALOT as well. He was gone for most of January and Februrary, half of June and July and now has been gone most of September. When he is home his work hours are irratic, sometimes he works from 7-430 which is great other times he works from 4am-midnight, other times he just doesn't come home for a couple of days because of work/duty/training/field whatever. So I never know when I get to have a bunch of help and a night "off" or when Im going to be on 24/7. He does do a lot when he is home for the most part but we never know when he is going to be home.
For you, I really think you need to try to get your children in bed sooner. Even if its a struggle for a couple of weeks. My girls would go to bed whenever if I let them just stay up but no matter what they are up between 530-630 in the morning. I had a time where my youngest wasn't going to sleep until 2 and getting up at 630, I found I couldn't survive and be a good parent on so little sleep. I need to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep a night (8 when Im not pregnant but Im 20 weeks pregnatn right now so I need at least 9 to be functional). DH and I need adult time together, even if its just 10-15 minutes to talk about the day and reconnect. If I don't have breakfest at least in the oven before the girls get up then its a bad start to the day, if my youngest is hungry at all her behavior goes from great to horrible (think throwing things horrible). So I managed after several months of working with them to get them to go to bed between 7-730, that means I can spent about 30 minutes with DH at night (sometimes more if he has a bad day and needs to talk), sleep for 8-9 hours, work out for an hour when I wake up and get breakfast on the table right about when the girls wake up. Now my kids don't nap, they both dropped their naps around 18-20 months so I get from about 6am-730 pm where there are times its me and only me with the girls. It still gets draining but at least if Im getting enough sleep and working out daily I feel like I can handle it.
You can teach your children to play quietly while you take a rest, read, cook whatever. I didn't think I would be able to but my girls have learned that if mommy asks for some mommy time they go and play in their room. Its never more than 15 minutes but a 15 minute break can save me on a bad day. It can mean the difference between a screaming mad mommy and a tired but ok mommy. I think it helps that my oldest loves to be a helper so she is willing to spend 15 minutes with her sister.
I do have to say it seems like the preschool is stressing you out to keep up with. How long are your kids in the car going to and from? I know with my girls unless we are going to do some fun outdoor activity anymore than 30-40 minutes a day in a car would mean a long and bad night. They don't like being cooped up. Could he do something maybe closer/less time consuming for you? I know you want something that is age appropriate and good for him but if its stressing you and taking a toll on your other children thats not good. Could he do dance/karate or something else closer to home so its less of a drain on everyone? I can tell how much you love your children and want the best for them but you need to also look into how the "best" for one might be effecting you and the others.
Are you a part of a play group? Homeschool group? Church? Its lonely being alone all the time. I know, I live in a different country than my family. I don't make friends easily and Im not comfortable in most social situations. However, adults do need some adult time. If your husband isn't home a lot then what are you doing to take care of what you need? Do you have anyone you met with regularly to talk to or have a shoudler to cry on so to say?A playgroup or homeschool group would be a great way for your children to get some time away from each other (playing with other children) and for you to get some time with other adults.
DH and I haven't been on a date in over 2 years. We do a couple of times a month on his day off have a special dinner just the two of us. Usually we put in a movie for the kids (bad mommy I know) and spend some time reconnecting. Its not as nice as being able to go out but going out just isn't going to happen and we both know that. He does take the girls once a month or every other month so I can met with the ladies from church for a girls night out or go do something without the children. In November hes taking the girls for 5 hours one Saturday so I can met with my church group and get some Christmas crafts done (early start on christmas presents love it!). I do the same for him when the men want to met up and play some ball/go golfing/deep sea fishing whatever.
Can you do bedtime with at least the older ones before your DH gets home? Maybe have them bathed and dressed for bed so they can have some Daddy time and still get to bed at a reasonable hour? While he is taking care of the older ones you can bathe and dress the baby? How old is the baby? Does he really need daily bathes? Before probably 1-1 1/2 my girls took baths maybe 1-2 times a week (no soap for the most part) now at 21 months and 3 1/2 they take them daily but I only soap them down when needed. Can the bedtime routine be shortened? I know how hard it is to do bedtime with multiple children. Can you put down one first while the other reads/quietly plays? Even if they sleep in the same room it might work. You could even switch off having one stay with Daddy and getting some special daddy time while you take the other and then switch the next day (assuming the baby wants to coorperate that is).

Honestly if it was me I would:
1) work on getting the kids to a better bed time
2) streamline your day
3) drop the preschool and find a closer/shorter activity for your 2nd child.
4) Find a playgroup/homschool group/church to get involved with for extra support.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
thanks for your thoughts! I feel a little better this week. some things that have helped are-

rides to school a couple days for my ds2

cooking ahead and having meals ready to go and snacks easy to grab without spending time on it during the weekdays. this meant grocery shopping at 10pm on a weeknight and a very hectic weekend trying to fit in a million things, but better then w/ dh home than when I'm alone during the week w/ all 3 kids.

spending planning time on the w/e for homeschooling, so with our little bit of itme we have in between preschool pickups we can get right to work. again this means more work for me in my "off" hours but i feel like we're maximizing our limited school time if i have lessons and projects ready to go.

shifting some of the responsibilities to them. i've started with them clearing their own dishes, me making only one meal and heating it only once- if they want something different or it gets cold b/c they don't eat, they have to reheat it or make it themselves. having them get their own snacks when I'm busy, and having a big water container out so they can get their own drinks. also, food only at the dining room table so I'm not going all around collecting dirty dishes and running up and down the stairs bringing them food.

trying hard to get to bed earlier, again the issue is not a late bedtime but they don't actually SLEEP until late and keep coming out wanting us. That's getting better. I've been trying to get started earlier before dh gets home but that's hard w/ a fussy baby at that time, we're all hungry, and things seem a bit out of control. it's hard to get them to brush teeth, get changed, etc And dh will stay with ds1 forever at night and do a long bedtime whereas I will do a quick routine, say goodnight, and come back to check on him every so often and for me it's working fine. the other night I was actually done by 8, and still had time to go see the stars outside, do some school planning, make a phone call, and watch a tv show and still be ready for bed before 11! woo hoo.

quiet time- still have to work on that. so far I"ve had to use the tv so I can be free to put the baby down for a nap, b/c they will immediately fight or be loud the second I go to lay down with her. she will only sleep attched to the nipple, or in the carrier, so often her naptime doesn't free me to do the things I'd like to b/c I'm stuck in a weird position (like now!) or I will get them to be still for a *moment* by reading to them but of course that still involves me and isn't a break, even though it's somewhat restful.

we do have homeschool groups but it's not a break, b/c I have to pack all our stuff for the day, drive there, and be there juggling all 3 kids or racing to preschool to get my other son so it's hectic to fit it all in. some of the parents do leave for a break during it, but my ds1 is very socially immature and throws a tantrum or gets his feelings hurt and cries inconsolably most times, so I have to be there, or it's our turn to lead the lesson so it involves even more prep time and shopping for materials.

So it's still a LOT to handle on my own and I'm constantly multitasking and thinking ahead and living by the clock to make it all work but I'm sure part of that is just life with multiple kids is busy and a lot of work- not necessarily that anything is wrong (well, except this society in which we all live away from our families and are on our own to care for our kids!).
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