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amother






Post  Thu, Feb 23 2012, 4:23 pm
This got me thinking.

I was always very good with kids and loved them. I was the best babysitter according to all the ones I babysat for, and I was also a teacher for young children. I knew that I wanted a lot of kids, close in age.

I have a few young children right now, very close in age (a year apart each) and just took a 2 year break. I get overwhelmed, stressed out with messes, very low tolerance for extreme whining, kvetching, and tantruming.

On the other hand, I really love my kids and I love to spend time with them doing art projects and things like that.

Lately, I've been shutting down somewhat while they are home because I am so tired and out of it after a long day of work that I find myself not paying much attention to them. I'll space out on the computer, or I'll sit on the couch watchign them and hoping that they will entertain themselves b/c I am too tired to think of anythign to do with them. I find myself dreading bath time and always thinking about bedtime.

I sound like a horrible mother, don't I? Well, I know I have the potential to be a great mother and I do not want my kids to grow up like many of the ladies who posted in that thread did - with an overworked, overwhelmed, stressed out mom and felt like they never got enough attention.

So I am turning to you, my friends. PLEASE, for the sake of my kids, can you help me be a better mother? Can you give me some tips on how to deal with blessings that I have now and how to enjoy motherhood?

Thank yoU!
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chani8









  


Post  Thu, Feb 23 2012, 5:27 pm
Ten kids in the house and totally overwhelmed. I don't care about being a good mom right now, I care about functioning. I just want to find the motivation to get off the couch and face dinner time, bed time, morning rush hour, getting everyone ready for Shabbat. Ugh!

If you are having such a hard time now, just wait until you hit the big 40 with teens and pre-teens. It's so much harder.

And also, don't stress about how good of a parent you are now, because when they grow up they'll probably only remember how lousy their mom was to them when they were teenagers. Teens get ugly and we get reactive and then all our hard work and recognition goes down the drain. So relax. Just do the minimum because they won't appreciate supermom anyway.
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amother






Post  Thu, Feb 23 2012, 5:33 pm
I'm kind of in the same situation as you and I was having the same thoughts as I read the other thread. It does scare me especially since I come from a very small, spaced out family so I don't have any first hand knowledge.

It's not only when I 'shut myself out' as you said but also in situations where I'm dealing with one child another comes to tell me something, then I'll remember I need to run to kitchen to switch gas off, the baby starts crying, I pick him up and see he needs to be changed, the child whose is just toilet trained yells he needs the bathroom and, and, and, you get the picture. So does this mean all my kids are feeling they are not getting any attention from me and grow up with resentment? That makes me so sad.

Sorry I have no advice for you OP, but I'm also keen to hear suggestions.
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small bean









  


Post  Thu, Feb 23 2012, 6:27 pm
Okay, I'm in a similar situation. My kids are 5,3.5, 2 and 10m.

What I do is, I try to keep to a certain schedule every day. This way, my kids know what to expect.

Their in school until 2 (and I work until then)
Everyone comes home (they shmooze on the way home about their day), and they have to entertain them self until 3.30 (I eat lunch and chill out)

At 3.30 we have activity, which monday's is always a game, tuesday craft, wednesday either game or we go somewhere, thursday is baking. We do activity and then everyone does what ever they want until supper, somewhere around 5.30. Some of my kids like to help with supper, so I give out jobs.

We eat supper, I sit by the table with them and ask them what was their best part of the day, who they played with etc....

Then we pick one room, that we clean up together.

everyone chills again until I'm ready for bedtime. which is around 7.

I find scheduling like this makes them and me happy...
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Growing









  


Post  Thu, Feb 23 2012, 6:50 pm
so impressive - thanks!
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amother






Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 2:18 am
small bean wrote:
Okay, I'm in a similar situation. My kids are 5,3.5, 2 and 10m.

What I do is, I try to keep to a certain schedule every day. This way, my kids know what to expect.

Their in school until 2 (and I work until then)
Everyone comes home (they shmooze on the way home about their day), and they have to entertain them self until 3.30 (I eat lunch and chill out)

At 3.30 we have activity, which monday's is always a game, tuesday craft, wednesday either game or we go somewhere, thursday is baking. We do activity and then everyone does what ever they want until supper, somewhere around 5.30. Some of my kids like to help with supper, so I give out jobs.

We eat supper, I sit by the table with them and ask them what was their best part of the day, who they played with etc....

Then we pick one room, that we clean up together.

everyone chills again until I'm ready for bedtime. which is around 7.

I find scheduling like this makes them and me happy...


smallbean, you have been my role model since the summer, when you posted all your amazing ideas about Mommy camp.

Your schedule sounds too good to be true, though. How do your kids entertain themselves? What about fights? When do you get any housework done? And HOW praytell to you get them to clean up with you??
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shalhevet









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 2:46 am
One thing I found really helped me when I had a few little kids was learning to finish what I was doing with one before starting something else (unless it was an emergency). So if I was reading a story to one child and the baby made an explosion in his/her diaper or another child asked for a drink, I'd finish the story before doing the next thing. If a baby cried, I'd hold them if I could while I finished doing the first thing, but if I couldn't I'd just leave them to cry for a minute or two.

This not only helps physically get things done, but it also helps emotionally/mentally that you will do it only after you've finished the task in hand.
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StrongIma









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 3:43 am
great advice, shalhevet!

another thing to keep in mind is not to get so caught up in the to-do list that you forget to enjoy the moment and simple joys of being with your child, to see and hear the cuteness and be happy together with him/her - it takes only a minute and it's soo important for both of you! it will help you keep on track and prevent getting embittered with your load - remind you what it's all about.
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ora_43









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 4:21 am
I agree with small bean and shalhevet.

I find that right after work it's easiest for me to do a quiet activity, followed by something where they don't need my direct attention. So for example - reading a few stories, then taking them to the park to play with friends, or doing a puzzle and then going to a crafts activity at the community center.

Going out takes more initial energy but IMHO ends up being a lot easier than trying to keep everyone happy at home.

And I have to agree with small bean again - schedule! so helpful... especially with going out, if it's on the weekly schedule for a certain time I'm a lot more likely to do it than if it's a "maybe we'll go out later" thing.

Btw how I motivate my kids to clean... either "let's clean up as a nice surprise for abba," or "if the room isn't clean, we won't be able to have a friend over tomorrow," or just, "it's time to clean now," or if all else fails, "if you don't want to clean you don't have to, but then I'm going to take the clothes and toys from the floor and they'll all be in my room this week." Basically a mix of rewards, threats, and "because I said so"... Twisted Evil .... but the good thing is, no need for anger.
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ora_43









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 6:13 am
chani8 wrote:
And also, don't stress about how good of a parent you are now, because when they grow up they'll probably only remember how lousy their mom was to them when they were teenagers. Teens get ugly and we get reactive and then all our hard work and recognition goes down the drain. So relax. Just do the minimum because they won't appreciate supermom anyway.

Come on, you must have been a teenager once. They don't appreciate you now but that doesn't mean they won't appreciate what you did later in life Very Happy .
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amother






Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 6:14 am
not OP but second amother here.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

One thing I found really helped me when I had a few little kids was learning to finish what I was doing with one before starting something else (unless it was an emergency). So if I was reading a story to one child and the baby made an explosion in his/her diaper or another child asked for a drink, I'd finish the story before doing the next thing. If a baby cried, I'd hold them if I could while I finished doing the first thing, but if I couldn't I'd just leave them to cry for a minute or two.

Thats a really good idea I cant believe it never occured to me, so simple! At the moment I'm running from one to the other until sometimes I snap, and no-one is even happy Embarassed Sad
I really hate the sound of babies crying and kids whining but maybe I have to train myself a bit.

another thing to keep in mind is not to get so caught up in the to-do list that you forget to enjoy the moment and simple joys of being with your child, to see and hear the cuteness and be happy together with him/her - it takes only a minute and it's soo important for both of you! it will help you keep on track and prevent getting embittered with your load - remind you what it's all about.
This is so true. Too many times after I put the children to bed I realise that I didnt spend time just sitting with them that day.
I find the whole day one big rush from the minute I wake up, always rushing to the next thing. I really hate it.

About scheduling, sometimes I feel the problem is that our lives are over scheduled, KWIM?
My kids finish school at different times, roughly half hour in between, so there isnt time to do anything significant in that time. My oldest gets home too late to have time to do anything other than rush through supper, bath and get them to bed at a decent hour. Most nights there's no time even for hmw.

Does anyone have tips for those two hrs from 5-7pm?

(sorry I don't know how to quote)
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Tablepoetry









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 6:31 am
I don't have any words of advice. But kol hakavod to those of you who manage well. I agree that our lives are over-scheduled. I don't know how some of you have the strength and energy to go to the park or the community center after work on a regular basis.
I find I really need some downtime/computer time/or nap time in the afternoons. Thankfully I don't have babies right now. But I do think quiet time for mom is essential too.
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sunny90









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 6:45 am
This is a great thread! I only have 2 LO atm but I really do have an ambition to have as many children as possible (for me--as in possible for me to have without going insane). I just want to know how to do it the best way I can!

So thank you all!
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amother






Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 7:29 am
I have the same thing
I always loved babysitting and kids but get overwhelmed now and I don't feel like I'm giving the kids enough attention. It's difficult - I'm not sure if the answer is have less kids
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chani8









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 8:32 am
ora_43 wrote:
chani8 wrote:
And also, don't stress about how good of a parent you are now, because when they grow up they'll probably only remember how lousy their mom was to them when they were teenagers. Teens get ugly and we get reactive and then all our hard work and recognition goes down the drain. So relax. Just do the minimum because they won't appreciate supermom anyway.

Come on, you must have been a teenager once. They don't appreciate you now but that doesn't mean they won't appreciate what you did later in life Very Happy .


Oh my, will I have to wait until they are 42 yrs old with teens of their own??!!!
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small bean









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 9:44 am
I agree with shalhevet.

My kids can do whatever they want. My oldest loves sudoku and does that or they take out puzzles... I think kids at this age still need free play. Sometimes, during entertain yourself time - I'll read books if I'm in the mood... Before I started the schedule, I told my kids how it works. Because their looking forward to "activity" they are able to keep busy for that hour, because they know after is activity.

We clean up 1 room together. I let them choose which room they want to do. (they usually pick the easiest one) I give my 2 yr old exact instructions. like pick up that doll and run put it with the dolls in your room. My 5 year old gets a task, like pick up the lego. And my 3.5 yr old, I tell her to pick up 3 things and put it away.. I repeat until done. I don't get upset if they don't help. I usually say, if you don't want to help, you have to go out of this room until were done. It usually works cuz we shmooze and have fun while we clean and they don't want to miss out.

My house is not neat and clean. I try to straighten up in the morning as they eat breakfast and at night before my husband comes home.. but if it doesn't happen, I'm cool with it, because all I want is happy kids and so far they don't mind the mess.
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MamaBear









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 9:55 am
For me it got harder when my oldest started getting "real" homework. Those fun afternoon activities just don't work out the same way in the hr and a half before dinner when you have homework to get through...once my kids left the 5 and under range it meant that they all really had different needs.

My only advice is that when things get really bad (they're all shouting and demanding mommy), you try your hardest to respond calmly and not snap. You can internally think to yourself that it's all too much, but when you start grumbling and even shouting, it all really falls apart. Kids feed off your mood and energy. They remember the shouting not the chaos when they're older.

I also let the house go to pieces when dh is not home. I ask him to give me a ten minutes heads up before he arrives and then I power clean for those 10 minutes. Thank g-d he's never been early.
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anon for this









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 10:23 am
MamaBear wrote:
My only advice is that when things get really bad (they're all shouting and demanding mommy), you try your hardest to respond calmly and not snap. You can internally think to yourself that it's all too much, but when you start grumbling and even shouting, it all really falls apart. Kids feed off your mood and energy. They remember the shouting not the chaos when they're older.

This is an excellent point. Sometimes I have to force myself not to complain/ shout because I know that it will make things worse and in any case is not the way I want my home to be. When I feel like things are getting out of hand, sometimes I'll tell a joke or talk about something funny that happened or even sing a silly song. Also I make a particular effort to modulate my voice.

My youngest is in preschool, so if I really need a few minutes to myself I can tell my kids and they won't disturb me. (Even though I rarely do this, it's nice knowing that I have this option).

I think the bolded part is particularly true.
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Ruchel









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 10:53 am
I can't imagine a mother of a large family doing homework with her children, there's just no time. I also don't believe even with an only you should do it. Helping a few times a year with something very hard? fine. But it's the child's responsibility, especially after kindergarten.
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Merrymom









  


Post  Fri, Feb 24 2012, 11:03 am
You don't sound like a horrible mother at all, you sound like a normal one. I also used to play alot with the kids I took care of. Now that I have my own B"H, I basically don't entertain them AT ALL. At most I read a book to them and take them to the park from time to time. They learn that their mother isn't their playmate, that's what they have siblings for. They learn very quickly how to keep each other busy. I always made sure to have lots of toys, dolls, games, and arts and crafts to keep them busy though. I give it to them and they do the playing, not me. A mother is there for hugs and kisses and a little conversation, not to be best friends or a dream babysitter.
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