January 26, 2011,
L.C. asks from University Place, WA on January 24, 2011
Feeling Stressed & Overwhelmed as a Mom of a Big Family
Hi there. I am writing in great need to some support and encouragement in my role as a mom. I have been finding myself lately in a place emotionally that I have never been in. I am usually an upbeat and energetic person. However, lately I have found myself struggling greatly with feeling very overwhelmed, angry, stressed, and sad. I feel a bit trapped by my circumstances and know that I need to do something different in order to keep things together for my family and myself. I am just not sure even what I need. I feel like there is no relief in my role as a mom and wife. I am a stay at home mom. I have step a 17 year old step daughter (who lives with us full time), I have a 5, 4, and 19 month old and am 6 months pregnant with another one! I am trying to home school my 5 year old although I don't do much with him because it is all that I can do just to keep up with life. We just moved into a bigger place which is good, but I am surrounded by boxes and not time or energy to empty them. I am getting little sleep. My youngest son wakes up between 5:30 and 6 every morning. I am absolutely exhausted by 8:30 and ready for bed. This leaves no time for time with my husband or time for myself. I am also always up at least one time during the middle of the night with one of the kids. My husband does help when he is home in the evenings, but it doesn't feel like enough of a break. Every morning I am waking up struggling with feeling so angry at all the demands put on me in my roll as mom. I then find myself crying at random times during the day. I feel my joy has been sucked out. I really love my kids, husband, and have always enjoyed being a mom. However lately I have been resenting my job. I can see how the anger in my heart and impatience is effecting my family. I know that something needs to change, but I feel I have lost myself so much in my roll as mom that I don't know what I need for myself. Does anyone feel this some way? What has helped you? I am a Christian, but am just struggling in staying strong. Thank you so for "listening." I do feel a bit better just getting this all out=).
N.W. answers from Eugene on January 24, 2011
Oh my, you are MAKING A BABY and right there, your body is working full-time, using energy, changing and needing extra rest. You need rest! Even God took time off after 6 days of work but I bet you are not getting any real break. This is not an option so get together with DH and figure out a way to get some major recharge time at least once a week.
Here are some things you can try:
Pay the 17 year old to babysit so you can get out of the house. Even tho she is part of the family, giving her some money tells her that you value her time and are not just taking advantage her. I'm the oldest of 6 kids and it can be a thankless position!
Have DH commit to waking up at 5:30 for your youngest so you can have an extra hour or two of sleep. DH is getting up anyway for work ,right?... so can he work your son into his morning routine?
DH can wake up in the middle of the night on weekends when he doesn't have to work. That gives you 2 nights a week without those interruptions.
Let the homeschooling go. I homeschooled 4 kids and can tell you there's plenty of time to catch up. 5 years olds just need to learn the alphabet, numbers to 100 and their colors. If you don't get to that this year, you can cover it next year.
Get together with another mom-of-many to talk and share. Sometimes it helps just to know we are not alone. Take time to develop those relationships now, even tho it's hard to make time.
In a quiet moment, share honestly with DH about how you need some relief now. It's great that he is willing to help. And it is in his best interest to make sure you don't burn out now. He and your children need to have you around and in your right mind for a long time so make the changes you need to find your stride.
3 moms found this helpful
P.O. answers from Harrisburg on January 24, 2011
You need more hands to help with the number of members in your household.
Your husband and 17 year old could unpack the boxes and do the household chores.
You could consider enrolling your 5 and 4 year olds in pre-school 1/2 time or full time
You are pregnant so of course you have no energy to do what you normally do. Don't be so hard on yourself.
When baby is born, focus on the 19mo old and the baby. That alone is enough work for a mom.
Schedule time for the 5 & 4yr old to be in some activity while you rest.
All the best! I hope your situation changes, and as a christian, pray for strength!
3 moms found this helpful
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A.B. answers from New York on January 24, 2011
Was this going on before you became pregnant? Could it be the pregnancy hormones? You have a very difficult job and in clear need of a real break. Can you ask a friend or family member come for a few hours so you can recharge? And then make it a routine? You are gonna have another baby in 3 months you need to take care of yourself, whether that be going out, or sitting in a tub it's needed. Happily your husband is helpful, does he know how you truly feels or just gets the brunt of your anger? Let him in on what's really going on for you and ask him for some help. Remember you can only be good for your family if you take care of yourself.
2 moms found this helpful
C.C. answers from Sacramento on January 24, 2011
I am wondering if you could have pregnancy-induced depression. (Like Post-partum depression, but while you are pregnant.) Your feelings sound just exactly how I felt when I was pregnant with baby #2 - thank goodness my doctor noticed and spoke with me about it. He put me on an anti-depressant (which he assured me has been extensively studied for use with pregnant and nursing women, with no ill effects). WOW, what a difference I felt almost immediately. Within a week I felt like my old self again and was able to enjoy being a mom and wife again. You have several other great answers as well, but I thought I would throw it out there in case you had not considered whether this may be depression. Pregnancy hormones can definitely cause your brain to react differently.
You are doing a great job, mama, and I wish you the very best!!
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Dallas on January 24, 2011
It sounds like you just to many things on your plate. First off your 17, 5, and 4 year old can help out more around the house then you may thing and even with packing. Just with a small chore chart. Can you see about enrolling your 5 year old in school? It is to late for this school year I bet but look into it for next year. Public school is a good thing, even though so many others thing bad things. You also need to schedule some you time. I call this Mommy Time. You work full time just like your hubby, see about getting out on the weekend for just a few hours by yourself. This will help recharge your batteries.
I'm sorry your struggling right now, but remember this to shall pass.
1 mom found this helpful
A.D. answers from Portland on January 26, 2011
Oh hon, be kind to yourself. You sound clinically depressed. Moving is a major life stressor, and so is pregnancy. Please talk to your doctor. And be on the lookout for post-partum depression--it often starts before delivery, and you are fitting the profile to a t. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say perhaps it's time to close up the baby-making shop after this one is out. It's time to get YOUR life back.
Hoping things improve soon!
L.C. answers from San Francisco on January 24, 2011
Wow Mom! You are definitely a SUPER MOM! I can totally relate. I am a stay at home mom of 4 kids (13, 10, 2, and 7 months). I too, sometimes feel like I am resenting my job. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with my own situation, but realized that I need a BETTER game plan. I'm working on it.
Have you tried talking to your husband about how you're feeling? Maybe he can add a couple more duties. What about your 17 year old? Would she be able to help you around the house more?~ unpack boxes, put some things away? Do you have a relative near by that could help you out for a couple of hours ..either with the kids OR at the house? I know that being pregnant...that you're limited to carry and move around. You definitely need to take some time to yourself ...maybe seeing a counselor once a week just to help with your feelings and thoughts and maybe the counselor can make some recommendations? I'm always open ..always here for a listening ear! Good luck Mama..hang in there. If you need to just SIT STILL alone..do it. Forget everything else. You are the MAIN PERSON that rules that house...if something goes wrong with you..everything shuts down...so take your breaks..because you can.
J.B. answers from Atlanta on January 24, 2011
You need to sit down with your husband and schedule weekly time away for yourself. You can do whatever you want and can afford whether it's a spa visit, roaming around the library, heading out with friends or just going and vegging in a coffee shop. You need some time away and some time alone or away from your family! Let him know you're miserable and take care of yourself. No one else will!
Next, after you have this baby -if you have to have a c-section, get your tubes tied and if not, he needs to go in for a vasectomy when you're about 38 weeks. He will be just fine in a few days and should be "shooting blanks" by the time you're ready to resume sexual activity. That way, you won't have to worry about any more kids or getting pregnant again!
You have a lot on your plate with almost 4 small children. I know the 17 year old still has to be watched and looked after to some extent, but really you shouldn't have to do much more for her than keep an eye on her and talk to her. She should have household responsibilities that she needs to take care of on a weekly and daily basis.
And YES -ditch the homeschooling! You're already overburdened -get rid of everything you possibly can that is stressing you out and causing you problems. It will do you and the 4 and 5 year olds good for them to go to school -especially with a toddler and a new baby on the way!