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I feel broken by the demands of parenting :-(

(22 Posts)
BigBirthdayGloom Fri 29-May-15 18:38:13

I have three dc, 3,6 and 9 and I am feeling grindingly and totally worn down by parenting. I just feel that I'm not cut out for this-dd2 wakes at five, I have no energy for doing lovelyness with them and by bedtime I'm just a mess of tiredness. The days we are together are about trying to put out fires and praying for the gaps between "mummy" being called. I am screamingly desperate for space and yet when 8.30 pm comes I'm too worn out to enjoy it.

Sorry to be so moany, I just feel that no one is benefitting from me being a mum at the moment. And there is no spare cash for treats or days out to spice things up.

I guess, beyond the dreadful moan about a situation I chose and spent huge effort to get through significant fertility issues for, I just want to know if, with three, when they're older there might be space to enjoy things? I see it a bit with the older two who can play nicely and independently together and when they do (brief windows with all three) I love it.

BigBirthdayGloom Fri 29-May-15 18:39:23

And dh is wonderful with them-no excuse of doing it all by myeself.

Devora Fri 29-May-15 18:43:23

Oh lovey, I'm so sympathetic. Tell us more about what's going on for you - are you SAHP and with your 3yo all day? Do you ever get a proper break? Is your health good?

Devora Fri 29-May-15 18:43:44

Parenthood does sometimes feel like being eaten alive.

BigBirthdayGloom Fri 29-May-15 18:51:25

I am mainly sahp-a very few hours a week work, but dd2 does preschool 21/2 days. I feel I should be more refreshed by the time we're apart, and I guess I might be worse without it, but I just don't get a lot of joy from their waking hours. I love the fact they are here, I love them, I just never, ever feel truly relaxed when I'm with them awake! And I think that the amazing, generous, lovely three days my dh recently took them away for should have made me better too, and oh my goodness, it did while they were away. I heard about the lovely things they were doing, knew they were having a blast and enjoyed every minute of solitude and company I had. And I was dead pleased to see them all. It seems though, that a couple of rubbish nights sleep, early mornings being roused from deep sleep into "off we go" so quickly and three lovely little people doing what they do has put me back where I was. Moan. Sorry. Trying to be honest.

BringBackCabinPressure Fri 29-May-15 18:54:29

No I completely get where you are coming from. And I just have 2 - 18 months and 4 yrs...

I eat way too much chocolate, use too much cbeebies, and drink too much tea...

shebird Fri 29-May-15 18:58:44

I think all parents feel like this a various points. It is the hardest most demanding job ever. If it helps I think it does get easier as they get older, my DCs are a few years older than yours and they are better at amusing themselves and also more independent. Don't get me wrong, they do argue a lot but I seem to have less demands and less calls of 'mumeeee'
You are not alone.

Devora Fri 29-May-15 18:59:22

No, I recognise everything you say! How long has it been feeling like this, BBG? For years? Or does it come and go?

3littlefrogs Fri 29-May-15 19:01:19

I think lack of sleep makes you feel absolutely dreadful ALL the time.

As you say, you are too tired to play and be jolly/entertaining, which in turn makes the Dc more demanding and hard work. Then you feel guilty which in turn makes you feel depressed.

The only thing that helped me when I was at that stage was to get everybody outside as much as possible. Make them walk, miles if possible.
I found the exercise did me lots of good and improved my mood too. I lost all my post baby weight and felt better for it.

Can you find parks, woods, open land anywhere walkable? I used to do treasure hunts for the older 2 and take a ball or something for the little one.

I used to be the only mum in the park at 8.00 am.

It did mean that I could get the little one to bed by 7pm and the older ones were so tired they would sit and watch a video quietly.

I used to batch cook and freeze at weekends to make meals easier, and meet up with friends with DC of a similar age to spread the load.

Would any of that help you?

joanna1985 Fri 29-May-15 19:11:40

I totally get what your saying I feel the same with my 1 and 2 year old. I am not being a good mummy cause I'm always tired and stressed and I've no patience. OH gets to be the fun one when he gets home from work it's really doing my head in

Brightonmumtoatoddler Fri 29-May-15 19:28:26

Have you tried a gro clock for the three year old? People rave about them for a good reason....

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 29-May-15 20:07:24

I once said to a friend I felt a bit like a hamster in a wheel spinning round each day, she said glumly she often felt like the hamster had keeled over from exhaustion and nobody in her house even noticed, flip flop little Hammy! oh how we laughed.

But seriously if you can tell yourself there's at least one part of your life you have aced, it means that the rest is survivable. Multivitamins help too flowers.

BigBirthdayGloom Fri 29-May-15 20:07:58

I have felt like this on and off for most of the time, but just had the lightbulb moment that before we had dd2 and a completely over budget build (no sympathy required, and the result is lovely, but we had issues that sent it rocketing over what we can in any way comfortably afford) I would mitigate many problems by getting out to soft play, self medicate myself with frequent small treats and that made more difference than I think I realised. I also think I didn't realise just how important space is to me and how difficult I find constant, morning to night company from people who don't read "I need space" signs!

3littlefrogs Fri 29-May-15 20:40:01

Honestly - I can tell you from personal experience that just getting out every day and walking outside close to nature - grass, trees, flowers etc is the most therapeutic thing and doesn't cost a lot. Children sleep well if they are outside as much as possible and once they sleep, you begin to regain control.

I got very depressed when mine were small - mainly due to sleep deprivation, husband working 120 hours a week, and very demanding, interfering in-laws. Taking them out every day saved my sanity.

3littlefrogs Fri 29-May-15 20:41:27

A few sandwiches and a bottle of water in a rucksack is cheap and quick too.

icklekid Fri 29-May-15 21:40:52

If a gro clock doesn't work I am (desperately hoping ) by the time by 10 month old is 6 he would be able to entertain himself at 5am without me being awake. I was that child wide awake very early and an hour or two of tv did me no harm...

Askja Fri 29-May-15 21:50:44

I can definitely relate to missing soft play, small treats, etc. We were on a tight budget last year (with a 2 and 3 year old) and it is so much easier when you can break things up with the odd treat at a cafe or similar.

I can relate to needing lots of space too. DH works away one week a month and I have strategies for getting through these weeks.
1) 1/2 hour nap/rest every day. My 4 yo no longer sleeps in the day but still has half an hour in her room with a book - I find it hard to get through the day without that half hour.
2) I don't think there's anything wrong with making 4pm (or whenever) TV time while you have a cup of tea in the kitchen with a book for a bit.
3) When DH is home, he will often get the DDs up in the week and give them breakfast, giving me time for a peaceful shower before chaos starts (and sometimes even a lie-in, yes 6.45am counts as a lie-in!).
4) Every so often, I will take the DDs to my parents or he will take them to his, so we both get a few days off once in a while.

My other thought is, is it an option to do some more work? Even though I work from home, I found getting a part-time job helped - the time with the DDs became much more fun.

BigBirthdayGloom Fri 29-May-15 22:28:56

Ridiculously, come September there'll be more space and time because dd2 will go to school, and yes, I'll do more work. Hopefully we'll have got finances a bit straighter to allow for a few treats or "I need to get out somewhere with coffee and diversion" too. I feel a bit better because no one is telling me to get a grip, count my blessings or cherish every moment whilst humming "slipping through my fingers" gently in the background! The reason, or part of it, that I feel rubbish is that I know the preschool years are coming to an end and I desperately want to enjoy my children. Hopefully, dd2 will sleep tonight and dh is taking them swimming tomorrow. And it was raining too! I will feel like this again, but for now I feel better.

MrsPnut Sat 30-May-15 08:53:29

I recognise those feelings, and I agree with others that getting out and about as much as possible makes things more bearable than being stuck in the house listening to shouts of "mum - she's looking at me".

I would add, when was the last time you had an MOT? it's possible that low levels of certain vitamins and minerals can affect your sleep and also your mood.

Elasticelizabeth Sat 30-May-15 09:11:12

I have three children with exactly the same age gap and remember how much hard it was when they were little. Now they are 13,10 and 7 I barely see them. Yesterday they all played together. Most days the eldest is out with friends and the two girls play together. It will get easier and you will see the benefit of having three close in age. Don't be too hard on yourself and I know it's difficult sometimes but try to enjoy them at every age it doesn't last long.

BigBirthdayGloom Sat 30-May-15 10:16:35

I think I will def get some multivitamins. Diet not fabulous, and little improvements might also help.

Pagwatch Sat 30-May-15 10:20:42

It's all a terrible vicious circles sometimes - no sleep, no downtime, too tired to plan, too tired to eat properly, that makes you feel worse, more tired...

They are all still at a very demanding age. What you are feeling is common, I felt like that and I adore my DC.

No specific advice except don't feel guilty. That doesn't help.

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