Hi ladies. I'm not sure if there is any realistic advice out there for me, or if I just really need to whine. I'm due the 13th and have yet to formulate a plan of postpartum support. My husband is in medical school and will, at best, be able to get 3 day off. We won't even know if that's permissible until the week I'm due when he meets his new attending (boss). My DD just turned 6 and my DS will turn 3 in a week or so. He seems to be regressing - which is literally freaking me out. Refusing bedtime and climbing into bed with us several times a night. (Which is my absolute LIMIT -I can not have him come in and disturb my nights with a newborn or endanger a cosleeping infant by jumping on us.) (While my husband realizes he will have to deal with this post baby - he must be away for a week in July and then will be gone through the week for a month or 2 starting at the end of August.) (ok - THAT I can definitely use advice on! lol)
My in laws are about 45 minutes away. I think they will be some help initially, as far as helping with the older kids, but my MIL is very flaky and although, full of good intentions - not the most reliable person and even if directed - she isn't one to make lunch and clean up after herself - which leaves me often feeling more overwhelmed. She will often promise to take my kids for the day and then show up hours after I expected and out the door 2-3 hours later. My family is 90 minutes away, but they are still working. My mother will try to take off as much of the first week as possible, but she knows that's all she can offer, at best. I am hoping to divide the week in July between both grandparents and get the older kids away, (that's my 1 accomplished plan!)
We live on student loans and are struggling to pay for our greatly reduced homebirthing expense. A postpartum Doula isn't an option for this reason. We moved here a year ago and have only connected with about 2 families. My husbands busy schedule, a tree falling and smashing through our house 3 weeks after we moved here (2 months of major construction!) followed immediately by 8 months of puking - have really isolated me in a region where there aren't a lot of down to earth or stay at home mom type families anyway. (OK - The whining has officially begun!!)
And I'm laughing, but I'm crying.
I feel overwhelmed trying to get everything "ready" for this baby - which shouldn't be complicated, but I'm still unpacking! I'm worried about stress and it's effects on breastfeeding - which was an evil culprit when we moved to a new state when my son was 3 weeks old and daddy started med school when he was 8 weeks. I can't even think up meals to freeze that doesn't involve turning on an oven in the middle of summer.
I have made trays of food for postpartum moms I've never met, b/c of mom group affiliations, but here - I just never connected or found a community.
Any encouraging words? or feedback on ways to handle and stimulate my older kids through it all. This is my last chance to plan - and I just feel lost. I'm scared that i can see depression coming - our situation is so ridiculous. I feel like I should be full of joy and looking forward to what's to come, but instead I'm dreading it. Really, any thoughts on how to prepare for basically being a single mom to 3 over these new baby months would be appreciated.
Sounds like a tough situation, but you can get through it!
Do you have a sister or friend who could come stay for a few days and help out? What about dh's colleagues... any women through that network who would help if they knew you needed it?
I would check into finding a postpartum doula who needs experience and wants to work for free or a reduced fee. Maybe a local tween or teen who could be a mother's helper? Is there a LLL near you? I'd probably try to go to a meeting and ask there for ideas, someone might know of someone or something helpful.
When my ds was born, we went to the library and got lots of movies. DD was only two and shouldn't have watched a lot of videos yet but she would sort of tune in and out and it at least helped. Can you collect some toys and activities to save for when dh is at school and you are on your own? Maybe something they don't normally get like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, new art supplies... maybe your relatives would want to help by picking things like that up. You can make and freeze things like muffins and granola bars to pull out for easy food for the kids. If your mom can help out in the first week after dh is back at school, use that for just resting and nursing! Maybe make a list of specific things you really need from her so you can at least count on those things being done.
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One day at a time. That is how you will do it. My dh deployed when child #3 was 3 days old. Family is all at least 1.5 hours away. I know where you are at. When #3 was born I had an almost 3 year old and a 5.5 year old. Make meatballs cook and freeze, easy two minute meal. Freeze a bunch of brats and premade hamburger patties and buns, shepherds pie, quiche, make a bunch of pancakes, waffles etc to freeze. hard boil a couple dozen eggs-they keep forever. Precook chicken and freeze, freeze baggies of crockpot meals, then the house isn't hot when you are in the worst of the day, if you ant a list pm me I have a doc file full of crockpot meals!
It can be done, if you are near a military base befriend those women - they know what it is like to be alone. Vent away too. Find a secluded park that is easy to watch the kids but not have to be on top of them whilst they play and you supervise. Don't forget that tired kids are good kids, dance party in the living roo or walk, bike etc at the, or to the park everyday!
Mama to Max 9, Neva 7, & Esme 4 and Julius 2.
I've been an actual for real single mama of multiple kids with no postpartum support more than once and, even when I wasn't single, the support was never there. Lots and lots of mamas make it through more trying times and you can as well. The most important thing I know: Rest as much as possible. Nap.
My kids will undoubtably watch more television than is ideal this summer. I'll put the baby gate up in my girls room, lay on my daughters bed with the baby and watch them play. I'll get cozy on the couch and watch them colour or whatever - something that they can clean up themselves. I'll make and feed them easy meals. When I take them out I'll take them someplace that will allow me sit and chill as much as one does with toddler and preschooler and grade schooler. After a couple/few weeks I'll do a lot of what I always do in most the same way that I always do it - as if having a newborn isn't a hinderance I'll put one foot in front of the other, figure it out and move forward because that's the only option and no mater how stressed I get beforehand it ALWAYS works out.
Right now take time to plan. Nurture and love yourself. If you end up with PPD speak with your provider ASAP.
Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12
Any way you could look into getting a mother's helper for a month or two? Just someone to come in for a few hours a day and help occupy the older children so you can clean/focus on the baby? If you are a part of a church you could ask some of the youth group about it especially since its summer time and they're home.
I'm the type also to say, as much as I love the idea of stocking my freezer, the reality is I don't have the time or energy. I'd much rather buy some stouffer's meals to feed my freezer because I'd rather my family be fed something than nothing! That could also be a good thing to put out if you belong to a church because you know how little old ladies love to help :D
Besides all that, you are more than welcome to PM me (or we can yahoo if you want my SN) even if only just to vent :) I've been through some crazy stuff during/right after all of my pregnancies so i can sympathize :)
-:¦:-♥Sarah Lynne♥-:¦:-Wife to Michael and Mommy to Austin(5), Steven(3), Tristyn(1), and Laurelyn (6/3/2011)
Hey there..join us in there too..Gonna do it all by ourselves this time around.Hubby will take 10 days of parental leave and then we will be on our own and I am looking forward to it. One day at a time is a great advice and sleeping whenever possible is another one I am going to do.Sleeping gives me added fuel and ammunition to go full force when I need to. Also, things are not going to be perfect and sinks and laundry and home could be dirty some days but I am totally ok and prepared for it and our expectations are set about eating simple and healthy food. ;-)
Pari, Student, Job Seeker and mom to K (2006) and A(2011)
Count me in the single momma club. I'm not married and baby's father is MIA, which is stupid because he lives literally 10 minutes away from me, he's just ignoring me and his baby. Ass. I digress...
My kids are older and we share a house with my mom, but she works full-time (like 50+ hours a week) so she's not going to be around to help much. The other family I have in the area is my sister, who is an OBGYN resident, (so I totally know what kind of schedule your DH has) and her husband who is busy with their 3 kids. I do have friends, but they all have kids and jobs and lives as well and they don't have the time to come over and help all the time either. I'm also broke because I'm a full-time nursing student and I don't work. The summer is my very most broke time of year because I don't have my left over financial aid to help me through. I have become a master of doing stuff on a budget.
So, my plan is to stock up on as many healthy snacks as humanly possible and to figure out easy crockpot recipes that the kids could help with since they're older. I have a document of crockpot recipes that has close to 700 recipes on it and is organized by type of meat. I would be more than happy to email it to you. I live in Texas so the very last thing I want to do during the summer is turn the oven on. I'm sure that we'll end up eating a ton of macaroni and cheese and bean & cheese burritos this summer. I'm thinking that I'll also be spending the extra money on getting veggie & fruit trays where everything is already prepared. The kids are more likely to eat the stuff that way because it's already prepared, and I'm not the one that has to prepare it.
I second the idea of having crafty things for the kids to do that don't require big messes or supervision. The Dollar Tree has tons of those blank foam shapes that the kids can stick other foam shapes to, or color on. They also have the foam stickers in packs that have bugs, princess, fish, animals, etc. Coloring books & crayons are easy too. You can buy a ream of paper, some glue sticks, stickers, safety scissors, those colored pompoms, and popsicle sticks at the Dollar Tree as well. For $20 -$30 (or less) you could have a pretty good supply of crafty things to keep the kids entertained when you need inside quiet time. Plus, there are books, puzzles, games, sidewalk chalk, and movies at the Dollar Tree as well.
My mom said that when my sister and I were little she went outside with us every single day. Even when we lived in Fairbanks, Alaska and it was the middle of winter, -40, and snow everywhere. We still went outside even if it was for only 10 minutes twice a day. I tried to do that with my kids when they were little too and it made a huge difference. Even now that they're older they play outside every day. I don't care if it's raining, hailing, freezing, or roasting hot. Out they go. If you have the space and the money, a little plastic pool (you should be able to find one for $10 - $20) could save your summer. Your kids are small enough that a little pool will keep them happy and entertained. If you have part of a yard where they can dig or plant things get a couple little trowels and rakes (also available at the Dollar Tree) and let them go nuts in that area of the yard.
We also do living room dance parties at our house. Sometimes I'll even buy a few glowsticks from the Dollar Tree (are you sensing a "I'm cheap" theme here? lol) so we can turn the lights out, turn the music on, and dance around the living room. The kids always have a blast. Always. Plus they're getting their energy out, learning some new dance moves and having fun.
Even though you can't afford a PP doula, I'd still call around and see if anyone can volunteer their time. And the other suggestions about tweens or teens in the neighborhood is a great one. My DD is 10 (she'll be 11 in July) and she will probably be my biggest helper. My DS is 12 and while he'll help, he's just not as into the whole baby thing as his sister is. We also have a 13 y/o neighbor girl across the street that's already volunteered to help out with the baby. I know it can be hard to put yourself out there and ask for help, but if you don't ask the answer is automatically "No." I also like the idea of asking your husband's school people's wives for help. They're in the same boat as you are and I'm sure there will be at least a few of them with kids close to the ages of your kids who would love to help you out.
Momma to my boy (1/99) & girl (7/00), Birthmomma to my Ladybug (8/09), the new baby monkey boy born 6/6/11!
Student nurse, doula, future midwife, and breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, organic gardening, God-loving single momma
I just wanted to say that my 16 month old who was sleeping soundly all night in his toddler bed started a couple weeks ago waking up after just a few hours crawling into our bed. Now picture this. Our bed is so high off the ground, my 5'10 self can sit on the edge and my feet still barely touch the ground. He crawls up our bi-level nightstand then puts his foot between the boxspring and mattress and pulls himself right up in less than 30 seconds. I am so scared what is gonna happen after baby. I plan to breastfeed/co-sleep somewhat with a sidecar bassinet. However, she will probably spend most time by me. I have to be on the outside since the other side of our bed is by a wall only place the bed would go in the weird shaped room) so bassinet can only go on that side of bed so DH will be on inside by wall, then me and baby. If he climbs up there he will fling hiimself right on top of her I am afraid.
I have been putting him back before he can make it all the way up to our bed but he does this like 5 times and by sunrise I am too tired between his 5 attempts and my other 5 wake-ups to pee or get water, I am too tired and just let him in. I don't know why he regressed, its like he knows its all about to change. I just wanted to say I can relate and hope you can get your little one back into a good sleep routine.
mama to the Brady bunch 3 boys, 3 girls.
DS Jan '02, DD Jan '04, DD Oct '05, DS Spt '07, DS Jan '10, DD Jun '11 Our
oh my. I never even saw these answers and 2 months later - it brought me to tears. thank you. Sometimes you just need someone to listen and say - yes, that sucks. I get it. So thank you, I don't have time to get on here much and y baby was born right after, so I guess I just missed that people responded or wasn't signed up for alerts.
I hope you all are wonderful and well. I'm oddly, in a ZEN of parent mode these days - refusing to feel guilt and giving all of this my everything. Hopefully I can keep turning out this energy. :)