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To feel no time and feel constantly guilty

(36 Posts)
wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 20:51:02


I just wondered if i alone in feeling that I am always in a rush and constantly trying to spin about 27 plates in the air. Is this just motherhood or I am I going wrong somewhere?? Help?

I have 2 kids aged 5 (at school) and a 3 year old.
I work part time as a teacher, on those days the kids have a childminder/ go to nursery.
I have a husband
I have a house
I have parents that are elderly and ill.

All pretty normal I realise, but I just dont seem to able to manage it all. I always feel I am letting someone down. Mostly my mother. Who is constantly disappointed in the lack of time I have to spend with her and doing things with her.

I get up every day at 5.30, on the 3 days I work I go to work and get back about 5- 5.30. By the time I pick up the kids, do reading, tea, bath and bed it is 7.30. I am shattered and barely able to manage an eposide of corry before I go to bed at 9ish.

On the days I dont work in the week I am full on cleaning the house, catching up with washing. Jobs like taking the care for MOT, daughter for vaccine, swimming lessons, taking parents to various medical appointments. I honestly do not sit down. In fact the only time I will sit down is if I pay for dd to do an extra session at nursery so I can catch up with marking or report writing.

At the weekend it does not really feel much better, there is always stuff to do in the house like the garden and cleaning. I feel it important to do interesting things with the kids rather then just putting them in front of the telly. So we will usually go swimming and /or park as a family. There just never seems to be any time for me. And all the time my mum is quizzing me on what I am doing and why I have not been to see her.

The only time I actually get to myself is when I go the hairdressers (once every 6 weeks). Which I am made to feel really guilty about by my Mum; as if I am indulging myself. I would love to go the gym and try to loose some weight but I just dont have the time. I wonder how other people do it? Do I just need more sleep then others?

I have no one to help us with childcare at all. It is just me and dh (other than nursery childminder on school days) so there is no break in waking hours. In the evening I am tied, often have marking and to be honest just want to watch a bit of telly, have tea, or maybe even a shag with my dh. But my mum thinks I should come out to visit her in the evening and makes me feel really guilty about it. She frequently phones and asks me to get her things she does not really need - I feel as a sort of control thing to make me come round.

I have put things in place to save time like having shopping deliveried and ironing sent out. I have thought about getting a cleaner and or gardener but the commitment to pay someone every week is probably more than we can afford.

I should point out my mum has various non terminal health conditions and lives in a lovely care home. All her needs are met. But she is bored. Do you think I am being mean to spend the majority of the very little free time i do get with my kids and dh.

scurryfunge Sun 28-Apr-13 20:54:45

Can your husband not share the workload at all? You seem to be doing it all.

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 21:00:04

I actually feel he does do his bit. He works long hours and even once he his home he is often on call. He also has crohns disease which can sometimes put him out of action. When it flairs up and cant actually help it makes me realise how much he does do usually.

Portofino Sun 28-Apr-13 21:01:15

Yes what is your dh doing?

wannabedomesticgoddess Sun 28-Apr-13 21:06:01

The thing with your mother is hard. Tbh I think that perhaps if you werent carrying that guilt around with you the rest might feel a bit easier.

Do you have siblings?

geologygirl Sun 28-Apr-13 21:12:17

Can you tell us exactly what your hubby does to help with the kids, cleaning etc? Sounds like you have loads on your plate and I think you are doing a great job. The fact that you are feeling guilty says to me that you put everyone else first and soon you will burn yourself out completely. Can any other family help with your mum etc?

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 21:13:09

Yes I have a brother - he is currently on a round the world backpacking trip. He spends lots of time travelling.

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 21:19:07

My husband works 5 days a week 8.30-5.30. He comein from work at 6 and helps with the kids tea and bedtimes. He them goes for a run. Which is something we have both agreed is really important as it helps keep his crohns under control. Every other day he is on call for work so may tak several calls at the weeked.

At the weekend we do things together as a family and on sunday morning he takes his own elderly mother to church. I really do feel he pulls his weight.

Unami Sun 28-Apr-13 21:22:24

My god, it does sound like you have a lot on your plate. I do think it is unreasonable that your mum expects you to visit so often - doesn't she remember what it's like to have a young family? And she definitely wouldn't be guilt tripping you. I don't think you should be going round at the drop of the hat to bring her things she's spuriously requested. The guilt thing is a difficult issue - can you settle on regular visiting times where she can definitely expect to see you, and won't feel let down by you not coming, and cut out all the 'spontaneous' ones? It's also shit that your brother doesn't seem to be doing his bit.

Seconding other posters, it sounds like you need to take another look at how the housework and childcare is distributed.

Oh, and bugger the gardening - that can wait (unless you really enjoy doing it, which it doesn't sound like). Can you think about cutting back on the cleaning at all? I, personally, don't think it's that important to have a very tidy house and can live with a bit of mess at busy times.

Also, do you have to get up at 5.30? I know that you may have no choice, but if there's a way to avoid such an early start, then maybe you could have a bit more time to yourself in the evening instead.

sittinginthesun Sun 28-Apr-13 21:25:06

My work/life balance was similar to yours a few years ago. I think the hardest thing you are dealing with is the guilt from your mum - if you're the sort of person who has spent your life trying to please a parent, and they know how to press your buttons, it is very hard to handle.

I always felt that, no matter what I did, I was not giving my parents enough time, which frankly I didn't have.

In my case, it sorted out rather sadly. My dad died, I hit rock bottom, and ended up seeing the most wonderful counsellor who explained it all.

I wish I'd got my head straight years before - her suggestion was to do what I felt was the right thing, make a decision to visit etc, then accept that if my mum etc was not happy with it, that was her problem, not mine. After six sessions, the guilt just vanished.

I'm still stupidly busy, but my children are both at school now, easier to arrange play dates so I get the odd hour here and there. Easier to leave with DH and just swan off to the theatre etc.

Sorry for ramble, but I probably wrote your post half a dozen times in the past. smile

P.S. get a cleaner! It is worth every penny!!!

Hassled Sun 28-Apr-13 21:30:17

Have you sat down with your mother and explained what your life is like? Have you told her how she makes you feel?

You have no reason whatsoever for feeling guilty - it sounds to me like you have a lot on your plate and are doing a good job. Remove the guilt and you'd be doing a better job. Talk to her - if she won't listen or it makes no difference then you'll know you have tried.

Is there anything that could make your mother less bored? Has she discovered the internet? Any clubs or anything?

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 21:32:39

thanks for your reply Unami. I can honestly say my house is not that clean or tidy - it is just about acceptable. The garden is a bugger I agree. Ours is too big really. I mowed the front garden today and it took an hour. Last year a neighbour actually knocked to ask what was happen with out hedge as it was covering the width of the pavement. I tend to leave to back as no one but us can see that.

We make overpayments on the mortgage at the moment. One option we are considering is stopping these to pay for cleaner and gardener. I do though also have an uncomfortable feeling about the idea of having people do stuff like this for me. Especially cleaning our bathroom and stuff.

ovenchips Sun 28-Apr-13 21:46:13

Wendy don't know if it's stating the bleeding obvious but you don't have to commit to a cleaner on a weekly basis but could go fortnightly or 4 weekly even. It sounds like it would still really help you.

Wrt your mother, it is difficult. 2 suggestions: could you Skype/FaceTime her a couple of evenings a week (with a defined timeframe - just 10 mins or so)? Any way to incorporate a visit to her from all of you or her to you on a weekend so that it's part of activities rather than something else to add to list ie visiting park, museum etc.

I do agree with posts above though saying you should decide what is reasonable contact/ visits with your mum and simply not allow guilt to enter your head. Have some stock phrases to use with your mum to quash any guilt-inducing statements.

Best of luck and hope you manage to feel less harassed and knackered soon. If it's any consolation it sounds like you are doing a great job managing a lot on your plate.

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 21:47:57

Thanks Sittinginthesun and Hassled.

I have sat with my mother and tried to explain. But to be honest she has so much time she has no concept at all.

I also have to look after my dad who has dementia and lives at home with no carers. So I have to visit him everyday on my way to and from work. My mum is jealous of this I think. But he needs this - she is well cared for where she is. Anyway he is special dementia tablets that needed to picked up from the hospital the GP once a month. I tried to explian that this takes up half a day every month picking them up. And she just could not understand that after a 30 min drive each way and seating in a hospital waiting room I could not bring a 3 year old to visit her. She needed to go the park to run around for bit. So after the protests that picking my dads tablets should not prevent me visiting her I went on the way back last month. DD ran amok and was naughty as I predicted, and my mother told me off for dd'd behaviour.

In terms of interests my mum refuses to be interested in anything. She has a laptop with wifi, she can use perfectly well. But if she wants any banking or shopping doen online or emails sent she calls me to do them.
I have got her DVD box sets and books but she never even opens them.

ovenchips Sun 28-Apr-13 21:50:29

PS I forgot to say I would be tempted to airily give my mother a copy of my weekly timetable/ schedule. I think it's v hard to get a handle on another person's busyness, especially if you have a lot if time on your hands yourself.

And use those overpayments on cleaning/ gardening help immediately if not before! Even if you only do it until both children are in full time school.

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 21:52:10

Hi Ovenchips, actually i had not thought of a fortnightly or monthly option. Definately something i will think about.

I visit my mum usually on both week days that I do not work and once at the weekend. I bring to my house or take her out at least once a month.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 28-Apr-13 21:59:06

Eventually the getting up early becomes self-defeating. You end up shattered and moving slower and slower. In your shoes I would aim to get up at least half an hour later.

Is it possible for your DH to do things like put a laundry load on before he goes for a run? When he gets back he takes it out, puts it in the tumbledrier and puts another load on with his running stuff.

We have three DCs and understand the laundry issue. We are on 3 loads a day. If we miss a day of laundry then risk disappearing into a laundry tsunami.

cookiemonster100 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:01:11

Hi Wendy,

You do sound like you have a lot on. I would recommend getting a cleaner and Gardner to help out, try and outsource some the work you are doing in the home out to help free some time. I also have the same feeling about having someone in doing the cleaning, but its worth its wait in gold with the time you get back.
Could your mum come & spend a day with you in the week. That way you are in your own home, the kids are settled and she can accompany you when you take the kids out and about ( and see how busy you are!!) , and you are not splitting your physical time between your mum and kids. Not sure how practical that suggestion is but it might help.
Hope this helps, I wish you well

PatsysDouble Sun 28-Apr-13 22:06:55

That sounds like a massive undertaking!

I'm a part-time teacher also, 3 days spread over 4, 3 kids (2 at school), separated from H.

Make life easy on yourself where you can. My Mum nagged me about getting a cleaner for ages, when I eventually gave in I found it made such a difference.

I tutored 1 hour a week in order to do this. It is sooooo worth it. If you can arrange them to come on a work day, the calming effect of coming home to a house that is clean and tidy is amazing. The lady who cleans for me desparately needed a job when her husband was made redundant and keeps telling me how much she loves it. You may well find yourself helping out someone else in the process.

If you can stretch to someone to do your lawns too, go for it. Even just for a couple of months........

The 5.30 start sounds pretty extreme - is there any way you can stream line your mornings? Do you make packed lunches in the morning? I do them while making dinner, or at lunchtime if a home day. We manage to take an hour from me getting up to all getting out of the house on a work day.

Non of these help with your Mum, but might just take a few other pressures off your shoulders.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 28-Apr-13 22:08:13

I have just seen the frequency with which you are visiting your DM. How far away from you is she? Ultimately you are not responsible for her happiness. No matter what you do she will not get enough from you. Easier said than done but could you reclaim one of the midweek days for yourself?

Dont apologise, dont explain.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:12:27

As you say, you are a wife, mother, teacher, daughter, and a person in your own right (which definitely should't come last!). You have loads on your plate and I think you are doing a fantastic job! It sounds like you and DH work well together and this is so important. You should feel proud of yourself. But you are working too hard, and 5.30 is an insane time to get up! I wouldn't hesitate about getting a cleaner and/or gardener. I don't really understand the problem with paying for someone to do these things. This will free up a bit of time for yourself.

It can be hard for elderly, retired parents to remember the pace of life when you work and have young kids. My mum phones me in the middle of the day for a chat, or is shocked that we have to do the chores in the evening - they just forget they once lived like that! I think you are a wonderful daughter, very attentive.

Don't be hard on yourself, and try to get a cleaner or whatever else would make your life a bit easier.

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:18:49

I have to check in on my dad in the morning and drop both kids off in different places and be at work at 8.25 (35mins drive away), so no could not get up later (plus a have frizzy hair that takes a few minutes to tame!). We only have one car so dh and I do all this together. The problem with getting up at 5.30 on my work days mean my 3 year old is tuned into the getting up at that time so there is no lie in other days.

Beckamaw Sun 28-Apr-13 22:26:27

I feel your pain.
3 kids, work full time, no time for anything. DP is no lazy git either. We often eat at about 11pm.
I usually get 5-ish hours sleep. I have a thyroid problem, so if I am hyper I manage OK. When I am over medicated and go hypo, it is absolute crap.
We are moving soon to make life easier. Somehow we have to pack though, the thought of which makes me want to crawl under a rock.

thanks To you OP.

Whoknowswhocares Sun 28-Apr-13 22:30:09

In the nicest possible way, I don't think it is realistic for your dad to depend on you being there twice a day with your other commitments. Surely the time has come for some sort of carer help? Otherwise you will burn yourself out and everything will fall to pieces, which will help no one

wendy1969 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:35:43

My dad does not recognise he needs help and refuses point blank to have anyone coming in. To clean or otherwise so it all falls on me. To be honest he is not too much of a problem as I pop in with his tablets in the morning (he forgets to take hem or takes them all at once unless I control them) and just make sure he is up and drop off things like fresh milk and the paper. I then call in on my home with tablets and something for his tea. He cooks it himself (i get ready meals or cooked chicken or something easy) so I am only there 10 mins or so each day. On a friday I bring him up to our house for his tea.

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