I don't know where to put this... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-12-2005, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't know where to put this because i know it's my problem and not my daughters, so it didn't really belong in the discipline or childhood years forum. I know you guys better than anyone else....I guess I'm just looking to vent and possibly get some support.

I am so angry and so frustrated right now. I do 100% of the parenting/house-anything during the week. My husband is home from work only long enough to sleep, eat, and go back to work (getting home 10-11:00pm and leaving again at 8:30am.) My favorite part of the day, unfortunately, is putting my dd to bed at 8pm. I am tired and frustrated with her because I can't do anything I want or need to do. She is constantly testing me and wanting all of my attention to the point of my own shere exhaustian. I find myself taking things out on her and getting angry with her when she is merely acting her age.

Today, for example, I had a gathering of 10+people in my home around 6:30. All day I spent cleaning and preparing. While trying to do all of this,I am telling her over and over again NOT to do 95% of what she wanted to do (open 2nd story windows, spread objects all over the house, take food out of the refrigerator,making huge messes). I felt bad because I think she was partly just wanting my attention, but I feel like she has drained every ounce of desire to GIVE her attention away. It got to the point where I was yelling at her and basically blaming her for making me angry. I feel like such a horrible mom. All I needed was some freaking help. Today was an extreme, but it's a lesser version of this every day. I am just feeling more and more hopeless.

My mom was up for 3 days and I got a break, but when she left, I felt exactly where I was in the first place. She goes to grandma's house once a week,all day, and it's still not enough. I don't want to put her in pre-school, but I have no drive and no energy to do anything fun with her. I am too stressed out and I honestly don't know how I am going to keep this up, with my daughter in tact. She really has been getting the worst of who I am.

And then, I think to myself...great...in 4 1/2 months, I get to keep doing this AND add on a new baby. I am spiraling down-hill really fast and I have no idea what to do.

sarah

Mama to girl (11), boy (7) and girl (4).  "Can't we all just get along?" joy.gif
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#2 of 5 Old 12-13-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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"And then, I think to myself...great...in 4 1/2 months, I get to keep doing this AND add on a new baby. I am spiraling down-hill really fast and I have no idea what to do."

Hugs to you mama! Sounds like you are very overwhelmed right now. you need some me time. I'm not at the breaking point yet, but I find myself saying to myself: How am I going to possibly deal with another child? Ds is only 21 mos. and I find that he always acts out when I am absorbed in "getting things done." try to take a break, have some tea, sit down, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. I find that I have much less patience and am very quick to get angry when I'm pregnant.

Any way to get some more time out on your own? Schedule a playdate? A babysitter for a couple of hours? I was lucky to find another sahm with a boy near my sons age who babysat for me a few times when the going got rough. So, not only did I get a break, but ds got to burn off some energy with another kid. He was actually upset when I showed up to bring him back home. I guess he was glad to have a break from me too!

I also found a playground nearby that a bunch of mamas/nannies (even some dads) take their kids to regularly, so we started going there once a week for a few hours. So that's a win/win situation as well where we both benefit: I get to talk to other adults while he runs around and plays.

good luck to you!
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#3 of 5 Old 12-13-2005, 01:48 AM
 
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I have no kids yet, so I won't pretend to know the level of frustration of what you're feeling, but I will tell you that from an outsider's perspective, I'd knock some sense into my husband fast.

YOU NEED HELP.

And he is a parent too -- it's half his responsibility, sorry if I'm laying blame but you're having to deal with your daughter's behavior issues alone and if it's hard now while you're pg, it likely won't get easier when you're sleep deprived with a newborn, I'd imagine.

I'm really sorry you're going through this, but seriously can you talk to your husband? I understand that if he's the breadwinner then he has to leave to work but there's got to be a better way. Abandoning you so that the time you most look forward to is when your daughter's unconscious? That's a bad sign, sweetie. You're not a bad mother. You're just TIRED and that's absolutely undertandable. You need help!

There has to be a better way and it's a partnership, yes? Can you sit him down and figure out a way to make this so you have some help at least? If not him (though that'd be best, IMO) then someone else? I may not have experience in frustrations of parenting, but I'm a married woman, and I have experience in dealing with the very difficult issue of expressing the things I absolutely need. No matter how hard it is, it's necessary and men often don't know what we need unless we TELL them! And it can't be a "Oh, honey I'd like it if..."

It has to be: "THIS IS WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN!" Your sanity and your relationship with your daughter is more important than his paycheck.

And sometimes it takes that straightforwardness to get their attention to the seriousness of the situation.

And your situation is very serious. To be honest, I *can* identify a little with it -- but from your daughter's perspective.

My father was a serious workaholic and there is a part of me that resents him to this day for it. We never saw him -- he came home after we were in bed and left before we got up. My mother ended up sleeping through my adolescence because of depression problems and it took me nearly 20 years to get to a place where I could forgive her, when really all she was doing was reacting to the overwhelming pressure of being abandoned to deal with something she wasn't supposed to have to deal with alone.

Had my father spent more time being a father and less time being a worker, our life would have been very different. I don't blame my parents for *my* problems -- but I do hold them responsible for their roles (or lack thereof) in my upbringing. I had a miserable childhood.

And I would do anything I could to help prevent another family from going through that misery. It's not fair to anyone -- not the child, nor the mother, nor even the father.

But the path your family is on sounds eerily familiar.

Does your husband realize what his absence is doing to your family?

Is making money worth that?

These are hard questions and I'm sorry -- maybe all you wanted right now was a hug and a shoulder and if so, then I'll shut up and just say Bless your heart and I'm sending you warm thoughts. (Because I am )

But if it were me, I'd be wanting some serious changes in my home and sometimes kind words don't help as much as an encouragement to take action does. You're reaching out and you need help. It'd be nice if the man who pledged to give you that help could be the one to respond.

You're in my thoughts and please know that I think you are a good mother -- you just aren't Wonder Woman. No one is. Nor should they have to be, especially when they have a partner to help out. You're tired and you deserve a break.

<sending good thoughts and a BIIIIIIIIIG hug>

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#4 of 5 Old 12-13-2005, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you both,

renee, you hit the nail on the head, the problem with "setting it straight" with dh is that 1, i've been trying to do that for the last 3 years and even therapy isn't making a difference in him. and also, he's a local truck driver and he has a certain amount of work to do and when he's done, he can come home,if he left any earlier, they'd probably cancel his contract. So, it's not always that money is more important, we simply aren't capeable of changing things unless he got a new job, and they are few and far between where we live.

ALTHOUGH, to me, that doesn't mean when he walks in the door at 10pm, he can't let the dog out, feed her, turn the x-mas tree lights off,and pick up his own crap, right? and that also doesn't mean he couldn't wake up a 1/2 hour earlier to play with his daughter (I squawk at him all the time for this, she wakes up around 7:30, he wakes up around 8:15 and then runs out the door)

funny thing is that his dad was exactly the same way and he always says he doesn't want to be like his dad, but he's the spitting image.

this is my life i guess,
sarah

Mama to girl (11), boy (7) and girl (4).  "Can't we all just get along?" joy.gif
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#5 of 5 Old 12-13-2005, 12:37 PM
 
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Sarah,

I sympathize with your situation-- I was actually in your husband's shoes a year and a half ago, working 60-80 hours a week pretty much every week and I knew the job I was in would always be more or less like that so I needed to get out eventually. Most weeknights I had an hour tops with DS, if that, and a lot of weekend time was compromised also. I had always planned to get out, but before I was thinking 5 years. As it turned out, I left 3 years into the job, just over 1 year following the birth of DS. I was always tired (I was nursing and pumping, that was part of the reason but not all of it), never getting 8 hours of sleep. Your DH's schedule sounds like it leaves only enough room for sleep if you want 8 hours and if he does anything else, a lot less, which is probably why he doesn't get up earlier or do anything when he gets home because he's tired. While I'm not excusing him for not trying harder (because I did try, it was important to me to maximize time with DS and I chose to get less sleep as a result), we all know how cumulative sleep deprivation can make life hard and for a truck driver it's probably just plain dangerous.

Most of the women attorneys in large law firms (where I worked) who have children either quit totally (if they are married to men who can support them) or go to a less demanding (and less well paying) job if they cannot (or in some cases, will not, but in more cases these days cannot, because like me, they are the breadwinners), because they realize pretty early on that it's just not worth it. But the fathers more often stay and I know that it hurts their children even though they are not made by society to feel as guilty as working mothers (breadwinners or no) are. Some realize this and also quit but others don't and only realize the damage that's done to them (often it hurts the dads more in the end than the kids) until their kids are adults and it's hard to reestablish the relationship.

It's hard to change jobs but with an exit strategy it is possible. I was thinking about mine a good year or so before I actually put it into action. I also got lucky, but if I hadn't I would have continued my exit strategy until I found the right solution.

It means you can't do much about it in the short term, but with a long term plan you can change, if he wants to. It may mean less money and it may mean moving-- in my case it meant both-- moving from NYC to DC and taking about a 50% pay cut, unfortunately without any real drop in living expenses. Fortunately my DH, who is mostly a SAHD, agreed with me and saw the toll it was taking on me, as well as understood my need to spend at least a few hours with DS after work. Now I have that, plus weekends, plus every other Friday off. Although I wish I could have more, in our situation the least stress on the family as a whole is for me to maintain this job full time, which is very secure with good benefits and decent (though significantly less) pay, and for DH to be at home and do occasional projects, or work out of the home.

If your situation is short term and he is only working this hard temporarily that is one thing, but if it will go on year after year...it's going to be hard on the whole family and it will be hard on him too, even if he doesn't realize it. I know, because I've been there. However, if he isn't willing to plan for that with you there may not be much you can do for him, but try to make your own life easier with some of the suggestions given already.
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