Searching for a Balance...

Updated on June 24, 2008
J.U. asks from Indian Head, MD
29 answers

Hello to all...Not sure if there is an answer...My question is this, How do I get a fair and even balance?? There are some days where I feel as though my sanity may not finish out the day. I haven't been feeling romantic toward my husband and I have tried to talk to him about how crazy I feel and it doesn't seem to change anything. If anything I feel even worse! and sympathy, I do not get. I am trying everything to keep the daily schedule going. We have no help as far as babysitters or family that we can rely on and I feel like other than my child I have nothing to smile and wake up for everyday. Some of my friends that I have confided in say that it is pretty normal to "hate" your husband for the 1st few years after your child is born. I know that sounds strong, I do love him. I hate feeling guilty because I can't be this super woman that I am supposed to be. My husband tries to help on occasion however, I usually have to ask. Any suggestions??

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So What Happened?

Just want to tell everyone Thanks so much for all of the GreaT advice!! It is always reassuring when you find others are or have been there, and are still married and living life!! I know we will work through this trying time. I am taking a kick boxing class 2 times a week and I have made it a point to do as much as I possibly can to spend more quality time with my son and has seemed to help my spirit (guilt of working full time). As for me and my husband...one day at a time. Things are not great but, it could be so much worse. I have tried to do a little in the mornings before my son wakes up and that frees me up a little in the evenings. I do want to point out that I don't actually Hate my husband but, there is definately resentment. Having a child for the 1st time and having one with an impairment is almost like having twins!! I took my baby to the docs or therapy over 65 times in the 1st year he was born and I am finally getting to a comfortable routine with that so with that said, I am sure it will only be a matter of time before that happens with my husband.Thanks again. Jen

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D.A.

answers from Washington DC on

This is the life many of us chose to be "superwoman" work, raise a family, basically have it all. and when we don't we think there is something wrong with us and we get depressed. It could be temporary and then again it may not. In addition, you have a special needs child, of which I had one too. I would go talk to a professional they can guide you better, and help you better than anyone.

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J.F.

answers from Washington DC on

If I may offer some suggestions. You can go to Yahoo search and type in "gooseysdream". That's where you will find me..I hope you find what you need to help you.

Thanks!

J. Fulton

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

"No" is the most beautiful word in the English language. Using that word might help you organize your schedule a little better. Not sure if you are involved in any additional activities in your community or church, but having a special needs child requires a great deal of time and energy. You are a full-time employee which requires at least 10 hours (8 work, 2 travel time) of your day, everyday. You also take 3 hours for meal prep and consumption. You take 1 hour for your basic grooming needs, and you sleep at least 6 hours per day. Already, we have used 19 hours of our 24 hours. Of the remaining 5, you must nurture the relationship you have with your 2 1/2 yo and your husband. You also mentioned that you have friends, so do you honestly think it's fair to yourself to question your feelings? It is honest and realistic to feel overwhelmed because you are. And there's no time in there for just J. to recover and do some of those things you probably did that helped you de-stress. You have to teach your child to gain independence in spite of his challenges. You and your husband will work harder than many other parents because of the physical challenges. However, as a mom of two pretty special babies, I can tell you it gets better over time. It's really hard when your first-born comes into the world with a physical impediment. But, you are not alone, nor are you the first to go through something like this. Yes, it's hard on you. Yes, you can feel resentful; however, here are somethings you can control.

In the 5-hour window that you have left over, make the best of it. See if your husband is willing to take your son out for 1/2 day Saturday, and you do same for him on Sunday (or whatever works for your schedule). Do not use your time to clean house--rest or do something just for you. Not possible? Learn to incorporate your son into those things you find fun. For instance, he is hearing impaired, however, he can see and he might enjoy a visit to a museum or a nature center. He might like a merry-go-round ride at the park. Nothing in your area? How about just walking to a pond and watching ducks? Something that you enjoy.
I realize having a hearing impaired son makes it difficult to ask for help for a babysitter, but you and your husband need some time together to restore the relationship. How about putting your son to bed at 7:30 and staying up until 9 and just having dinner together, or playing music and dancing together once in a while? Just talking in bed together, without sex? You will find that once you are well-rested and rejuvenated with some quality time, you will be able to breathe. It is not uncommon to be tired--ALWAYS--as a parent; but, I promise you it does get better, even when you have a child with a challenge, because don't they all?
Peace to you and your beautiful family.

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L.T.

answers from Norfolk on

Wow you sound like me. I am 11 years older than you and my man is 11 years older than me. I am 39. We just had a baby a year ago and I have not been the same with my man since. Before the baby was born sex life was good now I look at him like he is just a friend and someone that drives me crazy. We are also getting married this August. What fun. I asked a question on how do I get in the mood and I have got a million responses if you like to read them maybe there is some that may help you spark something with your man. I know the one thing we need and that is time alone with our spouses. I also have 2 boys - one 11 and a step son 15. I don't want them babysitting and I don't have very many friends where we live are know anyone that can babysit for me. So we don't get much alone time. I am also tired at the end of the day and the last thing I want to do is make out. He thinks I should go to the doctor. I know I am not much help, but just want you to know you’re not alone. Good luck and lots of hugs.
L.

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K.S.

answers from Richmond on

If you do find a great answer I would love to hear about it. Losing my privacy was one of the hardest things to bear about motherhood. It is hard for my husband to understand because my son clings to me and hates for me to even leave his sight when we are home together whereas he will play quietly in another room when he is home with just my husband. Everyone I talk to just says it will get better but I don't think anyone has ever really figured it out. I guess I just look forward to being older and wiser and looking back on this time in my life as a period when I was functioning in survival mode. The one thing that does help me is to imagine how lucky I am compared to mothers worldwide who don't have the money or resources to feed their own children and are forced to watch their children suffer on a daily basis just from the lack of basic necessities. Getting involved ina church community has helped too, though I am not really a "religious" person. Just knowing that other people are going through the exact same thing helps sometimes.

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J.M.

answers from Washington DC on

You may want to check out Flylady.net
It's an online group that gives suggestions for everything related to keeping house, cooking, taking care of yourself, engaging family members in helping, exercise, etc. Don't get overwhelmed by their e-mails- start slow and do what you can. You may find their messages helpful and entertaining. Your emotions are typical, take care of yourself so you can take care of them!

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D.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi J.,

The 10 year mark in a marriage, relationship, etc is a milestone. At this point, life becomes a routine. It can be boring.

Get you an appointment book with 3 columns, one for each one of you. Put in all the things that you need to get done and what is your routine each day.

Get into a support group for moms. Take parenting classes. Take one college course. Join a Civic group, Kiwanis, etc. Take classes at the Community Mediation Center at ###-###-####

call www.kidspriorityone.org for a resource.
Hope this helps. Good luck. D.

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N.R.

answers from Richmond on

Hi J.! THis is N. and I totally understand how you feel! Oh boy do I! Funny, last night my husband said to me that I just don't seem as upset as I use to and that things look great around here. It's been a LONG time since I have heard that kind of talk from him.

First, I found Jesus and asked Him to come into my life and take control of me. This made a 100% difference in our marriage alone and even more so in my relationship with our children and others. The easiest way to put it is that He (Jesus) helped me get my house and life in proper order.

Then I found the book Managers OF Their Home by Terri Maxwell at www.titus2.com. I think it was $25 but it has been the best money spent for sure! I read through it quickly cause it was easy reading. Then I started putting my daily schedule together. Then the kids and I started taking one room at a time to completely go through and clean from top to bottom. This included them trying on clothes, me boxing those that didn't fit, cleaning out toys they didn't play with any more, and finally giving everything in our house a "home" or a place that it belongs. If we had somethng that didn't have a home and we couldn't find a home for it, we got rid of it.

In the past, I would clean like mad and still have little to show for it. Now days, I see a mess on the counter and I know where everything goes and about how long it will take me to get it done. Plus the kids know what to do when and where everything goes too.

As for our daily schedule around here, it has made life so much better for us all. My husband says he can see what we have accomplished each day, he now knows what to do and when (all he has to do is look at the schedule to see what we do at what time) and he really helps more now. It's not a ton of help, but it's better than it was!

Please email me anytime if you'd like to talk or to pick my brain sometime. LOL When I started on this journey 6yrs ago I had no one to talk to or to help. I love to help other moms so they don't have to go it alone.

Never give up! Proverbs 14:23 says that "all hard work brings profit but mere talk leads only to poverty."

Take Care,
N.
SAHM homeschooling 3 boys 12, 7, 2 yrs old and married to Mr. Wonderful for almost 15yrs.

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L.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,

I am sorry that you are not feeling too good at the moment. Reading the previous post about having faith made me think about when my son was younger and my main period of sanity was on a Sunday morning for one hour during church! Our church is quite large and has a fantastic children's program, (we also have resources to help with children with special needs) and it was so nice to have an hour of peace and know that my son and his sisters were in good hands and having fun. I don't know where you live, but if it is anywhere near Ellicott City then send me a message and I would be glad to go with you.

L. P

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J.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.

This is a common thing- feeling like you can never tackle the pile of things there are to to. I am not sure it is normal to "hate" the husband but I am sure you feel resentful if he is not doing half the work.
If he is easy to talk to let him know you are feeling overwhelmed and that it might be helpful if he can always be in charge of laundry and dishes and you will do cooking and vacuuming, etc... whatever works for you both so there is a clear and concise thing for him to follow.

Also, you might want to talk to your doctor or Gyno. A little of it sounds like a bit of depression. I have lots of mommy friends who discovered they had a bit of depression and went on a very low dose antidepressant and it made a really huge difference in their lives and relationships. It helped get things in perspective and the sanity lasted the whole day/ it is just a thought and I am not suggesting you go on it for life= but maybe try it for a few months and see how you feel/.

There are also free websites out there with great help. Have you seen Flylady.net? It is a really cool site where they send you emails through the day to help you get your life and house in check, in slow chunks... and send along recipes, funny stories other moms have encountered. Even if you work full time, it might be fun to join it for a little while (its free) to get the little email reminders of things you can tackle when you can..

Good luck! It shouldn't be this hard. *hard yes, but not miserably hard* I really think you should talk to a trusted doctor about this and maybe try a very low dose antidepressant or some counselor to talk things through. Sometimes that is all it takes.

ALSO something we started doing- we hired a neighborhood girl to be a Mothers Helper. She is about 10-12 years old, too young for babysitting but wants to learn how to help out. We pay her 4 or 5 $ an hour to basically "play" with our little ones while we tackle chores around the house. We have her come for 2-3 hours and she is not babysitting per se, because we are actually in the house so she can come to us if something comes up... but she keeps the kids entertained while we paint, file things, clean, etc... sometimes we have paid her so we could get a 2 hour nap after some stressful weeks! You can ask around your neighborhood for a mothers helper- talk to some moms who have older girls who might want to make extra money in the summer and get a few hours of sanity. :)

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A.R.

answers from Houston on

First I want to say I hear you loud and clear about finding the right balance. Where do you live? I have kids old enough to babysit if you are in the area. I know how hard it is to get "alone time" and be able to leave your kids not worry. It stinks not having family around .....I don't have any family around here either. Give me a call if you live in the Silver Spring/Colesville area. ###-###-####

Annie R

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S.W.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi J.,

Somehow, someway you have to find some time for yourself to keep your sanity. And some friends with kiddos around the same age as yours will help a lot. Remember you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Think about being on a plane, they always say to put your oxygen mask on first before you help anyone else :)Good luck!!

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K.S.

answers from Washington DC on

balance is hard. but you have to create it for yourself. find something you enjoy doing, set yourself goals and wake up every morning thinking this is a new day and how can you make life better. put some fresh flowers in your house to put a smile on your face. treat yourself to a hair do or painted nails. you have to make yourself happy because its no one elses responsibility. i have personally been goin thru the motions for a while now and can truly empathize w/ you. my saving grace was a playgroup. and altho we dont participate 100% i have something to look forward to at least 1 day a week. and i have made 1 friend. we arent close, but still a friend.
if you feel like its more than just your surroundings and you cant control your highs and lows there are mediccations out there. i was having anxiety about alot of issues and a ton of stress and i took paxil for a short time. it really helped mellow me out and helped me not to overreact to stuff. but i would reccomend self help first. how about joining a moms group or a church. you have to find your happiness somewhere. chin up, think positive and good luck.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

It should not fall solely on your shoulders to "keep the daily schedule going" and you should not feel bad about asking your husband to shoulder some of the load especially since you work as well. Can you carve out a few of the chores that you can specifically ask him to do such as the laundry or the vacuuming and bathrooms? If he doesn't find the time to do them, then they simply don't get done until he does them. There are times when your husband may feel that if he lets you do the work around the house, it will get done, but that is not a solution that works for you. Give him a choice of four or five of the major chores and if he doesn't volunteer, ASSIGN them!

Also, please carve out some time for yourself even if it is just going to dinner with a friend or ducking out to Borders to hear a favorite author speak. You sound like you may be overwhelmed and somewhat depressed (been there myself) and while it is always challenging to work and take care of a toddler, it should be a shared job with your husband. I do not think it is normal to hate your husband, nor is it healthy. We all get frustrated with our spouses but I am worried that your resentment may be eating into your marriage. Can you let your husband know how you feel or perhaps get some short term marriage counseling. If he refuses to go, go alone.

Hang in there,

L. G.

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S.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Greetings J.,

First let me say that we all think that we need to be superwomen to our families, while losing pieces of ourselves. But that doesn't have to be the case. you can still be mommy wife and friend, but taking time for yourself is VERY important. Even if it is when your hubby comes home and he baths the kids so you can get a moment. Please make it a priority to take time for yourself because if you are not mentally perpare for life you will be more stress and that will not help anyone. As far as you husband give him a specific task that he is always responsible for that takes some of the load off you i.e. bathing the kids setting the table taking the kids out for a few hours on Saturday morning. Start off small as to not overwhelm him. As for you schedule with your friends a monthly ladies night out or ask one of them to babysit while you go out to get your hair or nails done or have date night with you husband. It all gets better though you have to take responsibility for you mental health and you to be the best mom you can be. You don't have to be SUPERWOMEN. if it doesn't get done tomorrow or someone else can take care of it.

Shik

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J.N.

answers from Houston on

J.,

I just wanted to add to what Norma said about titus2.com.....This is the same thing that Michelle Duggar uses in her family. If you haven't heard about them, Michelle is a mother of 17 children. She homeschools them & raises them with the values that all children should be raised with. They have a great family, and I think that they are a good role model. So, I may not have used the book myself, I have heard it's great! I am thinking of getting it myself as soon as we can afford it.

Good luck & God bless!

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M.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I really do know you feel. That doesn't help, but it is true. I went through a time when I just didn't want my husband intimately because he wasn't there for our family the way he should have been. I have a son with special needs also and I do believe the need for unity is greater in that situation. It took a long time for us to finally come back together as a couple. I had to let go of what I felt he did against our family and he to be willing to be more a part of our family. Luckily, these things happened simultaneously and we have been working it out. Stress can be a bear! Take some time for yourself no matter what you have to do to get it. Find yourself again so you can clearly explain to your husband what you need. My husband and I had to compromise and I had to realize that he's not a super woman such as myself of course!! Men sometimes just don't get it and we have to knock them in the head a little to help them out.

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

It sounds to me like you may be depressed.

I think it's totally normal to resent your husband sometimes. He can take time off from parenting, but a mom with little kids is always "on duty." Growing up, you get told you can have it all and that it's possible to equally share the work of running a house with your future husband but it never works out that way-- mom always carries most of the home and child care burden, even if both parents work and even if mom makes more money. Good article about that in the NYT this weekend: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/magazine/15parenting-t....

Try not to resent your husband because you have to ask him to do stuff, husbands usually mean well but aren't as aware as you are of what needs to be done. Can you think of very specific things you can tell him you need that would help, like watching your son at a specific time each day or week so you can do something else, like take a class or go out with a friend? Or take responsibility for specific chores, like "I need you to take over the laundry"?

ps., if there are any super women out there, I don't know them. Even my friends who have childcare and housekeepers have to work like crazy to keep it together. Some women may look like they've got it all under control, but scratch the surface and they're paddling like heck just like the rest of us!

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A.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,
Please talk to your husband about needing some "downtime" for yourself. Perhaps you could take turns doing an activity once or twice a week that each of you enjoys. He could pick a day or two to see his friends, go the the gym etc. while you stay home. Another day or two you could take a few hours for friends, a movie, walk etc. and he would stay w/ your child. It seems that dads only get the full picture when they experience doing childcare on their own.

Check w/ your friends to see if they would like to form a "babysitting "co-op and trade childcare time. No money has to be exchanged, just 15 min. blocks of time for points. If you watch another child for an hour, you earn 4 points. Then another mom would watch your child for an hour and your points would be used up. The points would need to be kept in a log book.

Perhaps using the co-op idea, or another mom friend, you and your husband could get out alone a few times a month. This really pays off and keeps the idea of a team of two alive.

There is no such thing as Supermom only women who stress themselves out trying to do it all. Ask for help when you need it. Our husbands are fathers too and have responsibliity for their children. They also bond more strongly when they are involved with their care.

Good luck!
A.

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Z.B.

answers from Richmond on

So many great women/moms on this site!! They have given you lots of advice and I am going to add a little more to it.

I want to say first that I don't think it is ever really an even balance. I feel that moms do most of what needs to be done. I have 5 sisters and a mom who agree with that. But that doesn't have to be all bad. You just have to put it into perspective and not try to do it all in one day or do it perfectly. Let me add here that I am a SAHM, homeschooler with 3 kids (9, 7 and 20 months). The age gap in kids is due to my husband's 15 month deployment to Iraq. I understand feeling overwhelmed and I still get panic attacks just out of the blue ever since the deployment.

I know my husband will never understand what I do in a day and I will never understand what he went through in Iraq or what he does during the day. I don't care really because his work will never compare to raising and educating children. But as long as we are a family and love each other and support each other, the rest doesn't matter. I have felt like I wanted to leave my husband but it was my mom who said, "Ask yourself, will you really be better off without him. AND will your children really be happy without him?" It sort of put things into perspective.

Living with someone is hard. Think about living with your parents, siblings, roommates. There is always something annoying about others. You have to work at it everyday. It is a full time job. Just remind yourself that you may have somethings about you that your husband overlooks. I am sure that he doesn't notice if things are perfect around the house as much as you do which is probably why he doesn't think to ask if you need help.

Hate is a strong word to use (maybe postpartum depression makes people feel that way)but it does feel like it. It is more like you just need a break. Right now I get to go to the grocery store by myself. It may be for 2 hours but it is my time. Gas is so expensive and we live in a rural area so I don't get to just go shopping for clothes but getting the groceries is some time for me. I crank up the songs I don't like my kids to hear:)and I take my time.

I have been married for ten years and I remind my husband that our sons and daughter will look to us as examples for their own spouses. What do we want them to see in us? I want our 2 boys, especially, to understand how hard a mom has to work. We do a few things that really help us. First, we are affectionate with them and each other a lot. Second, we always go to church together as a family, no excuses (unless someone is sick). Third, after dinner, everyone helps in some small way so that we can sit together a little while before bedtime. Even my husband vacuums, or picks up the plates, or feeds the pets. Anything. I explained to him that his job ends when he comes home. My job is 24 hours a day. If he doesn't want to listen to me "nag" (his word) than he needs to help me shave off at least an hour or two. It isn't perfect but it isn't boring either!!

It won't fix itself overnight but hang in there. Ask any single mom what they go through. Try to hang on to what attracted you to him in the first place. The sex part will come and go in any relationship. There has to be more to your marriage - it will come back. Someone mentioned the pill giving them trouble. It does change your hormone balance so don't think it isn't possible.

Good luck and God bless (sorry this is so long)
Z.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Its time to take some time, for yourself! Your schedule is very full, and feeling as you do at this time is probably normal. As a working woman, you already go out of the house daily, so try a new route to work, or/and smile at everyone wearing blue one day, and red another! Get out of the house, and smell the roses, as the saying goes! Go the Beauty salon, and indulge, at least once a month!....Go out to lunch with a girlfriend, and laugh at the silly things in life...in other words, put some laughter, and fun in your life. Try reading the funniest book, or comics in the newspaper...Stop reading the daily news for a few days...watch the comedy channel on TV for a few days....Then....step back, look over your life and count your blessings...I promise all will look better than ever before.
From:
Katie

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L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

First of all, let me say straight out, you DON'T have to be a supermom! Everyone gets tired and overwhelmed with life, especially so if you have children. And I can only imagine the difficulty of having a child with a disability. My only advice is give yourself a break. This is a huge life change that practically happens overnight. Ask for help! And don't feel guilty about doing it. You cannot measure yourself on what it appears others are or are not doing. You can only measure how your doing based on you. And if that means you need someone to take over so you can take a breath, so be it. Let your husband know how you feel and tell him that you need his help and support. If you have family close by, ask for help. And if worse comes to worse, have a neighborhood child come by to play with your son for an hour or two so you can do other things, or just sit. Hey, take a bath!
You are an amazing person, and you need to make sure that you recharge to be an amazing mom!!! Good luck!!

L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

There are days, aren't there?

Husbands don't often know what you need unless you tell them. They aren't clairvoyant like most women. They tend to be as thick as bricks sometimes! You say you have to ask for help. Don't ask. Just tell him what you need him to do.

After you put your son to bed, sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with your husband and tell him exactly how you feel and exactly what you need. I'm sure he is feeling totally lost and useless.

Do you leave your son in the care of your husband and take an afternoon off? You should! They need time to bond and just be boys. So what if the house is a disaster when you get back? Who cares?

The other thing is that it doesn't all have to be perfect. If you can say to yourself, "I can live with that", it's good enough.

As for the romance...If you take time for you, it will come back.

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M.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J., I do not have an answer for you, but I do have empathy for your situation as I feel the same way! I have a 21 mo. old and I stay at home with her. We do not have any family here or babysitters either, and my husband works 16 hr. days, so he is gone when my daughter wakes up and goes to bed at night. Along with me being her only caregiver, he also expects me to find ways to make money while staying at home and keep the house spotless at all times. He thinks I have spare time just because I am at home and I do not! I feel nothing but guilt because I can't live up to his expectations and don't know how to show him that I work hard too! He has even specifically used that term "super mom" when describing to me what he wants me to be like. I have decided to deal with this situation by reassuring myself that I am doing the best I can and accepting that most men don't have a clue what it takes to be a mom, much less a "super mom". I find that most women feel this way about their husbands to a degree. I have found a wonderful group of mom-friends that I can talk to, and that is where I get my sympathy and understanding. I hope this will help you feel like you are not alone. Just know that you are a wonderful mom, no matter what!

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J.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,

I can relate to your feeling of losing your sanity! I have a son 3 1/2 and a daughter who just turned 1, and a husband who wants my attention. I work from home as a real estate agent. I think it is very hard to find balance! My best advice is to take life one day at a time. Don't expect too much of yourself. I'm pretty sure that being a mother is the hardest job in the world!

I don't know your faith background, but as a person of faith myself, some days all I can do is just pray and ask God for the strength to get through the day. I also noticed huge changes in my husband when I, his mother, and sister were all praying for him. It's amazing what God can do when we put it all in his hands.

I do think that setting apart time for your husband is important for your marriage. Try and listen to what he is telling you and hopefully he will respond the same way. I know my husband did. As he saw me trying to make an extra effort to stop what I was working on to spend time just with him our communication started to grow and he started to help more.

Anyway, I think when working and being the mother of a toddler it is hard to find balance, but my best advice is to take one day at a time and pray for strength and peace in your heart.

I hope this helps!
God Bless!
J. Lewett

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

hi J.,
yes, balance is possible, even if it's not a perfectly equitable balance and it still slides off the scales sometimes. the most important component is effort on both sides. with both of you working full time, there's no way you should be completely responsible for the daily schedule, nor should you have to beg or be grateful when your husband 'helps.' (that's one of my pet peeves....why is it our responsibility to do the regular grind, but he's a prince if he lifts a finger?) it's hard to have to ask, but better to ask and get the help than keep slogging on alone. don't feel bad about asking, and don't over-stress if it's not done to your standards. but do what you have to to get some help.
it's good that you've tried to talk to your husband about this. keep trying. and louder. try counseling if that doesn't work. a change in the tenor of a marriage is normal, but resentment builds when one partner is doing an inordinate share of the grunt work.
schedule break times for yourself and write them on the calendar in big bold letters. then don't let anything short of blood and mayhem interfere. do this with date nights too, even if you're not especially interested. nurture yourself and nurture your marriage.
good luck!
khairete
S.

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B.Z.

answers from Richmond on

Hi J.,

I had all of the same issues. I knew I loved my husband dearly, but we were starting to feel like roommates. I used to be really happy and I used to enjoy being fairly busy. I was feeling depressed, anxious, had no libido. I tried exercise, talk therapy... nothing helped. Turns out, it was my birth control pill. Once I stopped taking it, the change I felt was immediate. I am now back to my old self! I would rather find a different form of birth control and be happy then have "worry free" sex rarely and have all the other issues as well! I don't know if you are on the pill, but I thought I should put this out there. It took me a year to figure out. Good luck!!

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

J., insist on time for you. And that insistance means that you have to force yourself to set yourself and your emotional balance as a priority, right up there with your child. You are a person, and your needs are important too. You can't be a super woman if your emotional/spiritual batteries are always drained! Read a book, take a bubble bath, take a walk, rent a movie, or just sit and watch a beautiful sunset. Do things for you.

If you have to let some tasks slide for that, then let slide tasks that your husband needs and can perform, like vacuuming or packing his lunch, getting groceries, etc. That may get him to step up to the plate and lend a hand.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi J.,
Every working mom feels or has felt as you do. The trick to staying sane is to figure out how to manage your home time. Some things that have helped me...
Laundry... hubby gets mad when all of the laundry isn't put away within a day/two of being cleaned...tough! I figured out though that his biggest problem is that he doesn't want to search through the baskets for [email protected]____.com, I take a few minutes to find a few pairs of his socks, underwear, jeans and put them away. I've just bought myself x num of days to sort the laundry. If I still don't have time, I do it again.. bought myself x more days. Dishes...do the dishes while waiting or cooking dinner. Your child is occupied so you have some time. Pull a late night on a Fri. if there are quiet things that can be done - dusting, sorting clothes, etc. stay up on a Friday night and get them done. You get to sleep in on Sat!
Take a nap...does your son still nap? If yes, take a nap too!
Finding you time... personal time doesn't have to be at a certain time. I've been known to take a long hot shower @ 11pm just cuz everyone's asleep. Rent a chic flick. Your son attends speech classes..do you actively participate? If not, read a book, take up knitting, listen to music, etc.
Best of luck.
M.

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