July 13, 2009,
S.K. asks from Castle Rock, CO on July 09, 2009
How to Not Be So Grumpy
Here is my dilemma by 8 o'clock i seem to turn into a witch. I work full time and get home in time to be pulled in every different direction and i find myself yelling at everything and wanting the kids to go to bed. I hate the fact that I don't see my kids most of the day then they seem to get the worst part of me and that isn't fair to them. I ask for a mommy time out but that doesnt seem to last long and I shouldn't have to remove myself from the kids when ive already been away from them all day. I hate feeling so grumpy and exhausted. My husband is currently one of the many looking for work so there is that stress on top of everything (so a weekend getaway is out of the question due to money) I can't seem to relax.
K.C. answers from Provo on July 10, 2009
Schedule, schedule, schedule! After work is the "Second Shift". There is work to be done, things to put in order, and tasks to accomplish. Don't just resent it - streamline it.
Start a load of laundry when you get home. Takes 2 minutes.
Tip#1: The Blitz. Everyone helps to clean up after dinner, for 10-15 minutes (hubby too!). Wipe off counters, sweep floor, get dishes in the dishwasher, wash the pots n pans. No one is inconvenienced for 10 minutes, and it's nice to not feel like you are working alone. Kids can clear tables, put silverware in the dishwasher and pick up stuff off the floor. We set the microwave timer and try to "beat the clock."
Tip #2: Pajama Time. My kids are in pjs *before* dinner. They want to eat, and I hate fighting them to get into PJs. Since dinner is one of the last things we do, there's no need to postpone hopping into nightware. Avoid the pj struggle by rearranging and motivating. "Hurry! We have chicken dinner waiting for you!"
Tip #3: Story Time. Get that one-on-one. I would start the 4 yr old on a picture book while you put DD down. Or split the responsibility with your honey. Two kids, two parents. Snuggle. Ask about their day. Try not to fall asleep on their bed.
Loves, kisses, good-night! Pick up their laundry on the way out.
Switch laundry, start a white load soaking.
12 minutes to fold.
You've just had a positive end to your day. The kitchen is clean, the dryer is running, kids are in bed, happy to have had your attention, and you have enough energy to vacuum the tv room, watch The Office, and stare at a blank wall.
3 moms found this helpful
D.M. answers from Denver on July 10, 2009
You are definitely not alone!
Just some simple advice...
Take it one day at a time.
Take vitatims (sounds corny, but I swear by them).
Just talk to your husband about how your feeling - as women I think we all try to do it all ourselves, and we often need help. Even if the routine at home doesn't change - "venting" and sharing might help.
Finally, in the car, or as you are lying in bed - remind yourself by listing the things you are greatful for in your head. Health, a good husband, a home, a job... although times are tough now, and it may seem it will never be better - we often overlook the blessings we have at that very moment. Sometimes, taking a few minutes each day to remind yourself of yours does wonders for your mental state.
Hang in there- you will get though - and you are doing a great job filling all of the roles that you do. Take a few minutes to be gentle with yourself.
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M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on July 10, 2009
S., if it helps any, you're a member of a very large club! Isn't it in a mom's job description that she be tired and frazzled? No? Well, it seems that way!
I hope you get a lot of helpful advice. I'm a grandma now, but when my children were growing up I was increasingly aware of my grumpiness (so were they!). I just didn't know what to do about it, and I felt rather in a grouch trap.
Looking back, I see a number of possible causes. Those causes do not include my children and my husband, although I don't think I realized that at the time. Since I'm the only one who can really make me happy, I'm the only one who can really make me grumpy, right?
But I know I was tired. And I know I wasn't eating properly. So I suggest that you take a look at what is going into your mouth. No matter how busy you are, you need to eat, and what you put inside you needs to be what nourishes you most efficiently (your body needs enough water as well). See if you're getting enough proteins and good carbs, and not much (if any) in the way of junk calories. That may help your energy and, actually, your mood.
Relaxing can be incredibly difficult. Sleep is good when you can get it, so try! My religion teaches me to turn my cares and my stresses over to God, and it's very helpful because He's a whole lot smarter than I am. It also reminds me that I'm not the center of the universe, even at home. I don't have to keep my family going! I just need to do my part as well as I can, and that's a big enough job.
Some other things I do include stopping once in a while just to breathe! That banishes the emotional cobwebs for a bit. I look for anything (and I mean anything) around me I can smile about - anything funny or pretty or whatever. It takes me out of myself and I need that.
Here's something else, and you know it already but we all need to be reminded. Life is hard and tiring, and a lot can go wrong. Children don't understand their mommy's need for time to herself, and sometimes husbands don't either. We are often working on overload, and it's natural (though not good) to take it out on those closest to us.
But those people are only on loan to us. Tomorrow they might not be there; no one knows what the future holds. Try to get your mind off yourself and put your stresses on hold for just a while, even a minute (believe me, they'll wait), and on to those you love. Every time you look at them, remember how blessed you are to have them. And let them know! The world will not fall apart because you hug your kids, focus on them, spend some fun time with them, say "I love you" over and over. It may feel like stealing time away from the problems of the world, but go ahead and do that kind of stealing! For five minutes, it's actually more important for you to remember how precious they are, and to share that with them, than to know where your next meal is coming from. Give that to your children every day as a present. It's better than any toy you can or can't afford.
They will not be able to do that supportive sort of thing for you, but then, you're the grownup. You don't need that kind of payback from your children.
Hope this helps a little.
1 mom found this helpful
B.B. answers from Missoula on July 09, 2009
It sounds like you are feeling stressed, tired and maybe a little guilty about being a working mom. I am lucky enough that I am able to only work outside the home part-time, but I know how hard that can be and I have nothing but respect for you moms who do it full-time. It can be really difficult to switch gears from being a mom in the morning, getting everybody ready and where they need to be, to being an employee, then back to being a mom/wife. Working and raising kids is tough, and add to that the stress of having your husband out of work, and honey, no wonder you are feeling this way!
I'm not sure that I have any life-altering advice, but whenever you can, cut yourself a bit of slack. It is okay for you to need time for yourself even when you've been away from your kiddos all day. It doesn't make you a bad mom, and its not a reflection of how much you care about your family. In fact, you may find that you are able to be a better mom if you take a little time to take care of yourself everyday. Take a bath, take a walk, call a girlfriend, whatever works for you, just make yourself a priority everyday. I know this is tough advice to follow, but I think it might be the first step in changing your outlook. Best of luck!
1 mom found this helpful
J.H. answers from Salt Lake City on July 10, 2009
S.. Your post could not be more timely. I just wanted to say - though I don't have a clean-cut answer - I have so much compassion for you as I am going through the same thing myself currently. My situation is slightly different as I work from home - however - having been laid off in January, I am on the scramble to create two separate businesses from scratch while my husband works two jobs to keep us in food and shelter. Between money stress and time limitations, we are both at the end and finding it difficult to have anything left for our daughter. Fortunately, I have an incredibly wise mentor who is now in her 60's and has spent a lifetime as a single mother. I go into her office, exhausted and frustrated and near tears once a week and the thing she says over and over is that I can't possibly expect myself to be available to anyone else if my cup is already overflowing with responsibility. Though I once found it really annoying when someone would look at me blankly and say 'You just need some time to yourself.' because it seemed so impossible to get with little money and few babysitting options - I have realized that if I take 30 minutes EVERY DAY to myself to unwind - that I don't end up so cumulatively exhausted and don't seem to need that entire WEEK off. So there's my advice, just try it out.
Every single day - when you first get home or maybe before you even pull into the driveway - go and sit in a park and be quiet and breathe - or go for a quick walk - give yourself some nurturing first so you can be available to your kids and your husband.
There is a Japanese philosophy called 'Kaizen' which basically counsels people to take very small steps toward their goals. I think this is really applicable to parents who are tired and overwhelmed and no longer have big blocks of time. I have really found in my life as a parent, if I take these small steps - they make so much of a difference.
Best of luck with everything.
1 mom found this helpful
G.V. answers from Boise on July 10, 2009
I can so identify with your situation. We function on high speed through so much of our lives. You are right to listen to yourself that you are feeling loss about not being able to truly enjoy your children. And I hear you noticing your needs are not being met when you cruise straight from work where you are meeting so many needs all day to home and meeting everyone else's needs. Where's the time to fill some of your own personal needs? It's there.
I was able to change this cycle by getting Marshall Rosenberg's book, Nonviolent Communication. It's a great way to get a grip on holding 'all needs' equally important. Including your own!
Best of luck to you finding the key to your happy life.
1 mom found this helpful
G.P. answers from Boise on July 10, 2009
It is very understandable that you are grumpy and exhausted. I am in the same boat of working full time and only seeing my son for a couple hours at night, so I do whatever I can to try to make that time enjoyable.
I would first look at why you are grumpy. Stress, guilt, tired, etc., etc. and acknowledge and validate your feelings. See if there is anything you can do for some of these things. If you stress about dinner, work with your husband to plan menus, can you get to bed earlier, etc.
See if you can get a little after work schedule going. Decompress in the car, make your transition from work to home while driving, and don't bring work home with you (mentally speaking). When you get home, do you need 5-10 minutes to change, use the bathroom, after kissing everyone hello? Do that, then give your all to your kids while they are up. I'm assuming that at 8 is when they go down? If not, you may want to look at their routine too. Then you can have some downtime with your husband and tell him that you feel grumpy, cranky, bitchy, whatever. I'm sure that you are probably taking it out on him too, so talking it out, can help get some of his support.
I'm not really sure that this is helpful, but know that you aren't alone.
H.A. answers from Denver on July 10, 2009
I am not one to say go get a prescription, but after years of resisting, I started taking an anti-anxiety med and it makes all the difference. I have been on Celexa and am now on Zoloft. I only take it once a day and if I forget, then I feel the anxiety rising up in my stomach and can't control the grumpy/cranky side of myself. I thanked myself for finally doing it years ago and so did my family and friends!