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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 (21-30):
by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 2:36 PM
1 mom liked this

oh, and I own a huge oval crock pot and one that has three 1.5 qt crocks in it,... and I miss having another one that I foolishly purged and donated because I felt like I had too much clutter.   I'm so glad we got rid of stuff, but looking back the crock was not smart to get rid of.   Having five actual crocks makes not only daily life great, but hosting becomes a breeze.   I can sit and enjoy my guests while just leaving the food out and prepped for anyone.

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM

And yours are all still tiny!!   I have two older ones, and I AM seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with this crazy busy baby through kindy stage.   I CAN if needed toss the baby at the 11 yr old and react to whatever emergency situation my wildly adorable 5 yr old throws at me.   Also, the older kids have helped if the baby is throwing a fit and trying to grab and destroy whatever work the kindy and I ARE doing together.   Taking the 15 month old into one of their rooms and showing him their things is plenty enough to calm him.

Quoting MonkeyPeanut79:

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 :)

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM
1 mom liked this

This was really cute, it made me giggle.   People who think boys don't attract drama really don't know some boys very well.

Quoting gummibear:

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.

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

You're right about the multitasking, maybe a better way to explain it is to combine similar things to multitask.  So chopping veggies in the am while making breakfast will be more efficient than trying to teach math while making breakfast, or clean up the toys while making breakfast...I try to even combine trips up and down the stairs, lol I hate going up and down 100 times.

I clean up the kitchen while I'm waiting for water to boil for spaghetti, or I would help the baby get dressed while talking to a bigger kid about what "one in the hand is better than two in the bush" means (I was taking pictures of projects while having this conversation today, lol).

I know the kids don't have off buttons, but at the same time they need to be able to entertain themselves for some portion of the day.  So while you don't want to push them away, you can encourage them to do something (ANYTHING, lol) without you.  Once they can all do something without you as they get older that time will increase and at some point we will actually miss it!  (or so I am told).

Even them just coloring or playing with toys, they should be able to do things to keep themselves busy for 5 minutes.  Then move on to having them do some schoolwork on their own.

I have one kid that will entertain herself for hours just playing and singing (at 10) and another one that can't go longer than 10 minutes on his own unless it's in front of a video game (he's 11).  the constant "Mom want to play a game...mom help me with this...mom can I do this...mom can we do that...mom, mom, mom, mommy, ma, ma...." drives me crazy!  I am hoping and praying that he will be able to attend to some of his schoolwork on his own because my 10yo needs a lot more actual teaching.  It's hard to just split myself between the two of them, 4 must be nearly impossible!

I have also convinced myself that games count as learning.  So I play games with them together, this is fun and I can pay attention to both of them, and they are learning something!  Anything we can do together is better than trying to teach them separately!

Quoting KrissyKC:

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!

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM
1 mom liked this

LOL, I know this wasn't your intent but I just got very scared, very fast!!!!  Hugs momma and try to enjoy them while you can.

Sorry that kinda got off topic, didn't it??

Back on topic......BIIIIIIGGGGG HUGS to you!

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Getting up at 6 am to shower and have time to gather my thoughts or prep for the day helps me. Kids up at seven no later, if I let them sleep too long we never get anything done.

When I feel myself pushing them away, DH is good at lettin me get a break. Or MIL will keep any kids over 2 over night for me (which is 3 of the 4 currently).

I'm new to homeschooling (did pre K last year and starting K this year. But I feel ya on being split every which way. It's rough some times. But we are pretty strict with finish one thing before moving on so most days I can get the kids to pick up little by little as we go so the house isn't a disaster. But without the kids ever going anywhere the house is bound to get messier. Hugs to you and good luck!
by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Hugs! I got overwhelmed just reading all of that. Good to see you have a bit of humor about it all. How many kids do you have - what ages?

I don't multitask like that. I go to work, come home, we all do chores, school, stop for lunch, I take a nap, everyone helps to make dinner and clean up afterwards, chill time with the family, get baths in, read to kids, alone time, then back to work. That is my week Monday - Thursday. Friday I do errands and field trips. Saturday and Sunday is just for relaxing or what not. I have chores and laundry scheduled out in a simple manner. I have three kids - 17, 11, 9

I remember the days though of a newborn baby, a 2yr old, and a 8yr old... I am glad those days are over ... and I wasn't even homeschooling yet at that time. I wouldn't have been able to.

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM
This shouldn't be funny, but I was definitely giggling because its so true. :)
I have 3 girls, 1, 4, and 8. Right now only one has lessons, and we are Waldorf inspired so they are pretty fun, easy lessons. I know it will get harder for sure.
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by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 11:12 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh, you made me laugh!!!   I'm so glad we can share our miseries (and our joys).   I think it makes it better somehow, and reminds us of the beauty of it all.

Quoting jwhit8791:

LOL, I know this wasn't your intent but I just got very scared, very fast!!!!  Hugs momma and try to enjoy them while you can.

Sorry that kinda got off topic, didn't it??

Back on topic......BIIIIIIGGGGG HUGS to you!

by on Sep. 1, 2013 at 11:18 PM

After my post, you'd think my answer to, "How many kids do you have?" Would be somewhere around 8... 9.. .or 12...

Nope.. I have four... LOL!   11, 9, 5, and 1.   They have some minor challenges, but I haven't sought out DXing them with anything.   I'm not sure if I want to, or if we just want to learn to enjoy who we are as God made us.   Although, I'm slowly making changes in our diet and trying to see if that helps.

I was December 77, by the way... is the 77 in your name your birth year?

Quoting celticdragon77:

Hugs! I got overwhelmed just reading all of that. Good to see you have a bit of humor about it all. How many kids do you have - what ages?

I don't multitask like that. I go to work, come home, we all do chores, school, stop for lunch, I take a nap, everyone helps to make dinner and clean up afterwards, chill time with the family, get baths in, read to kids, alone time, then back to work. That is my week Monday - Thursday. Friday I do errands and field trips. Saturday and Sunday is just for relaxing or what not. I have chores and laundry scheduled out in a simple manner. I have three kids - 17, 11, 9

I remember the days though of a newborn baby, a 2yr old, and a 8yr old... I am glad those days are over ... and I wasn't even homeschooling yet at that time. I wouldn't have been able to.