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How do other people do this

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I am not sure if this is the right section of the forum.

anyway, I will try to post here.


I am a part time working mama, with a very good income, so no financial problems.

DH is starting his new business.

We have a 11 months old and a 3 and half year old.

they are both adorable boys with normal and age-appropriate needs. 

They have never been to daycare. Never had a babysitter.

they cosleep with us (I cosleep with DS2 and DHcosleeps with DS1). DS1 nursed 2 and half years and DS2 is obviously still nursing. 

DH and I decided we will work both part time and take care of our kids.


I am finding it really hard. I can't accomplish simple things during the day, I am always in ''survival''mode. Yet, this is simple normal life. I only have 2 children. they don't have any health problems. They are adorable. We don,t have relational problems with DH, we are in good health. 

I have no reason to complain.

Yet, I find it really really hard.


I wonder if this is normal.


I feel that I am failing.

post #2 of 30
How long have you been doing the two job thing? We've had the same set up for about 10 years now except who works more varies with the season for us.

It was hard at first, for me at least, coming home from work crying-hard. After we all settled into the routine it got much easier! Now it's just life, and I really think dh has a special bond with our girls that he wouldn't have otherwise.

Hang in there awhile and if it still isn't working you can always rethink your options.smile.gif
post #3 of 30
Survival mode. That described the years when my son was young. It gets better over time.

You weren't specific about how you feel you are failing. Failing to enjoy this time? Maybe you can take pictures of happy times and put them on display for you to see. I'm sure others have plenty of good ideas. Young children just need so much from us that sometimes we can feel a little lost, as though we're not giving to ourselves. Is that it?
post #4 of 30

I think most moms of small children feel overwhelmed and wonder if they are doing enough and doing it all well enough.


Is there anything you could pay other people to do that would simplify things for you? You say that money isn't a problem. When my kids were small, we had a cleaner come in every other week and do the whole house and it was WONDERFUL. It wasn't that big of a house so it wasn't expensive, but it really helped my mental state.


I went through a HUGE relief when both kids were sleeping well through the night and I finally got enough sleep (for the first time in years). That made everything else much more doable for me.


Hang on because it gets so, so much easier.

post #5 of 30
I have 2 3/4 yo and a 3mo. My husband works 4 days a week and is very involved in parenting our children. We have a comfortable income. I also feel like I'm in survival mode most of the time too. I think it's just the reality of tiny children. I'm hoping that when they're slightly older it will be easier.
post #6 of 30

It gets easier as they get older. It kind of is survival mode until they're able to take care of some of their own needs, but luckily it's a problem that solves itself.


It sounds like you have a great thing going and you've planned really well. How great that you and your dh can both work part time and be with your kids! But even with good circumstances, taking care of little kids is really hard and tiring. You have to be constantly "on" with no real breaks.

I wonder if it might help you and your dh to hire a mother's helper - a school kid, even middle school aged, who can play with kids while you do other stuff around the house for a couple of hours once or twice a week. That might make you feel like you can catch up and give you a little breathing space. It's easier than a babysitter because you're there, but you don't have to be engaged with the kids during that time as someone else is entertaining them.

post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 

thank you all for your responses.


We have been functionning this way since the birth of DS1.

Only, until DS2 came, he had a government job of 4days/week (and took 1 year parental leave).

I think it is harder now, because he is starting a new business, and that takes a lot of his time and energy. 

Yes, we pay someone for the complete house cleaning every other week. 

We are considering having some kind of catering 2 times a week....but I feel ''failure'' not being able to provide nutrious healthy home made food everyday myself.

we eat a lot of leftovers, because I prepare large quantities evry otherday or so. 

We are also thinking to hire some kind of help 3 times/week. but I am not sure how to find it. 

We definetly don't want other people to raise our children. So we don't wanta  nany. But I would be happy if someone folded our lundry, cleaned the kitchen, organised the toys.

But then again, I feel failure when I can't do this myself.

I am not handicaped in any way, why can't I do this nomral life?


I am still enjoying my kids a lot. But I must admit that I am having more fun with the 11 months old, then my 3 and a half years old.

with DS2, I just feel I can enjoy him cuddle with him etc.

With DS1, we do play a lot, but I am less patient. I feel that most of the time I am just trying to ''get rid of him'' and having some peace. 

I buy way too much toys. way too much crafting materials. 


I also feel guilty all the time, about everything.


guilty to get tired all the time. Guilty about the food. Guilty about the state of the house. Guilty to not being able to find a pair of socks for me or the kids. Guilty to ask more from DH. Guilty to not spend time as a couple at all. Guilty to not dstuff related to work. etc.......


I think that winter doesn't help (Canada). 

post #8 of 30

This is sounding a bit like depression - maybe SAD but it isn't too late for it to be PPD either. I know when I had PPD guilt was the overwhelming feeling I felt, all the time. It might be worth a trip to a doctor to look into depression if that's where your'e at. And when you're dealing with depression, normal stuff DOES feel overwhelming. That's part of it. "Why can't I do this?" But everything feels like a huge struggle.

Hugs to you!

post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 

mamazee: I like this option: a mother's helper. I have to look for that!

I think it's a great idea to have a 14 y.o play with my kids for 1 hour or 2 while I am doing something else. 

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

of course, the idea that I might be depressed crosses my mind. But i don't think it is the case. Maybe I am just in denial. Not sure. 

post #11 of 30

   On the one hand, it very well could be some depression or SAD. I have both depression and anxiety and the feelings of hopelessness and guilt are very consistent with that.It won't hurt to look into it. On the other hand, it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed with two small children. Small kids require almost everything a mother has to give which can be extremely trying for even the strongest person. Single moms amaze me in their strength, I feel like I could never handle that.

   Another factor is that I think modern western society puts enormous pressure on women to do it ALL. We are expected to have a career, be the perfect PTA/soccer mom,keep a clean house, and provide healthy meals, have our kids in all sorts of activities and on top of that we are supposed to look like a perfect size 2 while we are doing it. I stay at home (after trying the career mom thing too) and I still vacillate between guilt for not having a "real job" and the guilt of not being able to keep up with everything even though I am at home all the time. I am constantly dealing with messes and meltdowns and and the minute I sit down somebody needs me to get up and do something else for them.

  One thing that helps is to have some sort of hobby or activity that is just for YOU. I run, others paint, knit, or whatever but it is important that it is just for you and your sanity and not for someone else. Also, have you talked to DH about your feelings? I am really blessed to have a DH that I can vent too and I think it is important. Isolating yourself only makes these feelings worse. Maybe journaling or something would also help. You have a lot to be thankful for, so maybe listing those or helping those less fortunate could help. I hope you feel better momma.

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 

thank you crunchymama19!


yes, I used to be a runner, I kept running after DS1 was born (continued doing marathons and half-marathons) but now, I manage to run 1 time/month....

I know it would help my mental state a lot if I could run again.....but i feel guilty to take that time.

I ran 4-5times/week for 7 years....This is the longest time away from running I ever had.


Work is not a problem in itself, it is beneficial. At least, I have an excuse for being tired and unable to cope well.

If I was a stay at home mom, things would not be eaiser, but I would not have an excuse.


Stopping work is absolutely out of question. I enjoy it a lot. I am self-employed. Don't have a boss. And I earn most of our household income. 


I think that I should really try to run again. even 1-2 times/week would help.....

post #13 of 30
If you can find the time, write down all the things you do or feel you should do. Then prioritize the list. If time spent with your children is a priority that is higher than folding the clothes, and you can afford to have someone else do the folding, let the folding go. When the children are older, it will be easier to fold clothes yourself. Right now, it takes more of a village, so give up the guilt and shame.

Explore, if you have time, why you feel so guilty. Are you comparing yourself to your mother or someone else you know? If so, make sure you are realistically looking at the other situation. My mother had advantages that no longer exist, so comparing myself to her is comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit, but then the similarities end.

If you need it, you have my support and encouragement to do what's best for *your* family!
post #14 of 30
Wow, felt like I wrote this post myself! My kids are the exact same age and I feel the exact same pressures. I am home full time right now and still feel like I am in survival mode most days. I hate when my husband comes home and (quite innocently) asks me what I did all day and I can't think of a single thing! I wiped tables, floors and faces. I got both kids down for their back to back nap schedule, which makes it impossible to leave the house at all most days. I kissed boo boos and interrupted shoving fits. I made lunches and snacks. The menial details soak up the whole day and it is draining to feel like you can't get ahead on anything over and above keeping the kids fed and rested.

That all said, there are three things that have helped me a little...
1) Eased up on my expectations for myself and my house. There is almost always undone laundry. Toys aren't stowed away. My hair isn't done or make up applied. But striving for the tidiness we had BEFORE kids was making me crazy.
2) when I feel that niggle sensation of discontent, I know I have to get out of the house without the kids. Soon. I have gone for 7pm shopping trips or coffee with friends. I have wandered the mall alone. Anything to just get an hour or two away. Amazing how much better you feel after a moment to yourself!
3) TRY to remember what other moms have said, including the posters above... It gets easier! My 11 month old isn't sleeping consistently and my exhaustion is definitely exacerbating my feelings of frustration most days. So in the meantime I try to focus on his little giggle, or the funny things my DD comes up with these days and pause to watch in those rare moments that they are playing TOGETHER to witness the budding sibling relationship.... We are done at two kids so I try to remind myself to take it in and not lose these early days to the tiredness and frustration...

And the winter doesn't help! I am in Canada too and It is hard to want to go out in the cold and have to do the snowsuit thing, march them to the cold car etc...

I am sure you are doing just fine in reality! We are always way harder on ourselves than anyone else... I think we just have to hang in there and things will change and shift! Good luck!
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

I just came back from a run, it maid me feel good. why do people take drugs when you can just run ?!shrug.gif

I talked about this thread and the responses i got with my husband. he doesn't think i am depressed. thinks we really need to have some kind of help at home.

anyway, he took the kids and whent to see a friend. So I had a quite meal and phoned a friend. (but i feel that I should clean instead....)


pek64: not sure why I am so guilty. Maybe type A personnality. 


I have been functioning with the priority mentality. My time and the relationships I make with my kids are number 1. (as LLL says, people over things)

but I am getting tired to live in a mess.

It is depressing to see our house every day.

I go outside everyday. rarely alone, but kids get out all the time. we walk as a family (me and DH babywearing our children in babywearing coats).

I should be really thankfull for what I have.......


Bltl78; I feel better knowing I am not alone. I understand exactly how you feel. (and I understand when DH gets upset if I ask him what they did when I get back from work).

post #16 of 30
It sounds like housekeeping help and letting go of guilt are what you need. And keep running.

When the kids are older, things will be easier. But don't wish away these years. Try to enjoy the moments of fun and love. You will be surprised when you look back on this time just how much you miss it.
post #17 of 30
Originally Posted by lilitchka View Post

We definetly don't want other people to raise our children. So we don't wanta  nany. But I would be happy if someone folded our lundry, cleaned the kitchen, organised the toys.

But then again, I feel failure when I can't do this myself.



Someone watching your children or your children attending a quality age appropriate program for a few hours a week isn't someone else raising them. If, for example, you have access to a quality part time preschool program for your 3 year old, he might have a lot of fun, socialize with his peers, and have the experience of having other adults in his life. He might really like it and grow from it. If he goes to preschool three 1/2 days a week, you will still be raising him.  And it might make your home life a bit more peaceful.


Let the feelings of "failure" pass. I think most of us have one idea of what parenting will be like, and then we get in the middle of it and find out it is a very different deal. You haven't failed at all -- you just had unrealistic expectations. This is just what's it like to have a couple of small children. It's a heck of a lot more work than it looks like from the outside.


Here is an idiom:




A woman's work is never done.

Prov. Housework and raising children are jobs that have no end. (*Typically said by a woman to indicate how busy she is.) "As soon as I finish washing the breakfast dishes, it's time to start fixing lunch," Elizabeth observed. "A woman's work is never done." After a difficult day at the office, Greta came home and began cooking dinner. "A woman's work is never done," she sighed.


One of the problems for you right now is that you think that you inability to get it all done means you are failing. It's not all going to get done until the last one leaves for college (but it does get a heck of a lot easier as they get bigger).  That doesn't mean we are failing. It means we are mothers.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

thank you Pek64 and Linda on the move for taking the time to post answers.


It feels good to read your opinions and just talk about what I am going through.


My MIL usualy helps a lot, cooks often for us, stays with one or both kids for few hours every second day. But she leaves Canada for the winter months (She will be back in 2 weeks!!!!)biggrinbounce.gif

I think that it will get easier when she is back!

post #19 of 30

The thing that I always forget in times like this is that they do not last forever.  This is what happens with me: one day, the kids wake up different, like they've had a developmental leap, and I suddenly realize how difficult the last few months have been.  It's like the clouds part, and things get so much easier.  This happened to me with both of my kids at 18 months and at 4 years.  Every time it caught me off guard.  Toddlers are fabulous, but they seem to take everything you have to offer.  It will get easier.  My little ones are 6 and 4 now, and they do so much for themselves and for each other now.


My husband and I both work and I so often feel like I can never have work and home under control at the same time.  However, this has gotten better, year after year.  Things that have helped me, in the tough times:


-Getting my husband to help me with a major decluttering.  This is my go-to therapy. We call it "scorching the earth".  Afterwards, it takes months to get really messy again, and I am so much more relaxed.

-Meal planning and grocery shopping on the weekend.  The family just runs better if we know what's for dinner.

-Reminding myself that I am doing a good job.  I usually have to ask my husband for reassurance on this one, so we have a deal.  I try to not ask to often, and he tries too not get annoyed at me for asking over and over. Sometimes you just need to hear someone else say that you are doing okay :)

-Setting rules for work and home.  If I need to focus on work (I am a teacher, so I have deadlines like report cards that just can't be ignored), I give myself permission to be less involved with the kids for a few days.  If the kids are having a rough patch, I give myself permission to leave work as early as possible.  It's not balance as much as equilibrium.  

-Getting enough sleep.

-Gathering my girls and looking at pictures of them when they were littler.  They ooh and aah at their cute baby selves, and I remember how overwhelmed I was, and how happy, loved, and complete my family is.

post #20 of 30

It gets better, mama!  I have two, 1.5 and 4.5, and am SAHM.  It feels so hard and heartbreaking to have to create that independence in the older child, at times.  And I totally feel you on the "get rid of him" feeling.  I bet within a year, you'll find life is SO different, and much easier.  When the older one starts learning to focus and play independently (and may choose to do so!) and when they are both able to do more activities together, it helps so much!


One thing that I found makes everything a little easier is inviting the older one to help with chores.  My boy loved to learn how to our cloth napkins and towels, and has now moved on to socks.  They may not be as perfect as mine, but it saves me some time, and gives him a useful life skill to play with.  Keeping the kid dishes in a low cabinet allows him to set the table and help unload the dishwasher.  Putting him on a stool with dishes and soapy water is a huge hit, and he can wash the floor after he's done (using all the spilled soapy water).  An all-time favorite "chore", though, is cleaning the floors.  I give him a spray bottle of water (with a tiny bit of vinegar and essential oil) and some old hand towel to use with his feet.  He sprays the floor and wipes it with his feet by sliding all around on the towels.  I just have to make sure his little sister is either napping or helping with proper supervision.  Vacuuming and garden weeding are also a hit.  There are so many things children can do if we show them how and stay patient with their sometimes messy attempts.  


I still have to wait until after kids are asleep (DH also sleeps with DS and I put DD in bed after they get the lights out) to get the final round of dishes/laundry/sweeping done, but having gotten little bits done all day helps keep my night cleaning under 30 minutes, most days.  Then I can watch TV while folding laundry and it's done in no time!


Just know that it'll be easier very soon, and I was exactly where you are right now not long ago!  It still feels hard sometimes, but seems to get easier all the time.  You're not a failure, and there's no need for guilt.  As long as you get some positive connection with that older child for a little while each day (even just a book or a snuggle), he'll be fine.  It's good for him to learn that independence in a loving, comfortable place, and helps him stay connected to his little sibling, as well!

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