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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or am I making it harder than it's supposed to be?<br><br>
Grant it, I know I'm going through a particularly challenging time right now. I have an almost 3 yo DS and an almost 4 mo DS. The past 4 months have been a little nutty. So, I realize that this transition is coloring my view of motherhood.<br><br>
That said, this is really, really challenging stuff. Am I wrong? So many moms I know or see seem to have this all under control. Yes, I realize that all is not what it appears to be. But I really have been feeling this very heavily lately.<br><br>
I have a lot of baggage from my own childhood, heavy-duty self-esteem issues, and I think, completely unrealisic expectations of who I need to be as a mother. When I raise my voice, or yell, which has happened A LOT over the past few months, I can't just easily move on from it. I beat myself up about everything I do with my spirited older son. EVERYTHING. I feel like I can't just BE sometimes. And I know that I'm my best when I'm just BE-ing.<br><br>
I am an AP mama. Co-sleeping since birth with both babes. Nursing. And I'm very emotionally attached to my children's mental and physical health. Probably too much. Do you think a little DE-tachment can be a good thing??<br><br>
Thanks for listening to this, ladies. It turned out to be more of a vent than originally intended.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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Oh my goodness, you have an almost three year old and a newborn who is still having the nighttime fussies! Oh that's really hard! I don't know who is capable of dealing with children that age without feeling totally overwhelmed!<br><br>
You must be very tired right now, and you are dealing with a toddler at a very challenging stage. Please cut yourself some slack. I really think things are going to get easier for you.
 

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Yeah it is this hard, especially when you want to do it so right and you didn't have the greatest start. Maybe a bit of an emotional break would be good for you- can you spoil yourself somehow? Remember, your kids are only going to be as strong as their main support is- the stronger you are, the stronger they are. That also means you need to treat yourself with more patience and understanding. I always say- your kids were born to mere mortals. They have to put up with your humanity and so do you. That isn't so bad. It teaches them to handle the real ups and downs of human relationships. So have a few bad days on me... then get back to doing the best that you can. Hugs....
 

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Oh boy, that could have been me writing that post three years ago, except that my kids are 22 months apart. For me, the transition to the two was really really difficult. I was depressed (I see that now, I really didn't then), I was horrified by my lack of compassion for my two year old ds, when I'd never been angry with him before dd's birth, I yelled and couldn't let it go, everybody else in the world seemed to think it was all a breeze, and it really sucked. I do think it is really hard for some people. My ds is a never ending dervish of activity, even now at 5.5 years, he can wear me out in a way that dd never has. He's a dream, but I wasn't feeling the love so much when I also had to tend to infant dd. Also a co-sleeper, nurser, I expressed when I went back to work and neither child ever had formula. I'm glad for those things, but there is an emotional mental toll that comes with them I think for some of us.<br><br>
I say these things to you and I hope they don't sound trite. It does get better, it really does. Please be good to yourself and goodness to ds's will follow. Try to give yourself a break. I took to praying every night for strength to be gentle the next day and for strength to forgive myself for my blunders. I sometimes yelled up at the ceiling, "Please help me!" Probably not the greatest strategy but I had to vent something and I figured it was better than yelling at the kids. You might be depressed. Take a long look at that. I see now how terribly depressed I was and how it manifested itself as anger and impatience. I blamed it on stress (dd had some issues), I blamed it on exhaustion; they were likely both factors, but mostly I had PPD.<br><br>
Gentle thoughts and hugs to you.
 

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Yes, it is that hard, but only for a while. It will get better.<br><br>
I had a lot of issues from my childhood that I thought I had worked though before having kids, but after the birth of my second child I realized that I still had sh** I needed to deal with so I got back into therapy and did my work. I don't know if things are that extreme for you or not, but I think that it was the best thing not only for me, but also for my kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
capt-Thanks so much for the support. It's soooooo needed right now.<br><br>
MsMoMpls-Your words are really helpful right now (and I think you've had wise words for me before, too). I love what you say about our kids being born to mere mortals. It's so true. And I did have a therapist friend say to me once: Do you wanna be a perfect mama or a real mama? Having the perfect mama gives kids a TON of baggage, too. Pretending all is okay in the moments that it isn't is just NOT in me. I am not getting enough breaks, you're right. I don't have any emotional space from my kids. When you want to do something right,really, really right, it makes it so hard. I guess if we all didn't care then it would be easy.<br><br>
Liamnemma-Thank you. I realize now, in retrospect, that I wsa depressed after the birth of my first child. So I've been paying close attention to my mental state this time. And I don't think I've had ppd this time around. In fact, I've experienced much of the joys of having a little baby this time that I couldn't the first (due to my mental state and my very high-needs first son). But now, almost 4 months in, I'm having a little slide into some sadness and overwhelm about everything. But mostly about my older DS.<br><br>
Linda-My fantasy right now is to be able to go to therapy 1x/week. Even if I didn't have baggage (which I think we all do on some level), I really feel like therapy is like a mental and emotional tune-up for me. I haven't been able to do anything physical in a long time either, and I think that would help me, too.<br><br>
I have more to say, but I just woke up and DS is needing me. I'll write more later. Thanks again, mamas, for your support. As always, it's exactly what I needed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Yes, it is this hard. It's not constantly this hard, sometimes it feels very easy and joyful, but yeah, mothering is just plain hard work.<br><br>
I have only within the past year realized that the problem isn't that I'm a lousy mom, it's that few people actually talk about how hard it is. And the media-not just tv and magazines but all those wonderful parenting books (with a very few wonderful exceptions)-tends to portray motherhood in an unrealistically rosy light. So many of us are having a tough time, trying to live up to a mostly impossible ideal of perfect parenting and family life, feeling inadequate, and are afraid to talk about it for fear that whomever we tell will be shocked by our ineptitude. Even here sometimes I can get the feeling, while reading all the great advice the mamas here have to offer, that everyone else is a much better mom than I could hope to be-so together, so intuitive, so gentle and kind, so everything I feel I'm not.<br><br>
I went back to my therapist briefly several months ago, when my littlest was about 6 months old, because although I didn't feel that I was actually depressed (been there, know what it's like for me) I was feeling irritable often, having trouble with my oldest child, and thinking I must be failing as a mom and need some fixing. What I realized was that I'm doing a good job, not a perfect job, being a mom and that being a mom is just plain hard. I then had the courage to talk about motherhood very honestly with a friend and found out that she has at various times felt exactly the same way I've felt. Now I think that probably lots of moms have felt the same way at some point.<br><br>
I think it's good to take a break, to take some time for yourself. It's also good to cut yourself some slack and realize that you can only do your best at any given moment. You can't be perfect. You can take care of yourself so that your best can be better though (because your best when you haven't been sleeping and haven't had any time to yourself and the house is crazy and the kids are cranky is different than your best when you feel rested, recharged, more calm and less overwhelmed).<br><br>
And not that you have time to read, but I found a great book called "The Good Enough Child" that was fascinating, because it was all about figuring out how our own baggage as parents affects how we relate with our children, and how recognizing that can help us let go of the baggage, improve our interactions with our children (and our expectations of them) and be more satisfied with ourselves as parents and with our children as they are. There was a great chapter on being "The Good Enough Parent." It was one of those books that I couldn't put down and left me feeling good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
sledge-Thanks so much for your insightful and supportive reply. I think I have some good mama friends here, and your posts have been a support to me in the past, too. So, I thank you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I think I've actually heard of the book you mention and I will go check it out on Amazon. I think you are absolutely right about the hardness of motherhood, the nitty-gritty down and dirty stuff not being talked about. Sure, we all talk about grumpy kids, bad days, chaotic homes. But it is seldom that I get the chance to talk about the real, personal, and spiritual challenges of being a mom. I can't say to just anyone, "I'm not sure I can really do this today". Which is how I've felt some days since I've had my second.<br><br>
I have really wonderful IRL friends. But only with one or two do I feel comfortable being completely honest. Why is this so hard to do?<br><br>
Even when it's been a good day, I find that by 7pm I have so little patience and reserves left that if my husband is more than 5 minutes behind schedule getting home, I think I just might have to lose my mind.<br><br>
So much more to write...more when I can. Thank you ladies.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Bearsmama,<br><br>
I think that having one or two friends that you can be completely honest with is a lot!<br><br>
I think that being exhausted at 7 and needing dad to step up to the plate is reasonable. There were days that my DH would get home from work and I would lock myself in a closet and cry. It was just so emotional and physically overwelming to take care of both of my children, who were at the most intense periods of their entire lives at the same time!<br><br>
We all have different strengths and weakness as moms. I have a tendency to compare my weaknesses to other people's strengths. My big weakness is food -- I'm not great about feeding my kids healthy food and I think some of the moms here would freak out if they knew what my kids had to eat this week. Other things come more easily, but I tend to feel guilty about the food thing without feeling really good about the things I get right. I'm sure that there are about a million things you do great every day. I think you really have to find a way to feel good about those things and not beat yourself up for not being perfect. Ain't none of us perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Linda-Thanks so much for your support. I do have to find a way to focus on the positive. But some days it is really, really hard.
 

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Oh, hugs to you Bearsmama. Our situations are so very similar. We each have two boys, a very high-needs Jan '02 one and a more mellow summer '04 one. We both seem to be very perfectionistic and hard on ourselves. I always enjoy reading your posts, even if I don't have time to respond, I am always impressed by how much you seem to care and how seriously you take your parenting.<br><br>
But yes, to answer your question, I do think mothering is pretty hard, especially if you have a high-needs child in the mix. I know my oldest boy can try my patience in ways I didn't know were even imaginable. There are times I reeeeeaaaaalllllly have to excercise restraint to keep myself from just exploding in anger around him. But what I do, is do my best and realize that I am human and that I will slip up at times and yell or not be the mother I want to be and then I will forgive myself and try to move on. That's all you can do.<br><br>
(((hugs))) I know how hard it can be not to over-think things. I have a tendency to do that as well. I wish I had some magic advice for you, but I'm kind of in the same boat, so I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone.<br><br>
Too bad we don't live near each other, I'd love to get all the boys together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Theluckyone-Thank you, thank you, thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Your words mean so much to me tonight. We've had another rough day. I used to think that the weekends, when DH is home, would be easier, but sometimes they actually seem more draining (???).<br><br>
What is it with the Jan '02 babes? Is it a Capricorn thing? I know someone my age who was born close to DS's birthdate and he says he was exactly the same way as a child. And has given me hope that things DO change.<br><br>
I didn't expect things to be easy. Not at all. I remember before I had #1DS trying to tell DH how hard it was going to be, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I just NEVER expected things to be this difficult.<br><br>
I have to learn to go easier on myself. Someone here has a sig line that incudes a quote about how if you're gentle with yourself you're more likely, of course, to be more loving, gentle, and kind to your child. I think it all starts with me. Is that the key??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
I just wish I could get a snapshot of the inner workings of other mamas lives. B/c when I'm in the thick of it with my kids, I want to know: Is it like this all over? Is it this mentally, physically, and spiritually grueling? Are they saying things that they never imagined they would? Are their children testing parts of them they never knew existed??<br><br>
Okay, I really don't even think I'm being dramatic. But maybe I am. All I want to do is stay in the love and the light with him, and it's just near to impossible.<br><br>
Luckyone-Your kids are adorable. Thanks for reading and listening. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Another book that talks about how wringing it can be to be a mother is The Mother Knot -- can't remember the author, though.
 

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I have the same age gap and it's HARD but it gets better! The threes are hard anyway. My dd has such an attitude and is challenging. It only became worse with the baby's arrival. I think the fog started to go away when Nitara was 9 mos. old. Everyone had adjusted to the new arrival and we found our routine again. I'm not saying it's easy now, but I've found my groove, and you will too.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
girlndocs-The authors are Lazarre & Reddy.<br><br>
USAmma-Thank you<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Good to hear that you are getting your groove back. I think I'm attributing everything to the baby. But I'm forgetting that 3 (in January) is a really, really hard age. I also have tremendous guilt about what's been lost between me and my older son. I try to include him in so much, and he says he wants to do it, and then doesn't, or does something nutty like throwing stuff or whatever, to kind of thwart things.<br><br>
BTW, he is still rough with the baby. He will rush up to him really fast and stop short right near his head. He'll slobber on him, rub his head really hard, etc. I keep having fears that this is not supposed to be what's happening at this stage. I feel like I am always saying, Please be gentle. Please no blowing, he doesn't like it. No spitting. That's a little rough.Etc., etc., etc. How can I include DS and protect the baby at the same time w/out sounding like a broken record??<br><br>
Okay, I digressed a bit. I know I'm venting even more, sorry ladies..
 

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Bearsmama, I just wanted to chime back in and perhaps invite you to check out the 'Support for Gifted Children' thread in Special Needs Parenting. I know you have said that your ds1 is very verbally precocious and whether he is gifted or not, who cares, many of the mamas in that thread (myself included) haven't had or aren't interested in having their children tested anyway. But, I think, if you would have the time to read that very long thread, you would find alot of similarities in your life with those of the other mamas. I rarely post on that thread, I just can't keep up, but I do try to read it every once in a while and it makes me feel better to know that there are other caring devoted mamas whose children also keep them on their toes almost 100% of the time.<br><br>
For us, ds1 isn't what I would call physically spirited. He doesn't do alot of running, jumping, throwing, hitting or whatnot, but he is just soooooo mentally draining. He talks all day, NONSTOP, I am not kidding. He is ALWAYS at my side asking questions, demanding attention and requiring verbal interaction. Also, he will not watch tv, at all, not even a half hour here or there, none. He does not nap and also still wakes multiple times at night. He does not transition well between activities (although for some reason, this is getting better). We call him our insatiable child. It seems no matter how much we give (and believe me that child has gotten more attention and love in his almost 3 years that some or most kids get in a whole childhood), he never seems quite satisfied. It can be so disheartening to play matchbox cars for over an hour only to have him beg and beg for you not to stop when it's time to nurse the baby. He is just so challenging. Sometimes I feel like I'm not properly equiped emotionally to deal with someone so needy. Heck, I don't know, I'm just rambling, but I want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!<br><br>
It sounds to me like you are doing the very best you can and I'm sure your ds1 is a fine boy and can feel and sense your love and caring for him. He's soaking up all your love and good intentions.<br><br>
It is so hard having a spirited child, isn't it? Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see the future and be assured that he will grow up to be happy and well-adjusted. I think I could sit back and relax a little bit more then. Kwim?<br><br>
Well, ds1 and dh went to the grocery store and ds2 is asleep so this is my brief time to myself, so I've got to go and get a few things done. I really hope you are having a better day today! Big hugs coming your way from our home to yours!
 

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Another great book is "The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood" by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. NAK<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I've been wanting to post on this thread for days now, but my oldest is, I think, The Lucky One's ds in female form. She is incredibly mentally needy and I haven't had time.<br><br>
Bears, it seems like your life is so much like mine. I just wanted to send some hugs and absorb some of the support here. I promise not to steal too much. Grin.<br><br>
There have been days when I think that I should just go back to work and have someone qualified raise my girls. But then I know that here is where I want to be and that I am the best mother for them. You're right, no one talks about the overwhelming reality of mothering.<br><br>
I'm now off to discuss why polar bears are white and black bears aren't green with my 2.5 year old. (She thinks that, because they like trees and bushes, it would make more sense for black bears to be green. Sigh)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Lucky-Funny you should mention the gifted thing. I think that this often goes hand-in-hand with spirited. And recently I was posting something about my DS and Britishmum posted and suggested that I go check out the gifted thread. I felt like I had had an epiphany of sorts. All this hand-wringing with my son. All this frustration. And suddenly I felt like I was okay and so was he. That he wasn't just crazy. Or high-strung. But possibly gifted. And like you said, TLO, I have no desire at the moment to get him tested or pursue this further, but just acknowledging that he was different helped me to breathe for a minute. Just a minute, though. :LOL I think much of my frustration is just the normal, SAHM stuff. But then it's kicked up a notch b/c I'm dealing with such a spirited, sensitive boy. And TLO-it's so funny that you wrote about wanting to have a crystal ball. I say this ALL THE TIME. I just have a feeling that he will always be my constant worry??? I wish all the time that I could look into the future and just know that he will be okay. Perhaps that's where some of the frustration comes from, too. Like, I worry with his sensitivity, and intelligence, and sometimes social interaction issues with kids his own age, that he'll have problems later. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> So maybe this is where the daily dilemmas come out, YKWIM? Like I can't control the future AT ALL, and I'm getting so frustrated b/c I can't even control the daily stuff. TLO-I can't thank you enough for your support and letting me know that things are so similar at your house. It means so much to me. Sometimes all it takes to get you through is someone saying they've been there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
sledg-I was just about to pick this book up at the library, actually. Thanks for the recc. I've heard good things about it.<br><br>
And Teaks- <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Sounds like you, me, and TLO need to get together. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I often think I'm not qualified to raise my older boy, too. The little one I still feel I'm doing okay with. But he's only 4 months. Things have time to change. My boy is physically challenging AND mentally and spiritually draining. I got it all! Which is wonderful, but so, so hard as you know. I tried to explain this to DH-it's so hard in many ways, but one of the ways is that my boy doesn't allow me to do all the "mom" things that other moms of kids my age do. Like keeping them warm (DS doesn't wear socks, it's a struggle to get a coat on even in freezing weather, and he doesn't eat much). So, I can't easily "mother him". It's ALL a challenge.<br><br>
Every day is such a struggle. They are all variations of hard. I'm trying to get better prepped for my days. We're getting into somewhat of a groove now with the baby, so I can anticipate things a bit better.<br><br>
Thank you mamas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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