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4 kids and feel like I'm drowning

(20 Posts)
jessiesmam Fri 05-Apr-19 21:17:44

I have 4 kids 2 boys 13 and 9 and 2 girls 5 and 1 I also work 4 days a week there just doesn't seem enough hours in the day and I'm constantly exhausted...I have a partner who works full time and it's difficult as I never know what time he finished work so can't make plans to go out and have a life myself
My mum babysits the kids whilst we work which I am truly grateful for but she spends most of her time an my house even when I'm not at work and I feel I get no alone time and no privacy.
No one helps me with the chores so I feel like it's a constant battle and I'm just going around in circles
On top of this I have been diagnosed with severe anxiety and have been taking citalopram for a few months and I'm starting to see an improvement. I feel like I'm drowning and can't find a way out. I literally have no life outside being a parent and working

Chocolateisfab Fri 05-Apr-19 21:22:41

6 dc here. No outside help.
You need a rota. Dc can earn their pocket money..
Mine empty the dishwasher, walk the dogs, help make meals, sort own washing, put shopping away, feed cats, tidy rooms. 17,15,13,12,10+4.

Jamhandprints Fri 05-Apr-19 21:24:31

You sound so busy. I have 3 kids and work part time too. I feel totally overwhelmed, especially with the housework. I don't know how to cope so can't help but j admire you for managing 4 children.
Could you afford a cleaner once a week? Do the older two help with chores?
Time savers for me are grocery shopping online and sometimes taking all the laundry to the launderette to clear it all in a day.

BuildingQuote Fri 05-Apr-19 21:33:12

I’m really sorry it’s sounding so hard and anxiety makes life very hard too.
It must be delicate about your mum too as hard to say anything when she’s being quite so good and I don’t really know the answer. Have you spoken to your partner about how you’re feeling?
Also are there ways you can make home life more fun for you? Music / radio / whatever so that you can enjoy the atmosphere more?
Regarding the anxiety there is sometimes a link with a gut imbalance and it might be worth considering a good probiotic and also inositol (vitamin b8) ? Weirdly coffee can trigger it for some people too and just mentioning these in case

BuildingQuote Fri 05-Apr-19 21:38:06

Also definitely the DC need to help with age appropriate chores, I’ve only just started insisting on this and wish I had earlier as quite nice it helps them later in life too! I was encouraged to do this by seeing a friend’s boys aged about 8 and 5 who kept their own rooms immaculate and knew they had to straighter the sofa after playing on it, put their own breakfast away etc - all good habits.
Ours put their own clothes in the laundry always and do the vacuuming sometimes and lay the table when asked. They could do more to be honest but when they are at their busiest at school I don’t ask that much

stayathomer Fri 05-Apr-19 21:47:56

There needs go be a talk. A Big one. I have 4 boys 4-11 and it's only recently I've asked them to get me stuff, unload the dishwasher, pick up toys, put clothes in their wardrobes. I'm not going to lie and say they love it, but the more they do it the less I seem to have to nag. The older three make their own breakfast most mornings ( I make sure dishes and spoons are easy to find and reach) and I make them check they have their lunches, flasks and pencil cases ( with at least 1 paired pencil in). I'm a sahm, so not a great help, but I will tell you when they're all at school age it isn't as hard. You're doing great, you just need a break. You and your dh need to talk it out and he needs to help a bit more and if possible, I think you need to cut even a few hours from work. Is that feasible? Parental leave?

Tsotofamily Fri 05-Apr-19 21:59:16

I have 4 dc and also work more one week than the other but I've learned to lower standards. Most days I only get the basics done.
Mine do chores which does help. I would definitely get the kids helping around the house. Online food shopping has been a life saver also.
Could you not speak to your mum with how your feeling?

sweetkitty Fri 05-Apr-19 22:06:34

4 DC here 14, 13, 10 and 8. No family help, I work 3 days a week and have a chronic pain condition. It help that my DH works from home 1-2 days a week and he probably does more in the house than I do at times. DC have their own jobs around the house but it’s a constant nag to get them to do them.

It’s so bloody hard though the work is never ending.

Charley50 Fri 05-Apr-19 22:41:17

Why doesn't your partner help? Have you completed your family now?

jessiesmam Sat 06-Apr-19 09:11:56

Thank you all for your response I didn't know what I expected when I posted it
The oh knows how I feel as I have begged screamed and cried for him to help more he just doesn't seem to care.
Mum knows how I feel but it doesn't make a difference really
I've tried to get the children to help but sometimes it's more effort than it's worth think I need to be more firm with them

Charley50 Sat 06-Apr-19 10:24:52

Seems like you have a partner problem, rather than a parenting problem.

Singlenotsingle Sat 06-Apr-19 10:34:31

So Mum is happy to help with childcare, but doesn't want her house trashed? I can understand that! I'm the same. And yes, get the kids organised to do their share, otherwise you're just the house slave (you aren't going to have any more kids are you?) Include DH on the rota and tell him he needs to step up (before you end up in hospital and he has it all to do!)

GiveMeAllTheGin8 Sat 06-Apr-19 10:41:46

Sounds tough, does partner work weekends? If not can either you or him take them out all day while the other gets the house organized?
Maybe get in to a routine of one person doing batch cooking , washing cleaning, organizing for the week while the other takes the kids?

You could then swap the next weekend

DonnaDarko Sat 06-Apr-19 10:45:08

I don't have a big family but I was a very self sufficient kid and here's my two cents

The 13 and 9 year old are old enough to do basic chores like laundry and dishes and hoovering, etc. I helped my mum with those from I was around that age.

As for you own mum, I can't understand how someone can be so selfish. You might need to be really blunt about how you're feeling, sometimes that's the only way to get through to people.

Singlenotsingle Sat 06-Apr-19 12:39:19

Come on, Donna! Selfish? The poor woman takes care of kids including a 5yo and a 1yo, four days per week! She deserves a medal in my book. She's probably exhausted and glad to get home!

squirrelnut Sat 06-Apr-19 13:44:33

I have 4 too aged 3-10 and have often felt like this.
We now employ a cleaner for 2 hours a week to do hoovering, mopping, kitchen and bathrooms. That helps take the edge off housework.
I also outsource ironing sometimes when we are struggling!
The children help a lot, particularly the 8 and 10 year olds and they have jobs they are each responsible for every day. Takes them 10 mins tops and then they get their pocket money on a Saturday.
My partner is brilliant though and it’s very much a team effort!

DustyDoorframes Mon 08-Apr-19 09:19:04

What @Charley50 said...
If you partner feels above doing chores (!!!) he can spend his fun money on a housekeeper. NOT family money- his own personal spending money. Your personal spending money should not be affected. And I say housekeeper not cleaner as he has a share of mental load he's shirking here too.
What happens if you go on strike?? You also get to tell your partner that on x day (choose a day he's off if you are feeling kind) you are out all day. Take yourself off to a hotel/visit an old friend/whatever and leave them to it!!!

mylifeisamidlifecrisis Tue 09-Apr-19 21:36:08

I have 3 children aged 5, nearly 3 and 1 and I feel overwhelmed at the moment too. I'm a single mum and I thought I was doing good but lately I just feel I don't have enough independent time for each of them and it's so hard to keep on top of 5 year old's homework and the housework, errands everyday, etc. Any tips please anyone? sad

Raver84 Wed 10-Apr-19 07:23:04

I have 4 and work evenings firstly so I don't have to worry about childcare and secondly it means I don't have to do some of the evening jobs like more dishwasher loads and more washing. It forces Dh to do more. I also earn more money working this pattern than I could in the day paying for childcare. I also sometimes lie about having to work and just spend an evening on my own at the shops or whatever if I am desperate for a break. I insist on the weekend I get an hour each day to do some running.

Travelban Sun 16-Jun-19 11:47:57

My Dh and I have 4 also, ages 14,13,11 and 9.i am permanently exhausted. We are a constant taxi service, I struggle to keep up with housework and the school/activities/life admin is horrendous.

We have no help from our parents whatsoever and actually they always moan we dont do enough for them. We have endless family sulking going on. We both work full time in demanding jobs but as we look like we are coping nobody understands how we feel and explaining us just seen as an empty moan. Sometimes I could pack if all in.

I love the kids so much but it's the running the day to day that grinds us down.

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