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This is something I really need help with... I mean above most everything else. How do you manage the home without going crazy!? I only have one child (13 mos) and I feel overwhelmed like every few days, tired and disorganized, sometimes depressed. I try to be organized, and I used to be perfectly before I got pregnant. Now I'm never on time getting places, I don't know what to serve my son for lunch (i think i feed him too much), I can't seem to ever have meals made ahead, have games planned to do with the baby so neither of us are not bore, even a shower at the same times every week (meaning I'll miss days). I know I get a bit distracted online, and I spend time reading in the evenings but is that really my choice - relax with a book or shower and do meal plans? I'm glad to have bills paid on time but that's probably the only thing I do on time.

I'm also wondering if I should go back to work b/c of our money situation. But my husband would rather me stay home. I wouldn't mind being home if I could figure this thing out.

So is there a secret? Or does this just go on until all my kids are like 4?

I pray about doing what's important over urgent. I try to just enjoy the day but most of the time I'm not enjoying the day or the baby, but feeling stressed, tired, unaccomplished and bored with playing peek a boo or trying to stacks blocks with him.
 

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i was not a stay at home mom but i was a stay at home wife. i found it better to get up and shower immediately and get ready for the day as if i were going to work. that way it signaled to my brain that it was not saturday down time.

i found the day did not get wasted this way. i also meal planned so as to not have to think on the spot. i planned my outings for mornings so as to GET MOVING.
 

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what you are going thru is not abnormal in any way!

the planning sometimes goes out the window w/ an infant!

you will figure it out eventually. just takes a bit of time.

maybe shower first thing or when baby goes for first nap in the AM? run errands. put baby down for 2nd nap and prepare dinner?

i used to prepare dinner at 6am when i got up! worked for me.

twice a week, take the afternoon nap w/ baby...that helps!

in regards to games, etc....why not look at local library for storytime? playgroups?

look in your local papers for free kindermusic and gymboree classes. now that weather is getting warmer and sunnier, go to the local park for a bit before dinner time.

dont worry about feeding too much! they eat what where whenever they want! lol

when my dd was about 14 mths...she was on a diet of cheerios, cheddar rice cakes and goldfish w/ lots of water!!! her winter coat was stained w/ cheddar....lol
 

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Long ago and far away when my kids were little I got bad burnout too. I hired a mothers helper for an hour now and then. We didn't have much money but sometimes I would get a slurpee or blare the music in the car at a park and sing to the "jams". Get a new top at K-mart, go to the library. Just an hour to reboot does miracles. You could even hideout at the house while your child was out swinging and polish your nails. Do some small "just for me" thing. Also write some in a diary.
As far as online goes. Time it. A certain time of day or an hour limit or something. I always treat myself like a kid. "if you do this thing you don't like you can treat yourself to this".
 

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Been there done this, I felt the same way and my dh sometimes would be gone for a week he was in the military. Is your parents close by so you can do what I did have one of them watch you child for you while you go have a me day. Just shop by yourself for a while and get your grocery shopping out of they way. I would do my shopping which we were on a very tight budget when we had our first child. I would only shop once a month if possible and I had to buy groceries on about 75 dollars for two weeks if possible. I would do a planner when my baby was a sleep use a calendar and plan my menu and shop by that. I would get my shower early in the morning after dh left which was very early he worked on the road as a electronic technician for the central part of our state which meant he was gone from early morning till late in the evening. I would start washing cloths early hang them out we didnt have a dryer so I had to hang the cloths on the line and then I would make arrangements to go to the library so we could have story time or we would go to my parents who did a small garden. I also started my on small one. It helped with my grocery bill. Also helped keep my mind occupied. I love to read and I also with great ambition decided to attempt to home school my oldest dd but I didnt teach her how to read a whole lot and write very much. She did know how her abc, colors, shapes, read basic words and write her name only when she started pre school I was amazed at what I could do but it did help keep me occupied. I learned to bake bread which I never could do because my mama wouldnt let me in her kitchen. I learned how to get better organized and I learned how to quilt by hand I didnt have a sewing machine. I made my own cookbook with recipes me and my dh husband liked and learned what he didnt like. Also if there is a thrift shop close by you can trade in things you and the baby have out grown and get you new things, books, toys check out the churchs near by for play groups. Being with your kids when they are little are the best years. I miss it sooo much. My second child which is 14 years younger than my oldest I had already gone back to work. I wish I could have been with her. I was unable to be with her because of my job and financial reasons and I would do anything to have been able to do it all over again and be with her for every second. Just ask around for family and friends that would help our when you feel like you need a break just for an hour or two. Sometimes thats all it takes. Be blessed and be happy these are special days enjoy.
 

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Try to take a deep breath and relax. You are already doing the most important job - mothering.

The rest wil eventually fall into plae.

Meal planning - take some time and make a two week meal plan and use it as a revolving plan. I write down 14 suppers and then I write down all the ingrediants needed. This way I have a shopping list too.

If your meal plan gets monotonous just replace a couple meals w/something new.

Definately check out toddler time at your library. It is free. We made so many lasting friendships there. You can check out good books and videos while you are there.

Start trying to teach your child to play while you are doing a chore. Example: put a few toys on a blanket on the floor and let your baby play while you do the dishes. You can have the baby right in the kitchen with you.

Also, I carried ea. of my babies around in "sling" while I vacuumed, dusted, did dishes, folded clothes - you name it. In fact my youngest used the sling until he was 3yrs old.

Schedule an outing to the park once a week. Meet other moms there for an informal play group.

I use FlyLady.net: Your personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home to help me organize my house cleaning. I set up a morning routine and an evening routine years ago and still stick w/ it.

Most of all, remember that it gets a little easier every day. If you take the time to teach your child to play and entertain him/herself it will help you and him/her.

I ALWAYS napped when my kids napped because it gave me more energy later in the day.
 

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You are completely normal. It seems like people who were very 'together' before kids are most bugged by the fact that kids are not neat, organized animals. You've gotten great advice. Being able to go out and be with other moms is very important to me. So is being able to go somewhere without kids on me. I love them but a little space is good. Some years that space was nothing but a long bath on Friday
night while dh watched the kids in the living room but it was something.
Tips:
~crockpot! Start it in the morning and dinner will be ready no matter what happens during the day.
~at 13 months he can play in a safe crib while you shower, do it early or take one before bed when he's asleep, learning to play alone is good
~go for walks with him in a stroller/sling, get out
~in year 2 kids slow down how much they are eating, he'll quit when he's full if you're letting him feed himself, typically at this age my kids would have for lunch a starch (2 Tb rice/pasta, 1/2 slice bread, 3 crackers, etc), protein (egg, tofu, refried beans), veggie(smooshed cooked veg), and milk. That's just a rough idea, some days they ate more, some days nothing. Just offer good stuff and let him decide how much to eat
~hit the high spots on the housework and remember you can have a perfect house when the kids are gone, I tended to pick one room/day and cycle through so I didn't get overwhelmed
:hugz:
 

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(((Hugs))) You are adjusting to a new life! When my babies were little, I tried to get out of the house everyday, even if just for an hour. Sometimes I would go to the store, not to spend , but just to be out in the world with other people. It would make my day just to say Hi to a cashier! As far as meals, it really helped to get something going in my crockpot early in the day when I still had some energy. The house was not very clean and we were late all the time ( and I am one who likes to get places early). As time passes, things will settle in.
 

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I'm not sure where you live, but I know for the most part that the majority of the country has been under deep freeze and snow for an unusually long, hard winter. I'm mentioning that because it sounds like maybe you've got a bad case of "cabin fever"? So I'm wondering if maybe you need to get outside more. And do you have any girlfriends you can meet up with for a day in the park or even just for a walk around the neighborhood? If not, go by yourself. Believe me, getting out makes a HUGE difference. I know with myself, I get into a rut where the only time I spend outdoors is hanging laundry...lol! And boy! Do I ever get down :(

What you're going thru is pretty normal, so don't feel guilty about it. It sounds like you really are a great mom. I just think that doing anything, everyday of the week can get to anybody. See what you can do too about getting in some "ME" time. In other words, "pamper" yourself, and not just with computer time. REAL "you time", like relaxing baths, or give yourself a facial, manicure & pedicure? When you feel good about yourself, it lifts your spirits too. If you enjoy reading, lay down, put your feet up, and get yourself lost in a good story or crossword puzzle. This is time that you have to "steal". Try to make it a priority at some point in your day. I know it's not easy, and you probably won't get to it every single day, but somewhere, somehow use whatever free time you can to make it work for you. Nap-time maybe? Is there anybody else at home who can listen in on the baby while you do this? Is there a teenager around you can trust for a couple of hours away?

As far as the housework goes, don't expect so much of your self. You have a new baby, and babies take your time. What I always did so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed is commit to only a FEW certain things. For me that was, and still is, always having the kitchen neatened up before I went to bed. Nothing worse than starting a day with a messy kitchen (to me, anyways). My bed is ALWAYS made and I take about 5-10 minutes for a quick pick up in there too. Quick wipe-downs in the bathrooms at least keeps them clean enough. And I always throw in a load of laundry the night before so that all I have to do is turn on the machine.

Believe me, it does get easier. :cheerup: For now though just do what you can. It's impossible to do everything when the kids are little. Any mom understands that. And believe it or not but time flies, and one day, as hard as they are, you'll miss these times. :(

So hang in there, but please try and get outside and hooked up with friends you can talk to. We're always here on the FV when you need a listening ear too!

Hoping for better days ahead for you!

Theresa :smball:

PS- :cents: Forgot to mention about cooking. Now is a good time to try and make 2-3 meals in one. My favorite is to make my sauce with sausage and meatballs. We have the sausage and pasta one night, and another night we have meatball subs. If you're making meatloaf, make 2 and freeze one. Same with chicken, you've got the oven going, might as well make extras for another night. The possibilities are endless, and you know of course your family's favorites. So you can take the idea and make things easier for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wow what great advice ladies! this is gold for a new mom like me :) georgiamom I need to ask you how you made it on $75 every two weeks! that is so similiar to us.. we're about $90 bi-weekly.

Super help ladies and trust me I am SO taking notes, don't think I didn't read every word. It took me a minute when I wasn't busy but I got it all down.
 

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You've gotten some great advice here already! hang in there.

Enjoy your baby. They grow up so fast! My babies are 12 & 9 - I don't know where that time went.

With summer coming up, you might want to consider asking a neighbor tween or teen to come over to play with your child (in your home) while you do some cleaning. It's cheap labor! My oldest is going to be doing this, she just passed the Red Cross Babysitting class at our library. Check & see if your Red Cross or Library can recommend someone. You then have the safety of knowing your child is in safe arms & is right there in your home. You can get a lot of work done in an hour or 2. Or check around for a homeschooler, they might be available now. You never know.

I highly recommend getting rest while your child is napping as well! Get outside & get some fresh air. LIbraries are great places to meet new friends.
 

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My dd is 21m and I'm still disorganised! what helped me was the occasional extra supply of iron, like 1 tablet a week (it can cause constipation), extra fruit, sunshine and early bedtime - 8.30pm is not unusual. We still cook double batches. During the weekend one of us gets to sleep late on Saturday, one on Sunday.

Also: get rid of the knick-knacks. Everything to make your life easier. Install routines that work for you; your baby ,ay take a few days getting used to them, but it will help you soooo much in daily life. E.g. we always lunch at noon, dd always goes to bed at 7. Right now, if I ask her to go to bed at 6.55 she'll say 'no', if I ask her at 7 she'll get up and walk to the door...
 

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can i tell you that my youngest is now 8 and it wasnt

until about a year ago that i felt some normalcy after 21 years of child rearing... my oldest is 21 and my youngest is amost 9....and it wasnt until about a year ago that i felt like i had some type of control over my life......so much control that i have to fight the urge to have another little bundle of joy....its completely normal....
 

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I read and article this morning that said you can have order, sanity, and kids, but only two at a time! We moved here 22 months ago and downsized houses while increasing family size (kids are 9, 5, 3, 17 mos, and one due in Oct) and have yet to attain order. It's getting better though. The only pieces of advice I have are pretty cliche

Kids need you, not stuff.

Set up routines.

Practice gratitude.

Declutter and then declutter some more.

Teach your child to pick up (and hubby too-LOL!)

Kids grow way too quickly. Let them be priority while they are young.

Take time for yourself.

Get rest if possible.
 

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I am so glad you posted this! I work early mornings 3-4 days a week and I am home by noon... I was out of work for 6 months with 2 kids (now 2 1/2 and 6 months) and found myself lazing around the house since I had nowhere to be... I got really depressed because everything I did (cleaning-wise) was immediately undone by my 2 year old. Then if I tried to make dinner, my baby needed me. It gets frustrating! I asked our old daycare provider for her advice and she said to start dinner early in the crock pot, as a PP said, and that kids love schedules. We are finally in a routine- the kids are up by 8, breakfast, bath if needed, dressed, and then we start our day. Keeping the house clean has been a challenge- I try to keep a small number of toys downstairs that don't have alot of pieces. The rest are upstairs and need to stay in the kids' room. We are trying to do more stuff outside too... that helps cut down on the messes in the house. Until my daughter brought a shovel full of potting soil in and threw it on the rug...

I feel your pain. It is not easy being a SAHM!
 

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This is something I really need help with... I mean above most everything else. How do you manage the home without going crazy!? I only have one child (13 mos) and I feel overwhelmed like every few days, tired and disorganized, sometimes depressed. I try to be organized, and I used to be perfectly before I got pregnant. Now I'm never on time getting places, I don't know what to serve my son for lunch (i think i feed him too much), I can't seem to ever have meals made ahead, have games planned to do with the baby so neither of us are not bore, even a shower at the same times every week (meaning I'll miss days). I know I get a bit distracted online, and I spend time reading in the evenings but is that really my choice - relax with a book or shower and do meal plans? I'm glad to have bills paid on time but that's probably the only thing I do on time.

I'm also wondering if I should go back to work b/c of our money situation. But my husband would rather me stay home. I wouldn't mind being home if I could figure this thing out.

So is there a secret? Or does this just go on until all my kids are like 4?

I pray about doing what's important over urgent. I try to just enjoy the day but most of the time I'm not enjoying the day or the baby, but feeling stressed, tired, unaccomplished and bored with playing peek a boo or trying to stacks blocks with him.
~

What helps me is that I ALWAYS have 2 sides to whatever we eat for dinner. I have a paper clipped to the side of my fridge & whenever I have an idea for dinner/breakfast/lunch/snack ~ I stick it up there so that I will have ideas for when my brain is tapped out. This is also where I post what we are out of or close to be out of & need to get next time I'm at the store. Then, when I have a few minutes, I put the list on a notepad in my cell phone (which I always carry) & that way when I'm at the store, I can look it up on the phone while I shop (therefore, no forgetting the list out in the car, at home, etc.

& I'd definitely take a :shower: shower either at night/in the morning & get yourself ready to go for the day. :coffee3::coffee3: & kids are easy to please esp. at that age. you can save your empty paper/toiletpaper rolls & they are happy as a clam! or a box! sounds simple, but they really don't have to be entertained all day long. Read to him, go for a walk whether in the park or around your neighborhood pointing things out to him as you go (oooh look at the bird, how many houses, mailboxes are on this street? & then count them), go to the mall (preferably 1 w/a play area for kids) this way you get out of the house & can "window shop" & he gets to have some play time with other kids. Also the local library should have some kind of program for kids.. whether reading aloud to them or whatever.

& if you need to take 1 night where you just do the meal "plan" take it & let yourself have some time just to chill on other days. & don't forget to have your husband help when he's around. give him a 10 -20 reprieve when he gets home & then say, honey I'd really appreciate your help with the baby ... while I have a break or whatever.. usually the guys are willing to help us out if we just ask AND give them a time frame of how long you are going to be (like 30 minutes or whatever). & don't forget to include your friends~ if they all work, find out if there is a MOMS group in your area. that way there are play dates w/other kids for your kiddo & you have time to get to know the other Mommies. & don't forget 1 thing. You don't have to be perfect at this. EVER. I think we Mommies tend to forget that. So just do your best & don't beat yourself up!

Hope this helps! :cool:

Kim
 

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Also, what was easiest for me (& still is) is just to make extras of what we are making for dinner & eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. I wouldn't do this for mac & cheese ~unless it's homemade like we make it!

While I'm thinking about it, an idea I "stole" from 1 of my friends is to have a quick reference guide/cookbook... copy the recipes that you like to use & put them in a binder & that way you have them at your fingertips when you need it. No searching thru the many cookbooks to find the one that you need. It's already in your favorite binder. When you find a new 1 that you & your family love, copy that recipe & put it in your binder! :relieved:

Kim
 

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First I am sending you hugs. I have been a SAHM and I have worked outside of the house. When my daughter was little the stroller was my best friend. We had one car and my hubby took it to work, so we walked everyday the weather was nice. It was fun. The library is your free option for lots of entertainment and information. Storytime, other adults, books, dvd's and cd's, a wealth of things to do. Join a local Mommy group. Most towns have them and if your doesn't, start one. My favorite book for food was Feed Me I'm Yours. There are plenty of recipes and things to feed your baby. Also there are things about crafts and parties. It is a book that I still refer to and my baby is 14. The house will be clean when your children move out. Do the best you can and it will be fine. Above all do not beat yourself up. You have a beautiful baby and you are new to all of this. Remember it gets easier and you can get to a point where you relax and have more fun. It does happen. Chin up and post what you do. I want to hear how things go.:hug2:
 

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I know it's been a couple of months since you posted this but I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. DS is 16-months and believe me...I have STRUGGLED with the balancing act for most of his young life. :jug:

I have those conflicting feelings of this being my job and needing some time to myself, and the fact that I CHOSE this and I am giving my son the best care in the world!

The advice the other ladies have given is SO valuable and I'm definitely going to be using a lot of this info. I truly depend on my "to do" list. I write down the most important things to do in a day and try to get as many of them checked off as possible. I load the dishwasher or do the dishes while DS is eating, he loves to play by himself so I get some computer time in or time to cut my coupons, I try to sleep when he does (how many moms who are working would love to trade places with you when you're able to nap during the day!), and I try to pick things up--particularly in the living room since it's highly-trafficked--a couple of times a day.

One of the best things I did was join my local MOMS Club. MOMS stands for Moms Offering Moms Support. There are about 30 women in our local club, many around the same age as me (just turned 30). It has been SO nice getting to know these women and giving my son new kids (even if they're older or slightly younger) to play with. He needs to be exposed to other kids and I need to have some adult conversation during the day! We have playdates at the park, we have coupon swaps, we volunteer, we meet for coffee (one of our local coffee shops has a kids corner), we have kids clothing exchanges, and we have a mom's night out once a month which is ALWAYS a blessing! You can check out the International MOMS Club website to see if there's a club near you: International MOMS Club - MOMS Offering Moms Support - an at-home support group for Moms.

Believe me...I know what you're going through but you're not alone and now I know I'm not either!!!!
 

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I sometimes have to break the day down into segments when it is really tough. Sometimes I just try to make it until lunch, or when the kids get home. Sometimes I just try to make it through the next hour. I have even sat down and just thought about breathing in and breathing out until I felt better. Hang in there and trust God!
 
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