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Coffee With Clare

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Dear Clare:

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.   

 

Portrait of scared baby against crazy mother with pan on head

 

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

 

han4.flow

 

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. 

 

Romantic Young African American Couple Walking In Park

 

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. 

 

Young cheerful woman laughing while chatting with friend

 

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!

 

Hanny1

 

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: lifeainteasystreet@gmail.com

~Clare 

 

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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28 Comments

  • Katie says:

    I think a moms group is a great idea! I have been involved in MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) and it has been a great way to meet other moms in my city and not to mention they have free childcare! This could be a huge help for her as she’s thinking about getting some time to herself. It’s been a huge help for me! I also enforce “quiet room time” for my almost 4 year old. Almost daily he has to go in his room and read books or play by himself for at least 30 minutes, sometimes an hour. That gives me time to play catch up or just sit on the couch in some quiet 🙂 maybe that could help too!

    • Clare says:

      I love these ideas, Katie – Thank you and they should be so helpful! I remember hearing about MOPS from other young mothers and they have a great reputation. And I love the idea of your 4-year old having “quiet” time! That at least gives you a moment to breath! Thanks for sharing!

  • Karen says:

    I know it’s already been mentioned, but support from friends is so important! Even if you only have one other person who you can spend time with, who is in a similar situation, that can make all of the difference. If your 3 1/2 year old had another child to play with, she would not rely so much on you for entertainment. That would give both you and the other mom some downtime. It is always nice to be able to share advice with another mom, too! Or just commiserate ? You would not feel so worn out or isolated.

    • Clare says:

      I don’t think you can mention “enough” support from family and friends! I know when my kids were babies and small I had my mom’s help and it certainly bailed me out many, many times! Yes, play times and interaction with other small kids can really truly help! Thanks for offering these wonderful ideas – we appreciate it!

  • candy says:

    I suggested all of these to my daughter after her first son was born. She is now expecting number three. It works all your suggestions. Every Thursday at local library is reading time to kids. She has meant other moms and now they meet at the locals parks. Kids play everyone has a picnic lunch. Everyone watches each others kids and can express their struggles with like minded moms. It works.

    • Clare says:

      Wow – three kids! My goodness – that’s wonderful! that is wonderful with play time, reading time and meeting other moms with their kids – that helps the moms and also helps the kid interaction while “wearing them down too”! 🙂

  • Susan Gaddis says:

    A mom’s group is so important! I couldn’t have raised 6 kids without getting together with my mom friends once a week. It really was a place to revive myself, get refocused, and just laugh at our lives. Sometimes this was a set time and place where childcare was available, though in the summer we’d meet at the park and just let the kids play while we talked and giggled. The benefit is that so many of the mom’s that helped me raise my kids are still in my life today… and their kids are too!

    • Clare says:

      You raised 6 kids! God bless you… and here you are – you made it through! 🙂 🙂 Thanks for sharing these tips and about the mom’s group because that sounds like a wonderful idea, too. Oh, that put a smile on my face (and I’m sure readers too) that you are still in touch and friends with many of the moms and their kids from when your kids were small! Thanks!

  • Christine says:

    I think making time for yourself is very important. The things that worked for me in the past was taking time during the day for 30 minutes and doing something i enjoyed. Also I make a point to have girlfriend time. Even if it is for an hour. I would ask a family member to watch my son so I could have time to refuel.

    • Clare says:

      Just 30 minutes a day for yourself sounds so refreshing and glad you shared that!!! And the girlfriend time! I think that is so so important, too! Thanks for the tips!

  • Meredith Nye says:

    I completely agree with the Mom’s group idea. Check meetup.com, church or facebook for mom’s group. They completely saved me when my son was young. As hard as it is to get out the door, it is so worth it. Alone time with your spouse at night is a must. We have always done a semi early bedtime, so we have time to be together and wind down. Lots of hugs for you, momma!

    • Clare says:

      So many of you lovely ladies have shared about the mom’s group and thanks so much for these tidbits – I think all of these will help! And, yes, alone time with your husband is necessary to just remember you are a couple and to reconnect! Thanks!

  • Kristin says:

    Girl time has been HUGE for me since my toddler has started having an opinion! We have the mommy attached days and it is a great excuse to have a little bit of daddy time while mommy goes out with friends!

    • Clare says:

      I have always tried to make girl time a priority in my life – (my kids are now grown) and it has always been such a refreshing and rejuvenating time for me! Thanks for the tips!

  • Dana Stowell Hoebeke says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with a schedule to stick to and also the mom’s group or a mom’s bible study. I had 4 little ones 5yrs old and under, those things were my saving grace!
    They are all teenagers now and I can say I have survived! 🙂

    • Clare says:

      Ha ha – so cute that you shared you “survived”! I did, too, as my girls are young adults now… but we’ve all had those moments we didn’t know if we’d made it through! 🙂 🙂 But it’s nice to know that young mothers can and will survive! Love your ideas and also the tip about the mom’s bible study – that must have been so encouraging and refreshing! Thanks!

  • Alonda says:

    I would suggest more routine during the time you are at home. I am a stay at home mom of 3 kids (3, 1, and 3 months). It gets CRAZY!! But we have found some balance in routine. When I cook meals I have the kiddo’s in the kitchen with me. The toddler in the high chair, the 3 year old at the table, and the youngest is usually sleeping or I am “wearing” him in a baby wrap. I give them cheerios, a book, and a car or something and while they play and snack we chat and I cook.

    Also get your 3 year old involved! My 3 year old loves to be involved with the baby. When he is crying my 3 year old comforts him. When I need something I ask my 3 year old to get it and he does. He will throw away diapers, clean up toys, put laundry in the laundry room. By 3 most kids are able to start learning some of those tasks. Teach him how he can be helpful. Start implementing kid chores so there is not so much on your plate.

    Those are some things that worked for me.

    • Clare says:

      Keeping those kids busy and active – like you said! That’s wonderful! God bless you for doing it somehow… with 3 kids under 4 years old!!!!! That’s so sweet that you get your oldest involved! Kids love to be active and help! You are instilling great habits – all wonderful tips and thanks!

  • Heather says:

    All your advice is great Claire! I’m a mom of young ones and I struggle too, one thing that would make mornings easier is waking up before them, having breakfast ready before they get into the kitchen! Also crock pot dinners, I love the days when I dump it all in the crock pot and let it cook for me! Then i don’t have to worry about dinner that night! Pray for strength, God is with you to help!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I love crock pot dinners too! I think everyone does and that’s a great tip for a young mother! Waking up before the children if possible is helpful to catch your breath and get your “game plan” on – wonderful suggestions! And thanks for this! 🙂

  • I love that you suggest “girl time”! I know that when the kids were little I NEEDED to speak to women who understand the season of life I was in. Coffee with my girlfriends once a month could keep me sane for a while!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, yes, girl time is so so necessary. I was a working mom and I remember feeling guilty if I ran to lunch and/or a movie on Saturday afternoon with a dear girlfriend… but then I just learned I had to get over the guilt and those were special days… helped me get restored and refreshed! So glad you meet with your girlfriends – I know it helps! 🙂 🙂

  • andi says:

    probably the “girl time” would be best for you right now – just to start

  • Tara says:

    Great advice! Getting the kids outside every day, even when I didn’t want to was a lifesaver for me. They were always ready for a nap after lunch, and there weren’t as many meltdowns throughout the day. I loved meeting other moms at the playground because then everyone is happy.

    • Clare says:

      Such wonderful ideas, Tara! Nap time was so so important to me, too! (Which was a very long time ago now)! 🙂 But I was fortunate in that my girls were very good nappers! Yes, time with other moms and kids is great! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! We appreciate it!

  • Although my two daughters are now young adults, I do remember how tiring it was when they were that age. Here is my best advice: When your husband is home on a Sunday and can be in charge of watching the kiddos, take the opportunity to shop for and prepare four dinners in advance and refrigerate or freeze them (soup, chili, lasagna, etc.) Then plan on ordering take-out three days a week: rotisserie chicken meal (think Pollo Loco), Chinese food, burritos from Chipotle, pizza, etc. In advance, let your husband know on which days he should be picking up these “take-out” dinners after work and bringing them home. This will help relieve some of the evening stress you are both feeling when your hubby comes home after work. Another thing to keep in mind is this: the stressful Baby Cloud you are now under will be lifting and blowing away within the next 24 months. Your 3.5 year old will be in kindergarden and your baby will be in preschool a few hours three days a week. So just hang in there…the tide will be changing soon!

    • Clare says:

      Wow, Denay I have two young adult daughters, too! 🙂 Wonderful advice – love the cooking and freezing or refrigerating meals on Sundays – wonderful idea! And for young couples who really can’t “afford” take out – look for coupons and ad specials – lots of restaurants do that these days in this economy!!!! Great great tips and we appreciate it! 🙂

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