24/7
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    Registered User MRoseB's Avatar
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    Maybe it's just me but I feel like I'm doing -almost- everything 24/7 plus having my child with me ALL the time (from 7am to 8pm). Sometimes I still feel overhwelmed but right now I'm just tired of trying to figure out what to do with my son who is 2, all day everyday. I do agree with all the benefits of being at home but right now I just feel like I can't keep house, I'm burnt out with making dinner all the time (altho I love to cook) and that I'm just an entertaining machine. Most of all I feel like I'm constantly trying to find time and ways to keep things in order around my home and that leaves me running all the time. Cooking, cleaning, organizing, bill management and being the playmate is driving me nuts. On top of the fact that I'm running out of ideas for what to fill upthe day. Is this normal? If not, am I just really selfish (it's ok to say that I am, I'm figuring that's why I can't stand it some days)? What do sahms with children under 4 do all day? Is everyone's home a BIG mess until the children get old enough to go to school?

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    Registered User FrabjousDay's Avatar
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    Completely normal. Being a stay-at-home parent is hard work!

    What really helped me was planning a morning activity outside of the house. By the time we got home and finished up lunch, my little was more than ready for naptime. In the afternoon I was either able to grab a nap of my own, or catch up on a few things around the house.

    You're doing a great job! Remember, the house doesn't have to be pristine and the meals don't have to be perfect.

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    Registered User itsahumanzoo's Avatar
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    The above advice is great. Taking the kids out to play at the park or somewhere like that gets them nice and tired. During nap time is when I do the cleaning and dinner prepping. By the time hubby gets home from work I can usually throw dinner together pretty quickly. I also love using my crock pot for easy dinners too.

    What about swapping babysitting too? One day a week another mom friend can watch your kiddo while you run errands and another day you can watch hers for her. It's a wonderful way to give yourself and a friend some much needed alone time.

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    Registered User wanderlusting's Avatar
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    I have the same issue- I have two 11 month old boys and it's hard to keep on top of things. Especially with DH gone for a while. I just do what I can and don't feel guilty about not doing "it all"

    For nights that I don't have energy to cook, I do something simple like egg sandwiches- fried egg and piece of cheese between two pieces of toast. And some baked beans on the side.

    To ease boredom during the day or being stuck in a rut, I'll take the boys for a walk in their stroller. When I get back, I feel refreshed from the exercise.

    I also started a weekly playgroup at my house. This allows my boys to play and interact with other kids, and me to interact with adults. It also motivates me to keep the house tidy.

    I don't keep my house spotless- I'd have to do nothing but clean to do that! I just try to keep it cleanish

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    Registered User eris's Avatar
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    My children are now 15 and 12, but I remember those days. It's completely normal to feel the way you do, I did as well.

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    I'm not a SAHM, but I my son is 4-1/2 and I agree that 2 was the hardest age for "entertaining." When he turned about 3-1/2 and was able to play better by himself, it really got so much easier.

    The 2 things that helped me were doing something outside the home (mentioned above) like going to the park, going to the grocery store, whatever, every day and having my son "help" me with whatever I needed to get done. I could get him to put the dirty laundry in the washer, even if it took him 5 minutes, of have him "clean" the toilet while I cleaned the rest of the bathroom. It wasn't "helping" so much as "distracting" but still made him feel involved.

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    Registered User MRoseB's Avatar
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    Thank you ALL so very much. I mean really this helps my mindset so much. I try not to go overboard with the cleaning, etc. It's just difficult b/c we are STILL in an apt and now have 2 kids. It seems forever cluttered and/or dirty and I NEVER grew up or imagined I'd ever live like this. Most of all I just need a car during the day. But I will try walking again as the weather is a bit better.

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    Registered User eris's Avatar
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    About the apartment thing...in my book, it's a good thing when kids are that age. Who has time to put yard chores and house maintenance on top of everything else a Mom has to do?

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    MRoseB - I feel for you. Though I don't have children under the age of 4yrs old, I have my father who is still independent but is 80 yrs old. He needs constant monitoring - not necessarily obvious but someone needs to be within earshot basically 24/7. Unfortunately/fortunately I was laid off from my job over a year ago and well, the role of 'caregiver' has been thrust upon me. I too find it hard to find my balance between caring for the house, grocery shopping and monitoring/entertaining my dad. To be honest, I think we put extra and unnecessary worry upon ourselves during times like these but its also times like these that make us stronger as we learn to 'deal' and 'cope' through it.

    My suggestion: after the children are in bed, take 1/2 hr for yourself - not the house/bills or anything else - and do something for you be it soak in the tub, have an uninterrupted shower, manicure/pedicure, read, enjoy a cup of tea in silence or watching tv. Just as long as its for you and by yourself.

    I do like the idea of going to the park, library programs or playgroups as well but these don't work so well with a stubborn 80 yr old

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    Can you make out a schedule? Maybe deep clean one room a day but do a quick tidy on a daily basis? Scheduling play time, cleaning time, nap time, etc. will help simplify and children usually do better on a regular schedule. Outside time, weather permitting, usually helps to wear them out and then you may get a little more nap time in. When you're cleaning, give the little one a clean rag and let him help dust the furniture. Start teaching him now to pick up toys and put them away. Make it a game. I wish I had been more diligent on having my children help tidy up when they were smaller. My youngest would "dust" with me and helped with other chores, too. He actually got pretty good about keeping a clean room when he was 5...wish he was still that way at 11 but he is getting better about it now.

    As far as cooking, try to simplify meals. Use a slowcooker to cook something like a beef roast, pork roast, or chicken. Then you can make several meals out of it. From a beef roast, you can have the traditional roast beef, then shredded beef sandwiches, and another meal could be a simple beef stew or soup. If you are making a casserole or baked pasta dish, make two at once and freeze one. Then on a rough day, you can take it out of the freezer and reheat for dinner.

    I hope these suggestions help. I know all too well how overwhelming it can all be at times.

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    It is SOOO normal to feel like you can't do it all. My DD was super active at the stage and I was having some medical issues and couldn't get my hiney down on the floor to play with her. We ended up finding a MDO (Mother's Day Out) program. It was only 12 hours per week, 9 to 1 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I'd use one day to focus on something in the house like laundry or cleaning the floors. One day would be errands and if I felt I'd "earned it" one day would be just for me!

    It does get better, trust me!

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    I don't know how well this would work for you but one of my neighbors and I have just instituted a 1/2 hour swap. She walks with me when I drop off my Kindergartner at school. Then, when we come back home, we are trading off a half and hour of help. She helped me with my dishes yesterday. I helped her clean her bathroom today. Our other kids played together or at least with the toys in the house, while we got a little further ahead with the things that needed to be done. We're both making plans about the next visit the other is going to make to our respective houses.

    We're only doing it on the days we walk together. So maybe 2-3 times a week and we swap off each time. Next time, my house.

    Is there a friend you could create a swap with? Turn it into a small play-date/cleaning/organizing party.

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    Registered User MRoseB's Avatar
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    MissSeetonFan, no that probably won't work for me, seeing that I don't know anyone else that has the same problems as I... the other sahms all homeschool and just wouldn't have the time (nor do they live close enough). However, I can talk to them and see what we may be able to work out.

    Tigergirl - THANK YOU for saying it gets better... seriously these stages seem to never end. I don't know where I can find out anything about a mother's day out prgm but I'll search for one.

    DeliaDawn - those are great suggestions and I will be doing them!

    Libby - love the suggestion! Hate your situation, I feel for you.

    eris- thanks for making me think on the brighter side. honestly tho, those things don't outweigh the need for bigger space and a yard for the kids to play in safely (well a lot more safely than an apt parking lot). but again, thanks.

    I really appreciate so many people trying to help me and giving me ideas.

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    I handle it by keeping to a schedule. It's general, but gives us things to do each part of the day. Here is what we do:

    I try to keep a general structure; dressed and "ready for the day" by 9, an outing from 9:30-11:30 (playdates, parks, library, etc. whatever- I have standing playdates with different people on MWF). We will also run errands in this time (grocery shopping, etc)

    Lunch from 12:15-1

    Nap (Quiet time in ROOM until buzzer goes off) from 1-2:15

    Free play and snack until 3

    Outside from 3-4, longer if he's engaged. Backyard. Yes, it's 100 degrees, but the child and I will live, I grew up here too! If it's too yucky, we do art/playdoh inside.

    Free play after cleaning up from outside-6 while I prep dinner, Daddy comes home and takes over ^.^


    Mom's Day out for a few hours 2 or 3 times a week can be a LIFESAVER. Our local church has a daycare program I loved (not in the budget right now) that was 9am-2pm. It was great!

    I am very much a supporter of independently driven play; I read books with my child, and play for 10-20m here and there, but I expect her to entertain herself.

    We also clean up as we go- if she wants to play with legos, then we clean that up before she can get out the next toy she wants to play with. She knows by now that we clean up the legos before getting the doll things or playdoh all over or I will put the dolls in "time out" until the room is clean for them. I do help her clean up, that's no fun to do alone LOL.

    She is in bed from 7pm until 7am or so.
    Last edited by Singsanctus; 10-18-2011 at 02:34 PM.

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