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-   -   Having trouble enjoying being a Mom (http://www.mothering.com/forum/12-personal-growth/1223420-having-trouble-enjoying-being-mom.html)

Drewsmom 05-11-2010 03:55 AM

We have 3 kids: ds#1 who is 9, ds#2 who is 6 and dd who is almost 3. It seems that with each child and pressures that I smile less, and enjoy mothering less and that really is sad to me. I am having a tremendous struggle this last year and 1/2 with these feelings and being resentful with the parents that I had (an emotionally, verbally abusive family...mother still is) and that is playing a part into it. But we also have a very difficult oldest child who has Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD and some other issues. He has great things about him too like how kind he is but his lack of ability to see choice and consequences is extremely frustrating and sets a really bad tone for our house. He is emotionally out of control and the household that I was raised in I feel like I'm recreating unfortunately.

There's nothing that I want more than to have a happy and successful family and I feel like I am failing miserably. Lately I wish that I hadn't gone into the venture of parenting and I feel aweful for saying or thinking that.

How can you get your smile back? I feel like if I could develop my sense of laughter and fun again that it would really, really help things a lot.

basje 05-11-2010 04:20 AM

First off, big hug!

One thing that helps me in the moments that are challenging is to focus on compassion. I imagine making a ball of compassion that is bright white at the center of my chest, and I let it grow from the size of a baseball to a bright mass that reaches over my head. I remind myself the first I must have compassion for myself and acknowledge that it's hard in that moment (sometimes even out loud to myself). Being compassionate to myself is challenging, but I find when I can make space for it my feelings of not being "good enough" or patient, or just like my mother, get shoved where they should be... on the back burner. It's then easier to have compassion for my LO in the moments where she might be annoying me.

Could you start a Saturday morning cuddle tradition? Play music you like (something relaxing) and have everyone in PJ's, and pillows and cuddle for a little while after just waking. Sometimes the physical affection can help with encouraging more patience, stamina for challenging behaviors and a good family bond.

I might suggest that you start a gratitude journal as a trial for two months. In the evenings try writing five things every day that you were grateful for with your kids. A special moment, a time you acted as you wanted, a peaceful nighttime story. Appreciating your children is a good first step to enjoying them. And after two months you can reflect back at the things you've written and note if there are any patterns. Do you notice you really seem to be having nice dinners together? Or looking forward to special time in the mornings? Find the things you like about mothering and expand them.

It's hard to get out of a negativity rut, when you're working so hard to keep your kids together and play. I know many people recommend the book Playful Parenting for ideas of how to bring more playfulness into their day. Please be kind to yourself, sometimes mothering is difficult.

buckeye_bebe 05-11-2010 04:36 AM

Reaching out is the best thing you can start with! I am so glad you did. Can you tell us a little bit about what life what like before you had kids? What were some of the things that you loved to do? How about things that you enjoyed doing back in your early days of motherhood. Sex life good?

Please, keep us engaged in dialogue this site is an encyclopedia of caring and help.

lolar2 05-11-2010 02:30 PM

Have you talked to your oldest child's doctor or OT or anything like that? My mom has ADD and she needs med adjustments every few years, as her body changes and as her life routine changes. Is it possible your oldest might need something like that-- or, conversely, that the family routine could be tweaked to make things easier on him behavior-wise (an OT maybe could help with that)?

AngieB 05-12-2010 02:46 AM

I'm a mother of 4 with a child who has ADHD. My life was overwhelming, unhappy and I hated being a mom. I felt like my kids were out of control and we could never do anything fun because ds was so out of control and he would bring all the other kids into his craziness. We were trying to control his ADHD with out meds and finally I hit a breaking point and knew that I either had to make some major changes with ds or loose my mind. He has now been on medication for over a year and it has been life changing for the whole family. We can go out in public, do fun things together and our home life is calm and happy. I really had no idea how much of an impacts ds's behavior had on the whole family.

Drewsmom 05-12-2010 09:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by basje View Post
First off, big hug!

One thing that helps me in the moments that are challenging is to focus on compassion. I imagine making a ball of compassion that is bright white at the center of my chest, and I let it grow from the size of a baseball to a bright mass that reaches over my head. I remind myself the first I must have compassion for myself and acknowledge that it's hard in that moment (sometimes even out loud to myself). Being compassionate to myself is challenging, but I find when I can make space for it my feelings of not being "good enough" or patient, or just like my mother, get shoved where they should be... on the back burner. It's then easier to have compassion for my LO in the moments where she might be annoying me.

Could you start a Saturday morning cuddle tradition? Play music you like (something relaxing) and have everyone in PJ's, and pillows and cuddle for a little while after just waking. Sometimes the physical affection can help with encouraging more patience, stamina for challenging behaviors and a good family bond.

I might suggest that you start a gratitude journal as a trial for two months. In the evenings try writing five things every day that you were grateful for with your kids. A special moment, a time you acted as you wanted, a peaceful nighttime story. Appreciating your children is a good first step to enjoying them. And after two months you can reflect back at the things you've written and note if there are any patterns. Do you notice you really seem to be having nice dinners together? Or looking forward to special time in the mornings? Find the things you like about mothering and expand them.

It's hard to get out of a negativity rut, when you're working so hard to keep your kids together and play. I know many people recommend the book Playful Parenting for ideas of how to bring more playfulness into their day. Please be kind to yourself, sometimes mothering is difficult.
I really like this idea b/c yes I am in a horrible negative rut. Part of it stems from the fact that I keep trying and trying to do better or just be the kind of mom I want to be and then I snap and get too angry or say something truly aweful to my kids. Then I feel frustrated with myself for acting that way and it spirals. I have read tons of parenting books and articles and I just can't seem to make the changes that I need to. I can be great for awhile and then stress comes into play or I'm super tired, etc. and I revert back to those aweful, aweful behaviors that are ingrained from my childhood. I've said countless prayers about this and I am now feeling resentful at God for not helping me. That's what it seems like. As far as not being given situations that are more than you can handle, I don't think I agree with that anymore. Looking back at my childhood and then certain times in my time as a mother I feel stretched beyond the capacity to really handle. Every day is a huge challenge with ds#1 and for the last 6+ months all I can think about is wanting to get away, wishing I had never had children. I need a serious break to refill my cup but I can't get that. I love my dh and he's way more patient than I am when I'm around but when I leave to go do things at night which has maybe been literally 10 times in the last 9 years things go really poorly and I don't feel like I can leave the kids for a long amount of time. I just feel utterly drained without any way of being able to refill my cup. We're in temporary housing right now and today I have let my kids watch t.v. all day b/c I needed to just shut myself up in my room and have some alone time and it's better than snapping at them like I was this morning. I feel really bad for them that they have a mother like me.

littlehawksmom 05-14-2010 12:55 AM

Subbing-I am in the same boat.

Mothering seems to me to be a relentless, thankless, exhausting job that is never good enough.

I do not like the person I tend to be with my kids-strict, unmoving, cruel and cold. It seems like so many other kids are so rude and noncompliant that I have to be twice as strict with mine. I would NEVER let my kids get away with totally ignoring my request or talking back or being rude. It should be addressed-I mean sometimes I even have to say something to a friend's child for speaking to their mother ina rude way (so I will say something like-Please do not say those things to your mom. She is my friend and that hurts her feelings. Please listen to your mom and be polite-she is trying to help you. -or something like that-). It seems like most people just let their kids be so disrespectful.

But, on the other hand, what I have become istn' great either. I do not want my kids to walk all over me, but I do not want to be this cold machine, either. I am not nice to my kids. What do I do?

Just like you, OP, so many of days are punctuated by my thoughts of, "Why did I do this?" Most days I just can't wait until they are in bed.

I can't stand their schoold district and it has pushed me over the edge to the point of (re)considering homeschooling....but, the reality is that while I would love to be a teacher and have lots of great ideas, in reality, I don't think I can do it with these little people who make every. little. thing. difficult. Every thing we do, every step of the way is a struggle-even when it is fun stuff. To try and get them to get ready and get in the car to go swimming, you'd think I was trying to make them pulll their own tooth out. Life used to flow and I would get hings done and go places. Now it is just a struggle. How can I not resent my kids?

LCBMAX 05-14-2010 12:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewsmom View Post
I can be great for awhile and then stress comes into play or I'm super tired, etc. and I revert back to those aweful, aweful behaviors that are ingrained from my childhood.
This, in my experience, is the root of the problem. It's so depressing to find yourself in the dynamics you worked so hard to get away from.

In addition to prayer, what other options do you have for looking more closely at the emotional legacies from your family of origin?

Some schools for therapists have low-cost clinics, with great quality care.

Surfacing 05-14-2010 06:05 PM

I hear you on the old childhood engrained reactions. Have you considered some supportive therapy for yourself on identifying your triggers, coping with them, and learning new parenting skills in their stead?

You sound really tired out and like you need a break. More supports, a little holiday, giving yourself a break.

What do you wish? What fills your cup?


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