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My daughters are 5 & 2. Like others here, I never really wanted kids, but everyone told me how wonderful it would be. After years of pressure from family and friends, I decided I was being silly and immature. Nope. It sucks every bit as much as I thought it would. My house is a mess, my appearance is a mess, and all I do is jump from one 'crisis' to the next. I gave up 80k a year in income to deal with a 15 minute temper tantrum because I put the peanut butter on the wrong slice of bread? Yeah, right.

I love my kids, I just wish someone else would take care of them. I'm tired of never getting anything done. Taxes? Can't do 'em while the kids are awake, because my 'helpers' scribble on the paperwork with crayons. Can't do 'em while they're asleep because I'm exhausted. While I'm cleaning up the kitchen the kids are drawing on the dining room walls (it was blue magic marker and they were 'decorating' for valentine's). If I try to take a shower, the older child gets herself stuck between her bookcase and the wall while her little sister is climbing into the shower with my and screaming because I'm not sharing the water. I don't even get to use the toilet in peace. Every ridiculously simple task becomes a task that even the old greek gods couldn't top. Just in case you're asking how I'm managing to do this post, the 2 year old is upstairs screaming because she wants me to get her the third outfit for the day. I'm not doing it. The 5 year old is smearing a dirty dish sponge over horizontal surfaces, creating a horrendous mess in the name of 'helping me clean'.

People have suggested that they are just clamoring for attention when they do this. Of course! But I can't perform every minute of the day, there are some things that just have to be done. I'm not trying to have a massage or talk to my personal shopper in Milan, I'm trying to wash my hair or cook dinner.

Post-partum depression? Sure, I believe it exists. I also believe some people just don't enjoy parenthood enough to make it worthwhile. Society as a whole suffers, so society has got to stop shoving garbage down our throat about the joys of raising children. Frankly, I feel so trapped that I don't know what to do.

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What you said is exactly how I feel, squidpup. But sadly, to me, venting really doesn't help me much anymore. I did feel much better after I know I am not the only one that does not enjoy the job of a mother.

But I trying very hard to find ways to still live a "close to happy" life, as a mom. I guess this is a different kind of survival skills! LOL. I decided to never ever quit my full time job, I will need to keep making more money so I can afford hiring baby sitter for a Friday night dinner, or noce in a while, a weekend getaway. Also try to make my life interesting with a kid, I know I won't enjoy it 100%, but keep thinking of the positives. For example, write a journal and put down things my daugther said that is cute and loving. Take pictures of her silly faces. Then when things turn the other way, just keep thinking she is growing up, 2 years from now, or 5 years from now, things will be different.

This probably sounds like a joke, but hey, I really have to do all these to keep myself sane and give a healthy life to my daughter. I can't keep blaming myself...coz that'll drive me crazy, and my daughter will feel that I don't love her..

want to hear of your ideas...utimately, no matter what we do, the simple goal is to be happy..

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In response to Squidpup, I understand how you feel but one thing I don't understand is why you went on to have another child if you felt this way? Surely after you had had your first child you would have known that motherhood was not for you and do some damage limitation by not having any more children?

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It is hard for me to imagine anyone having kids simply because someone else says it's a good idea. To me, that shows a major lack of common sense.

Last edited by Heather - Chinese Culture; 02/26/08 12:16 PM.

Heather J. Hasan
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I think it's more the fear that if you don't have kids, you'll regret it in the future. All of my friends who do have kids are telling me, "You need to do this! You'd be such a good parent! Everyone needs family, especially when they're older! You'll regret it if you don't!" I know that it's such a huge responsibility, and I don't want to rush into it; I'm one who weighs every single aspect of a decision before committing to it. However, I haven't got much flexibility, time-wise, left. That's the pressure.


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Originally Posted By: SWK
"All of my friends who do have kids are telling me, 'You need to do this! You'd be such a good parent! Everyone needs family, especially when they're older! You'll regret it if you don't!'"

SWK, those sentiments your friends are "sharing" with you are called "bingos." If you haven't ever ventured over to the Relationships/Married No Kids forum, you might want to take a gander. We who are child-free constantly get bingoed, but we've learned, and with much thanks to that forum, how to deal with it.

I will turn 37 in June, and I started having mixed feelings about kids with the whole "time is running out for me to make a decision" clock ticking when I was about 30. Prior to 30, I always thought I wanted kids (one of the reasons was because I just thought that's what everyone does), but then I had a blessed experience from God to take on the role of a step-mother. I really enjoyed it, but I got a great heapin' helping of how much being a good mom takes away in time, money, energy, spontinaety, and much more. I divorced when I was 35, and I must say one of the things I enjoyed most was getting my life back...the peace, the freedom and the wholeness of me. I finally decided last year to remain child-free, with the biggest reason being that I was ever, and remain, unsure about having them. It simply wouldn't be fair to them. This is why I think the worst bingo I get is that I'm "selfish." Simply untrue. Rather, I've made a well-thought-out decision that required me to think way beyond myself.

I truly feel for the moms who are having a hard time with child-rearing, the bad days, regrets and family life. I think the suggestions herein are very good. Remember on days when you feel like nothing, you're everything to someone, namely your little ones. Best wishes to you, and I hope, as some women have said, that it gets easier and more enjoyable with time.

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((squidpup))
Been there, done that! Not all of us were born to be great moms, including me, but we CAN learn some ways to cope. It sounds like your girls are out of control and you don't know what to do about it, sort of like some of the harried families on that Nanny-to-the-Rescue show on TV. Are there any helpful things you can turn to? A parenting class at the local Y? Any way to get the kids out of the house and doing positive activities once in a while? Some good excuse for you to get out of the house and do something non-child related regularly? You NEED to break the pattern that is driving you crazy, both for your own sake and the girls'. Do they have enough physical activity, even just taking them outdoors to run around? Its better for them to be discharging that energy outside where it isn't so loud and destructive to the house and to your psyche. Do they like being read to? That can be a pleasant and quieting experience for you all. And learn to ignore the mess, all you can handle right now is keeping yourself and the girls healthy.
I had 5 kids in 6 years, so I remember the noise and mess all too well, and know that being told that you have no common sense is absolutely no help at all! The light at the end of the tunnel is this: they DO grow up,(that 5 year old will be in school soon!) and your "real" life WILL resume, and some day they will come to you as mine did to me and say, "Mom, I don't know how you did it!"
Meanwhile, take a deep breath and consider yourself hugged!

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Hi Squidpup,
Well, I'm not a specialist in child rearing, but I am a mom and a certified life coach for what it is worth. I will share with you what I see happening.

What I see is a mother who doesn't really like her position as a parent and two little children who know it. They are desperate for attention even if it is negative attention, which it appears that they have become accustomed to getting. But they are still very much young enough for you to turn things around, for yourself and for them.

Your babies are looking to you for the rules. So far "Get away from me, I'm busy, I just can't perform for you right now" is what the rules are. But children need gentle eye contact and one on one attention. They need to feel validated as little human beings who are struggling to develop a place in the world. If you see parenting as a "performance" then you are not in the right place emotionally or mentally. When you decided to have children, no matter what the reason, this is what you signed up for. The rule maker and spiritual guide. It appears that you are fighting feeling enjoyment with your kids.

What you need to do is make a mind change adjustment, and fast. Priorities change when you have children. There can be time made for yourself and for things you have to do like cooking dinner and washing your hair but you have to arrange it.

What you need to do is simple. Get out of your head and take ten deep breaths. You are wound up so tight even I can feel it - imagine what your kids feel. Feel that your children need you to see them. I mean truly see them as little people. Take yourself back to when you were little and how the world seemed to you. How your mother seemed to you. Now you need to be the mother who gives. You are the grown-up and need to get comfortable in your role. Take the idea that what ever is going on in your head that holds the grandest importance, and dump it. Get out the coloring books and crayons or the Chutes and Ladders and smile in your heart. Announce to the kids that mommy and they are going to play together. Be present. Praise them for good behavior and accomplishments. Notice what they love. Favorite colors, animals and people. These are your children. Get to know them!

Here's the bottom line. If you don't shape up and pay attention, your kids will remain acting out as they are for love, affection, validation and attention for the rest of their lives. Yes, you have that much power. Welcome to the grown-up world of parenting!

If your babies feel validated, they will be contented to allow you to get the work done, like taxes and cooking when you need to. Teach them to take care of each other, as well. Teach them to play together and respect one one another so that they will be happy to keep each other company while you are busy. Having children doesn't mean you have to come last, either. If you need to have a hot bath or to read a book, there is absolutely room for that as well. You just can't come first anymore. And your attitude that mothering stinks can't come first, either. Them's the brakes.

Now the rules have changed from "Get away from me, I'm busy," to "You are an awesome person, I love you, but right now I have to do some grown-up things. When I am finished I will read you a story." Big difference, huh?

You didn't mention a husband. If there is one, you have both got to get cracking on the same page journey.

A parenting class is a great idea. You would be surprised what you can learn from watching shows like Super Nanny. Your days of muddled thinking have come to a close and you need to take action.

Shay

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Originally Posted By: Shay
"You would be surprised what you can learn from watching shows like Super Nanny."

I LOVE that show, and I'm neither a mom nor a TV watcher!

Last edited by Angela P; 03/20/08 03:40 PM.
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Can I just say, that even those who say they try to "act" like they are enjoying it or geniuenly love their kids - the kid can tell. I certainly did. In fact this made me challenge my parents more. They had one child and through pressure from family they had me. Unfortunately I was a bit more challenging child (collic and adhd) so they spent the first few years of my life pretending that they enjoyed it and truly loved me - but I always remember feeling the void. Eventually it blossomed into full blown RAD on my part (Reactive Attachment Disorder) *I was diagnosed with this now - it didn't exist back then and I don't still suffer from the affects* Keeping I child you don't connect with/enjoy/love can have very damaging affects - trust me the child can tell.


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