Physical/emotional exhuastion of raising little ones?

(25 posts)(18 voices)
  • Started by sonia57 ago.
  • Latest reply from Les_petits_debr.
  1. I could really use a pep talk and a "it will get better" speech! My kids are 3.5, 3.5 and 11.5 months. For a variety of reasons, the twins will not be in pre-school for another year (Fall 2011). I am finding this age pretty exhuasting and am wondering...is it just b/c there is a baby in the mix? or is it the age of the twins? I do have a sitter come once a week, for maybe 2 hours so I, or DH and I can get out together...we often joke that we should just sleep in the car LOL! Usually we just go get coffee and I have to laugh b/c half the time one of us is yawning.

    I think that I'm more exhuasted in particular right now b/c in addition to karate twice a week, they are doing a month of swim lessons, so FOUR straight afternoons of activities and most of them I am alone with all the kids, cooking dinner and then doing the whole nightime routine.

    I honestly do not know one-single-person that doesn't have their kids in either pre-school or daycare at this age (most of them, started closer to 2.5 actually).

    So tell me, does it get easier? I think just when it was getting easier with the twins, the baby came. And although I am glad of the age gap and we wanted it that way long-term...some nights just feel so chaotic (baby fussing, kids have gotten their second wind and playing buzz lightyear off the couch LOL!!) My mom keeps telling me I am losing too much weight, but I don't have time to eat a full meal EVER, and forget about knowing what is going on in the world, the news always happens when the kids are eating...I have to watch it DVR'd.

    I feel like our coffee consumption has increased two-fold!

    Brittany
    Liam and Tiernan 3.5
    Brennan 11.5 months (almost a year!)

  2. DD is 4.5 and is only in preschool on her own 2.5 hours a week. DS is 3 and goes one morning a week but I am with him. So, you are not alone. I sometimes feel like I have a two balls and chains attached to my ankles, the kids are always there, and always need something.

    I would guess a big part of it is your baby--I started to find things easier when DS hit 2 or 2.5 and I didn't have to constantly worry about him getting into something and killing himself. Now at age 3 he's pretty independent and I don't need to follow him around the house. So, yes, it will get easier.

  3. Rachel,

    I feel badly sometimes trying to juggle everyone's needs. Like for example, the baby needs his diaper changed while both the kids are demanding something different, or are in immediate need of something. Ofcourse I am trying to teach them that they have to wait, and cannot demand things, but ofcourse they are only 3.5 so it's just constant reminding.

    I'm trying to accept and make the best of taking the kids with me. It also saves me $$ not having to pay a sitter (which most like I wouldn't be able to get during the day anyway). But somedays it's just exhuasting (like grocery shopping with all of them!)

    The weather should be consistently warm here by next week which will definitly help, and DH is building a sandbox. I plan on taking them to our gym pool a lot this summer.

    And yes, 4.5 and 3 is also a very small age gap. so you are right there with me!

    Brittany

  4. Brittany,

    I wish I could say it gets easier. I'm still waiting. But know you aren't alone.

    My girls are 3 yrs 2 months and the little one is 2.5. I had mine a little closer in age. My girls do go to preschool 3 times a week and I work 30 hours a week. When they aren't in school they are with me or dh. Rarely do dh and I get out together. Honestly, we need to make more time for us. I don't know if I could handle being with them 24/7. Work is a nice outlet, but I work with kids so my patience is usually shot when I get home.

    I am so tired of making dinner, picking up toys, breaking up arguments and answering questions. My girls are at the question age. They question everything and while watching a Disney movie (they are into Sleeping Beauty), they as a billion questions x3.

    Anyway, hang in there. From your posts, it really sounds like you have it together. You must be doing something right!

  5. Yes, it will get easier. I only have twins. But they are 6.5 years old and they are off and running - they just check in with me when they are hungry.

    I have to admit, I LOVED the 3-5 year old age. They were so excited about everything and they just wanted to hang out with ME. Now they can't wait to rocket out the front door and play with friends. But yes, being the ONE that they want to be with is exhausting. And the baby is still in such a needy time of life.

    Hang in there, it'll get easier. (Then you'll miss this stage.)

  6. nickx, thanks for posting (and your compliment!) I often think about you ladies that had surprise pregnancies so soon after your twins (Karin too) and how challenging that must have been having them so close in age. I actually do wish I could work a little. It really would not even be practical with the childcare issue until the kids are at least in kindi or 1st grade.

    Noureddine. I agree, this is a really neat stage. They ARE so enthralled by everything. But they are still "little" and still need a lot of help. Sometimes I just sit there and give them the biggest, longest hugs b/c I know I don't do it often enough having a baby in my arms 24/7.

  7. I feel your pain some days. There are days where I'm very happy to be able to work and to be home most of the day with the kids too, because I find myself to be more excited to be with the kids than when I was a SAHM. The days are pretty long. The days are really long now too, but there are varying segments breaking it up from work to working out to watching the kiddos. I think it will get better when the twins are a little older, and then there's only one in the terrible two's/three's. I think it will help you to work part-time or full-time someday too. You seem like a person who would really thrive on having a career in addition to your family life. But, in the meantime, enjoy it as much as you can, even though it's hard work. It goes so dang quickly!!! (Remind me that I said this when I hit the same point

  8. Honestly, I think it's because there are three and because they are close in age, but not close enough to enjoy the same things.

    I was just telling friends this weekend that managing and caring for just the girls (3 last month) is not bad. And managing and caring for just the little guy (14.5 months) is also not bad. In fact, one the rare occasion I take either just the girls or just the little guy out and about, it's quite pleasureable.

    It's the days that I have all three in tow that are very tiring because the wants and needs of the girls is different than those of the little guy. And, it doesn't help with you are doing it as a single-parent. My husband worked weekends (Fri morn-Sun night) for the entire month of April. I felt guilty, but I dreaded the weekends because I knew how tough they would be. This month, he is off weekends and we are enjoying them as a family. But, guess what? We are BOTH tired come Sunday night.

    I am sorry your older ones can't get into pre-school this year. Our girls are going to go 2 mornings a week starting in the fall and even though it won't be much, it will give our nanny some one-on-one time with our son, which he deserves, too.

  9. JB,

    I'm surprised you've lasted this long without posting!!! I think its a miracle you aren't mumbling to yourself in a corner somewhere.

    You have HUGE responsibilities and an absent Dh. My boys are the same age as yours, and I noticed that very soon after they turned 3 all h*ll broke lose. I really think that DS1 especially could of done with going to pre-k at that point. He needs much more stimulation than I can provide. This makes him short-tempered, needy and naughty.

    I have my finger's crossed that they were accepted into the free pre-k (we find out in June) as we can't afford any classes or lessons to burn off all that energy.

    I'm also 8 months pregnant (due in June) and so nervous about how I will cope with a new born and nearly 4yo twins. You are my inspiration!! I read all you posts in the hope of figuring out how to do it.

    I think that you are doing an amazing job considering your circumstances. I took the boys to swim lessons (6 weeks, once a week) and it was exhausting! and that's without a baby.

    I know that money is tight for you, but I do worry that going at this pace will burn you out. Is there no wriggle room at all? IF we had some spare cash (Dh is unemployed right now so there is no way) I'd order our groceries online once a month and have them delivered. Could you do something like that? Just to take a little pressure off? Or maybe allow yourself delivery food once a week so you can take the night off of cooking/cleaning up? I can't remember where you live, but we have healthy options for delivery food so it doesn't have to be greasy pizza etc. You're mom is probably right - you need a real meal once a week.

    Good Luck!!

    Ema

  10. OMG, I have been reflecting lately how much easier it is this spring than 2 years ago. 2 years ago I had just had a baby and adopted a toddler from another country! I would watch the clock until dh came home. It was so difficult. The baby would cry all day every single day. The toddler who didn't know me or understand me would cry all day every day. A lot of times I'd be crying too!

    I think the baby phase is very difficult and demanding. But maybe that's because my baby was difficult and demanding! lol!

    Up until now the kids have never been in a daycare setting or preschool.

    Now at 3y9m and 2y3m, man it is NOTHING like it once was. They feed themselves, so I can eat. They can play in another room and check in if they need something. It's like a whole new world!

    Older DS will be starting preschool in the fall. Crazy! I can't believe how fast it's gone.

  11. I didn't have time to read all the replies (sorry!) but had to write real quick. I have an older dc and twins who just turned 5. When they were all little I can remember feeling the same way you did - and always feeling guilty. If I was with older dc I felt bad about not being with the babies. When with the babies why wasn't I playing with older dc? It is a very hard balancing act. Not to mention trying to cook, clean, shop and shower. HA! I DO think when the twins get into preschool it will help. They will have their own little lives to have fun at and you can concentrate on the baby. Is there anyway you can even do a one day preschool in the fall for the twins? I know from other posts money has been an issue (for us too) but sometimes they will do a discount for twins (I know from experience), especially at church preschools. Just an idea....
    I do want to add now that my kids are older it is still super busy and a lot of days (more than not) I fall into bed from exhaustion. Kids in more activities, dh works long hours so I am usually home alone but with older kids they can do a few more things themselves and you can (sometimes) reason with them.
    We also try to make sure to do 1:1 activities with each of them once a month. Even just a walk to the park or something small. This has helped with my guilt and to give them each someof their "own" time. We didn't do this until they were older, like the last year.

  12. I don't have a baby, but I do have almost 3 1/2 year old twin boys, who do attend preschool, and I have been exhausted most of the time since they stopped napping. I think a lot of it has to do with the age - it seems like I am constantly having to referee, and they are just very, very active. My plan this summer is to go the playground a lot, and to make sure they have a lot of playtime in the backyard.

    Is there anyway you could get a babysitter for a few more hours a week? It might make a huge difference for you.

  13. THANK YOU!

    Honestly, this is exactly what I needed to hear this morning There is definitly that mommy guilt that being home with them, I should be patient more of the time, be doing more 1:1 with them etc. But, there are a lot of resonsibilities that fall on my shoulders; bills, laundry, dishes, cleaning, activities (that every mom has) that I do need to stay on top of.

    Dh is trying to take on more hours this summer and I have told my sitter that if he does, I will start to use her more. I feel very guilty using her more than once a week as there isn't a lot of wiggle room. I am trying to schedule a few more girls nights out and what not...but again, I end up skimping on something (like I'll pay for a sitter, but can't bowl with my friends!).

    I do go to our gym about 5-6 mornings a week. Unless I was able to put the twins in PS 3 mornings a week, this is probably a better alternative as they have great kids programs, and the kids are really good friends with "the regulars". That definitly helps my sanity.

    I will look into grocery delivery, I know it's not expensive since we usually spend over 100.00.

    Ema, you cracked me up with your comment (mumbling in a corner!). Honestly, I think the biggest issue I see is that my TWINS ARE BORED! We have them in karate with is like 1/3 of the cost of PS right now. It helps, but is not enough! They are very active kids, and I really try and get them out a lot (in the backyard, parks, activities). The gym definitly helps as they have a program called "active kids" where thet do structured, active activities, they also do tumble time & other fun things.

    Kim, I also agree, I find the twins by themselves very easy as well as the baby by himself, and we do try and split them all up as often as we can. In fact I pretty much insist that DH take someone with him when he is home and needs to run errands. We ALL need that. It's the dynamics off all three together, and I know it's b/c I cannot be as attentive to the twins as I am when they are by themselves.

    crowe9, the nap thing has been a hard transition for us too. We have managed to keep them in quiet time, but we have to be uber-consistent with them. I would say in general, I am very glad we kept it I live for my 15 minute coffee break at 1:00

    Anyway....thank you all for your responses. I have thought about posting, but don't want to seem ungrateful, because despite the craziness, I am still loving having all three. I run into parents of older kids and they tell me how much easier it gets, and sort of give me looks of sympathy about the ages of the kids yet I don't believe them b/c we're still in the thick of it!!

    Brittany

  14. Too weird! I posted a reply to this thread.....and it started new one, same title.

    danai

  15. danai,

    Thank you for posting on the other thread (my fault actually, somehow it posted twice, weird..)

    Anyway, I wanted to respond and say the one thing I DO, mostly when DH is gone is guard the kids' schedule so that I can avoid as many meltdowns as possible! Dinner is always at 5, baths at 6 and everyone in bed by 7...that does give me some downtime and I am trying to get better about doing something enjoyable during that time.

    Also, karate I have questioned. Swim lessons, like wantedababyyesterday mentioned, I will not do again till next fall or spring. Yes, it is a LOT when you add in karate to the mix. It would be different if they were 5-6, but they are barely 4 and getting them to karate can be a challenge ("I don't want to goooooo"). But I have also seen some benefits, so I will re-evaluate in Jan when our contract is up.

    Thank you for responding. Honestly, if we had the financial resources, I would not hesitate to hire back our housecleaner, or yard guy. Just having those two things taken care of took a lot off our shoulders. Or I would have our sitter come more often. It's amazing what just having a little *help* does for the psyche!!

    Brittany

  16. Yes, it will get easier. I mean parenthood is never easy and I am busier now with 3 school age kids than I ever was, but nothing compares to having toddlers, IMHO. Maybe having infant twins...but it's a close call.

    After our twins came I was perfectly happy with them and didn't want another. When they were 2.8 (to the day) I got pg with our DD. That was a real emotional setback for me. DH and I were making plans for me to go back to work, he was going to work for himself f/t from home and take care of the boys, we were going to renovate the house, etc.

    I can honestly say that now that she is 6 and in school full time I have FINALLY come out the other side. It's been a gradual process of her getting older and older...

    but yes, it will get better. It's really hard parenting toddlers.

  17. Look at it this way<smile>.....having to *share* Momma will give them something to tell their shrink. It would be so sad if all they could say was Momma was perfect and I have no issues<giggle>. If it makes ya feel better......mine even have to take turns with cows and goats being milked, dogs/cats/sheep/parrot/chinchillas/hens being fed. So by comparison, yours have it easy<smile>.

    I know about the $$ issues. I have a Mother's Helper now but no transportation. It was my health or wheels. And if I get sick, the kids have nobody. So my well being won. I have laundry to do, etc but took a 2 1/2 hour nap today. Mommy feels soooo much better! I am even having sauted shrimp with saffron rice for dinner. The TTTs are in bed, C is d/s with me and life will go on. Hugs! I feel for you < patting your back.....you deserve it>.

    danai

  18. Didn't read all the replies, so may be repeating others, but you have a lot on your shoulders and with a dh gone a lot and no help, you should congratulate yourself for surviving. I didn't find the toddler years that hard, this is the first time that I am finding ds hard actually and he is 5, almost 6. So it depends on the child, and also very much on the circumstances. Ds was an only child until just recently, so I was only dealing with him. It's hard for me to imagine having a baby with twins that are 2-3 years old. You are doing a great job managing mostly on your own and I think it will get easier as the kids get older. Even though ds has been somewhat challeging lately, he's fairly independant and I think as your kids get older and go to school, managing all there will be much easier than it is now.

    Hang in there! Hugs (())

  19. I sort of know how you feel. I don't have twins but I have a 2 yr old dd and a 3month old dd, and between the kids, a job (which I try to do at home most of the time) and errands,etc there is really no time. The biggest thing for me is that I feel very guilty most of the time for either one of my kids. They are both at home with me and the baby has been quite colicky so it has been a challenge. My 2 yr old is great playing by herself but I feel so guilty when she has to do for a long time due to the fact that I am with the baby and then having to cook or return phonecalls, etc. Or I feel guilty for the my youngest when I am with the older dd and she is awake. I can't wait until my younger one is a little older so they can play together. I look forward to 9pm when both of them are in bed
    It's great to know a lot of you are going through the same thing. Great to get it off my chest.

  20. Brittany,

    Don't feel guilty about having the sitter come in more!!!! Geeze, I'm jealous. My dh helps a lot, but sometimes I think it is so unfair that just because I am a woman, I'm responsible for so much. Dinner, grocery shopping, laundry, kids clothes, medical, the house, etc... You know.

    Don't forget we are responsible for 40 fingers and 40 toes!!! That is a lot.

    Some one said these days will be over soon enough. Dh and I remind each other that there will be a time where we will be sitting alone, wishing they would just call.

    Anyway, this is such a great place for support as you know and if anything, it is great to know you are not alone.

    Hugs,
    nickx

  21. Oh honey, I have no good advice but I could not do it and I think you are amazing. I went back to work when my twins were 18-months, and while I loved the time we spent together, I was ready to get back to work because in all honesty, it was way easier for me to take care of a class of 30 11-year-olds than it was to take care of 2 18-month-olds. I still keep them in daycare for July, when I am home. I pull them out for all of August and we have a great month together, but by Sept I am ready to go back to work. So I think it IS hard and I think there are some people who can manage (you are one of them) but it has got to be exhausting. You have 3 kids under 4. That is exhausting! I hope it gets easier and vent away any time!

    Pam

  22. Just wanted to say thank you ladies so much, I am truly overwhelmed by the amount of support! I think DH and I really tend to downplay how much work this age is. We tend to feel like we are the only ones that feel this way LOL!

    Anyway, thank you again, I really appreciate the advice and/or commiseration.

    Someone did mention the career issue and I would definitly go back aprt time if we could swing childcare. I have my license in social work, and really enjoyed my work. I look forward to going back (someday) and do realize that this time at home with the kids will be incredibly valuable one day when I am working with families (lets just hope I find my brain by then?)

  23. You are one of my heroes. We both have twins and a singleton but you seem to do it so much better than me

    I can empathise with lots of what you said. You don't need to feel guilty, you are doing a great job.

    emeline_aron

  24. Brittany,

    I "only" have twins and I'm exhausted. I agree, having a DH that is gone and no family can be brutal. We just survived (barely) the stomach flu and I thought I might lose it. I can't imagine having an infant in the mix.

    You're doing a great job and definitely not alone!

    Erica

  25. I don't know where you live- resources etc- but MOST churches have mother's morning out- and i think many don't charge. Or if you are a member of MOPS- mothers of preschoolers- they meet at least 1 x a month and provide child care so you can socialize with other moms without kids.

    we have a new drop in child care place called "PLAYDATE" they are a franchise. I LOVE IT- it is $7 an hour for first child and half (3.50/hr) for the 2nd child etc. THey are open great hours- i can drop ds off if i have an appt- need to run and do errands etc and he LOVES it- he actually asks to go.

    We use it for weekends for, weddings, dinner out, our counseling session etc.

    U might just want to check around and see if there is anything in your area- even a COUPLE of hours a week can make a HUGE difference in your life.

    Jen

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