Hi Friends – I am glad you are here for Coffee With Clare – every Thursday!
I am a young stay at home mother with two children ages 9 months and 3 & ½ years old. I am flat worn out. I am up half the night with my 9 month old (Ben) because he still wakes up at least 2 – 3 times a night to eat (I am still nursing him). During the day, I just find myself having both kids pulling at me, while I’m trying to make them breakfast and lunch, clean, do laundry, tidy up and put toys away, and spend time with them – and Ben, like I mentioned, is still breastfeeding.
I try to start cooking dinner around 4:30 or 5:00 and by then, I am completely wiped out. When my husband comes through the door at 6:00 o’clock, I practically throw the kids at him and say, “Here, it’s your turn now.” My husband is getting frustrated that HE doesn’t seem to get any rest or have down time, but I NEVER do! It seems we are arguing and bickering over silly stuff, and we are both just so overtired. I don’t know how other mothers do it! Help…. I mean I need help!
Signed – Worn out in Washington
Dear Worn Out! Hang on, hang on! You can do this! Baby steps, baby steps! I would suggest a couple of things. It sounds like maybe you need to have an action plan and try to “plan your day.” Now, that’s not to say that every day will be without interruptions and challenges, but I would suggest more structure in your day.
Also, get up, get dressed first thing in the morning and be sure to get some fresh air with the kids; take them to the park or for a walk at least a few times a week. You also need a “break.” Can you plan to “pump” milk and get out for a real date with your husband at least every other week – or maybe even more? See if a family member can watch your kids for 2 – 3 hours during date night (or date afternoon). Yes, you actually need to schedule in “date time” or you won’t do it. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. If you are on a strict budget – take a walk on the beach or in a park, take a drive, go for coffee, or go to a matinee movie.
Also – you need some “girl” time. Ask your husband to watch the kids at least once a month, so you can go out with your girlfriends to have a few chuckles. Offer to do the same for your husband, so he can get out with his friends.
Last but not least, you need to reserve some time for just you when someone else is watching the kids. If this isn’t possible, take 30 minutes after they have gone to bed, for yourself. For added support? Join a “Mom’s group”, you will be able to share challenges and ideas with other moms who are going through some of the same things you have mentioned. I surely hope all this works out – with a little planning, I think it can!
Readers: I would love to hear your suggestions for “Worn Out”!
Friends, I want to hear from you! I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org