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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys, I've come to rely on your judgement and experience so much...I now have a personal problem that I need help with.<br><br>
My husband stays home with the boys, I work. It's been this way since before Ian was born...there's a long back story to it...I was active duty military and we were overseas so he wasn't working, hence why we decided to have a baby. He was going to go back to work when we were back in the States, but then Connor was born special needs, so he's been staying home and going to school at night.<br><br>
Things have been really stressful this year...a lot of change (I got out of the military, got a new job, we bought a house, all of Connor's issues and hospitalizations, Ian's behavior has been erratic--typical toddler behavior, a long winter...so things have been bad recently. My husband has been losing his temper a lot, he and Ian have been getting into fights, they can't seem to find a schedule and stick to it.<br><br>
I've been trying my hardest to make everything right, I do research on tactics for dealing with Ian's behavior, I've been handling ALL things medical with Connor, I come home and take the kids off dh's hands so he can have some alone time... Finally I told him that he needs to get some help, he's struggled with depression and anxiety since he was a teenager, he's tried a few medications before but never stays on them long term. He has an appt on Thursday to meet with a psychiatrist and hopefully revisit the medication issue and get into regular counseling/therapy.<br><br>
Today things got out of hand. He called me at work (I was in a meeting, but he always texts me if it's not important, so I knew something was wrong) he said he needed me to come home and help him. Apparently he lost his temper with Connor and started yelling, I'm not clear on the sequence of events, but he ended up going outside to kick and throw things, somewhere in there he kicked a toy (one of those push toys to help toddlers learn to walk) and it ended up hitting Ian in the face. Ian now has a bumb on his head, a swollen lip, and a scrape on his chin.<br><br>
**HE DID NOT HIT IAN, THE TOY HE KICKED HIT IAN** Ian tells me that's what happened, that daddy got mad and the toy hit Ian.<br><br>
Realizing he had lost his temper and crossed a line, he called me for help and I immediately came home. Things are okay now, the boys are both fine, they're watching a movie together. DH and I talked...I was very honest with him, I told him that I can take a few days off work until he sees the dr, but that seeing the dr won't be a magical fix, that I've been trying to help him, that I've reached the end of my rope and that I need to see some effort from him. It's like he has a male version of post partum depression...and seeing as he's the stay at home parent, it makes sense.<br><br>
I had him call the dr he's supposed to see Thursday to see if he could get in today, but he can't. Then I had him call the local crisis line, but they'll only help if he's suicidal, which he's not.<br><br>
He doesn't trust himself around the boys right now. He says that his temper and his anger has been getting worse and he's seeing the effects on Ian and he doesn't like it. He's afraid of screwing up the kids if he keeps caring for them.<br><br>
We don't have a choice, I have to work, my job makes a lot of moeny and has good benefits. He doesn't have a degree, so he can't make the moeny I make. Putting the boys in daycare will be bad for Connor, and we can't afford it unless DH were to start working. But he hasn't finished school, so he can't get a meaningful job right now. He could work just "a job" (restaurant, grocery store, Home Depot, whatever) but it would barely pay for daycare and I think create more stress in the family (taking time off when Connor's sick, which he will be more often if he's in daycare...dealing with the logistics of dual working parents with two young kids, etc)<br><br>
What can we do??? I can stay home the rest of the week, I can work some half days for a short while (a very short while...), I can ask some of my friends to come over for some playdates to check up on things... I don't knwo what to do.<br><br>
He sees the dr Thursday, but that's only the first step...this is going to be a long process. I think Spring coming soon will help everyone, they can get out of the house without compromising Connor's health... but until then what???????
 

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It's great that he realizes he needs help, and when he does go to the dr. he should be honest about how badly he needs it.<br><br>
Do what you have to do for the short term, until your husband gets himself stabilized. Use up every favour you can, because it sounds like your husband is in crisis.<br><br>
What about part-time child-care? That way your husband would have some adult time in a job (maybe not the best job, but he's out and about, yk?), and you wouldn't be paying for full-time care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We were talking about putting Ian in preschool, but we're hesitant because Connor has an immune deficiency, and the less he's exposed to (through Ian), the better. Putting Connor in daycare could be very very bad...but obviously what we're doing now isn't working either.<br><br>
We have a neighbor we've used as a sitter before...we can have her come over again and give dh a break. $$ is always a worry...but we'll figure it out...
 

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I would try not to worry about the $$$ end of things, as much as you can. Your biggest worry is getting your husband to a better place, and then start worrying about what needs to be done WRT the long-term/financial aspects. You can always get more money. Debt is a common thread in life.
 

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Therapy. It might be good for him to have a place to unload. Some guys like therapy, some don't. For my dh, it makes him feel like he has a safe place to dump what's troubling him. Sometimes he says he "needs a session," and sometimes in the exact same mood he says he needs to go whack around some golf or tennis balls. Both seem to be really healing for him.<br><br>
When stress/life gets the better of my dh (anger/temper/depression), the solution is usually a combination of physical exercise and therapy.
 

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I'm so sorry that this is happening. I know this is so difficult for all of you. It is good that your dh has recognized that he needs help. Aside from counseling, which it sounds like you have already got set up there are other things that might help him get through this. Some ideas that come to mind are: a "father's helper" to come into the home and play with / care for the boys while your dh is doing something for himself at home (studying, working on a hobby, whatever.) What if he got a part-time job and you had a nanny come into the home to care for the boys, so that Connor wouldn't be exposed to daycare. Even if your dh only makes enough to pay for the daycare, it might do wonders for his mental outlook. Is he getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep really plays havoc with me mentally.
 

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Is there a local homeschool association? Perhaps a teen or preteen would like a part time job a father's helper? I'm thinking lower pay than a real babysitter?
 

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I second the idea of a "father's helper" to come in and just play with the boys for a while while he either gets chores done or hangs out on the computer or something.<br><br>
When I was an at-home parent of a very sick baby/toddler and two active preschoolers , I have to tell you, there were days when I was barely hanging on. I'm honestly not at all surprised he's having these issues, especially given the lack of being able to take the boys out (a situation I was in as well).<br><br>
Does he go out at all on his own or with friends? I think its especially hard for at-home dads, and then add the SN parent thing in, and well, it's gotta be kind of rough, ykwim? (This is NOT at all to downplay your role as mom and WOHM. I know that's equally hard and has it's own challenges). If the weather's warming up, can he go out and hit some balls at a batting cage, or go for a bike ride or something? Exercise and getting outside can really help depression and anxiety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys...I knew this was the place to vent!!<br><br>
All the suggestions you've given are things I've already told him. He has bad days, I remind him of things to do to make it a little easier (ways to safely get out of the house without exposing Connor, go for walks outside, play games with Ian, take advantage of Connor's nap time, etc) and he does it for a few days or even weeks, then reverts to his depressed state. I really think he needs meds. He's going on Thursday, I'm very anxious about it. We *need* him to function better. I *need* him to be happier.<br><br>
No, he doesn't have any friends...although I've tried to introduce him to people...he's just couped up in the house and doesn't meet anyone. Then he's not social, so when we go out with a group of my friends, he's uncomfortable.<br><br>
Sigh...<br><br>
I know it's hard on him...but I go to work all day (as a negotiator, so sometimes stressful), then I do all the nightime duty (and Connor doesn't sleep well), I take Connor to all his appts (dh takes him to therapy), I handle all insurance and EIS matters (while I'm at work...trying to also work)...and I try to give dh the weekends off. And I'm still nursing both boys...I'm a little exhausted here!!!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
Things aren't as bad as I'm making them seem...we're good parents with good kids, a nice house in a nice neighborhood...heck we even have a well trained dog!!! We love each other...but we struggle behind closed doors.
 

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RESPITE CARE!!!! Do you guys qualify for Medicaid based on Conner's diagnosis? You should. And there is RESPITE CARE associated with that in most cases. Also, while yes there are waiting lists, most states have programs to escalate the process. Is Conner in therapy at a center? If they have a social worker, this would be the person to ask regarding what programs your state has.<br><br>
I agree with Beth. It is extremely difficult to be the stay-at-home parent of a sick child. Some days you want to just rub out your eyeballs, or throw or kick something.<br><br>
What about a hobby? Brewing beer, knitting (guys knit, don't laugh), biking (once it's a little warmer, with a bike trailer), rock climbing at a local rock gym?<br><br>
Big huge <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> to all of you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2boyzmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10798044"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Things aren't as bad as I'm making them seem...we're good parents with good kids, a nice house in a nice neighborhood...heck we even have a well trained dog!!! We love each other...but we struggle behind closed doors.</div>
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<br>
The thing to remember is that you are NOT alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> again.
 

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What are some things that seem to help him be less stressed throughout the day? Does he get out of the house much with the kids? Does he have his own time to go hang out with guys? I know that as a SAHM I literally go crazy when I'm cooped up inside and am much more likely to loose my temper and be irritable.<br><br>
Taking off this week sounds like a good plan, at least to get through his doctor's appointment and see what the doc has to say. Do you have a friend that could help watch the boys for a bit while things get straightened out? Even with medication it's not going to fix things immediately. I feel like I'm useless and have no good advice but I hope you figure something out. I have a couple of friends IRL going through similar situations and it's tough.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaverdi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10798046"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What about a hobby? Brewing beer</div>
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Brewing beer's just supposed to be a hobby? Can you send my dh a memo. <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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mama, I can definitely relate. Hugs to you. You're shouldering a lot right now. Some ideas (some have already been said w/some new additions):<br><br>
1. Contact your local home school association & find out about a local group & see if they have a website, so you can join & request a teen sitter to come over & play with the boys & give your husband some respite time.<br><br>
2. Make sure you build in some down time (use the same sitter?) so that you can bolster up the energy to get through your days, too.<br><br>
3. Therapy for both of you (can see counselor individually so you don't have sitter costs) just so you have a safe, confidential place to vent & cry. Most health ins covers it or if you don't have ins, contact your county's mental health services. Sounds like you may have to be the scheduler for your dh, too. It seems that the mix of depression & anxiety makes it hard for the person to think straight & handle those kinds of things, so by doing it for him, at least he can start seeing someone.<br><br>
4. Contact Early Intervention for your ds for services, if not connected with them yet. They not only offer a lot of services to deal with SN, but they usually have a preschool that they're connected with & your ds could attend p/t, while your dh works p/t.<br><br>
5. You're not alone & we do care. Let us know how you & your family are doing. Blessings.
 

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I think you should encourage him to get a part time job even if it is on your days off so that he can get out and work with other people and not have to put the kids in daycare, or you should encourage him to get a full time job even if it just covers the cost of daycare. Daycare is a lot better than a stir crazy father who is acting out. My mother was a very stir crazy person and when I was a SAHM I got really out of control and stir crazy before I started working part-time and then eventually went back to school full time. I also don't have what an educated person would consider a meaningful job but it was meaningful enough because once I was working and got time to interact and just make money so that I felt like I was making a contribution I felt one hundred percent better.<br><br>
Medication is not a cure all for depression and it can make things worse in some cases because of the side effects and because it can mask the symptoms. If there are actual tangible things causing his depression, like needing to get away from the kids and feel productive, medication is not going to make a dent in the depression at all. Changing the situation and getting high quality counseling to talk about the causes and solutions is what is needed.
 

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It sounds like you are two devoted parents who are really stressed out.<br><br>
The respite care suggestion was excellent. When I was ill last summer, I made a list of my acquaintances who have lots of community connections and I called them to see if they knew of someone who could help me at home. This was hard for me to do, because we're relatively new in this city and I don't have any close friends due to the demands at home. The third person on my list had a teenage daughter (who just happened to have experience with autistic kiddos) looking for work as a mother's helper. It won't hurt anything to make a few calls asking for help. Maybe Connor's therapists would know of someone who could stop by for an hour a day. You don't have to give specifics about the situation, just put it out there that your hands are full and you need help. You could even make a list of jobs that would help you -- if the ladies at church took turns bringing a meal once a week, carpooling with another family to therapy once a month, and so on. You'd be surprised how many people come out of the woodwork to help a little here and there, and how quickly this kind of stress relief adds up. You can do this: you and your dh know what the problem is and you can tackle t together. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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How tough.<br><br>
I hope the change in weather together with medication will help him in time but I know it takes a while. The three years plus age is really, really hard even for someone who isn't depressed/anxious/etc. It really tries patience.<br><br>
I think somehow working out a break and part time care would be ideal and I know Conner's situation complicates that. I love the idea of a homeschooled teen or respite worker. Our high school also has a work program; caring for a special needs child would likely qualify. Hubby wouldn't even have to leave but it would be so nice to have someone come in maybe in the afternoon or whenever things tend to just be way too much.<br><br>
Once he's getting treatment for the depression hopefully he can learn some management techniques. This age in kids is really tough as I know you know.<br><br>
Mostly hugs to hubby and you. Sounds like he's really at the end of his patience and ability to cope right now and you're pulled in too many ways too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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((hugs)) I'm a WOHM and dh is SAHP. We have 4 children. Dh has been home 10 years. My children are a little older-- which helps some now b/c dh can be a scout leader and do volunteer work in connection with church and school, which helps him get out and about some.<br><br>
I can't think of anything enlightening. I think parenting is hard, and parenting special needs kids just ups the ante. I also know even good people can make mistakes. The test of character is to recognize and work to improve.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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For the moment, if he'll try it, look for a nervous system tonic (mine was called just that). I know, I know, herbal etc. but it seriously helped me get my temper under control in about an hour and keep it that way while I dealt with a bunch of changes. I had called DH home from school and told him I no longer wanted my kids it was that bad, and waiting for a med to kick in wasn't going to help at all. I found the tonic while trying to get a script for my old anti-depressant and it helped immensely - I also started taking melatonin which works for <i>my</i> insomnia and helped me get better sleep, thus more energy, thus better routine, thus less struggling, thus less anger. We were at a major break down point and it turned around within a week. I still have a temper and still yell more than I should, but I went from screaming raving lunatic type to normal stressed SN mama type. No more throwing the phone or losing it when DD is crying, etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you both. I know how very hard it is!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>irangel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10798229"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Brewing beer's just supposed to be a hobby? Can you send my dh a memo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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Sure. Send me his email address. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
But ya know if he makes it into a full-time job, then he could bottle it, sell it, and bring in some extra income to pay a babysitter. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kierdan'sMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10799987"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also started taking melatonin</div>
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Oh, what about Inositol? You can take pretty large amounts for anxiety safely. And for sleep problems caused by anxiety.
 
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