Feeling suffocated and overwhelmed!(65 Posts)
Hiya, I'm new to mumsnet and looking for somewhere to vent and get advice if possible. So for the last couple of months I've begun to feel a bit out of my depth at home. I have 3 little boys 4,2 and 1, and a partner of 7 years. The boys seemed to have stepped it up a few gears with their demands, fighting and screaming. I just don't have enough pairs of hands, they terrorise my house making a mess and breaking things, they don't do as they are told told, my 4 year old has started hitting me when he doesn't automatically get his own way. I'm struggling to keep up with the housework and the washing, everytime I try to do anything the chaos begins. I can't seem to find a balance atm, I try and explain to the boys that if they just let mummy tidy up then we will have space to do something together but then they just get impatient. My eldest is in pre-school 3 hrs a day and 2 year old in nursery 2 afternoons a week but with the timing of each session and the fact I have to rely on hourly buses getting home I end up wandering around or going to the park killing time before pick ups so I don't have any of this time at home to get anything done. I will say that my boys are angels when we are out of the house, I can take them anywhere, I get compliments off of random people saying how lovely and well behaved they are! My eldest is his teachers favourite and they happily admit it, his last parent teacher meeting they said he's a dude and an absolute pleasure to work with and I know they are gutted he's leaving soon to start big school. So they aren't bad kids at all, my issue is being at home. I can't go out all day every day there's not enough to do where I live and I won't get anything done at home if I'm not here. I can't remember the last time I had a break, my partner works 12+ hrs a day 6 days a week so hel pretty much sit down and either fall asleep or turn on his xbox or sit with his face in his phone. If the boys are even awake when he gets home he becomes irritable with them within 5 mins. We never go out on his day off and do something fun with the kids, he can't be bothered, il quite often take them over my mums so he ends up with the house to himself for the day and even then I get home and am lucky if he's picked the toys up off the floor. I can't remember the last time I dint have to cook tea or got to sit down and watch some telly or have a bath in peace. We have had multiple rows over the fact I never get a break and he never does anything with the kids, and I don't mean take them out necessarily ie. Yesterday evening he got home a bit earlier than usual so the boys were happy to see him, I was trying to cook tea and load the dishwasher (a nightmare job as my 1 year old likes to try and sit on the door) they were asking him to play in the garden and push them on the swings which would've been helpful so I could get on with what I was doing and he said no and sat in the living room on his phone! Just little things would help but he won't do it, he's too tired because he's been at work all day. When I've tried arguing my case over the break thing he says I have it easy yet as I say he gets annoyed and starts shouting at the boys within 5 mins of being home. I really feel like I'm struggling atm I can't get through to him I need some help, I can't get through to the boys that mummy needs some space to get things done, I don't really have any friends where I live, and my parents both work full time so I have nobody else to ask. As I write this theyv destroyed my living room, I just feel like it's endless atm. I know this is parenthood and it's whats to be expected from having 3 young children but I need some advice to manage the whole load better, and how to get my partner to take me seriously, I'm half in a mind to pack a bag ready to walk out the door when he gets home and have a night at my mums but this will cause ww3, when I ask him for help he makes out I can't cope which makes me feel like I'm failing. I can cope but I need some help sometimes just to make it easier, the list of jobs a day is endless. Please don't judge me thanks a lot x
And il add my partner has recently got a new job, this new job means he's working twice the hours for less money, he did this because he felt unappreciated at his old job! The balance was OK before but it doesn't work now, I sometimes wonder if he did it to avoid being at home because who would give up a salary paid job 38hrs a week to do agency work paid by the hour??! I feel unappreciated at home but I can't just swap what I do!
Is there a nursery closer to your house you could use?
I have to say I'd give him one warning that I needed a break and if he ignored it I'd pack the bag! You sound like you're doing a great job with a very poor co parent as a partner.
Thanks for your replies, unfortunately their are no nursery's closer, I live in quite a remote location, I've suggested moving closer to my mum but oh won't have any of it as his new job is now only a few miles away. I feel isolated at times and apart from the odd bit of chit chat on the bus or at the park he's the only adult company and interaction I have. Ive been up since 5am with my 1 year old, I fell exhausted. The guilt for my kids makes me not pack it and as I say I'd be accused of not coping. I appreciate that he works but I'm always up when he leaves and I'm usually up finishing tidying up when he goes to bed but apparently what I have to do in a day isn't as stressful or as demanding and I shouldn't be tired or feel boxed in by it all. We separated for a couple of months earlier this year due to his moods and the fact he does so little to help me, which of course meant he had to do it on a Saturday and I got a break. I know it sounds drastic but I'm at the point where I could just tell him to go, I thought he got it when he came back but none of his promises have materialised, yet I have to keep a lid on my feelings so it doesn't cause arguments. Again though it makes me feel guilty for my boys at putting them through that again. Sorry to run on I just need to get it out.
That's ok, your life sounds really hard The only things I can think of are to leave him as you do it all on your own anyway. If you don't want to leave we need to think of done things to make your life easier..... I will re-read your posts and see if I can think of anything. X
Apart from your dh I think the biggest problem is not being able to go home when your dc are at nursery. Is there anyway they could do different hours so you have time to go home? Maybe something like 9-4 for the four year old twice a week? Or is there an accredited childminder near you who is qualified to do the 15 hours funding?
Honestly I think you sound like you'd be happier moving yourself and your lovely boys closer to your mum. You won't have any more work than you do now and at least you'll have a break when they stay with him.
Actually I just noticed your oldest starts school in September so not worth changing hours for him now but for the two year old when they get funding? That will be a big help your four year old in school soon. If you get some time when you are home with just the baby that will be a big help.
At the moment when the oldest are at nursery can you do something fun with the baby like the park, library, any groups near by ands then make when you get home chore time. You said you are worried about their behaviour at home, is that something you have enough energy to work on with maybe reward charts? Maybe involve them in helping with the chores and the two oldest get a star for each chore? While the one year old watches. I notice your DP doesn't want to do anything with his family on his day off, my ex was like this, can you make that a day to spend at your mums each week so at least you are not stuck at home feeling resentful that he is not helping. I would seriously consider leaving him though. What is he like towards you in other ways apart from the kids?
Oh poor you - that does sound like hard work.
I strongly suggest contacting your health visitor for help, or your local children's centre or Homestart. These services are there to help parents out, so give them a try.
I think that there might be light at the end of the tunnel as my own four year old seemed to get a lot more sensible/cooperative when he turned 5.
Invest in decent toy storage (IKEA trofast from ebay?). Use stairgates to keep the chaos from spreading.
I think looking into nursery entitlement for the two year old would be a good plan.
Thanks a lot for your suggestions I have already changed my 2 year old nursery sessions from September when my eldest starts school to do a full day a week 8-4 as I thought it would give me the day with bubba and a chance to have some free time at home,, I can't see it working if I arrange it any earlier as oh only gives me bus fare for the return journey as that's all we can afford atm apparently. So I can't do 2 lots of back and forth it probably wouldn't leave me with much more time before having to head back out to take the other to pre school anyway. I often take them to the park and the library in the afternoons while hanging around for the pick ups, baby groups are run in the mornings and again conflict with nursery and drop off times but I have been looking to see what will be running throughout the school hols and there seems to be sessions that we could go along to, the pta from my sons new school also have a couple of fundraisers and picnics so I have plans to take them to those. I struggle with a consistent routine indoors the boys end up running riot and I just pull my hair out over the mess, they have reward charts but they lost interest in those within a week and just started wanting to play with the stickers, I suggested to other half a marble jar as my eldest uses one at school but he thinks it will be a waste of time, I thought of using the marble jar and having a bucket for a lucky dip with treats as rewards so it's novelty for them. Since oh changed his job money has been a struggle as his pay is considerably less, when we separated at the time I thought it was going to be permanent so changed my tax credit claim but when he came back they wanted evidence he had been living elsewhere before I could make another joint claim which was fine we provided them with that but that's now delayed us applying for a new joint claim which I'm waiting to hear about, this money will be the only money il have access to myself, ohs wages are paid into his account which he opened when he wasn't living here, so I rely on him giving me money tho I've been asking for 3 weeks to get the boys new shoes as theyr all in desperate need of them but the money's not there (he spends at least a 5r a day on food from the shop he has the receipts when he gets home and got his car valeted for 25 the other day!) so really need those back up and running so I don't have to ask for money. His moods are up and down depending on the day he's had, he often gets irritable with the boys, he doesn't like it if I question him over anything or if I'm angry or upset he says some horrible things. My dad didnt agree with me taking him back he says he's manipulative and vicious and we deserve better which I agree with but when we aren't together he knows all the right things to say and has me eating out of his hands, I don't see it at the time. It would solve it all if he listened to what I have to say or recognises I feel this way, if he helped me a bit more I wouldn't be stressed and I would appreciate him more. I pretty much always go to my mums on a Sunday it just annoys me when I get home and everything's still sat there to do, I'd love the house to myself for the day I'd be able to blitz the place and have a good sort out but it never happens. There is another issue that's on my mind and I don't want to sound heartless but his 16 year old son has plans to move in with us in a few weeks but this feels like another pressure that will fall on my shoulders, another person to organise, pay for, feed, tidy up after. Again with my oh at work all day he won't be here to stay on top of his college and whatnot, I just have visions of him bumming around the house, I know it sounds selfish but when my boys are in bed it's the only space I get to do anything essential and his son will be here wandering around. He will have to share a room my eldest which means moving bubba from his own room in with my 2 year old and I don't think he's ready for that (he still wakes for night feeds and comforting) so again it's another thing that I will have to rush into doing on my own sitting with them til they go to sleep while oh is plonked on the sofa. Bedtimes are good in my house theyr mastered to a t but with all this stress atm the last thing I actually want to do is interfere with that. Oh knows my fears about this subject but says his son will look after himself and sort his self out for college but I know how lazy this boy is. I can't say no I don't have that right, as he says his son deserves the same as our boys, I just don't feel in the right place for such a big change. Me and his son don't really have much of a bond, he doesn't like me asking him to do anything or listen to what I say, will complain about food I cook yet if his dad makes exactly the same thing hel eat it, he lacks personal hygiene, his dad does nothing about that I've known him to stay for the 6 weeks hols and bath twice! I can't stand this because he looks and smells dirty and that's not the example I want to set for my children. I know that makes me sound like a horrible person but I'd rather be honest about it x
Kzl - can you split your posts into paragraphs? I'm finding them quite hard to read.
Oh honey you have do much on your plate some of what you have said reminds me so much of me ex, right down to not having enough money for shoes for the kids a good man would go without lunch and the car valet so his kids could have shoes. I'm sure you would russle him up a packed lunch from home. I only left 8 weeks ago and am currently living off tax credit until I go back to work in a year when smallest starts preschool, it is very tight but I make sure dc have enough for things like shoes now. It is so nice to be in control of your own life. How would you feel about leaving him? X
I find it hard talking to my hv about problems at home as when I told him to leave before he wouldn't so I ended up having to call the police and she received the reports so I don't want her having anymore of a dim view of me as I know I'm a good mum and don't deserve having social services at my door which is my biggest fear. Hence these days I just put up and shut up with it as I don't want the situation to escalate into that again. I know how dreadful that sounds but at the time I wanted him to go to diffuse the situation and he woukdnt so I felt I had no other choice.
They never have gone without before but since he came back things like that are different I think it's because if I tell him to go again he has his money to leave with. I just feel trapped. I refuse to leave this house as it my children's homes and he would stand his ground to so I don't really know what I'd do about it. I'm not walking out on my boys. All I want is for him to help me. As I speak he's still in bed I can hear him snoring from downstairs,, I know he's tired but so am I, there's no balance anymore he works and I do the rest. It hasn't always been this way I don't know why things are so different these days.
Do you want to stay with him or do you want to try and leave him? I tried to make things work with my dh for 4 years before I left, so I have a few coping strategies, I loved him so much so always tried to make it work. But it was when dh complained dd will need uniform to start school in September that I snapped and left. I wasn't having my dd go without. I have had to buy second hand uniform mostly for dd but at least she will have new shoes that fit now I am on my own. And once I work 16 hours a week I will be quite well off with working tax credit so there is light at the end of the tunnel. And my dds are also much happier.
It was easier on my own because I didn't have this stressing me out, I knew I just had to do it and him doing nothing wasn't in my face everyday so I got on with it and had Saturdays off. I know I would manage
I just want what's best for my boys and I'm beginning to realise that this unit probably isn't, I have the same atm because my eldest needs uniform for September. I took him to his transition day with no money to buy uniform and when I got home and showed oh the price list he hit the roof, I'm not to concerned because when TCS are up and running I will sort it out of that and he won't get a say. I want what used to be the man that always supported me and looked after uus I doubt hel ever come back now. Everything feels like it's gone down the pan, I just don't think ending it will be as easy as it sounds
Would you like to seperate? There will be a way out if you want to. Do you own or rent?
It's not fair that he is keeping his money seperate from the family. My ex did this, we didn't get tax credit, he wouldn't even let me spend the child benefit on the kids as he said we needed it for bills. He gave me £250 grocery money a month and I used to try and cut back on food so I could afford toddler group once a week and clothes from the charity shop for dc. Then he used to moan about the food we ate as there wasn't enough meat
first of all, I am not judging you! you sound like you work really hard with no support at all.
Are you saying that you want him to leave, and basically he has refused? and you're afraid that that would reflect badly on you? I'm sure it won't.
Tell your HV the truth. I did and it was such a weight off my mind.
My x was no help whatsoever with the children but worse than being no help, he had very high standards. he wanted a lovely supper every night and he would comment on how recently I'd served something similar before. Everything had to be clean and tidy and not only would he stand there watching me do all the work, he'd tell me I was cleaning 'wrong' or making coffee 'wrong' (just because he would have done it differently)
Life is easier without these albatrosses.
aloneandtrying yes, financial abuse goes with this kind of selfishness. My x was the same. Kept his finances separate. I had to eke out what he gave me. He acted like CA was money for me to 'blow' and I was lucky to have it.. I wouldn't have been able to have afforded a latte with a friend without CA.
It's reassuring knowing I'm not the only one living like this but it's horrifying at the same time to think it goes on so much. He let's me do an online shop for £60 a week atm, I can chose what I want but that doesn't go far with nappies wipes formula etc. I know we are skint but can't be that skint when he has money to spend on pointless things. It does sound like some have it worse tho, and I know from before there is hope the other side. I regret taking him back I keep thinking if I hadn't them by now all would of settled and it would've been done with. I have a housing association house and I'm the lead tenant so technically it's my house he would have to be the one to go but I know he would make it difficult .. He has the last time over me because he knows if I ring the police again it will attract attention from the hv etc and I'm scared of the repercussions of that. How did you all get out of it? Thanks a lot for your replies and advice I feel a lot better for discussing it with someone other than myself
My ex DP owned his house before I moved in so I just moved out with the kids into a hotel one day until I found somewhere to rent. It took a lot of strength for me to do as I had no friends or family to help. And I still loved him but I did it to give the dds a better life. It's more tricky if it's your house as you need to get him to leave. You have to be brave and tell him you gave him another chance but he hasn't changed and you want him to go. If he won't then confind in your health visitor and tell her you gave him another chance but he hasn't changed and that you want him to leave. She won't judge you and will help you. You have done nothing wrong by giving him another chance, he said he would change and he hasn't, so you should tell him to leave. The longer you leave it the harder it will be. Get out now while you can. It's easier for the dc the younger they are they soon forget. You can have a fresh start and life will get easier once dcs are at school x
Join the discussion
Please login first.