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#1 of 16 Old 03-31-2011, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for some ideas! 

I'm home with my 4.5 yo dd and 18 mo ds all week (dh works out of state and is only home on weekends). Lately I've been running on empty, and seeing the impact on my mothering. I know I have a bit of a perfection issue, and I'm too hard on myself, and I'm working on that, but still, the reality is I'm losing my patience way more than I want to, and just not having fun with my two amazing, beautiful kids. 

I'm trying to come up with some self-care strategies to help sustain me so that I just have more to give to the kids. What do you do when you find yourself yelling over stupid things? When you can't get a break from the kids, but you find yourself in a moment (or several) of just not enjoying being a mama? How do you nourish yourself to bring yourself back to being the loving, happy, abundantly-giving SAHP you want to be?

I'm searching for all kinds of ideas, big and small!!

Thanks so very much.

 

 

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#2 of 16 Old 04-01-2011, 12:03 AM
 
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pilates once a week.

oh... and NAP TIME for me.


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#3 of 16 Old 04-01-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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When the kids are in bed, I do whatever I like! No cleaning, no homemaking stuff -- I read, watch videos, or go on the computer

Have momma friends over for dinner - Especially in the evenings if you're alone! Do a potluck with friends and let the kids burn energy 

Take a hot hot shower (alone) 

Go out on weekends ALONE! 

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#4 of 16 Old 04-01-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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My son loves to take baths, so I put him in the tub with his toys, pull a comfortable chair into the bathroom and read. My record is two hours.

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Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)

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#5 of 16 Old 04-01-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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It's hard.  It's SO hard sometimes.  And I complain about my hubby working 2nd shift (I'm not a night person, that's when I really need reinforcements!) but I can't imagine him being gone 5 days a week.  So it sounds like you are doing well considering your circumstances! 

 

I am trying to get over some perfectionisms as well...I ideally would prefer the kids watch no tv.  But I've learned that on those bad days, they are better off watching a PBS show or two while I re-load than having an angry mama yelling at them constantly.  So I learned to lower my standards a bit which helped. 

 

And my other suggestion is yoga.  I just joined a yoga studio 2 months ago.  I had only ever dabbled in yoga with some friends and home videos, so I was by no means experienced.  But I always played sports in high school and ran marathons in college. So I've always enjoyed physical activity.  With just 1 child it was easy to get to the gym...but it was impossible after having #2 (he hated the childwatch as a baby).  So it feels SO good to be taking care of my physical needs now.  And it is an hour where you think of NOTHING else but yourself and you can challenge yourself.  It's been really good for me.  The one I joined has childcare, so that would maybe help you out?  They aren't the cheapest places to join and we don't have much money.  But my husband realizes how much this really helps my mood etc.  So we made a deal that I would use all my Christmas and birthday monies to pay my monthly fee and when that runs out we could foot the rest of the bill.  It was a good compromise and I wish I had discovered it about 4.5 years ago! I just feel much more balanced now.

 

Leighpf...I use the baths a lot too.  My 2 oldest kids will play in there daily for up to an hour...but 2 hours...that's awesome!!


I am a wife of 1 and mother of 3
DD 10/06  DS 08/08  DD 07/10
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#6 of 16 Old 04-03-2011, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, thank you, thank you all for the ideas and support. I've been giving myself a bit of time after the kids are asleep to peruse the SAHP forum, and just this alone is helping me feel better. I know it's going to take more support for me to implement some of the changes I want in my daily life, but I'm inspired. I think learning to believe I am a good mama and that I'm doing my best under less than ideal circumstances is a major first step for me.

 

And I know we need things to look forward to and to break up the days/week. My plan for this week: two dinners with other families, taking the kids out for ice cream one night, trying out a neighborhood kid as a mother's helper, getting outside as much as possible, and looking forward to a yoga class next wknd when DH is home. Deep breath.

 

Thanks again.

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#7 of 16 Old 04-03-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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Sometimes it helps me to go out and do something, without baby, that would be too difficult with baby. Like a pedicure or coffee with a friend. Or just a LONG, HOT shower!

 

Are you a religious person? If you are, remember to pray and read scripture. It always refocuses me.


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#8 of 16 Old 04-25-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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My DH travels a lot for work and those days can sometimes run into each other. I used to feel guilty about taking "me" time when my son was around. But then I decided that i needed time to myself and time to feel good about myself, so I signed up for babysitting at my gym; we go a few times a week, my son plays happily in the playroom, I get to sweat and burn calories AND take a nice, hot shower afterwards. It's been a lifesaver for me. I also agree about going "off-duty" when my son goes to bed. Sometimes that means his toys are still all over the living room, but that's less important than my getting some time to relax.

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#9 of 16 Old 04-28-2011, 06:11 AM
 
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I joined a gym with childcare and that gives (or gave before this pregnancy) me 1.5 hours a day to myself. It made a HUGE difference.

I insist on an early bedtime for both kids.

Those are the two big things.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#10 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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Work out not only good for your body but also for your mind! Cheers :)

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#11 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 09:26 AM
 
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A gym with childcare has been awesome for me. I was never an athletic person but I crave exercise now. It helps my mood and is also a bit of PT for my hurt knee. I was concerned that my DH would mind that I would go to the gym before getting anything done around the house. It is totally cool with him and he's started going again too.  

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#12 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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I second the physical exercise! It doesn't have to be strenuous, just enough for you to focus on the sensations in your body and get out of your head for a little while :)

Yoga is perfect for me. You don't have to go off to a yoga class to do it (unless that's what you're looking for.) Yoga is about aligning your breath with your movement. If you have Netflix, you can learn everything you need to know without wasting money and gas on classes. 

If you don't have enough time away from the kids to do this, then just put on some of your favorite music and dance around with the kids. They will love it, and the movement and breathing will transform your mood.

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#13 of 16 Old 05-03-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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I feel you, DH is gone ALOT as well. Right now we are getting ready for him to be gone between 9 months to a year. This is the longest stretch he has ever been gone for and Im dreading it. We have 3 children (4. 2. and 3 months) so things are hectic, now I get to do it solo. Things I usually do when hes gone:

 

I stay up an hour or so after the girls/baby go to bed. This is ME time. No cleaning, cooking, planning etc I can only do something that recharges me. So I read, sew, knit, do cross stitch, watch a tv show/movie. Sometimes I take a hot bath and eat chocolate ice cream. Yea, super indulgent there but SO worth it if its been a LONG day.

 

Don't be afraid to ask someone for help. Im horrible at this but even if its just a couple of hours of adult conversation its so worth it. Im blessed we just moved from overseas to Florida to be with DH's family while hes gone. Its going to be nice to have adults to talk to that I can also trust with the children.

 

Stay active. Join a book club or library time, find a musuem that does a childrens program, volunteer in church etc. DON"T sit around the house. Sitting around makes the time go at a snails pace and it can bring down your mood. Do something to keep yourself and your children happy.

 

Pick a new skill for you/your children to work on while your husband is away. Ive potty trained two children, learned to knit and learned to decorate cakes while DH has been away. My oldest learned to count, learned her colors, learned the alphabet etc while Daddy was gone. She loves to think of new things to learn while hes gone to "impress" him when he gets back. Her newest goal is to learn to read so she can read him a Christmas story over Skype for Chirstmas.

 

Have a loose schedule. I find my girls are a lot easier to deal with when we stick to some kind of loose schedule instead of winging it.

 

This might sound bad but my girls have "chores" to help around the house. They help clean their playroom, they clear their plates off the table, my oldest refills her and her sister's water cups when they need to be, they help when I need to clean.. They LOVE it but I do feel bad somewhat that my girls will run to help people empty their dishwasher bag.gif It gets things done quicker which means we all have more time to relax.

 

Quiet time is also something I do to calm everything down. 30 minutes to 1 hour a day where everyone has to be engaged in a quiet activity. The girls like to color and Ill cross stitch, read or lay on the couch with my eyes closed.

 

Sometimes I find its easier on me if the girls aren't worked up with him being gone. My middle especially is a totally daddy's girls so anything I can do to help them understand how long hes going to be gone for.. Like:

Think of something to mark the passage of time as a celebratory thing if its getting hard. When DH is away for more than a couple of weeks each Wednesday we have a "movie night" where we have a picnic dinner and watch a short movie or part of a movie together. Sometimes if I know exactly when he will be back I separate the movie into parts and tell them that when the movie is all the way over then Daddy is coming home that weekend/whatever day it is hes coming. If the children are having a really hard time with him being gone try count down chains. Since you know how long hes going to be gone just make a reuseable one with 5 chains on it and then take one off for each day during the week. I usually hang one around the ceiling although sometimes it gets really long (Ive had it around the whole front room before). My girls have fun making them. i find the easier it is on them the easier it is on me


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#14 of 16 Old 05-09-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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usually when my kids are in bed  I read my book.


Mom to  Rachel 15 Kimberly 12 Chloe 10 and Nathaniel 8
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#15 of 16 Old 05-10-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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First!  With your DH out of town that much -- kudos Mama!  I couldn't do it.  (My sis is doing it with her 5 kids for 4mths now and needs serious reinforcements and a cleaning lady!)

 

But seriously here's my list of sanity maintainers!  (and some of these echo PPs)

A gym membership with free childcare -- BIG!  Physical exercise and a break from munchkins

Early Bedtime (7:30 -- love those blackout shades!)

Movie Night -- Friday nights (when my hubby does his martial art class) (I get online time/reading time right by his side!)

A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP & NAPS!  For DS, and ME too!  I know you have two munchkins, but can the 4 1/2 yr old enjoy a quiet activity in the same room as you while you nap for 15min) (of course while 18mth old naps too separately)?? 

I LOVE LeighPF's bathtime idea!!!!!!  Will be adding that to my list!

 

Day to day, if I find I'm losing patience, I get outside immediately for a literal change of scenery for me and DS both (nature walks, stroller walks, grocery/farmers market, library, anywhere!)  Best wishes!!  Hope it gets easier for you soon. 

 


Married: 02/04   -   SAHM to Son: April '09   -    Pregnant: Due April '12

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#16 of 16 Old 05-16-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyofHero View Post

I second the physical exercise! It doesn't have to be strenuous, just enough for you to focus on the sensations in your body and get out of your head for a little while :)

Yoga is perfect for me. You don't have to go off to a yoga class to do it (unless that's what you're looking for.) Yoga is about aligning your breath with your movement. If you have Netflix, you can learn everything you need to know without wasting money and gas on classes. 

If you don't have enough time away from the kids to do this, then just put on some of your favorite music and dance around with the kids. They will love it, and the movement and breathing will transform your mood.



Can you recomend some yoga videos from Netflix for a beginer?

 


Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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