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#1 of 11 Old 07-01-2014, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Burnt Out Mommy

Hi All,

I am new here, but after trying to talk to family, I needed to turn somewhere else

I am the mother of 2 boys, ages 2 and 4. Pretty much most days I feel like I am going insane. It sounds funny, but I am one of the most burnt out mommies I know right now.

My husband is an amazing dad, and also an amazing provider, which means he works either away, or about 15 hours a day. Our family that we have, always has strings attached when asking for help. Its almost more stress than what its worth.

Its nothing in particular. My 2 year old is 2. He is needy, demanding, mean (when he wants to be). Granted he is a bit of a hellion, gets into EVERYTHING, but we live in a sort of caged bubble now, so he wont put a fork in the socket (again lol). My 4 year old is 4, attitude, asserting his independence, etc. Its just the combo of the 2, I am really going totally insane.

They fight. Scream. After about 10 or so hours, I am just done. Which is about this time of night. Dinner is a mess. I am generally so edgy by this time that it just turns into us fighting. 2 year old throwing food, me yelling...its just a mess. How do any of you other mommies out there cope with having to do so much by yourselves? I need some major advice, because some days, I just end up crying and crying.

My son is in preschool, but now its summer of course. And while yes, a babysitter helps a bit, where I live, we pay about 10$ an hour, so I ask, would I rather have the $50 for wine, or 5 hours to myself with the house a trainwreck when I get home?!
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#2 of 11 Old 07-01-2014, 06:55 PM
 
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I'd take three hours of babysitter, spend $10 on cheap wine to bring to Knit Night at the local yarn store, and save up the spare ten until I had enough for good sock yarn.

That's seriously what I am going to recommend. You sound all kinds of burnt out and lonely. I want to suggest everything and anything you could do for yourself: gym childcare and a massage, early bedtime for the kids, picnics in the yard (or on the fire escape) every day that the weather holds, to cut back on that food throwing thing mattering, get outside so that the screaming isn't as big a deal, draconian enforcement of mid-afternoon naps/quiet time. And ask your husband to take a week off sometime. You sound like you need all of it.

Have you checked your tribal area? Are there other moms near you who might want to get together?
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#3 of 11 Old 07-02-2014, 09:52 AM
 
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If you don't stage an intervention in your own life your kids will soon realize that they are a problem for you. I would try 2 strategies: 1) disconnect & get some alone time & 2) gently and kindly communicate to your kids that there are better ways to get along with others than just letting it "all hang out" - maybe they need something that will deeply engage them like a massive new building set or a trampoline or swim lessons or something that will give them a constructive outlet.

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#4 of 11 Old 07-02-2014, 05:47 PM
 
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With 2 and 4 yo kids, I don't think you'll get very far past letting it all hang out. Maybe you get please and thank you half the time.

Until the entire household is potty trained, there's gonna be a lot of things hanging out.
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#5 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 04:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
Until the entire household is potty trained, there's gonna be a lot of things hanging out.


I have an only child, but she was in day care from 2-4 years and the kids did not fight and scream all day. Of course there were melt-downs and fighting and behavior problems but whenever I would go to pick her up (random times) in general the kids were fairly quiet and getting along. Since there are only the 2 kids in the home, and siblings, I expect that the conflicts would be more intense and frequent. But is it really too much to teach and expect better behavior? I think it's possible for kids that age to learn it.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 06:43 AM
 
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If you want kids to behave all day the way they would in daycare, it's my experience that you have to basically run your house like a daycare program. Lesson plan every minute. Put a schedule on the wall. Divide the kids into groups by age. Maintain appropriate staffing ratios.

It's hard to do 24/7, and not everyone has the personality for it. And it's hard for kids 24/7 - keep in mind that a lot of kids walk out of daycare or preschool at the end of the day and melt down at home.
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#7 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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True, but some structure and expectations for the children's behavior isn't inappropriate at home either. I only had one daycare experience, but the kids were only broken into age groups for 60 minutes of educational activity and the staffing ratio was 4-5 kids per adult, not 2 kids to one adult as in the OP's situation. The pre-K program at this daycare was much more structured than that of the 2-4yr olds; the younger kids basically had free play with an excursion, a nap, lunch, & the age-delineated circle time. When I was at home I also had some structure akin to the daycare and I think many parents do too. I guess I would ask the OP how much structure and out-of-house recreation she is providing? In general if the OP feels overwhelmed maybe she is only coping and not really guiding her kids' behavior toward better socialization, which is what we got from our daycare since my daughter is an only child. The problem I see with the current behavior is that the kids will not be as welcome to play with others or do as well in school if they have poor social skills and tend to bicker and act out with screaming and such. Although this behavior can be taken "outside" that really only makes the behavior into someone else's problem (neighbors, playdates, preschool, etc) rather than teaching the kids to respect and appreciate others and receive the positive feedback from others that builds esteem. You are right that not everyone has the personality for structure but I think we mothers are constantly having to stretch our skills; it's one of the most difficult aspects of parenting, I think.

EDIT: I see that the older boy is in preschool. Can the OP perhaps draw on the positive activities and behaviors that the boy is doing and showing in preschool so that he isn't bored or frustrated with the transition. And summers are extremely hard for kids and parents alike, this is a pretty common problem. Maybe the older son could have playdates or day camps to maintain some continuity since he isn't used to being home all day.

Hang in there Cherbs.

Last edited by pumabearclan; 07-03-2014 at 08:23 AM.
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#8 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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Preschool behavior and home behavior are different. Being a preschool teacher is different from being a mother. I've been both. Being a mother is much harder.

I only have one, but here are the things that help me...

* Get outside as much as possible (at least 1 1/2 hours each day). This can help your attitude and your kids' attitudes. We do the park or the zoo fairly often, but when it's really hot we go out for a walk at 8 AM and then go to the pool in the afternoon.

* Go where there are people. I try to do one "outing" each day. We do storytime at the library, the science museum, our local state park, etc. Just being adult-adjacent helps me. And I'm much less likely to have my own meltdown in public.

* Yes $50 for alone time is better than wine, but coming back to a messy house would not be the best stress relief. I would tell the babysitter up front that you want the house to be picked up when you get back. Or maybe consider having someone come to babysit for 1 1/2 hours 3 times per week & take the kids to the local park. Either way, I highly suggest getting some time for yourself.

Have you read Siblings without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish? I highly recommend it...
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#9 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 01:19 PM
 
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The day care environment was extremely stimulating and satisfying for my daughter and I used it as a model for the environment I provided at home. I thought initially that it was better to have home be a place with fewer routines but it was clear very early that she preferred (by her attitude and engagement) the (age-appropriate) structure of daycare over a full day of random activities or lax schedule. I tried to model our at-home time on the schedule she was used to at daycare and she did really well with it, better than our days of endless free time with whimsical outings & meals & naps. The day care was a really good experience for us and helped me as a young mom. I don't think I would have thought of scheduling our days had it not been for that experience. In some ways I felt that at-home time was not that different from day-care in that the child learns that interacting with another, even mom, they can communicate effectively and know what to expect in their days.

In our family we don't really have two different "ways of being" that are "at home" and "in public" - we follow the same guidelines of respect and self-control no matter where we are because that is who we are inside, and we respect our family in the same way that we respect anyone else; for a 2 & 4 yr old that can be difficult if there is a "sibling rivalry" component (I would suppose), but behavior shows the people around you who you are, especially your family, and I think that good behavior starts at home; why not start guiding the kids in the direction that will bring them success and esteem in all aspects of life no matter who they are with, I feel.
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#10 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 03:14 PM
 
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You definitely need some time to decompress and relax and just get a break. I agree that 3 hours a week with the babysitter while you do something for you really may help. Is there any chance you could make budget cuts in areas so your husband could cut down his hours? I'm sure it must be exhausting and draining on him to have to work so long, and be away from his kids for so long. I know someone who recently had his hours changed so that he gets even less time with his kids, which breaks his heart, and his wife gets even more time parenting alone, which is draining on her.

I agree about getting out. Are there any places (preferably free) that a lot of kids play that you could take your kids? Parks, play groups, etc. At our local mall back home, there's a really nice kid's play area that parents can take their kids to. Parents have to stay to supervise, but it can still be helpful- especially because it may cut down the fighting if they're both able to fight.

I don't suggest this as a daily thing, since your four year old at least is old enough to demand a happy meal, but on days that both of us had to go on campus during the school year- we really relied on McDonald's play areas to keep kiddo entertained.

There are some books about how to limit sibling rivalry. I've heard good things about "Siblings Without Rivalry", and I like "It's OK Not To Share". I know you may not have time to read, but that may be a good idea to look for ways to help your kids get along without fighting.

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#11 of 11 Old 07-03-2014, 03:26 PM
 
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I have a 5 year old and a 20 month old and one on the way! I use nap time for my time. I don't do housework I just a show on netflix, relax and veg out. Being pregnant I have to have this time to nap too. My 5 year old doesn't nap anymore so I have her lay in bed with books, or her tablet, or she can watch a movie. Sometimes she does fall asleep. Then at night my husband and I the to use that as our date time. We go down in our family room and watch TV and eat treats lol. You just have to be creative.
Do you ever get out like to the park? Or play dates? This helps a lot to get the energy out and I notice when my kids don't have structure they act out. Try making a schedule and schedule in structured activity and time for yourself too. You may not follow it but it's a good guide. I put my cleaning time down, meals etc.
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Last edited by apeydef; 07-03-2014 at 03:33 PM.
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