Anyone else find this parenting lark incredibly hard work?

(51 Posts)
luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 11:51:06

I am really struggling at the moment. I have had sick children on and off since Christmas. My dc, 7, 6 and one are beautiful amazing children. But I am really finding things a real slog. I have really hurt my back so that makes things trickier than it should. I take medication at night which means if I don't get a big chunk of unbroken sleep I feel wrecked. I have come to the conclusion that I suck at being selfless. I crave time to do all the things I want to do without someone scrabbling at my legs. I don't mean exciting things either. More things like load the dishwasher without stopping one year old climbing in. I have a huge list of odd jobs I want to do. One year old goes to nursery two days a week so I can work but that taste of freedom has got me wanting more!

Anyone else desperate to be utterly selfish and claim their lives back? Ok rant over.

Queenofknickers Tue 09-Apr-13 12:06:01

You've got 3 DCs, one of whom is still a baby, you work outside the home and you're in pretty much constant pain. You aren't selfish - you're a bl**dy hero! grin

Can anyone help you - you must get some proper sleep on medication for back pain xxxxx

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 12:15:08

Everything feels like such hard work. I am standing in my kitchen covered in bloody raisins and I just want to lie down in and make raisin angels!

ThePippy Tue 09-Apr-13 12:25:06

Yes. My sister asked me the other day "do you even remember life before you had the kids" in a soppy eyed sentimental way (she adores kids) and I had to answer "yes, I remember it vividly and miss many aspects of it on a daily basis".

I think she was shocked and assumed I meant that I missed all the lovely holidays we used to take, but I explained I didn't give a hoot about the holidays (well I do, but I knew they would end before I chose to have kids) and that it was more the daily grind of "the job" never ending (you are a mum 24/7) and having zero personal space or time (no family locally at all) and the totally relentless nature of parenting young children. I actually look forward to a Monday these days, it feels like the new Friday.

Mine are 3.6 and 1.4 and I love them to bits but I am praying it gets easier once they are both a little older.

Keep your chin up, like the other poster said you are a hero and no doubt doing an amazing job. xx

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 13:13:26

Oh god thepippy that sounds like my friend who I just wailed to via text. I love her but her children are her career. Mine on the other hand is finalising the escape plan. I agree it is the utter monotony of it, the neverending-ness of it. I want to cry when Friday comes to an end as I know I have 5 more days till my next work day.

Btw it does get easier. My other two are 7.11 and 6.4. They play with each other all the time. Dh and I used to marvel how we could read the paper without stopping. And then I got pregnant with dc 3.....wink

It's kind of the mental energy needed too. I noticed last night that I was thinking "Wah! Can't wait for DH to come home, I really really just want to empty that dishwasher." But DD was sitting totally absorbed in Tinga Tinga tales. I could easily have emptied it. But it's just HARDER when she's there in a corner of my brain!

ThePippy Tue 09-Apr-13 13:34:53

Loving the idea of an escape plan. Some weekends seem like a constant stream of whining (from my threenager) and crying (from my toddler) and I just want to take to my car and drive away, anywhere! Thanks for giving me hope that it gets easier though. Counting the days!

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 13:40:41

I think though when they are busy doing something and don't 'need' you, it is hard not to stare into space/make cup of tea etc as you know all those chores will still be there even after they're in bed. I also long for dh to get back. Yesterday dh worked from home and so I 'escaped' pretending I needed to pop to shops for milk etc. What I really did was got in car, drove to shops, got stuff, then sat in car listening to audiobook. Was bliss, and also I missed putting to bed. How tactical is that? I would be soooooo cross if knew dh had done that.

ThePippy Tue 09-Apr-13 13:56:29

Your secret is safe luckwinner. When my DD was a baby my DH was out of work so I used to constantly make up excuses for popping out while she napped and while he did job hunting. I never knew how much pleasure I could get from a slow browse of a supermarket!

A slow browse of the supermarket - wow! I too would like a slow browse - everything looks so bloody exciting when you're whizzing past it at high speed singing "She'll be coming round the mountain."

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 14:03:40

Aah the slow trolley push round the supermarket. You can actually stop in the magazine aisle without being pleaded to for a full of tat comic that they will never read.

I am now wasting precious baby nap time by watching hair styling tutorials on bumble and bumble website. But it makes me panic slightly as I have lots of things I need to do without something hanging off my ankles.

ceebeegeebies Tue 09-Apr-13 14:03:46

I totally agree smile

I was definitely not prepared for just how much little people take over your entire life/being/mind - as another poster said, I had accepted that our lovely holidays and impromptu meals out/weekends away would end but not that my freedom would end!

My 2 are 6 and 4 and yes it is definitely getting easier - but it still feels like a relentless slog a lot of the time.

When DS1 was born, I went back to work 3 days a week - after a few months, I upped it to 4 days as I craved the freedom being at work gave me. However, I look back now and think that I wouldn't have done this if I had had DS2 first as he is SO much easier to look after whereas DS1 is just so full-on 24/7 and has been since he was born.

I too used to create reasons to go shopping just to get out of the house and give me some headspace - when DS1 was 3 months old, I eventually dragged myself back to the gym and that became my 'sanctuary' (it still is now grin).

ceebeegeebies Tue 09-Apr-13 14:06:26

I am currently sat here surfing - I have no pressing jobs to do, DS2 is at nursery and DS1 is playing football in the garden with a friend - it definitely gets so much easier wink

JemimaPuddle Tue 09-Apr-13 14:06:51

It's the relentlessness I find difficult. The fact that I can't just go take a long hot bath & read a book for example when I fancy, I either have to wait for them to be in bed or do it when DH is around but even then I can hear them or they manage to come upstairs.
I can't explain it really as it sounds ridiculously trivial when I do.

ceebeegeebies Tue 09-Apr-13 14:08:43

Jemima you don't need to explain grin I swear I can actually feel my heart sinking sometimes when I hear footsteps on the stairs when I am upstairs having some time to myself sorting out laundry/tidying up wink

BertieBotts Tue 09-Apr-13 14:11:51

I know what you mean too. There's sort of a sense of grief at your lost life/freedom, as well as guilt that you're not some kind of supermum providing a richly fulfilling childhood experience all of the time - or even most of the time. (Some days even any of the time sad) And I feel guilty that I don't enjoy DS' company. I hope that I will again when he's older. I just find him very draining and yet not that interesting. I think if he had a sibling he would be easier, but then there would be double the work...

I will have a new job soon so that will help, I think, but then there's guilt about them being in childcare if the childcare is not 100% right either. Sigh. I know the role I want to fill but I just don't really enjoy it in reality.

ThePippy Tue 09-Apr-13 14:25:04

I get the grief thing Bertie. I actually find it hard to look at old pre-kids photos as I get an overwhelming sad feeling of loss. Sounds like a terrible thing to admit and I'm sure there are some people who would not understand and would lecture that I should not have had children, but it really is a very different reality to the one I had in my head.

For the record I really hated being a parent with DD until she was probably over 1yr old (mild undiagnosed PND I think) and with DS who is now 16m I haven't got past that part yet (although the more serious diagnosed and treated PND I had with him has pretty much gone) and I am really hoping it does soon as the guilt is awful.

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 14:33:30

Ohhh the bloody guilt thing. I want to press fast forward and whizz my dd to 3 when she will do school nursery and I can skip happily off into the sunset.

It is neverending, sodding relentless. The career mother friend I moaned to this morning just texted me to say 'don't worry, you'll be back into the family routine soon. The grass always looks greener...'. I want to reply 'I know the bloody grass is greener. When do I get to lie down in that green grass?'

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 14:35:30

ps, thepippy, I loathed being a parent to two small children. So you are not on your own. I completely get that. (I had pnd with dc1 but not dc2 so history does not necessarily repeat itself.

ThePippy Tue 09-Apr-13 14:39:46

"you'll be back into the family routine soon"

That statement sends a slight chill down my spine. And that grass...that would be the lovely fresh smelling soft cool grass in the peaceful countryside well away from constant yammering from kids. Sign me up.

I just had a week off "on holiday" with my two. Came back to work today and had to made redundancies, but frankly it was still a relief. Shame I can't make myself redundant from being a mother ;-)

Carolra Tue 09-Apr-13 14:42:14

Its the washing that gets me. The endless endless washing. I do three loads of washing, and still the basket is full. Stephen King has nothing on my laundry basket. shudders

ceebeegeebies Tue 09-Apr-13 14:46:14

Carola god yes, I often think of my washing basket as the magic porridge pot wink

KittyMcAllister Tue 09-Apr-13 14:53:11

This has chimed with me too. This week I'm on annual leave but the kids are still at nursery two days a week and I love those days. Much as I enjoy their company I'm quite a solitary bod and love my own company too, just to mooch or be by myself. I've a fantasy of just booking into a hotel for a night to escape. It's just so bloody relentless.

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 15:04:46

Kitty you sound just like me. I crave my own company. Dh asked me what I wanted for my birthday a d I said a night in a hotel room on my own. Which he booked. But missed the 'on my own' bit and came too. He just doesn't get that I want my own time where I don't have to talk. He needs my attention just as much as dc. And it makes that grass practically emerald green.

ThePippy Tue 09-Apr-13 15:16:07

Kitty and Lucky you have really hit the nail on the head and its something I came to realize a while back...that I have an overwhelming need for personal space which is almost totally gone now. Like you lucky my DH doesn't really get it and thinks child free time = couple time, which if I am honest I miss less than just me time. I also have had MIL look after baby when he was little and DD was at nursery so I could go out for the day on my own, which was lovely, but what I really crave is having this me time in my own quiet space, i.e. at home. Doesn't help that DD is going through a phase of wanting mummy to do everything for her, and DS is quite clingy at the moment, so when at home my time is not my own (day or night) and I take solace in my car for the odd lunch hour at work, which I think colleagues think I'm a bit mad for rather than going for lunch with them etc.

ceebeegeebies Tue 09-Apr-13 15:24:03

Kitty and Lucky that is exactly how I used to feel shock When the DC were younger, I literally used to fantasise about spending a night in a hotel by myself - I too need my own space and I thought it would be just wonderful.

A couple of years ago, I got the opportunity via work to stay in a hotel overnight due to having 2 conduct 2 days of interviews 100 miles away - it was absolute bliss grin I had a meal in the restaurant (which was a bit weird so I didn't stop long) then took a glass of wine back to my room. I had already bought a magazine and some cake - I totally loved it smile I did have to get up early for work the next day so didn't get the opportunity to lie-in (which is the other half of my fantasy) but it was still great.

Now the DC are older, I find I don't crave space quite as much - probably because they are less demanding.

BertieBotts Tue 09-Apr-13 15:59:40

I loved DS being a baby, loved the newborn period etc. Probably because it was an excuse to stay in bed blush Once he wanted more entertaining I have found it harder.

It bugs me because I love all the child development stuff, I love having silly little conversations with him, I love doing "activities" etc. Hate the endless repeating games of lego (beyond building the models the first time) or trains, cars etc which are always exactly the same. When he gets whiny over something I thought would be fun I want to throttle him. He doesn't understand the concept of personal space and I have to really fight the urge to launch him across the room. I even instilled a "calm down corner" which I put myself in sometimes when I need space! Need DP to help me instil that concept a bit more I think. That's another thing, I like all the theories of gentle discipline and autonomous education etc but I'm utterly shit at actually doing it. I'd love to be a man and have the nice family etc just for 2 hours every weekday and weekends and never be alone with the children apart from rarely grin

I'm an extrovert and really crave adult interaction to make me feel sane, but DP is an introvert and is usually exhausted after socialising all day at work and being with DS and just wants quiet time in the evenings!

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 16:23:28

I constantly wish I was the man so I could enjoy that commute, the lunch hours, the walking in when the dc are fed, watered and are in bed. Also, it seems it's always us who organises the logistics, the routine etc. god whinge whinge.

mummy2benji Tue 09-Apr-13 16:50:10

Have also had sick children (ds 4, and dd 5 months) on and off since Christmas. Finding it hard going right now too - I just long to have 1) a little bit of time to myself, 2) time to have a nice long shower, not a high speed 30 second rinse while one child wails and the other child wanders in to announce "I need a poo" then plonks himself down on the loo, 3) time to load the dishwasher / do the backlog of laundry (I'm not convinced my laundry basket has a bottom - I've never seen it) / do the vacuuming. I try to console myself with the fact that my kids won't be hyper-allergic to loads of things as I don't have a pristine house.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Tue 09-Apr-13 16:59:03

Yes, yes, yes. Especially at the idea of taking yourself off to a hotel somewhere. I work two days a week in london (so I have to take the train to work and no-one really knows where I am at any given time) - I was fantasising the other day about booking a day off work but not telling anyone and going to a day spa. I know I won't have the guts to do it and lie about it, but it was still a nice daydream...

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 18:35:40

Loveis I think that is a fabulous idea. My devious plan today is instead of going to my tap dance class, which tbh I only go 50% of the time, I am going to window shop round Westfield.

KittyMcAllister Tue 09-Apr-13 18:35:55

I'm so glad it's not just me! I actually love getting the bus to work, enjoy the alone time with my music on etc - never thought such moments would be so precious! I do do things with my little ones (age 3.5 & 1.5) but done days I just wish I could muster a little more enthusiasm and less boredom/resentment...I also know that I will desperately miss that physical aspect of child-rearing when they're older and don't want to know me. I can't win!

fairylightsinthespring Tue 09-Apr-13 19:30:11

god, its bizarre how sometimes a thread is just EXACTLY what you've been thinking all day! I usually work 3 days (teacher) and DH is too so in the holidays we're all together (Kids are 3.5 and 1.11) but he is away this week so I am getting a taste of SAHM life and I want to die. I am counting the hours and desperately planning activites and ringing anyone I can think of who might be free to come and help me fill the hours. I have been much more shouty with DS than usual over his annoying habits and general "threeness". I have two more days and then on Saturday I am actually cashing the voucher I got from the DCs as a xmas present for a day in the house by myself grin I have no idea what people mean when they say they don;t remember life without kids - I remember exactly what it was like to have a lie in, not have to tiptoe around the house, set the boiler to come on when you want, not when it won't wake the DCs, have a hot cup of tea all the way to the bottom, not be randomly assaulted and headbutted on a daily basis.... love them, but sometimes....

luckywinner Tue 09-Apr-13 20:18:13

Grrrrrrr the cold tea thing. God that pisses me off. Dh now stuck at work so my dream of wandering around Westfield has turned into battling the spilling pile of washing while watching the dust tumble weeds that I haven't been able to hoover roll across the floor.

Fairy I love the idea of a voucher. I am going to plant that one firmly in dh's head.

Mummy2benji, you are in good company there, I am a complete slattern with housework. Could possible stretch to having a cleaner but then that would mess up my childcare budget and there is no way I am losing that.

I long to be one of those parents who 'do' stuff with their kids rather than cobble it together each day. Even my ds said to me before bed, 'would it be ok tomorrow if we got a bit of fresh air,'. oops.

BeaWheesht Tue 09-Apr-13 20:46:42

You're not alone. Kids or me have been ill almost continuously since October. I'm knackered.

Kids are 2.5 and 6 and I've been trying to do fun school holiday stuff but what I've wanted to do, today especially, is read a book and eat chocolate. Or even, actually, get on with some decent level of housework without someone needing me for something.

Feel like a shit mum because I've been a Sahm for 6 years so surely I shouldn't have days like this ??? Bleurgh.

Zatopek Tue 09-Apr-13 21:00:42

I just really wanted a poo in peace this morning. (DP was in bed). DD2 followed me up then DD1 said she was coming too. They stood around my ankles tearing off loo roll for me and fighting over it too.

Is there no privacy or dignity left once you have kids?

The other day it was the tampons they were fighting over as I was trying to explain what they were for. They ended up using the "unused" applicators as toy lipsticks.

mummy2benji Tue 09-Apr-13 21:55:05

Oh yes, cold cups of tea and coffee! I always end up microwaving mine to rewarm them (coffee not tea - microwaved tea eugh) and still don't find the time to drink the whole cup. Grrrrrr.

lucky ds1 actually picked up something in the living room the other day and asked "what is this, Mummy?" It was a dust tumbleweed. My surprise was due to the fact that he wasn't more familiar with the substance that coats our floor.

mummy2benji Tue 09-Apr-13 21:57:19

Oh and zatopek - no, no privacy left at all. I was having one of my speedy 30 second showers the other morning when ds1 (4) wandered in, sat down on the toilet and proceeded to start pooing, then looked at me appraisingly and announced "Mummy, you have hair on your bottom. I didn't know that. How silly!" Words fail me.

BeaWheesht Tue 09-Apr-13 23:32:02

Yes to personal space issues - I regularly have 2 kids and a dog in the bathroom with me. Just piss bloody off!

My friends had her first baby tonight - in honour of this thread I'm just off to order her a thermal mug grin

luckywinner Wed 10-Apr-13 08:25:26

Morning all drained ladies. Oh the night has run into the day with demands. Here we go again.

tungthai Wed 10-Apr-13 08:44:52

Just read this thread and I feel so relieved. I honestly thought it was just me who felt like this.

With ds1 I found the baby bit a breeze and then hit a brick wall between 9 months - 2.5 and started enjoying him when he would sit still for 5 minutes. Ds2 is almost 3 and I'm still waiting for it to get easier. It's relentless, I find having 2 children 10 times harder than just having 1. Ds1 and I just seem to argue all the time and I don't have any control over them at all.

I only enjoy being a parent when they are in bed and the guilt of feeling like this is horrendous.

I have a relative who seems to rejoice in everything her dc does even when he is being a complete PITA. He will be wrecking the joint and demanding a drink for the 20th time in 5 minutes and she has a genuine smile on her face.

ceebeegeebies Wed 10-Apr-13 08:45:58

Morning smile

Don't want to make all you other ladies envy but I have manufactured my own 'me-time' this morning grin

I am on holiday this week, DS2 is at nursery (he always goes, even when either me or DH are off with DS1) and I had booked DS1 in to the school holiday club for the morning (and tomorrow morning) grin

I haven't told some of my friends as they are the 'earth mother' type and would be horrified that I was at home and had put both DC into childcare but I am guessing you will all understand.

Am watching the final Big Reunion now, am going to the gym shortly...lovely!

In fact DS1 sulked this morning when I told him i was picking him up at lunchtime as he wants to stay at holiday club all day...I missed a trick there!!

luckywinner Wed 10-Apr-13 10:39:58

Tungthai, promise you are not on your own. As one of my like-minded friends said, 'I love my children most when they are asleep'.

I really struggle with the sacrifices made to have children, which seem to be more mine than dh.

However, if it makes you feel a tiny bit better, at swimming class the other day when I was trying to get older dc ready for lesson whilst trying to stop the baby from licking the floor, another mum asked me how I seemed so calm amongst such chaos. So it seems I fake in control rather well, when it feels like hurricane katrina in my head.

Cee, I am soooooooooo jealous of gym time, and I loathe the gym! Good engineering on your behalf. And stuff the earth mothers. Enjoy huge cup of tea afterwards.

Now off to squeeze in a quick shower whilst baby asleep and other two are lego-ing.

ceebeegeebies Wed 10-Apr-13 12:15:23

Does anyone else have FB feeds full of comments from other mums about how wonderful it is during the school hols, so much planned, dreading them going back to school, photos of crafty/baking stuff that they have done?

Doesn't make me feel worse about the fact that I have sent DS1 to holiday club...honest wink

BertieBotts Wed 10-Apr-13 12:44:31

DP and I had a conversation last night because I was doing my whole "I'm so shit at everything" cycle thing and I feel much better grin Looking forward to being able to work properly when we move to Germany in the summer.

Sioda Wed 10-Apr-13 12:53:39

Oh god yes it's awful. I don't know where to start. Sick baby, sick me, non sleeping baby, teething baby, grumpy baby. Wants to walk all the time but hysterics when falls so have to hover holding on to her collar. All. Day. Long. For months now. Feel like death and my back is broken. My few babysitters all have bad backs so aren't much help plus only mummy or daddy will do most of the time (or granny who lives too far away).

Off work sick and DP (SAHD) here too and even with two fof us it's still awful. Napped for ten minutes this morning then woke up just as we were nodding off hoping we'd get a nap too. The tantrums have started already too. Don't want to even think about how much worse they'll get. Should have hobbled in to work, it's much easier, but then would have felt guilty for not helping DP when she's like this. Had to drive for half an hour at 11pm last night to get her to sleep when everything else failed. Am so exhausted this may not even make much sense. Feel like am never ever going to get a life back - just work, baby, housework. Repeat. They've gone to meet a friend for lunch and it's absolutely glorious sitting in the house alone even if I am ignoring all the work that needs doing and lunch that needs eating.

lifesobeautiful Wed 10-Apr-13 13:16:59

I often fantasise about running away to Thailand and spending all day sipping cocktails and reading books on the beach - on my OWN!! Sigh...I can but dream! Zatopek your post actually made me laugh out loud!!! Where's the dignity!!! And yes - boo hiss to earth mothers who crow on about how much they love every second of every minute. I've got two words for them - and the first begins with F!

gourd Wed 10-Apr-13 13:32:25

Yes, think you generally do find it hard work if you are any good at it. Parents who dont actually care very much probably find it a lot less exhausting/stressful.

fairylightsinthespring Wed 10-Apr-13 14:47:44

My present for any new mum is a thermal mug with a lid and at least two packets of biscuits smile I find I can cope with a LOT if I manage a couple of decent cups of tea. Also, there are some days when it all goes right, no-one poos in the swimming pool or at soft play, everyone eats their dinner, we don't have the tv on for 8 hours, and I get to the end and think 'well, this is ok", then there are other days when all of the above happens (or doesn't, in the case of dinner) and you just want to kill someone. Sometimes I can shrug and smile and deal with the rubbish days and other times I stamp around and shout which of course just makes it worse. Mumsnet mantra no 1 "its a phase"!

plummyjam Wed 10-Apr-13 15:07:32

I've only got one DD aged 8 weeks but already finding it mega hard work. If I'm ever feeling overwhelmed though, I just take her out for a walk. I live in a mainly Jewish area where many grin women have large families often with small age gaps - a typical sight is mum with tiny baby in pushchair with 2,3 or even 4 other small children in tow.

To see so many other mums working harder than I am tends to steel my resolve and mentally I tell myself to "man up"!

plummyjam Wed 10-Apr-13 15:08:29

Whoops smiley ended up in wrong place should have been at end blush grin

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