L.B. asks from Palmyra, PA on July 03, 2008
Driven to Distraction!
I really just want to know that I'm not alone! I can't seem to fully concentrate on anything! There's just so much to be done and not enough hours in the day. I feel like I never accomplish enough. Every time I start to do something, one of the kids requires my attention - then I forget to go back and finish what I was doing. Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in the house and for the kids. I just want to enjoy my kids!! I think the most frustrating thing is that my husband doesn't seem to understand. He actually does his share around the house and with the kids - he is home with them 2-3 days a week. He doesn't get why I'm so absent-minded!
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T.Y. answers from Philadelphia on July 06, 2008
I call that 'mommy brain' and you should get used to it because my son is 8 yrs old and I still have it. lol
C.C. answers from Philadelphia on July 04, 2008
Don't feel bad, the same thing happens to me too. Try writing a list and putting it on the fridge that way you are constantly reminded and my husband is home on the weekends and does his share and tells me the same thing. It happens to everyone.
D.F. answers from Pittsburgh on July 04, 2008
I am a SAHM of a very active 18 mos old little girl. She and her father are my world but I totally understand where you're coming from with the whole not getting stuff done. It really aggrevates me when my husband can come home and get more done in an hr than I do most of the day. However, I have found that even with daddy home, I am the go to person for my daughter. Mommy I want juice, or mommy I want crackers..etc. And I also have times when I am in the middle of something and my daughter will come over and move whatever is in her way and take my hand and say "mommy I want you". I have to stop and spend time with her regardless of what doesn't get done. I figure that if she is fed, clothed, and clean (after a bath at the end of the day b/c she doesn't stay clean throughout the day) then I am good. I get the sanitary stuff done like cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom and the laundry but the rest waits. This poem has really helped me out too:
Excuse this house (from Who got peanut butter on my daily planner: Organizing and Loving your days as a mom. Cindy Sigler DAgnan)
Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there
Ours boasts of it quite nicely. the signs are everywhere.
for smears are on the window, little smudges on the door
I should apologize, I guess, for toys strewn on the floor
But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read
And if the doorbell doesn't shine, their eyes will shine instead
For when I have to choose between the one job or the other
Though I need to cook and clean
First I'll be a Mother.
I hope this helps. Don't worry at some point you will strike a balance and learn that you are a mom....not a super person. My thinking is, would I get upset and be disappointed in my husband if he were home all day with the baby and didn't get X done. If I wouldn't be mad at him then I try not to get upset with myself.
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L.T. answers from Pittsburgh on July 03, 2008
I feel the same way...and I am a SAHM of 2. I agree with the mom who said that dads just don't take care of kids the same way. For example, I occassionally do EARLY morning shopping on a Sat or Sun so my husband gets up with the kids. He might have dishes done, laundry folded, dirty laundry in laundryroom, kids fed, and the living room straightened up...but he kept the kids barricaded in the playroom the entire time. He didn't interact much with them. I don't parent our children that way. I feel they need more attention and supervision. I don't know if he would do things differently if he were home alone with them more often.
I also think that women usually have more to think about and consider in raising the kids and taking care of a house. I put the thought and effort into finding a pediatrician, keeping up on health issues, shopping for family birthdays, getting landscaper quotes, dispensing my son's daily meds, paying the bills, organizing family events, etc. There are always a ton of "extracurricular thoughts" going through my head that my husband never has to think about.
A few things that have helped me keep somewhat organized is trying to do things while the kids are sleeping. I also set a cleaning schedule (the kitchen is Monday's focus, the bedroom is Tuesday, etc). If you are interrupted in the middle of a task maybe knowing what room you are focusing on will guide you back to what you were doing. I also keep a "to do" notebook with sections for cleaning to complete, shopping lists for various stores, social events to plan or RSVP for, etc. I don't know if this helps, but at least you know that you are not alone. Good luck!
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S.H. answers from York on July 04, 2008
This is really helped me when my kids were around your age...
by Kathy Fictorie
based on "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.
You're not alone!
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D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on July 03, 2008
You are not alone! Personally, I feel that when women are on the delivery table--a good percentage of our brain cells are LOST! :) LOL
I don't think it's unusual at all to have difficulty concentrating and prioritizing what needs to be done. There are things you HAVE to do and things you WANT to do and we have to find a way to strike a balance between the two. I only have one child (5) and I still struggle with this.
One way I try to do it is use an hour or two in the morning to vacuum, dust get some laundry going and then after lunch have play time with my son. Or if I seem to be out and about most of one day, I try to stick at home the next to get things picked up, cleaned, put away etc. If your little ones nap at the same time, make that a productive hour or two (even though sometimes you just want to sit down & breathe!). If one naps and the other is not--try to engage the awake one into an activity that you can check in on from time to time and use that time to get dinner going, laundry, etc.
After my son is in bed (8-9 pm for the summer) that is basically MY time because my husband goes to bed early too, since he starts work very early. Sometimes just knowing that I will have that time later really helps get ya through the day!
Also, if you are like my (Type A, need to have a clean orderly environment, etc.) you do need to realize that some days just stink. Nothing "gets done" but maybe you will have a blast playing with your kids. That's OK.
Because, once in awhile, the planets all line up, the birds sing, the sun comes out, things go your way, you have energy to spare and it all comes together in one perfect moment!
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L.K. answers from Philadelphia on July 04, 2008
Dear, do not take it too hard on yourself. Life is a challenge at every moment of our paths. That is why we are under constant pressure and test from our jobs, husbands, children, family members and friends. You surely are trying your best and every day you will improve your skills as a mom. No doubt about it. Now, your husband probably does not see the picture the same way you do. Work as a team, as a team of parents that need to show and teach the best to their children. There is no competition between who does it the best. It is a matter of achieving results side by side. I personally think you need a little break and do what you like the best, while your husband is taking care of your precious babies for a couple of hours once or twice a week. You deserve it for the hard work you do. I personally do it once a week with a 10 months baby that is adorable and a great husband who understands I need time to relax and recharge batteries for the rest of my life. So, my final suggestion is, go out with a dear friend of you to have a cup of coffee or have a massage for an hour in a place of your choice, or buy flowers for your room...Whatever makes you feel well...It is a matter of relax, see how lucky you are of having what you have and take it and hold it for life.
R.R. answers from Philadelphia on July 04, 2008
You are soooo not alone!!! I am right there with you! I sometimes get to the point of not even starting jobs around the house, because I know I won't be able to finish. And I do not work outside the home. It makes total sense for us to have a harder time concentrating. Remember that no matter how involved your husband is, ultimately you are in charge. So we've got a lot more floating around in our heads. The Dad's can just play and get their few jobs done, while we worry about everything else. I've heard it called Mom-nesia! Cute little name for something so frustrating! Good luck!
M.T. answers from Pittsburgh on July 04, 2008
You're so not alone! Is there anyway your husband can take your kids to their grandparents or other relative and they all spend the weekend there, or just one night,to give you a break and get some stuff done.
Do you ever get any "me time"? Time just for yourself, away from the distractions. It makes a world of difference.
S.P. answers from Philadelphia on July 03, 2008
I feel the exact same way. I have two little ones also, plus one on the way. I just stopped working FT 2 weeks ago as a paramedic and had hoped I would accomplish more when I was at home. Wrong! I feel like it is harder and more work being at home with the kids, critters and house work. Just like you I will start something, get sidetracked by one of the kids and never go back to what I was doing, it might take me 2 days to realize that I never finished ABC... The only thing I accomplish on a daily basis is showering( thank God) and vacuuming the floors on the first floor. I sometimes think I would lose my head if it wasn't attached to my neck. I lose things, and forget to do sooo many things. About your hubby, and I mean this in no way as a slight to any husbands/fathers because I am saying this from my own experience and observation with my husband, they are not as focused on the kids. For example tonight my husband was going to put my son to bed and my son grabbed his blanket and headed off to his bedroom and my husband was willing to finish what he was doing before following him, you and I both know that you have to go get him into bed before he wanders back out and then wants to do somthing else. I just think that the Dads have a different mindset when it comes to the kids, therefore they don't have the same absentemindedness we do because they aren't as focues on the kids needs as we Mom's are. I hope this theory is right because otherwise, I am just a complete failure at taking care of the kids and house.
I haven't found a solution yet and I really can't begin to image how bad it might get once #3 arrives! Hope you don't feel alone in this though!