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<p>Okay Im trying so hard not to sound hysterical about this (if only you could see me sobbing over this)--</p>
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<p>Our plan (and one I am very attached to-- feel very strongly about) is to HS our boys (ages: almost 5, and 20 mos).</p>
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<p>What's making me question whether I can do this (other than the feeling somedays where I feel like I will lose it being with them all day), is the fact that every single time I need to go nurse the smaller one down for a nap (may take 5 to 15 mins) the elder begs me "NO NO NO, i don't want to be alone, why does he need to nap? can't he just skip it?" etc etc etc and then proceeds to ask every 15 minutes "when will he wake up?" until he wakes. (and no i can't nurse him in the living room nearby with DS1-- DS2 would only fall asleep if he was overtired, ie; it was like 3pm, which is way late for him to go down-- and my kids have NEVER TRANSITIONED WELL-- if he would nurse to sleep on the couch as i transferred him to bed he would wake and i would have to nurse him back down anyway, OR WORSE he would treat that as the end of the nap altogether. which would send me over the edge.)</p>
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<p>i have tried to invite him to lie down with us but he can't stay quiet enough for me to get the job done. i don't think this is fair to DS2-- he needs/wants his milk to go to sleep and i find myself yelling at the him that he "better be quick because I have to get back to your brother" and then lay there feeling guilty that I have left the other one upstairs by himself. (he has always been very attached, slightly insecurely)</p>
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<p>most days I keep us so busy (i find this LESS stressful) that the baby sleeps in the car when we are out. but this means they are much shorter naps and that doesn't seem like that would be good for him. again he won't transition so getting him out and into a stroller/sling to sleep longer doesn't work.</p>
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<p>so that leads me to this question-- while putting him in a 2 or 3 day/week montessori* (for example, don't know what other options there are, help?) may be a knee-jerk reaction and would look, on the surface, like it would solve the problem, I know I would probably feel even more guilty (the thought of sending him away feels HORRIBLE-- we have tried mother's day out and even a 5 day montessori and he always cried and begged to stay home--it seemed to take the light out of him) and perhaps it would make him even MORE insecure. i also know little brother would miss him terribly. they are super bonded.</p>
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<p>i have started a babysitter-- she comes 3 hours mondays so DH and i can have alone time and wednesdays for 5 hours during the day so i can get away. it just doesn't feel like enough. i feel overwhelmed and stressed more than we can handle ("we" meaning all of us, even DH who has expressed concern over this recently). i have also started babysitting swaps with some moms from the neighborhood.</p>
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<p>we have gotten rid of the TV (which was a much smoother transition for all than I thought it would be) so i can't/won't lean on that anymore to distract him when I need to go put DS2 down. also, note that DS2 doesn't have a nap schedule; it depends on when we wake up, which depends on when we got to bed, etc....</p>
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<p>last note, i dealt with terrible PPD and have come off the meds recently and it has been going well, although maybe not perfectly-- and no we have no family nearby. but we do have use of a babysitting co-op.</p>
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<p>PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE offer some advice, some BTDT or anything. I am at a loss and want more than anything to keep my boys (especially the one attached to my hip, my slightly insecure older one) with me through these vital years. i know you mamas will understand my values and i hope you can help guide me in the right direction.</p>
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<p>--vanessa</p>
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<p>*if anything, i would prefer an in-home situation with just a couple other kids playing, nothing structured.</p>
 

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<p>My little one is only 21 months, but I thought I'd chime in with a couple of possibilities for your situation.</p>
<p>What about a homeschool swap?  Your kids go to ____'s house for two days a week, and ____'s kids come to your house for two days a week.   Or you could pay a homeschooling family to take on your older child a day or two a week, for subject matter they specialize in.  Our you could hire a homeschooled teenager to be your mama's helper.  Or you could see if there are any annex schools, or alternative schools in your neighbourhood who offer flexible attendance.  There are a couple here where you register with them as a homelearner, and then your child can access the school as much or as little as they want. </p>
<p>Good luck! </p>
 

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<p>Your kids are really small.  Of course you feel overwhelmed.  Of course!!</p>
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<p>Getting some child care--in the form of preschool or whatever--doesn't mean that you're throwing in the towel for homeschooling.   Honestly, I'd even re-think getting rid of the TV if it buys you a little peace--my dd watched a LOT of "Fetch with Ruff Ruffman" when my littlest was a toddler, and she (1) learned a lot and (2) is not a TV junkie now.</p>
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<p>You are in a very intense time in your life, and it will get easier.  Not next week or maybe even next year, but it will get easier. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Try to be gentle with yourself.  It feels hard because having two small children is hard.  I'll say it again--it will get easier.</p>
 

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<p>I think getting overwhelmed at times is pretty normal.  At our house, letting my 3 year old use the computer while I put the baby down for a nap works great, I feel like he's interatcting more than he would watching TV, and he's engaged and not lonely for a few minutes- he likes the pbskids.org and starfall.com websites and the nickjr.com ones.  It's not ideal, but it gets the job done. </p>
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<p>Homeschooling gets easier as they get older, really.  For right now- find something to do that you do for you.  Really.  You deserve to have some time you spend doing things that recharge you.  Its great if it can be something you can do with the kids nearby, like reading, sewing, going for walks, whatever.  However, if you need to have DH watch the kids one night a week while you go out to the library, a knitting class, or whatever, its OK!  Recently I started working 2 evenings a week- I only work about 7 hours a week, but I enjoy the work and I am amazed at how much it has helped me to enjoy being at home!  Being a mom is very intense, its not fair to expect yourself to be able to fill that overwhelming role every minute of every day- and that doesn't mean you can't homeschool.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pinky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278875/help-advice-needed-to-hs-only-pt-is-this-even-possible-will-this-solve-my-problem#post_16040182"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Your kids are really small.  Of course you feel overwhelmed.  Of course!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Getting some child care--in the form of preschool or whatever--doesn't mean that you're throwing in the towel for homeschooling.   Honestly, I'd even re-think getting rid of the TV if it buys you a little peace--my dd watched a LOT of "Fetch with Ruff Ruffman" when my littlest was a toddler, and she (1) learned a lot and (2) is not a TV junkie now.</p>
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<p>You are in a very intense time in your life, and it will get easier.  Not next week or maybe even next year, but it will get easier. </p>
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<p>Try to be gentle with yourself.  It feels hard because having two small children is hard.  I'll say it again--it will get easier.</p>
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<p><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif"></span></p>
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<p>And make sure that you are aware of depression in case you start slipping. It makes everything a thousand times harder.</p>
<p>hugs to you.<br>
 </p>
 

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<p>I had PPD, and mine are 3 years apart, so I feel your pain! Now they're 6 and 3, and it's easier this year than last. Last year we didn't do nearly as much homeschool as I felt we should, but we did do a standardized test at the end of the year and she tested really high, so she learned even though our schedule was crazy.</p>
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<p>In your situation, I would go for a video on the computer, or go back to TV being available only for that time. It's hard when the youngest still naps and the older won't let them sleep. The other two things that worked for me when mine were those ages is setting up a craft project that DD can do while DS sleeps, so she let him sleep because as soon as he was up, the small beads/glitter/etc. had to be put away. And we did walks so DD got out some energy/would run around while DS would fall asleep in the stroller. I didn't transfer him, just let him sleep in the stroller on most days of the week and he's none the worse for wear! I wouldn't worry about homeschooling at that time at all, just to make sure everyone gets enough sleep. </p>
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<p>Oh, and this year the younger child is in a coop preschool 3 mornings a week. Gives DD and I dedicated homeschool time and his personality is so different from hers, he loves it and asks every morning if it's a "Preschool Day." So even though your older didn't like preschool, you can always try it with the younger and might get a different result.</p>
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<p>We were fortunate that there was an enrichment program available to us. DD has gone 1 day/week to this program from K-2nd; next year in 3rd I'll be starting law school and Dd will attend the 2-day program (Tues/Thurs). This gives the "extras" and elective classes while we focus on the 3R's at home.</p>
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<p>I've worked nights since DD was 4 1/2, so she's had to learn that sometimes you just have to let people sleep; it was not easy early on, but boundaries like that do need to be learned eventually, and it sounds like it's time for your DS to learn it. Of course, I used the TV rather shamelessly as a tool in that process--DD got screen time while I slept.</p>
 

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<p>I second letting your older child use the computer at naptime. I hate TV but we do allow documentaries. And I hate using a TV as a babysitter. However, it just wasn't possible to get our little one to sleep because my son (then 3) wanted to be there when I nursed the baby down. That's when I started with documentaries.</p>
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<p>He now gets his choice of documentaries, youtube (he loves watching cake decorating and how it's made,) family videos, starfall.com, or some Spanish games we have. Frankly, I really don't like the Spanish games. He doesn't learn from them, but he so rarely chooses them that I don't worry about it.</p>
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<p>When I started babysitting a girl my son's age I told them there was no need to watch TV when they had each other to play with. I forgot how much easier screen time made naptime. They were so loud that I had to tell them they needed to play in the basement. I relented, a bit, on no screen time with a friend. It's just so much easier to get the baby asleep and keep her asleep if my son is with a screen.</p>
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<p>I grew up in a house where the TV was constantly on. I have few memories of my childhood that aren't TV. I am trying to be a little open to TV for fear my kids will totally rebel when they are older and do nothing but watch TV. Screen time only during naptime puts a natural limit on it. If he asks for screen time at other times, I can just say, "We only do screen time when she's taking a nap."</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like you need to do something for your son, socially. It sounds like he is getting house bound, always want s to be with you, etc...which is ok and natural, but he needs to learn to socialize with other kids too. Join a team/sport/cubscouts? Enroll him 1-2 days in a preschool? Day camp in summer? It may take time, but he does need to be independant of you eventually.</p>
 

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<p>thanks all! great advice!<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>flightgoddess</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278875/help-advice-needed-to-hs-only-pt-is-this-even-possible-will-this-solve-my-problem#post_16049983"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It sounds like you need to do something for your son, socially. It sounds like he is getting house bound, always want s to be with you, etc...which is ok and natural, but he needs to learn to socialize with other kids too. Join a team/sport/cubscouts? Enroll him 1-2 days in a preschool? Day camp in summer? It may take time, but he does need to be independant of you eventually.</p>
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<br><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">i know he doesn't go to school 6 hrs/day but he gets time away from me quite a bit. every week we babysit-swap w/ several other families, and have a sitter come and I have "alone time" when he is with DH so = maybe 15 hrs/week. the rest of the week we spend at playdates, playgroups, swim/soccer classes, indoor play gyms, and having babysitting swaps at our house. i don't think i could socialize him anymore!  oh and then we once he's 5 and they allow him to do some of the drop-off homeschool programs at the children's and health science museums I want to try that but he's not old enough yet. when i broach this he says he wants me to stay with him but i think by playing up the positives he will go for it.</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SundayCrepes</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278875/help-advice-needed-to-hs-only-pt-is-this-even-possible-will-this-solve-my-problem#post_16042088"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I second letting your older child use the computer at naptime. I hate TV but we do allow documentaries. And I hate using a TV as a babysitter. However, it just wasn't possible to get our little one to sleep because my son (then 3) wanted to be there when I nursed the baby down. That's when I started with documentaries.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>He now gets his choice of documentaries, youtube (he loves watching cake decorating and how it's made,) family videos, starfall.com, or some Spanish games we have. Frankly, I really don't like the Spanish games. He doesn't learn from them, but he so rarely chooses them that I don't worry about it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When I started babysitting a girl my son's age I told them there was no need to watch TV when they had each other to play with. I forgot how much easier screen time made naptime. They were so loud that I had to tell them they needed to play in the basement. I relented, a bit, on no screen time with a friend. It's just so much easier to get the baby asleep and keep her asleep if my son is with a screen.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I grew up in a house where the TV was constantly on. I have few memories of my childhood that aren't TV. I am trying to be a little open to TV for fear my kids will totally rebel when they are older and do nothing but watch TV. Screen time only during naptime puts a natural limit on it. If he asks for screen time at other times, I can just say, "We only do screen time when she's taking a nap."</p>
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<p><br>
problem with TV is that gets addictive-- in our house it goes on and then i use it as a crutch and it's on way too long! we "borrowed" a portable dvd player to get thru a touch afternoon recently after DS1 had dental w/ anesthesia, and I'm STILL being asked to put it on. daily.  i am trying the starfall.com though-- need to google other comp. learning games as he doesn't even try to put the words together-- just presses the buttons and gets bored. maybe he's too young for it? (will be 5 at x-mas)</p>
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<p>i will try the "only when i nurse DS2 to sleep"  :)<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>starling&diesel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278875/help-advice-needed-to-hs-only-pt-is-this-even-possible-will-this-solve-my-problem#post_16040117"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>My little one is only 21 months, but I thought I'd chime in with a couple of possibilities for your situation.</p>
<p>What about a homeschool swap?  Your kids go to ____'s house for two days a week, and ____'s kids come to your house for two days a week.   Or you could pay a homeschooling family to take on your older child a day or two a week, for subject matter they specialize in.  Our you could hire a homeschooled teenager to be your mama's helper.  Or you could see if there are any annex schools, or alternative schools in your neighbourhood who offer flexible attendance.  There are a couple here where you register with them as a homelearner, and then your child can access the school as much or as little as they want. </p>
<p>Good luck! </p>
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<p><br>
have had trouble finding families of similar-aged kids to swap with-- everyone i know is already in co-ops (those things can be quite exclusive!) or are too flakey to schedule anything. i like the annex/alternative/flex learning idea though-- will see what i can find.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pinky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278875/help-advice-needed-to-hs-only-pt-is-this-even-possible-will-this-solve-my-problem#post_16040182"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Your kids are really small.  Of course you feel overwhelmed.  Of course!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Getting some child care--in the form of preschool or whatever--doesn't mean that you're throwing in the towel for homeschooling.   Honestly, I'd even re-think getting rid of the TV if it buys you a little peace--my dd watched a LOT of "Fetch with Ruff Ruffman" when my littlest was a toddler, and she (1) learned a lot and (2) is not a TV junkie now.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You are in a very intense time in your life, and it will get easier.  Not next week or maybe even next year, but it will get easier. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Try to be gentle with yourself.  It feels hard because having two small children is hard.  I'll say it again--it will get easier.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>______________________</p>
<p>Thanks pinky-- you know this one i need to let my husband read. he's stressed (about me being stressed) and thinks i need to "take better care" of myself. i keep telling him i just feel like this is "normal" for this age-- that it's bound to get easier......X</p>
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