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To ask what I am doing wrong here?(23 Posts)
I can't seem to find a balance in my life, and feel so tired and bogged down all of the time.
Can I ask you to take a look at my life/routine and tell me, am I doing it all wrong? How can I make myself feel better, and be less tired so that I can be a bit happier and more enthusiastic around my children?
I'm a stay at home mum with 3 children, aged 1, 3 and 5. Eldest at school, middle child at half day nursery, and youngest at home with me all day.
The kids and i wake up about 7.30, have breakfast and walk to school. When the baby naps I do laundry and cook lunch/dinner in advance.
After school it's an activity, play date or just straight home. We do a bit of homework, dinner at 5pm, and in bed by 7.30-8pm.
I go to bed around 11pm. My husband and I never do much in the evenings, just veg out. House is always pretty messy because at the week ends we're so tired. We never really get any exercise though I walk everywhere and we do eat healthily. We don't drink but do smoke 1-2 cigarettes in the evening.
My life sounds pretty boring on paper! We do have a beautiful little family though and good friends and family. We're very bad at making an effort to socialise though. Are we just lazy? Or is everyone else out there with young children this tired all the time?
I have no idea what it's like to have three children, but to me, it seems like you have too much routine in your life. I'm someone who hates routine, so obviously I'm only speaking from my own POV but maybe shake it up a bit? Like take up a new hobby so you can get out in the evenings or just get out of the house a bit more? Really hope that doesn't sound naive, like I said, no experience of three children!
I wish I were as organised as you! Can I ask, what do you do for fun? Your family is very young so it's natural that you're not going out much, but you do deserve to do something for yourself that reminds you who you are...
Also, if you're constantly tired, perhaps get the doc to check your iron levels?
It's lovely but busy, belle! I really love a routine, it keeps me together. Agree that angina out or two wouldn't go amiss though
I will check iron levels, thanks, I remember they were a bit low with my last pregnancy and my mum is anaemic.
Yes, check iron and thyroid too. A good multi vitamin would help.
11pm bedtime every night sounds very late if you are getting up at 7.30
but that might just be me. I function best on 10 hours sleep a night, so 9.30 - 10pm bed time might give you a bit of an energy boost. (am off work tomorrow, hence late night tonight)
Also, I agree, I'm not seeing much fun about in your routine. Do you get to go out together just adults from time to time, sans enfants? What about meeting friends for coffee or doing a hobby?
Iron a defo. Lots of people (especially women with young children) are deficient and it's a big cause of TATT (tired all the time - so common it has its own acronym!) It's a blood test but worth it as you can get proper strong tablets on prescription then rather than using spatone etc - my doctor reckons they are useless, anyway.
Do you have future plans with your DH or are they more along the lines of "Survive the next year with 3 under 5"? (Nothing wrong with that, but it's fun to have something to dream about, plan and work towards even if it's very far away or a complete fantasy)
I'm a stay at home mum with 3 children, aged 1, 3 and 5.
Just reading that bit exhausted me. No wonder you're knackered.
I probably should go to bed earlier, though I end up staying up late reading or on mumsnet because it's the only time I have to myself! Bit of a vicious circle really.
We do have future plans but all a bit up in the air at the moment at we're in quite a lot of debt so I worry about that a lot
You are doing nothing wrong.
3 under 5 years old I'm tired just reading that alone.
I feel like this a lot. I think it's part of having small children.
I try to exercise at least two or three times a week, although don't always manage. I've also been crocheting a bit which is really soothing. My poor children have been recipients of some really freaky stuffed toys I think it's ok to crash out amidst the chaos and say "I'll do it tomorrow". I do this all the time but feel really guilty. I'm trying to stop the guilt, it's needless!
I'm sure it will get better.
when they leave home
I had the same - three kids in four years. I went to bed earlier than you do and so did they. But that is a personal sleep thing, I need loads, always have. I don't think you are at all unusual or are doing anything wrong.
Check your iron levels as others have said but also check your mood. It would not be unusual if you were a bit low, given how little time you have for yourself.
Do you really have to spend nap time doing chores? Would the baby explode if s/he had to watch you cook and do laundry? Then you would have those nap times for yourself.
I wouldn't feel guilty that you are being somehow boring. You say you have good friends and family so you are doing someone right. I expect the excitement of a new baby is fading, the work of having three is kicking in, and you can't quite see an end to it. Be kind to yourself, make the baby fit in a bit, and get a little bit of me time. Energy to do more socialising will come in a year or so when baby goes to nursery too.
I also wouldn't feel guilty that you ought to have more energy for the DC. They are like vampires, they have all the energy because they suck it out from us. You need to protect yourself more. They will be fine.
Can you possibly afford a cleaner? I got one when DC3 was around a year as that was such a busy time.
Can you work out a way to have a regular night out with you DH. It can be something cheap. My DH and I have always done it been though its not always been easy and sometimes would seem like to much effort. However, once we were out we would enjoy ourselves a lt.
Do you get out the house a lot sport or exercise is really important to me. It makes me feel happy. My DC (four of them) were born ey close together so there have been times where it was hard to exercise but I could usually manage a walk with the pram and some friends.
I had 4 aged newborn to 5 years at one point and can totally relate to your post. They are now almost 11, 9, almost 8 and 5 and it's so much easier and we have a lotmore fun. It is hard work when they are very small, I just wanted to say it does get better.
I found cutting back on the routine and reducing chores I deemed "necessary" helped. I haven't owned an iron for YEARS!
I would go to be an hour earlier, say at 9.30 or 10pm, see if that makes a difference.
you sound pretty normal to me. little kids are tiring. it gets physically easier ad they get older.
you need to go to bed much earlier.
Take some vitamins/supplements, a good daily multivitamin will do.
Drink more water.
Set up some goals to look forward to.
Short term, perhaps a good book/film/takeaway/special evening with Dh
Middle term, perhaps a trip/course/redecorate
Long term, perhaps job/move/holiday
I find taking and looking at family snaps makes me feel satisfied
Watching with interest - I had 3 under two and am knackered still. If I go to bed early I can't sleep.
What do you do at the weekends? Your weekday routine sounds normal to me, but like someone upthread said, Maybe use dc3's nap time for yourself rather than cooking and cleaning. Id just make sure you do something nice as a family every weekend if you are worried about things being a bit mundane, and make regular time for just you and hubby even if just once per month as something to look forward to.
3 under 5 must be exhausting though, and not leave much time for anything so don't be too hard on yourself. Just getting through the day/week is an accomplishment!
Mine are exactly the ages of yours and my life sounds like yours, except I will be working again from September. I've found making time to read, exercise classes and crochet help. Also bed by 10 will really help you, even if just a couple of times a week. Busy, tired but worth it!
Seconding exercise, I always find I'm less tired and lethargic when i exercise a bit. Could you go for a run sometime? Or get an eercise DVDD? Yoga or zumba maybe? You might even find the older DC may mimic you when you do it, I know my DN likes to do yoga when i do. Annoying thing is she's only 5 and so flexible so she put me-whose done it for a decade- to shame!
Get your iron/vitamin B and thyroid levels checked too but the heat will make you more tired anyhow.
Also maybe it's too much routine? Maybe you need to shake it up a bit and do something a bit different? Could you find a sitter for 1 evening a week to go out with DH? Even if it's just for a long walk together?
OMG you are describing my life (almost !) Was just sitting here before lamenting my life - its Friday night and I'm on the computer - - mumsnetting and checking facebook - - doing uni work, and DH is watching time team, we're both drinking tea.
I have 3 DS - 5, 2 and 10 months. 5 yo at school but has SN so needs extra work at times. As you know it's pretty full on !
It's hard - all my good friends work full time and have a lot more $$ than us, do all these wonderful things with their kids in weekends, and while I have mum friends, they are more like aquaintances.
To answer your question - no you are doing nothing wrong.
One thing I've found, is to have something to look forward to every day after kids have gone to bed - eg Thurs nights Mrs Brown's boys is on here which is good for me to laugh at. Weds, in the newspaper, theres a cool inner section I enjoy reading etc etc.
And, as DH said to me the other morning when we were woken up at 5:30 by 2 small boys who had both wet their beds and were talking 19 to the dozen, in 10 years time (when they're teenagers who won't get out of bed and only grunt) we'll be looking back at this phase longingly .. . . .
Why not try going to bed 10 pm?
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