Depleted Mother Syndrome - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 56 Old 06-17-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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omg. i can so relate, i am subbing, will post more later!
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#32 of 56 Old 06-26-2006, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ibex67
Last week for the first time in 7 years I hired a babysitter/mother's helper. She will come in between 8 to 12 hours a week -- mostly I will be home when she is here. She is 19. I have felt outrageously guilty that I have this energetic, happy girl giving my kids the kind of attention [playing, reading, drawing etc...] that I am supposedly staying home to do. But the reality is that I am burnt out and 6 mo pregnant.
Oh my God, don't feel guilty about hiring someone to help! You cannot do everything by yourself! I think it is a very good decision to hire someone to help with the kids when you are too tired to be your usual self.
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#33 of 56 Old 06-26-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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Thanks to all of you for posting. There are so many times here at MDC I wondered if I was the only one with a bad attitude about this parenting treadmill I'm on.
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#34 of 56 Old 06-27-2006, 09:29 AM
 
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I posted earlier in this thread and kind of forgot about it. Just reading through it this am reminds me how much this fits me. I've been doing a lot of journaling for my therapy and I've come to the conclusion that we are feeling this way mainly because there is no longer an intimate, encompassing "village."

You know, "it takes a village to raise a child?" Our generation does not have that experience at all. It's not even like it was when we were kids and just roamed the neighborhood until the streetlights came on. You would eat at anyone's house and whatever parent was closest took charge if needed. ykwim?

Now I am so hesitant to let my daughter ride her bike in the neighborhood because of traffic and I don't even know half my neighbors. Last year, she fell while walking home from school and there was a woman sitting on the porch nearby. DIdn't ask if she was ok, or needed help or anything.
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#35 of 56 Old 06-30-2006, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's so true, vamp127. Things are different now. It's just not working. It's not good for the kids and it's not good for the parents. Personally, I blame a lot of it on the media sensationalizing all of the bad stuff and not reporting enough of the good. There IS good, we just rarely get to see it!

I started this thread and haven't posted much. I feel badly about that. Reading all of the posts has been very hard for me. I wanted to not feel alone, but knowing there's so many others is actually hard to see.

My situation isn't exactly everyone else's. Of course, we're all unique. I like my kids and most of the time am so happy and thankful to stay at home with them. I just get completely burned out. I give and give, then I just run out. Get tapped out. No more to give. I hit a really bad spot when I started this. I gave up. But it's better now. Although I know it will happen again.

What I really need, and I think we all do, is to keep up on my needs. Without the guilt!!!! We all have different needs, too! Some of us need lots of time away from our kids, and some of us just need a chance to take a shower alone. I find that if I can keep upwith myself, I don't get bad as quickly at least. For example, right now I feel pretty good. I'm happy to be with my kids and do things for my kids. But if I spend too much time with them and get caught up in them and forget me, I'll be crying my eyes out in the bathroom all day again. I'm not making light of this. It's the worst pain I've ever felt. So, I have to have ME time BEFORE I hit the wall!


to dh , dd 18 , dd 13 , ds 10 , & ds 6
hale
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#36 of 56 Old 07-03-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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:raises hand:

Me too.

I have been home for 7 years now. Dh works around 60-80 hr weeks, and I do the majority of parenting and house work, etc. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year....but Im not 100% sure on that, and I really think the extreme fatigue and all over pain I have is just a physical manifestation of my body being totally worn out...and me being depressed. My dc are nearly 6, 4yo and 2yo. We ARE homeschooling, but I struggle with it often.

Dh and pretty much my whole family have this weird idea that Im superwoman...though dh is seeing that Im really struggling, and calls me a few times a day to check in with me. Everyone else just calls me to help them. My friend is getting married, and Im the matron of honor....she wants me to go on every dress trying on session she has, and whenever she asks me, I want to cry. The thought of taking my dc to a dress shop...for hours...exhausts me.

I did have a great mom friend...she was AP, our dc were the same age, we shared the same beliefs....we spent days at each other's homes, made dinner together, swapped child care..etc. But, then when we converted to the Orthodox Church from Protestantism...she pulled away more and more.

I try to find things to do for myself....tonight I did put all 3dc to bed at 7...because I was DONE. At any rate, Im utterly exhausted, completely overwhelmed, and dont know how to make it better. I get breaks here and there....but when my break is over...nothing else has changed.

Homeschooling is the biggest issue. Idealistically....I love it, I dont think anything can compare to it....BUT, can I handle it? My Priest has told dh and I many times that there is not shame in NOT homeschooling, his kids go to public school and are doing incredible.

Dh says for me to do whatever I can handle, and I only I know how much that is, but he is supportive of whatever we do. :
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#37 of 56 Old 07-03-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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I feel like I could have written all of these posts myself. I really am at the end of my rope. I was on zoloft for OCD/SAD and depression until I gave birth to dd, and I see so much of that coming back.

I am so depleted. DD (20 months) is so very high needs. SHe is NUTS and she has so many allergies (food and drug) that everyday I spend a good portion of my time TRYING to figure out what to feed her. And then checking over everything ten times. Add on my ds who is quite high needs and has some emotional issues. We never really bonded right as he was bottle fed and I used CIO and worked 60+ hours a week to even barely make bills(I can not describe how horrible I feel about that, but most of it was not my choice).

We actually connected pretty well when I was pregnant with dd #2 and when she was really little. He begs me not to send him to school because he wants me to teach him and he wants more time with me. But between dd#2 and keeping this house up, job hunting, and trying to get school figured out for me this fall, it is too much.

DH does not ever help. I have to freak out on him to even get him to take out the trash a couple of times a week. He will literally sit in front of the tv for hours and watch the kids make a mess/dog poops on the floor/he leaves his dishes everywhere and what is my job? To wait on him hand and foot like he's a 1 yo too. It is so incredibly irritating.

Not to mention his anger issues, his constant screaming at the kids about anything, his inability to take care of himself, and so much more I can't even describe it. I just wish I could finally be done with my degree so that I can get a job and be on my own with the kids and not have a grown up to take care of too. Especially one that is so angry and, at times, scary.

I know we need to see a counselor, but we really can't afford it (let alone food).

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#38 of 56 Old 07-07-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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Formerly depeleted mom here-- going through a good patch right now though.

I just wanted to check in and give hugs to the mamas who are having such a hard time. It really hurts my heart to hear folks like the two mamas before me. I wish there was something I could do to help.

You all are in my thoughts. Sending love and strength.
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#39 of 56 Old 07-07-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alana
:
Homeschooling is the biggest issue. Idealistically....I love it, I dont think anything can compare to it....BUT, can I handle it? My Priest has told dh and I many times that there is not shame in NOT homeschooling, his kids go to public school and are doing incredible.

Alana,

We are outschooling too but I also dream of homeschooling. I don't think there's any shame either.
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#40 of 56 Old 07-07-2006, 10:31 PM
 
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I started homeschooling my kids last year. We did really good for awhile, but then things just kinda spiraled down and we haven't really done much. We just started doing *anything* again this week so that they will at least stop harrassing me for a minute. We have been using some ideas from Everyday Waldorf and Earth School, so it has been a bit more tolerable. I just wish I had the energy to keep up and do more.

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#41 of 56 Old 07-11-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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hi. i SO needed to read this thread today! thank you for all who posted with such honesty. i had one of the worst parenting days ever and needed some support and i feel i really got it by reading what you all wrote. i just told my husband this morning that i wasn't a good enough mother and he just takes it lightly and tells me i'm just being too hard on myself. what i really need is for him to help me either get some occasional childcare or some therapy!!!! i put my ds to bed tonight at 6pm so i could just veg out and read mdc..i'm totally drained too. i feel like i could sleep for a week if left alone. and, i totally agree with all that has been said about homeschooling...i thought i would homeschool but i recently decided that it was in our family's best interest to NOT homeschool because i might lose my mind if we did. it still makes me sad that i don't feel like i could handle it..but then i have a bad day like today and i think..hmmm..how many days until pre-school starts?
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#42 of 56 Old 07-12-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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I also really appreciate this thread. I love the term Depeleted Mother Syndrom -kudos to whom ever coined the term. I am on the verge of leaving Stay at home motherhood after 2 years at home with my little guy. He will be entering daycare in about a month and a half and I will be returning to work. I have such ambivalent feelings about this. Part of me is overjoyed at the thought of downloading some of the responsibility for his care to the daycare, but I also realize that the way I have mothered since having my baby has so consumed me that I feel real distress over the idea of having to put myself front and centre in my life for most of the work week. I never understood empty nest syndrom until I had my baby. I have found that mothering has stripped parts of me away...I have lost whole parts of my personal passion, interests, drives, character, motivation, connectedness to the outside world...mothering has brought me a lot of loss, of course, while also bringing intense love for my little one. I am so impressed by mothers who manage to stay connected to themselves and their inner worlds. I imagine that one of the ways everyone here is doing that is by acknowledging how much they are struggling with the challenges of mothering. I find mothers who profess complete fullfillment and contentment with mothering without any acknowledgement of the sacrifice and stress of it all very alienating to be around. Thanks to everyone for the candid sharing in this thread.
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#43 of 56 Old 07-13-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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Wow, I also really appreciate all the honest posts... The last week or so I have been feeling so burnt out I have to push myself to pick up the house & cook meals... some meals I didn't even cook, we went to mcdonalds... my son has eaten ramen noodles twice this week... I was never going to put this poison in his body, but when it comes to meal time I can't seem to do anything else...

I can also relate to the mama that said when getting together with other mamas she just has to watch her daughter... I have a great group of AP mamas who meet every Friday in my back yard, but I can hardly say 2 words to any of them because I have to make sure my ds isn't hurting anyone... & then I feel like they are going to think bad of me because he is so active/pushy/etc... I know I am a good mom, but it's just his personality... a couple of the mamas have mentioned that their kids went through times like this & that they know I'm doing a good job, but for some reason I still feel so stressed out... & like such a fool... if the play group was at someone else's house, most days I'd probably leave... I've thought about not having it at my house anymore, but with the fensed yard & all the toys/swingset from doing childcare before ds, my yard is the best place to have it... & if it were somewhere else, like a park, then I'd never go, cause then I'd just be chasing ds the entire time & be stressed AND tired...

I second the need for a friend that will just come over to hang out & then I do the same... someone who just likes to hang out at home & visit... I thought I used to have a friend like this, but it just seems she needs to be spending money or she would rather just skip it... & with us on such a tight budget, I have to say no to all the eating out & costly activities or we'll lose it all... our home, the van, etc...

& to only make matters worse, I have an unthankful dp... he can't understand how I took care of childcare/foster kids before our son, but now I can't take care of one kid, a house, some meals & laundry...

& to be honest, I can't understand it either! I guess I'm just burnt out!

Well, at the very least, this has been very theraputic typing this out!! Thanks again for the honest thread & the great online community...

Jennifer, mama to Zander (04), Maddie (07) & Lizzie (10/09)
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#44 of 56 Old 07-14-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Boadicea
On the nights that DH is home, which are few ... sometimes I just get in the car, and drive around. Crank the angriest music I can find and shout along. It helps some, but it happens so infrequently. What to do between times?
I have done this too...usually after everyone is asleep I will just go for a 15 minute drive and rock out.

Kidatheart- I want a friend to just come hang out too. Someone I don't have to wear a bra in front of who also lets their child roll in the dirt and thinks that's okay.

homebirth.jpg<>< Mama to DS, DD, and a new baby girl 4/1! homeschool.gifmdcblog5.gif

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#45 of 56 Old 07-14-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vamp127
I've been doing a lot of journaling for my therapy and I've come to the conclusion that we are feeling this way mainly because there is no longer an intimate, encompassing "village."
I dream of this village experience. My best friend is pregnant and they don't have much money. Dh and I told them they could live on our property with us...I picture they way life used to be..us gardening together with our babies in sligs...watching eachother's children so the other could take a break..

Jennifer

homebirth.jpg<>< Mama to DS, DD, and a new baby girl 4/1! homeschool.gifmdcblog5.gif

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#46 of 56 Old 07-23-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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Can I come in?

I hit the wall hard this week. Between dd tormenting ds, ds ratting dd out for everything she does, the constant go go go, school, dh's rotten schedule and everything else, I've hit bad mommy mode and screamed at my kids more than I care to think about lately. : I want to be the loving, attentive, caring mommy that my kids deserve, but ... I just don't ahve the energy.

Even among my fairly liberal friends, I'm the odd one - something about efb (3 years next Friday), cloth diapers, no vax just doesn't to help. And friends that I do have that do all those things live more than an hour away.

I'm tired. I just want one weekend of sleep and no one asking me for "boobie" or telling me about the zombies in their favorite book 5 million times. And then I feel guilty - I'm not a SAHM, I'm a full time student with a job. I'm not with my kids all day. What kind of crappy mother does that make me that I just want to curl up in bed and sleep and not play with my kids when I get home? :

My family: me jog.gif, dh geek.gif, ds reading.gif (11), dd1 hearts.gif (9), and dd2 energy.gif(3).

Tout va s'arranger à la fin. Si elle ne fonctionne pas; ce n'est pas la fin.

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#47 of 56 Old 07-23-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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I don't have much time to write but I just wanted to join in with you mamas. Depleted describes me to a tee. I haven't read all the posts but it brought tears to my eyes to read that other mamas are experiencing what I am experiencing. i'll post more later but thank you for starting this thread!
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#48 of 56 Old 07-23-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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Good thread mommas! hugs to all moms doing so much for everyone else whilst taking so little for themselves. I'm a recovering depleted mom, I honestly don't know how I got through that stuff just mental torture constantly. I believe the lack of community support isolates us and turns child-rearing into basic slave-labour,my kids don't really know any elderly folk,my family abandoned me as a chid thankfully and we did not gain family from kids dad.The kids pick up on it early,mom is there to tend to our every desire, like we had no needs ourselves,the dirty looks when you don't pick your crying baby up straight away.it's not kids fault it's what they learn from a society who gain lots from having the comfort of women slaving away, unpaid, the woman who does it all and doesn't complain is actually acknowledged(a little bit)As a single-mom I was under the delusion that couples share the workload but I know that a lot of men still do not take their share of responsability in childcare, its womans work, earnin money is their excuse!I'd rather have some real help than a new couch,but thats just my crappy opinion and all my stuff has been thrown out by someone else. We must be very strong to get through life where our needs are completely ignored and our work is undervalued and our position in life constantly undermined.also found I was trying too hard to be the perfect mom,wonder where on earth I got that idea from? and got burnt out. How much better a parent I would have been with a bit of support, some time out to at least recharge the batteries, maybe a hug.Seems like this is too much to ask for though in the modern world.
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#49 of 56 Old 07-23-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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subing but I want to finish reading before I reply
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#50 of 56 Old 07-24-2006, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy from Toronto
I am so impressed by mothers who manage to stay connected to themselves and their inner worlds. I imagine that one of the ways everyone here is doing that is by acknowledging how much they are struggling with the challenges of mothering.
Sandy, while I'm not exactly one of these moms, I can say that I'm getting there. It definitely takes time. Mothering definitely is more than babysitting. It takes so much out of us. I agree that acknowledging that we're struggling has to be the first step. We have to remember who we are, too. Staying connected to yourself is also easier to do when your child is different ages. For me, I have almost none during the first 2 years. And then when they're teenagers. Just like everything else, it's all so cyclical. I just keep trying to remember that this all just has to work out.... somehow!

to dh , dd 18 , dd 13 , ds 10 , & ds 6
hale
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#51 of 56 Old 07-24-2006, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitrizmom
:

I've hit bad mommy mode and screamed at my kids more than I care to think about lately. : I want to be the loving, attentive, caring mommy that my kids deserve, but ... I just don't ahve the energy.

:
This describes me to a tee. I'm in recovery mode right now, but know that depletion is unfortunately around the corner. I get so upset with myself when I lose my patience. And it's usually because I"m so tired. We have to remember ourselves. Without guilt! I night-weaned because I HAD to sleep. It was hard at first, but it worked and I get some more sleep now. And that helps me to be a better mama. I just hope for our sake and our children's that we find the peace that we need. Remember to breathe.


to dh , dd 18 , dd 13 , ds 10 , & ds 6
hale
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#52 of 56 Old 08-06-2006, 08:39 AM
 
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Wow! All I can say is "Wow!" I can relate to almost every single post here. I homeschool my 3 children, Dd1 is 6.5, Dd2 is 3.5 & Ds is 4.5 months - LOL, I suppose he isn't homescooling yet...

Boadicea, as soon as I read post #4, where you said that you scream at your kids & you see fear in their eyes & your mind is telling you that it isn't right to yell but you can't stop yourself - I knew I fit in here. I do that more frequently than I'd like to admit, as well as saying things that I shouldn't.

I also could relate very much to the "it takes a village..." quote. I have though a lot about this in the past year or so. Fortunately, I belong to a local chapter of 'Families for Natural Living' (FNL) & it is my saving grace. I think there are about 150 members in our area, some closer than others. Unfortunately, I have to drive to see any of them, but oh how I wish we all lived in a village & that we were all neighbors. *THAT* is my "comfort visualization" right now, when I'm stressed, I close my eyes & visualize a village with all of my AP friends surrounding me, our children playing together & the mama's (& papa's) making meals together every. single. night.

Maybe you can go to the main FNL site www.familiesfornaturalliving.org & see if you have a local group...if not, try creating one? Check out this link to see if there is a group near you http://tinyurl.com/j42t7 .

I remember, after I had my Dd's, I was desperate to find some AP parents & I was at Whole Foods & I looked at their bulletin board & saw an ad by a "Waldorf Homeschooler Seeking Fellow Homeschoolers" & I called her! Now we are friends & our children play & we have tea & chat!

I am SOOOOO fortunate that we live with my mom & dad. I am a single, homeschooling sahm & if I didn't have my mom, I'd never make it. Never. That goes along with the village idea. I recently read that the reason the female human species goes through menopause (we are the only species that does, every other species can reproduce until death) is so that we are ensured enough time to raise our babies before we die AND to ensure that we have help from our mother's in raising our own young. Does that make you realize how far removed we are from the way nature intended??

I went camping last month with my mom's whole side of the family - she's one of 11 kids. Every other year we rent out all of the cabins (about a dozen) at a lake front camp. Each cabin is the size of a small room. They are spaced about 12 feet apart & have a community bathroom. Every morning we'd get up, walk out of our cabin & pop into each cabin to grab a cup of coffee, or berries for the kids, each auntie would offer us food & drink & we'd sit & chat & then move on to the next cabin. We made meals together & ate together as one big "village." I was in heaven! *THAT* is the way it SHOULD be! I was so sad to leave. I am constantly thinking of ways to make that happen, to recreate that village, it seems near impossible. I do dream of winning the lottery (it would help if I played it ) & buying a nice piece of land & building an eco-village for all of my AP mama buddies & family, wouldn't that be lovely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrfath
Forget finding a homeschooling, vegetarian family with a child with down syndrome.
chrfath, I had to quote you, in our FNL group, we have a homeschooling, vegetarian family with a DS child! I absolutely adore this family, the kids are similar in age to my kids, almost 6, almost 4 & the baby (with DS) is 1.5. They are such amazing parents, I really do envy their patience & energy. I hope you can find a community that you fit in with. Have you tried searching for a DS group in your area? We are fortunate in that we live in a pretty crunchy area, we have a nice Waldorf school nearby, many crunchy folks, large homeschooling community, etc. It's hard to meet mainstream folks in any setting, but especially when you're looking for like-minded folks with a special needs child.

Boy, I really babbled. I will continue to read this thread, I definitely can commiserate with everyone suffering from "depleted mother's syndrome."


Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
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#53 of 56 Old 08-06-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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This thread started a while ago, how is everyone doing?

I'm right there with you all. I have a nearly 4 yr old and a nearly 1 yr old. I had a mother's helper until summer started, and now I remember why I was borrowing money from our home equity loan to do so. I've been in a serious funk ever since my helper went away.

I WANT to homeschool but I'm terrified. My DD is SO needy I don't know if I can handle it. I have her in preschool because I needed a break so badly last year when I was pg, I signed her up. I love it and so she's going again this year. I'm just wondering if I'll be able to deal with her better when it's time for me to homeschool or send her to K. I HATE the idea of sending her to school.

I spend all day on the computer, just vegging out, "hiding" from them (even though they're in the room). DD watches WAY WAY WAY too much TV and I feel like a horrible mother. I scream at her, and now she has learned to scream too. I feel like such a failure.

Thank God DS is laid back, but he's almost 1, so it's not like he will entertain himself for any length of time. Then I play silly games with him and my DD wants to play them too and I get so irritated at her because she's too old for those silly games. How stupid is that?

I'm so tired all the time and I know it's because I'm so overweight and out of shape. I can't seem to start everything at once and honestly, all I want to do is stuff my face with Ho Ho's and sleep.

DH is really supportive, thank God for that, but I feel like a horrible wife if I don't have dinner on the table when he gets home. He says he doesn't care, but I know he really appreciates it when it is, and I feel like that's pretty much all I can do for him at this point and I can't even do that. He cleans the kitchen all the time and does laundry when I ask him. He's great, so that just makes me feel like more of a jerk.

Well I didn't intend to type all this out but once I got started...

I hope you all are getting some rest, or help, or whatever it is you need right now.
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#54 of 56 Old 08-09-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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i'm so depleted i can barely post this... subbing... maybe i should go to sleep, then i won't be such a b*tch to dd tomorrow.
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#55 of 56 Old 08-09-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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Ah -ha! I knew there was a name for this. I've had a rough couple of months, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am constantly caring for others... and I very rarely get any time or attention for myself. And then, when I do... I feel guilty. :
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#56 of 56 Old 09-03-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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Just joining in ... late. But inspired, comforted, and grateful for these beautiful and honest posts. When I yelled at DS and DH today, I hurt so badly. And I know they did too. I told DS we were having a "rough spot." He liked the term and giggled a bit. Such innocence. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Mothering is the hardest job I've ever done. I miss my energy and zest and interests and dreams. Yet at the end of the day, there's a little arm on me that says "love" in a way I never imagined possible.
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