Help! My life is a mess, how do you keep on top of everything?(9 Posts)
Have OH, myself and 4 Dc at home, age 11, 8,2,2.
Am really struggling to find time for each child. My eldest two go to their dad"s house for one night every fortnight but then seem to stay at my parents a lot during the week. This is really getting me down, all ai want is for them to be at home.
I feel like they don't want to be here, I have become a shouty uptight mum which I hate. Am a bit depressed and suffer from anxiety but am on meds for it.
I struggle with the 2yo old twins and keep breaking down everyday as their behaviour especially when out and about on school run etc is really bad.
How do you all manage to have time for each child?
When my eldest dc are at home I see them at the dinner table then after I have to bath the twins and get them into bed, still co sleeping and I have to lay with them til they fall asleep.
By the time the twins have fallen asleep I get up to find the eldest have taken themselves to bed so don't get to spend anytime with them.
11yo is currently doing Sats and I have not been able to sit down and help with any homework or revision, my mum has been helping out at hers with it all. Again it just makes me feel like a crap mum but he needs the help so if i let him go to my mums then at least he will be able to learn more instead of missing out.
OH is out at work 6am til 5pm, sometimes has to work late and normally works 6 days a week, sometimes 7 so don't get much practical help from him.
Sorry for the long post, does anyone have any advice on how to make this work as I feel like im losing my eldest dc when all I want is to all be together again. Feel so lost.
I think you need to break it down into chunks.
Does you dp really have to work those hours up to 7 days per week or is it him wanting to rather than being at home?
You need help to develop better routines with the twins to free up time for your older DC.
I think part of it is being a parent of 4 with toddler twins - it is very hard work!
Would you parents come to yours to deal with the twins so you can get some time with your older ones?
We have 1 toddler and that is hard, I look after my friends toddler for a few hours a week to and I am run ragged for those few hours so I very much take my hat off to you for having twins!
I have 4 all primary age and an OH who works silly hours...I have long ago stopped being cross/questioning if or why he has to work such long hours and learnt to rely on my own efforts IYSWIM because ultimately the only behavior that we actually have full control over is our own.
The following things that have helped me have been:
Ocardo, the only online grocery delivery service to never let me down or offer ridiculous substitutions, I can also buy fairly decent make up if I need and can't get out to the shops
Routine and the mantra 'all fed and none dead'
When times are tough and time is short doing the absolute essentials and no more, yes to homework and reading, no (and NO GUILT about it) to helping with PTFA activities, or going crazy for things like world book day
Get the equipment that you need, make sure you have a good tumble dryer and dishwasher, if you don't have them already then get them (by whatever means!)
Ask for help, if your parents are willing to help then could they come to your house instead and give you a hand with the twins? could your DH lie with them until they go to sleep? Is it time to teach them to sleep by themselves so that you can meet everyones needs?
Booking time away from everyone, I book a cut and colour in the diary for a Saturday and tell DH that I need him not to be working. I get to feel like me again and get some quiet thinking time
Paying to put the twins in nursery once a week. Youngest goes one day a week. I achieve more in that one day than at any other time!
Marie Kondo, the subject has been done to death on housekeeping but owning less stuff and living in a clutter free house has been revolutionary...
I also work out in the diary the points when I am likely to not have enough of myself to go around, I get DH to book off the odd day or just say no to things so that I can reduce the amount going on to a level that I can cope with
If I don't put my foot down and be assertive then everyone just lets me carry on until I am run ragged! I can end up feeling like a bit part in my own life...just here for everyone else. If I keep well and keep sane then I am nice to be around.
Have you looked around nursery for when your twins turn 3? I have my paperwork in a September place already.
Are you bathing the twins every night? If yes, I wouldn't. That would be the first thing I'd change.
Then I'd sit down with DCs 1 & 2 & OH have a dialogue, explaining how you feel, ask them how you feel, explain that you miss spending time with them. I'd explain that it's going to get a LOT worse before it gets better, but that it will get better, but you will have to support each other in order to sort out the sleeping.
Then, come hell or high water, I'd sort out the sleeping. Sorry, but you & DH are enabling the situation. It won't fix itself, it will just go on and on until you make it stop. You have to make it happen. It'll be double hell with two of them, but worth it for your sanity, your feelings of guilt, & getting to spend quality time with the other 2 DCs. Good luck, I'm sure someone will recommend a book on the subject of how to sort out the sleeping.
Also - bath time could be in the afternoon, maybe - not every day, though.
Ask your parents to come to you for an hour a couple of nights a week to look after the twins.
or when your dp gets in he takes over the twins while you spend time with the older two.
You need to look at new routines. Co sleeping is lovely (we did it and I was sad when it stopped) but it's affecting your time with your eldest children.
Routine might help the twins behaviour.
Don't be too hard on yourself, you have a lot to deal with. Do you get any you time?
OH is self employed on a building site, he is on price work, some days he only earns £40 where as others can be £200 so if he has a few £40 days he needs to make up for it by working weekends.
Have purchased marie kondo book and have managed to sort all the clothes out in the house and all my stuff, just the kids stuff to sort through. Am leaving oh to sort his own stuff out.
Already use ocado, and online shopping for clothes or anything else we all need. Have tumble dryer and dishwasher. I seem to be on top of all the laundry so at least that's one thing. OH was shocked at our electric bill this quarter but then I told him I do at least 2/3 loads of washing a day which all gets shoved in the tumble dryer.
Twins used to be bathed everyday but stopped that. They have a bath every 2/3 days unless they tip yoghurt over their heads.
Have spoke to dc 1 and 2 about the way i feel and that things need to change. OH knows too but haven't all sat down together to talk.
Not sure if I could get help in evenings from parents. They do work, mum part time, dad full time. My mum mainly helps picking dc1 up from school as it is too far away from dc2's school. So she will collect him then take him to hers as it is closer to hers, feed him, do homework then let him stay.
I do sometimes get her to bring dc1 straight home and make her sit with the kids whilst i get dinner on the table, then she will go home as she needs a rest too.
I know the main thing is probably the co sleeping with the twins. They are still breastfed so they tend to feed until they fall asleep. I know I need to stop but I feel so weak when it comes to it. I just dont know how to say no more.
I haven't put their names down for preschool. Am going to make sure I do it this week. There is one attached to dc2's school so if I can get them in there it would be easier in the mornings. They won't get funding until January though.
I don't really get anytime to myself, unless it's during the day and the twins nap at the same time which rarely happens. Guess that's not really time to myself as I use it to get as much house work done as possible.
Sorry for the long post again. It's helping me see things a bit clearer now it's in writing instead of spinning round in my head.
I don't have the answers but just wanted to reply to say you aren't alone, it's bloody hard work and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job.
I have 4dc too (7,5, 3,1) and it's full on. Most days I feel like I'm just managing to hold it all together!
The only tip I would give is to try not to feel so guilty. It isn't necessarily a bad thing that your mum is helping out so much with the older ones, i am sure they are benefiting from this (dont see it as a failure on your part but look at the positives about how much benefit they get from a close relationship with their grandparents).
As others have said maybe try to swap things round a bit so your DH/mum helps with the twins so you have some time for the older two in the evening (although I realise this isn't always easy if you are feeding etc)
I realise this thread is a few months old and maybe things have changed but I wonder if you have a Home-Start in your area? You'd get a 2 hour a week extra pair of hands from a trained, dbs checked volunteer (who is also a parent). Might give you a window of opportunity to do get on with stuff or rest while someone else lends a hand with the twins.
OP If you are finding the bf to sleep is making this difficult I would prioritise that first as everything falls in to place once you are all sleeping better
How did you get on with putting the twins names down for nursery?
I would pay from their birthday or the term they can start if you can afford it until the funding starts in Jan. All 4 of mine missed the funding until 3 months after their birthday I know how annoying it is.
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