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How Do You Balance Life with Kids?


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So my husband I have been married for over 13 yrs, and we just finally finished growing our family (had the amount of kids we wanted), and now I think (?) it's finally time for me to think about the future, not that I haven't been, it's just that I've been so incredibly sleep deprived or wrapped up in parenting that it's kind of been on the back burner... literally the last thing on my mind.

 

I just had our 4th baby almost 8 months ago, and with all the COVID stuff, it's been hard, but not undoable. I don't have any help with the baby or managing my kids, outside of my husband (and he does help!), but he also works and sometimes is required to work overtime... so there were literally days with 15 hours of me being with the kids all alone, not having any break. The sleep deprivation was unlike anything I've experienced before. It's been insanely hard, but thank God we've gotten through it ok. Baby still isn't sleeping through the night, sometimes will wake up as much as 5 times (!!) but it *should* get better, I mean he's our 4th so I know how this goes... it eventually gets a little easier.

 

It's so hilarious to us that we wanted 4 so badly, and now that we've added that 4th baby, it actually feels like we suddenly have 10 kids! LOL We have moments where we look at each other and laugh and are like, "What the HELL were we thinking?!?!" It always seems like multiple kids are needing something done - ALL at the same time! And there's only two of us, so even when he IS here, it's just insane!

 

I used to have an anxiety problem, and unfortunately even though it was gone for years due to just managing it well, it's come back full force with the post partum hormones plus trying to stay on top of everyone's needs. I don't really take care of myself as well, but it's kind of necessisary right now because kids' needs sometimes need to be met immediately (food/potty issues, diapers).

 

I don't want to be put on meds for anxiety ... So it's kind of awful trying to see if I can self-manage again, and yet not having any help with the baby due to the COVID restrictions (even my parents are terrified because my husband is constantly potentially exposed). Self-managing anxiety when you're doing everything constantly is hard. It's hard to even write this journal and I've been interrupted several times :p LOL!!!

 

If anyone has any ideas on trying to find a life balance with kids, after you've maybe lost yourself some (or a lot probably lol) that would be so appreciated. I do feel like I've lost myself a bit. But I barely even have time to go to the restroom (and showers are even harder to come by LOL). How can you find time for hobbies again, when I can barely even use the restroom :eek: Maybe I need to accept now just isnt the time?

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Maybe I need to accept now just isnt the time?

 

It probably sounds dismal, but this may really not be the time. You have a lot going on!! Maybe take a little pressure off of yourself for a couple of months, and focus strictly on the day-to-day tasks of raising your family. You're overwhelmed, so it's no surprise that you're feeling anxiety.

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So we have "only one" child and covid (despite us being healthy and not exposed to any real extent despite living in a kind of hot zone!) has done a number on my stress level and sleep issues. I don't have any disorders and I don't have one now - I think it's normal -for months now my child has been home and typically he's at school and often has after school activities (he is 11) and my husband is insanely busy at work and does his utmost to help. We've never really had outside help -family is far away, I was not a fan of sitters, I was home the first 7 years.

 

Balance -I don't have "hobbies" - I really never have. When I had my son and got married -both at age 42 - I knew I'd be giving up free time, freedom to come and go, and welcoming more sleep issues, unpredictability, unemployment (by choice!) and so much hard work. It was so worth it to me -I knew i'd won the lottery, being able to fulfil my dream of being a mom without fertility treatments at age 42. So it was worth it to me. And it still is. So for balance I have to be very careful not to get to a point where I feel like I'm going to snap. What I do is: I work out every day for a half hour at sunrise. Pre-covid that was either right after the school bus left or on weekends when I woke up early I'd go down to my building's fitness room (post covid I'm always outdoors now). I drink tons of water and no more soda. I used to be a diet coke freak. Over the last 11 years I've basically given it up -I mean if and when I go out to eat again maybe at some point I'll have a soda again but I drink water - at least 10 glasses a day, some sparkling water (not diet, just plain) and some coffee. The water keeps me centered and hydrated and more relaxed and focused.

 

I read for pleasure and even more now. I read magazines (both fluffy and serious), literary novels (and sometimes chick lit) and good non fiction. I do this because I love reading and also to decrease screen time. I do not read these books on screen.

 

I make sure I get exercise in addition to my work out -I walk, I do housework with energy - pre-covid I walked every where including most of the way to my office. I mostly telework but still. It's harder now.

 

I make sure that I have a lot more to talk about than my kid. I make sure I don't focus on "mom friends" - and in pre-covid times I volunteered a couple of times a year for the last 4-5 years at my local public radio station for their fundraising drive. That also provided balance. I'm a former elementary school teacher but kind of allergic to all the PTA stuff and school stuff -I did volunteer at school some but it's not my preference.

 

So these are things I personally do to be balanced. I wouldn't strive for aspiring to all those silly labels- silly to me of "self care" and "work life balance" -get down to the nitty gritty of what you need to feel more peaceful and grounded. I don't want a long bath, a massage or a pedicure or a spa day with my friends. I love my work - it keeps me vital -and I also loved being home full time for 7 years (would have been 5-6 years but took me awhile to find the right part time position).

 

So consider what things really do make you feel like..... you. Consider things that are basic and simple. This morning I could not sleep after 5:30am so I spent 45 minutes reading. I was tempted to sneak my phone in but I didn't. And I'm glad. But maybe you feel more balanced if you go on Facebook or social media - avoid cliches and focus on what does it for you.

 

Good luck and what you're doing is a lot -and that's an understatement!!!

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It probably sounds dismal, but this may really not be the time. You have a lot going on!! Maybe take a little pressure off of yourself for a couple of months, and focus strictly on the day-to-day tasks of raising your family. You're overwhelmed, so it's no surprise that you're feeling anxiety.

 

No, it's ok... We did choose this, so it's totally fine if I need to wait longer... We knew it would be hard, just didn't expect the transition from 3 to 4 to feel like it was somehow 10 kids :D I guess I'm just a little worried maybe I really am, "losing myself," whatever that means(?) :upset:

 

I also homeschool, so during the week I'm teaching our 10 year old his 5th grade lessons and our 5 yr old just started Kinder with me teaching him.

 

Maybe it would help to know their ages... Our oldest is 10 (boy) and gifted... that's why homeschool was better for him, he was making all A's in regular school but bored out of his mind and getting into trouble daydreaming, doodling and talking. He does middle school and high school work, and I actually find SO much pleasure in teaching him and in picking out his curriculum each year and the book list he'll read.

 

Kinder is easy to teach, so I'm just working with our 5 year old (another boy) on learning all the basics and trying to help him go at his pace. He's advancing pretty fast, but he's not pressured into advancing if that makes sense. I pretty much let them learn at their own pace, which so far, has ended up with them enjoying school. My goal is that they'll be self-motivated learners and enjoy seeking out information for themselves even into adulthood.

 

We have a 3 yr old girl and then the almost 8 month old baby (boy), they're pretty easy during the school day, for the most part.

 

But yes, overwhelmed makes sense... hopefully that means that the anxiety will go away (?) once things level out and the baby starts sleeping better. :icon_sad:

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Wow Batya, thank you so much for adding your thoughts and suggestions! Your schedule and planning and everything just sounds so wonderful. And 10-11 is a great age! They're mostly self-sufficient and you can have very deep conversations and connect on such a deep level. We actually spend a lot of time with our oldest in reading books with him at night. He *could* read by himself, and he often does if it's silent reading time, but we like the adventure of reading together (my husband and I) with him. Right now we're reading through the Hobbit at night, and it feels like we're all on the adventure together!

 

I really want to get to that place where I can find time to consistently exercise like you (we do have an elliptical machine, but so far I haven't been able to figure out a consistent time to use it).

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No, it's ok... We did choose this, so it's totally fine if I need to wait longer... We knew it would be hard, just didn't expect the transition from 3 to 4 to feel like it was somehow 10 kids :D I guess I'm just a little worried maybe I really am, "losing myself," whatever that means(?) :upset:

 

I also homeschool, so during the week I'm teaching our 10 year old his 5th grade lessons and our 5 yr old just started Kinder with me teaching him.

 

Maybe it would help to know their ages... Our oldest is 10 (boy) and gifted... that's why homeschool was better for him, he was making all A's in regular school but bored out of his mind and getting into trouble daydreaming, doodling and talking. He does middle school and high school work, and I actually find SO much pleasure in teaching him and in picking out his curriculum each year and the book list he'll read.

 

Kinder is easy to teach, so I'm just working with our 5 year old (another boy) on learning all the basics and trying to help him go at his pace. He's advancing pretty fast, but he's not pressured into advancing if that makes sense. I pretty much let them learn at their own pace, which so far, has ended up with them enjoying school. My goal is that they'll be self-motivated learners and enjoy seeking out information for themselves even into adulthood.

 

We have a 3 yr old girl and then the almost 8 month old baby (boy), they're pretty easy during the school day, for the most part.

 

But yes, overwhelmed makes sense... hopefully that means that the anxiety will go away (?) once things level out and the baby starts sleeping better. :icon_sad:

 

Sleep deprivation can do such a number on your anxiety levels! My dear friend had four kids (and now four grandchildren) - one severe special needs, two special needs, one fairly typical. It's not numbers at all or at least not mostly numbers of kids. My other friend had four kids -3 typical and one who had a severe disorder and rare. 24/7 care/feeding tube, missing parts of his brain. I have one child. He's a handful! Sometimes feels like 3 kids.

 

It's your choice to homeschool - I know of many gifted kids who thrive in schools and you know your kid and if his differences would impede him even in a gifted class (meaning maybe he is "twice exceptional") then that's up to you just know it means you are taking on more work and you are sleep deprived and you have a baby. I would take a good hard look at what you consider "musts" as far as housework especially and what you can delegate or outsource to decrease being overwhelmed. Good luck!

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I love your attitude about feeling like you won the lottery getting to have your baby and stay home! That's a wonderful attitude :D. I do feel like that most days... in fact I pondered how I probably don't have postpartum depression, even with all the COVID stuff going on, in large part because of how much I truly enjoy our kids and being with them. They are hilarious and are always up to something crazy, and they're really good, kind kids.

 

I did get to work in job I considered my dream job for a little while in between our first and second kids, but to really have a great career in what I was doing, the women have to work well over 40 hours (the successful ones put in between 60-80 hours a week), and I just could tell that it wasn't for me and our family. We both knew we wanted to have more kids and with my husband's career being so demanding (and he did make significantly more than mine would) I chose to just stay home and focus on the homefront. We also didn't want the age gap to get too large between our first and second also, but mostly I realized I would have to put my career over my family in order to succeed in that particular field. One time my boss actually said something like that to me, that he knew I would never do that, and basically implied that the divorced moms and single moms were better in that way because they didn't put their husbands/kids first.

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Sleep deprivation can do such a number on your anxiety levels! My dear friend had four kids (and now four grandchildren) - one severe special needs, two special needs, one fairly typical. It's not numbers at all or at least not mostly numbers of kids. My other friend had four kids -3 typical and one who had a severe disorder and rare. 24/7 care/feeding tube, missing parts of his brain. I have one child. He's a handful! Sometimes feels like 3 kids.

 

It's your choice to homeschool - I know of many gifted kids who thrive in schools and you know your kid and if his differences would impede him even in a gifted class (meaning maybe he is "twice exceptional") then that's up to you just know it means you are taking on more work and you are sleep deprived and you have a baby. I would take a good hard look at what you consider "musts" as far as housework especially and what you can delegate or outsource to decrease being overwhelmed. Good luck!

 

Oh wow, special needs and severe special needs would be very hard. And your one friend who has the child with the severe disorder, missing parts of his brain, ugh! That would be so heartbreaking :icon_sad:

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I love your attitude about feeling like you won the lottery getting to have your baby and stay home! That's a wonderful attitude :D. I do feel like that most days... in fact I pondered how I probably don't have postpartum depression, even with all the COVID stuff going on, in large part because of how much I truly enjoy our kids and being with them. They are hilarious and are always up to something crazy, and they're really good, kind kids.

 

I did get to work in job I considered my dream job for a little while in between our first and second kids, but to really have a great career in what I was doing, the women have to work well over 40 hours (the successful ones put in between 60-80 hours a week), and I just could tell that it wasn't for me and our family. We both knew we wanted to have more kids and with my husband's career being so demanding (and he did make significantly more than mine would) I chose to just stay home and focus on the homefront. We also didn't want the age gap to get too large between our first and second also, but mostly I realized I would have to put my career over my family in order to succeed in that particular field. One time my boss actually said something like that to me, that he knew I would never do that, and basically implied that the divorced moms and single moms were better in that way because they didn't put their husbands/kids first.

 

So I never ever saw my job as "stay home" -I was rarely at home and rarely stayed in one place! I also didn't see my main or even secondary role as housework - I outsourced some of that (twice monthly cleaning service until last March when I couldn't anymore because of covid) and my main job was being with, taking care of, teaching my child. I was a school teacher many years ago and I don't homeschool and never want to (he is doing virtual learning now).

 

A couple of insights about career. I worked very hard for almost 20 years before getting married and being a mom. 15 of those years was the 60-80 hours a week you described and when I did that it was intense and the hours were unpredictable. Before I was married -when I was single - I knew I'd want to be home longer than maternity leave if I ever had the blessing of a child. So I saved my money. That way I had a nest egg if my husband couldn't have me home on one income. Turned out we could BUT I contributed to the household income monthly out of my nest egg because it made me, personally, feel better about not working outside the home. I loved my career - tolerated the crazy backbreaking front line situation and hours - and never want to do that again now that I have a child - not because I disliked it because it wouldn't ever work for me now in my situation. I'm thrilled I did it. Thrilled I am financially independent because I've seen women with no nest egg and no real marketable skills either get divorced or their husband heaven forbid passes away and they have nothing and they struggle.

 

I don't think it's about putting our husband/kids first. When I was single I had many responsibilities -I had my parents, my career (and grad school prior to that), I was an aunt, I did volunteer work with homeless children and committed to spending time with them, I had serious boyfriends and devoted myself to them and our relationship -there's this really silly stigma that a single woman who has no kids is free as a bird. Maybe some are. Just like some moms have full time household help and full time nannies and take their kids round the clock to outside activities where other people teach them - that's cool too and it means that those moms have fewer responsibilities - there's not one broad brush way to look at it and since I was single and no kid till age 42 I often was looked at as I had alllll this free time to party and live a crazy single life. Um Nope. It's about whether you want to do a certain career, and being a full time parent at home is a career too. If you want to do a certain career you make it a priority. I work part time in my field now and when I do a project I take it 100% seriously and they know it and my results speak for themselves -even though I'm getting paid a fraction of what i used to be paid -it's my work ethic to put my all into it -nothing to do with being a mom or a wife. I put my child first meaning if he really needs me and my husband is not around he comes first before work but if I were single and my mother needed me or similar I'd put my family first then too.

 

So I think you've made a choice that works for you -if you asked me I'd make sure that you have marketable skills and your own nest egg -not just a joint account and not just the money he makes or has. If that is possible. When the kids are older perhaps. My friend who got divorced after 20 years with special needs children had to go back to school and struggled financially. When her marriage wasn't going well I begged her to go back to work and save $. She didn't. I am delighted you are happily married ! - me too! - and I think it's crucial for women to plan on what would happen without their husband's income.

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Dang I tried to save a reply that was fairly long so I could log-in later and it all erased! Oh well!

 

With our oldest when he was my only child, we went everywhere together, it was so much fun. It just got so much harder to do that with the second child, then especially when we added the third. I do make it a point to go out at least once a week now, even with all of them, I try to have homeschool at our botanical garden 1-2 times per week, and it is so relaxing to be out in nature with them (and actually helps my anxiety, even though noramlly I think outings with all of them would feel too much otherwise).

 

And yes, I understand about the misconception that single women have no life to attend to and can work harder! Had a friend who really resented people in the workplace who would treat her like that, including our boss. She also was very busy with family obligations and volunteered with children like you did. I think in general my boss was more annoyed that I had a time where I had to leave to pick our son, and had no one else to care for him really so couldn't just stay until 9pm everyday. I loved my work though!!! I would even go in on weekends early in the morning before my son and husband were up, just so that I could get in extra work from 5am-7or 8am. But he didn't care about that.

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A couple of insights about career. I worked very hard for almost 20 years before getting married and being a mom. 15 of those years was the 60-80 hours a week you described and when I did that it was intense and the hours were unpredictable. Before I was married -when I was single - I knew I'd want to be home longer than maternity leave if I ever had the blessing of a child. So I saved my money. That way I had a nest egg if my husband couldn't have me home on one income. Turned out we could BUT I contributed to the household income monthly out of my nest egg because it made me, personally, feel better about not working outside the home. I loved my career - tolerated the crazy backbreaking front line situation and hours - and never want to do that again now that I have a child - not because I disliked it because it wouldn't ever work for me now in my situation. I'm thrilled I did it. Thrilled I am financially independent because I've seen women with no nest egg and no real marketable skills either get divorced or their husband heaven forbid passes away and they have nothing and they struggle.

 

You were wise to do all of that planning ahead of time. See I just didn't want to have kids in my 30's, unless it was the last couple kids. My mom had both my brother and I in her mid-30's and it just looked very hard and not something I wanted to do. But she also felt like she had to work (and couldn't figure out/didn't figure out how to do work from home). So for her, she felt like she was trapped in a working mom role that she really hated.

 

For me I wanted something different... to have kids in my twenties and be done and then hopefully go back or get something at least part-time started. That's what I was referring to about the future... I want to be able to work somehow, but realistically it probably needs to wait a few more years. I think I'm going to try to do classes though as soon as I can do them just so that I'm, "work ready," when the time comes.

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You were wise to do all of that planning ahead of time. See I just didn't want to have kids in my 30's, unless it was the last couple kids. My mom had both my brother and I in her mid-30's and it just looked very hard and not something I wanted to do. But she also felt like she had to work (and couldn't figure out/didn't figure out how to do work from home). So for her, she felt like she was trapped in a working mom role that she really hated.

 

For me I wanted something different... to have kids in my twenties and be done and then hopefully go back or get something at least part-time started. That's what I was referring to about the future... I want to be able to work somehow, but realistically it probably needs to wait a few more years. I think I'm going to try to do classes though as soon as I can do them just so that I'm, "work ready," when the time comes.

 

I wanted that to. Very, very badly. But I didn't want to be a single mom or a single mom by choice but would have adopted, maybe, in my 40s as a single person (but wouldn't have brought a child into this world as a single mother). I did not become the right person to find the right person until right before my 39th birthday. We started trying to conceive when I was 40. It worked when I was almost 42. I am thrilled -other than the added emotional and physical stress of a 40s pregnancy - that I ended up having my child later in life. For so many reasons. I never ever saw it as a guaranteed/in my control choice if I wanted to be a happily married parent - because there are no guarantees a woman will find the right match in time to have a child biologically, let alone to try. I could have settled a number of times in my 20s and early 30s and married Mr. Right on Paper or Mr. Good Enough. But that wasn't right for me or for my future child. Some are so lucky like you to make a plan as to when she wants to have a child then actually meet the right person consistent with that plan and be able to conceive. I had my graduate school plans and career plans far more within my control of course. Finding a husband - only partly within my control. Having a child -same. I was so lucky to be able to conceive when so "old" - and I took a huge risk not settling and marrying whoever just to be a mom (as I was advised to by some, including by a friend who is now a divorced mom of two: "oh just marry him, have your kids and then divorce!").

 

I'm glad it all worked out for you. As far as balancing yes I'd wait until your youngest is in school if you are willing to send your kids to school rather than homeschool. I telework a lot but didn't start till my son was 7 and I put him in after school twice a week so I had blocks of time to get work done. Once I went back I realized how much I'd missed it!

 

Good luck -you have an awesome head on your shoulders. Your children are fortunate and lucky to have you as a mom!

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I pretty much let them learn at their own pace, which so far, has ended up with them enjoying school. My goal is that they'll be self-motivated learners and enjoy seeking out information for themselves even into adulthood.

 

One of my aunts home schooled her four kids and they turned out amazing. All musicians, multilingual, travelled the world after they were done. They all seem amazingly well-adjusted in their career and family lives. I've learned there are a lot of home schooling resources available to those who choose to go that route.

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One of my aunts home schooled her four kids and they turned out amazing. All musicians, multilingual, travelled the world after they were done. They all seem amazingly well-adjusted in their career and family lives. I've learned there are a lot of home schooling resources available to those who choose to go that route.

 

Yes, I've learned the same and the parents who choose it most often do not also have full time jobs (or at least not both parents). I worked with someone who was one of 11 kids -all homeschooled. She was (and is!) very bright and successful and well-educated too.

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Yes, I've learned the same and the parents who choose it most often do not also have full time jobs (or at least not both parents). I worked with someone who was one of 11 kids -all homeschooled. She was (and is!) very bright and successful and well-educated too.

 

Yes, homeschooling was her full time job, but it also included teaching for a homeschooling organization.

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Yes, we know several families that have more kids than us that homeschool - hence why I'm feeling like a major wimp being overwhelmed by just 4 LOL! It's kicking my butt right now, but hopefully it will get easier, and maybe the restrictions will ease up. I'm worried we're going to have another wave of the virus though.

 

This year I started teaching a Gifted & Talented Literature Co-op on Fridays and invite a family over that has 8 kids. Their oldest three are in the class with our oldest, they've all have known each other for a few years and it's nice to see them developing their vocabulary together and eventually critiquing each other's papers.

 

My goal is to do a science experiment co-op eventually when the baby is 2. Will have to plan it for when my husband or mom can be here though so they can watch him. But yes, things like that certainly make homeschooling feel like a full-time job. Thankfully I actually really enjoy it!

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Yes, we know several families that have more kids than us that homeschool - hence why I'm feeling like a major wimp being overwhelmed by just 4 LOL! It's kicking my butt right now, but hopefully it will get easier, and maybe the restrictions will ease up. I'm worried we're going to have another wave of the virus though.

 

This year I started teaching a Gifted & Talented Literature Co-op on Fridays and invite a family over that has 8 kids. Their oldest three are in the class with our oldest, they've all have known each other for a few years and it's nice to see them developing their vocabulary together and eventually critiquing each other's papers.

 

My goal is to do a science experiment co-op eventually when the baby is 2. Will have to plan it for when my husband or mom can be here though so they can watch him. But yes, things like that certainly make homeschooling feel like a full-time job. Thankfully I actually really enjoy it!

 

Please never compare -you have no idea what resources other families have or what their kids are like etc. Your work and plans sound very interesting!

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Are there family who can look after the kids occasionally so you can get some free time for yourself? Or can you afford a baby sitter or nanny sometimes to do this? Is it possible to get your older two get involved in caring for the younger siblings?

 

I can’t imagine looking after 4 kids! I just have one 4 month old who is by all accounts an easy baby and I already feel like I’ve lost a lot of my free time. I think it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with that many kids to look after and to teach as well!

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Agree with getting nannies baby sitting, friends family etc would help.

 

However never make your kids babysit for other kids. They are not adults and it's horribly unfair. Instead your adult husband should be doing a lot more.

Is it possible to get your older two get involved in caring for the younger siblings?

 

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Are there family who can look after the kids occasionally so you can get some free time for yourself? Or can you afford a baby sitter or nanny sometimes to do this? Is it possible to get your older two get involved in caring for the younger siblings?

 

I can’t imagine looking after 4 kids! I just have one 4 month old who is by all accounts an easy baby and I already feel like I’ve lost a lot of my free time. I think it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with that many kids to look after and to teach as well!

 

We're not using outside caregivers (or house cleaners for that matter) at this time because of covid - we didn't use sitters other than part time mother's helper for two summers (one of my nieces) but we did use after school and camp programs once I returned to work part time - it's very challenging where I am right now - and the sitters who are available and covid-safe are asking for more $ and lots of other perks -they can be really selective and parents are struggling particularly with all virtual schools for the most part. Otherwise, for sure.

 

I wouldn't burden older kids with watching the younger ones as a rule -in an emergency, yes. Years ago for example -one example -I had to call the police because a mom left her 12 year old in charge of a 3 year old sibling at a playground while she enjoyed a bike ride. She didn't supervise and he was found right near the lake. We only learned it was her job when the mom came back and was angry at me for being on the phone with police while three other moms watched the little boy. I think babysitting younger sibs is great if they really want to/are paid but depends so much on the age/amount of time/other safety issues. We've had an uptick in my city in young kids getting a hold of guns in the house because everyone is home so much.

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What field/line of work are you interested in getting into?

What were you doing in your last job that you mentioned loving?

Four kids round the clock is no joke, and anyone would be exhausted. Especially since you never break from it, and aren't doing anything that is for yourself.

Maybe hobbies aren't practical right now, but showers and sleep are. If you burn out or end up having anxiety attacks regularly, you aren't going to be able to be there how you want for your kids.

Even something small to start, like your husband giving you guaranteed hour to yourself x days? Do you do that? You don't even have to do anything really, except spend some time with yourself without anyone clamouring for you to meet their needs. It can be as simple as going into your yard or a park and doing nothing but look at the sky!!

Or he takes all the kids outside and you sit in a bath or nap alone.

Once you've rested a bit, then you can tackle planning work. That's important. Again, even if you aren't entering the workforce for a whole, just taking time to think and plan that and invest in you.

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Thank you Wiseman and Notalady for the suggestions. We're not keen on sitters... I'm sure there are good sitters out there, but we've actually never used one because we've never had to (always had family to help).

 

My parents used to help me a lot, but with the virus and how my husband is constantly potentially exposed due to his job, they're terrified of coming. And I understand their fear, I'd hate for them to get it. They both are older (in their 70's/60's) and have health issues already, they may not make it if they got it. Once our country gets a vaccine, my mom wants to take it because she misses helping and loves our kids! So once things get better, I should hopefully be able to have help, and help I 100% trust.

 

My in-laws would usually love to help, but there's a lot of issues with that unfortunately.

 

The last time they watched our kids (1 1/2 yrs ago now) they screamed/yelled at our oldest so much and made him so terrified he locked himself in our room and was in serious emotional trauma until we came home. I could tell something dramatic had happened due to the way he looked rattled and, "off," because we're so close. And the worst part is that they didn't even let us know... I had to find out later when I was able to talk to him alone and wanted to see if anything was wrong. So they effectively weren't honest and tried to hide the fact that they had had that hard of a time with our kids (because I think they know they crossed a line in for whatever reason, getting too angry and screaming/yelling at him to the point where he was terrified and in emotional distress). Maybe they were embarrassed and that's why they didn't let us know they screamed and scared our child? I don't know. I would have felt a lot better if they'd been upfront something had happened. Whatever their reasoning, I don't feel safe leaving our kids alone with them anymore.

 

Anyway... We do have one sweet work friend of my husband's who is amazing with kids and she could watch them and I'd trust her. She just has a lot on her plate taking care of her dad and gets up extremely early for work... I don't want her to feel like we're taking advantage of her.

 

But she did actually offer to help me... so I should take her up on it and just ask!

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We don't let our oldest watch them alone because he's only 10, and I do agree with wanting kids to be kids. Legally he can't be alone with them without an adult present in the home, and that makes sense because mentally he wouldn't be able to handle it at this age.

 

When he's the legal age to watch them, we may do that, but we'd definitely pay him for babysitting.

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What field/line of work are you interested in getting into?

What were you doing in your last job that you mentioned loving?

Four kids round the clock is no joke, and anyone would be exhausted. Especially since you never break from it, and aren't doing anything that is for yourself.

Maybe hobbies aren't practical right now, but showers and sleep are. If you burn out or end up having anxiety attacks regularly, you aren't going to be able to be there how you want for your kids.

Even something small to start, like your husband giving you guaranteed hour to yourself x days? Do you do that? You don't even have to do anything really, except spend some time with yourself without anyone clamouring for you to meet their needs. It can be as simple as going into your yard or a park and doing nothing but look at the sky!!

Or he takes all the kids outside and you sit in a bath or nap alone.

Once you've rested a bit, then you can tackle planning work. That's important. Again, even if you aren't entering the workforce for a whole, just taking time to think and plan that and invest in you.

 

 

You know I'm not sure what I'd love to do... I have a lot of ideas that would fit with the education I already have. I worked in the science/research field and loved it. I do have a bachelors, but there are lot of two-yr programs I could do that would update my skills and tailor them to a specific job/career (nursing is fairly easy to get into if you already have a BS in Bio, physical therapy assistant, pharmacist assistant etc.). The other option would be grad school, but I feel like it would just take too much time away from our kids and family life. I'd also be interested in a work-from-home option, though I don't think that's as easy with my skillset (unless it was some kind of data entry or data analyst job). I'm not sure at the moment what I'd really want to do, but I think I have quite a few options.

 

I do seem to find time to post here LOL :p Does ENA qualify as a hobby? Just Kidding :D I think I originally posted in a desperate moment... I mean it does feel like I can't even use the restroom when I need to and they all need something, BUT in reality, I do make time to do things (like post here, etc.).

 

I'm sorry to make it sound so desperate. Sometimes I think I feel super desperate, or like I can't handle all of it... or a little depressed, but I'm sure everyone with a baby (or kids in general) probably feels like that in this pandemic at times.

 

Oh and my husband does help me, he just works so much that it's hard for both of us right now to give each other breaks (he also needs a break sometimes). I mean, I don't want to pressure him to do a ton of work at home, when his work is already extremely stressful and he's already giving 100% there and usually over 40 hours/wk. But he does make it a point to help, and he does give me time to myself if I ask for things like baths or doing a gardening project, or reading a book. I think it will be easier for both of us once we can adjust to the new baby.

 

And somehow we are able to spend time together in the evenings a couple of times a week (usually his off days) and just be alone together after the kids are in bed and that is super healing to bond in that time! He's a good good man.

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