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mamas of many... help?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

today was my first day “on” as a mama of 4.  with the birth and recovery/babymoon/ holidays and winter break my husband has been very present and we’ve spent lots of time with family.   today, everyone was back to work and school, and it was just me all day… i was organized and enthusiastic, but even still the day didn’t go very well.  and, as if on cue, at 4:30 i had an epic breakdown.

 

ack! please, i need to know, how others are managing?

post #2 of 8

Ack!

 

DF went back to work, and worked a double when I was 4 days PP. It was a nightmare for me, with new babe and 4 & 2yo DS's. Since then it has gotten better. However, my x-h has my older boys half the week, so when it is just me and the baby I do just fine. It has gotten better since then, when it's me alone with all my boys for the day, but it's still hard too. 

 

Hang in there! 

post #3 of 8

I only have 3, but...

 

The first day I was in tears before my DH even left the driveway LOL But really...we are doing good now...I'm having to adjust to our new (really slow) pace, but, my 4yo is helping out more and my 2yo is more willing to let the 4yo help (he's still not very independent) and they are watching more TV than usual, but, we are doing it.

 

It's been helping me to leave breakfast for the kids the night before (either on the first shelf of the fridge or on the table depending what it is) by 4yo can "serve" himself and the 2yo; that buys me time to get myself and the baby ready for the day - which includes making us a nest on the sofa (a basket with all the stuff we need for at least a 2-3hr time period - diapers, wipes, outfit for baby, extra nursing pads for me, water bottle for me etc.) and a blanket and pillow so I can make sure I'm warm and comfie, and the moby...then I spend spurts of time cleaning/caring for the kids inbetween longer periods of time where I am relaxing on the couch. I try to "play" with the kids while relaxing and nursing - like reading to them or just comentating on their play or writing words for the pictures they are coloring - whatever I can.

 

 

post #4 of 8

It's been one week since our #4 arrived.  I've got my DP home until Monday morning, and my in-laws will arrive from NC Sunday night, so one more week of help with meals and shuttling children to & from school.  I've been working this plan out for a while because I know it will be a crazy time once I'm on my own with all four.  An awesome mother friend has offered to give my children rides home for a week as a new-baby gift, so that extends this period for me.

I've had my feelers out for other parents who are driving their children from my town, looking for carpooling opportunities ...  I may have finally found one!  She just moved to my town and her DD is still attending our girls' school.  She has to pass my lane on her way in the mornings.  Wish me luck, ladies!

 

I wish we lived in the school district -- I would so let my first & second graders ride the bus right now!  (we don't go to the local school because of a horrific experience my then-kindergartner went through)  It was hard enough dragging 2yoDD back and forth to drop off & pick up the big girls while I was pregnant, but adding a newborn, through the coldest, stormiest part of winter - yikes2.gif

I've also been working on establishing tasks for our DDs in the evenings and mornings, centered around preparing for school (evening tasks include:  completing homework, setting aside an outfit including shoes & winter clothing, packing a snack with their dad's help, brushing teeth).  Each task earns them one point.  Points can be saved and traded for TV and computer time, simple grab-bag prizes, etc.  It worked excellently the first couple of weeks, but I think they need a visual reminder of their earnings for more motivation.  DP and I are working on putting up a dry-erase board where we can keep track of the points and the girls can have a visual.  It has made our evenings and mornings run so much more smoothly.

 

I'll be following this thread for other ideas!

post #5 of 8

I can't post a long reply right now, but it is HARD! This time has been much better, with adding baby #5, but when I had #3, I thought I would go NUTS! She was and is a demanding child. I hope you feel better knowing you're not the only one going through this! A few months down the road and we'll hardly remember these hard few weeks, right? ;)

post #6 of 8

Benny I am so there with you about trucking the newborn and 2yo back and forth to pick up other children! Thankfully my DH doesn't go in to work until this afternoon so he handled drop off and pick up for our 4yo today, but, yesterday? OMG. On the way in I was juggling a newborn (in a bucket seat) in one hand and and had a 2yo slung under my other arm as he kicked and screamed and all the other moms were stairing and offering to help...and I knew most understood, but, it was still horrible. Then at pick up I got them out without any screaming only to hear another mom (mom of one child) say, "where is your shoe, honey?" There I was thinking I had it together and my 2yo is standing on concrete in 17 degree weather with one shoe off and one shoe on. Actually I'm chuckling about it now! It was SOOO not funny at the time though, I felt terrible that I had overlooked that and felt equally embaressed! Oh yes, and my son's teacher also (kindly) approached me because I have been forgetting to send a bag with him to school..oops...well he is lucky he has made it (and 30mins late just about every morning too...)

 

I think winter certainly makes it harder, and then when I just had 2 nobody was old enough to have school/activities they needed to go to so we just went at our own pace (and it was summer, and we lived walking distance from a lot of things), now I don't have a choice really - we HAVE to get out and get to places at certain times.

 

I am going to keep checking back for ideas :-)

 

I think I might try some sort of chore chart/reward system too...we've been rewarding DS2 for potty and DS1 has felt left out...and he actually asked me if he could get a reward after he cleaned up his toys last night (without monitoring on my part!) so maybe it would work...there really is just a few things I *need* him to do...pick up toys, clear his dishes, get dressed/brush teeth etc. I think I am going to start packing diaper bags the night before and also packing his school bag the night before. Especially since I'm up with the baby until like 1 or 2am anyway.

post #7 of 8

How am I managing?  Well, we eased into it.  DD #5 was born the week before Christmas,so DH took off the whole week (has not done that since baby #1), and then the next week was a company-wide vacation, so it was TWO WEEKS with him at home.

 

My first day alone, my older DDs did not have school, so that helped.

 

I agree that getting everyone in/out of the car is the hard part.  I can't wait until spring, because we can easily walk to school . . .much less of a hassle.  I keep telling myself that I will get into a routine, and that the other kids are only getting older, so they will be able to do more.  (Obviously the newborn is getting older, too, but she has a much longer way to go!)

 

Actually, I think everything will get much easier in the spring.  kid.gif  We have been having such a mild winter-- I know it will get bad, but I am loving it now.

 

And, I could not live without my wraps.  I even bought myself a new one, because my tastes have changed.  I bought no new carriers with #3 and #4, so I am due!

 

I started work again (I am a WAHM, part time) and am limiting how much I do so that I can have some time to just "be."  DH bought me a Nook tablet for Christmas, so that helps the feeling of not going crazy when I am sitting and nursing.

 

 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

thanks so much for your responses, everyone.  last week was – admittedly – very, very tough for me.  at one point, i was feeling so down that i was convinced i was suffering from postpartum depression.  but, since then, I’ve started feeling much better… so i think my mood was just a result of being overwhelmed.  my husband is very aware of how i was feeling, and we’re “checking-in” often about it...

 

one BIG change I’ve made, and this is a no-brainer but it was really tough at first, is forcing myself to have a fun moment (at least ONE!) with my kids everyday.  the first day we cranked up music in the kitchen and baked cookies and danced.  the next day we used permant (ahhh!) markers to decorate backpacks and chatted about everything.  and, since then, the days have just gotten a little bit easier.  we’re feeling like a more cohesive group, they’re listening to me more (or, trying at least) and that’s helping us normalize a bit. 

 

today was my first attempt as taking everyone out by myself.  little by little :) and it went surprisingly well!  my older kids had gymnastics, and we were only slightly late.  success! and, everyone was in such good spirits that we went to a café for have lunch.  success!  if i can keep myself from getting lost in the overwhlemingness of this, i think i’ll be able to handle it :)

 

i really love the idea of a task/reward system.  i’ve thought about this for a while, but do you think 4 year-olds would benefit?  what about a 2 year-old?

 

thanks again!  it really helped knowing i wasn’t alone.

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