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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Infants
Feeling sad that I can't keep up

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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 8:52 am
My baby is almost 6 months old.
There is ONE thing that I think I'm doing well. Taking care of her and my other kids.
And in every other area of life I'm falling short.

And it's not that I don't think being a mother to my kids is the most important- of course it is.

But everyone else seems to be able to do that PLUS and I just can't.

I feel like a failure at my job. Constantly behind on things, making silly mistakes, not doing my best work.

I can't keep my house clean and I can't stay on top of the laundry.

I haven't had a single guest since before my third trimester.

Also haven't participated in anything community-wise, like meal trains or helping with bar mitzvah kiddushes. People with 2 month olds sent me meals after I had my baby.

I can count on one hand the times I've been together with my husband.

I know life will eventually get back to normal and it's a stage but why does it take me SO much longer than everyone else to find my footing?
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 8:57 am
Never compare yourself to others. And you have no idea who is managing at home and who isn’t. 6 months is still an adjustment it will get easier.
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 8:57 am
I relate so so much to this. Except I also feel like I’m not managing to be a good mom as much as I should.

Hugs. It’s tough. I try to keep reminding myself that some people naturally have a lot more energy, or have more help, or don’t have to work. I feel pathetic that women my age or younger are running programs, giving community shiurim, doing side hustles, having a baby every year or so…and seem calm, competent and clear-headed and I feel like I don’t even know what day it is half the time, and I feel accomplished when I get to my office only 15 minutes late. TMI
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 9:06 am
You sound like a really good mom, and that's your most important role (with being a good wife)-

so you are doing a way better job than people who have perfect houses, are awesome at work, but are losing it with their kids (waaaay more common)

If you could put more effort into anything, it should be prioritizing something for your husband, either being together physically, or showing him your love in way that has been evidently missing.

Everything else SEEMS important, but really is not.
At the same time, I want to validate that it must feel overwhelming to feel like you are not accomplishing in every way like you want to- because it is really hard. Definitely can relate.
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 9:06 am
Can you reframe it?
You are so amazing at where it matters most!
So many aren't! Your kids are lucky.

Get a cleaning lady to help w the home upkeep and Laundry.
I have 2x a week. I wouldn't manage without them. And I totally think I'm fully capable. Laundry for 6 and a house to maintain is a lot. I prioritize keeping my toddler home with me for a long as she is content over doing housework. I don't like the idea of playgroup unless absolutely necessary (like working, physically unable , or being unable to entertain/occupy them appropriately. Or other reasons like mental health or whatever)
I will give her a piggy back ride, make her a warm breakfast, lunch and supper over scrubbing toilets and folding perfect tee-shirt. (I actually love doing laundry. But the time in the day baby is napping and that I can actually do laundry and cook supper Ans take care of other things is so limited I often don't have time to fold. So the cleaning lady does it)

It's summer, buy take out one day, go out for a swim with friends after the kids are at school. And come home refreshed. It'll do you a lot of good. For yourself, your marriage and your parenting.

The only place I'd say you should always strive to improve in life is self developemnt (that doesnt mean career wise rather yiddishkeit-commecting to Hashem/personality/middos/talents/hobbies) marriage and parenting. Becuasr that's all that truly matters.
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 9:09 am
Don't compare yourself!

You don't know what's going on behind closed doors. I was always wishing to be more like my neighbour until I found out more about them.

I was jealous of one neighbour how she always had the house neat and yummy smells of cooking. Turns out she doesn't do the cooking so her husband has to do it.

The other neighbour who had a baby the same timings as me and always has a spotless house. Table set Thursday night even though she has 5 kids under 7. Now sends her baby to my playgroup her babies bottles are always dirty and looks like they haven't been washed ever. Her 7 and 6 yr old are given the responsibility to look after the 1, 3 &4 yr old way to often for their age.

My friend who has a nice large always clean house but when her kids came and mentioned that our house is messy and their house is clean always my 6 yr old said 'yes but our house we can have fun.' after my daughter said how when she goes plays their they can't do anything in the house coz it will make it messy.

At that point I realised I'd rather have a messy house or supper later than planned but be the best mother, wife and friend to my family.
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 9:15 am
you seem to hard on yourself. would you be this hard on your best friend? your sister? your daughter? show yourself some grace
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 9:22 am
You're good. You correctly prioritized the most important thing, so you can pay yourself on the back for that.

Is your oldest the baby? Kids don't care in the least about the house being dirty until at the EARLIEST age 10 if they are having a friend over. At that point they are old enough you can tell them "let's clean together 45 min before she comes over" doing it together makes it more fun (bonus you put music on).

In the Garden of Emuna for wives (maube for women) it says that the woman who is active in a bunch of charities but neglects her own children, is WORSE than the woman who neglects her own children and does no charities outside the house. Why? Because the 2nd woman didn't have energy to do anything, and her children will understand that, but the first woman had time/energy to do great things but chose to do them for people other than her children, and her children won't forgive her. So you should not feel guilty about not doing chesed outside the home. At some point, your children will be big, and you can be mechanech them to do chesed by doing it WITH them. If you never have time/energy to go out and do chesed alone, that's ok.
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Post Fri, Jun 14 2024, 10:37 am
Maybe your baby is more demanding. Maybe you have weaker executive functions or are weaker physically. Maybe the other people you're looking at just aren't such attentive mothers (very possible). Maybe they are wealthy and have tons of help.
Either way, I think you're the normal one here and it's everyone else you're looking at that isn't normal. You have a baby , fully dependent on you. Please just let yourself sink into it and enjoy this stage!
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