Wanting to do it all while doing too much - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-22-2013, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I have way to high of expectations of myself? Maybe not. I actually got some reassurance from the theme of a lot of these threads in regard to being overwhelmed and burnt out.

 

Like many of you, I am a SAHM with 4 children (2 in k, one with autism, and a 9 month old). My husband works overtime and doesn't contribute a ton to the tasks of the week. My child with autism is from a previous relationship and I handle 100% of his education/IEP planning, therapy arrangements, appointments, etc. I also thought it was a great Idea to quit my day job when I was pregnant with the last one and attempt to bring income in working from home. When Baby was about 3 or 4 months old I had to virtually let go of that because It was labor intensive and difficult to do with an infant in tow, along with the crazy transportation sched for 3 kids in PT school and Developmental Therapy. It's constantly nagging at me, like I can't let it go because I'm passionate about it but there is no time, and what time I do give it takes away from my already less-than-ideal household and parenting and personal attention paid to my own self/needs. I had a breakthrough recently that even puting thought-energy into "getting back into" my working from home takes away my attention and energy to being a mom. 

 

Things get better day by day as the baby gets a little older, but I am wondering if I would be better off fully surrendering myself to motherhood right now and letting go of this dream of doing something neat from home as a way to bring extra income in (which I feel guilty about a lot) and I look at friends of mine who do the whole super mom thing- running their own business and going to school full time (or both!) while caring for their children, keeping house, and having active social lives!

 

The main differences I see between me and them is: 1) often they only have 1 or 2 kids, 2) they don't have a child with (pretty intense) autism, and 3) have a type-A goal-driven almost-ocd personality. which I don't (I try, I try.)

 

I think my issue a lot is I don't just want my identity to be "mom" (but what a grand identity it is!), I have always had a lot of things I was passionate about- creative outlets, my work, studies. But I'm seeing that because I'm always spreading myself so thin and having my bar set so high, I never seem to fulfill my visions of any one direction to an extent that is really in depth or satisfactory.

 

So, do I need to cut back and let go? Should I stop seeing this potential "some day soon I can do all of these things, be all of these things"? Have you been there? I know a lot of moms that are totally satisfied in just being moms, their life revolves around their children, their social lives revolve around their kids/ family. While I have a hard time imagining giving up all of my aspirations, I do have to say that they also seem to have a greater handle on things, and It could be due in part to the fact that they are focusing their energy more? 

 

 

Trying to decide where and how to scale back, what to let go of, wondering who's gone thru similar things (letting go of work, school, certain aspirations/ hobbies) when their kids were young.

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Old 03-23-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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I'm in little league, while you're in the majors! I have a two year old DD with no special needs and am expecting baby #2 in July. I was a very academic person in my teens and twenties but I basically decided that caring for my child while she's so little is more important than any career/academics. This may come off martyr-like but I decided to make this sacrifice and put my aspirations on hold for a few years. It doesn't mean I've lost the dreams, just that I decided that I can wait while DD can't. I decided to stop comparing and take joy in what my focus is right now and look forward to making a change in a few years. I think it's remarkable that you keep up with your four kids as it is and maintain a livable house! I'm doing a major declutter in the house and changing my housekeeping habits for the better to better take care of my growing family. For now that is motivating me and giving me a sense of accomplishment. I'm definitely not a type A personality but that means I'm more flexible and laid back. My SIL is the type A sort, works full time in a prestigious position, keeps an immaculate house and is always socially engaged or traveling. That means that her 1 1/2 year old is in full time daycare, rarely sees his cousin (my DD) and is constantly being taken to parties or having lots of people at his house. (ETA: i forgot to mention, she has a cleaning service come weekly wink1.gif )I find it a privilege to be present for DD's every milestone, be able to visit family on a whim or simply stay home and snuggle if we're having an off day. From what you've written I think what you'd need is more hours in the day - don't we all lol. But if you can shift your expectation to "not now" instead of "not at all", it might help. I don't know if you find my reply helpful, I just wanted to reach out to you as another former high achiever who has found ways to embrace and appreciate the SAHM life hug.gif
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