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ariatrance 06-29-2012 11:06 AM

I'm really struggling today, overwhelmed with most of my life and really questioning whether I should have had three kids. I realize it is a bit late for that and while I love my children, I really wonder if I should have been a mom at all, let alone their mom.


My oldest was just diagnosed with ADHD - as in Monday this week. Okay, fine, what does that mean?! Luckily our parenting techniques that we fell into quite naturally are actually the things we should be doing. But perspective hasn't changed. I still feel like my parenting sucks and nothing I do has any impact, even though I've been told to look at the looooooong term effects of my parenting.


My second is very, very, very energetic - as in can bike/run/walk a mile then go play on the playground without stopping, pop out of bed wide awake and only crashes to sleep, never drifts. 


My third is five months old and full of frustration. He wants to stand all day - sorry, can't hold you up to stand all day, kid, Mama has other things to do. Hates to be on the floor most of the time because he can't see what is going on (or what he wants to see, I guess). Struggles with being worn because he isn't 'doing' anything.


I've got three screaming, crying, whining, fighting, impulsive, energetic, making-me-crazy kids to deal with by myself for at least ten hours five days a week. There isn't any help outside of evenings/weekends because we just moved across the country from everyone we know four months ago. I don't know anyone here well enough to ask for babysitting and there isn't a lot of money in the budget anyway because we just moved across the country.


Hardly anyone sleeps long enough, so cranky from the get go and we eat a ton of sandwiches, which I don't feel is very healthy and is apparently not very filling, even when eaten with fruit and veggies ("I'm hungry" is frequently heard before a kid even leaves the table having finished a meal).


I'm overwhelmed, by everything really. I've asked for help/suggestions on 'regular' parenting boards for years and have gotten nothing useful. Now I guess I have the beginnings of an answer to that (ADHD) but really, life is reaching critical overload. Mama has no patience, no energy, and spends most of the day frustrated, angry and on the verge of tears. I've even been thinking that it would be easier to formula feed vs. breastfeeding, work instead of stay-home, etc. Change my whole way of life because I think the grass is greener on the other side. I realize it's not but it is still very tempting.


I have no idea what I want from other posters, or if I even 'want' anything - I just need to get it OUT!

Cherry_Blossom 06-29-2012 01:59 PM

Maybe you should find a very part-time job, like in a library or coffee shop.  Somewhere quiet.  I bet it would make you feel better.  Babies are hard, kids are hard, especially with ADHD.  We suspect my 4yo has it.  I don't think you are doing anything wrong, parenting is hard.  Does your baby have some kind of bouncy seat so he can be sitting up and kicking the floor? 

melissa17s 06-29-2012 03:10 PM

I think maybe searching out some things to do in your new community might help.  Maybe get a pool pass and take them to the pool to exert some of their energy or sign them up for lessons.  You and the baby can take it easy wading in the kiddy pool or resting in the shade.  While you are there, try to meet some families with kids, so that maybe you will not feel so isolated with the kids on your own. Have some play dates.  See if the library has a summer programming or if you can find some day camp opportunities.  Join a playgroup for infants and young kids.  


As far as food, see if they want to help.  I know my kids like to assemble their own sandwiches. Since preschool, they have learned to help cut veg, and I sometimes get them to participate.  Lots of veggies and fruit are coming into season, and sometimes it helps to prep some in advance, so you can pull out a bunch and let the kids peck at raw stuff.  Yogurt, fruit juice popsicles, nuts, olives, cheese, etc can either add to meals with little prep or be snacks.  As a vegetarian, I find fat helps me feel full.  


Hope things fall into place for you and you feel better about your parenting.  

ariatrance 06-29-2012 03:10 PM

A baby seat would be very dangerous, in my opinion, because of my daughter. She is ALL over him. At least on the floor, she hasn't been able to do any real damage but if he were to be dumped over in a seat...I don't know. Kinda worries me but I see what you are suggesting.


I actually have calculated the daycare rates if I were to get a part-time job. I'd have to make $20 an hour to cover all three kids, extra gas, and extra food, plus taxes. I can't think of any place that would hire me for that amount! It was very disheartening to have the actual numbers. Three days a week of daycare for one older child costs the same as five days a week for an infant where I used to live. Crazy!


A regular break would be lovely, awesome, and is greatly desired - it is just not reality. I need realistic ways to cope or 'get over it' with my life as it currently is.

~cassie~ 06-29-2012 05:08 PM

Hugs, I feel you, I really do.  I have 3 kids, age 7, 5, and 4 and it is very overwheling.  Today was horrible and I thought my kids would be better off going into fostercare/being put up for adoption bc I am so frusturated with their crap, their constant fighting, their constant name calling, tantrums, etc.  I honestly don't know how I can do this for the next 14 years if they continue on like this. 


Do you have a jumper or activity center the baby can sit in?  That may help with wanting to stand.  Ive got my 7 yr old with ADHD, my 5 yr old speech delayed/deaf, and my 4 yr old I am pretty sure is also ADHD.  It is incredibly difficult.  I find that the more time I am able to get away for myself, the better I am.  Even if it is for a 2 hr movie once a week.  Taking my kids all out in public(esp when they were 1-2 yrs younger) was incredibly difficult bc I was alone and it made me even more frusturated bc I felt like I had very little control over them and they ran right over me.  So I found taking them to parks where it was ok for them to run wild, or indoor jumpy places, or chuck e cheese,  or the zoo, was really good for us.  I felt like they could be the wild little monkeys they are, get some excess energy out, and were happier.  I avoid taking them places like the grocery store or any other place they need to act civilized bc they just aren't capable of it unfortunately, and it makes me throw a tantrum of my own.

Peony 06-30-2012 07:00 AM

hug2.gifI have 4, 3 with issues currently,  rough doesn't even begin to describe our life. DD1 has SPD, anxiety disorder, and is dyslexic. DD2 has severe asthma/allergies and mild speech issues. DS1 is ASD. And there is the baby. OMG, I want to tear my hair out daily, adopt out the baby, I am not the mom I thoughtI would be 10 years ago, but it is the best i can do with what I have. Like you, there are no easy answers, and sometimes the only thing I can do is vent. 

ariatrance 06-30-2012 08:56 AM

Can we be bffs, ~cassie~ and Peony?! Sure, I wish a mom who's further out on the road can say "It's okay, it gets way better in x years, you won't remember these times..." but you know, it is SOOOOOO comforting to know that there are other moms out there struggling and feeling the pain as I am. It has taken sooo long for that to happen!


I have vented before (um, multiple times) on the 'regular' boards and only ever gotten suggestions for techniques that just! I've had friends tell me that I'm just stressing out too much, that everything is fine if I would quit being (fill in the blank). Um, yeah, no.


Maybe in ten, fifteen, twenty years, we can be the moms who encourage the younger ones to not give up, not let the days crush us....but man, just getting through the day....I'm surprised I'm not bald yet!


I've decided on one technique that I'm going to try my very hardest to implement - when I get overwhelmed or frustrated beyond reason or tapped out, I'm going to sit down and read (to the kids 99% of the time, likely, but still). Nothing calms down the kids like reading and sitting and focusing on something else calms me down - I don't always remember that until after the tantrum (mine or theirs). I'm going to start leaving books everywhere, so I can just grab one and start, wherever we happen to be.


~cassie~, I never take my kids grocery shopping. Sometimes the whole family (so when daddy is there to help!) will run in for a quick ten minute trip or I'll run in with all three kids for a snack grab. But I never take anyone but the baby on the big weekly shopping trips - and once he's old enough to stay home without me, I'm alone! For some reason, wondering around the grocery store for an hour, checking out the 'weird' food or special treats that I never buy is so soothing and calming to my soul. :)

Tjej 06-30-2012 09:54 AM

An exersaucer might be really helpful for the youngest.  You might be able to find one on craigslist to save a little $$.


Do you have a routine?  Mine are 6, 4 and a few months and we aren't in a routine again yet and I feel way more overwhelmed than I do when we have one. 


And if you know that reading books helps, try doing it BEFORE it gets bad too.  After you have breakfast put away and the kids have played for a half hour or something.  It can keep you sane without having to get to the brink first.





Louisekaye 07-03-2012 07:44 AM

Exercsaucer or a bouncy swing for the little one. For the oldest one, you may want to consider investing in a trampoline. You have 3 kids and they will be bound to use it. The positives of having the trampoline for your ADHD child is that it stimulates the vestibular system in the ear and helps his coordination and balance, and lets out his energy at the same time. Again, you may want to check craig list to see if anyone is selling theirs.


I hear u, Ariatrance.There will be good days, there will be bad days. My son is 5 with moderate autism. He is on medication to cope with his tantrums as I had been knocked out by his flying toys when he gets angry.  Can your husband help you out so that you can soak in the tub or have a walk for 2 hours with him watching them? Or is he like my husband who cannot do anything?

ariatrance 07-03-2012 12:11 PM

Thank you all for the suggestions and commiserations. While I can't do many of the suggestions right now, I know in the future some of those will be possibilities and will likely help us all stay sane. Everybody's in a weird funk or stage right now - my oldest (with ADHD) just turned five and the time before and after birthdays has always been...weird? wonky? unusual at least. My baby is in that awkward stage of being aware of what's going on/interested in stuff but he can't sit or crawl yet.


I'm just glad to have a place to vent where people DO actually understand the frustrations and craziness - it's not just judgement on my parenting skills.

zeta 07-22-2012 12:44 PM

Hi... I have three, and one with ADHD, and it just really feels unmanageable.  I feel overwhelmed, ineffective, like our family "just does not work" too much of the time, and yet... what else am I supposed to do?  I do my best, and it still feels non-functional.  My point is-- You are not alone. 

Aufilia 07-23-2012 09:54 PM

Originally Posted by ariatrance View Post
I'm overwhelmed, by everything really. I've asked for help/suggestions on 'regular' parenting boards for years and have gotten nothing useful. Now I guess I have the beginnings of an answer to that (ADHD) but really, life is reaching critical overload. Mama has no patience, no energy, and spends most of the day frustrated, angry and on the verge of tears. I've even been thinking that it would be easier to formula feed vs. breastfeeding, work instead of stay-home, etc. Change my whole way of life because I think the grass is greener on the other side. I realize it's not but it is still very tempting.


Oh, I just feel for EVERYTHING you said here.  I have 2, and the older one, who is 6.5, was diagnosed with ADHD in January.  She also has SPD and definitely high levels of anxiety, and low social skills.  My younger is just 2.5 and full of energy all. the. time.  I rarely get enough sleep, and after 3 years at home (I was laid off while pregnant with #2) I finally got a job and was ecstatic because I felt like I literally could not stand ONE MORE DAY trying to manage the two of them.  And while I have to say I love the time when I'm at work, trying to find childcare who can deal with #1 AND that I can also afford has been nearly as stressful as being at home.  In fact, DD just got herself kicked out of camp at the YMCA this afternoon and can't go back 'til Thursday.  The YMCA people think that kicking her out for a day is magic, but really, you can't predict form day to day how she'll act the next day and all this does is make my life hell because now I have to work from home AND manage her all day. 


My husband is also ADHD and he is no help whatsoever.  He can never remember not to make drama with her and can't grasp any parenting method that doesn't involve lecturing and yelling.  He is driving me bonkers, too. 

Triniity 07-24-2012 07:39 AM

Here the same. I am so overwhelmed with my three, two of them ADHD and SID .. plus Kindergarten has holidays so I have them at home all day. Mmh.

 @ aufilia: it is so hard with an adhd partner, isn't it? And I am ADHD as well. this is just ADHD hell... 

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