I feel completely lost with my life at the moment.
Having my three kids all the time is a constant state of guilt, low lulling sense of stress, boredom, overwhelmed loss of control and underwhelmed state mixed with feeling like I'm failing.
With three so young, my second child developmentally well behind (Being assessed by child psychologist and speech pathologist) and close to my third, I feel like I'm living in a cave of screaming, crying, restless, food covered monsters! I honestly dont feel like a great mother, like others deal with this life so much better than I do - Because I get completely shut down by it and wind up entirely lethargic and only doing the absolute neccessitys while simultaneously feeling like a loser.
They spend the majority of their day playing with their toys, asking for snacks at the kitchen gate, breaking into the kitchen and making messes, breaking things and spilling things, crying, tantrumming, fighting each other and being generally chaotic. I feel like Im too overwhelmed to engage with them much as a "fun mum" or "creative mum" or even I suppose "normal mum"
Instead I just try to get them out of the kitchen, bring them milk or water which they usually spill, try to get them to sit at the table, clean up mess, get frustrated at them fighting, and find myself escaping into my laptop, phone or running into the kitchen to do dishes (theres always a lot of them) or just sort of stand around cooking or hanging out where they can't get to me. I feel like my life has no purpose and Im not doing the active things "normal" people do because to me it is too much effort for not much reward.
My house is completely smeared in sticky substance. I feel like Im constantly wiping things I find that are sticky or dirty. Its gross. I feel like I chase them around constantly trying to make them clean but they find new ways to get dirty again then spread it around.
I often go through in my head what I need to do, How I can establish this routine or that routine to make things easier, but then as soon as reality hits, I try for maybe a few minutes then they break into kitchen again or fight for a bit or argue or whine and I just phaze out again and go back to escaping and not keeping up.
They sometimes go to their dads for a little while and I think HEY heres my chance to get ontop of things and create a plan of attack to put in place when they return.
However I then never get through it all not because I dont have enough time but because of a lack of motivation, then when they return it doesnt take very long at all before Im overwhelmed and zoned out again.
I think things to myself like "I should take them out more" but then I have to dress all three, find all their shoes, get them co-operating and in the car or pram if walking, then deal with any public tantrums and the overbearing hawk eyeing them all to make sure none of the three of them get abducted while they all run in different directions etc. Its not overly easier and seems like a lot of effort just to get out.
I feel like my brain just shuts down whenever I have a lot on my plate, and with three kids I always have a lot on my plate!
I want so bad to make a routine that works and makes things run easier! Ive had them before and worked by them - when I do it is like a weight is lifted and everything seems SO much nicer, but I cant seem to stick to them or they crumble once things get hard.
Im home WAY too much. When I was studying full time pregnant with two kids, I was getting out of the house more and they were going to care and I found life was infinitely better and I managed better! I enjoyed them genuinely and took them out without feeling overwhelmed, laughed with them, coo'd over them and I truly miss that! I still feel all of those things but it is just often buried under stress/feeling not enough for them.
Does anyone else feel like being home constantly with small children lulls you into overwhelmed/underwhelmed inefficiency? Or am I just a terrible parent?
I also just eat all the time now. Im constantly hungry and I think it stems from this boredom/stress/unhappiness with my situation. Ive put on more weight than Id have liked to and do not feel proud of my lifestyle/eating habits right now.
I dont think im "depressed" although I do feel anxious but in a dull constantly nagging way rather than panic attacks. I just feel like I need to figure myself out with this new lifestyle, and I feel afraid of how well I will do it.
Hoping to find the answers soon. I am taking steps to change things, trying to find the change that will make it all work better. But just felt the need to reach out and vent, maybe hear some relatability from others and find some reassurance that I can make a positive, rutt busting change.
Anyway - Thanks for sticking out my word vomit -
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05-07-2014 15:09 #1
Does anyone else feel this way? VENT
Last edited by Kiplusthree; 05-07-2014 at 15:13.
05-07-2014 16:08 #2
I'm not in this situation but when I read your thread I had to write and say that I hope you're ok.
I know you said you don't think you're depressed - and you might not be, i'm not a Dr! It might still pay to speak to your GP about how you're feeling.
It sounds like sometimes you feel pretty overwhelmed by life - and who could blame you? 3 kids, and being at home with them, can't be easy. You're no doubt doing the absolute best you can and that's awesome. But somewhere in there, you have to take care of yourself so that you can be what you need to be for your kids...and for yourself.
You can of course make change! You've proven to yourself you can because you said you've had routine and things have been different before.
Is there any way you can replicate some of the circumstances or things that were in place when things were more manageable? That might be a good place to start if possible
Also is it possible for the kids dad to have them perhaps for a weekend? or even an overnight stay (obviously depending on the situation)? would some time to yourself give you the opportunity to find some clarity? If that's possible, maybe try that.
Anyway, that all might be pointless advice but I hope you're ok and you find some clarity and support around you.
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05-07-2014 16:27 #3
If like to say that it is just a bad day with them and I'm stressed - but honestly a lot of my time with them I feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Bedtime is ridiculously hard sometimes with them getting out of bed, fighting, playing and trying to come out well past they're bedtime (which I've adjusted thinking maybe it was too early but they seem to stay up regardless) I know it's hard for most parents to get kids to go to bed - I guess just the I'm alone with no backup factor makes it feel so much harder.
They do stay with their dad sometimes, I feel lost without them just as much as with them! Haha, can't win.
I do want to sit down and brainstorm the things I'm finding difficult - the triggers and think of ideas and methods I can put in place to make it easier. I've been waiting for their next visit to dad to do this.
I think a lot of it is establishing a set daily routine for my own sake- then using it to guide myself while guiding the kids.
I think another side of it is finding things for myself that I can do to motivate me to enjoy life. I've been trying to get up at 5:45 am each morning to do a workout/catch some alone time except lately mr two has been waking a lot a night so I haven't had a success at that yet - because I press the snooze button!
The other thing I'm looking at is getting a job. When I was at tafe full time it really broke up the day, gave me a break and the school/early education did wonders for my kids restlessness too.
I need to get over the anxiety of going out with my kids too. I do take them out, just not as much as I should/to get out of the house. I think part of that is really just finding the motivation to leave that comfort zone.
I'm taking a lot of these things into my hands this coming week. The little and the big steps. I just wanted to vent because I am still feeling stuck right now (kids are currently screaming at kitchen gate and my anxieties through the roof as I attempt to cook dinner) and sometimes it just helps to write it down and have people respond and communicate about it x
05-07-2014 16:36 #4
Thank you for replying firsttimemum344
05-07-2014 16:44 #5
I just wanted to give you *hugs*
I'm not in your situation, but when in a motivational rut, with housework, or uni, or anything, I write a list.
Nothing major, just two or three things that I KNOW I can get done.
So it might be -
1) Get dressed (I find staying in my pjs/trackies all day makes my crappy feeling worse)
2) wipe over the benches
3) make the bed.
And so on, I do that every day for a while and it seems stupid, but being able to cross something off, that I've done for that day, seems to help.
05-07-2014 17:08 #6
I think you need to get your boys into a day or two of care to give yourself a break . We are in the same area and there are some good ones around
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05-07-2014 17:30 #7
I'm not a single mum but hope you don't mind me responding.
How old are your kids?
I've got 3 and this is what I find works (especially for my nearly 4yo boy) is getting out of the house. My kids and I go bonkers if we are home all day. Is there an enclosed park near you so you don't have to worry about losing them?
Get all clothes, shoes, snacks etc. ready the night before. When they wake up, get breakfast and then ask them to get dressed while you clean up. Have a shower and get out of the house. Let the kids run around at the playground. Warn them when you're leaving in 10 mins then 5 mins. Get lunch when you're home and any of them who nap, put them down. The others can have tv on for down time.
In the evenings, routine is key IMO. My husband is never home before 6 so I'm on my own. Dinner, bath, book, bed, quiet time, lights out is how it goes in my house. I lay on a child sofa bed outside their bedroom doors checking out bh and fb until they're asleep. That way, nobody gets out of bed and it only takes 5-10 mins.
Hugs. I hope things improve for you soon.
05-07-2014 17:32 #8Junior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2014
You are definitely not alone, I can really relate to feeling the way you describe. I've got three littlies too, aged 6, 4 and 1 and yeah - I have often hit that flat spot where it's too hard to do anything but being stuck at home running round after them and trying to hide instead isn't fun! I have recently started to make a few changes that are helping, so my comments/suggestions are:
- do you get a regular break at all? Do you have any help at home? We get a babysitter once a week for 2 hours, just so we know we will get some kid free time. It really helps us recharge and enjoy being with them more. When my youngest was a baby, we had someone coming to help out once or twice a week too, it did make a difference.
- what about a supported playgroup in your area? I went to one for a while that was brilliant, because it was paid support staff running it, they were super helpful and hands-on with the kids, and were good to ask for advice as well.
- what does your bedtime routine look like at the moment? For our oldest two, DH needs to stay in the room until they are pretty much asleep, otherwise they muck up and don't settle properly.
- I have started to leave the housework until they are asleep for the night. Trying to do it around them during the day is a recipe for frustration. it means all the washing goes in the drier and it does make the day longer, but I find it less stressful overall. It means that when I see the mess during the day, it doesn't bug me or distract me as much because I know I will get a chance to do it later.
- a psychologist told me a technique for playing with them - set a timer for 10 minutes and let them direct the play for that time. Act really enthusiastic and get right into it with them, then when the timer goes off, let them know when you can do it again. Apparently just 10 minutes of focussed play is enough to fill their tank for the day, if it's a regular thing.
- I have found when I feel frustrated, and can't get away from them, spending 5 or 10 mins running around with them, crazy dancing, playing soccer etc really helps me destress and gives us all a laugh. It's a very effective way of changing the way I feel for the better.
Basically, I think you need to be kind to yourself and find some ways to give yourself a break, and find the fun again. It's a massive job looking after three little kids, I hope you can get some hands on help, and give yourself credit for all the hard work you do!
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05-07-2014 17:53 #9
Not a SP, so sorry to crash, but I'm currently adjusting to DH working FIFO. He used to work such long hours I didn't think there would be much change but I wasn't prepared for the relentlessness of day in day out me, the kids and these 4 walls. Constantly relying on me to motivate me and I often feel like I'm in a permanent state of being so overwhelmed by what needs doing that I just do nothing.
I only have a 1yo and a 6yo to worry about but now the little one's walking I know it's going to get worse before it gets better. The 6 days DH is home each month (or longer) are frantic and no break for me. I do have family who can help out on the weekend sometimes though.
One thing I've found helps, when I do get some time to myself, rather than getting in a panic about how much I need to do, then not doing any of it, I plan to do nothing or do something just for me. I catch up on my favourite show, read a magazine or go window shopping. I completely allow myself to have that time as "time off". I don't let myself feel guilty for taking that time - I find this really hard though.
It doesn't help me get through my to-do list any faster, but it helps with the procrastination a little and gives me a bit of energy and motivation to actually do more with my kids, play with them or go out together and do something just for them.
05-07-2014 18:40 #10
I just want to say that I really appreciate all these replies and everyone here is spot on.
I managed to step up after dinner was made. I made family pie and steamed vegetables and sat around the table with all three - to my surprise they are everything even the veggies!
Then I put them straight in the bath and shower while I watched the little two and did some deep breathing to try and shake some of the anxiety away.
Took them out and threw towels at them then once I had them all dressed I made a competition/game out of cleaning the entire house with them- got into it with singing and coaching. Before I knew it they'd picked up all the toys, put all the strewn clothes in the washing basket, put the rubbish in a plastic bag I walked around with the books on the bookshelf and even helped me vacuum their rooms. Then I played Simon says with them for 10 minutes and did a dance competition.
They're eating popcorn now watching a movie while I do te dishes and finish the folding then I'm going to brush their teeth and send them to bed.
I feel a bit better not only that my house is clean now but that my kids cleaned it - even mr two got stuck in.
This is the kind of thing I think I should include in a daily routine so I don't feel so lost and bonkers. They respond to my direction so well when I actually step up.
I am not saying I'm fine now - but it's so true little things like that help so much!
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I think I will make a daily list of a few things like you suggested, get my kids in care, find work and try to push through my anxiety and motivate myself to a. Step up more to routine and b. take them out more on full days at home. It's the full days home with all three that are killers.
So many nice replies x
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