September 04, 2009,
H.S. asks from Ypsilanti, MI on September 02, 2009
I Feel like I'm a Bad Mother
I'm a 26 (almost 27) year old woman with two kids; Elijah, my oldest will be 4 in November and Nayomi will be 3 in April. I have been home alone with them all summer long because the store I work at closes down for summer break because we're on U of M's campus and most of our clients leave Ann Arbor. I have zero energy to play with them and taking them outside is difficult because we don't really have a play area in my apartment complex that I feel comfortable taking them to; our complex allows dogs and 3/4 of the people with dogs don't clean up after them and it doesn't matter where in the complex their dog goes. As a result, the only safe place to take them is the sidewalk in front of my building but the kids like to go in opposite directions and at each end of the sidewalk is a parking lot. Because of this, I don't take them outside; I usually take them down to the pool but I broke my foot and can only be out of the walking air cast at bed time or to shower; not to go and play.
My kids won't listen to me at all and I get so frustrated I start screaming and yelling at them. My husband basically told me today that I'm a bad mother which doesn't help with the way I feel now; completely worn out and just ready to pack it in which I know I can't do; there's no calling it quits when you have kids. I just don't know what to do anymore, but I do know that I can't keep living like this.
B.J. answers from Detroit on September 03, 2009
Hi H., the very words I think I'm a bad mother says your not, if you were it would be a consellor telling the children when they are grown, children of all ages need conctant entertainment. But at their ages wow. Can you get anyone to take the children for walks once each day. To get them some exercise & give you a break. While at home keep focused plan for the day, 7am breakfast, 7:30 clean-up 8am to 10am paint, draw, play-doe, 10am to 10:30am clean up. 10:30am snack, 10:45 clean-up 11am-12am exercise tape 12:00to 12:30, lunch, 12:45 clean-up 1pm to 2pm rest. 2:30 snack 2:45 clean up. 3pm to 5pm, cards, counting, blocks dolls cars play together, or seperate. Counting with coins. 5pm to 6:30 walk with Dad, 6:30pm dinner, clean-up 7:30pm bath, 8pm story time bed. What ever you choose as a schedule, stick to the time, the activity can varry. Hope you foot heals soon, best of luck with two young & active children.
C.T. answers from Detroit on September 03, 2009
I know going outside is hard in your situation but kids thrive on being outside. When I'm home with my son I have to take him outside. What I do is take lots of walks. My son will either walk or ride one of his bikes. I notice a huge improvement with my son after he has been outside. so - lets try to find ways to get those kids outside and where you feel comfortable with them playing. I live in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area as well. Can you drive? There are tons of parks around us. Do you have another mom with kids that you can buddying up? Are you going back to work soon? If so where do your children go while you work?
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D.O. answers from Detroit on September 04, 2009
It sounds like you might be going back to work soon with the school year starting, so that may help your situation some. Your lack of energy does sound concerning. I would consider seeing a doctor and having a full physical.
Do you know anyone in your complex that has similar age children? You might want to invite the Mom and kids over to play. Kids sometimes seem to play so much better with other kids. And you and the other Mom can talk and vent about how tough it is to raise kids. This Mom might also have some other ideas of where to take your kids in the area.
K.T. answers from Detroit on September 03, 2009
Not a bad mother....two kids under 4 and a broken foot. Just what does your husband expect you to do?
Do the kids dance? Put on a dance video or music and let them get their wiggles out. Keep them active without having to be active with them until your foot heals. Have game time (CandyLand is a great start to learning colors). Have story time before naps, before bed or any other quiet time.
As for yelling.....hold their chin in your hand, get in their face and speak softly. They are both old enough for learning acceptable behavior and time outs, whether it's sitting on the couch quietly with you until they get it together or sitting somewhere by themselves (we had "the stairs"). I know it's easier said than done, but it does work at that age and they don't get as upset as when yelling (eventually they tune out yelling, they can't tune out the fact that your face is inches from theirs and you are talking to them).
Lots of luck....it's a trying time, but it will get better.
K.M. answers from Detroit on September 02, 2009
H. everyone gets frustrated and yells. You are not a bad Mom H.. You have had a lot going on. Your husband should help you out and take them to the pool. Don't let him get you down. I am sorry you are haveing a tough time and I hope your foot and your life get better soon.