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Survival Mode...Help!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been a stay at home mom for almost 2 years and a stay at home wife for a year before the DD came. Since our new DS came in late Dec. I have felt like I'm living on survival mode. The whole family has been in a weird funk since DS came. Generally really groucy and stressed out which is not the norm around here. Dh, DD and I love him very much and he's not as high needs as DD, although he has some food sensitivites. I don't really know if it has anything to do with the new baby.

It seems that all I do is get up in the morning sometime between 4:30am (DH leaves for work at 5:30am) and 7am, get breakfast for DD and myself while nursing the baby. I get her dressed and hair brushed. Try to pick up a little, not that it helps because we just bought in the house in June and still have tubs of things that have no place, they're mostly DH stuff and he's hasn't really had the time to get to them. Otherwise the house is clean but very cluttered right now. DD is going through the terrible 2's so by the time I get one room pick up, she's gotten into something and made a bigger mess. Try to encourage her to play in her toy room (another reck most of the time) and play, sometimes it works sometimes not. All the while I'm either nursing DS or trying to put him done to use the bathroom. Then if I absolutely NEED to i get dressed and we run errands. I can't bring DD anywhere anymore because she trys to run and explore and doesn't listen anymore (she use to do most anything asked). If there are no errands we stay home and I try to keep her entertained (playing, cuddling, nursing and sometimes tv) and if Ds has started a nap her from waking him up. She can't stand to see the baby sleep, even though when he's a sleep I can give her the attention she's demanding. By then it's lunch time I feed her and we repeat the morning routine basically. Sometimes I can convince her to nap most of the time not. I make supper and 6:50pm when DH comes home from work or Ivy goes to bed (anytime between 5pm and 9pm). DD has been sleeping very irratically lately and can't seem to find a good consistant time to go to bed. We eat and watch a little tv or sometimes a take a bath (usually ends with everyone in the bathroom with me). if Ivy hasn't gone to sleep I try and nurse her down. Depending on what time it is I either try to get up and spend some down time with DS and DH or I get the baby to sleep and sleep myself. At night I'm nursing (we co-sleep) DD 1to 4 times and DS 2-3 times and many nights I get tagged teamed so I'm up all night and in the morning I start all over.

Since DD is in the terrible 2's there's tantrems all day long. There is no down time usually. And I can't relax because someone is always needing something. The moment I THINK I might get to relax there is something that needs to be done right then.

So needless to say I'm exhusted. The house is a mess even with picking up 2x or more a day. I need to do something to get me out of this mode/rut.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Any suggestions on how to stop living on survival mode?
post #2 of 13
I don't have any suggestions, but I am having the exact same problem with my 2 1/2 year old and 7 week old. I go to bed exhausted at night and I feel like I didn't get anything done during the day. I am behind on everything, cleaning, laundry, etc. and I am freaking starving all the time because I had to give up dairy and am now vegan because DS is allergic to milk and I don't have time to make two yummy dinners, (DH won't eat vegan). Sorry for ranting in your thread, hopefully someone else will have some good suggestions.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know what you mean about the food thing. right now I'm on fairly restrictive diet myself I'm down to only eating raw fruits and veggies and chicken (cooked). I know my guy has dairy and soy issues and I'm trying to rule out wheat and anything else. He has gotten better and I hope to add some thing back in soon. However I'm afraid because I don't want to hurt him. I hated listening to him scream.

Anyway I'm glad I'm not the only one who is/has experinced survival mode...ya know?
post #4 of 13
Hugs to both of you and everyone else in this situation! It reminds me of when Maggie came home. It seemed I was in survivial mode for at least 3-6 mos and I had a preschooler, not a tot like you guys!! I could not imagine having another newborn right now and Maggie is the age of your older kids.

Some suggestions- the newborn as you know from your first will get out of this stage soon enough but its also the winter to add to it craziness.

For the older child- can you have dh to assist with bedtimes for a few weeks? He can lie down w the child, get it done early and I mean early! Soon you will find they want dh to do it. You can still nurse, but use this as the time to have dh help. Have him tend to the night time older one for a few days or rotate it for a while.

She needs a bit more attention right now because the baby being newborn puts the household into a funk and he also takes away your attention from her. Add to it, you are tired and just trying to catch up. I also understand the idea of no time to get things done. You really need to get dh to at least start on the unpacking etc, it will help your spirit a lot and I myself know that living in an uncluttered area is so much easier and also easier on the mind and sanity.

the good news, it does get easier as the baby gets older but now its tough. You really need to get dh to pitch in with whatever you need, even if its just a few quick things now to get things less stressful.
post #5 of 13
I have been there I have 3 ages 5 and under and expecting #4.

The only thing that is going to help is TIME. I know you want things to change right now but adding a baby, no matter how excited you are, is a big adjustment. You and your family have to discover a new "normal". In the mean time, go easy on yourself. This is just a season of life and soon it will change as seasons do. Don't blink you might miss it.

Anyway, I know this is probably no help but wanted to offer hugs and understanding.
post #6 of 13
The first 6-18 months of being a mom of two were the hardest in my life (granted they were also the first 6-18 months as a SAHM, as homeowners in over our heads, living far away from close friends and family, and living dairy free).

Not solutions, but things that helped me stay sane:
connecting w/ my mom and sister by cell
overpriced vegan cookies
seemommyrun - as soon as my littlest was old enough for a ride in the jogger I vented my frustration at life not being what I was used to by tackling the hills
communicating through it with my husband
childproofing for the 2 yr old - the more our environment is geared towards our two year old the better. I see it as a form of proactive parenting.

It really does get better as they get older and start sleeping! In the meantime... a vegan cookie from your local health food store might help you through the next hour. Hang in there!
post #7 of 13
Survival mode is hard. I really hate how our culture seems to make SAHMing harder at times. I am glad you posted here and hope you find some help form other women.

The best thing you can do is to remain present and playful of heart. Play with them. Your house is going to be a mess for a long time. Ignore the shoulds and judgement and just love your kids and feed them. Love and food. Baths are a bonus! Clean clothes are awesome!!!!

Enjoy your sweet children. This time is fleeting.
post #8 of 13
I think a more consistant schedule will help you. It took me 5 kids to learn this, but getting children to go down to sleep at the same time every night has made a WORLD of difference. When my youngest two were newborn and not yet 2, I felt the same way you do. I started a journal of what time each kid did what for about a week, and then we sat down and wrote out a schedule based on their "clocks". Miracle. Seriously. MIRACLE. My youngest who never slept more than an hour at a time started sleeping through the night (he was one already, so older than yours, but still..). Give it a try...
post #9 of 13
Been there, too. Survival mode is rough. I don't have tons of advice, but I think different things work for different people depending on what your priorities are. For me, it was having something to look forward to each day whether it was a special treat to eat (for a long time it was Italian soda, or do the vegan cookie like another poster suggested), or a TV program, or a shower!

I know what you mean about no downtime. We still don't have a consistent downtime because our schedule is different every day. It can be hard to be needed round the clock like that.

As my younger DD got older (12-18mos) I was able to set a more consistent routine for housework. That has helped tons!

And I second the exercise! My baby jogger was one of the best purchases we ever made. For now you can push your toddler and wear the infant?
post #10 of 13
I only have one (believe it or not, I envy you. Don't lose sight of how lucky you are.) In the early days I had simple goals. As long as I could get a shower and make my bed, it was a good day. When my son had breastmilk jaundice (very rare) at 2 weeks he was in the hospital then did home therapy. My personal goal changed. As long as I could get clean underwear and a clean t-shirt, it was a good day.

Something that helped my mood greatly somewhere along the way was a Roomba vacuum. Yes, a friggin' vacuum was better than any anti-depressant pill. We have 4 dogs, 2 cats, and a toddler. Since the Roomba came along the tuffs of hair are no longer there. It is great. If anyone is interested in a Roomba, I will tell you that many dogs and cats seems to have been hard on it. We are receiving our 4th one today. The replacements have all been under warranty, but the warranty ends next week. If you watch the coupons, you can get them for about $150-$200, even less for entry level models. If I need to buy another one, I will get one from a place that offers a lifetime warranty. To do that, they are about $400, but really, my sanity is worth that. We have wood floors, I don't think they'd be great on carpeting. The best info I found on Roombas is at:

I hadn't expected this to become a Roomba ad, it's just made such a difference for me.
post #11 of 13
your roomba ad made me smile
post #12 of 13
post #13 of 13
seems like most moms can relate, as can I. You have gotten great advice so far and sometimes just venting helps. I will ad one thing, reach out. Ask a friend to come clean, share your feelings. Ask friends for play dates where they can come and supervise play so you can relax. ASK for help, it's okay. I would clean your house if you were my friend. I would do your laundry and make some meals. Just ask. People are generally willing to help. OOPS, one more, sit on the floor where 2 year old is playing and interact as much as you can. Wear the infant so you can do as much as possible with her. Keep posting.
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