Putting My Child on the Back Burner

Updated on October 28, 2008
M.B. asks from Frisco, TX
4 answers

I am a mom of a 3 year old little girl. Right now I go to school 3 nights a week and my daughter goes to my friends house those nights. During the day I watch 2 other babies who demand a lot of attention and as a result of that my daughter is being put on the back burner. I started watching a couple of kids in my home to be with her during the day but find that I am shushing her to be quiet when they are napping and even kicking her out of her own room so they can sleep. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment until I am done with nursing school so space is limited. She is bored and watches TV all day long. By the time the two babies leave I have to either go off to school or I am too tiered to deal with her needs. My husband works 16 hours a day and is never home to help out with this problem. I see that it is effecting her in a negative way. She is getting her feelings hurt and is acting out because of this. She's a great kid and I don't want her to think she doesn't matter. What should I do if I am too tied up with the other two? I have to watch them for income purposes.

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answers from Dallas on

Hello M.,

You are working so hard. first make the time you have with her, special because carving extra time is difficult and it will take time to figure out.

one thing you can do to start the day is take 2 minutes sing to her when you're waking her up. rub her back and feet, hug her and kiss her and tell her how much you love her and how special she is to you. every time you look at her SMILE and make sure she sees you smiling at her. try to give her more attention while you take care of the other kids. play games. make believe you live in a hotel and she's the inspector, etc. make something up. make believe the kitchen is an enchanted forest and as you're unloading the dishwasher (dishes are enchanted creatures that you have to help get home safely before the witch/dragon/etc, take your pick of character gets to them. (I wish I would have thought of that when my 2 were younger!!!)

Also, can your daughter go to a mother's day out at church?
try and plan ahead so when the other kids need to go down for a nap, she'll be "busy" somewhere else. Good luck! make sure you get good nutrition so you can have the energy to play with her. maybe you need 1/2 cup of coffee at 2pm. ~C.~


answers from Dallas on

I understand completely where you are coming from. I've been there. I have three kids right now, and it's hard to give each of them one on one time. My older two are 13 and 11, my daughter is the oldest and always had a little Independence about her, it's really hard for her and I to connect all the time. I also have a 2 year old and he's my little shadow when I get home. My older son use to be my shadow, it took some time and still there are days where I know he wants to be my only baby again. The one thing I've notice the older is that TIME goes by fast. It's hard, I'm not even going to say it's not, but make the TIME for your daughter, before you know it she'll be 10, then 15, then 20, and you would do anything to have her 3 again. I know you are tired, but set aside some time just for her... make cookies together, you know the other night I made enchiladas and I hadn't in awhile, I had my 2 year old help me and he loved it. I think the other mothers gave good advice and ideas. I like the tea party set up; my girl was girly girl when she was little, now, no where close to it.

You are doing a wonderful job, don't be too hard on yourself, make a daily planner or weekly one. Maybe show her, or have her make one with you. Then mark on the calendar, Haylee and Mommy time... maybe give your a star or something to put on it.

don't think for a minute after you get that nursing degree you are going to have more time; you won't... Don't get me wrong because you are doing great to get it, I'm just letting you know we get 24 hours a day and it's never enough... we will always be tired a bit, working is hard. I have a sister who was a SAHM for years and would call me in the evening and wonder why I didn't ever want to talk, now she has a job, and she doesn't have time to talk. You know there are only a few hours in the evening and as much as you love your siblings, you want to spend them with your children and husband after a long day at work... I use the weekends to talk to my sisters.

You are doing a great job and I've wrote a book, maybe more for myself than you...

God Bless!



answers from Dallas on

Ohh, I have a Haylee too, same spelling and everything:) How rare! OK, back to your issue. I actually know exactly how you feel! Hubby is in school and working full time..overnights! I have run a day care for years, and my kids have for sure suffered for it! I have also been pregnant twice in two years, so I was extra tired too! That said, I realized that it was time to focus on my kids. I needed to give them attention when I could. So, games are huge around here, it is a big favorite, and even when I am tired, I can sit and play memory or something. Also, those babies have to be able to sleep regardless of what your daughter is doing. Put in a loud fan or other noise maker to drown her out, she cant be a prisoner in her own home! Respectful of others, yes, but that is about it. Have a box of special toys that only come out for the two of you during nap time. Play tea set, play doh, art supplies, games..anything! That will help keep her occupied, and quiet, while spending time with you.I would also encourage you to keep looking for other children to watch that are less demanding. 2 babies is a lot to deal with, maybe trade off for some closer to her age, or even older if you can. That is the best I find, children who are alittle older are great at entertaining the younger ones:) Sometimes I have to remind myself that I chose to have the children, before we chose anything else in our current life, school, work, or day care. I dont get to be too tired, they have to come first, and if for any reason we cant balance it all, something else has to be cut! (Recently for us it was my husband giving up his dream to become a chiropractor...too much school, too much money, not enough time for family!) I dont say that decision is for everyone, but it is what we needed to do for our family! Good luck, sorry for the eternal post, I just know exactly how you are feeling! HTH ~A.~



answers from Dallas on

can she go to a pre-school for part of the day to interact with kiddos her own age?

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