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Feeling out of control

(11 Posts)
acatcalledchinchi Thu 06-Mar-14 20:59:22

I'm relatively new to Mumsnet. This is my second post in here as my first one went unanswered hmm

Not really sure where to start and have a feeling I may ramble, but I'll have a go. Mum to 3 DC (6, 5 and 3. DS who is 6 has mild CP). Married and am self employed working 6 days a week in out coffee shop.

Problem is I never have the ability to switch off, to say 'sod it, that can wait until tomorrow'. I always feel like I'm being pulled by everyone in one direction or another. I always feel against time, like there aren't enough hours in the day. I am usually up at 6.15 so I can go downstairs (we live above cafe) and turn machines on etc, then have 15 minutes or so to myself getting ready before kids wake. Then from 7am it's non stop, opening up work at 8.30, through to picking kids up from school, coming home and making tea etc. After spending all day cooking, serving and cleaning up after everyone else, I'm then expected to do it all again at home.

I know I'm not the only person in the world who works long hours but lately it's really taking its toll. I have no energy, no enthusiasm. I long to have a tidy and organised home, yet there's always mess, clutter, dishes, washing and I can never sit and relax until everything is done and out of the way. That gets me through to around 9pm when all day I've looked forward to having 'me' time, then I'm too knackered to enjoy it.

I've no surviving family and in laws live overseas. I feel like I'm on call 24/7. I feel guilty when I'm not doing stuff with the kids yet I crave sometimes for 10 minutes peace. There's always homework to be done, books to be read and DH doesn't help with that- he never has so that's not something I'm going to expect him to change now.

I was on ADs for around 18 months and came off last summer. I always used to feel anxious and on edge, but now I just feel like I'm running on empty, like I can't enjoy things, I have no enthusiasm and certainly no energy. I'm finding myself irritable and snappy and I hate not having the old me. I feel like I'm blowing hot and cold, from one minute being fairly ok and upbeat to then feeling like I want to cry.

My kids don't deserve a miserable mum, but yet they don't listen to a word I say when it comes to trying to be tidy, to needing to remind them to wash hands, brush teeth, to try and care about how the look like. I feel like a broken record that's smashed and everyone is grabbing a piece confused

Givenupontidying Thu 06-Mar-14 21:06:20

As you can tell by my name - I have felt somewhat the same as you at various times recently. I was thinking a few days ago that I don't remember the last time I did something like have a bath/read a book, without feeling guilty about it, because there are other things that need to be done (similarly to you, I have three dc, and am self employed).

But currently am on the sofa, watching tv, facing a pile of washing to be ironed and knowing what chaos awaits upstairs, but I am forcing myself to sit here, and go on mn because sometimes you just have to stop.

I think you sometimes just have to accept lower standards in household stuff. I know thats not a full answer, but it was a start for me.

Givenupontidying Thu 06-Mar-14 21:09:35

The only other suggestions I can make are that at 6 and 5, they are maybe too young to make tea, but they can certainly help set the table and clean up afterwards. My oldest ds (6) actually enjoys washing up, which I am happy to encourage!

What does your dh do? I know it may seem like he won't change, but maybe he could be pushed a little to help out a bit more? He may even enjoy it - I think some men don't always know whats needed without it being spelled out for them.

acatcalledchinchi Thu 06-Mar-14 21:22:19

Thankyou Givenupontidying- just having someone reply makes me feel like I'm not alone so thank you.

He's a fab dad, takes the kids swimming, will take one of them each week to go shopping then for a treat to eat afterwards. Will also cook maybe 4 or 5 nights. Having said that though, he's oblivious to the house work, and when he's home, the kids are angels but they fight like cat and dog once he's out.

I just feel like I've lost my drive hmm I attempted a bath tonight and had both DDs coming in with one excuse or another (DH out so had to keep door unlocked in case they needed toilet etc). I spent 2 hours last night clearing the spare room so I had a job ticked off my list, only for it to be something else tonight.

I can never be bothered or have the energy to pamper myself, straighten my hair and I feel so very unfeminine. To cut it short, I just feel like crap confused

Givenupontidying Thu 06-Mar-14 21:36:44

Yup I know that feeling well - if you'd caught me last week - I was in the fug (if that's a word), but for some reason, this week seems a bit better, despite the mess.

I know it's easy to say, but you need to find some time for yourself, almost whatever it takes - I am in two minds about whether it needs to be regular, or if a one off treat is enough to last for a while - both ideally!

I don't know about you, but we find getting babysitters really hard, so the main option is to find something outside the house to do by myself while dh is at home. Granted, I haven't actually come up with anything yet, but its a nice idea.

Popped out for a few exercise classes, but just can't seem to get into the habit of doing it regularly.

Sometimes though, when I get into the way you are feeling just now, I almost have to write a list for myself (usually in my head) of all the things I am happy about - and try and hold onto that. I picture myself in ten years time, wishing that I hadn't spent so long cleaning and tidying instead of playing with the kids, and then try and put that into practise.

Easier to find solutions when you are not in the fug though.

acatcalledchinchi Thu 06-Mar-14 21:54:56

That's so true about spending time with the kids. It's almost like someone somewhere is trying to tell me to slow down and appreciate my time with them as I'm forever seeing those sentimental poems pop up about children telling their mums to stop dusting as they won't stay little forever. Those are enough to have me feeling guilty and sobbing buckets.

Sometimes I think part of the problem is that the kids don't have as much respect for me as they do their dad. I popped out tonight to buy some stock for the shop and took myself to the local shopping centre as I'd seen a bag online that I really fancied. Tried sneaking out of the house but was caught red handed by DD (3). Wanting to enjoy sometime with her I took her with me and to be fair she was an angel, albeit very chatty from the moment we left the house, but was nice for me to get out and about and to have a change of scenery.

Came home to the kids bedroom being an absolute bomb site. Biggest two DCs fighting like cat and dog once DH left for the gym. They all suddenly claimed they were tired once I asked them to tidy and DS (6) blatantly laughing in my face when I asked for the bedroom to be tidied tomorrow. Had it have been their Dad asking, there'd be no two ways about it and the bedroom would be spotless.

It's the second night now that I've sat and cried because I feel like a donkey, doing anything and everything for them only for them to disregard most of what I say. It's so frustrating because I want to be able to enjoy spending time with them doing fun things, yet in the back of my mind I'm sure they think I'm just the dogsbody of the family.

I got into fitness at the start of the year and kept up with it quite well at home and going out for a run, but DS fractured his wrist one Friday night and it only took that small change of routine for it to be all thrown out of the window confused

Givenupontidying Thu 06-Mar-14 22:07:50

Totally get the respect thing - I think 6 year old DSs possibly hit a cheeky phase (one of many?) - a lot of 6 year olds I know are being more cheeky just now than they have been up until now, including mine.

This is just my perspective, so please don't think that I am saying you are doing it wrongly - but what worked a little bit for me is by thinking about it from their perspective. They are busy playing, and then someone comes along and tells them to stop playing, and tidy it all up. They can't see why it should be tidier, it's just mum nagging them again. So one way we do it is set them challenges (this works for our 6 year old, but not quite as well for the 4 year old) of how many bits of lego they can pick up in 30 seconds/ can they find 10 odd socks to put in the wash - then we throw them from his door to see if he can get them in the wash basket. It takes a bit longer than just doing it yourself, but I got to the point that I thought if I didn't get them helping soon, they would grow up thinking it was my job, instead of the whole families responsibility to pitch in.

And if you enjoy running, then maybe find a race to enter - gives you a goal to work towards, and sets it maybe above some other commitments, so a reason to get back to it if something does get in the way - and a sense of achievement at the end?

If you are at the stage of crying more than once in a few days, then it sounds like you want to make changes - its just a case of working out which changes to make. We recently went to the health visitor about a few behavioural things, and she came and discussed positive parenting with us. I'd been along to one at ds's school before, but this one to one discussion meant I could ask her some very specfic questions, and it definitely helped. Don't know if you've seen the stuff before, but certainly helped me try to enjoy being with the children more, instead of seeing it as a constant battle to get them to behave/help out etc etc etc.

Great that you and dd had a nice evening together though - just need a few more things like that to help improve things hopefully.

acatcalledchinchi Thu 06-Mar-14 22:15:41

Your post made me smile smile I want to be the fun parent that can see beyond the pile of Lego on the floor and get involved more with getting the kids involved (does that make sense?!)

I went to a positive parenting course when DS attended nursery and I really enjoyed it. Think I may need I Google and jot down some things to stick to.

I love being organised and having plans, so working towards a race may be something I should consider smile

Thank you so much for replying to me.

Givenupontidying Thu 06-Mar-14 22:18:47

I'll try and actually put it into practice tomorrow - instead of just suggesting it to other people! I want to be the fun parent too, but life gets in the way sometimes.

My philosophy on life though is that if something is not working, change things. Simple as that. It's not always simple to do, but overall, something can usually be done.

Hope things get better for you very soon.

silvermirror Fri 07-Mar-14 00:16:06

Why wont dh help with homework and reading?

Also could you afford a cleaner to help with the housework a couple of times a week.

Have you heard of homestart?

What about having a family meeting and list what behaviours you want from the dc then priorities and focus on maybe three for a week and slowly introduce a few more.

What i found helpful for dc is a visual day planner.

Great idea to enter a race/run.

What about finding a babysitter so u and hubby can do something nice together.

chrissyp3180 Mon 10-Mar-14 21:46:36

Hi this sounds like me at the moment. Work full time three kids 11,9,6. I do most of the time feel like the unpaid help. I am sick of the sound of my moaning so I dread to think how the kids and my DH feel. Tried to go to the doc and get some help but of course I was having a good day and chickend out and just listed one of my other ailments.

Our extended family live hundreds of miles away so most of the time i feel quite lonely. I have a few friends but not many I would trust with my feelings.

The only way I think I personally can shake out of this constant cycle is to think about all the good things I have going in my life. it is so easy to picked out all the bad things.

I have a lovely family (who don't listen and are bone idle,but are healthy and well behaved)
Both myself and my hubby have Jobs (in this current climate I am extremely greatful for.

We live in a cramped cosy house (rented I can't resist a moan)

I am sure there are other things I could list but its getting late.

Not sure if this has helped in any way but the thinking of what I do have instead of what I don't does help a little.

Just to make you feel better, I am not the fun parent and get so jealous when I hear laughing coming from fun daddy and the kids, while I slave away in the kitchen!

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