Turned into the mother I never wanted to be today - support needed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 10-17-2009, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, let me start by saying this: I'm a totally exhausted SAHM with a 3 year old and twins who just turned a year old. DH works long hours and doesn't/can't really help with anything besides bedtime on most days. I take care of everything--kids, house, meals, shopping, nighttime parenting, organization and planning, all of it. On top of BFing the twins and running our 3 yr old to and from preschool and playdates. I have zero time for myself and I'm totally worn down. I've been sick on and off for the last three weeks and have had no time to recover, haven't gotten as much as a nap. Just so you understand where I'm coming from.

On to today. I feel like crap, haven't even been able to get a shower in 2 days, which doesn't help. The house was such a disaster from me being sick so much lately that I tried just lying there to get some rest, and I realized the babies were covered with pet hair from crawling on the floor. Eating carpet fuzz and little bits of who-knows-what off the floor--disgusting! I had to clean up the entire living room in order to vacuum & sweep, and it took me 2 hours because every time I turned my back, the things I'd just picked up were on the floor again. Or new toys had been pulled out. Or one of the babies was pulling the vacuum down on their head or sitting in the dust pile trying to eat it. (gag!) I did shed a few tears before it was done. I think I also had a fever at the time, and had to keep sitting down because I was so dizzy. All 3 kids are fussy and not feeling well.

My 3 yr old wouldn't help. Wouldn't listen. Wouldn't put any of her toys in her room. Was fighting with the babies. Was getting more toys out constantly. Dumping things I've just picked up, like a hundred blocks. I tried asking politely, I tried gathering some of her toys in a small pile so it wasn't overwhelming to put away. I tried helping her carry some. I tried taking some away when she didn't pick them up. Nothing worked and I ended up shouting at her. A lot. Then I shouted at my babies (in the dustpile and climbing the vacuum). I just totally lost it. I took the babies to change & nurse them and tried to calm down, but that's when the 3 yr old decided to throw a fit. Crying and screaming, demanding a glass of milk. She sat down a foot from my face and screamed over and over, crying, distraught, "I WANT MILK! I WANT MILK!" I cried, I begged her to move away, calm down, anything. Finally I started screaming at her angrily to go in her roomm and calm down, leave me alone, give me space. She listened to me and moved away, and I kept shouting. I didn't have to. But I just lost control. And it wasn't just once, I feel like I shouted for most of the hour leading up to that.

I got her some milk after she'd calmed down and asked nicely. I took 10 minutes to calm down and then apologized to her, explaining how I was feeling at the time we were cleaning and telling her I'm having a bad day because I'm sick and feeling grumpy. She cheered right up and was fine. I'm having trouble forgiving myself becuase this is how I was raised, in a volatile environment, and it's the last thing I wanted for my kids. I don't want them to be scared of me or walk on eggshells around me. I can't imagine what this teaches her. I am a very patient person normally, but I'm stretched to (past?) my max right now and don't know how to be gentle with her when I feel like I'm barely keeping it together here! I'm scared that she's going to get used to being the scapegoat when I get upset. It's been happening more lately because I'm getting burned out and but today was the worst.

Sorry this is so long, I am really upset and don't know what I need even. Support? Advice? BTDT and survived? All of the above? Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 12 Old 10-17-2009, 10:08 PM
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Take a deep breath.

When something is stretched to its limit, something has to give. I'm gently suggesting that you try to simplify your life. Are preschool and playdates "must haves?" Can you get your DH to assist you with preparing some meals ahead of time for the week, and stock the freezer?

One bad day is not unforgivable. When my DS was a little boy, he had major issues and we had many bad days. He holds no grudges, and neither do I. I understand your DH working long hours, but he must have at least one day off per week, doesn't he? You deserve one, too.
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#3 of 12 Old 10-17-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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I'm there too and I only have a 3 yr old and a 5 month old. I lose my cool way more than I should. Its no excuse but I also have a DH who works a lot. I feel resentful that I don't have a lot of help. Its really really dismal when you don't have that block of time from your partner to rely on, especially when you are sick.

Tomorrow is a new day fresh without mistakes! And I hope that you start to feel better emotionally and physically! When I feel my temper start to flare I often pop a Rescue Remedy pastille and I feel like it really works. Its not that I notice that its working, its more like the absence of rage that I realise at the end of the day thats related to the fact that I took a rescue remedy.


mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#4 of 12 Old 10-17-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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My mama friends and I refer to this as "mama guilt". Losing it from time to time is bound to happen. I agree with previous posters, tomorrow is a new day. They won't be permanantly scarred by it. I'm sure you are a loving, nurturing mother. Don't beat yourself up mama.
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#5 of 12 Old 10-18-2009, 02:05 AM
 
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I totally feel for you. I have a similar list of jobs and a husband who gets home after the kids are in bed, plus we "only" have the twins (3.5) and I have lost it in the manner you described on more than one occasion. If you've made it to nearly one year with twinfants and a toddler without going totally ape-UAviolation before now, I applaud you! Try to take care of yourself and get whatever rest you can, because I know that I lose it far more often if I am tired and not feeling well, too. And remember, your daughter's childhood experience is not built in one day.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#6 of 12 Old 10-18-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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What a horrible thing we would teach our children if we were perfect....they would never learn forgiveness, understanding, empathy, how to apologize and how to graciously accept an apology. "Hmmm... mommy was mean but I still love her, I was mean to my brother yesterday, maybe mommy still loves me..."

Ya screwed up! Yup. We all have. Find a way to give yourself a break from the children....find a way to forgive yourself, you did no harm.

of course the lesson learned ONCE is better than it learned a dozen times....
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#7 of 12 Old 10-18-2009, 02:45 PM
 
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Here's the glass is half full version:

You taught your children that normal people lose their temper.
You provided an excellent model for your daughter of how to apologize if you've done something wrong.
You have a chance to model forgiving yourself for your children.

And finally - let this serve as a wake-up call: What can you cut out? What can you do to get yourself some NEEDED time to rest and recover? Your dh may just need to take 1/2 a day to come home, take the kids on a long outing so you can nap. Can you ask a couple of friends to take your kids for a couple of hours so you can nap? Is there any family nearby that you trust? What about nightweaning? If your babes are over a year and the lack of sleep is affecting your health, this might be a necessity.

I yell at my kids far more than I like. I was a TERRIBLE mom last weekend, grumpy, cranky and short tempered. I woke up on Tuesday with a major cold. Aha! that's why I was such a pain in the butt. It doesn't make me feel better (emotionally), but at least I know it's not a major character flaw!

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#8 of 12 Old 10-19-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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Luckily I have never hauled off and yelled(yet?), but I have been too stern, rised my voice, been harsh when I should have kept quiet.....and I always feel bad about it so I keep trying to do better.

And I only have one!

I have been sick this week and it has been TRYING! And I have failed at being a good mom pretty much a bunch....luckily for DH this weekend I had a little time off. But he is gone today and this morning was spent ignoring meltdowns and one time very loudly saying COOL IT, MOMMY DOESN'T FEEL GOOD!!! It didn't work, lol.


Do better next time! You're kids forgive you already, so you can too!
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#9 of 12 Old 10-19-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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sweetie,

don't beat yourself up too much. you were (and still are) very tired. I know when I am tired I tend to have very little patience with my twins (2.5). my husband also works long hours and I don't have any support here. the twins are so active and get into EVERYTHING and screaming fits daily. I could not imagine what it would be like with another child so close in age.

it is hard not to have bad moments when you are stretched so thin. I think you did the right thing to apologize to your daughter and explain why you did it. I don't think you caused any long term emotional damage to your daughter.

Be easy on yourself.

SAHM to a set of beautiful twins :, one beautiful angel baby (baby c), and one crazy furbaby :
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#10 of 12 Old 10-19-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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I just wanted to offer as little support as I have. I have a 14 month old and an almost 3 year old and the past year has been really bad and instead of getting better, I'm now officially suiciudal. So I understand. And I think that keeping your cool as often as you do is so amazing.

My only advice that helps me a little that may help, is that I keep big project toys out of reach. Things like blocks, or their food toys, or mr. potato head pieces are all on a shelf above the washer. If it is wanted, it comes out alone and when it's done being used, it goes back. Toys that they can reach are bigger and really easy to chuck back in the toy box when cleaning up. I really noticed how your frustration was escalated in that way, and I thought I would pitch in and hope it helps. Good luck!
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#11 of 12 Old 10-19-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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We all lose our patience from time to time! I only have two kids, not three, and I still lose it now and then (more often than I ever thought I would). I think the important thing to remember is that you apologized and explained your feelings afterward. I remember my mother apologizing to me when she lost her patience with me when I was little, and the fact that she respected me, a little kid, enough to apologize after losing her temper sticks in my head way more than what she said in anger.

The fact that you are so concerned about what happened shows that you are indeed a good mama. Tomorrow is another day. Try to get some time to yourself if there is any possible way!

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, 1984
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#12 of 12 Old 10-20-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dera View Post
I just wanted to offer as little support as I have. I have a 14 month old and an almost 3 year old and the past year has been really bad and instead of getting better, I'm now officially suiciudal. So I understand. And I think that keeping your cool as often as you do is so amazing.
OT - Dera are you really suicidal? If so, please ask for some help, Mama!

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