*Newbie* - Large Blended Family and on the verge of burnout! - Mothering Forums
Blended and Step Family Parenting > *Newbie* - Large Blended Family and on the verge of burnout!
MrsVonTrapp's Avatar MrsVonTrapp 12:54 PM 05-30-2012

Hi all! 

I have been creeping on the forum for a while now. Figured it was time to say hi and maybe find a place to get a sense of support and belonging.


Quick background - I am the SAHM of four. His two, a boy, 13, and a girl, 7. My two, a boy 10, and a girl 4. They are all with us full time expect for Thursday nights (usually) and every second weekend. My partner (we aren't married) is military and gone on training for weeks at a time, leaving me alone to deal with everything quite often. It's been that way since day one. Our first year together, I raised these kids on my own for about 5 months of the year in total. 


I am a strong woman, good mom, and the family is very well adjusted. I however, am burnt out. They are all good kids, but someone needs something from me every second of every day and I am tired. DSS is a teen, a good teen, but a teen. We have the regular issues that go along with that and lately he is a full time job. Add in a little attitude from a 7 year old, and a 'spirited' 4 year old and I am spent.


**as I am typing this I got yet another email from the teenager's teacher. He was laughing too much and had to be removed from class today. Third email this week. Yesterday it was a phone call that he was abusing his laptop at school and it has been taken away for the rest of the year.**


I haven't been able to find many resources to help with our unique dynamic. I would love to hear if any moms are out there like me. I sure hope so...


Have a wickedly awesome day!

VocalMinority's Avatar VocalMinority 07:58 PM 05-30-2012

Welcome!  L-O-V-E your username!!!!


Not quite in your situation, but in the ballpark.  I'm a SAHM to my twin sons (almost 17), my husband's son (almost 13) and our 4-year-old son together.  All of them live with us full-time.  The twins are gone 2 weekday evenings every week and EOW.  My step-son is with us almost constantly, except for a week at Christmas, spring break and 7 out of 10 weeks in the summer (when it's hard to adjust to him being gone so long).  I'm lucky that my husband works primarily from home, so he's very involved.


I expected to be in grad school by the time our youngest was this age.  Then I discovered teenagers' needs can be almost as time-consuming as toddlers'!  All of our kids are pretty good kids, overall.  But they sure don't stop needing attention, guidance and creativity when they hit middle/high school, do they?


I don't really have any advice except hang in there, and you're not alone!  The Blended Families forum here is one of the most helpful and dynamic discussion boards I've found.  Hope you like it, too.

MrsVonTrapp's Avatar MrsVonTrapp 05:52 AM 06-04-2012

Thanks for the welcome!


I am glad to see I am not alone! ;-)

chambermaid's Avatar chambermaid 02:40 PM 06-04-2012

I don't have the large families you described above, but I work full-time and have my daughter (8) from a previous relationship (lives with us full-time) and my son (1) with my husband.  My husband travels 30%, but on a very irregular basis - he could 0-4 trips a month ranging from 1-10 days each.  He can also go 3 months without traveling.  Needless to say, I think the burnt-out feeling is shared among us.  I've taken the following approach, and it's helped.  It's not perfect, but it helps.  1) Stay healthy and hydrated.  When your body is in optimum operating condition, it's more likely to handle the bumps and bruises of life.  2) Prioritize and organize.  If you know what you have to accomplish during the day and how you're going to accomplish it, the tasks seem less daunting.  3) Hire someone to help with your chores (cleaning, gardening, personal chef, babysitting, etc.)  This takes one thing off your list that you don't have to think about.  4) Don't complain to your husband.  He doesn't get it and he won't get it because he doesn't do it.  You'll get frustrated and more burnt out trying to make him understand. 


I still reach my nutz-o level every now and again, but keeping things in check helps.  Of course, I only have two kids and not 4.... 

segolilymama's Avatar segolilymama 09:44 AM 06-05-2012

Mamma of 12 chiming in here (and checking in on this forum for the first time) - 3 bio, 1 step, 4 belong to my 'sister-wife' and 4 belong to my other male partner. (Polyamorous quad. If you didn't follow all that don't worry ;).


Blending families is HARD. Even when they are all wonderful children. Ours range from 2-13; we have 2, 4, 5, 6, 6, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12, 13. Oh, and I am due in December with the 13th and final baby. None of us are completely alone with all 12 of the kids all that often, though it happens. For months I did every Friday night alone with all 12. Can you say pizza & movie night???? There were nights I felt like calling everyone & telling them to come home immediately. Other nights, I felt like calling them and telling them to never come home again (but to please come retrieve their respective kids first).


My only 2 pieces of advice: On those nights/days when the kids are gone, do the two of you really spend time rejuvinating one another's spirits? Whether that means a date out, or a night in or whatever, it sounds like you need it!  When he IS home, are there specific things you turn over to him, having him more involved, and giving you a bit of a break?


Good luck - no, you are definitely not alone!!!

MrsVonTrapp's Avatar MrsVonTrapp 10:06 AM 06-05-2012

That is quite a crew you have!

Somedays I wouldn't mind having a sister wife. LOL


My partner is great. He can generally be counted on to take control of the helm about an hour after being home when he gets out of a week long exercise. He needs the hour to go from Warrant Officer to dad/husband-type person.


We are well matched and he takes good care of me. We both know that if our relationship isn't paramount, then the wheels will fall off the whole bus and our family will end up in a ditch somewhere.


We have every second weekend entirely kid free and we make the most of it.

We are both feeling the need for a solid week alone to recharge our batteries. Hoping for that in August.


We are luckier than most and we know that. 


Just one of those days when the dog ate my garden and I feel like staying on the couch and pouting. BF will be home Friday and we are going camping. Can't get here soon enough.