To ask for words of wisdom, how could I have handled this better?(34 Posts)
Earlier on I turned into the Incredible Hulk, I don't know if I had a panic attack or just a fit of rage, but I lost it. This is what happened.
I got home from work at 4pm, two children in tow, having left the house relatively tidy this morning. I was hoping to hoover the stairs, give the bathroom a quick wipe over, put away a pile of laundry and hang out another, wipe kitchen worktops, and make a pasta dish. All before 6pm. I thought that was reasonable.
Instead of that, when I went upstairs to get changed, use the toilet, get the kids to wash their hands and make sure ds1 didn't throw his uniform on the floor. What happened was, my 22 month old threw a load of ds1s toys down the stairs and put the toothpaste and a shampoo bottle down the toilet.
I fixed this and went downstairs to do laundry. My toddler wouldn't let me do laundry because he either wanted to climb all over me, climb on the window ledges, throw toys behind the tv, and pull over any laundry I'd folded. I eventually did manage to fold it.
Then I discovered ds had had a snack and left crumbs, wrappers and bananas skin all over the clean table and the floor, then the toddler pulled over all the huge pile of washing I'd folded. I gave up and went to make dinner.
I decided I couldn't be bothered to make the pasta dish because by this point the baby was screaming because he's tired, he won't sit in his highchair and just climbs out, I've got nowhere to put him safely because he climbs onto everything. So I chucked some oven chips in to do egg, chips and beans.
Meanwhile the toddler is screaming, dh has been shoving a load of carrier bags between the fridge and kitchen cupboard and a load of freezer bags which he's bought home from work in a cupboard, all of which fell on me when I opened the cupboard.
I lost it at that point and started half crying, half hyperventilating, I got all the carriers and freezer bags and shoved them in the bin in a rage, as well as everything else dh had left lying around for the baby to grab. I felt like I was shaking and my chest was tight, I felt like I wanted to throw all the crap and clutter out onto the road.
I did then calm down because I felt like I'd had a release, but I had to leave the room when ds1 started dropping egg on the floor.
I'm in bed now, dh bathing the toddler, we haven't eaten yet ourselves and I've got a splitting headache and feel utterly useless and deflated.
I'm not mad with my kids, I love them dearly but I'm frustrated with how hard simple things seem to be to get done.
On my working days I can barely seem to get the basics done, there's more mess created than I can keep up with, I feel like just not going back to work so I can be a mum and do what needs to get done.
Umm I'm a SAHM but your list of what to do from 4-6 sounds like what I would manage in a day with two kids in tow, not 2 hours. Sounds like a pretty full on list.
Are the kids just trying to get your attention after being away from you all day? Could you plan to get home, get changed, play for 45min, then cook tea? The chores can be split between you and DH maybe. The only really essential chore there was hanging out wet laundry. Dry stuff can be worn straight out the basket and cleaning is less important than playing in my book.
I have anxiety attacks that sound a lot like the physical symptoms you've just described. Be kind to yourself
You're not useless. It must be difficult juggling young children and running a household. I create mess and my mega tidying ups generate more mess. It's my own mess and I get overwhelmed. Why can't I put something away when I've finished with it? Just as well I have no children.
Short of locking your children in a dog crate you just need to do your best and no-one else's.
I bet if you made a things I have done list there will be more completed tasks than a things to do list.
Have a and
Sorry, laughing...not at you but with empathy! They will grow up - and present different problems. I hope tomorrow is easier!
Poor you - I'm in awe of you juggling work + 2 children AND trying to do a load of chores as well.
I second Batteries: when I went back to work DS was 6 months old. He went to a childminder and the ONLY thing I did when I picked him up at 6pm was to be with him for an hour before bedtime started, playing or just sitting together in front of the TV. I ignored absolutely everything else and didn't care a stuff if things didn't get done.
I hung laundry up once he was in bed and we had easy meals (mostly cooked by DH) in those early days. Just about everything else waited until the w/e or was just ignored. My standards (never sky high, TBF) were reduced significantly.
We were never lucky enough to have another, but I know how hard it is with one so can only imagine with two... Can you reduce your standards / split the chores more evenly / think carefully about what really matters to you?
Either way, there are always going to be times when you're on the verge of going ballistic, if my experience is anything to go by.
Good luck, xx
I think you'll find most of us would have reacted in exactly the same way.
Yep sounds familiar.. hope tomorrow is better for you.
Thanks. Dh says we can only do the basics.
I don't want to do all these crappy jobs but with four of us there just seems to be so much mess created. Maybe I am expecting too much of myself. It's hard to explain the mess that gets created.
We seem to do two loads of washing a day, the kids make a huge mess every meal time, letters get opened and left lying around, constant rubbish needing to go out, nappies, recycling, toilet and sink seem to get minging everyday, there's all of our floordrobe. That's without even really cleaning anything.
I know they grow up, the toddler is just at that stage where he's into absolutely everything.
I only have one DD but my husband works away all week. In nicest possible way you tried to do too much, kids are tired and miss you so just want your attention. On work days just have something you can bung in the microwave for kids tea, then just focus on getting them in bed. If your DH is there divide and conquer everything else once they are out the way it will save your sanity. Wine helps!!! 🍷A cleaner would be even better if you can afford it.
You could be describing my home! You are in the right place, curl up in bed, eat toast, sleep well and leave the rest until tomorrow. Cut yourself some slack, and write off what cannot be done, a little egg here and squished chip there adds character!
Sometimes it's just all too much. It's very hard to have everything you do undone while being trapped physically and mentally assaulted non-stop. I've a 4, 2 and 1 yr old. It's like torture sometimes and occasionally I seem to shut down like a robot. It's the strangest thing and only happens when I've gone so beyond coping I stop and switch off wherever I'm standing. Even my thoughts seem to stop.
I guess that's the only way my mind won't break when I'm pushed that far but what I'm saying is that I'm extreme stress the body and mind sometimes have a very physical response.
In your situation I'd get kids fed as soon as I possible could and while they were occupied do other jobs (ones I could safely do while they ate) and everything else would be sorted after they'd gone to bed. Look after yourself, you can't do everything xx
I think you need to focus on the kids when you get in - there's nothing more frustrating than trying to clean up when little children want your attention; you might as well not bother. Apart from the dinner you could have done all that really quickly when they were in bed/eating/in the bath. It's inevitable they want your company when they come home with you.
It's so tough working with small children - I think I've blanked a lot of it!
Had a similar day. I sympathise and would've lost it too.
Nap refusing, exhausted 2 year old. I do shift work so I'm always tired. Shouted cried and phoned OH who came home from work early. We are getting a curry-you should too!!
Oh and I do no housework apart from fire brigading (picking up after her, putting on dishwasher etc) when I'm with her. I gave up trying to ages ago.
Don't know if this is helpful or not, but, our solutions to your list:
We seem to do two loads of washing a day, - bought a super large washing machine so it's only one lot of hanging out (although mammmoth) also have a heated dryer indoors so it's dry quickly
the kids make a huge mess every meal time, - am lucky in that mine don't throw food. But we do have laminate floor thats easy to wipe down. When we had carpet we had a massive oilcloth floor mat under table and kids chairs
letters get opened and left lying around, yup, all our surfaces the kids can't reach are covered in paper crap. DH clears it periodically
constant rubbish needing to go out, nappies - not sure I understand this one. Do you just need a bigger bin?
recycling, we have big boxes on the kitchen surface I throw recycling into. DH empties them twice a week
toilet and sink seem to get minging everyday, - I chuck cleaner down every morning and keep wipes by the toilet that I use to wipe it after I've been to the loo.
there's all of our floordrobe. yup we have a floordrobe. We have a extra large tub thing that sits on the landing that clean clothes go into and we often wear clothes straight out of that because I haven't got time to put them away.
What can I say. I'm a slattern.
Are you me?
I hear you anyway, OP. I'm so sick of picking up the same stuff approx 10 times a day so yesterday I just left it. DH sort of tidied it up at bedtime, and today the kids have restarted the cycle of messing it up. Wine may be necessary
Is there room for a playpen where your toddler can see you while you prepare their tea? Just focus on the necessary stuff, food and cuddles, the rest can wait. I used to see how many things I could clear away in, say, ten minutes after they'd gone to bed - amazing how quick that makes you move! Be kind to yourself, and hug those kids and your DH.
When the kids were very little and/or are unsettled, my mantra Is "Make progress where you can." The basics are getting everyone appropriately clothed and fed. Beyond that, washing, tidying, etc can wait until evenings when everyone is asleep (hopefully) or the weekend. I choose one or two 'bonus' tasks in my head that I aim to get done if everyone is settled. If there are minor disasters (like household goods getting launched down the toilet!) then the bonus activity gets shelved with no guilt or stress.
Be kind to yourself.
Why put so much pressure on yourself. You cannot do it all. You have choices. Work less? Hire a cleaner? There are solutions but you have to get your priorities right. There is no way I'd be hoovering the stairs after a day of work and then picking up the kids. Why make your life so hard!
That time of day is so pressured, dinner to be made, children vying for attention as they start to feel the tiredness of the end of the day. Try to do less at that point.
A slow cooker has taken away a lot of meal time madness for me. Chuck it all in the morning, ready to serve when you get home.
Tidy up after kids in bed.
Have a nice relaxing bath!
Identify things that you DON'T need to do.
Sadly, it's all normal and part of the life. As mum to 2 DDs, I agree with all other posters: don't push yourself to do jobs in the after-school zone. Even now with 9 and 6yrolds, I expect only to respond to their needs; anything else has to wait until later. So concentrate on their demands: clothes, food, attention until they are packed off to bed then deal with the laundry, hoovering, etc. in peace. I remember when they were smaller feeling like I didn't do career or family to my satisfaction. Well done to you for choosing a DP who can help with bath/bed time.
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