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i am a newly separated(well since february) mama of three. i have a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, and a 9 mo old. well, my baby is so active, always putting everything in her mouth, climbing stairs, and just basically doing what healthy 9 mo olds do, and i feel like there is not enough of me to go around. when im not chasing her, nursing her, or putting her to bed, i am making food cleaning up after making food, or cleaning the floors to make sure there is nothing for her to choke on. i feel like whenever my son or daughter asks me to play with them the answer is no i have to do this or that. if we go out to the park, it is very difficult to run around and play, while carrying my big girl(22lbs) i get so tired!. it is so frustrating too because after i had her i was elated because i had expected it to be alot harder, having three kids. it wasnt! taking care of her was a breeze! now im just so overwhelmed. there is no balance. i dont know how to find it but in the meantime we are all suffering <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I wish I had something brillant to offer you but <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I don't.<br>
All I can offer you is a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Hazeldust- it sounds like you are going thru a bad patch. Separated since Feb is still new, & I'd say you'll be making energy level adjustments for a little while longer.<br><br>
All the usual stress helpers apply here I think- drink plenty of water, try & get enough sleep when you can, & remember back to when your older children were babies..... it does get easier, I think, after they become toddlers. More challenging in some ways, but you don't have to watch them quite so intensely all the time to make sure they are safe.<br><br>
Not sure where you're at with AP or finances, but is it possible to get someone in to help you out one day a week? A teenager looking for a PT job? A family member nearby willing to help out- even one afternoon a month or fortnight maybe? **ducking tomatoes now** is it possible to make one room in your house baby-proof so you can put your littlest one there while you get on with something else that needs doing? Is your oldest starting school next Autumn? 'Cuz that will also give you a bit of a break- 2 at home instead of 3, KWIM?<br><br>
Because I'm studying full-time, I'm away from my kids part of the week, & when I am home I'm constantly running & scrambling to catch up on all the house chores. Consequently, I'm guilty of putting off playing with my 2 when they ask. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> One thing I'm trying to do is set a time where it's uninterrupted play/reading- even 15 minutes is great. We also sometimes do Friday nite video & pizza at our house. Okay, so it's not exactly educational time, but we do enjoy it & get to hang out together. Mostly I have to stop myself from jumping up part way thru to 'just put a load of laundry in' or 'i'll just quickly put these dishes away'. No! Park your bum on the sofa & don't even get up to answer the phone, IYKWIM!<br><br>
Hope that helps a little, or gives you some ideas to get you thinking....... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I have three little ones as well. My best advice is:<br><br>
~babyproof as much as possible (gate off the stairs). Let the bigger kids help watch out for choking hazards, counting how many small choking hazards they can pick up, giving them a toilet paper tube to decorate and use as a choking hazard tester... You get the idea.<br><br>
~make baby food and family food in batches, freezing extra portions for quick reheating later<br><br>
~let the bigger kids help you with your chores. Make it fun, Let them spray vinegar solution for cleaning, or mop with wet rags on their hands and knees. The chores will take longer this way, but it will be quality time together and will actually seem to go faster.<br><br>
~take a backpack carrier/stroller and a large blanket and toys to the park. Then you will have some alternate places for baby.
 

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Moving this to Single Parenting.....lots of mamas there with great advice and sympathy!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I know it is hard....LOL do I know (my kiddos are 6, 2, and 10 mos). What is your support system like? Do you have anyone that would come take the kids for a couple hours once a week or so? That is my saving grace...once a week I have a 3 hour break (give or take) while my mum takes the kids and I clean. I could do something else with that time, but I chose to clean because it gets done so much better when I am alone and then I don't feel so stressed when the kids are home and I don't have the time to do the deep cleaning stuff.<br><br>
Are you staying home most of the time? I find that if we get out every day we do better and feel more centered and peaceful than when we stay home all week. Short walks in the afternoon before dinner help.<br><br>
Remember it is such a short time they are this little! Next time you are feeling frazzled close your eyes take a deep breath and let it out slowly, it helps <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It is tough with a babe. I know the first year and a half of my youngests life is like a blur & I felt so bad for my older son because it seemed like there was no time & that I was constantly on edge.<br><br>
It does get easier. There is more opportunity for balance.<br><br>
If you can get someone to help a little, it does make things much easier.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you.<br>
~ L.J.
 

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My middle child just turned 3, and it has made a world of difference! She communicates her needs, and listens better. I found a day program like preschool (regio amellia) program for her during the school months. The cool thing is that they encorgae the parents to stay, and interact. I bring my 1 year old along. My 6 year old goes to public school, and I miss her terribly. I have found that even though some stages may be tough, I tend to look back on the fondly. I miss my babes being bitty<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Now we are just trying to forge our way through other hard times. "The only thing constant is the constant state of change", says my Grandpa<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I am also newly single...It is hard to accept such a large change. I write a lot. I also found EVERY & ANY playgroup close by. API,LLL,PWOP,library story time,local groups, even MOPS. Church was never my thing, but the UU church is a great organization! Mabey find a local church that you could relate to, they offer so much support. People were the answer for me. I suffer when I isolate myself in misery. I love the idea about the children helping! I try to involve my kids in as much as possible! Everything should be a FAMILY effort, and then it is more enjoyable. Do you have an ERGO carrier? They are very comfy! Lots of XXXXXX & OOOOOO to you mama ~Jess
 

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I don't have any specific advice, just ditto the pps. Try to find help wherever you can....<br>
You'll find your single mama rhythm, and you'll be fine. And you can always come here for support ... this is a great forum for everything from full blown breakdowns to sharing success stories.
 

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I have 3 kiddos also. 10, 7 and 15 months. It is overwhelming to say the least, but it does get better with time. Try to set up some sort of routine for the housework. Babyproof by getting on your hands and knees to see what the world looks like through the eyes of your 9 month old. Also, I get through the day by remembering that I no longer have to pick up after stbx <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> !
 

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This was a helpful thread for me to stumble upon. I am currently separating from my children's father and have a soon to be 6, 4, 2 and one due in the fall. I am feeling extremely overwhelmed, so I can understand where you are coming from. Glad to see these suggestions.
 
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