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#61 of 84 Old 01-16-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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This is what is haunting me the most
I know it is hard. I have been here before. But don't worry too much about the kids. If you are actively working on improving the situation, then they will bounce back as soon as you do and remember even less of it than you do.

If your DH is like mine, he can go through long spells of "a-hoe-ness", especially at times when you need him the most. But he will usually come back to normalness when I do. If this is true, he is probably the last person you want to lean on in times of stress. Focus on getting yourself help and DO NOT dwell on him.

I will pray for you tonight that this passes quickly and you feel peace and gain clarity on your situation.
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#62 of 84 Old 01-16-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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I have been thinking more about how you could make some small changes to help.

I have 4 kids - and three of them are the same ages are your oldest. We don't homeschool, but here are some ideas that may work for you.

I would SERIOUSLY consider a gym membership/YMCA. Ours if fantastic. Sometimes when DH is travleing I take all the kids there for an hour and just read a book in the lobby and take a long hot shower. It is a great place. The kids have fun and blow off some enery too. Many have homeschool classes as well so it could be seen as enrichment as well.

I would set up some basic 'House Standards'. My DD (7) and I just came up with ours. Two basic 'Rules' - Treat other how you want to be treated. Keep our home happy and organized. Under each rule we have some specific 'bullet' points about how to do those thing (i.e. speak respectfuly, wait your turn, food in the kitchen, dirty clothing in the hamper). We also talked about what specific consequences would occure when the 'rules' were not followed. For my kids they *need* to know specifically what the expectations and consequences are. It really takes *me* out of the equation when it comes to keeping order - I simply defer to the 'list' which the whole family has helped create and agrees on. We still have issues, but they are more easily resolved now. We are not really that strict, nor are we big on 'punishment' but there are pleny of natural concequences and follow through.

I would also put togher a home routine. Espically with a new baby coming. I know you feel that in some ways it was not be as hard because you won't be working at the studio, but you will still be 'working' full time, and now with very little sleep and someone attached to you at all times. Establishing a bit of routine now would be very helpful. Again, my kids thrive on know 'what comes next'. We keep it loose and add/take away as we feel it is needed. But the basics are there.

For you I may say something like.
1. Out of bed and dressed by XX time. (my kids LOVE having their own alarm clocks!)
2. 'School' time - however you do homeschooling.
3. Lunch.
4. YMCA time - this time of day is my worst, so I would be heading to the gym right about now to get the kids some energy relese and me some down time.
5. Head to work
6. ***DH comes to get kids AS SOON AS HE IS OUT OF WORK!***

Really your DH needs to be giving more responsiblity.

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#63 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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Crazy as it might sound, this might work better. We live with family and I could get them to "watch" them easier if I am "home" :

We have a mini apartment kind of at my mom's house so this might work.......thinking.....

As you can see......so much for my night out. Dh was irked that I was 45 mins "late" from work.......as in class ends at 6pm and I was home by about 7pm. HELLO!!! One of my students did not even get picked up until almost 630! :
It sounds perfectly sane to me, since I was the one who suggested it. It does sound like that's doable, as long as you make it utterly clear that for whatever time period you agree upon, no one comes into your living space. You could take a nap! Relax! Watch TV! Read! Recharge!

I have a babysitter once a week and I do love going out and doing stuff while she's here, but it's also tiring. The days that are truly awesome and relaxing are the occasional times my parents pick my kids up around noon and bring them back at dinnertime or even after dinner. It's like heaven to be in my house alone for a change!

I hope you get what you need to recharge, wherever that may be.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#64 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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but it's also tiring.
Plus...I am a bit of a homebody.

This may be just the trick

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#65 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok.....I am going to make a pamper kit for myself.

I am going to buy some powdered coffee, a book I really want to read (have a GC), some extras that I like......maybe some Hersey kisses. Every Sun night I am going to spend at least one hour BY MYSELF! I will paint my nails, do a face mask, deep condition my hair........whatever I feel like doing!

And.....that I can afford.

I am also checking into some community ed classes in sewing and knitting/crochetting and going to see if that is a possibility. I already posted on a freecycle type mamas board in MN to see if anyone had any free classes they knew of or would barter for classes.

Keep the tips coming! They are helping my shape up my self love muscles. :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#66 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 05:36 AM
 
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Thank you Angelbee, for posting and being so transparent. It was very helpful to me to read this thread tonight.

I had a 2 hour-long nasty argument with my dh on the phone tonight (he works overnight tonight and can do this on nightshift). Many wives complain that their dhs don't understand that they just want to be heard and listened to, not have everything 'fixed.' I have the opposite problem; my dh thinks I want to be listened to and then figures his job is done. I even laid it out many any times-- I need you to FIX this, not listen; I would very happy to never ever have this discussion again! After much work, and frustration, expressing that I am not asking for a vacation or a fancy car, or jewelry, but a BASIC NEED like water or food or air, I uncharacteristically coerced him into retrieving his work schedule and writing in the times I will not be home, and he therefore will have to commit to being.

He learned that while it was a major improvement that he took the children out for four hours so I could vomit every twenty minutes or more, and that the time in between when I passed out doesn't count as 'rest,' this was a necessary action moreso than him giving me a 'break' from mothering duties. He wondered why after having thanked him when he returned home with them I would now suddenly be so ungrateful as to be so negative about his efforts to make break-times happen for me.

I am going out twice this coming week- Monday and Thursday afternoons. I am home with our children a minimum of 80 hours per week without a vehicle and in the woods in the winter. We live in a cabin with one bedroom and a dressing room and one big common room (24'x26'). It's cozy and beautiful, but cabin fever is a serious consideration!

Unlike many other dhs, though, my dh had to stay home last year to help because I was/am very ill, and had a baby in that time. He KNOWS what it takes to be home, and he found it completely exhausting even though I was there and still doing more than half of the work (which I reduced to the bare minimum or I wouldn't have been able to do it, and neither would dh have been willing- so NOTHING other than bare essentials).

Now, with this scheduled, my biggest contender is dh's job. If they schedule him for those days anyway (he is in a position where they can change it anytime and call him in at the last minute), he will have to risk being unavailable for my sake. He will have to put my health and well-being ahead of the shift and the $$ he could bring home with it. In other words, he'll have to stop spending it on movies and books and stay home instead. He won't lose his job; this is how it works.

Anyway, here's to all of us taking air and water and food for our souls! A break!!! :

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#67 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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y'know it is just not worth it to feel bad about how yourself right now. That sort of "overwhelmed" "haunted" feeling just feeds on itself.
You have A LOT going on. I am quite sure I would go completely mad if I was in your shoes. So honestly if you are even keeping your head above water I think you should get a big fat fantastic mama award.
I think you deserve big kudos for liking your kids enough to keep them home from school so you all can be a close family. Sometimes close is hard, we know this right?
Your husband needs more "alone" time with the kids for bonding thats what I always say. Bonding time with dad is super excellent for mom.
Oh, and doing chores if the kids are gone is completely against the rules.
If I was you I would go to your dance studio with your laptop and a great movie...Make a little nest, turn off the phone and watch an entire move or read for 2 or 3 hours, or nap. I would fully hide and recuperate.
You are a good mama!!! Believe it, say it, do it!! You are just a bit worn out. Your children will be fine, someday they will have children or be preganant and they will come to you and say, "how the heck did you do it mom?? its too hard!" and you will likely have forgotten this moment of despair and cheerfully answer something about how you love your kids.
So give yourself a break, don't worry about the messy house, enjoy your kids in the middle of it all and keep on keepin on!! I am rooting for you!!
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#68 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Just tell your DH you're going. Don't ask. Don't give him a chance to talk you out of it. Just tell him, and go. He's their parent, too, and you deserve a break.
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#69 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Problem with "work" is that I own the joint

We do not make enough to hire people to take over my shifts, so for now getting a new job is not really an option.

The only thing would be closing the dance academy all together.
If the business doesn't have the cash flow to cover the hiring of employees, you might (after things settle down) seriously consider whether or not it is worth the stress of keeping it open.

I was a business analyst for seven years of my finance/accounting career and I saw many, many small businesses struggle so much. The owners poured their hearts and souls into something they loved with poor financial results. Often they were working 2x as hard for less money than if they would have just had worked as an employee in the same field.

Part of the reason I left that job was it was heartbreaking to see these people struggle. Operating a business is hard work, I can't imagine doing it while raising several children at the same time.

Best of luck, I wish you all the best!

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#70 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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Thank you, Angelbee! I came here with a similar post in mind. (I even have a whiny naughty dog!) Reading through this thread has given me some ideas of things to try.

I agree that DH needs to take more responsibility, but also understand that until he does you're still in a rut. I seriously suggest some alone time. Yesterday, I went out to drop off some movies that we'd rented. When I came out of the store, I got in the car and I just didn't want to go home. I drove around for a while and ended up at JoAnn's where they are having a great sale on patterns. I got home almost two hours later! I walked in the house and the chaos was still there, but so were my son and DP. Nothing had imploded while I was away. And I felt a little better. I tackled the pile of dishes, decluttered the buffet, and watched a little TV. This morning, I see things with a bit more hope.

Hang in there, Mama! Maybe JoAnn's isn't your cup of tea, but find something that is and just do it. DH and kids will be okay.


Jen
Loving partner to Gia rainbow1284.gif and mama to heartbeat.gif (9/06) and A heartbeat.gif (1/09)

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#71 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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You need some time. You NEED it. This is not something to be taken lightly. You need to be good to yourself, or even just allow you to remember yourself to be the best mother you can be.

If your DH can say he is working and have some beers alone and take a nap, then so can you. Tell him you are working extra one day. And leave the children. You cannot be everything, you cannot do everything, but you can do something for yourself.

Try not to think about how you are effecting the children long term, or think past today. You are obviously in a state of stress and pressed to the limit. Take every day as it comes, don't think about tomorrow, don't stress about the mess of the house, don't worry if the kids will ever learn to behave or be quiet or help around the house, they will. Just try to focus on today, don't let yourself be carried away with the stresses of the future that you cannot control. Just let it go Mama.

Hope you find some time to be you. You deserve it.

You are doing AWESOME. :

Birth Attendant. Placenta Encapsulator. Reiki Practitioner. Vegan. Aspiring Midwife. Breastfeeding Educator Student. Two years of trying for our love child.
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#72 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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My kids are little :

Ds9, dd7, ds4, dd2, and Baby #5 coming April 09
Your 9 year old and 7 year old are not that little and they should be helping out around the house! Do you have chores set up for them? My dd is 10 and for 2 years now it's been her job to clean up the bathroom everynight. Ds is 8 and for the last 2 years he has unloaded the dishwasher everynight. They have other chores also, I'm just using these as an example. Do they whine about it, most of the time. Is that my problem, NO! They may whine all they want as long as it gets done.

Here is an example of how I handle it.

me: "dd the bathroom needs to be cleaned up"
DD: "No, I don't want to clean it tonight, why do I have to be a slave...whine..whine...whine."
me: "This is your job, we will be having dessert in a half hour and you may have some when the bathroom is clean."
Dd: "more whine...whine..whine...complain...complain...compl ain" while she is getting the cleaning supplies and cleaning.

In five minutes she is done and over the whining and we can all have dessert or watch the movie, have the book read, go to the friends house...what ever motivation I have used to get her to do the chore.

I know that alot of moms on MDC don't agree with this method but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
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#73 of 84 Old 01-17-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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Hugs to you, mama. I don't really have anything extra to add... but I just wanted to throw in my support and tell you that I hope you get a break SOON!

[QUOTE=Hesperia;13009983
If your DH can say he is working and have some beers alone and take a nap, then so can you. Tell him you are working extra one day. And leave the children. You cannot be everything, you cannot do everything, but you can do something for yourself.
[/QUOTE]

See, I don't think this is a good idea at all. I think it would only perpetuate dishonesty and resentment. I think OP should be honest about her frustration that he lied about working in order to get some alone time and that she also needs that same kind of alone time, but won't lie in order to get it. FWIW, I think that it's completely inacceptable that he skipped out on work and got to go out and have a nap. And I think the dishonesty and responsibility-shirking needs to be addressed.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#74 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 02:50 AM
 
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It sounds like you have a good starter plan AngelBee. Take care of yourself and the rest will follow!

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#75 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 03:33 AM
 
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I would put the older two in school, and the 4 year old when he is old enough for K.

I would try to find a way to get something bigger than a mini apartment at your ILs.

I would have a serious sit down talk with dp - outlining what you NEED from him in the way of help and support.
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#76 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 06:21 AM
 
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No. THat is part of the issue.

Dh skipped a meeting last night to have a couple beers by himself and take a nap.

Meanwhile I took all 4 children (and my fat pregnant self) to work in like -30 degree windchill thinking he was busy at a meeting.

Really he just stayed home and had some "me" time.

I am lucky if I can pee once a day without someone talking to me.

And dh is no help in that department (he helps with cleaning and cooking.....but is not an equal parenting time partner)
Leave him with the kids, before this baby comes. For an extended period(extended weekend). Let him see what its like first, then get him on board as equal partner.
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#77 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 06:29 AM
 
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My house is trashed! And it got like that in less then 24 hours.

I just started throwing their stuff away. If it sat out over a day after I asked for cleanup, it went in the garbage. Even dh. I just bagged up the left out toys and took em to the thrift or freecycled them. They realized pretty quick I was serious about keeping the house tidier and stepped up. They have daily chores and if they didn't do them they missed their activities (ballet, baseball, art class...) and have to reimburse me for the cost of the lesson from their bank accounts. If there is no activity that day then dinner gets made after the chores get done. Kitchen closed until then. I have too many kids to be the overworked slave living in a pig sty she can't keep up with. I want to discipline gently, but not at the price of being angry, overtired and unappreciated. And frankly, if I let the house get trashed, I am more likely to blow my gasket and be less than gentle in my tone and behavior.



So meanwhile, I keep trying to slay the same dragons we have bee ntrying to slay for days, months, and years.
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#78 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 06:39 AM
 
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Crazy as it might sound, this might work better. We live with family and I could get them to "watch" them easier if I am "home" :

We have a mini apartment kind of at my mom's house so this might work.......thinking.....

As you can see......so much for my night out. Dh was irked that I was 45 mins "late" from work.......as in class ends at 6pm and I was home by about 7pm. HELLO!!! One of my students did not even get picked up until almost 630! :
The heck with his being irked. Ignore him and go OUT! I don't even prep anymore. He can cook and he can figure it out. If I run around like nuts making is so easy for him to watch them, he doesn't learn what its like to do what I do (or remember, he seems to need regular reminding). I still don't see why you take them to work with you at all if he is home. He is equallly responsible for them. If he is home and you are not then he takes care of them and vice versa.
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#79 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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Your 9 year old and 7 year old are not that little and they should be helping out around the house! Do you have chores set up for them? My dd is 10 and for 2 years now it's been her job to clean up the bathroom everynight. Ds is 8 and for the last 2 years he has unloaded the dishwasher everynight. They have other chores also, I'm just using these as an example. Do they whine about it, most of the time. Is that my problem, NO! They may whine all they want as long as it gets done.

Here is an example of how I handle it.

me: "dd the bathroom needs to be cleaned up"
DD: "No, I don't want to clean it tonight, why do I have to be a slave...whine..whine...whine."
me: "This is your job, we will be having dessert in a half hour and you may have some when the bathroom is clean."
Dd: "more whine...whine..whine...complain...complain...compl ain" while she is getting the cleaning supplies and cleaning.

In five minutes she is done and over the whining and we can all have dessert or watch the movie, have the book read, go to the friends house...what ever motivation I have used to get her to do the chore.

I know that alot of moms on MDC don't agree with this method but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Jus wanted to say that this is a great method IMO, I say: You may got outside/have a juice/ or _____________ AFTER you have put away your toys.

It works for us ;-) and gets the job done.

A UK Waldorf blogging mama!
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#80 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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He does watch the kids (usually not all at once) sometimes when I am working, but not for me to have any alone time.
That needs to change. you deserve social time and "me" time as much as he does. Find a prenatal yoga class, or go to a bookstore and read, or something. Anything. Something that will recharge your batteries. As far as the DH goes, there should be no negotiation over this. You're leaving, he's in charge, and the kids better all be intact when you get home. You did mention the words meeting and beer in one post. Not to be too terribly nosey but is he in recovery and attending AA meetings and still drinking or was this simply a work meeting?
In re: to the kids, your older ones are definitely old enough to pick up their own crap and even the 2 year old can pitch in and help. When my kids were younger I instituted what I called the "monday" box. I would give them a few reminders and a time limit for them to pick up there toys. Once the time was up whatever was left on the ground got tossed into the monday box and they didn't get it until the next monday. So if it's tuesday and they lost 1/2 their toys for a week, oh well. There were a few times where I was tested and they were not happy with the results, but they learned quickly to live by the limits I set. In the long run this did a lot to save my sanity.

PS..... visit this site http://www.meetup.com/
there always tons of crafting and knitting and crocheting groups on there and they are free or extremely cheap ( as in toss a couplde of bucks in the basket to cover the cost of the meeting site). It's not a class but i am guessing there would be people there with more experience in this are that would be delighted to teach you and you would get some valuable socializing time as well.

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#81 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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couldn't read without posting. we homeschool too. that adds another dimention. could the 2 oldest go to school for a while? at least until new baby comes? Just a thought, obviously we homeschool for a reason.
AND DH needs to step up, i would have a chat with him
s:
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#82 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Not sure if anyone has said this or not yet, but I'd like to add what has worked for me in this type of situation. Whenever I feel aggravated with the way I feel treated, I stop for a moment and just breathe. I take several deep breaths (sounds silly maybe but it really does help) and then I accept how I'm feeling. So often we, as parents, feel that we must live up to self-prescribed standards and if we fail to continually live up to them then it's very easy to feel guilty, ashamed, etc. If you can stop just for a moment, go inside of yourself where your emotions are, and just allow yourself to be with them. It's okay to feel how you are feeling. See how that statement sits with you right now. Do you feel like pushing that statement away, like maybe you're not "good enough" to feel what you are feeling? If so, then continue to simply breathe and go deeply into your emotional state. You may find yourself releasing some of the pain (screaming, crying, yelling, etc.) or you may find yourself trying to resist it even more. Either way is okay...just see if you can sit with them for a little while. You'll be amazed how much clarity can be gained just by doing this very simple act. You might even find yourself discovering solutions. Maybe not "outer" solutions, but, at the very least, you'll probably discover a sense of peace with it all even if you still feel like raging and crying (which is okay)
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#83 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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I keep seeing this come up on new posts. I finally clicked on it because I hated my own children last night

I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. I feel like I have been there many times. And I only have 2 kids.
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#84 of 84 Old 01-18-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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Perhaps you can integrate some of what you want your kids to learn (how to clean a room, personal responsibility, time management, work then play) into their homeschooling lessons. Even money management - as in money attached to chores. My own experience is that all of your kids (even the two yo) are old enough to each have some responsibilities in the home. You are in a great position to integrate this learning into their day to day lives and I'm sure there are some great homeschooling resources out there/on MDC that can help you structure your lessons. And, that goes for your dh too. If I were you, I would objectively look at if he's experiencing any natural consequences to his actions. Most moms are really good a picking up the slack for a limited partner. Maybe it's time to let him "strategically fail" and provide some consequences so that you aren't suffering so much. Good luck!

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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