Sign in to follow this  
Backroads

How do you stay-at-home moms do it?

Recommended Posts

I'm looking for a little advice. I stayed at home until my daughter was one. That was fairly easy. She couldn't walk, I could set her down to play or sleep and get stuff done.

 

So, summer vacation! Yay! I'm loving it, but at the same time it's aggravating. I can't get anything done. The house is a mess even with my husband's help because my daughter wants my attention All The Time. Currently she is sitting in my lap because she won't go play. When my husband watches her, he was an expert at giving her plenty of attention and getting her to go do an activity on her own. None of his tips are working for me.

 

I know I ought to appreciate this time, but it's getting to me mentally and I'm afraid I'm not used to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my kids were little, I and some other mothers, arranged play dates.  We took turns watching each others kids so that we would have at least a couple of hours to ourselves to get some things done.  

 

We set up a schedule.  I had every Tuesday morning from 9-11.  I knew that each day I had 2 hours of free time to get things done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I work from home which is even crazier than stay at home in the summers.

When they were little (under 6 years old), I hired a Young Man from Church who was 14 years old at that time to come to the house and play with the boys. He would come by at 10AM, play with the kids, feed them lunch, then go home at 2PM, Monday-Friday. I gave him $100 a week. So, I would schedule all my meetings and anything that I had to go and open the mic/video on my puter to connect to others at my job between 10 and 2. The rest of the time, I would work when the kids are settled for naps/tv/battlefield play on the coffee table, etc. They got kids in the neighborhood that come over to play too so they're usually occupied constantly.

The Young Man went off to serve a mission when my youngest turned 4, my oldest 6... so since then, every Summer, I got the kids all to myself. My kids got used to "quiet coz Mom is in a meeting" time. So, when I yell - "Meeting!" my kids play quietly. With 2 kids and the neighborhood kids it is easier because they entertain themselves. My boys in those days can play all day on their Lego table and Thomas the Tank Engine table and their Battlefield (toy soldiers, tanks, etc. with their pet snakes as Kings all laid out on any flat surface). Then they would run like mad all around the house with the dogs - living room to dining room to kitchen then up the stairs and down the stairs again around and around and around yelling the entire time. Crazy kids. Then they bang on the piano and the drums and make a big racket... there are days when I would have 10 kids chasing each other in the house. It's funny because when I yell "Meeting!" it's like somebody died because of the big difference in noise level - even the dogs notice and would go on alert ears but no bark! LOL!

When they got much older - around 8 and 10 - that's when they started spending more time outside than in - they would go climb trees, ride bikes, play bball, chase critters, build forts, etc. etc. and I just see them when they get hungry. They have several kids in the neighborhood that run around with them.

This summer, kids are 11 and 13, and I would pack my computer, drive them to the beach or park or anywhere they want me to take them and I would sit down working while they do whatever boys do. This is the 4th week of summer vacation and I haven't had a day yet when there's nobody sleeping over for the night.

So, keeping the house clean? Well, there's clean and there's clean with kids. I have the clean with kids (and pets) house. Everything is chaos when the kids are playing - I have no "don't jump on the couch and the like" rules. But, I've taught them since they were super little to pick up after they're done. The Montessori method really works perfectly with this scenario. You drop food on the carpet, you clean it up. Your toy breaks, fix it. When you're done throwing toy soldiers down the stairs on a "Normandy battle re-enactment" you go pick them all up and throw them back in their bins. I have banned their Nerf guns for a spell because I would find nerf bullets all over the place. But yeah, my house is a popular house for the kids because of the "knock yourself out" barely-there rules. My sister wouldn't last 2 hours in my house. Her house is the HGTV-clean house - lots of breakables on the coffee table that is just waiting for kids to knock over. But it is super duper peaceful in their house so much so that when you walk in the house, you automatically tend to whisper. Her kids are not allowed to run inside the house or raise their voices. Indoor voice only. But you know, I can see why she likes it that way - it is very very conducive to meditation/reflection/revelation from the Spirit - 24/7. In my house, you have to lock yourself in a bedroom if you want peace and quiet. Or, my husband has to call the entire house to order to get some FHE done. And since the kids don't have bedtimes - the chaos can go all the way past midnight.

So, what I'm trying to say here... you really just need to decide what type of house you want to have and then arrange things so that a child can be semi-independent in that environment you desire. And then call for reinforcements so you can get a break. Relief Society and YW/YM is your best friend... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

P.S. As I write this, I'm sitting on a bench at the 8th hole of mini golf while my 2 kids and 3 other friends aged 7-10 play mini-golf. They're probably gonna go hit the batting cages, so I got a few minutes of work... so I'm gonna get off lds.net for a spell. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is "Parenting" and not "Relief Society", I will go ahead and throw in my two cents.

 

The primary problem you're experiencing is one of viewpoint, not time management. You have already sensed this, and your sense is correct. The house will simply have to move down a notch in importance. You can clean up during her naptimes and other sleep times, but the days of you having hours to concentrate on a set of (non-child-rearing) tasks are behind you, and will not return for some years.

 

My advice is to accept this gracefully, make sure your husband understands what your situation is (so he can help and so he doesn't get upset when the previously normal expectations are all out of whack), and then concentrate on learning how to enjoy mothering your beautiful daughter. Fwiw, she will not always be so needy; she might actually outgrow that neediness earlier than you prefer. But for now, she is your #1 concern and life project.

 

That's one idea for your consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my favorite parenting guru:

How to Keep Order in the House During Summer Break
by John Rosemond

Only Satan could think of something as diabolical as a three-month summer vacation. It's a misnomer anyway. Vacation derives from vacate, which means empty. Most parents, on the other hand, would agree that summer vacation is completely full of it. 

Full of squabbles with the kids, between the kids, over the kids, under the kids, and every which way but up the kids. Full of kids who want to stay up 'til midnight and sleep 'til noon and do nothing all day except complain of having nothing to do, but who don't want to do anything you suggest unless it's "Hey, kids, let's get in the car and go to Disney World!" 

No wonder that by August you're on the brink of complete cerebral meltdown and contemplating such things as locking the kids out of the house or putting tranquilizers in their breakfast cereal. 

Cheer up and read on. This could be your first summer of peace and quiet and calm, well-behaved children - all the things summer is supposed to be. 

Read more here

Edited by pam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Whew... I'm exhausted just reading the post above. LOL!

Yeah, that is just way to complicated and formulaic for me. Summer vacation in my house is a vacation. No schedules. It's truly - Go Have Fun Kids! My kids sort out their own squabbles, sleep whenever they get sleepy, wake up whenever they want to wake up, and do whatever they want to do. If you teach your kids good principles, they learn to govern themselves. Chores get done because that's just what they've been doing every single day of the year and summer is no different when it comes to keeping the house livable. But if they want to spend all their summer watching TV... knock yourself out. But see, there's this big outdoors outside the door - they'd rather go chase lizards than watch TV. TV is like - I got grounded, or I broke the chains on my bike, what a bummer I guess I'll just watch TV. Video games is a different matter - they can play video games All. Day. Long. But, when the neighborhood kids knock on the door, video games go see ya later... it's no fun playing video games when there are more kids than controllers. Educational? Well, life is educational... so that's their education for the summer - like, how to climb to the ceiling using these two walls for leverage? Or, how can I get to the top of a 50-foot pine when the first branch is 20 feet up? Or, what law of physics govern the braking power of my shoe when the bike's brake chord just snapped? Or the observational skills required to determine whether it's a venomous water moccasin or the non-venomous water snake before they pick the thing up.

Now, in my sister's house, the kids are not allowed to go outside and they can't run riot inside - so, it's read a book or watch TV or play video games or try to figure out a quiet build-something-from-some-blocks game - not much choices there - so my sister has to figure out all kinds of activities for them to do so they don't get lost in the land of boredom. Bored kids end up fighting a lot. I'd go crazy doing that all summer long. It's so much simpler to just keep the door open to both my kids going out and their friends and cousins coming in... then they won't run out of things to do and no time to fight.

And as I write this, I just overheard my 2 boys calling all their friends to come with them to the movies tomorrow. I guess that's the plan for tomorrow. I should start a picture-blog of my work office everyday. Tomorrow's work office is gonna be the theater lobby.

Edited by anatess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whew... I'm exhausted just reading the post above. LOL!

Yeah, that is just way to complicated and formulaic for me. Summer vacation in my house is a vacation. No schedules. It's truly - Go Have Fun Kids! My kids sort out their own squabbles, sleep whenever they get sleepy, wake up whenever they want to wake up, and do whatever they want to do. If you teach your kids good principles, they learn to govern themselves.

 

Lol . . . .I can get that. Basically the gist is; give kids enough responsibility to make your life easier, so there is structure, don't turn 'em into brain dead zombies and let them go play.  

 

Yeap, I make sure my kids sort out their own problems . . .I don't want to be involved-they need to figure it out. Which is really good, it's taught my oldest not to be a bully and the youngest to stick up for herself-in the real world there is no "mommy" or "daddy" to go crying to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Yeap, I make sure my kids sort out their own problems . . .I don't want to be involved-they need to figure it out. Which is really good, it's taught my oldest not to be a bully and the youngest to stick up for herself-in the real world there is no "mommy" or "daddy" to go crying to.

It's easier when you only got 2 kids. They fight and it gets to the point where one or both come crying to me... a lot of times I don't bother figuring out what happened, who's right, who's wrong. I just say, "How many brothers do you have?" ... that's all it takes now and they're off apologizing and hugging on each other. When they were little, I would ask, "How many brothers do you have?" and they would say "One", and I would ask, "Are you sure? Because, right now, it looks to me like you just lost your one and only brother. Who are you gonna play with now?"

When it's really serious, they're not crying and squabbling when they come to me. They come to me all serious and it becomes an impromptu FHE or a "court is in session". Sometimes scriptures get opened.

Edited by anatess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for a little advice. I stayed at home until my daughter was one. That was fairly easy. She couldn't walk, I could set her down to play or sleep and get stuff done.

 

So, summer vacation! Yay! I'm loving it, but at the same time it's aggravating. I can't get anything done. The house is a mess even with my husband's help because my daughter wants my attention All The Time. Currently she is sitting in my lap because she won't go play. When my husband watches her, he was an expert at giving her plenty of attention and getting her to go do an activity on her own. None of his tips are working for me.

 

I know I ought to appreciate this time, but it's getting to me mentally and I'm afraid I'm not used to it.

 

Did your schedule because of summer vacation just change? If so, then your daughter might be just taking advantage of having you all to herself not realizing that you're not going anywhere, you're home for the summer. It might just take time for her to understand this change in your schedule. 

 

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did your schedule because of summer vacation just change? If so, then your daughter might be just taking advantage of having you all to herself not realizing that you're not going anywhere, you're home for the summer. It might just take time for her to understand this change in your schedule. 

 

M.

 

I'm a teacher, so I'm off for the summer. I think you're right that she is all "Yay, Mom's home!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Believe it or not, a friend of mine showed me a screen shot of a FB conversation where this mom was asking some mom's group for advice. Her husband lost his job so he's currently a stay-at-home dad and she said they have no clue what to do with their 4-year-old child. She said they find themselves just staring at each other for hours on end.

I'm scratching my head trying to imagine how you end up just staring at a 4-year-old all day long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Believe it or not, a friend of mine showed me a screen shot of a FB conversation where this mom was asking some mom's group for advice. Her husband lost his job so he's currently a stay-at-home dad and she said they have no clue what to do with their 4-year-old child. She said they find themselves just staring at each other for hours on end.

I'm scratching my head trying to imagine how you end up just staring at a 4-year-old all day long.

 

How sad. This is so tragic that it is not even mockable. A parent who has no idea how to parent, who is at a loss what to do with a FOUR-YEAR-OLD. People create children, then expect to ship them off and are incapable of raising them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is sad. On one day when Husband was on parenting duty I came home to find him reading Daughter Emily Dickinson poetry (he says he initially thought it was different book when she brought it to him). He parents differently than I do with a lot more rough n' wild time (is this just what dads do?), but he can parent and keep her fed, watered, and alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

is this just what dads do?

It must be. My 2 boys are tazmanian devils because of their dad.

Common conversation in my house:

Son: Dad! I was able to get to the tree from the fence!

Dad: Whoa! That's awesome! Let's try jumping to the tree from the roof!

Mom: WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It must be. My 2 boys are tazmanian devils because of their dad.

Common conversation in my house:

Son: Dad! I was able to get to the tree from the fence!

Dad: Whoa! That's awesome! Let's try jumping to the tree from the roof!

Mom: WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED!

 

My brother's new baby girl has some medical problems and spends her nights hooked up to oxygen and has been in for far too many doctor's visits. Yet he still laughed and took video of my husband swinging and flipping our toddler through the air. It must be in the genes.

Edited by Backroads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

My brother's new baby girl has some medical problems and spends her nights hooked up to oxygen and has been in for far too many doctor's visits. Yet he still laughed and took video of my husband swinging and flipping our toddler through the air. It must be in the genes.

It comes with that Y chromosome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been a stay at home mom to my 6 well...forever, haha! Seriously-we have 6 ages 21(and newly married) 19, 17,15,7 and 2. The biggest thing I have learned is that the dishes will keep, and childhood is a short season. Go easy on yourself and have fun. Yes, housework needs to get done but it can be made fun with little ones. It really can. :)

 

I'd also say to get the little one involved in some (age appropriate) crafts that require some time to do-clay, sewing, loom crafting. Keeps the hands and mind busy. I have been known as the craft mom for years-when things get nuts out comes the clay and glitter and glue, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come to the conclusion that parenting is a constant mixture of trial-n-error and re-adjustment. I hated the newborn stage, it's the one stage I'm totally not looking forward with round 2, but I'm loving the toddler stage. My daughter is an only child, as of now, and is efficient at keeping herself busy - not mindlessly busy - she gets creative and you can see the wheels turning. But there's days when she needs or wants more attention then I feel able to give at that time, especially, at certain times - like prepping dinner or when I'm in the middle of cleaning, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just takes some time and patience, same as any other change of pace in a families schedule.  I actually enjoy summer vacation with my boys, I agree with Anatess that it's a time to just let them be kids and have some fun, get rid of any strict schedules (except for church of course).  Don't worry about the house staying clean, or about keeping her occupied every minute of the day.  If she gets bored, allow her to figure out what she can do to pass the time on her own, it's good for kids to experience boredom and then think of ways to not be bored.  And Anatess, I have 4 boys...a lot more wrestling and fighting, but they tend to figure it out pretty fast  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come to the conclusion that parenting is a constant mixture of trial-n-error and re-adjustment. I hated the newborn stage, it's the one stage I'm totally not looking forward with round 2, but I'm loving the toddler stage. My daughter is an only child, as of now, and is efficient at keeping herself busy - not mindlessly busy - she gets creative and you can see the wheels turning. But there's days when she needs or wants more attention then I feel able to give at that time, especially, at certain times - like prepping dinner or when I'm in the middle of cleaning, etc. 

 

I never liked the newborn stage either, so exhausting.  But the good news is it doesn't last long.  With they 4th baby, I learned to really enjoy every minute b/c I knew it would be over too soon.  Good luck with your 2nd!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I'm finding a rhythm and perhaps will have it down when school starts again! Of course, for me the beginning of the school year will be mostly setting up my students for maternity leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I raised 6 children. 3 boys 3 daughters. I stayed home till the last one went on his mission. I truly believe that actions in the home should be tolerable for everyone. Of course very young children don't have the maturity to understand this concept, but they can learn. My nerves became very frayed with screaming and fighting, it was difficult for me to be nice.

 

There is nothing wrong with rules, your home is a good place to learn that. We had a swimming pool, swing set, and had wonderful activities we did as a family, but I'm telling you I could not tolerate fighting and tattle telling. There were always dishes to do and that's what would happen when they fought. They could wash and dry, and work it out without screaming at each other. I love making my home beautiful, I saw no need for it to be in total chaos. Everyone had a chore.Everybody had a rotation for cleaning the main bathroom. One of our daughters said, " I'm not cleaning the bathroom anymore, I don't like it." When my husband got home he asked her, " Do you use the bathroom?" She said " Yes." He said " If you use it then you will take your turn cleaning it, or use the gas station bathroom on the corner." He meant it and she took her turn cleaning the bathroom. I did not dread having my children home for the summer because there was peace ( sometimes) in our home. I loved having their friends over too. One day I heard my son tell his friend, don't scream in the house, my Mom can't take that. :)

 

There was a lot of love in our home, that is the key, when they know you love them they can and will live up to  rules. Of course there are acceptions to rules, but not many in my view. I always said, punishment for breaking the rules should be swift and dreadful. haha. Say what you mean and mean what you say. My children are delightful grown-ups who served missions and walk uprightly before the Lord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

This school-year is kicking my butt. 

 

Yesterday was a perfect example of this craziness.

5:00 - breakfast

5:40 - Seminary

7:15 - school bus drop off

8:00 - work

4:00 - school bus pick up

4:30 - dinner

5:30 - jiujitsu

7:30 - piano concert (kid is in an Arts School so this is graded attendance)

10:00 - homework (kid having trouble with math)

11:00 - laundry and kitchen clean-up

12:00 - in bed but can't sleep because my brain is still firing - I get this a lot... too tired to sleep, if that even makes sense.

1-ish - finally passed out

 

only to wake up at 5AM this morning for breakfast again.

 

I'm exhausted.  I am not a morning person.  Seminary is starting to eat me alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This school-year is kicking my butt. 

 

Yesterday was a perfect example of this craziness.

5:00 - breakfast

5:40 - Seminary

7:15 - school bus drop off

8:00 - work

4:00 - school bus pick up

4:30 - dinner

5:30 - jiujitsu

7:30 - piano concert (kid is in an Arts School so this is graded attendance)

10:00 - homework (kid having trouble with math)

11:00 - laundry and kitchen clean-up

12:00 - in bed but can't sleep because my brain is still firing - I get this a lot... too tired to sleep, if that even makes sense.

1-ish - finally passed out

 

only to wake up at 5AM this morning for breakfast again.

 

I'm exhausted.  I am not a morning person.  Seminary is starting to eat me alive.

 

If I may Anatess, one thing I have learned or has been taught to me is that modern day parenting has it backwards.  Modern day parenting says parents lives revolve around the kids-when it should be the reverse. The kids lives revolve around the parents life.

 

If I may be so bold-it appears you have a kid-centered life, which is out-of-balance and will end up sending the wrong message to the children (i.e. they are "special" and they must have everything). That in the end will breed narcissistic adults.

 

Why are you helping with homework and math? Kid should be figuring it out on their own-they have books, internet, teachers, etc. Why are the kids not doing laundry and kitchen clean-up?  If you are helping out with their homework the least they can do is help you in your work.

 

Cut out juijisu- your kids will be much more well adjusted in the long-run if they take that time-do chores, help around the house, or simply spend family time together. 

 

Again, simply my friendly advice, it appears rather than having the child's life centered around yours (which will ground them in the real world), your life is centered around theirs (and will led them to have unrealistic expectations in life).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this