I lurk here often, but don't think I've posted in this part of the forums yet. I am in desperate need of a pep talk.
First, a little about me:
1) I have an almost 12 yr old, a 9 yr old, and 17 month old twins.
2) We homeschool.
3) I work from home as a writer, with steady work and deadlines that take at least 10 hrs per week.
4) When I'm not feeling overwhelmed, I am strongly committed to homeschooling, keeping my babies home with me, and my writing work.
I'm feeling way overwhelmed, and lately, I'm feeling like sending them children all off to boarding school, the baby twins to day care, and taking a never-ending trip to the Bahams.
Ok, not really.
But I am seriously burnt out. It may be because the twins are in an intensely active time and are literally climbing the walls. It may be because we've had construction work in our house (replacing all pipes and bathrooms) for the past 8 weeks and I'm going nutty from the mess, noise, strange people in my home at all hours, and chaos.
It may also be from the twins being at this age where they want to nurse ALL THE TIME. If I sit on the couch, they are on me in a moment wanting to nurse, and fighting over who gets to nurse first, and then trying to kick or push the other one off their side.
It may be from the lack of sleep, lack of time to myself, needing to spend any time I do get to myself on my work -- I don't know.
Maybe it's from everything!
All I know is I need a break desperately.
I've tried a babysitter in the past, to come for a couple hours while I was home. It was more work! I had to babysit the babysitter, who couldn't deal with two babies at once, and my babies only wanted me.
My husband watches the babies at night for a couple hours, to give me time to work, but even then, sometimes my little girl will cry and cry until I take over. And it's only two hours, and two hours when I must work. Not exactly alone time or relaxing at all.
My husband said he will take the kids all out in two weeks for six hours, so I can get a break. He will take a day off work for this, and can't do it earlier for me. I am HOPING that the work in our house will be finished, so I can really have a day to myself completely. But that remains to be seen!
And sometimes, I feel like I'm not giving my babies enough time. Yes, I nurse them all day, they crawl on me, I spend so much time just on feeding and diapers and such. But I feel like most of the day, I'm just trying to get some space and time slightly away from them (like across the room, not in my lap.) I feel like I should be on the floor playing more than I already do, and then I start to think maybe daycare would be better for them. Then I bring myself back to reality and remember daycare isn't ideal either.
I'm not sure what I need, just to vent, or some reassurance. I have no idea. I do my best to care for myself, but I just can't find the time these days for it!
I don't want to give in and quit being a SAHM. But I'm afraid if I don't do something to turn this around, or at least get some real support, I will feel tempted.
Thanks for any wisdom or support,
I'd try to get another babysitter. It shouldn't be more work, and if it was, I'd try someone else. Get one who is used to having the parents around in a WAHM situation so that they have strategies to handle problems when you are accessible without bothering you unless really necessary. But I think having 17-month-old twins, two other kids you're homeschooling, AND working at home, is too much for one person! You have to be careful to take care of yourself and your needs, and I'm worried it might not be happening with that many responsibilities. Hugs to you!
I would also suggest looking for another babysitter. Perhaps go to sitting websites and trying to find someone in your area that is experience with multiple kids (and kids who are very attached to mommy) I know this is obvious, but if you don't condition them to a little space here and there, they will continue to stay on top of you. They will probably fuss and cry the first couple times you take your couple hour breaks and someone else is watching them, but they will get over it and get used to mommy needing her quiet time every so often. Hang in there!
I can only imagine having twins at that age. hat off to you. being burnt out is to be expected, but just doing it is really impressive.
I have a 12DSS, 10DSS, 5DS, & 4DD and also homeschool youngest (not much yet as they are small), and i know for me I actually end up depending on the eldest two kids more than anyone else! I see your eldest two are about the same age, but then again your twins are still sooo little, however sometimes a bond with a (responsible) older sibling is more special/important and way cheaper than hiring a babysitter. how helpful are your older kids? do they know some distraction tactics and/or simple games to occupy the younger ones for atleast 15 minutes at a stretch? does it work to have them play with the twins while you're in the room so atleast the twins are reassured you are there?
I know sometimes watching such little ones isn't always a 12yo's idea of FUN, but it is important and often the bond can be surprisingly rewarding for both of them.
Just a thought.
Hugs to you. I know its hard but please don't beat yourself up about not playing with them enough. It sounds like they have pretty much constant access to you and there will be PLENTY of time later when they are slightly older and not single-mindedly interested in booby-embezzelment for all the spontaneous creative play.
I think you should feel burned out....gah...I've been feeling it myself. I have a three year old and 13 month old twins. My husband has been on mandatory 6 day weeks, but he usually works seven days and extra hours here and there because they need help meeting production to make the contract. I wish I could have a part time job outside of the house, just to get out, you know? I second taking your work to a cafe if possible and even just ordering a cheap coffee/tea if money is an issue. It's so much better when you can't hear the crying and truthfully, according to my husband, they cry much less when I'm not there as a possible source of comfort. I do get a chance every few days to be by myself...my husband watches the kids and I go for a run. It really helps. Could your husband watch the kids once and a while so you could get a bit of time. Even if it's only a half an hour. I know he watches them already. Maybe family? I know my family doesn't like to watch all the kids at once and will make any excuse possible to avoid it, but who knows? A better babysitter also could work. I hope you do get that day to yourself!
Montessori teacher working part time and trying to keep up with the kiddos. DD1 (June 08) DS1 (June 10) DD2 (June 10)
I can relate to the burnout. DH is living far away so I'm here along with three kids (ages 9, 3 and 22 months.) I've had to learn to take time for myself SOMEHOW to save my sanity. Lately, this has meant that I will sometimes put the tv on PBS in the morning so I can have a shower without anyone coming in to help, and I can even drink a cup of tea in the kitchen while I make breakfast! My youngest doesn't like it and will sometimes fuss at the door, but I simply reassure him that I will play with him when I am dressed and done with preparing breakfast. He's slowly getting a little better about it, but still not great. He's a super-attached little guy, so it is sometimes overwhelming.
My newly three year old is finally getting back to an age I really ENJOY! (I have to admit, 18 months or so to about 3 are NOT my favorite ages- at all. The guilt that came with that realization was huge, but I realized it is the age that's hard for me, not the child as an individual.) Twins in that age group would probably send me screaming from the house. Congratulations to you for managing it with such grace!
If you can afford a babysitter, it may be worth trying another- alternatively it may be worth thinking about part time care for the littlest out of your home if you find someone you can trust to do a good job. I also work from home, and just the fact that I am thee- even if I'm in another room and the kids are there is hard. If I am out of the house or they are- I get a lot more accomplished.
You have great built-in resources- you have a 9 year old ad a 12 year old who can be enlisted as helpers- even if you have to pay them. My 9 year old has started earning some money by agreeing to play with the little ones for a little bit of time here and there so they are occupied. She takes them into another room and reads or plays really busy bouncy games like jumping on the bed and hiding under the covers. They little ones love it, she has an excuse to be outrageous and it's built her confidence to know that I trust her to help. I'm always nearby if she needs me, but usually she's just fine. She's managed to start a small savings account with the money she's earned doing that- it's worked really well for everyone. Those are often the times I am able to get some work done.