E.C. asks from McKinney, TX on July 24, 2008
Need Some Support
Hi ladies: been a lurker at the site for awhile but decided to ask for some support. I need some words of wisdom about how to get more joy out of my current situation. I have three children under the age of five, I work, and my husband works a lot. I'm just not enjoying life very much right now. It seems like there's always someone screaming or poopy (two in diapers), my house is gross, my husband is miserable and distant with all the small kid stuff and work stress. Just seems like life is all work and no play, you know? And it's making Jill an irritible and joyless girl. I've tried a lot of self care stuff like time for me, but I can't afford massages, pedicures, and getting out to meet other moms is impossible with my children (we have no family in the area, so no help but 10$ an hour babysitters which we can't afford. So no date nights, breaks, etc possible with the economics we're in). Advice? Help? Words of wisdom? I think just hearing from some of you who are still sane and happy would be great. Right now I fantasize about jumping on the back of some stranger's Harley and disappearing. So anything you've got would be great. I know from reading that y'all are a good bunch. Thanks in advance.
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Oh my gosh! What happened is still happening...I've gotten dozens and dozens of the most loving, supportive, and generous responses from the most awesome army of angels I've encountered in a long time. I want you all to know I'm feeling GREAT having been encouraged by you all...I've gotten some great ideas, a lot of laughs, and some beautiful, beautiful prayers and love from you all...some of you wrote so much...and all for a stranger. I am touched and refreshed by you all. God bless and keep every one of you. If you guys don't mind, I'll let you know more about how I implement some of your ideas in the future, but I had to go ahead and tell you all how grateful I am for each one of you and your loving energy today. Females RULE! Especially moms (and some grandmoms that wrote me too). They...you...do loving better than anyone.
A.S. answers from Lubbock on July 25, 2008
I dont have a lot of advice but I do have this quote that gets me through a lot of hard times.
One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove,what kind of house I lived in,how much money I had in my bank account,nor what my clothes looked like,but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
2 moms found this helpful
L.G. answers from Dallas on July 26, 2008
L.S. answers from Tyler on July 25, 2008
Do you have a standard bedtime for the kids? That helps me more than anything. I have two kids (5 and 7 months) and I am a single parent, so I often feel overwhelmed because I can never get away. But, having them in bed at the same time every night (early) REALLY helps. Even if I don't have the energy to clean the house, at least the house is quiet.
1 mom found this helpful
S.S. answers from Wichita Falls on July 24, 2008
Let me preface this with the statement that I daily fantasize about running away to Cozumel.
With that out of the way; PROZAC is my best friend. My second best are these three books: 1. Feeling good, which is a do it yourself guide to cognitive therapy. 2. The five love languages, 3. Created to be his Help Meet.
I also love me some flylady.net for keeping my house clean.
If you're big into massages and pedicures and seriously think they might help you - look into schools around you. There is one in Wichita Falls where you can get a half hour massage for around $10. Same thing at beauty schools - it's your nails - how badly can they mess up?
My husband and I do date nights at McDonalds and the park. Our kids are ALWAYS there - we don't leave them anywhere.
There are some days when this whole routine sucks. Between crappy diapers and runny noses, I'm lucky to get out of my pajamas.. I feel guilty for leaving them at daycare because I enjoy my day so much.. and then I remember that they're going to grow up soon. Really soon - if you think about it, it probably seems like Jack was only learning how to walk a few months ago, and this year he'll start kindergarten - right? Sometimes it's just a daily monotony.. but the monotony will change.
My advice: Forget about the house. Give it 20 minutes a day and a promise for a full scrub in a year or two. Enjoy the kids. Let them help you mop the floor and wipe up the soapy water with towels - y'all can skate across the floor on the towels. Cover your kitchen table with butcher paper and use playdoh or finger paint with them. Then throw them in the tub to play awhile - or a kiddy pool ($11 at walmart) outside. Sit and read a book while you watch them play.
Kiss your husband every single day when he gets home and before he leaves. It doesn't matter if you've both had the crappiest days in the history of the world and you'd rather crawl through a pig trough. Kiss. Every day.
Most of life is perspective. Think of anything you like to do. Then think of five things that suck about it. i.e. going to get icecream. 1. Makes me fat. 2. Hurts my teeth. 3. Costs too much money. 4. Takes too much gas. 5. My kids might misbehave. All of a sudden, yummy ice cream sounds like a lousy time.
Something that you think sucks - five good things. Camping.
1. Spending time with my kids - oh the memories of my 2 year old catching that red plastic fish. 2. Spending time with my husband - he really enjoys it. 3. Smores. 4. Cheap vacation. 5. Makes me grateful to come home. See, hot sweaty smelly camping with the insects sounds pretty good, huh? :)
The best thing about perspective is that, as moms - our family mirrors us. I can put my husband in a bad mood or a good mood, turn my children into whining, sniveling little beasts or helpful angels simply by my choices. So much power.
Message me if you need anything.
6 moms found this helpful
S.G. answers from Dallas on July 24, 2008
I sooo feel your pain. Learn the words "tie a knot, and hang on"
I think I have said those words to myself a trillion times!
My first thought is to tell you to find a church with a nursery and use it. There are weekday bible studies and many other things that will allow you free grown-up time and free childcare. Second, if you can afford to be off from your home job one day every other week, find a MOPS group and work for them intheir childcare. You will get a little grownup time with other adults as well as a break from your personal children. (and a little extra money as well) I have been exactly where you are and would love to offer you all of the support that I can. please send a private reply with any questions that you might have about anythiing. you are not alone. hang in there!!!!!!
4 moms found this helpful
C.F. answers from Dallas on July 24, 2008
I have this poem on my refrigerator and it helps me cope when I start feeling down:
ATTITUDE by Charles Swindoll
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string that we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes."
Do you have any friends near by? Have them over. I'd love to come and help you clean your house, not that I'm very good at it, but I do an okay job in my house. Sometimes we get into the same situation. We're living on one income and cannot afford to pay a babysitter or do many things that other mothers do. Most of the mothers I know take their kids to expensive places or they go out to eat at expensive restaurants, I sometimes think it's expected in this area, but I can't do that. I try to make the best of my life. I went to a thrift store one time and found a strobe light for like $3, since then it has been party night at our house most weekends. When my kids were babies I would hold them and dance with them and they loved it. I always have to come up with things to do and there's always something going on at our house. When it comes to myself, I give myself pedicures and do my hair in many different ways. Sometimes when the kids are asleep I pour a glass of wine for my husband and I, and we have a romantic night. Sometimes people make me feel inferior because I'm a young mama and what some people would consider "poor" but when we come home from being with other moms and their kids, my kids come and tell me that those moms are boring and that I'm the best mom ever, it's the best feeling in the world! I think to myself how we only have 18 years with them until they go to college and start their own life. I can sacrifice that much out of my life. Later, I'll go out and have fun and do those things that I can't do now, right now it's all about the people that I raise them to be. My girls love little kids, if you ever want to get together, we can. I don't mind the dirty diapers, I've been there.
4 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Dallas on July 24, 2008
I don't have alot of advice, but wanted to say that I am right there with you, and I only have one child! I am sure three is very challenging. I have been trying to brainstorm about what I can do to make myself happier. For one, I think it is SO important to make your husband a priority and to nurture that relationship. I know it's hard...I thought my hubby and I would do this parenting thing easily since we were so close and compatible before having our son. But boy, does it change everything! At times, I find myself secretly bitter toward my hubby because he doesn't deal with the daily frustrations that I do, even though I know he is working for our living. Anyway, one thing I am going to try to do is bring some of the intimacy back to my marriage. I am sure our hubbies feel that they are on the back burner from the kids, even though as mommies we are doing our best to get it all done.
I'm not sure where you live, but you might look into a Mother's Day Out near you...I know it is alot cheaper than $10 an hour. And I liked one of the ladies ideas below to try and find a mom who will trade babysitting with you, so you and hubby can go out to dinner. Even if it's just a couple hours...it does wonders. I need to do this myself! If you attend church, maybe you could find a teen that you trust to babysit for you at a lesser cost.
For me, I know that part of my problem is that I get NO exercise...who has time? But I am going to bring my treadmill in from the garage and make myself get on it, even if it's just 15 minutes. I'll just bring my son into the room with me and walk as long as he'll let me.
You are not alone girlfriend. With three kids, I applaud you! You are doing the best you can, and you should be proud of that. If you live near Garland, message me and we can possibly trade babysitting sometime!
Take care of yourself!
3 moms found this helpful
S.M. answers from Dallas on July 25, 2008
The best thing I've ever heard came from some wonderful, Christian women at my MOPS group. This is all a season.
There is a season of poopy diapers, there is a season of being independant, there is a season of being involed in lots of sports, etc. But, it's all a season, you will get past it, and it may not be fun now, especially with 3 under 5, but it will get better. You'll probably find that when Juliet is 3, things will look a lot brighter. I don't know why 3 is the magic number, but things just get a little bit easier when the youngest is 3. There are different challenges mind you, but they are just a season as well.
Another thing that really made me feel better was something else that a speaker said at our MOPS group. We had just moved to the area, no family, and my kids were 3 & 5 (my #3 was not even in the works at the time). We moved from New Orleans and had 3 properties there to deal with and a new house here to balance. Things were tough! Anyway, the speaker was the pastor of the church and he was talking about marital satisfaction. He showed a chart of men's work satisfaction vs. women's marital satisfaction. He said "don't get me wrong, this isn't a want's a divorce kind of thing, it's the ability to be satisfied with the companionship, and all of the normal pros of marriage." Anyway, the curve showed that women are usually really satisfied when they are first married, then it goes down with the birth of children, and then it starts climbing again as the kids get older. Men's satisfaction at work satisfaction, however, started low and then increased over time. Basically, when we are at our low point in being satisfied in our marriage, men are starting to be more satisfied with their work. I don't know if this info helps you or not, but it really helped me to put things in perspective. I love my husband and kids, but yes, the monotony (sp?) of having small kids and a husband who is away (my hubby did 2 tours in Afghanistan when my kids were almost 2 & 4, so I know about a hubby being gone). Just keep going. Try to enjoy the things you can. I completely get the "my house is gross" thing and if there is any way to afford a maid, I think you should get one. If you can't, then you might try something my friend did...every Saturday morning, her husband takes her kids off for a while, maybe to the park, maybe just in the backyard, but he takes them out of the house. She then takes 2 hours to really clean her house. For them, it works. It may not work with your hubby traveling so much, but maybe if you do make some friends with someone else that has kids your kids age you can trade off time. 2 hours for you when her watching your kids and then 2 hours for her when you watch her kids. I've also heard of people that trade babysitting this way. Find someone you trust that you feel comfortable leaving your kids with and trade babysitting so that you can go on a date with your husband. Another idea is to have date night at your house. After the kids are in bed, have a nice dinner and rent a movie. Trust me, I've heard all the same advice before and it's easier said than done, but I thought it was worth mentioning!
Hang in there. Before you know it, your kids will be bigger and you will barely remember these times. And above all, pray. When my hubby was gone, I prayed every morning for strength & patience with my kids, and boy did it work! Unfortunately I've gotten out of the habit and I can tell! I need to get back to that again!
Hang in there!
3 moms found this helpful
N.H. answers from Dallas on July 25, 2008
Once the kids come....life goes from a nice ride on teh ocean to hurricane status overnight. You really are normal. I suggest you find a network of friends. Girlfriends can be a saving grace and a must for any woman. You need to watch each others kids once a month. It could be a few hours on saturday or saturday evening. And do nto spend that time cleaning. As you well know, it will still be there the next day. Spend that time with your husband. You two are the reason this family started in teh first place. You have to make time for each other. Without the two of you, there is no family. It does not have to be expensive. You could sleep in, watch an adult movie, go for a bike ride,cook a meal together. Anything for just you two. Believe me, your other friends need the same support and escape too. I have 3 kids and i finally realized that my house was crazy cluttered all the time. I set a schedule for us. It is a cleaning schedule. Each day i focus on one thing. I can mark it off my list and nto fret about the other. B/c once again, it will be back to clutter in no time. Take a minute to look at things, what bugs you the most, what is the easiest to fix etc... Like for me it was the kitchen and the entry. So on my schedule i have that dishes must be done everynight and table completely cleared. I also organized my entry so everyone has a spot for bags, shoes keys, mail etc... Everyone must help with this. Even my 2.5 knows her shoes go under the bench. That help tons. I hated walking in the door from a hard day to be greeted by a mess. I sweep on wednesday and vacuum on thursdays. I mop only every other friday. I wash on sunday. Fold and put away on monday and tuesday. I am lucky enough to have a seperate play room so that helps me a whole bunch. Saturday morning i clean bathrooms. Etc... Everything has its own time and that is all there is. I started putting hte kids to bed 15 minutes earlier and you wouldn't believe what that extra 30 minutes did for me. That was my magazine time (who has time to read a book...i miss them). Try to hang in there. Soon you'll be saying their so big. They don't even want my help anymore. We will have time to paint our toes and read those long lost books as we sit watching sports practices for days on end. Good luck!
3 moms found this helpful
K.C. answers from Dallas on July 24, 2008
Sounds like you did what I did! I had 3 kids in 4 years 1 month! It definitely isn't easy. But I think what you need to remember is that kids are only kids once and for such a short time. After my 3rd baby, I went through the depression it sounds like you may be in. I didn't see it, I felt VERY overwhelmed. We worked out a routine, though, that allowed both of us time with the kids and alone. I usually got home before he did, so I made dinner and would feed the kids. After dinner he would take the kids up for their bath and read stories, while I did the dishes. After the kids went to bed, we would talk or play board games. RELAX!!!!!
Communication is KEY! And you definitely need to get out of the house. The park is a good place ... especially one that has water spouts.... and while the kids are playing in the water, you and your husband can take pictures and talk. RELAX!!!!
If you feel that you're husband is checking out, then maybe marriage counselling or at least some sit down serious talking. Right now, all the days probably run together and he's to the point that he may be dreading coming home. None of us want that. Kids are the greatest joy and the hardest job. Whomever said "let's have a baby so we can save our marriage" got it wrong. Babies are the hardest thing on a marriage because you no longer have all that time to give to your partner, most of it's being given to the kids, especially 3 of them 5 years and under. Maybe if you and your husband sit down one night after the kids are in bed, and recognize the toll the kids are taking and agree to work together to get the evening stuff done (maybe one gives 2 a bath while the other helps mom clean the kitchen and then mom gives that one a bath)....seperating the arguing kids especially at night, makes for a much quieter house! Maybe then the chaos will slowly disappear, but nothing changes over night. And kids also recognize their parents emotions and feed off of them. I hope I've said something here that helps!
Good luck! Raising kids and staying sane are difficult things to do .... at the same time. Drop me a line if you ever want to talk!
3 moms found this helpful
B.P. answers from Amarillo on July 25, 2008
AT the risk of sounding old fashioned (and I am) I can share with you what worked and still works for me. Not necessarily time out for yourself but time out for God. It can be five or more minutes just to breath a prayer to Him acknowledge your need and seek His strength for your day. When rearing five children all under the age of eight this was my answer.
The Joy you seek is not physical, it is spiritual. You get the first in order, the rest follows. My prayers are with you. B.
3 moms found this helpful