stress & 7 yo DD - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-15-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my dd is 7.  she is in 2nd grade,

 

we just moved to a new town 2 mos ago, and shes having trouble.. 

 

The story is, DH and I lived for 4 years in a nice house with DD and then eventually DS.    DH got a job in a new city, so we moved.  When we moved, life unraveled.  DH started an affair and got hooked on prescription drugs.  For a year life was hell.  In 2011, DH was diagnosed with bipolar I. He got on medication, got sober, and left his mistress.   We continued to live separately for 18 more months.  (I was at this point financially strapped, me & the kids were living in a small apartment...)

 

The apartment complex had kids DD's age who played together all the time.  Her BFF lived next to us and was over everyday. 

 

Now that we have moved to a 3rd town (DH  has been medication compliant for almost 2 years now, and sober for 2 years.  We just moved in with him when he got a new job in a different town).  Where we live now is small, and really a good place for DH to get his career back on track (one reason he had to leave the big city we were in was that he royally fouled up his work reputation there.) 

 

There are no little girls around where we live, and DD has been crying that she is lonely.  That all she does is watch tv, and she is bored.  She has activities 3 days a week (Sunday School, Girl Scouts and Ballet)  She also goes to a speech therapist 1x a week, although that is not fun!  But it shows you that her week is pretty packed.

 

She also has a little brother to play with, and we do things on the weekends (drive a few hours to visit a musem or zoo, or a family member, friends, etc)

 

I drove 3 hours round trip to take her to see her old BFF a few weekends ago....

 

In addition to this, she sees her school friends every day.

 

Her grandparents just came for a visit (I wonder if their leaving is what really has her upset).  

 

I TRY VERY HARD TO MAKE MY KIDS HAPPY AND I FEEL LIKE I AM FAILING.

 

I am soooo tired.  I am dealing with a bipolar husband, and two small kids, a new area, and I spend my days taking them to activities (my younger child, DS, has play groups and Kindermusik, and t-ball)

 

I dont know what else to do...  does DD need more friends or activities (my thought is a big no)  or is she saying this because she is working thru her Dad's bipolar and drug addiction.  She and her brother were court ordered to go to DH and his mistress' house every weekend and they saw Dad on drugs, the mistress (also on drugs) took care of them for the most part bc dad was out of it a lot.  Once the mistress locked them in the play room while she had a party.

 

DD has told me that she feels gulty because she knows Dad's 'friend' was bad but she was so nice and always gave her candy and toys, that she liked her...

 

my thought is that she is missing her bff, but also that shes working thru emotional abuse & neglect she endured at her dads house during those weekends... 

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#2 of 12 Old 11-15-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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I don't really have any advice for you, but I wanted to let you know that I'm sorry you guys have had a rough few years.  Have you thought about counseling for her to deal with her feelings?  Hang in there!

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#3 of 12 Old 11-15-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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She needs therapy STAT. A good play therapist. I think she is saying she is lonely because she doesn't have words to understand what she is really feeling or to tell you what she is feeling.

 

She also needs a mom that takes care of herself...I think we can all relate to taking care of our kids first but given all you have been through I hope you will consider that you need someone to take care of you.

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#4 of 12 Old 11-15-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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I will third the therapy suggestion. Therapy is NOT a bad thing. It truly isn't. DD1 has been seeing a therapist since she was 5. We've taken breaks over the years, changed therapists to get one that was the right fit. We started with play therapy and eventually moved to just a child/teen therapist.She is 9 now, almost 10 and we have been on another break until now. DD1 actually has a therapy appointment in the morning. Of her own request. She has been having a really rough time lately at school and she asked to go back to therapy. She likes it, likes her therapist. It allows her to talk about her life and emotions with a neutral person in a warm setting. Our therapist teaches her meditation and other coping skills. I don't know what she talks in in her sessions, but it greatly relieves her. We've been with this particular therapist since she was 7. And I love that this is normal to her at such a tender age. Sometimes we all need a good therapist but many of us don't for various reasons, but at least for this stage of her life, she looks forward to it. 


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#5 of 12 Old 11-16-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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Yes, yes, and yes to the therapy (and not just for her...family therapy would probably be really helpful) and to mommy taking care of herself first. I also agree that she probably doesn't need more entertainment/friends. I moved DD across the country last year to live with DH, away from the father she idolizes. It was a decision I made after loooong consideration, but needless to say I've struggled with guilt, even though we all know that can be a pointless and destructive feeling. In my own personal experiences with DD (who's 8, in 2nd grade), I've found that no matter what the complaint, often the best way to respond is with love/security (a 5 minute hug/cuddle session, planning some mommy and me time) or humor (of course, it's hard to find your sense of humor when you're stressed and exhausted!).

 

I feel for you. And forget the whole guilt thing. We're all doing the best we can, and when I look back on my own life, I grew the most after the hardest struggles. None of us *wants* to see our kids struggle, but I think it's necessary and healthy...we just don't always get to choose those struggles.

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#6 of 12 Old 11-17-2012, 05:01 AM
 
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there are two major things going on. 

 

1. she needs therapy to deal with her history (poor baby)

2, she needs company.

no. 1 the pp have covered well.

 

i want you to know that the second reason is equally important. she is used to having a friend of her choice with her for extensive periods. gently i say mama - those activities and a sibling does not do it. life gets boring. 

 

she really needs a friend to hang out with. with a 10 year old let me tell you having a friend kinda her age is HUGE!!! but that cant be a reality at this moment. 

 

empathise with her when she is missing her friend. this is v. important. can she skype her (dd used to skype her best friend for hours).

 

gosh wouldnt it be nice if you could take care of another girl her age after school. but i am sure you are overwhelmed as  it is now. 

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#7 of 12 Old 11-17-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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I wasn't sure from your post, but is your DD also going to school during the day? If so, I think her schedule is probably too full.

 

I know it sounds paradoxical, because she is saying she is bored and wants someone to play with. My DD is the same way and thus I tend to overschedule her, thinking she's asking for more playtime with other children. But what my DD wasn't really able to verbalize is that what she really wanted was more connection with a solid, present parent.

 

It sounds to me like your DD has plenty of opportunities to play with other children and that is not the "real" problem. It sounds like what she might really want is you (since Dad in the past has not represented stability for her and you are the  more reliable, stable parent) to get down on the floor with her and give her your full attention for an hour or so each day, playing whatever she wants to play. Its amazing how hard this is to do when you have much else on your plate. But I'll bet this is what she is really asking for. Throughout her childhood, you are the one who is going to be there for her, from her perspective, everything and everyone else can change, and she probably needs extra reassurance that its safe and right for her to be very connected to you, and the best way to give her this reassurance is not with words but with fully present floortime. 

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#8 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i have had her in therapy on and off for over 2 years.  we just got an appt with a new person now that we've moved.

 

thanks for the input... i do think its partially that we have moved and she doesnt have that BFF anymore...  i think that her BFF kept her mind off of the family stress (or atleast gave her an outlet where she could have fun...)   Hopefully we will get some answers or stress relief for DD at the therapist!

 

She did go with her friends on a Girl Scout badge thing this weekend & had fun, and then she and baby brother rode bikes to the park and met some other kids to play with, for about 2 hours...   

 

Yes, she does go to public school...  i do think her days  are too packed, but she is very social, and seems to thrive on going going going... 

 

This is a wierd question-- but, what is taking care of myself...  I have been thinking about this thread and agree, yea, mom does need to take care of herself... but I cant think of what taking care of ME means.  What do you all do to take care of YOU.

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#9 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriebeth View Post

This is a wierd question-- but, what is taking care of myself...  I have been thinking about this thread and agree, yea, mom does need to take care of herself... but I cant think of what taking care of ME means.  What do you all do to take care of YOU.

this means different things to different moms. depends on their situation too. for some its having someone watch child while they go to the gym. for me it was giving myself permission to take a breather and enjoy drinking that cold glass of water i had been dying for. it was prioritising our needs. just because you are the mom doesnt mean your needs have to always come second. as babies its hard. as they grow up it gets a little easy. 

 

taking a shower when dd is asleep was one for me too. today it means askign dd to cook dinner (she loves doing it) or do the dishes coz i am v. tired. 

 

my favorite. when dd was 19 months old i used to get parented out by evening. i had no way of getting some time off - so i decided to watch dd play and hang out by herself without me participating. so simple yet so sweet. so relaxing. i discovered i was on the go all the time with her. never stopping to enjoy her. 


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#10 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauriebeth View Post

 

 

Yes, she does go to public school...  i do think her days  are too packed, but she is very social, and seems to thrive on going going going... 

 

This is a wierd question-- but, what is taking care of myself...  I have been thinking about this thread and agree, yea, mom does need to take care of herself... but I cant think of what taking care of ME means.  What do you all do to take care of YOU.

On these two things:

 

 

1. I have a DD that goes....goes...goes and actually needed to learn how to play alone (her twin asks for and craves time to herself naturally). But if I keep keep my more social DD TOO busy, she implodes and demands more more more more ( more time with adults, more activities, more whining occurs, etc). 

 

We block of time each day for quiet time and reflection. She also has a list of 'things' to do that she can do herself. The visual reminders help remind her to slow down and that she can focus on specific things to do.

 

We also limit screen time. When DD gets too much TV or computer time she gets obsessive and wants to do nothing else. She gets X amount of time a week- that is it.

 

2.As for taking care of yourself. That depends on your own nature. Find out what feels recharging to you and make time for it. For myself- it is time to read and recharge, make sure I get enough rest. I am an introvert and too much 'on the go time' is draining.

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#11 of 12 Old 11-18-2012, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

 

 I have a DD that goes....goes...goes and actually needed to learn how to play alone (her twin asks for and craves time to herself naturally). But if I keep keep my more social DD TOO busy, she implodes and demands more more more more

So interesting!  I love the idea of a list of things she can do on her own...  my younger child can play very well alone...  blocks, cars, dinos, etc.  Older, always seems to need people around, or going somewhere

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#12 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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What I do to take care of myself - therapy for me, things that I enjoy like meet a friend for coffee or a meal, read a book, play on pinterest or here, listen to music.

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