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A Mom Not- but effectively - On My Own

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM
  • 6 Replies

I need a hand to hold, I think.

I have three kids of varying ages plus 4 pets and one husband. We just went through a big move and everyone is adjusting really well. While the move was a step up and makes my life easier, we're still going through everyone's normal developmental milestones. That's on my mind alone; as for my husband, we are getting caught up financially and still having to sell our old house. He's got a full plate, but really to begin with he was never much help when I needed parental input. It's like he's got no opinion, or rarely. To make this much worse, my parents and my in-laws are all deceased. I used to rely on my mother for advice when my oldest was little; she never made it to meet my younger two. My mother's insight was invaluable because she had 6 children, raised me the way I want to raise my own, and was a stay home mom like me. Now I have family and friends who I sometimes think alike, but usually their input really isn't helpful quite frankly, because they have even less experience than me. I'm talking about relatives not prolific with children except maybe having an only child of their own and no pets, and that only child being an adult now, for example.

I know my mom would be so helpful if she were still alive. She would be 81 this year. I miss her so much.

My husband doesn't see the things I need to think about as being important, and ironically, I still worry about all the financial alongside him, too.

For example, I have a soon-to-be 3 year old who doesn't want to use the potty. So I have to ask, encourage, etc. I can get easilly side-tracked when the dog can't get out and has an accident on the floor, and then I'm trying to clean that and keep my almost-2 year old out of the mess while my 3 yr old is trying to get off the toilet prematurely. The two yr old was actually initiating potty use himself already- was doing it before his older brother- but got sidetracked with the move. SO the average advice is to keep on top of it and be vigilante, and I'm trying but my two hands are not enough. Two boys to be potty trained and they aren't twins so they aren't at the same developmental place intellectually,. I have to just do what I can and remember that no normal kid is wearing diapers to middle school.

But it's stressful. I feel like I'm the only one responsible for my household (other than financially) and that includes discipline for our saucy 12 yr old. She's a good kid, but she's a preteen, so it is what it is. Caring for the pets is exhaustiing too, even though my preteen has some chores dealng with the pets, she isn't here during the day and also, she has to be reminded so I have to think of everything all the time. Same with my husband, he needs constant reminders. I have to be mindful, it seems, of EVERYTHING for everybody, and some of that they should do on their own which frustrates to no end. But do I have time to fight all these incidental battles? Is it, at times, even worth it when they just do what they do anyway?

I read about "me time" and "mommy time" and mine comes in the form of phone conversations while I'm doing housework. I can't afford a babysitter and relatives are in short supply for the task for various reasons including their own hectic lives. My 12 year old isn't mature enough to babysit both boys when I'm not home. So some of you will say I need me time but it ain't gonna happen and I'm sure that would be a fix but only a short term one. Long term, I just need to get my confidence up.

At 43 I've had a colorful and arduous at times life, and weathered a lot of adversity and jst have to remind myself that things could be worse, thngs could be tougher, I've pulled through some tough stuff already, yadda yadda.  It's just a lot of pressure to make decisions myself constantly, get criticized by relatives for some of it (which I know I should ignore but you still hear it) or just to wonder, as in maybe reprimanding my daughter for something, did I do the right thing? Or maybe letting her have some freedom - did I give her too much free reign? THings like that. Will she be safe going with her friends to whatever place/event?  Am I doing the totally wrong thing with potty training? Am I too soft on my youngest or does he not realy understand when he whacks his brother in the head with a toy? Does he "get" time out, or is this just mean? Did I yell to harshly? DId I lecture too long? Am I creating too much stress in my house? Did I expect too much of my husband, should I nag less or more? Aghhh!!!

Honestly, I don't know what to expect from your comments and I have no idea what advice you could give, but venting made me feel slightly better.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM
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Replies (1-6):
tlcory
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Be strong, I raised and financially supported two kids on my own with no help, I had no family around to help me.. My biggest savior's were the friends I made, helping other Mothers and them helping me as a trade off.  Try to find a Mothers group in your area to join, trust me, it does help!

buttersworth
by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:12 PM

That's funny you should say because there was an "open house" for a moms group today that I was going to go to, but missed. I could've pushed to go but was wishy washy about it anyway and the boys not sleeping well last night made a good excuse for me to blow it off.

I feel reluctant. I so far like the people in my town but I don't get out much and think I don't make good small talk or good first impressions. I used to work with the public but haven't worked in 13 years so I've lost touch a bit, though I'm not as shy as when I was a kid. I talk, I jst feel like it comes out stupid sometimes. Or maybe i just have a huge confidence problem. I only have one friend right now, one real friend that I can call whenever.

Sometimes I think I'm so needy and desperate for talk that I overdo it at first. Then I'll do the opposite and not talk at all. Agghhh. I'm screwed either way. Plus - I am NOT bragging- but it is a disadvantage to look 10 yrs younger than I do, because younger people think I'm weird and ones my age don't realize I'm their age and don't talk to me until I drop some line about my age. Very awkward, I am.

 

AM-BRAT
by Amber on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM
Lol!



I'm tge same way I like to yap yap yap then become invisible for weeks or months lol. Like a cat I guess, attention when I want it then not when I don't. :)



I understand your orginal frustrations for sure, exercising and small outings helped me a lot when I stayed home.



You could do little prayers and just keep working with you dh on compromises/ agreements.

And my me time at the time was beftime and grocery shopping. Hey, you take what you can get! Now, it's work. Sad lol!



Quoting buttersworth:

That's funny you should say because there was an "open house" for a moms group today that I was going to go to, but missed. I could've pushed to go but was wishy washy about it anyway and the boys not sleeping well last night made a good excuse for me to blow it off.



I feel reluctant. I so far like the people in my town but I don't get out much and think I don't make good small talk or good first impressions. I used to work with the public but haven't worked in 13 years so I've lost touch a bit, though I'm not as shy as when I was a kid. I talk, I jst feel like it comes out stupid sometimes. Or maybe i just have a huge confidence problem. I only have one friend right now, one real friend that I can call whenever.



Sometimes I think I'm so needy and desperate for talk that I overdo it at first. Then I'll do the opposite and not talk at all. Agghhh. I'm screwed either way. Plus - I am NOT bragging- but it is a disadvantage to look 10 yrs younger than I do, because younger people think I'm weird and ones my age don't realize I'm their age and don't talk to me until I drop some line about my age. Very awkward, I am.



 



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sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Remember, you can only get walked on, if you are laying down. 

If your yard isn't fenced, and YOU cannot keep up with the pets, get rid of them.  Period.  If you DON'T, if YOU want them, then don't complain.  Period.

If it's too much for you to potty train 2 kids at once, put one in pull ups, and concentrate on the other one.  It's not rocket science.

12 year olds are perfectly capable of baby sitting--provided they have taken babysitting and basic life saving classes at the Y or the village hall.  Mine certainly did.   HOWEVER do NOT turn your 12yo into a sitter for YOUR children.  But she can certainly help you when you ALL go to the store together. 

DO make her responsible for chores around the house.  Make a list.  By 12, she should be able to do her own laundry.  If she doesn't she sleeps on dirty sheets, and wears dirty clothes.  She should clean her own room-or not.  As long as there is no food in there, don't make a federal case out of it.  Just shut the door.  She can set up the kitchen for dinner, clean the table after, & help wash the dishes.  If she doesn't do her chores, she doesn't get to go the friends' houses, or to the mall, or to the movies, or get that thing she's been yelling for.

Stop thinking for your husband.  If you STOP, he will do what he has to do.  Or he won't, but then the natural consequence will kick in, and NEXT time, he will.  You may find that he is quite capable, once you let him grow up. 

buttersworth
by Bronze Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:19 PM

 There is a fence area to put the dogs, but they have to be brought there, which I can do. However, it's been in the single digits and teens during the day, so I can't leave them out. I may not have the opportunity depending on how quietly the boys are being, to bring them out and back in the right amount of time where they aren't getting frostbite.

The oldest boy who should be potty trained is resistant. The younger one is not. I took advantage of the younger one's interest which I think was smart. Now I have to get the older one on board, and the younger one - who lost interest with the move- I've put on hiatus unless he asks to use the potty, which he still occasionally does. I'm not going to tell him no if he's begging to use the potty, that would be foolish right?

All the things you suggest about my 12 yr old are exactly how it is. She is not a constant sitter. I don't think she watched them this whole weekend though I asked her to for 10 min today and she ended up not having to. I think it's ok to ask her for a few min that I can get a chore done, as long as she's not with a friend, doing homework, or something like that. If she is sitting on the couch staring at her iPod, I think she can spare 10 min. She does half of her own laundry. I do her's if I see it in the laundry room. Her room is disorganized but clean, which I think is very typical for her age. As long as it's clean, it's her domain.

My husband - hmmm...well, I've done the tough love thing plenty of times. Leaving him without underwear and workpants got him chipping in to do laundry years ago, but it still would have to get to the point he has none for him to do it. I don't need to skimp on his laundry anymore,it's easier to do in this new house. Besides, he is busy cleaning out our old house when not working, so he's making a substantial contribution. But yes, I have to relay messages from family to him and do all sorts of reminding and it is a pain in the butt. When I don't? Somehow it always backfires and I end up paying for it. It's impossible not to. We're a family. If he forgets to pay a bill, ie, it's gonna screw up my credit too. Don't tell me to write the bills becase I do some of those but we juggle and I'm horrible with numbers and he is not. So we succeed or fail together, it's hard to do the tough love thing unless it's with something incidental and then it's not worth it..because it's ...incidental.

Thank you, though, good perspective. The only problem I have with any of what you said is just the way you worded "Letting him grow up" (referring to DH). It's just that, I am not in the position to "let" my husband do or not do anythng. You're right, he's a grown man. I'm not an authority over him, so any growing up he has to do on his own.

 


Quoting sabrtooth1:

Remember, you can only get walked on, if you are laying down. 

If your yard isn't fenced, and YOU cannot keep up with the pets, get rid of them.  Period.  If you DON'T, if YOU want them, then don't complain.  Period.

If it's too much for you to potty train 2 kids at once, put one in pull ups, and concentrate on the other one.  It's not rocket science.

12 year olds are perfectly capable of baby sitting--provided they have taken babysitting and basic life saving classes at the Y or the village hall.  Mine certainly did.   HOWEVER do NOT turn your 12yo into a sitter for YOUR children.  But she can certainly help you when you ALL go to the store together. 

DO make her responsible for chores around the house.  Make a list.  By 12, she should be able to do her own laundry.  If she doesn't she sleeps on dirty sheets, and wears dirty clothes.  She should clean her own room-or not.  As long as there is no food in there, don't make a federal case out of it.  Just shut the door.  She can set up the kitchen for dinner, clean the table after, & help wash the dishes.  If she doesn't do her chores, she doesn't get to go the friends' houses, or to the mall, or to the movies, or get that thing she's been yelling for.

Stop thinking for your husband.  If you STOP, he will do what he has to do.  Or he won't, but then the natural consequence will kick in, and NEXT time, he will.  You may find that he is quite capable, once you let him grow up. 


 

sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't get what the beef is.  I had 2 kids, 2.5 years apart, a house, 3 dogs,  a husband who traveled  every week, sometimes only coming home on weekends, AND I worked a full time job.  My husband found a job without travel when my older dd was 5, but then we bought an acre of land, and built our house, with dh acting as the general contractor, and doing a lot of the work himself.  So while he was doing that, working HIS full time job, and maintaining a rental we also owned, I was STILL taking care of the kids, the house, the dogs, and working MY full time job. 

You said, <<<But it's stressful. I feel like I'm the only one responsible for my household (other than financially)>>>.  Welcome to my world, and the world of the single mom who responded.  If think my husband was doing laundry, paying the bills, washing the dishes, bathing the kids, or taking care of the dogs or the yard, think again.  When he wasn't out of town 5 days a week, he was up at dawn, went to work, went to the construction site after work, went to the rental after that if necessary, came home & said hi to the kids, ate, and fell in bed.  

<<<Caring for the pets is exhausting too, even though my preteen has some chores dealing with the pets, she isn't here during the day and also, she has to be reminded so I have to think of everything all the time.>>>  I had a 1 year old and a 3.5 year old, and DIDN'T have a 12yo to help me even a little.  I repeat, if taking care of the dogs is so exhausting, get rid of them.  Otherwise, figure out what you need to do.  Crate train the dogs.  Housebreak the dogs so they go out on a schedule.  Run a zipline from the house to the dog run.  Stake them outside the back door.  Post a BIG SIGN for your 12yo.  WALK THE DOGS.  FEED THE DOGS.  CLEAN UP THE YARD.  Then you don't have to remind her, or think of everything.  If she doesn't do it, get rid of the dogs. 

<<< Same with my husband, he needs constant reminders. I have to be mindful, it seems, of EVERYTHING for everybody, and some of that they should do on their own which frustrates to no end. ...  It's just a lot of pressure to make decisions myself constantly>>>  My husband is ADD.  Both my daughters are ADD.  Everybody in my HOUSE needed reminders.  But if you spend your entire life nagging them,  they will end up hating you.  Ask yourself, What would I have to do if he divorces me, which he is apt to do if I become a shrew?  I would have to pay the bills MYSELF, I would have to do the laundry MYSELF, and I'd have to potty train the kids MYSELF.  So do it yourself.   YEARS AGO, *I* put up a GIANT white board over the land line.   I write chores that need to be done around the house, things needed from the store, notes on ... WHATEVER.   If someone pitches in, I'm happy.  If not, things get done when they get done. 

Let your dh do what he IS good at, and help him  work out ways to remind himself.  My DH & 31yo dd put everything on their smartphones.  They got alarms and notices going off all day long.  They schedule their lives on the phone calendar.   My 29yo dd puts up a BIG calendar.  She and her SO put everything on it.  They both work full time, but he works a different schedule every day.  They have a child.   They NEED to organize themselves, and remind themselves.  Both kids HAVE had the occasional bump in the road, a problem with credit, a missed deadline, a divorce.  But they learn from their mistakes.  At the very LEAST, they learned to ask for help!

BTW, when my second child was born, my potty trained 2.5 year old took one look at me chainging the baby's diaper, and said "*I* want to be a baby again, too."  So I put her back in a diaper.  And when they both needed to be changed at once, I let her sit in a wet mess, and told her, "BIG GIRLS wouldn't need to do that."  After about 6 months, she got back on the potty.  It was easy.

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