Mama in desperate need of advice. Don't want to be a mom anymore.-UPDATE page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-06-2010, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am posting under a new username but I am a long time member here. This is so hard to post but I need some serious help mamas. Or at least someone to say they understand. I don't even know where to start.

I have two sons, 4 and 1. I feel like I have been emotionally unstable for most of my adult life. Lately I have feel like I have almost gone off the deep end. Most of the time I really don't feel how I can go on. I'm mean to my kids, I've smacked my older son lots of times (which doesn't work). I yell, ALOT. How does one be a parent and not yell?? I do not get hardly ANY joy out of parenting and sometimes I wish I had never had kids. My relationship with my partner is kind of in the toilet. I have no motivation to do anything.

My older son I feel has some serious issues or maybe they just seem serious to me. He jumps around on the furniture all day long (after preschool in the am). He doesn't listen pretty much AT ALL. He could be looking right at you and you say something and you say, "what did I say?" and he says "I don't know". Or you try to tell him, hey you just <jumped on me>, <knocked over your brother>, <spilled something> and he'll be like "but I...<insert some kind of excuse>" At preschool and home he is very rigid and wants things to be just so. He's always yelling, "don't talk to me!" "dont' look at me" and gets crying mad when it's time to clean up. He's been going to preschool for TWO years! I just don't know what to do with him. I feel I let him play too much Wii or watch too many movies but I don't know what else to do because I am so lost I can't even function. Sick of incessant questions, why, why, why???? Sick of him running around the house yelling the same thing over and over. Sick of I want, I want, I want. I'm very sensitive to noise. Younger one is ok, but gets into everything and I just don't have the energy for him. All I want to do all day is surf the internet. Dinner usually gets made but generally not much cleaning gets done.

I started taking an antidepressant about 2-3 weeks ago and that hasn't helped at all. I've tried supplementation, but I can't stick with it. I've been seeing a counselor for a few months, isn't really helping. I get out and get "me" time, doesn't seem to matter, I'm still really irritated when I get home.

Mostly, my kids just irritate the crap out of me. Everything does really. I'm just not happy and I don't know how to be.

I know everyone says, this will pass, they will only be little once, blah, blah, blah, but how do I SURVIVE till then? Every night when I go to sleep I think tomorrow will be the day when I have it all together and want to play with my kids and be ms. happy homemaker, but it never happens. And I do try and get out of the house and do stuff, but sometimes it is almost too stressful to do that. I just DON't want to be a mom anymore!! I'm so tired of being needed. And I suppose it doesn't help being online and reading everyone else's life story about how they crafted this and gentle disciplined that all the while cooking wonderfully healthy meals that their kid ate and spotlessly cleaning their house without tv or video games. How the F*^&*^ do people do that???

I thought I wanted to homeschool and it seems like it is the best way to go, but I just don't think I can do it without going over the edge. I feel like I can't focus on more than one thing at a time. Either healthy eating (DS1 has been tested for food sensitivites and just about EVERYTHING is on the list) OR my relationship (I have NO libido), OR parenting OR cleaning the house but I CANNOT do it all at the same time. I suppose I could half-ass them all, but then everything is suffering.

How do I get through this? How do I forgive myself for being an awful mother? I know all the usual things people will say, don't be so hard on yourself, read this book, etc. But how do I actually DO it? I am a perfectionist and I just don't know how to get over it. I try to tell myself it doesn't matter, all that matters is I love my kids, but I still have huge nagging guilt in the back of my mind every day.

Sorry for the long rambly post but I just needed to get this out there and hopefully someone can make it better.

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Old 05-06-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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I am sorry that you are paralyzed from moving forward. I won't presume to give you any advice because I think you are doing what you need to do by going for counselling.

Your labelling yourself as a perfectionist speaks volumes.

For me I learned that I needed to be "good enough", not perfect and that provided a lot of freedom.

There is not one person in MDC or irl that have it all together. None, not one.
Perhaps what you are hearing in people's posts who seem to have it all, is that they have found contentment with the way they are doing things.

-Melanie
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I am right there, too. I'm not impressed with my mothering lately, but maybe it's because i'm finally getting better at cleaning! *sigh* I'm also a perfectionist, so I can totally understand that all-or-nothing feeling.

Honestly, I think it's just about half-assing it. It really is. In my experience, life is about lowering standards and making do. It's not fun (especially for those of us who would rather give up than do it "wrong"), but it is what it is. I guess I feel like once I let go a bit and tried to give myself permission to half-ass things, I did that for a while, but now I'm getting better at keeping myself together. Maybe it just took practice but I needed to give myself that permission to be doing it "wrong" before I could get to a place where I could practice properly?

It's a process... you know the saying, "life's a journey and not a destination"? I have a really hard time living by that, but I am realizing that it really is true.

Not sure that's really helpful, but there it is. I'll be looking forward to other people's practical responses!

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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Old 05-06-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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And I suppose it doesn't help being online and reading everyone else's life story about how they crafted this and gentle disciplined that all the while cooking wonderfully healthy meals that their kid ate and spotlessly cleaning their house without tv or video games. How the F*^&*^ do people do that???(
For what it's worth, I strongly suspect that many of those posts you're talking about are more in the realms of fantasy than in reality. Anyone can be perfect online.

If I were in your position, I would get a job. It sounds like you really need a break from your situation.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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Sent you a pm..
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're going through so much. I just wanted to mention that it can take 6-8 weeks for antidepressants to 'kick in'. If you feel like it really isn't working, talk to your psychiatrist and ask to be switched to a different antidepressant. You owe it to yourself to find something that works for you!

Also, have you talked to your doctor about any of this? There could be something else going on (thyroid issue, fatigue, etc.) that could be easily remedied and help you out enormously.

You aren't an awful mother at all. You're doing the absolute best things that you can do, which are realizing there's a problem and going to see a psychiatrist and counsellor. Do you have a strong support system? I really, really hope you find a counsellor and antidepressant that work for you!

Rebecca, mom to Annie (11/07/2008)
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I don't know anything about four-year-olds yet (I'm burying my head in the sand for a year until I have one), so I can't suggest anything from that perspective. But is it possible that you would be better-suited to working outside the home and using a nanny or daycare? Your post reads like The Feminine Mystique, and yes, that's a little retro, but it was written for a reason. Those of us who WOH or go to school full-time are awesome moms too , and not everyone is suited to SAH and/ or homeschool.

I'm not saying you HAVE to get a job. Obviously if the idea of WOH sounds even worse to you than what you are currently doing, and you have the option, don't WOH! But if the idea fills you with relief, that absolutely does NOT make you any less of a mother. Working and having your children in a good solid care situation is a NORMAL thing that is actually more common than not. It's easy at MDC to get the idea that "everyone but me is able to SAH happily" but that isn't actually the way it is-- most mothers WOH whether by necessity or by choice, these days. Even if you're in Canada with a big huge maternity leave, one year is a normal time to go back to work IF it's what you want to do.

As for the antidepressant, most of those should start working after a couple of weeks. If yours doesn't start working soon, you may want to ask your doc about trying a different one.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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My gut reaction to all of this is “Where is your husband in all of this?” Are you a single mother? You said your relationship is in the toilet, but you never mentioned a husband, boyfriend, your kids father. ANY KIND OF SUPPORT SYSTEM. If there isn’t anyone, and you are doing this all alone. WELL NO FREAKING WONDER your at your whits end. Who on earth, do you know, does it all on their own and is HAPPY? Ive never met anyone.

Now, if you HAVE a husband, who lives with you and is the father of your children, and your marriage is in trouble, I would have to assume your older son is reacting to the tension between you and your husband, and acting out as a result. And then you aren’t getting the support you need to deal with that, and so the downward spiral continues.

How the heck do people do it? WITH LOTS OF HELP. Plain and simple. You sound tapped out emotionally, mama. I know what it feels like to feel like a horrible mother. I have already thought that about myself, and my kids are only 1.5 and 2.5. I yell more then I should. I hate it, but when you have asked the same thing for the 17th time, or answered the same question, or heard the name mommy for 45 mins straight, you start to see spots. Especially when your husband is either NOT home, or also in a mood.

For me, I have a hard time being the one that is leaned on ALL.THE.TIME. I want to be able to lean on someone else occasionally, rather then having to be the rock all the time. It helps me find that balance. Do I always get it? HELL to the NO. But atleast I know what I need to help keep me from wanting to jump off a bridge.

And FYI, Homeschooling is not for everyone. Would I like to try it? SURE. Do I think I could do it permenantly? Doubt it. But since I have to work, it doesn’t really matter. I just wanted to let you know that you can do all the research in the world about why homeschooling is the best thing for your kids, that doesn’t mean it is the best thing for YOU.

Big hugs mama. You aren’t alone.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I think that you are putting unrealistic expectations on yourself. It is very hard to be happy being a parent when you expect more from yourself and your kids than is realistic. Have you thought about taking a parenting class? I am not trying to say that as a dig on you, sometimes being around other parents helps because you see that you aren't alone in your frustration. They also can have very good advice about getting your household running a little smoother which can really help when you are beyond frustrated with your family. Structure and boundaries are there for the whole family to feel happy, not just for the children. I think that if you are seriously depressed and hating having a family then you should make the changes that you need to make even if they don't fit what some of the posts seem to say on this website. This is a very hard thing to go through and I think it is great that you are recognizing that this isn't what you want and are taking steps to try to make things better. Time will help but it probably won't seem like that until you move through this.

I also want to say that I agree with lolar2 about the job or going to school. I started despising being a parent when my dd was almost two and getting out of the house and going to school full time was the best thing I ever did for both of us. My dd loved her daycare, they were supportive of both of us. Our relationship improved drastically and I have found that I am a better mom when I work or attend school than I am when I stay at home. I think staying at home is a wonderful thing if it is a good fit, but the feminist push against traditional mothering did happen for a reason.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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A good job and a great daycare may help a lot in your case. I'll get flamed for this but as we all know... working parents see their kids less during the kid's day. If you get home at 5:30 or 6 p.m. ... there's only a couple of hours of dinner, bath and bedtime rituals to deal with. Then, Saturday is shopping and clean the house day. Sunday is for great family outings.

I'm not saying forever. I'm saying that until you get a hold of yourself and your relationships with the other family members.. this could be a great stop-gap measure.

Good luck, mama.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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I'm going to second the suggestion of daycare and working out of the home. Some people just aren't cut out to be a 24/7 caregiver and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am constantly confused by the mothers who feel like you do but then say they want to be a stay at home mother and homeschool? Why? Why do you think that it is a better option? Just think, you could get up in the morning, feed your kids some breakfast and get them ready and then take them to a wonderful daycare where they will have the attention the need and the playtime they need. You can go back to work and then at the end of the day you can pick them up and you will likely feel much more ready to deal with child-caring tasks. Only a few hours and then it's bedtime. I really do think this is the best solution from what you've said. I also want to add that homeschooling should be completely taken off the list. I used to homeschool and I felt overwhelmed by child care all the time. Finally I decided to try school for a year and it was such a wonderful decision! My youngest is starting kindergarten this year and I can't wait to have a break from all 3 kids! They are learning, they are thriving, and mommy gets a break. What could be better?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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I agree with a pp in saying that maybe you want to look into getting a job? Even something part time. I know (for me at least) working helps, it's therapeutic and while I miss DD like crazy when i'm gone I feel like I'm a much better mother than when I'm there all day with her.

I also wanted to add... I was basically the kid in the situation you described. Both my parents at one point or another have gone through some pretty serious depression. It wasn't pretty but it was just for a limited period of time (once when I was about your son's age and another in HS). A lot of other stuff happened I won't go into here but I just wanted to say that it's the big picture that counts. Sure, I remember pretty clearly the bad times but there were a lot of good times that counteract that and that's really made me who I am today. There were enough good times so I could become happily married, get a good degree, have a functioning family etc. DH also had a far from perfect childhood and has turned out wonderfully.

Honestly, I know it's hard but it looks like you are really trying to do the right things here. You're looking for help, trying meds, etc. I wouldn't worry about damaging your kids, because kids DO jump back. Nobody is perfect and even moms that look perfect from the outside, well, they might have gone through A LOT of tough spots to get where they are today. It's really a learning experience and looking back there's a ton of things I would change but I see DD and I know she's loved despite my flaws, which is by far the most important thing.

Hang in there, continue to look for help. If that counselor isn't working try and find another. Seriously, I'd look into the job thing, though, too. It's OK not to be the perfect SAHM, I really feel that some of us aren't cut out for it.

ETA: Ok, I'm not sure your feelings on this but I'll just throw this out there too... have you ever read the Feminine Mystique?
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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A good job and a great daycare may help a lot in your case. I'll get flamed for this but as we all know... .
So true! Not everyone can home school! You should not feel bad about this!
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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If jobs in your area are scarce and/ or really awful, you might also consider getting a part-time mother's helper or something like that, funds permitting.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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First of all Guestmama, let me apologize for my own posts here at MDC which I admit are sometimes on the bragging side. I try to avoid this but the puffery shows through sometimes, and I imagine that I'm not the only one who has these tendencies. I tend to be very careful about how much time I spend here, because more often than not I leave MDC feeling a little overwhelmed by the the various mantras of "I do what's best" or the laundry lists of accomplishments. I do come to MDC for the simple fact that I don't have a lot of friends with children and my family is not near.

I am also a perfectionist but I have learned to pick and choose my battles. Simply because I don't homeschool or that I work doesn't make me loser. Rather, I focus on the positive aspects of how I parent and how well I balance my choices. You are grading yourself on parenting choices that others have deemed as "best" instead of making parenting choices that you know will work for you, your circumstances and personality, and then fine tuning those choices. I would step back and take a good hard look at how you are trying to define good mothering. Are you starting with a checklist of dos and don'ts (based on outside sources) or are you looking deep within yourself and identifying those things that make you miserable and happy and working from those points? The PPs are right, you are not alone.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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And I'll throw in another and a for the last few pps. We women were not meant to do this alone!

Re. your 4 y.o's preschool, have you looking into putting him in a montessori program? There is almost no schedule there. He will not have to move on to another activity until he is good and ready and maybe there will be some older kids in his classroom that will be like an older sibling role model that he doesn't have. Also, besides academic endeavors, they learn to do domestic, everyday chores as if the classroom was their home, so maybe he will have more respect in the house. And they take kids young so your 1 y.o. might possibly be old enough to enter their school too (a lot start at 18 months). All that is conjecture, I just visited an incredible montessori school last week and wish I had started now-4-y.o. son there when he was 18 months.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Could it be that you have clinical depression? You really sound hopeless, which can be a sign. Take care of yourself.

Also, perfect families do not exist. Even those who claim that they are x, y, and z have days where those ideals flee from them.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone. Really. Reading your posts has brought me to tears. I KNOW all of these things mentally, but I can't seem to get my heart to agree.

My dp was laid off about a month ago so he is around. Frankly he's been doing A LOT around here which has been nice. Which also makes me feel bad because he seems to do things so effortlessly and I wonder why I can't. He has put up with a lot from me. I mean, it must be really hard to live with someone like me. Now that he is home more, he is starting to read the books I have been wanting him to read about relationships and parenting. Now I am the one who needs them.

I do have a support system, my mom and sister and I are very close and I have a couple of friends. But I really hate complaining to all of them, they are almost all single mothers and I feel like I should have nothing to complain about. Plus my mom is one of those types that's just like, suck it up. My older ds can go stay at a grandma's or auntie's for a weekend and he likes to do that.

I have felt that since dp is laid off I could look into getting a job. But that would affect my healthcare, meaning I would get kicked off the state program and then he is looking for a job so he needs to go to interviews and be able to go to work. His earning potential is twice what mine is. When my older son was a baby I did go back to school and earned my bachelors. Then right after I graduated I got pg with #2 and that's what I've been doing since. I do feel like I miss having school to go to but it also makes me really sad thinking of shipping my baby off to a daycare. Plus I get really overwhelmed when thinking about looking for a job, interviewing, all that stuff. I think a job would be nice, but I am so petrified to start that process. Plus I have no experience in my field so whatever I would be able to do would be entry level.

I know that I am not cut out for homeschooling, but I can't wrap my head around it.

I just feel so overwhelmed with life and all the options out there. It seems so complicated, making any decision is like a huge challenge.

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Old 05-06-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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Thank you everyone. Really. Reading your posts has brought me to tears. I KNOW all of these things mentally, but I can't seem to get my heart to agree.

My dp was laid off about a month ago so he is around. Frankly he's been doing A LOT around here which has been nice. Which also makes me feel bad because he seems to do things so effortlessly and I wonder why I can't. He has put up with a lot from me. I mean, it must be really hard to live with someone like me. Now that he is home more, he is starting to read the books I have been wanting him to read about relationships and parenting. Now I am the one who needs them.

I do have a support system, my mom and sister and I are very close and I have a couple of friends. But I really hate complaining to all of them, they are almost all single mothers and I feel like I should have nothing to complain about. Plus my mom is one of those types that's just like, suck it up. My older ds can go stay at a grandma's or auntie's for a weekend and he likes to do that.

I have felt that since dp is laid off I could look into getting a job. But that would affect my healthcare, meaning I would get kicked off the state program and then he is looking for a job so he needs to go to interviews and be able to go to work. His earning potential is twice what mine is. When my older son was a baby I did go back to school and earned my bachelors. Then right after I graduated I got pg with #2 and that's what I've been doing since. I do feel like I miss having school to go to but it also makes me really sad thinking of shipping my baby off to a daycare. Plus I get really overwhelmed when thinking about looking for a job, interviewing, all that stuff. I think a job would be nice, but I am so petrified to start that process. Plus I have no experience in my field so whatever I would be able to do would be entry level.

I know that I am not cut out for homeschooling, but I can't wrap my head around it.

I just feel so overwhelmed with life and all the options out there. It seems so complicated, making any decision is like a huge challenge.
You wouldn't be shipping your baby off. You would pick a daycare that you think is a good fit for your family so that you can focus on getting yourself to a good place. Babies do thrive in daycare. They do. It wouldn't mean you don't love your child. Ask any working mom on here if they love their child. Of course they do. But the situation you are in is not working for anyone so something needs to change.
In regards to the homeschooling, what can't you wrap your head around? School is not bad. It really isn't. I recommend stop reading on the homeschooling board at all. That's what I had to do when I was making my decision. When I decided to send my kids to school I felt like a horrible failure and was sure all sorts of terrible things would befall them. Boy, was I wrong! It has been a wonderful experience for them. They are happy, they are thriving, and they are getting so many life experiences that I would not be able to provide them. Your children will do just fine in school, and in daycare if you decide to go that route. And you will be less stressed, which will enable you to work on becoming the mom that you really want to be.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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I can relate, truly.

If it's at all possible, this is the kind of situation where it's okay to demand help. Husband, friends, family... it's never nice to tell people stuff like this, but you might need to just say "I am at a crisis point and I need you to help me for the next month so I can get through this. When can you take the kids?"

If you can get the computer turned off during the day, that might make a huge difference. When I'm struggling I get really addicted to the computer, and it's a vicious cycle because the social aspect draws me in. I try to stay out of the house as much as possible, going to free mom drop ins and stuff.

You can't do it all. No one can. It will get better.

eta: sorry, I cross posted with you and didn't see your last post so some of this is redundant. I still want to give you though

BC Mum of four ('05, '07, '11 and 06/14!)     
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Dont' feel bad about the homeschool thing. You are not alone in those feelings. I had grand plans to homeschool my children too, but now the thought of having everyone home all day with me is enough to make me . My dd is starting to K in the fall and I am very excited for it .

Meghan : Kayla~ 10/19/04 Jack~ 5/27/07
Evelyn~ 10/9/10

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Old 05-06-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I graduated I got pg with #2 and that's what I've been doing since. I do feel like I miss having school to go to but it also makes me really sad thinking of shipping my baby off to a daycare.
You have to try to get past this line of thinking.

I do not feel like I just ship my kids off to daycare. Is that what you would think of me if I told you I worked full time and my kids went to daycare full time? Prolly not right? You would just consider me a hard working mama doing what I needed to do so that we were all happy and healthy and well provided for. RIght?

There is no shame in daycare. Why do you think it is such a boomin business?
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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And I suppose it doesn't help being online and reading everyone else's life story about how they crafted this and gentle disciplined that all the while cooking wonderfully healthy meals that their kid ate and spotlessly cleaning their house without tv or video games. How the F*^&*^ do people do that???
I have this problem, too. I just want to point out that MDC seems like a monolith sometimes. But, the moms posting about their perfect housekeeping routine, and the moms posting about their all-from-scratch-all-organic cooking (the "make my own bread, pasta, dressings, jams, etc. etc. etc. level), and the moms posting about their flawless gentle discipline, and the moms posting about their awesome daily crafts, and the moms posting about their twice daily outings, and the moms posting about hours of activism/advocacy - they're not all the same moms.

I'm sure lots of MDC moms have it together better than I do. I've struggled with depression. I've crawled into a hole a lot (usually over my c-sections and/or Aaron). I procrastinate like crazy about a lot of things, especially housework. I'm not terribly patient. I cook from scratch, but not always. But, the thing is - even the moms who have it together only have 24 hours in a day. Even if I didn't spend as much time online as I do (and I'm getting better as the baby gets older - yay!), I'd still only have 24 hours a day. If I spend it on outings, I'm not here to cook and clean. If I spend it crafting with the kids, I'm making more messes. If I spend it cooking and cleaning, the kids are off doing...whatever.

And, mama - your youngest is only 1. A very wise MDC mama in our local tribe told me once that the first two years are about survival. MDC is loaded with idealists. That's not a bad thing - but we need to accept that sometime our vision of a perfect life (and we all have one) just isn't practical. Perfectionism is really bad for people. It's taken me a lot of years to accept that I really can't, and shouldn't, demand perfection from myself. I don't demand it from anyone else...

mama.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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MAN OP, I feel just like you do, maybe not quite to the same degree. On a scale from 1 to 10, if you're a 9, then I'm a 7. I'm not quite to the point where I don't want to be a mom, but I am at the point where I feel like I am sucking at it and I need about a three week vacation from life. And while I agree with some of the suggestions about getting a job, I think it has to be something that you really want to do. Even though I feel just like you do, the thought of working out of the home brings me no sense of relief. I would hate being away from my kids all day--even though they make me crazy! It would just be one more thing for me to feel guilty about. I am that person who wants to be a SAHM, just isn't doing it well at the moment. And at least for me, the kids are not the problem, they are a symptom. They are the object of my stress because I am with them the most. BUT, my honest feeling is that if I can get the other parts of my life in order, then the kid part won't be so hard. Everything else in my life is draining me of the resources I need to be a good parent. I am also a perfectionist. I read once that there is something called the "frustrated perfectionist." Those are the people that are perfectionist at heart, but can't make it happen so they are a total train wreck! That's me. I'm really ready to try to get out of the funk, so I'll tell you what I'm going to try.....

One thing I am trying to do is organize my life. I am going to organize my life into categories like: Parenting, housekeeping, nutrition, marriage, spiritual life. Those are my main areas of interest. The things I would LOVE to perfect! I need to make a plan for each of those areas. I need to make baby steps in each area. Like housekeeping, I am going to try to really clean one room each day until I can get to the point of maintenance and then maybe I will revise the plan. For nutrition, I'm going to attempt meal planning dinners, simple recipes, but have a plan so that I know what i have to do. Parenting: Today I will try my best not to YELL at my kids. Just for today. I hope you get what I mean. Part of my perfectionism is crying out for some order, and ordering my thoughts seem like the first logical step.

Also, about surfing the web, I like that too. And part of the reason my kids make me so crazy is, first, when I'm on the computer, they are not getting any attention and they will do what they need to to get it. And that usually means, whine, act up, or fight. Also, when I'm on the computer, I get MORE frustrated with them, because they are taking something from ME by whining, etc. It's selfishness on my part. Don't bother ME while I'm looking at nothing on the computer. I would really like to impose a rule on myself that the computer is only for when they are asleep. I need boundaries on that or else I'm just self-indulging at their expense. I don't want my kids to remember me as the mom who wouldn't play with them because I was always on the computer.

Next, I just ran across a thread that has been ongoing for years on MDC. It's in the p.p. depression forum, but it's title is something like, "true natural remedy for ppd." If you can, read some of that. Some of those women have gotten serious relief using supplements, but you have to make it a priority. I would give ANYTHING to not feel like the apathetic, rage-filled, mother I am now. Taking some vitamins every day seems like a very simple thing I can do for the sake of my kids and my sanity.

And last, I have a 4yo too and your ds doesn't sound out of the ordinary for age 4. Yes, it is a very annoying age in many ways! I totally get it. I just want you to know that and nothing sounds like a huge issue to me. My ds went though a long phase of "don't talk to me and don't look at me!" I remember it clearly

BIG to you mama. I am so right there with you.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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I could be you - if I had not gotten help pre-mommyhood. I still have times when I feel like i'm DONE, but it's all minor and I know how to cope.

I was always unhappy and a terrible perfectionist. I beat myself up about everything. Right before I got married, I had some truly bad moments with DH (I would scream and throw things and say awful things - things that if he had said to me would have made me leave).

Anyway, one day I saw an infomercial for a self help program called "Attacking Anxiety and Depression" and after I watched the whole 30 min thing crying, I realized that those people felt the way I did. I got the program, followed it, and it changed my life, seriously.

The thing to remember with therapy is that there are different approaches. Find one that works. I saw a therapist once, and it made me worse - I basically just talked about everything that made me feel bad, which made me feel bad - and I never did anything but vent. The AA&D program worked really well with my personality, because it gave me specific tasks and ways to change my thought process and behavior. (Parts of the program hurt for sure - but I made progress from day 1). There was also a HUGE part about managing expectations - and it sounds like you do not know how to do that (I've been there!). You expect yourself to be a perfect SAHM, eat healthy, blah blah, and set youself up to fail. And you can learn not to do that.

Believe it or not, you can and will get better. PM me if you want more info about the AA&D program I used.

Mom to two intact boys, born at home. DS1 11/07, DS2 9/10
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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My child is almost grown now, so, I didn't feel at all like this when she was little. But, I feel like it now. I just feel like I'm done parenting. But, then, I'm also done with everything else.

I can't even finish a book because I can't focus on it.

I can kinda understand how you feel.


I don't think homeschooling, or even being a stay at home mom is always the best thing. It's just not for everyone. Kids thrive and do wonderfully in daycare, and public schools. It's like saying You can't be a good mom if you send your kids to public school. If other kids are doing well, why wouldn't yours? My daughter went to good schools in a great neighborhood, and had an amazing school experience. I couldn't have ever come close to matching what she got in school. I am just not cut out for homeschooling. I don't like it.

You don't have to do it all. You don't have to be everything to everyone. You CAN delagate some of your load. Once you get control of the medicine, things will feel better and you will be able to handle more. It's OK that you can't right now. I have heard that the medicine doesn't get into your system that quickly. And, that it might take a few tries to get it right.

I wish you well, I hope things get better quickly for you.

It's just a quick fix, and not a long term solution, but can you go to Hi Health and check into their stress line of products? They have some things that really do help. But, they are only temporary.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Your youngest is 1? How long have you felt this way? When talking with your counselor, has anyone mentioned PPD? You mentioned that you are taking an antidepressant, but that it doesn't seem to be helping. Know that it can take a lot of trial and error to get the right AD.

After my younger one was born, I did develop some PPD. I tried to deny that's what it was for a long time-I felt crappy because my tooth hurt, I felt crappy because we had financial stress, I felt crappy because the baby cried all the time etc etc etc. I finally went to the dr when she was 8 months old. We tried a couple different ADs-Paxil sent me to the ER with a bad reaction, Wellbutrin not only didn't help but made me really anxious and I ended up with Xanex on top of that, then I went to risperdal (I think that was it.) That seemed to work for a while, then the side effects got to me. I went off on my own, which I DO NOT recommend, I knew I shouldn't have done it. Then I go pg right away and that actually helped. All that to say that just because what you are on now isn't helping ot stablize you, that doesn't mean that there isn't something that can help.

As far as your older one's "issues" I do't know that there really are issues, I think from what you posted it sounds like he might be reacting to his environment-if you are letting them play Wii or watch movies and yelling a lot, that can certainly affect behavior. And that's not to say that I am against Wii or movies at all, just that it sounds like it's hard for you to get involved with them and that does have an effect.

I think that like a previous poster said, your post reads like there might be some depression involved. I think that if you can find some help to get stablized emotionally first, then you would be able to take hold of the reins a little more.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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Oh darling. You sound so depressed. I could have written your post word for word a while ago! You are not alone! Alot of mothers feel overwhelmed but it's so easy on the internet to just write about the good things and not the bad.

Firstly, I would call your doctor and tell them how you are feeling. They may get you to wait and see how you go on the AD, they may tell you to up your dosage or they may try you on something else.

Secondly, therapy takes time. Unfortunately it's not an instant fix. I can't tell you how many times I wished I could just wake up one morning and be magically fixed and 'normal'. I wish there was a magic pill, I really do!

Your 4yo sounds pretty normal from your original post. I would say, having been there myself, is that some of the behaviour could be down to not getting enough attention. I have been there, I know how hard it is. I would suggest just giving him five minutes undivided attention during the day. Read a book, have a cuddle, build some blocks. You don't need to spend hours playing with him, you would be surprised how much difference a few five minute blocks a day can make.

Get some exercise. I knooooow this is so hard to do when you hardly have the motivation to get out of bed, but it does work! Don't worry about running, or even power walking, just get out and stroll around the block. Build up speed and distance as you start to feel better. 20 mins of exercise improves your mood for 12 hours!! That's pretty amazing!

Lastly, the thing that really helped me was just to suck it up. I KNOW that sounds wrong, and goes against everything people say about emotions and depression etc but it does help. I just had to give myself pep talks CONSTANTLY. When all I wanted to do was sit on the internet and avoid the kids and the housework I would tell myself to 'suck it up. Get going. It needs to be done. If you don't do it, no one else will!' and the more I did the more motivation I actually got and the better I felt. It sometimes takes every single ounce of strength I have but it really is better in the end.

Please call your doctor. I'm not sure what it's like where you are, but I was amazed at the amount of services that were offered to people like us. Respite care, cleaners, classes, so many things!

It's complicated.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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from another perfectionist mama of a 4yo (and her 2yo protege). You are so not alone. 4 is a really tough age, I think. In fact, up until about 3 months ago, I was all ready to homeschool. Then I got to the point where I just felt so overwhelmed. I just felt responsible for so much for the kids--nutrition, laundry, sports, therapies, social life, survival--adding education on top of that is A LOT. Plus, sometimes you just get tired of spending so much energy pleading and negotiating with a 4yo. I bet there are plenty of MDC moms who were going to homeschool but now they can't wait for August. Just because you let someone else handle the bulk of the educating doesn't mean you are any less devoted or committed to your kids.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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I just want to send you hugs, Mama. I went through something very, very similar. For me, it ended up being very bad post partum depression combined with ADD. I was not diagnosed with ADD until about four years ago when ds was 3. It's made a tremendous difference, just knowing. Things like being overwhelmed at starting a job search process are classic marks of my ADD. Also, keeping up with daily tasks and parenting tasks. Just a thought.

Also, I did about a year of talk therapy. If I were you, I'd give the medication a week or so more and then talk to your doctor about a different one. Different meds work in different ways.

My heart goes out to you, Mama. It's such an awful feeling not being able to enjoy parenting. I know because I've been there. It's a dark, dark place.
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