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Old 02-04-2014, 08:48 PM   #1
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Taking on too much! Help me!

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I have a natural tendency to want to "do it all" and "perfectly" - no half way business around here.

I am currently 30 weeks and have a super full plate. Friday's tend to be my most chill day, but the morning is usually busy.

I have 3 kids already - 4yr old, 5yr old, 9 yr old. They are all very active and 2 have sensory issues and the other ADHD, one also has medical so, as you can imagine they are a handful (in a good way). They keep me on my toes and I love it all, but physically I am wearing down.

I have pubic symphysis, sciatica, and a herniated disc at L5 S1, these issues had me on full bed rest with my oldest 2, but I worked really hard to strengthen and recover and do chiropractic to keep me on my feet. I know I need to take it easy, but it's tough.

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed with our schedule and commitments. Honestly, most can't be changed but I am really freaking because I just found out that my oldest has a dance competition 2 days before my due date, then another 2 weeks later, then every weekend following the second competition she has recitals, sometimes 2 a day and sometimes both Saturday and Sunday for 4 weeks! That's 6 weeks of dance craziness immediately following my due date and the likelihood I go to term is high. My youngest also has dance recitals during that time but it's only one day. I know I need help to pull this off, but asking is tough! And of course I'm a sucker and I want to do it all and she wants me to also.

So with all this, my crazy schedule (I literally have no idea why I'm called a SAHM because I don't know if I'm ever home), the postpartum period and daily chores ( cooking, laundry, diapers, cleaning, ect.) I don't know how to keep it up! Any helpful suggestions, tips for managing a big busy household and words of encouragement would be great!


PS I am married but my DH is a trucker so I operate like a single parent because we never know what his schedule will be and I can't rely on him. He does a LOT when he is home to help out.

Thanks!

Heather

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Taking on too much! Help me!

You need to delegate some of this. Is there another dance mom that can take your kid(s) with hers? I had a friend take both my daughter and hers to Girl Scouts for months after my 4th was born.

Is someone coming to help you after the baby is born? My mom lives 2000+ miles away and she comes for the first 1-2 weeks postpartum to help out. She pretty much takes over whatever I would do: cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring kids around, etc.

I'm also a do-it-all-myself married-single-parent capable woman, too, but you can't risk your health or the baby's well being. You might be surprised at how many people would be willing to help if you ask. Wouldn't you help another woman if she needed it?
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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Unfortunately I don't have any other moms that could transport my kids, my grandmother and aunt are available in emergency situations only.

I am the troop leader for both kids troops which was an awesome idea when we signed up months before finding out about the baby. I have reduced meetings to once a month per troop and I have parents as back ups in case I can't make it. Fortunately each troop only has 5 kids including mine.

For dance comp and recitals I will be able to leave them with another parent, but will need to do hair & make up first. But at least I'm not required to be present. It's a tough one for me because I want to be there.

We don't have any help lined up and we won't either. When I had my second we had no help and it was very hard since I suffered trauma, however we had help with my third and it was even worse than no help. It was such an awful experience with my MIL that we actually didn't speak for over 2 years. I don't ever want to go through something like that again. I would LOVE to hire a post partum doula or a temporary nanny for the first few weeks to help with the big kids, but financially we just can't make that happen.

I've been stocking my freezer with meals for after baby and I plan on doing a big cooking session this weekend since it's getting harder for me, I want that freezer full!

My parents are young so they work full time and my mother is also completing her masters so, she has committed to being present for the birth but other than that I know I can't count on her.

I have one obligation I could probably drop and that is my Friday math league volunteering for 1 hour. It's actually on of the easier things on my plate and the only Friday commitment I have. I know the teacher that over seas the program would completely understand. I'm hoping to stick it out for February and then calling it quits.

I've always been one of those people with too much on their plate. I have a really hard time saying no and setting limits. It seems like if there is an empty day on the calendar I somehow find a way to fill it.

How do I delegate?!? I need a lesson!
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
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I just couldn't read and not offer hugs, My life is similar to yours but add a full time job part time college and minus the dance lessons and add in occupational therapy, and IEP meetings.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:19 AM   #5
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You need to find a sitter- STAT. Like the other poster stated, I work full time and go to school for my masters in the evening. I'm pregnant with #3 and have two older children with activities too. DH and I are both military, which means that we are married single parents too (thanks to one of us always being gone).

You have no choice but to hire help, or let go of some of your extra curricular activities. It's not healthy to do so much that you can't handle it. I have no family around either (my mom is on the opposite side of the globe and in a time zone 6 hours ahead of me) and I have to have at least 3 sitters, one main sitter, a back up sitter, and a back up for the back up. It's just a part of life when you have other obligations that are out of your control.... Although you DO have control over your extra curricular activities.... Just keep that in mind. (HUGS) I know that isn't what you want to hear, but it sounds like you are already putting yourself and your baby at risk. Ease up o the troop stuff (if the group wants to continue it, SOMEONE will step yp)- if they don't, screw them, they weren't deserving of your time anyway!!!!
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:06 AM   #6
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I feel so guilty if I don't do it all. I'm really not sure where that comes from. But, your right, I do have some control over the extras. Speech is one that is a must, but the rest is not required, but taking them out of something they love makes me feel horrible. I could probably hand off the troops to other parents, I think someone would step up. At least I hope they would! I sort of feel like of I can make it to May/June when schools out and all the activities end, then I'll be golden. It will give us all time to adjust and then baby will be older by Sept when we start up again.

How do you hire a sitter? I have only done it once and she quit, she said she couldn't handle my kids special needs, which can admittedly be trying, but ouch! - that one hurt! Also, it's a $$ thing too. We have a very limited income, paying for 3 kids care is $15/hourly here plus mine have special needs so most people charge more.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:56 PM   #7
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I feel so guilty if I don't do it all. I'm really not sure where that comes from. But, your right, I do have some control over the extras. Speech is one that is a must, but the rest is not required, but taking them out of something they love makes me feel horrible. I could probably hand off the troops to other parents, I think someone would step up. At least I hope they would! I sort of feel like of I can make it to May/June when schools out and all the activities end, then I'll be golden. It will give us all time to adjust and then baby will be older by Sept when we start up again.

How do you hire a sitter? I have only done it once and she quit, she said she couldn't handle my kids special needs, which can admittedly be trying, but ouch! - that one hurt! Also, it's a $$ thing too. We have a very limited income, paying for 3 kids care is $15/hourly here plus mine have special needs so most people charge more.
Wish I were closer! I would love to help! Maybe look for a sitter with experience with SN kiddos? I know that'll probably be $$$, though.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: Taking on too much! Help me!

I had to do this at one very overwhelming point in my life and it helped. Make a list. List every commitment/activity/therapy/appt. ect. Then prioritize them top to bottom. There can be no TIES! Something must be most important and something must be least. So maybe Speech therapy is non-negotiable but math volunteer/scouts is toward the bottom. Then go from the bottom up and cross out and delegate. You are NOT dropping the ball if you are just putting the ball in someone else's court. Start dropping them now so other people have time to adjust to their new responsibility rather than having it dumped on them when you physically can't any more. If nobody steps up, then it wasn't that important. You do the non-negotiable stuff, you quit doing the bottom of the list stuff, and you try to find ways to manage a few of the in between things (like maybe help with rides to dance and such.). It is very freeing to do this. I am like you, and I HATE asking for help or not doing something. But your health and baby's health has to come first. Your kids will not be scared for life if they miss a dance recital, they could be if you end up in the hospital from overexertion. It's taken me a long time to learn to say no, and it's still a struggle for me but I've been on the other end, stuck at the ER because I didn't take care of myself. It's not worth it, take care of yourself.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #9
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Thank you so much ladies! Ironically my grandmother came over to visit yesterday and asked if we had extra car seats she could borrow. I said I did and asked why and she said that she wanted to help us by driving the kids to a couple activities a week! What a blessing and shock! I wasn't counting on her at all because she is in her 70's and has arthritis, I know something can be challenging for her, but since the kids buckle themselves she thinks she can manage. My aunt also offered to help out. I didn't even have to ask! I haven't even told either of them I was struggling. I am going to drop my volunteering in 2 weeks, I think I can manage until then and I hope they can find a replacement for me by then.

I just wish I had a laundry/dishes service! LOL our bedrooms are 3rd floor, laundry is basement. Poor design! So glad we are renting and don't have to live with that set up forever!
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:46 PM   #10
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Re: Taking on too much! Help me!

I have sympathy for the dance thing- my nine year old is in competitive cheer and it's the same grueling schedule. I'm only 23 weeks, and it's exhausting! Glad you got some help!
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