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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some sort of motivation or SOMETHING! I could get SO much more done during the day if it weren't for the computer, which distracts me, and PBS, which distracts DS (age 3). I want to do more activities (outdoor play, indoor crafts and activities and playtime). But I just can't get motivated to break this habit we are in. I also have a baby but now its time to get back into DOING things and not sitting around all the time. We do a lot of activities out and about with others, but when we are home its a struggle for me to be the way I want us to be. I could get more fun stuff done with DS and get more done around my house if I were more motivated!

Help! Ugh...I just don't know how to break this cycle. DS isn't in preschool so I have to be the one to provide activities and learning opportunities for him. And I want to homeschool, but so far I'm not showing very much ability to help us be productive.
 

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I could have written this! I am feeling the same way. I spend too much time on the computer and PBS Kids is on too long! My dd is 3 and ds is 11 months old. I am getting very little done and I feel guilty because I fought long and hard with dh to become a SAHM. It is so hard to get out of the house, but once we do I get a lot done and we have a good time. I am really getting excited about the warmer weather coming. Last summer we spent most of our time inside because ds was a newborn and I didn't want to take him outside too much. I am really motivated to take the kids outside a lot when it gets warmer (it has been raining all this week, but next week should be nice). We are getting a swing set this weekend, just bought a water table, we will be setting up our sandbox, and starting a garden in our backyard. I have never been much of an outside person, but doing all of this to our backyard is making me look forward to letting the kids play outside. I am hoping this will motivate me to do more. Dd will be starting preschool in the fall (a few hours twice a week) and I am happy that she will be getting more social interaction with other children, because she is a very outgoing little girl who loves playing with other kids. One thing we do now is a program through the Parks and Rec. department that is like a big playgroup with lots of toys. Dd loves it and now ds is getting into it.

I am very interested in what others have to say and ideas about how to become more motivated. I have realized that being given too much free time is not good for me and I have noticed that I have always been that way.
 

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Well, my first question is: When do you get down time?

How long do you spend on the computer/TV? If it's more than 1-2 hours per day, then yes, you need to do more. If you don't, I'd let it go.

How about setting up a loose schedule -- I find that "scheduling" a trip to the park about 9-10 am really gets us moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Getting out of the house for activities with others is not my problem at all. We do a lot of that. My problem is just when we are home. Computer and tv are turning into not so great things! We have lots of fun things outside to play with but its still hard to get out there. We have tons of fun things to do inside too - but still. I feel like we could have a rich environment but I'm not fostering that right now. We could do so much more and my house could be so much more clean IF I just got up DID things. But I keep making excuses like being tired, or this or that.
 

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I had this exact problem. I just sat at the computer all day while DS watched Max and Ruby. I was depressed that I wasn't doing more but I didn't know WHAT to do.

So I started setting a schedule for myself. I started homeschooling him. It's helped so much. We have a bulletin board and I bought a curriculum online. We color, go on "field trips", paint, read, ect. Some people are really good at this kinda thing but I'm not. I seriously have no idea! So it helps me to have a curriculum that gives me different ideas. I also kept a schedule for house chores that I *had* to do.

DS, DH and I have all been so much happier. That's not to say some mornings I don't sit in my sweats and cruise forums but I try to do that now only when the boys are in bed.

Good luck! Things are getting a lot easier now that the weather is nice too. We went to the park for 3 hours 3 days this week! We do library story time, and went to the zoo. Sooooo busy!
 

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Oh I also wanted to add, when I feel really tired I think about DH. He has to go to work when hes tired, or when he doesn't want to, or when he's sick. So it's not fair for me to take all this time to myself. There are some things that just HAVE to be done. DH couldn't leave his office the way I leave the house a lot of the times. I try to look at it that for 8 hours I'm on. Sometimes I will put on a dvd to eat lunch in front of the computer while the baby naps, but I try to look at it more like a job.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by J2 View Post
Getting out of the house for activities with others is not my problem at all. We do a lot of that. My problem is just when we are home. Computer and tv are turning into not so great things! We have lots of fun things outside to play with but its still hard to get out there. We have tons of fun things to do inside too - but still. I feel like we could have a rich environment but I'm not fostering that right now. We could do so much more and my house could be so much more clean IF I just got up DID things. But I keep making excuses like being tired, or this or that.
I am EXACTLY the same, except that I don't have the baby yet - and 35 wks pregnant, what a handy excuse for not doing much! And yea, it's the same - we meet up with others, it's the in-between times at home that get super lazy.
Making a schedule for myself tends to fizzle out rapidly - there's no one to be accountable to and excuses are just as easy.

Watching and waiting for more replies, perhaps from those who have *been* like this and conquered it to some degree!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by *Aimee* View Post
Oh I also wanted to add, when I feel really tired I think about DH. He has to go to work when hes tired, or when he doesn't want to, or when he's sick. So it's not fair for me to take all this time to myself. There are some things that just HAVE to be done. DH couldn't leave his office the way I leave the house a lot of the times. I try to look at it that for 8 hours I'm on. Sometimes I will put on a dvd to eat lunch in front of the computer while the baby naps, but I try to look at it more like a job.
I like this. I need to start thinking about it like this. Dh works so hard so that I can be home with the kids. So far this week, because of an important time of year in his line of work, he has had some work days that were 8:30am - 2:00 am (yes, 17 1/2 hours). He agreed to take this overtime to support our family.
I should be working harder at home and not taking so much time for myself. Thank you Aimee for making me realize this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hm...I wonder what would happen if we all got on the ball for a couple weeks. What would our homes be like? How would things be different? Would they be noticed? Hmm...
 

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Just an idea, and simplistic at that... do you have a nearby toy library, or book library even? I know kids don't *really* need new toys or lots of toys to play with, but I find that when I'm feeling in a rut with ds, just getting some novel "props" for play is exciting so that when we get home, it's straight into getting out the "new" train set or book and engaging together with that.

I agree that warmer weather makes it so much easier to just get outside and potter around or walk to the park when you are feeling stale or lacking in motivation. Give yourself a break if it's been a long winter where you are.

And I must say that some of you are more forgiving of your dh's than I am of mine. Yes, dh works full time, plus on call work, but mostly, he is only at work 8 hours a day, I'm with ds at least 12 hours a day, plus overnight get-ups. Maybe your dh's are more helpful around the house when they are home. But, when you are a sahm, it's more than a full-time job, you can't be expected to sustain the same "level of productivity" all day, every day, 365 days a year that your dh's have during their work hours.
 

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The line gets blurred with me between computer time and work time - meaning that I do lots of my work from home, online - so sometimes I get distracted by MDC or googling something I want to research and end up "working" longer than I intended, but of course without being able to bill the entire time. It was really frustrating me!

So I do like the PP - I remind myself that dh left the house before it was light out this morning and most likely will not be home until late tonight. He works hard, long days for us and does not get to take many breaks or days off at all. So why should I be lounging around or messing around on the 'net instead of billing hours?!

So I make myself a schedule and stick to it. It includes even little things like walking the dog - doing laundry, etc. And when I get ready to want to stray away from it - I think of dh and how hard he is working at that moment. Surely I can rip myself away from MDC to put the laundry away, right?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pixilixi View Post
And I must say that some of you are more forgiving of your dh's than I am of mine. Yes, dh works full time, plus on call work, but mostly, he is only at work 8 hours a day, I'm with ds at least 12 hours a day, plus overnight get-ups. Maybe your dh's are more helpful around the house when they are home. But, when you are a sahm, it's more than a full-time job, you can't be expected to sustain the same "level of productivity" all day, every day, 365 days a year that your dh's have during their work hours.


I can't speak for anyone else - but my dh works 10-11 hour days, sometimes longer. And yes, he helps around the house & with ds. No, he does not do as much as me because I'm here most of the day! But he helps put away laundry & helps deep clean on the weekends. Ds is also 6 & in school, so he's not very high maintenance - and certainly no overnight wake ups or anything like that. Dh and I alternate nights of putting him to bed. It's not a full time job - and dh shares the responsibility with me.
 

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When I have trouble like you describe, it's either because I'm exhausted or because I haven't been getting the alone time I need (I'm an introvert).

When I don't get the real alone time I need, I'm a lot more likely to get sucked into stuff on the computer, kind of pretending to be alone. But it's like when you can't reach an itch, you just keep scratching but it never really gets better. All I really need is a couple hours a week of awake time to myself, and I'm good, but if I don't get it for a few weeks, I find myself spending far far more time than that on the internet.

If the issue is that you're exhausted because of the new baby, I'd recommend: first stop beating yourself up for it, and second, figure out when the tv gets turned on, and change that.

And FTR, 3 year olds need very little in the way of "schooling"-- if he's not bored, you're doing fine.

GL!

ZM
 

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I can relate. I just wanted to suggest that you decide the night before what you want to do then tell ds. Once you've committed to a 3yo, you're committed. Apparently, they do not forget. Ask me how I know?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by J2 View Post
Hm...I wonder what would happen if we all got on the ball for a couple weeks. What would our homes be like? How would things be different? Would they be noticed? Hmm...
it was totally noticed in my house. I have a 2 yr old and a 1 year old. They can trash a house in seconds flat. When I made sure the house was picked up before DH came home, everyone was much calmer. My DH has a very hard job (senior software architect, basically a computer programmer but not) and when the house was cluttered it really made it hard for him to relax. He was so thankful and happy that I had dinner cooking or ready (though he never mentioned it before) did all the grocery shopping (instead of him having to go on his way home from work) and the house was clean. Then he could just enjoy his family!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mbella View Post
I like this. I need to start thinking about it like this. Dh works so hard so that I can be home with the kids. So far this week, because of an important time of year in his line of work, he has had some work days that were 8:30am - 2:00 am (yes, 17 1/2 hours). He agreed to take this overtime to support our family.
I should be working harder at home and not taking so much time for myself. Thank you Aimee for making me realize this.
Oh I'm so glad it helped you!! Sometimes I find I just need to re frame my thinking ya know?

Quote:

Originally Posted by pixilixi View Post

And I must say that some of you are more forgiving of your dh's than I am of mine. Yes, dh works full time, plus on call work, but mostly, he is only at work 8 hours a day, I'm with ds at least 12 hours a day, plus overnight get-ups. Maybe your dh's are more helpful around the house when they are home. But, when you are a sahm, it's more than a full-time job, you can't be expected to sustain the same "level of productivity" all day, every day, 365 days a year that your dh's have during their work hours.

My DH works 60-70 hours a week, and then some. Sometimes he has to work 10 hours a day at his office, come home and do side jobs from 7:30-midnight, and then go in on at least one weekend day. He writes software for Iphones and we have a lot of debt so he's taking on tons of work to help pull us out. He does cook on the weekends, does laundry when I am behind (I try to make it so he never notices laundry, but life happens!) and when he's home we share the responsibilities of the children 50-50. And we take turns getting up with the kids at night. Of course it's not sustainable to be WORKING 365 days a year. But like yesterday I spent 3 hours at the park. Drinking coffee and talking to a girlfriend while my eldest played and the baby ate grass. I'm sure that seems like a day off to DH.

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post

And FTR, 3 year olds need very little in the way of "schooling"-- if he's not bored, you're doing fine.

GL!

ZM
My MIL who homeschooled DH and his brother also said that 3 yr olds don't need schooling, and should just learn through play. And I totally agree. Our issue was we werent doing ANYTHING. The kids were playing and I was sitting. The curriculum I got is about setting up activities for the kids to play that they can learn. We learned the letter B by painting a giant cardboard B with bananas. We made a paper mache fish for F and painted it, that kinda thing. Some days we dont do any school, some days HE chooses to do school for like 2 hours! other days he only wants to count and read bible stories.

Not all people know how to do all things. I was a latch key kid whose mother worked constantly and I had no father. When she did clean she wouldn't let me help because I would slow her down and make things worse. I got married and bought my own house at 20 and had no idea what I was doing. I've had to work very hard in the past year or so to figure out what it means to "keep" a home and be there for my family. I had no idea how to interact with my son because I was never interacted with. I'm still working on it and probably will for my whole life!!

sorry for rambling, this is just a subject that hits me so hard because it hurts so badly because I was NOT being a good mom, and I didn't feel I knew how to change it. And in my case it was a lot of laziness on my part. So this is just how I force myself to do stuff even if I don't want to.
 

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I also notice my motivation is really low when I'm tired. I can't seem to get myself to go to bed before 11 even when I'm exhausted although I think it would help a lot. Sometimes, when I really feel the computer becoming a problem for me, I'll turn it off at night. Something about making a conscious effort to turn it on is enough to make me stop and think about it more. And its not automatically just sitting there for me to rationalize "It'll only take a second to check my email"

For the tv, we ended up taking ours down to make room for our Christmas tree. It was so nice not having it around that its stayed in our basement since. I do let ds1 watch netflix on occasion but his tv time has gone way down.

Oh one more thing I do sometimes is either here or on another board, do one of those accountability/get things done threads. Commit to doing "XYZ" for the day and post back as to what got done. Thats usually enough pressure for me to get moving!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
And FTR, 3 year olds need very little in the way of "schooling"-- if he's not bored, you're doing fine.

I definitely understand that 3 year olds don't need schooling. I wan tot homeschool in the future. And so far my track record doesn't look so great for being able to think I might have the motivation and productivity to homeschool in the future. But of course, at that point my son will be older anyway and we will be in completely new stages of life.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShiningStar View Post
I can relate. I just wanted to suggest that you decide the night before what you want to do then tell ds. Once you've committed to a 3yo, you're committed. Apparently, they do not forget. Ask me how I know?
So...how DO you know??

I know this too. My son does not forget things. He's been this way for a while. But it sounds like you might have an interesting story??

I was more productive today at times. So that's a start! Will continue to work on it!
 

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I started feeling like I was letting my kids watch too much TV after my 3rd DC was born. They were watching an hour in the morning and and hour or more in the afternoon. It started to feel like in the afternoon I was just letting them zone out so I didn't have to deal with them, and I started realizing it wasn't really what I wanted to do as a mother. So I moved the TV to our bedroom, and made strict rules about it for myself. They can watch a half hour of curious george in the morning while we all get dressed and I make breakfast. Then *maybe* a half hour in the afternoon, but because the TV is upstairs in the bedroom, usually now they don't even watch that. It is so much nicer because it isn't just ON in the livingroom, which I hated. And as far as computer time, I tell myself I can check email regularly, because that is how I communicate with a lot of people, and I almost never talk on the phone, so I do that. But I don't spend hardly any time browsing, mostly because I don't have the time!

I also second a suggestion a PP had about getting a bulletin board and tacking up ideas you want to do. Start searching some homeschool blogs, and you'll get a lot of good ideas. I make a running list of things to do: make a mobile, paint rocks, pick up treasures at the beach, color, etc. Also, if you keep art supplies in an easily accesible place, often the kids themselves will just go do them. I also keep things out in the livingroom like blocks, doll house, books, etc. With no TV in the livingroom, they find things to do.

Good luck! It's great you're thinking about it -- that's the place to start!
 

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I can so relate. For me it happened once the new baby was born. I was a great mother to one child (if I do say so myself!), but I'm a pretty lazy mom now that I have two.

I'm pretty introverted, and I was so used to having a couple of hours to myself during the day either during DS's nap or while he was at preschool 2 days a week, and now that he doesn't nap and DD's naps don't always coincide with his preschool, I'm realizing how much I relied on having that time to recharge.

So now lots of times during DD's nap I just want to zone out online while DS zones out in front of the TV. I don't like it, but I'm having a really hard time giving it up. I feel bad, because that's time I could be doing a special one-on-one thing with DS, but instead I selfishly take the time for myself.

And then when DD is awake, we can't do certain things (build intricate projects, play with anything with small pieces) because she'd destroy it or it's not safe for her. I can't even read to him from a long chapter book because DD will get bored and come over and mess up the pages. It's so hard to integrate her into our days! And I don't want DS to always have to just do "baby" stuff.

Like you, we go out regularly and do great while we're out, it's just when we're home that we struggle. But I want to rein in the outings, because I'm spending too much money (and eating too much junk)! I try to do the park or library as much as possible, but inevitably we buy something while we're out.

Ugh, anyway, I guess I don't have any advice, but I sure can commiserate.
 

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I was thinking about the whole "appreciate your DH" as motivation thing and realized why that does not work for me: because he does NOT care about the state of the house. I could work all day to balance entertaining DS and "keeping house" and DH could come home to a spotless, tidy, nice-smelling home...and he probably would not even notice. So cleaning is just for my own satisfaction...I guess it's sad that I'm not motivated to do something just to please myself! Even cooking up a really nice dinner - he likes a nice meal, but can just as easily throw a few burgers on the bbq and be happy with that.

So no matter how much I appreciate his working hard to support us, it does not work as a motivator around the house.
 
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