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Cross posted as advised to, on my chaotic days with the kids!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

It's not just on staying-at-home but mostly it is about it, so I decided to write here. My kids are currently 3,2 and 3 months. Wow. Well the three year old is almost four and the two year old just turned two. I have always been a sahm. Only one of my children was planned, I had never planned on having them all close together in age, this way. But it happened. My days at home during the day while daddy is at work are seeming so long, that some days I don't think I will surivive.

 

I feel so stressed and on edge by the end of the day and am begging for time to go by faster so daddy will hurry and get home. I used to like to go out to make the days go by, we go to the library or playground or whatever, but it's been really hard to accomplish that. My middle child, the two year old, is very mischievous and accident prone. While we're out he's usually trying to run away from my, find large sticks to poke people, steal another boy's hat, take our playdate friend's snacks, need a diaper change and scream and kick during it and throw himself down crying in front of everyone. All the meanwhile I'm trying to hold the three month old in my other arm, who's usually screaming.

 

My three month old is very sweet and cute, but very high needs and is usually crying and needs to be walked, stood up, nursed, etc. I find it hard to nurse in public. It's just physically uncomfortable for me, like I can situate myself properly, plus I usually need to chase two year old. There's usually just so much chaos, and I think I get overwhelmed quickly, you know?

 

Like today, we met a playdate friend  at the park and she just has the one child, my daughter's age 3, almost 4...and my daughter I feel like, misses out because of all the chaos and because of her younger brother's and she is really a big help. Both my kids were begging playdate mom for her snacks. My three mo old is crying so I walk him around and around. I put him in our homemade moby and walk around. My daughter had to use the bathroom, we went in the building, then came out and then she said she had to go back in the poop. Playdate mom takes her and son and her own and go back in, I go to van to nurse. Then we're walking, and I use stroller for three month old to walk him around and also this whole summer, keeping him out of the sun is going to be a challenge. I babywear sometimes but I do not like it all the time especially in heat. He cried again so I picked him up and then he had a poop explosion which went all over my clothes. I went to the van and changed him, had a huge pile of wipes, blankets and soiled clothes. I knew at this point we weren't going to last much longer. I put our kids in the van and then realized two year old pooped. I had to take his diaper off and realized we did not have another one with us. I cleaned him, put his pants back on and three month old is screaming and screaming the whole time. Playdate mom is standing near my van, probably trying to talk to me, say a proper goodbye or think of how she can help me...but it was so much chaos, me trying to run, do this, do that, strap everyone in....all of whom are screaming, crying, putting up a fight or asking for something. So it's like, I feel bad. This is how all of our playdates typically play out. I like other moms, I appreciate that they're trying to help, but I don't really like the help, because I feel guilty, stressed and it just shows me how I am in over my head.

 

Because of this, I actually prefer being at a place like the park, by ourselves. That way too I feel I can leave if things get haywire, which they do. Staying home (inside) usually is sucky because two year old trashes everything, rips out every toy and he does things, like you'll just find him standing in the middle of the kitchen table and does really dangerous things like that. I am not a clean freak but I still dislike all the messes. I feel like at home too, it is boring for them. Daughter doesn't really play by herself so I constantly have to play pretend or read books and hold or nurse the baby. I have a big yard to play in but for some reason we haven't been playing in it a lot. I live on dirt roads, I am trying to get in shape so I walk a lot and like to strap two the older kids in the double stroller and strap baby in a carrier and walk. Just walk. My husband said to try to make our walk take as long as possible during the day. I try...but it doesn't  always work out.

 

Can anyone else relate to the having three children close together, not knowing how to handle your days? I don't know what to do, I really need a new plan here. Something to make things easier...the days go by faster, a little simpler....does anyone have any ideas? Should I maybe stop trying to conquer the parks and playgrounds every day? Not to mention, getting ready to go the parks is just daunting. The bags I have to pack. I have a huge insulated bag and it's stuffed with the stainless steel bottles, snack containers, sandwich containers and ice packs and it takes about a half hour to slice fruits and vegs and pack everything up and another half hour to rinse out containers and unpack stuff...and there's sunblocks, bug sprays, sun hats, changes of clothes....and if there's someplace we'll be swimming forget it...towels, bathing suits...I usually don't go anywhere like that without hubby and it's still so overwhelming...

 

gotta go, dd is saying either two yr old or dog pooped 

post #2 of 8
Holy moly. I only have two, 27 months apart and I want to cry from exhaustion reading your post. I have no advice but I want to tell you that if you get through the day with everyone still alive and not abused, you are an amazing mother. My hat is off to you.
post #3 of 8

Let go of the pressure to do everything.  Playdates are a great idea, but I don't often do them because it's a lot of work to pull it all together and I feel judged by the other parent(s) even if they aren't being judgmental.  A great yard to play in, some fun time at home (encourage your daughter to learn to play on her own and with her siblings) is not a bad thing!  Schedule playdates for your daughter for when your husband is home to stay with the other kids. 

 

Set up a predictable rhythm to your days at home, your kids should be able to anticipate what comes next.  

 

A walk is a great idea- but I wouldn't necessarily keep the older kids in the stroller.  If they (or even one) will stay nearby, let them walk and explore  to burn off some energy. 

 

 

Outings are great, but everyday?  Oh heck no.  Not in our family! Create a fun and stimulating environment at home and have fun there.  

 

I have a 9 year old, an almost 3 year old, a nearing 2 year old, and- I'm due in December.  My nine year old is just out the door to visit a friend for a couple hours, my little ones are snoozing, and I am going to go check on my garden for a few minutes so I can have a little time to myself. 

 

Also, I tend to write off the first 6 months with a new baby as chaos anyway. :)  Hang in there- it will get easier!

 

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

Holy moly. I only have two, 27 months apart and I want to cry from exhaustion reading your post. I have no advice but I want to tell you that if you get through the day with everyone still alive and not abused, you are an amazing mother. My hat is off to you.

Abso-frikking-lutely!! I feel overwhelmed myself some days and mine are 5.5 and 3.5! I agree with PPs: give up on all the outings and figure out how to create a safe and stimulating environment at home. Can you figure out how to dedicate an area/room to contain the play, esp for the 2yo and his chaos?! Water play outside? Invest in a play structure? I would also work on babywearing, especially back carries, and NIP--perhaps combining the two? (I used to BF dd in the mei tai while running after ds on the playground--easy once you get the hang of it).

Good luck mama! Sounds like you're doing a heroic job
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

Let go of the pressure to do everything.  Playdates are a great idea, but I don't often do them because it's a lot of work to pull it all together and I feel judged by the other parent(s) even if they aren't being judgmental.  A great yard to play in, some fun time at home (encourage your daughter to learn to play on her own and with her siblings) is not a bad thing!  Schedule playdates for your daughter for when your husband is home to stay with the other kids. 

 

Set up a predictable rhythm to your days at home, your kids should be able to anticipate what comes next.  

 

A walk is a great idea- but I wouldn't necessarily keep the older kids in the stroller.  If they (or even one) will stay nearby, let them walk and explore  to burn off some energy. 

 

 

Outings are great, but everyday?  Oh heck no.  Not in our family! Create a fun and stimulating environment at home and have fun there.  

 

I have a 9 year old, an almost 3 year old, a nearing 2 year old, and- I'm due in December.  My nine year old is just out the door to visit a friend for a couple hours, my little ones are snoozing, and I am going to go check on my garden for a few minutes so I can have a little time to myself. 

 

Also, I tend to write off the first 6 months with a new baby as chaos anyway. :)  Hang in there- it will get easier!

 



All of this.  I have only two boys, 27 months apart like another poster, so my real chaos days feel like they're behind me (the serial-pooping, always nursing kind of days!).  I was not that ambitious then.  I do remember finding a couple fenced-in playgrounds, bringing a picnic blanket and all the necessities, some little toys for the younger, so that we had kind of a home-base at the playground.  And then not staying all that long.

 

Backyard play structure/swing set if you don't have one, is great to get.  Even a small swingset can be such a lifesaver, an outdoor destination, a place to put the baby if he likes the swing.

 

And could you find a local preteen/teen to come play with the older ones while you're home sometime?  For an hour or two, a couple times a week, for some minimal amount of money? 

post #6 of 8

I have three close in age (they are now 6, 4 and 2.5) and I'm pregnant with #4. I'd say the hardest time was when they were 4, 2 and a newborn (exactly where you are now!) My oldest wasn't mature enough to entertain himself for long and didn't go to school yet, my 2yo was accident prone and clingy and, well, I had a newborn. It just felt overwhelming at times. I definitely didn't get to the park or some fun activity every day - usually 1-2x a week max. Otherwise we'd take short walks around the neighborhood or I'd sit in the backyard while they played. 

 

I just want to add - it has gotten much easier since my oldest started kindergarten. At 6 he can follow directions pretty well, he gets himself ready for school, and helps me at times (goes and gets socks for everyone to put their shoes on, etc.). And he and his 4yo brother play outside unsupervised now, so they have more freedom and I have more peace!

 

My advice is take it one day at a time. Don't worry about your 4yo missing out on something - she's only 4, she's got plenty of time to do bigger kid stuff and the benefits of having siblings close in age will become much more apparent as they get a little older. My 6 and 4yo are best buddies - they play together constantly. 

 

Good luck!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much, I appreciate all these replies! Sometimes it's hard for people to understand. I appreciate all these suggestions. For the past two days, no playground, at home only, went for long walk in the stroller. Had playdate here. Which isn't ideal as my house isn't the nicest and makes it even messier, but the kids all had fun which is all that matters. But oh man, these days and weeks are just so long. I've explained it to husband and he's agreed to come on the playdates sometimes if I schedule them after he gets out of work (4pm) which is nice, my main playdate mom friend is also friends with husband, we are all friends who do things as families together so it's all good. My other main people I do things with is 3 other moms. We had/have storytime together during the school year, we are a small town so it's just us four pretty much and now that storytime has ended for awhile we have agreed to do things together once a week. Today was my week so only one mom could come and it was easier for the most part but like I said, big mess after (mostly from my own kids) but yes, I was definitely on edge going to others' houses. It's scary at times, haha.

 

Our yard, a couple of things, we have no shade. It's all open, we have a couple big fields. We have a lot of deer ticks and Lyme disease in the area and pick them up everywhere even just in our yard...I have had Lyme three times so my place makes me so nervous. Our swingset is a cheapo and not very fun. I would love a big wooden one, but we have a chinsy metal one with two swings, a baby swing a slide and a see saw. Not very fun. I need more fun yard stuff. The kids do have a few motorized things to drive around, Jeep and John Deere stuff. We also have a sandbox.

 

As for the long walks, the kids do like him so that's a relief and I would love to have the kids walk so they could burn off some energy, but because of where I live, the dirt roads, there are only small and specific stretches my two year old can walk because the roads are lined with poison ivy. He will be off and running in the woods. He also falls a lot. I do have a baby leash (I never believed in those before I had him, haha) I could let four year old walk, but two year old will get very upset. Usually all three fall asleep on a walk. Baby loves to face out babywearing which just doesn't work most of the time. I usually do not do back wearing before six months. I have a beco, a homemade mobylike stretchy wrap, a homemade brocade sling.

 

I can't think now, maybe more later.... 

post #8 of 8
i completely understand as our kids are almost the same ages! truthfully, we just take it one day at a time. sometimes an outing only lasts 5 minutes before chaos erupts and we need to cut bait. sometimes a 5 minute errand turns into a 50 minute ordeal be uase chaos erupts. and then some days are awesome; everyone plays nice and cooperates...
anyway, I guess I don't really have anything constructive to say just lots of hugs and empathy for another mama in a very similar boat.

actually, i'll add re: hanging out with others. hubby and I are friends with another couple who have 4 kiddies and doing supper with them once a week is awesome! we totally understand where each other is coming from so if someone needs to leave early or kids are going haywire (which is often the case when you put 7 kids under the age of 9 together!), it's all good. we just take turns at each other's houses.
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