How to Get Out of My Funk??

Updated on February 23, 2016
K.H. asks from Crofton, MD
15 answers

I am a new mom of a beautiful one yr old baby boy. I get to work from home most of the week. I have a babysitter Tues and Thurs. I have a fiance who is recovering addict n on depression meds. I'm in charge of working, bills, cooking, cleaning, shopping... I also have his stepson every weekend. I don't know how to make time for myself. I love my boy but chasing him aroundthe hou se all day n entertaining him is wearing me out. If I can get babysitter for hr or two I run grocery shopping or clean house n make bottles. Being a mom is all new to me. I'm lucky to go to dinner with fiance once mth. Not sure how to change things to get alittle time for myself. Any suggestions would be great

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answers from Phoenix on

It's been a long time since I had a 1 yo. I had a room that was babyproofed in my house and it was blocked with a baby gate so I didn't have to "chase" them around. It was next to the kitchen so they could be in there playing and I could get a few things done. You also need to have your man help with things around the house. It's not just your job and it doesn't matter what his "issues" are, he needs to do things too. It also helps to realize not everything needs to be perfect. You don't have to dust every other day. Let some things go that you can so you can have some time to yourself. And it's ok to tell your man that you need some quite time and he needs to watch the baby for 2 hours. Then go in your room and read or do a hobby or soak in the tub or go see a movie. Your step son can also do some things when he is over. It doesn't matter if he's only there on weekends, he can have some chores as well. It's a group effort to keep up a house, not just you. Good luck.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

how much are you willing to take on, sweetie?
you're a working single mother right now, basically. extend that thought logically. would it be more or less work if you unloaded the fiance?
it's lovely that you're willing to work, raise your baby, take care of his stepson every weekend (why does his stepson visit so often if it's not his son, and he has depression and addiction issues and can't take care of him himself on the weekends?), do all the housework and shopping AND support your depressed addicted fiance, but burn-out is a pretty inevitable finale for this frantic soap opera, and it sounds as if you're nearly there.
and not surprising.
your recovering addict isn't become less depressed from sitting around on his bum all day. if he's not working, and not yet capable of caring for his child without supervision, the very very least he should be doing is ALL the cooking and cleaning. and it would be very good for him to get out of HIS funk.
his is self-induced. yours is a natural byproduct of being over-extended.
i strongly suggest you either get your dead weight involved in lightening your load, or you lighten it yourself by cutting loose the dead weight.
the baby, work, and taking care of the two of you isn't going to change.
the rest of this scenario can.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sound to me like it's your job to take care of everyone else, and no one is taking care of you. You aren't exactly a new mom, but you do have a little one who is constantly changing, so I'm sure every phase seems like it's all new to you. I am sorry about your fiancé and his past/present medical issues, but if I understand you correctly, he's not working, paying bills, cooking, cleaning, shopping, providing childcare for the child you have together (either entertainment or making bottles or anything else), or doing anything for the stepson. (Not sure why you have HIS stepson - do you mean it's YOUR stepson and his son? If it's not his child, why is he with you every single weekend especially if your fiancé is unable to do anything?) I think you should consider revisiting this visitation arrangement - the child is not getting much from a father (or father-figure) who is unable to do anything at all, and you have turned into the babysitter so that child's other parent(s) can have some time off. Unless this is court-ordered visitation, I'd cut back on that, and I'd make sure my fiancé was stepping up to the plate on it!

And if you get a babysitter, it's not for YOU time, it's just to make the other work more efficient (like shopping without a little one in tow). That needs to change.

I guess I would ask you to think about whether your fiancé is getting the medical care that he needs - some people with depression are disabled and exhausted, and others are taking medication and getting therapy so that they can function well, including having a job, contributing to the family, doing basic rewarding things like child care and enjoyment. Is your fiancé so disabled that he is unable to do that? Is that why you are caring for his 2 children with no help? Is sitting around actually helping him feel better about himself? Or would he feel better if he did something constructive? If he has a child already, is he not a more experienced parent than you are, and maybe he could help? Or did his addictions get in the way of that, and he's totally inexperienced?

If I were you, I would use that babysitter NOT to go grocery shopping. I'd let the house go without cleaning every other week - just throw some stuff in a bin in a closet or in the laundry room, and let it go. Don't make the beds, don't clean the bathtubs. Everyone will survive, and you will have to make do with less of a sense of order.

Instead, I would use those 2 hours to get in a 1 hour counseling session (plus some driving or quiet time even in the car!) either with a therapist to help you understand more about depression and addiction and your own need to be (perhaps) codependent here, or to get a life coach to help you formulate some goals and priorities. It sounds to me like you are so exhausted that you cannot think straight, and you are flying from one task to another.

As the flight attendant says, "Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then help those around you." I think you are getting zero oxygen, and everyone else is sucking it out of you.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It's time for your fiancé to help out. Sharing the chores and childcare will help you feel less stressed. If he doesn't help you before you're married, he's not likely to help you after.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Well, firstly as a mom, stepmom and PT WFH mom, I second the suggestion to get the sitter more often and compartmentalize work vs home. It is too easy to blend what needs doing when you are in your home office. Many companies require you to prove you have someone doing child care if you work FT. I was fortunate to have a flexible PT gig before this, so sometimes it is possible, but be careful that you are meeting your company expectations. Your sitter could also make bottles, do some kid laundry, etc. as well.

Secondly, you say "I have his stepson". No, HE has his stepson (Or I guess you mean your stepson/his son). Now, being a stepmother who is married to a custodial father, I know how easily "he" means "you" but honestly if you are doing x, y, z and more and his son is there to see him, then he needs to man up in the dad department.

Does your fiance work? If not, then he could do laundry, make bottles, do a grocery run...

I think that your fiance taking a few more parental duties (like some quality Dad-Son time) will go a long way in you getting the time you need.

If he won't, then take a long look at whether or not you have a partner here.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

LOTS of empathy--I remember those days. Young parenthood is SOOOO intense! Just keep in mind that things will change and become somewhat easier, at least in terms of youngster's needs every few minutes. One possible source of support: are you getting support to deal with your fiance's addiction? Even though he is in recovery, there still can be fallout for the partner from the past, and just to live well with someone in recovery. Al-Anon or Nar-Anon could be helpful to you. Sending good thoughts for you being able to keep focused on enjoying life and flourishing one day at a time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Does your fiance live with you? is he the baby's daddy? can he be trusted alone with the baby?
If the answer to these questions is yes then do what I did. I had a standing walking/coffee date with a girlfriend every Saturday morning. I also got out a few evenings during the week, to go to the gym, take a class and to go grocery or Target shopping. I didn't ASK my husband if he would watch the baby I said I NEED you to stay with the baby/kids a few times a week so I can get out by myself. He got his gym and golf time too, no one can be a parent 24/7, we all need time to ourselves.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Honestly, you're in one of the craziest parenting stages. Mobile young kid = exhaustion. Add in everything else you have going on, it's going to be hard to carve out time for yourself. Do you have flexible hours when you're working from home? If so, look into Stroller Strides or other mommy and me classes. Exercises classes for mom with baby in the stroller. Only downside is that they tend to be oriented to SAHMs and classes are during work hours, although I found a local one with Saturday AM classes.

I also found that sometimes you have to speak up and ask for time for yourself. Set up time to go out with a friend one evening. Piece together that time here and there.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It's a real switch - people don't talk about it enough. Caring for a young child is demanding. Carving out that time takes practice.

If it were me, I would use the babysitter time not for cleaning or grocery shopping, but to get out of the house and do something I enjoy. Meet up with friends. Or just shop for myself. Exercise class ..

Could you leave the baby with your fiance on a week night and just pop out for groceries then? Seems a shame to pay a sitter for grocery shopping.

I cleaned house here and there. My husband pitched in and did half. Even though you're home during the day, you're working and caring for baby. Once my family gets home, we all help with evening chores (cleaning up after meal, putting things away, etc.).

When I was home with little ones, going for a brisk walk, even 20 minutes was a great time to just get a new mindset part way through the day. Could you work that into a break from working?

Good luck :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You must really love your fiancé to sign up to share your life with a man with so much baggage. Is he really worth it?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

There are options. You say you work at home. Most moms who work at home take their kids to child care so they can get their work done and not have distractions. That might need to be your choice. I know you want to work from home so you can be home with your child but it's nearly impossible and with a little one this age, they need nearly constant attention. So that's stressful.

Find a local Mother's Day Out program, ours are in Methodist churches. They often have a different program at each church/congregation. We have 2 in my town and one has M-W-F 10am-3pm. The other has T-TH 9am-noon, they don't have lunch time or nap time. They simply have activities and stuff then you pick them up.

MDO gives you a specific time frame to go do things. Like OB/GYN appointments, buying groceries, going shopping for yourself, and more. And YES, we do often go home and take a nap.

Then it sounds like your hubby to be needs to have some chores. IF he's not already doing all the other stuff besides what you listed. He can cook, he can take out the trash, he can do dishes, he can do some laundry, and he can take the baby and keep him occupied for hours and hours.

You are a person too, one that deserves private time and a life outside your home.

Decide what you need and what you deserve. Sit down with your guy and talk to him, heart to heart. He needs to hear you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You say your fiance has some issues - can you trust him alone with your son? This makes a huge difference. If you can, then I think you should look in the community college magazine in the adult ed section, and find a class of some kind that you can take. Then, one day a week, leave your son with your fiance and GO. It could be an exercise class, a landscaping class, a pottery class, whatever interests you.

If you cannot trust your son with your fiance, because of his issues, then you have bigger problems than I can address...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

By the time child is 1 yr old, motherhood isn't completely new to you at this point - but child grows through stages and every stage has it's challenges!
See, my husband and I courted for 10 years before we married and then we were married 9 years before we had our son.
We'd done our traveling, and restaurants and fly away vacations before we had a baby - so when our son came along - we were SO ready to be settled down.
Once our son arrived we got take out once in awhile but it was 4 years before we went out to eat again - and we didn't miss it or feel we were missing out.

How functional is your fiancee?
How much time does he spend with his kids (stepson included)?
Can he handle them on his own for a weekend (and if not, why not? He's a father - he needs time with his kids.)
What about grandparents?
I think you need to take one of your baby sitter days every once in awhile and go see a movie or doing something just for yourself.

It's hard right now but try to look at the long view - in 10 or 15 years it's going to be so different being a parent.
Being home with a baby is temporary - in a few short years he'll be off to school or pre-school.
Someday you're going to miss the baby years.
It's just really hard to see that for right now.
Hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

You could be depressed too...if it does not go away be sure to go talk to your doctor about it. My hormones after having kids really have put me through the ringer. Make sure your husband is helping and doing his share every day...everything around the house is not your job. You are both a team and need to work together. To keep myself happy I always make sure I am getting in "me" time every week. What are the things in life that make you really happy? Twice last year I took an art class that was one night a week. Schedule an afternoon or night out with a girlfriend. When my daughter was the age of your baby, once a week I swapped kid sitting with one of my girlfriends while we both took turns going on long runs or bike rides. Take turns on weekends with your fiance giving each other breaks...for example he takes the baby out for a couple hours to the park or the pool or just doing errands. My friend and her husband have a regular babysitter scheduled for EVERY Friday. So they have a date every single week. She is a therapist and recommends everyone do this to work on your relationship. Can grandparents ever come for a weekend and watch your little one? Another really important thing...make sure you are exercising. This really will help your mood. Can you join a YMCA with a child watch center and go 2-3x a week? I used to do this when my kids were young. They enjoyed playing with all the other kids and the ladies in charge were so sweet. And age 5 your little one will be in Kindergarten for most of the day...the baby and toddler stage goes by fast. But you don't realize that till it is over. Good luck. Take care of's important.


answers from Springfield on

take one day off work, book a sitter and don't make bottles or grocery shop, just do something for you. you can do this once a month, or once a week whatever fits your routine. i get a few hours a week to myself. i get the groceries, and run other errands. as well as make time for me. i go out to lunch with a friend, i shop for me, or i go for a walk. once a year dh sends me to a spa for a day and thats 4 hours of people waiting on me and pampering me.

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