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How do you cope when Life grinds you down?

(12 Posts)
OverflowingMum Wed 24-Nov-10 19:18:41

so how do you stop life grinding you down?

I am soooo fed up just now. I have recently gone back to work(60% spread over 4 days) after 5 years as a SAHM.
I have 6 dc aged 2,4,6,8,11 and 12.
I deliberately chose to have a large family, and I know it was mine and dh decision and I can't moan about it, but sometimes I feel so worn down.sad
I have had to return for work for financial reasons. I am lucky in that I have a good, well paid job, which I actually quite enjoy, but I am finding the stress of returning to work and trying to fit everything else in so overwhelming. My youngest son (2 1/2) also hates nursery. He sobs heartbroken every morning when I drop him off and I end up driving to work in tears.
I have NO time or energy to fit in half of what I need to do. My DH tries hard, and does do a fair bit, but the majority of things to do with dc fall to me.He works full time, leaving the house at 7.30 am and returning around 6ish. We have absolutely NO family nearby, and no friends in a position to help out.
I do think my own emotional well being is starting to suffer. I have had pnd twice in the past and have been on anti d's twice. The first time they helped, the second time not so much, and I have not been on any for aou 18 months.I do think my current mood is more to do with my circumstances and so I need to work on dealing 2with stress...but I am begining to feel rubbish again. Low mood, NO energy, waking early, rubbish sleep etc...and I have become such a grumpy horrible shouty Mum with the dc....sigh so I feel even more guilty, which makes me more fed up, which makes me worse etc...

I just feel that I cant cope with life how it is, but also feel there is little I can change sad

So how do you cope when you feel overwhelmed/stuck/ground down?

cantseeforlookin Wed 24-Nov-10 22:50:08

I'm exhausted just reading your post! Stupid question, but do you really need to go back to work? or can you do part time instead. You will get burnt out in no time at this rate. A lot of it is possibly guilt, about usual stuff us lot are so good at being guilty about anyway! Speaking as a mum who worked from DD's 18 months old, ex-hubby's redundancies etc, so had no choice - felt very guilty but my DD's have grown up to be very hard working and independent career girls. Who knows how they may have turned out, but I did my best - that's all we can do. So if you have to work, maybe if you can get some ideas about ditching the guilt, maybe see a hypno or counsellor - and get your head into a different place. |If you have to work then you have no choice, but might as well not have all the emotional stuff to deal with as well - that's more exhausting than any physical stuff you are probably dealing with as well. The only sure thing is that kids grow up and things will change bit by bit - you are also being a fantastic role model for your children. They will be a bit more independent because of all this, so there are positives to gain from your decision. Remember, there is no such thing as a bad decision, just a decision which you have to make work! Bit psychobabble but it's probably true, I thnink!! xxx

FunnysInTheGarden Wed 24-Nov-10 22:53:54

Good God, 6 children and both working. No wonder you are exhausted. I am exhausted with 2 and both of us working FT. Dunno what to say really, can either of you work more PT?

Forster Wed 24-Nov-10 23:02:23

Bits of the below comfort me sometimes when it all becomes too much. But much of what he suggests is not geared to modern life. Can you pick off one issue, eg the toddler and the nursery and try to make it better for you? And so incrementally perhaps feel more in control.

Dear Georgiana,Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have—so I feel for you. Here are my prescriptions.1stLive as well as you dare.2ndGo into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold.3rdAmusing books.4thShort views of human life—not further than dinner or tea.5thBe as busy as you can.6thSee as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.7thAnd of those acquaintances who amuse you.8thMake no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely—they are always worse for dignified concealment.9thAttend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.10thCompare your lot with that of other people.11thDon't expect too much from human life—a sorry business at the best.12thAvoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and every thing likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence.13thDo good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree.14thBe as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.15thMake the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant.16thStruggle by little and little against idleness.17thDon't be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.18thKeep good blazing fires.19thBe firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.20thBelieve me, dear Georgiana, your devoted servant, Sydney SmithFootnotesFrom Auden WH, ed. Selected writings of Sydney Smith. London: Faber and Faber, 1967
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OverflowingMum Thu 25-Nov-10 21:21:50

Thanks for all the replies.
I should say that I am only working part time (60%) but I actually have my hours spread over 4 days not 3, which I hate for many reasons, but it means I can collect the DC from school every day except Weds (I work 9.15 till 2.30 Mon, Tue and Thurs and 9.15 till 5.15 Weds)
We are looking into maye getting a nanny - it would roughly double our childcare costs every month, but it may be that we need to do this to survive the next 2 years and in the long run it will be worth it if it means I can keep my job.
I would have loved to wait another 1-2 years before returning to work, but unfortunately financially I needed to return now, also I am in a proffessional career and it would have been much harder to get back into if I had left it more than 5 years, not to mention I was lucky in that a job came up with someone I used to work with which provided a way back in, which could potentially have been very difficult after 5 years as a SAHM
I hadnt really intended to return to my career tbh, but looking ahead financially with 6 dc to support I do need to do something, and my job is at least well paid....

will go back and re-read your posts and try to get my head in a more positive frame of mind!

Sometimes I dont like being a grown up LOL

OverflowingMum Thu 25-Nov-10 21:35:22

forster thats a nice extract.
I love the bit about not thinking past dinner or tea time! and reckon I have the bit about keeping busy sorted!
Not sure about the cold showers! But like the thought of blazing fires and amusing books.grin

FunnysInTheGarden Thu 25-Nov-10 22:29:31

overflowing smile about you not wanting to be a grownup. Last night DS1 who is nearly 5 wanted to be carried to bed, and DH said wouldn't that be great, to have a massive grownup to carry you to bed grin

Forster Thu 25-Nov-10 22:39:45

Nanny really made a difference to us when we were under immense strain. Cost was high, but childcare vouchers can help if either of your employers do them.

NanaNina Thu 25-Nov-10 23:07:26

Me too exhausted at just reading your post. You are one amazing woman. However you have recognised the signs of stress that could build up and tip you into depression/anxiety again and that you must do something to lift the load a little.

I was going to suggest that you do childminding (not that you need any more children) but it would mean that your little one could be at home with you, rather than nursery which is distressing him. Mind a lot of children cry when mummy leaves but are perfectly ok after and I wonder if that is the case with your little one. Then I realised you have a professional job which is well paid and which you quite like. Is there no chance you could fit your hours into 3 days, or work at home one day, even if that means doing 7 hours in "fits and starts" between the childcare.

I was also wondering whether a childminder might be best for your little one, as a good one is worth their weight in gold and is a more normal kind of care, not institutionalised like a nursery.

Maybe the nanny is the best solution but you obviously will need someone you can really trust.

Also you have only recently gone back to work and you will obviously have to adjust to this new situation, and maybe this is part of the problem. Can your older children help with some stuff, tidying bedrooms, unpacking school bags, watching the younger ones sometimes etc.

Anyway please take care, because if your stress does start to overwhelm you, you will have to finish the job, because IF you do become depressed again, you will not be any good to anyone. I think there is a tendency
to keep on pushing through but you DO need to monitor yourself very carefully.

I do wish you well and you must have a reserve tank of strength somewhere inside you!

OverflowingMum Fri 03-Dec-10 13:42:40

well, a little update!
We have decided to go ahead and hire a Nanny. We have found someone who meets all our requirements and I thinkk will be good. She will accept childcare vouchers, so that will reduce the cost a little. It will e significantly more than we are currently paying for childcare, but we are seeing it as a long term investment, as once DS2 is at school (Sept after next) then obviously our childcare costs will reduce.
I have just reached the point where I have had enough of "battling on" and "coping"
Having a Nanny will also mean I can change my hours to 3 full days a week, and get 2 full days off, which I am hoping will make the balance feel better. Of course though I am now being eaten by guilt at the facet that someone else will have to collect my children from school 3 times a week sad I know rationally they will be at least coming home, and I will be back about 1 1/2 hours after they get in, so realisitically it isn't that big a deal....but today I am just feeling so sad about that sad

I think so much of it is guilt, and if I could only shed some of that and be more rational and less emotional about it all that would help immensely. The trouble is the more stressed and exhausted I become, the more emotionally I view everything which makes it all seem worse, which makes me feel worse and so on....sigh...
I need to accept that
1. I NEED to work to make enough money to support 6 children
2. I NEED to fit my hours in in a way that I can manage as well as considering the dc needs
3. I have done my best to find good reliable care for my children for the times I can't be there
and then we all need to just make the best of it!

Oh ...and yes...the older children TOTALLY need to do more for themselves/help out more...I am still fighting aloosing battle trying to get them to put their washingin th laundry basket...so if anyone has any tips on that one they would be gratefully received.

Am feeling very fed up today...but have been stuck at home snowed in for 4 days and think we are all getting cabin fever!
Am resolved to wake up more positive tomorrow!

NanaNina Fri 03-Dec-10 16:10:10

Glad you have found a solution to some of your difficulties. I realy don't think your younger children are going to suffer because they are not picked up by you every day, and as you say they will be going home and you will home within an hour or so. As you know small children are tired at the end of the school day and want a drink, snack, lie on the sofa and watch kid's TV.

You para about guilt and becoming more emotional because of it and the more stressed you feel the worse you feel etc does make your mind go round in endless circles and you can't stop them, well maybe for a time and then they come back. I know the last thing you need at the moment is anything else to concentrate on, but your para really made me think that CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) might be useful for you. It is a very uncomplicated theory and the main aim is for us to stop the negative thoughts that scare us and make us feel worse and we go round and round in that unhelpful circle, to replacing them with more balanced thoughts that affect how we feel about our situation, to help prevent that vicious circle. It doesn't always work but overtime it can be helpful. There is a good book on Amazon called "Mind over Mood" (about £9.99 I think) and no I know you don't have time to read (!) but you can dip in and out of this and it just might help.

You sound to me like an amazingly good nurturing mother who is emotionally available to her children. This is more important than being always physically available, as receiving unconditional love (which I'm sure they do) will be a protective factor throughout their life span.

As for the older ones helping..........hmm.. not many good ideas - maybe a "family conference" with the older ones and you and your DH and explain that things must change- then maybe a rota - with rewards for sticking to it (positive reinforcement works best I reckon)

Anyway one good thing you will have a lot of adult children to look after you in old age!!

OverflowingMum Fri 03-Dec-10 17:25:27

Thanks NanaNina I am familiar with CBT , and agree it does sound it might be helpful for me. I know that circumstantially life is hard right now, BUT I do believe if I could think about things more positively, less emotionally, then that would help a lot.
I have ordered that book you suggested. Hopefully it will help (just as long as I find time to read it LOL)grin

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