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How to be what they all need... (moms of "more" kids... mostly)

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I'm struggling really hard to be what they all need.

Anyway, I'm "teaching" constantly... I flip from one kid to another in their independent subjects, and then we get into the joined subjects... I bounce into chores, cooking, etc...   I come back to teaching again, cooking the next meal, testing their spelling words, listening to one child play the guitar while helping the other with her first ever word search made for pre and early readers.   Ooops, baby smells poopy, and he has a rash I have been battling, so I have to interrupt the music and wordsearch to change a baby... both other kids are getting restless, but they both want mom's involvement or else their attitudes slip and they don't want to do the stuff anymore...

My eldest is in math that is over my head, but I'm learning it with her some, and she just asked a question on how to find the square root of x if x is 27 minus two (easy right?  but not right now, because I'm now stepping over the baby gate while still chopping celery for dinner and I just cut my finger a little and have just bled on the food... argh... toss it, get out a new plate and Reilly starts screaming at the baby gate because Mom just stepped on the other side of it and it's just not acceptable...

I've had a few short stints where I could stop and read cafemom and post... while gobbling a few bites of lunch when I realized that I missed breakfast because I had accidentally scorched the eggs while answering a question from a kid... so some of the egg stuck to the pan, and I didn't have enough for everyone... so I had a glass of milk and thought I'd grab something in a bit.

I have a plan, I have organization... it's just a lot to do with four kids on four different stages of development (especially with a toddler.)

My health problems aren't helping.  Sugars have been through the roof because of the stress and that has caused a yeast infection that won't heal.   DH and I haven't been intimate for almost 5 months and he is going nuts... keeps poking and prodding me, pinching, grabbing, etc... and with all this pressure it just makes me cringe, but I don't want to hurt him and tell him that.  Besides I've tried explaining it before and it just caused a rift between us.

I can't sleep at night (can we say 2 am?) because I am so desperate for "me" time.   Hubby doesn't understand and he is hurt if I don't go watch the latest baseball (I hate sports movies) movie with him on neflix at 11 pm... so, when the movie is finally over, I'm finally on here saying...   good grief... I love every minute of my family, I just need a few minutes of my own...  what have I gotten myself into???

And yet, with all I do, I'm seeing serious needs in my kids (and my marriage) that I'm just not able to do anything about.

So...

Moms with "more"... especially ones with issues like LD, autism, ADHD, ODD, etc...?   How do you DO it all?




by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 2:58 AM
Replies (11-20):
gummibear
by Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I got 2 with birthdays at the same times as yours. Mine will be 9 tomorrow and I have one turning 6 on November 17th and

Quoting hwblyf:

I don't do it all.  I do a lot, I don't do all of it well, but I try.  The birthday thing cracked me up.  My 2nd is turning 9 on Wednesday, and the 4 year old keeps talking about his birthday (no biggie, his is in November), but now my 6 year old is talking about his birthday (June).  UGH.  Really?  Oh, and speaking of birthdays, maybe we should get on it and get his gift.  But I have at least 2 more days before it becomes ESSENTIAL.  My oldest is my highest needs, sensory and gifted (never diagnosed for sensory, but trust me, it's there).  It gets very difficult.  A glass of wine now and then helps.  :)  And I totally get the husband thing.  They have no clue what we have going on, even if they see it all.  But my kids are getting older, as they are wont to do, and it gets easier, some days.  Other days we're thrown back into the fray and I feel myself losing it.  Seriously, sat in my office the other day crying and just telling myself I could do this for 10 more years.  Apparently I'm giving up on my youngest 3 before they're out of the house, but something's gotta give...


gummibear
by Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM

 LOL Mine are 16, 15, 10, 9 and 5. The oldest goes to Public school. The 15yr is in K12 and I homeschool the 3 youngest. My 10yr has Aspergers. My 9yr is a non-diagnosed ADHD ( she just can't sit still ever LOL) My 5 yr is just starting the testing for sensory issues. My 15yr is my EASY child, last is my 16yr boy who has so much drama that he should have been a girl LOL.
 I have came to the conclusion that their is just not enough time in the day. My hubby work what they call 2nd shift it is from 3:30pm-12am but we live just under an hour away so he has to leave here at 2pm and doesn't get home til 1am. It is always a 2am or later bed time for me with a 7am wake up to get the oldset out the door for school. I have fixed out schedule so that we has a 1 hour "quiet time" some days I have a nap during, but most days I just take it to do something that needs to get done like checking papers I didn't have time for or something cleaning related lol.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 9:36 AM
1 mom liked this

I obviously don't do it "all" either.     I have several homeschool friends.   Many of them have kids that by the time they are the ages of my oldest two... they can be set up with either work boxes or some type of computer schooling...   But my older two have very little flavor for learning independently.   They LOVE being engaged and respond well.

If I don't engage them regularly, they will lose focus, zone out, and just generally quit trying.   I know they need to be able to work independently, but I just don't know how to make that happen.    My children are wonderful, but I can tell there are issues.   I don't know if there are hidden food allergies, I'm working on changing our diet, but when you are already overwhelmed it's hard.  

I have one that has markers that MIGHT indicate being on the spectrum, but she doesn't completely "fit" it...  I have another that is crazy, wild, driven by a motor.  I have another who's issues might be paling in the light of the other two because I have been "pulled aside" by every teacher (at church, public school kindergarten, homeschool groups and lessons) about his impulse control and other behavior issues.

I just don't understand how difficult the simple things are with all of them!



Quoting hwblyf:

I don't do it all.  I do a lot, I don't do all of it well, but I try.  The birthday thing cracked me up.  My 2nd is turning 9 on Wednesday, and the 4 year old keeps talking about his birthday (no biggie, his is in November), but now my 6 year old is talking about his birthday (June).  UGH.  Really?  Oh, and speaking of birthdays, maybe we should get on it and get his gift.  But I have at least 2 more days before it becomes ESSENTIAL.  My oldest is my highest needs, sensory and gifted (never diagnosed for sensory, but trust me, it's there).  It gets very difficult.  A glass of wine now and then helps.  :)  And I totally get the husband thing.  They have no clue what we have going on, even if they see it all.  But my kids are getting older, as they are wont to do, and it gets easier, some days.  Other days we're thrown back into the fray and I feel myself losing it.  Seriously, sat in my office the other day crying and just telling myself I could do this for 10 more years.  Apparently I'm giving up on my youngest 3 before they're out of the house, but something's gotta give...



AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Stop trying to do it all - until school is over. After 2, game on (clean up, make dinner, etc)... but until then, focus on school and enjoying the kiddos.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















hwblyf
by Silver Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM
1 mom liked this

Yeah, my one who screams the most for attention, is also my one who can do independent work the best.  He's driven to learn, has to read like most people have to breathe, but throws the most outrageous fits.  Really?  You're 10 dude.  TEN!  When he was a baby, right around a year, I remember my MIL saying something like it must be nice that you can get things done and he'll play on his own.  Whoa.  Kids do that?  He has always needed my attention on him.  Always.  I know my 4 others don't get the same that he gets, but they don't need the same.  What kills me is to see them try to imitate him.  It's so awesome that mom pays so much attention to him.  But they don't suffer his pains, so they can't understand how much he struggles and needs.

Changing the way you eat is incredibly difficult.  I can't get it going somedays.  Most days, whatever.  :)  I have had people tell me to radically change G's diet, see if that doesn't help him.  I can't get it going.  Maybe one day I'll be able, but I'm like you, I'm overwhelmed and have to fight the fights I can.

Oh, and my independent workers?  If I'm sitting down with the youngers, reading a book, helping my youngest with his reading, playing build a word, whatever....they're right there, as if that's their level, too.  So all of us are doing K and pre-K.  They'll be whizzes at this stuff soon.  :)


Quoting KrissyKC:

I obviously don't do it "all" either.     I have several homeschool friends.   Many of them have kids that by the time they are the ages of my oldest two... they can be set up with either work boxes or some type of computer schooling...   But my older two have very little flavor for learning independently.   They LOVE being engaged and respond well.

If I don't engage them regularly, they will lose focus, zone out, and just generally quit trying.   I know they need to be able to work independently, but I just don't know how to make that happen.    My children are wonderful, but I can tell there are issues.   I don't know if there are hidden food allergies, I'm working on changing our diet, but when you are already overwhelmed it's hard.  

I have one that has markers that MIGHT indicate being on the spectrum, but she doesn't completely "fit" it...  I have another that is crazy, wild, driven by a motor.  I have another who's issues might be paling in the light of the other two because I have been "pulled aside" by every teacher (at church, public school kindergarten, homeschool groups and lessons) about his impulse control and other behavior issues.

I just don't understand how difficult the simple things are with all of them!



Quoting hwblyf:

I don't do it all.  I do a lot, I don't do all of it well, but I try.  The birthday thing cracked me up.  My 2nd is turning 9 on Wednesday, and the 4 year old keeps talking about his birthday (no biggie, his is in November), but now my 6 year old is talking about his birthday (June).  UGH.  Really?  Oh, and speaking of birthdays, maybe we should get on it and get his gift.  But I have at least 2 more days before it becomes ESSENTIAL.  My oldest is my highest needs, sensory and gifted (never diagnosed for sensory, but trust me, it's there).  It gets very difficult.  A glass of wine now and then helps.  :)  And I totally get the husband thing.  They have no clue what we have going on, even if they see it all.  But my kids are getting older, as they are wont to do, and it gets easier, some days.  Other days we're thrown back into the fray and I feel myself losing it.  Seriously, sat in my office the other day crying and just telling myself I could do this for 10 more years.  Apparently I'm giving up on my youngest 3 before they're out of the house, but something's gotta give...





TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Sep. 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM
1 mom liked this
We haven't officially started yet, but I have a few ideas up my sleeve to help me keep my sanity...

Crockpot breakfast-make it at the same time as dinner, throw it in the crockpot and let it cook on low all night, then it's ready in the morning. Also, make waffles and pancakes ahead and freeze them (just make extras when you make them one day) then pop them in the toaster oven or microwave in the morning, quick but you still know what's in it :)

Speaking of crockpot...make dinners in it too. I am planning on getting a second (bigger) one for Christmas. Then I could have two meals going or at least start the breakfast one before cleaning up the dinner one if I need to.

Mandatory rest time. For one hour, kids must go in their rooms, littles nap, bigger kids can read or color or do something as long as they are quiet (this could be longer than an hour, I just know an hour is all my kids should need). You can start dinner or take a shower or clean the bathroom, etc.

Bedtime. My kids go to bed at 8, lights out at 8:30. They are supposed to read for that half hour. This gets in reading time for them (we won't do a dare time or anything during the day aside from the rest time..which they don't have to read during) and it gives me and DH some time. He usually works nights so he leaves at 10. I have also learned to put away the lesson planning and the computer by 8:30 so I have that downtime with DH as well. This has helped with me making time for intimacy, or to just talk to my best friend!


My kids are older and I only have two...so the demands on me are not as high. I also have to work, but I got lucky and only work around 3 hours a day but depending where my client is I travel 30-50 min, so I am gone 4-5 hours...Saturdays I work longer and see both clients so I am gone 6-8 hours. But during the week, I have to have a dinner plan since I usually work 3-6ish...some nights DH does dinner, but it's best if I prepare something or at least pull something out of the freezer for him! I need to have the kids done with schoolwork before I leave for work, so our goal is to be done by 2 each day. Then they can pursue personal interests while I am gone.

I've also learned in life in general, to try to get one thing done at a time, multitasking feels more efficient, but it's not. So I would try to get the schooling done, then move on to dinner. Or while you give them breakfast, chop veggies for dinner and put them in the fridge, then after school finish prepping dinner. Also, maybe giving your older kids just little bits to do on their own for now, then work up to work boxes or more independent work. Maybe just start with something simple like "do math problem 5-10 and I'll be right back to check them." Then change the baby's diaper, go pee, and check and talk about the math. And definitely combine as many subjects as you can!

Sorry that turned into a novel and I don't even have any real experience yet :/ maybe there is something in that rambling that could help!
MonkeyPeanut79
by Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 10:49 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't have any advice but I understand. I only have 3 but it's overwhelming sometimes. We do school together (my middle guy is doing a preschool curriculum) and so the baby stays in his little baby jail (think Rugrats!) and then it's time for lunch. Oops forgot to eat but don't have time for lunch. Maybe I'll lose some of this weight? lol

Ok school is done. The house is trashed. HOW can the house be trashed? Half of it is in boxes!! Realize I have less than two weeks until I move and realize that I need to be way more packed than I am. Decide that we should just wait to do school until after we move. Feel guilty.

Went to a birthday party last weekend, going to a baby shower today, going to a birthday party next weekend. Realize my friend group has WAY too many kids lol! Plan my middle son's birthday since he is turning 4 a couple weeks after we move.

Try to do some crocheting on the blankets for my mom and brother. Wonder if I'm actually going to get them done before Christmas.

Turn around and realize that the same load of laundry has been in the washer for 3 days. Kids are running out of underwear which is awful since they have about 20 pairs each. House is trashed again (how is this possible!?).

Go to bed, get up the next morning and repeat and I'm already tired :)

coala
by Silver Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM
1 mom liked this

I am just as frazzeled as most of of are.

I get up make breakfast and get the kids finishing their morning routine.  I then have to work for a few hours and ALWAYS forget to put a load into the washer....we are running out of clean clothes.  On Tuesday and Thursday we leave at 11 for swimming lessons and get home by 1230.  I then have to make lunch.  Wait, I forgot to take a shower.  My work needs me.  Then I make the kids lie down for 1-2 hours depending on the day.  Tuesday and Thursday are LONG days as we have speed skating practice from 7-9, but my youngest has a lesson at 630, and then 8-10 respecitively.  Don't forget dinner.....oops I did forget to plan dinner and now I have to create something on the fly, and something that my allergy kid can eat.  Then we get home and showers are needed and then hopefully bed by 11.  I have ZERO me time and this is getting hard.  I am so glad that we are on a fairly relaxed schedule for now and school just happends when it happens.  We officially start our curriculum in January....by then swimming lessons should be done.  Who the heck has time to remember to eat or even get a work out in....it sure isn't me.

lil_mama06
by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 2:25 PM

HUGS HUGS HUGS...

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you very much for sharing!  You took a lot of time to help.

I would LOVE to slow down and do one thing at a time instead of multitasking.   However, the kids don't have off buttons and if I want time to sit like I am now and just chit-chat online, I have to be able to complete more "tasks" in less time.  Therefore, the only answer is to do several things at once.   Some of what you describe, though, is multitasking.   Cutting up veggies for dinner while making breakfast is an example.

Maybe the trick is figuring out which tasks NEED 1 on 1 attention.   Like making sure the kids are having fun and enjoying their young lives.   Like being ready to kiss and cuddle, laugh and sing, play... etc...  maybe even knowing when to ask them to walk away and allow you space sometimes...

I just feel like there are days I am in such high demand that I start PUSHING them away... and I don't want to do that often.



Quoting TJandKarasMom:

We haven't officially started yet, but I have a few ideas up my sleeve to help me keep my sanity...

Crockpot breakfast-make it at the same time as dinner, throw it in the crockpot and let it cook on low all night, then it's ready in the morning. Also, make waffles and pancakes ahead and freeze them (just make extras when you make them one day) then pop them in the toaster oven or microwave in the morning, quick but you still know what's in it :)

Speaking of crockpot...make dinners in it too. I am planning on getting a second (bigger) one for Christmas. Then I could have two meals going or at least start the breakfast one before cleaning up the dinner one if I need to.

Mandatory rest time. For one hour, kids must go in their rooms, littles nap, bigger kids can read or color or do something as long as they are quiet (this could be longer than an hour, I just know an hour is all my kids should need). You can start dinner or take a shower or clean the bathroom, etc.

Bedtime. My kids go to bed at 8, lights out at 8:30. They are supposed to read for that half hour. This gets in reading time for them (we won't do a dare time or anything during the day aside from the rest time..which they don't have to read during) and it gives me and DH some time. He usually works nights so he leaves at 10. I have also learned to put away the lesson planning and the computer by 8:30 so I have that downtime with DH as well. This has helped with me making time for intimacy, or to just talk to my best friend!


My kids are older and I only have two...so the demands on me are not as high. I also have to work, but I got lucky and only work around 3 hours a day but depending where my client is I travel 30-50 min, so I am gone 4-5 hours...Saturdays I work longer and see both clients so I am gone 6-8 hours. But during the week, I have to have a dinner plan since I usually work 3-6ish...some nights DH does dinner, but it's best if I prepare something or at least pull something out of the freezer for him! I need to have the kids done with schoolwork before I leave for work, so our goal is to be done by 2 each day. Then they can pursue personal interests while I am gone.

I've also learned in life in general, to try to get one thing done at a time, multitasking feels more efficient, but it's not. So I would try to get the schooling done, then move on to dinner. Or while you give them breakfast, chop veggies for dinner and put them in the fridge, then after school finish prepping dinner. Also, maybe giving your older kids just little bits to do on their own for now, then work up to work boxes or more independent work. Maybe just start with something simple like "do math problem 5-10 and I'll be right back to check them." Then change the baby's diaper, go pee, and check and talk about the math. And definitely combine as many subjects as you can!

Sorry that turned into a novel and I don't even have any real experience yet :/ maybe there is something in that rambling that could help!



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