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Just a little venting here...

Posted by doodleboo (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 19, 08 at 14:36

I just need to dump today nad possibly get soem poitive feedback or suggestions.

So it's been the week form hell for us. It has been super busy. We have had two DR. Appts., a viewing, a funeral, a wedding, a broken down car (which pooped out on us AT the wedding) two birthdays and a two sick children to deal with all in the past five days.

I am so tired. I am huge. My back hurts like hell. I'm not sleeping good because I'm getting so big. I am still working 10 hours a day if you count the drive time and when I get home I have to help tend to the girls so they arn't up till 10:00 on a school night. I'm bending over a tub washing hair, helping with homework, giving medicine, laying out schoool clothes, fixing drinks and picking up toys as soon as I hit the door at 6:30pm. I leave the house in the mornings at 6:30am. Exhausted is a understatement. Jonathan has his hands full with dinner, the kitchen, the plants and the animals.

Anyway you get the picture. This morning the girls are being extra whinney about everything. They didn't like the cereal we had. They didn't want the orange juice...they wanted apple juice. They were cold. (it was 78 degrees in teh house and I was sweating to DEATH...hormones)They didn't want to wear this jacket. They didn't want to wear these shoes.

In the mist of all this R started crying that she wanted to bring a toy to school. I told her toys weren't allowed at school and that the teacher would take it. So she starts in with the "Well my mama let's me take toys to school." which of course is complete crap because her mother has never even taken her to school no less get up at the butt crack of dawn to get her ready for school. I wanted to call her on it so bad but instead just said "Well your not at mama's honey. You are at daddy's" Her response "Well I want to go live with my real mama"

I wanted to so bad with my aching back and blood shot eyes to just unload. For one terrible split second the thought "Well your mama doesn't want you" popped into my brain. Of course I dare not speak that out but I would be a liar if I said it didn't ring out in the back of my head. I said nothing instead and went about my business getting ready for work.

I know this kindof thing will be common the older they get and that kid's are MASTERS at playing adults against each other. It becomes a game for them. I wasn't prepared for how much emotion it would conjour up. I was hurt and infuriated at the same time. Here I am killing myself waiting on them hand and foot sweating my ass off because they are cold and as soon as one thing doesn't go their way it's "I want my real mama".

I know bio parents get this same rejection from kids as well...it isn't specific to step parents. Kids are capable of making all parents feel like crap sometimes. It just sucks extra hard to be the custodial step mother when they start getting into this faze because it is all too easy for the kids to pull the "real" mom card. It hurts.


Follow-Up Postings:

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and P.S.

We STILL haven't heard a word from BM since the R calling me mama incident.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Doodle, can I share my honest opinion about this w/o it coming off like I'm attacking your husband? Because I'm not, and I can tell from your writings how much you two love and care for each other in pretty much every regard. And of course I don't know your precise schedules and how much else he's got on his plate... But from what you just wrote it's sounds like you're taking on significantly more than half of the load. You're working full-time, it sounds like you're doing most everything for the two girls... and you're so pregnant that that alone is physically exhausting. I don't know whether he's doing a lot more with the girls taht you didn't happen to mention, but when you say he's busy with dinner, the kitchen, the plants & animals... well, it just doesn't sound like that's enough (even if we're just talking about the *after-work* period) to keep him so busy every day that he can't take some of the load off you regarding the girls' needs. Unless you live in a greenhouse and have a zoo full of animals, and/or he's a gourmet chef and he makes everything from scartch every night, I'd say maybe for a while he should keep the dinners more quick & easy so he can do more of the bathing, help-with-homework, etc. Please take what I'm saying in the way I intend it, which isn't to harshly criticize your husband but to suggest how things can be easier on you.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Serenity, I thought the same thing. Also, the girls are 5 or 6? My DD started washing her own hair at that age. The first few times it didn't work out so well (she has looooonng hair) but she's getting better at it and I rarely have to help her now.

I have my dd pick out her own clothes. Sometimes she looks like she picked them out in the dark, but... she'll learn.

As for the whining, complaining and unappreciativeness of the girls, you hit the nail on the head. It's a kid thing, not an SK thing. Divorced parents get the same bs. When I'm strict my dd crys, gets really sad and lonely looking and says in a whisper "I want/miss my dad". Funny that she never misses/wants him when she gets what she wants. Then she won't even talk to him on the phone! So aggrivating. And I have to bite my tongue practically in half not to say something bad about him. I feel for you Doodle. It's hard.

Have you considered swapping the kitchen, dinner, the plants and the animals with your DH? A little "me" time, even if it is still while working, may be relaxing. I know doing dishes and cooking relaxes me. So does caring for plants. Depending on your animals, they could be more or less annoying than whining kids, but it could be nice to pet a cat rather than wash hair.


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No offense taken Serenity

Re-reading it I see where you are aking these questions.

Here's a little more detail. Right now J works two jobs in a split shift. He drops the girls off at school and then he's home till 10. Then he goes into his first job untill 3. He works for a real nice family and they work with him so he can be off to pick the girls up from school at 3:15. He picks the girls up get's them home and spends a little time with them before he starts dinner. While he cooks he's doing housey chores like the plants and the cat box (I can't handle litter being pregnant) and running clothes up and down the side walk to the laundry since I can't tote the basket anymore.

He goes at it till I get home at 6:30 and then suppers about done so I'll sit with the girls and knock out homework and tend to them while he finishes up. We eat. Then he's off to his second job (owned by the same family) by 8 and he doesn't get home untill 2 in the morning. Sometimes 4. He get's up at 6:30 regardless of when he get's home to get the girls to school because I have to get on the road to work.

I guess we are BOTH fairly exhausted. He does help as much as he can but working two jobs he is gone as much as me and the split shift is really hard on him. There are days when he only gets a few hours of sleep himself. It's just tuff times all around.

That's why I get so mad at Bio Mom. We are so worn out and tired and she is just doing her thing not working and not being a parent. That's why it hurt so much when R said what she said.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

I tend to agree with Serenity.

Does Jonathan work, too?

It's not easy, that's for sure. When SS is with us (2 days one week, 5 the next) we pretty much have twins--DD and SS are SIX WEEKS apart in age!

We double-team for baths---I handle DD's bath and DH handle's SS's bath but the kids do them at the same time. (We have two bathtubs...not sure if this is an issue for you?) Having the kids take their baths at the same time makes it a lot easier for us--and it keeps them on the same schedule.

The kids do homework separately. DD likes to do hers as soon as she gets home from school and SS does it with his dad later in the evening.

The kids play in the backyard a lot and this is GREAT for getting out energy. We have a bichon and he will CHASE them for hours! They LOVE it! Yeah, it's getting cold, but if we're bundled up with coats and hats, the kids really don't mind. DH will often roughhouse with them in the backyard and this gives me a great chance to clean up from dinner--throw some laundry in--etc.

Around 7:oo or 7:30 it is CHILL TIME in our house. The kids can read books, play quietly in their bedrooms, in the playroom, or whatever...they can watch a movie...play video games...do computer games...anything that WINDS THEM DOWN.

At 8 pm we start the bedtime routine-- drinks of water, brushing teeth, DH and I take turns at night reading to them, and then it's lights out around 8:20-8:30ish.

I think you and DH need to split stuff up as much as possible. Having two kids the same age is HARD at times and that's when two parents comes in REALLY handy!



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silversword

I know it's an annoying kid thing. My mom said I was an unappreciative little turkey half the time too. HAHAHAHA. My parents aren't even divorced and I would hurt her feelings sometimes.

It's totally hard not to take it personally when you are honestly doing the very best you can do to take care of a child, you know? I have no doubt they love their father and I and I feel silly for even complaining. It just really hurt this morning after the long few days we have had. I guess my armor had worn thin from the week:(


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lovehadley

Outside time would be FABULOUS but we live in a complex and neither of us are comfortable letting them play outside unattended. There isn't fenced in yards and people are always walking up and down the sidewalk. They are still a little too young to be left alone outside, especially considering there is a huge swimming pool. I would STAY smashed against the sliding glass door the entire time and get NO REST. LOL.

To add further to my response to Silversword-

I totally think they should be washing their own hair too. They are five. Daddy has babied them a little too much which has resulted in them needing help for EVERYTHING. They won't even turn the bath water off themselves. Maybe I should put down the foot and tell them (and daddy) they are bathing themselves from now on.

It may be hit or miss the first few times but after awhile they'll get the hang of it and it will be a LOAD off my aching back.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Perhaps a look at the whole schedule would help you as soon you'll have more to do.
The suggestion of easier meals is good. Maybe make extra of meals where you could freeze half of it for another meal. What about types of casseroles or meals cooked in the oven where once done putting together, other things can be done while it cooks.
I don't know how old the children are. How many pets do you have and what kind? Can the children help with feeding them. If the food is in a bag, put a plastic cup or glass that will not crack with the weight of the food in or by the bag. Whichever child is to feed the pets knows how many cups to put in their dish. If you can afford automatic watering dishes, get them. Check Craigslist or local sale ads.
Both of those changes would free up some time. Depending on how old the girls are, let him do the baths. Stress effects that baby as it obviously is wearing on you.
As far as the toys, why can't the girls pick up after themselves? If in school, they could do some things for themselves and need to.
You've been doing it all and you are going to wear down where you can't do much of anything. You have to take care of you.
Why not talk to your husband about things and the fact he does so much but with the schedule it's getting almost impossible for you to do. Discuss changes in responsibility. Both of you sit down with the girls and tell them how much they are growing up. Tell them how hard it is for you to bend. Stick a throw pillow in their shirt and have them try to bend, take their bookbags and fill with things and switch it to the front where they can better understand how it makes it difficult to do things with added weight.
I would approach it with the things you think they can help with. Let them tell you what they can do to help. My girls always did better if they thought it was their idea.
Are there any relatives close that maybe could help in some way?
Don't know what kind of plants you have to make suggestions there. There are ways to make the care of them easier. Wish we were closer and I'd be glad to help.
Perhaps there's a teenager needing extra money that could be a mommy's helper from 6 to 8.
Take care of your self.
Lynn


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RE: Take care of yourself

I think you should have them start bathing themselves. You could still be in the bathroom with them, but they are doing the motions on their own. I understand about Daddy babying them too, because every time dd gets home from bio dad's house I have to re-teach her how to hang her towel up, etc. He does everything for her. Which is nice, if you want to raise a princess. Her bedtime is 7:30. In bed, then gets a story, then lights out. That way I have 1-2 hours before I go to sleep.

I can see how you resent bio-mom. I would too. My ex told me the other day "well, I have to work for a living". EXCUSE ME? I don't know what he thinks I do all day, between getting up at 5, working 8 hours, picking up dd from school, getting snacks and homework done, taking her to after school activities, coming home, making dinner, cleaning up, bathing, stories, etc... Oh, yeah, and somehow getting projects and housework done. All he has to do is go to work. It infuriates me! And then he has the nerve to call up the other night (dd was sick, and on television restriction so could not watch TV) and he told me I should let her watch tv because she was "so sick". I told him she had a runny nose and a cough and reading books in bed was not torturing her. If she were at his house she'd be watching cartoons and eating ice cream on the living room couch.

Take care of yourself Doodle. You won't be any good to anyone if you get sick. The girls need to understand that their role is going to change. Big sisters instead of babies. They need to step up and help you out.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Maybe I should put down the foot and tell them (and daddy) they are bathing themselves from now on.

Yes, Ma'am!

(If somebody is to get help with the bubble bath, it should be the preggernant lady).


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oh the bathing and clothing issue

First of all... more power to you girl! I remember those days of being way to preggo and working way to hard. Definately take care of yourself. I stupidly got myself put in the hospital because I didnt just quit when my body was telling me to... shortly after I was so tired I literally fell flat asleep sitting on stool at work I got so sick I had to go to the hospital...

But, definately get those girls bathing and clothing themselves. My dd is 5 and has been doing such for a few years now. It will be difficult for a bit but they'll get with the program. When I first got together with DH his oldest was 7 and he was still helping him and all the rest bathe. I couldnt believe it. It drove me nuts. But, what really took the cake was watching the kids sit on their butts and call out for "I need socks" "I need a shirt" blah blah blah and he would jump up and do it. I finally asked him one day if he still wiped their a@@ for them as well. It was so mind numbing to watch my two year old be more independent than an 7 year old. It took forever to get the kids out of the habit of saying "I need" while sitting on their butts doing nothing. We rather quickly insituted the take your own shower/bath all by yourself routine. We went through a lot more soap but at least these kids were learning to do for themselves. My favorite phrase with the kids is "I am not your maid" if you need something go get it. Take some stress off yourself ... they are plenty old enough to take care of picking out their own clothes and bathing themselves.

My dd and all of the kids, occasionally starts with the morning I dont want to ... wear this do that. I usually just tell them well that's nice but it wasnt a question. Get it done (or on or whatever) and walk away. I let it alone and just yell out I am walking out the door in x minutes... if your not ready your going the way you are. They are always magically ready.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

*provides reassuring gesture of your choosing*

Doodle, you're totally awesome! And you're handling all the stress in your life like a trooper! Jonathan and the girls are blessed to have someone as loving as you!


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Ceph's right -- You are amazing Doodle.
And the other posters are right too -- It's time for the girls to take on a bit more grown-up role.

Can the girls shower? My little guy started showering around age 4 or so. Why not? You could even present it as a 'grown up thing.' Choosing and setting out their own clothes is another thing they could do, but frankly, it'll be easier to put that one off a while... And I LOVE the suggestion to ask them what they could do to help.

But definitely, cut yourself some slack! It sounds like you both have very full plates...


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Thank you all so so so much more your encouraging words:) I am just tired and my feelings are fragile and that comment came at a bad time from R.

I did talk to J about the girls needing to step up and start doing more things for themselves. I have in on board to just step back and let them bath themselves. He feels this need to give them step by step verbal instructions on how to do everything! I had to explain to him that they already KNOW how to do this stuff.....he just won't make them.

This morninig for instance both of them were complaining that they couldn't get their pants on. One of them couldn't do the button on her jeans and one was whinning that the zipper was too hard. j was fixing to swoop right in there and do it for them and I stopped him.

I told him that he needed to let them do it themselves. They CAN, they just don't WANT too. If they had been getting ready for a trip to the park rather than school they would of had pants, shirt, shoes and jacket on in five seconds flat! I reminded him that they need to start doing more for themselves with the baby on the way. He told them they were too big to need help putting on pants and they were going to have to figure it out.

*Disclaimer to all you spank haters:) This next part may offend you.

After five minutes of sitting on their bedroom floors whinning and moaning that they couldn't do it J went back in the room and said "You have had ten minutes to get those jeans on girls. I'm coming back in here in two minutes and if those pants arn't on we are taking a trip to the bathroom." WA-LAH! They came out not even a half minute later with pants and shirts on and fully fastened....hmmmmm.

I cut eyes over at Jonathan with an "I told you so" look on my face. We are going to start making them do more for themselves. I'm not picking up toys anymore, I'm not bathing anymore, I'm not jumping through the hoops. Everyone will just have to understand that I am stretched thin as it is with work. I love the girls very much but right now I need them to grow up a little. It'll probably lead to more "I want to live with my REAL mommy" comments but I am positive they will survive.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Doodle,

Big hug for you! Being pregnant is tough. I think it sounds like you two are doing your very best and it is admirable to say the least.

I used to help my SS10 do WAY too many things. I was new to the whole thing and wanted to be nice. By the time he was in first grade and still wanting me to buckle him in I realized I had messed up a bit. I then had to start making him do things for himself. His mom has also had this issue and still insists on cleaning his ears and brushing his teeth for him sometimes (he is 10). Let me tell you when my baby came I was glad I had cut off the personal assistant crap a year or so before.

You are going to need them to be as self sufficient as possible. I think it is a good move on both of your parts to get them being independent. Maybe make a star chart for things like getting dressed, bathed, and picking up toys and when they do all of it that day without problems they get a star. After X amount of stars and they get a treat. Good luck. Are you due in January or February?


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Not really about Doodle's original topic, but...

Mom1sm2 said:
"His mom has also had this issue and still insists on cleaning his ears and brushing his teeth for him sometimes (he is 10).

I just have to admit, A__ is 9 and...

I clean his ears for him (or supervise him while he does it): if he does it on his own, he goes way to deep and has hurt himself.

I trim his toe nails for him: he has a problem with his toenails where they grow back into his toes if they are cut too short, so he needs a grownup for that still. He can do his fingernails himself though.

I sometimes wash his face for him: If we are not in a hurry, or it doesn't matter if he winds up fully clean, he does it - usually with several trips back to the bathroom when we say "Nope, there's still peanut butter/sauce/dirt beside your nose"... But if we're in a hurry, I usually do it.

For bathing on his own, A__ needed quite a lot of coaching for a long time... He still occasionally forgets to rinse the conditioner out of his hair, and we usually remind him "Be sure to wash your feet, armpits and privates with soap"...

But that's A__, who has more trouble with lots of those "ordinary life tasks" than many other kids, and needs a little more step-by-step. So that's OK.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

"I'm not picking up toys anymore."

We started something at our house not too long ago with toys. DH and I were both sooooo fed up with the kids not taking care of their things, and just expecting that whatever was lost or broken would be replaced.

The kids have an extensive DVD collection and neither of the kids would EVER put them back in their cases. It seemed like every couple months we were having to go through PILES of scratched DVDs and trying to sort them all out into the proper cases.

We have a puppy who chews EVERYTHING and so many toys have been ruined from being on the floor.

So now--we have a rule--if it's on the floor in the playroom after 8 pm, it goes into a big trash bag that belongs to ME and DH.

The kids can "earn" their toys back for good behavior.

After a time or two of not cleaning up the playroom and seeing all their beloved things tossed in a bag, they got the hint!

Now when we say it's almost bedtime, time to clean up the playroom---they do a pretty darn good job!

And I think they really enjoy having a clean playroom that isn't a disorganized PIT!


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Doodle, I know what you mean about knowing how to do stuff but just not doing it. I was getting really tired of climbing in and out of the back of the truck each time to buckle my daughter in her seat. So at the store the other day I told her she can buckle herself in. She cried and whined and pouted. I can't!! It's too hard!!! I told her we were sitting there until she did it. Well, after some more hysterics and drama she snapped the belt. I congratulated her, we drove off, got to our next destination and guess what?! When we left she got in the car, and buckled herself in. What a relief. And she is so proud.

I cleaned her room last night. It was the biggest disaster ever. I hadn't checked as well as I should have the last time, because under her bed was a mountain of stuff. I've been wondering where some of her clothes were... It took me about 1/2 hour to get it clean. And that's not including vacuuming! But she has her own mini-vac and that's what she'll be doing tonight!

We've been talking a lot lately about "hard" and "boring". I tell her she has two choices when things are hard. She can either say that it's too hard and give up, or she can say, it's hard but I'm going to try. Because sometimes we don't have the choice of giving up. (We have to wear a seatbelt before we can drive off, etc.) And I make a point of telling her when I'm doing something I don't want to do, like stuccoing my new flower box because it's hard and dirty and I'm not very good at it. So I talk through my frustration at things I have to do by telling her how I feel, and how I'm doing it anyway because it has to be done and no one will do it for me. (btw, DH is helping, but since I'm the small one I'm the one under the box, stuccoing above my head in the little spots getting nasty junk in my hair and face while he's climbing up and down the ladder) Sheer misery.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Ceph,

Its not that I blame her for wanting to make sure it gets done. Actually, I could really care less, but I have a little one and whatever he can do on his own means less I have to do. I do supervise though to make sure it gets done properly. Truly, I believe it is just something that she likes to do kind of like popin a zit or something. Ewww gross right?!


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RE: Just a little venting here...

I don't think 5 is old enough to wash their hair well, they can wash it, but not that well. maybe 7-8 is more like it. Do kids have grandparents? maybe they can babysit once in a while? is there anyone else whoc an help? I wonder if dad should have one better paid job rather than two jobs? does not sound like a good schedule to me.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Finedreams, it sounds to me like he has to be home at that time to pick up the kids, therefore the split shift is what works right now. I could be wrong. I go to work very early so that I can get home to pick up my DD (DH takes her to school in the mornings), so I can understand the need for an accommodating job.

My DD started washing her own hair at 5, that meant she'd get the shampoo on her head, rub it around, then I'd do a quick scrub after to make sure it was good and washed. Same with washing her body. Now at six she can do it all by herself. Yes, it's probably not as clean as if I washed it myself, but how else is she supposed to learn how to do it?


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RE: Just a little venting here...

You guys are both busy and at the end of your ropes...do you have any other family members that the girls can go to for one or 2 days just to give you a break? your tired, your heavily pregnant and yes kids at that age are unappreciative. THey just demand and demand. They do not know any better. My son is very demanding lol...
And i think yes, its time for the girls to wash their own hair. I know your hubby is busy but find 15 min over one weekend and teach them.
Take a deep breath and find some time alone...take a kit kat break!


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answers

Finedreams-

My parents live 45 minutes away and help when they can but because of the distance they can't help during the week which is when we really NEED the help. Same with Jonathan's father. Bio Mom's parents are both very sickly and can't handle two five year old. Plus they are kindof strange....sometimes they act like they want to be involved and sometimes they are MIA for months at a time. Sound familiar? We ask them for NOTHING. If they want to see the girls we arrange it...aside from that we don't expect nothing.

As far as the job thing goes If he COULD have a better job he WOULD. The thing is no where is hiring around here. He has his application in all over town but there is no openings. Many of the big industrial companies are laying off workers no less hiring more. He is stuck where he is at for right now. Here's hoping Obama can help the economy....

Silverswrod-

you are also correct that the split shift is helping right now as far as picking up the girls. Daycare is outrageous and I make "too much" for us to get any kindof help. If he made more he would still wind up bringing in less because of daycare costs. Nice huh?

organic-

End of our ropes is right. All of my family lives in Florida adn his only family member (his father) lives in Douglas which is about an hour away south of where we live. We have no family close enough to help EXCEPT Bio mom and her paretns and obviously they are no help. Financially or otherwise. We haven't even heard from mom in two weeks and she is living ten minutes up the road right now. If she is strung out (which is 80% of the time) it wouldn't be worth risking her taking them anyway.


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more answers...

ceph and sweeby-

Thanks for the encouraging words. I don't FEEL very awesome or amazing right now. LOL! I feel licked:) The kind words sure do help though.

Mom1-

Personal assisstant is a good term for what I feel like sometimes. You are right though...ready or not they are going to have to get a little more self reliant when it comes to certain things.


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Examples of daddy's babying

OK...so J is a fabulous father but here are a few examples of cottling that he does that I am trying to get him to stop doing. Tell me if I'm asking too much.

The total hands on bath thing has GOT to go. They won't even turn on/off their water or get out of the tub without being lifted. They expect to be dried off and have help putting on their underwear and night clothes as well. With two this entire process takes at least an hour.

They just now started brushing their own teeth. They use to cry and whine if J didn't do it for them. Then when he stopped actually doing it he insisted on standing over them and talking them through it every single night for like three months. I finally told him enough....they've got it already. It was taking 20 minutes to to brush teeth.

Bedtimes and wake up calls are ridiculously long. they don't just want a bedtime story...they want FIVE bedtime stories and then they demand specific dollies which are never where we can find them. Then they get under the covers and decide they are hot so it's back up to take off night clothes and then it take ten minutes to settle them back down and then they change their minds about the dolly they want. They also demand (as a stall tactic) a million hugs and kisses and throw fits if we try to cut them short.

In the mornings it takes 30 minutes of rubbing and babying to get them to stir. He'll leave the lights off and lay down with them (DUH this isn't making them want to get up...hahahaha) and rub their back s and whisper. "time to get up girls" this goes on FOREVER before he finally gets annoyed that (DUH) they arn't getting up and turns on the lights and gets more demanding with them.

I have told Jonathan he needs to be a little bit more forth right. FOr example if I am waking them up I don't leave the lights out to give their eyes time to adjust...that only makes them want to stay asleep! I cut on the lights and say in a pleasant but loud voice "Rise and shine munchkins! Time to get up. It's a school day!" They roll around and groan and I go about my business for a few. Then I come back with "Get up girls." and pull back the covers. They normally whine a little but generally they get up after that.

In the mornings I am going to NEED him helping with the baby while I get ready for work. I will have to drop Layla off at my mom's in the morning which is going to take more time which means I'll be getting up at 5 now and that's with WITH help. Without help I'll need to be up by 4:30.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

1. Have them lay out bed clothes before going to bathe.

2. Get fun towels that are their size. They dry off in the bathroom on the mat. Then go to room and change (or in bathroom, how ever you do it, but my dd will get clothes wet if they're in the bathroom).

3. Set a timer. They have 15 minutes to bathe and 5 minutes to dress. If they aren't done by that time, they only get one story.

4. Set a timer for teeth brushing. When the brushing is over, go in and do a quick brush over their teeth to make sure they got them all.

5. Two bedtime stories. Total. Books have to be picked out before bed. If my DD's especially "on it" that night, sometimes she will read one to me, then I will read one to her. Or she can have two short stories, or I will read an extra. But she knows now not to expect tons of reading at night. And, she knows that I have veto power, so reading Horton Hears a Who every night is not going to fly.

6. Dolls are not my responsibility. If you want a specific doll, make sure she's in bed before you. If not, you will get whatever doll is closest.

7. I do bedtime story, then five minutes resting time. When it's over, it's over. If they throw fits, they will eventually stop, and you probably want to get rid of the screaming at bedtime before the new baby comes anyway.

8. I lie with her sometimes for a few minutes in the morning, IF I have time, then I do the lights on - wake up routine same as you.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Doodle, sounds like he has the "daddy's little girl syndrome". My girls always wanted daddy to do as momma would tell them to do it themselves. It is just a special relationship between some daddys and their little girl that doesn't go away even when they are grown.
My dad was on the road and kept talking about his little girl. One of the store owners gave him some cars for his little tomboy girl. I was 18 then! :O)
There are ways to have special times but he has to learn to let them grow. He's not just a daddy, he's a teacher, caregiver, protector and daddy.
Perhaps he would understand that other children do these things. It would be a shame if someone teased them or called them a baby as they don't do it themselves, daddy does it for them.
I do hope it all works out and maybe you will consider a momma's helper as I suggested. I very well understand working, keeping a household and having 3 small children. I felt lucky if I remembered to get everything on to go to work.
Take care
Lynn


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solutions

i have a long time solution to all this. Might sound harsh but that's my opinion.

would your DH consider going back to school? It is very tough now wiht all kind of colege degrees but i cannot imagine what kind of jobs are out there without high school diploma? Minimum wages? maybe if he gets at least some education, he can work one job and stay home the rest of the day. he has 3 kids he needs to be home at night. he can take online classes.

i see it a solution.

washing their own hair is all nice but I don't see it as a long time solution. dad needs a more serious plan. those are all details who does laundry or folds clothes. although kids need to be taught responsibilities, they cannot be the ones responsible for the future of the family. they are 5.

you are adults and you planned 3rd child so you guys have to make some changes, especially your DH.

and I don't blame them for wanting more reading at night. more you read to them, more they will learn and better they will do in life. it is not their fault, their dad works that many jobs and hours.

I also do not believe in having pets unless people are taken care of. same with plants.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Finedreams, I agree, and I think Doodle has posted that she has encouraged DH to get his diploma on many occasions.

Reading five books a night before bed though is a little extreme, in my opinion. I read to my daughter a lot, but she only gets two before bed. I simply do not have the time, nor the energy, to read more. And I only have one kid, I can't imagine two with one on the way.

It's typical for dads to work that many hours. Many many many children have grown up with a dad only for a few hours at night. Even with a "real" job he might not be around more. My ex worked in the restaurant business and was gone every night. Never tucked my dd in. But that was his job. Should he have switched careers because of bad time schedules?


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Finedreams

It doesn't sound "harsh" but right at this moment in time it's unrealistic. If he went back to school or even took online courses right now he would have to quit working. Not an option for us since I am fixing to have to be out of work on maternity leave.

Plus like I have said before...unless he made oodles of money at the new job we would be in the same boat thanks to daycare costs. Right now, financially, this is whats best for us. really it's the ONLY option we have untill things get adjusted back to normal.

The cat was going to be put down if I didn't bring it home. It was a kitten that was running amuck at a daycare center that I scfreen at and it was pooping in the sand box so the director had to call animal control. I couldn't stand by and let it be put down. I have a little bit of a soft spot for animals that I got from my mom. The kids can miss out on five minutes of undivided a day so daddy can change a cat box....I assure you it will not kill them.

Here's another possible solution: MOM GETTING OFF HER ASS AND HELPING A LITTLE! It's funny how you were so fast to throw in that we chose to have another baby so we need to "deal" with it but the biomom of the kids in question isn't helping out a single bit and that goes unmentioned. She could help pay for daycare at LEAST. Maybe if she pulled some weight with her children I wouldn't be so exhausted. If she wasn't such a moron she could keep them some during the week so J could take some online courses but being high is more important to her.

As far as Layla goes....she is my first child. I didn't think I could get pregnant at least I was TOLD by three doctors I couldn't. I am GLAD she is coming into our lives. I wouldn't have it any other way. The girls are just going to have to learn to some things for themselves. I don't think that is any way neglectful to them...it's reality. When kids get older and a baby is on the way it's time to start growing up a little. I went threw it as the eldest in my family. It's the natural order of things.

Silversword-

It is totally extreme and it's also all stall tactics. They want to be up as LOOOOONG as possible so they drag out the transition at bed time. While I am a huge advocate of reading the 40 minute bedtimes are going to have to stop when the baby gets here. Bottom line.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

"they cannot be the ones responsible for the future of the family. they are 5."

This is the only statement you made that pissed me off simply because I do not see expecting a five year old to start assuming some minor responsibilities as making them "responsible for the future of the family." I see it as expecting them to grow up a little which is what kids do.....they grow up. It's not like we are forcing them in a sweat shop making cheap clothes for K-Mart for weeping out loud. We just expect them to pick up their toys...hahahaha. I don't expect them to feed and change Layla or cook their own breakfast.

When I was the girls age I was scrubbing squash in a wash bin on my grandfathers farm so making a child wash their own hair to me is not a big deal in fact I think it should be rather obvious that they SHOULD be learning to wash their own hair. It isn't a long term solution as you say (and we are not dumb bumpkins...we realize j needs to go back to school) but the more they do for themselves the more time I will have free'd up to do other household things and care for the completely helpless baby.

The girls are no longer completely helpless babies. They had their baby time. It was all about them for five entire years. It's going to be some adjustment for everyone having a new baby in the house and that will include the girls. They might as well start adjusting now.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

"As far as Layla goes....she is my first child. I didn't think I could get pregnant at least I was TOLD by three doctors I couldn't. I am GLAD she is coming into our lives. I wouldn't have it any other way. The girls are just going to have to learn to some things for themselves. I don't think that is any way neglectful to them...it's reality. When kids get older and a baby is on the way it's time to start growing up a little. I went threw it as the eldest in my family. It's the natural order of things."

So, so true, Doodle. Don't let ANYONE tell you differently.

"they cannot be the ones responsible for the future of the family. they are 5."

Ok, finedreams, I am sorry but I don't see HOW you deduced from Doodle's posts that she or her DH are expecting the girls to be responsible for the family's future.

They are 5 and it sounds like J has babied them a little too much in certain areas and they do need some gentle nudging into "big-girl" mode.

This is NOT any different from me when I was 5 and my brother was born. It's not any different than ANY OTHER kid whose parents are expecting a new baby.

Growing up is part of life and by asking the girls to turn off the bath water, or get out of bed in a timely manner in the mornings or to dress themselves is NOT unreasonable. As parents, it is our JOB to help our children become independent, little by little, so that when the time comes for them to "leave the nest," they are PREPARED.

And 5 bedtime books is TOO MUCH.

Doodle--have you thought about reading a long chapter book to them? Maybe Stuart Little or some of The Little House on the Prairie books? My DD LOVES all the Junie B. Jones books.

If you could get the girls really engaged in a story, and read 1 chapter every night, that might make bedtime a little more pleasant. I think if they got really into a story, they would really look forward to reading that next chapter every night. This would cut down on the arguments about how many books to read, too.

"


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RE: Just a little venting here...

right on doodle! I thought that one statement crossed a line. It assumes that you are blaming the girls for the future of the family... offensive! (beyond harsh)

I had my 2nd child when my 1st was 2 1/2. His job was to bring me the diaper when it was changing time. Now, am I supposed to worry that I put too much 'responsibility' on him at 2 1/2-3? He was 3 1/2 when I had my 3rd. As the oldest, he helped me with the babies. But, you know I never once had to deal with him being 'jealous' or the type of sibling rivalry that parents complain about after having more kids. Maybe I was lucky with a child that had a good disposition or maybe it was because he learned from the beginning that he is part of a family that shares responsibility. He was so proud of being my helper with the babies that he was very protective of them and never went through a jealous phase. The babies were so close in age, they never knew anything but being together... much like twins. All of my kids were taking showers without assistance by the time they were 4, so it's not too much to ask for a 5 year old to learn some of these responsibilities for themselves. I also read to them as a group when they were small and as they got older, they read to each other in a group. Someone that only has one child probably wouldn't understand doing anything that isn't focused on that one child... they are usually pro 'give the child undivided attention' and I agree, if a child wants your undivided attention, they will demand it, either verbally or by acting out. I cannot remember ever setting aside 'special alone time' with any one of my kids. I was a single mom of three and it just wasn't possible... and just maybe they felt secure and loved so they didn't need me to take them for one on one time. (it's funny that while writing this, I just realized that my oldest son did start telling me that I don't spend enough time with him... it was when he was older and spending time with his father. He started coming home & telling me I don't spend enough time with him. At his father's house, he was an only child so he got undivided attention there. Not really sure if he really felt I didn't spend enough one on one time with him because he'd never complained before or if his dad put that idea into his head. Maybe a little of both.)


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Examples of daddy's babying

I have to tell you that when I met DH, SD was about to turn 6. I was at their house one evening and she went into the bathroom and yelled "DAAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYYYY". He said, "oh jeez." and went in there. She had done a number two and couldn't wipe herself. I held my tongue until she was asleep, but then just asked him why in the world he would still wipe a nearly six year olds butt. His answer, "she can't do it right herself", my response, "how is she going to EVER learn if you are still doing it for her?" and he had no comeback. (not to mention, she was capable of doing it herself at her mom's house.) She had just learned that if she yelled for daddy, he would do it for her.

Other things:

Washing her hair.
Buckling her seatbelt.
Tying her shoes.
Cutting up her food into tiny bites.

It was funny and after talking to him, I realized he didn't think it was unusual. He knew very little about stages of development and what kids are capable of since it was his first child. I was afraid to ask him how old she was when he stopped giving her a bottle. I was afraid he still had some of those.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Hi Doodle,
I'm sorry, I meant the "extreme" in response to Finedreams post "...and I don't blame them for wanting more reading at night. more you read to them, more they will learn and better they will do in life..."

While I agree with her that reading is important I was saying that I don't think she should be advocating you reading 5 books a night or indicating the girls will be damaged because you read less, especially in your condition and with such a full schedule. I think one book a night is enough to encourage their reading habit. Also, like Ima said, they should be getting to the stage where they can read to one another, or read to you (and soon their new little sister!!) and get more reading in that way.

As for J's schedule, at least he doesn't have to travel for work (salesman type or truck driver jobs) where he's out of town for weeks on end. I don't know many children whose father helps them get ready in the morning and takes them to school and then picks them up and eats dinner with them. It's really unheard of. They are lucky girls to have that. It sounds to me like this split schedule, although disruptive to his sleep and difficult to manage is actually probably the best possible schedule for the girls right now.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

So in the latest Avon book ... they have a dora the explorer getting ready for bedtime book ... it has a timer in and it give a count down of bedtime rituals brushing teeth reading time etc.

I just saw it last night and if I had your address I would send it to ya.... :)

It would be perfect for you getting the girls to get ready for bed on "their own" ...

And going to kick FD's high horse as well.

FD you have been very condescending in lots of posts but this one takes the cake ... just the whole tone of your post was a holier than thou ... pointing out the obvious does not offer a "simple solution"

You only had one child ... getting one child ready for bed is a difficult enough when you add more children to the mix it gets more complicated and doodle has TWO the same age and pregnant for the first time...


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RE: book

Pseudo, that sounds like a perfect book! I'll have to look around to find one too :) My DD loves being timed, so it really works out well to tell her, ok, 5 minutes on the timer, ready...set...go! There's no stalling when she's racing the beat the clock! We usually use the one on the microwave, but I've been thinking lately that a more portable egg timer would be better.


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Silversword

Oh no no no. You misunderstood me:) I understood what you meant and I was totally agreeing with you. My defensive position was more geared towards Finedreams statement

"and I don't blame them for wanting more reading at night. more you read to them, more they will learn and better they will do in life. it is not their fault, their dad works that many jobs and hours."

I totally agree with YOU that wanting five plus stories a night is way too much. I'm sorry if it cam off that I was upset. I totally agree with everything you have said. I agree with 90% of what you say always.


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replies

IMA-

"Washing her hair.
Buckling her seatbelt.
Tying her shoes.
Cutting up her food into tiny bites."
HAHAHA IMA We married the same man:)

Silversword-

"As for J's schedule, at least he doesn't have to travel for work (salesman type or truck driver jobs) where he's out of town for weeks on end. I don't know many children whose father helps them get ready in the morning and takes them to school and then picks them up and eats dinner with them. It's really unheard of. They are lucky girls to have that. It sounds to me like this split schedule, although disruptive to his sleep and difficult to manage is actually probably the best possible schedule for the girls right now."

You are so right. He actually see's them MORE this way than if he had a normal job. He'll have them during their holiday vacations alot as well because his jobs are flexible as far as the hours he works. It's HIM that's suffering because of the no sleep thing....not the girls.

I think he is one hell of a man to drop his kids off and pick them up from school everyday. He works TWO jobs to provide as best he can for us even though he gets little sleep. He cooks for his family every night. GOOD FOOD TOO! Not microwave dinners. He fixes us all breakfast every morning while I get them dressed AND he cleans the kitchen. He may not have a degree because he traveled with a band at a very young age but he has more than made up for that with everything else he has done for the girls and I. He sacrificed his music to be home with his family. He COULD be on the road three weeks out of the year making more money if he chose to but he wants to be at home with us. Music is so important to him. It has not been easy for him to be away from it. How many men will load up two five year olds and go grocery shopping so the pregger spouse can have an hour of silence? Not many. J does every saturday.

Psuedo-

"So in the latest Avon book ... they have a dora the explorer getting ready for bedtime book ... it has a timer in and it give a count down of bedtime rituals brushing teeth reading time etc."

So apparently I am not the only one having issues with bedtimes or there wouldn't be a book dedicated to it! Theres even a timer!!! HAHAHAHAHA

That would be perfect! I wonder if there is an Avon rep floating around our area........


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Correcting myself

"He COULD be on the road three weeks out of the year making more money if he chose to but he wants to be at home with us."

I meant he could be on the road three weeks out of the MONTH not YEAR. When he was on tour he was only home about one week out each month.


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RE: Book

From the Publisher:
Get ready for bed with Dora!
New Arrival $21.98 Reg. $20.48 SALE
Flush, wash, and brush with Dora!

Now it's time for you to get ready for bed! Are you ready to start? Remember, first you use bathroom...
Then you wash your hands...
Then you brush your teeth...
Then you put on your pijamas.
Now start the countdown clock!

Dora counts down from 15 minutes.

Press to hear Dora say goodnight and play a bedtime melody.

Publications International Ltd.


Features

Replaceable long-life batteries included.
Countdown timer with LCD screen included.
Board book.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dora's Countdown to Bedtime Book


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Sounds like J is doing the best he can under the circumstances. Although I'm an advocate of having at least a GED there is more than one kind of "smart". Not everyone needs/wants to get a college education, and there are plenty of "college-educated idiots" running around. I personally have no street smarts. I get lost, make eye contact, answer questions, roll down my window for strangers, don't pay attention to which alley I'm walking down... etc. Perhaps there is some studio work he could be doing (in his """"spare"""" time) so that he can keep up with his music/earn extra money but not have to travel? I know some musicians feel this is selling out, so discard question if it's not his thing.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

It was cheaper than that in the Avon book .... $16.99

Campaign 23 or 24 not sure which book

I never buy from them but was bored at work reading anything I could get my hands on and spotted it.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Timers are a wonderful thing! DS is 12 (13 next week!) and we still use timers when he gets pokey. One thing that works well for us is an absolute bedtime. (It's 9:00 now.) So if he gets ready early, there's more time for stories or TV; if he dawdles, there's no time leftover at all. I imagine you already have a bedtime set up, so it's hardly even a policy change to say "Only 15 more minutes until bedtime and you've still got to brush your teeth. Hope we have enough time for two stories."

You may also have some luck with a bit of sibling rivalry: "The first one ready for bed gets to choose the story." or "The first one dressed in the morning gets to choose breakfast." or "Last one done is a rotten egg!"

With a new baby, you've also got a great reason/excuse to teach them new things. Things that aren't 'really' new, but things they're not doing competently by themselves yet that ought to be done a certain way to be done well. They'll probably be really eager to help -- at least before Layla gets here! You could talk about giving the baby a bath and teach them how to wash themselves, holding out the carrot that after they've learned to wash themselves well, they can help wash the baby. Same with getting ready for bed, getting dressed, etc. All of these things they can help with after they've mastered the skills.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Sweeby..."holding out the carrot that after they've learned to wash themselves well, they can help wash the baby. "

Good idea~


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RE: Just a little venting here...

doodle of course mom should help, in fact she has to have her kids wiht her not with you. but i have no ways of telling her that, she is not posting here. but you are. so you ask questions, i give my opinion. i cannot give my opinion to their mom, she is not on this forum.

of course girls have to do things. there is a lot 5-year-olds can do. i just do not see it as a long time solution for the family.

i understand we disagree, that's fine. i just expressed my opinion.

when i had hard time getting decent pay even with college degree, i went back to school. i owe a lot, over 50K in loans now (without interest) but that was what i did. i realize it is not always doable.


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pseudo

as about having more kids pseudo. i could only have one, i cannot have anymore. but i do not understand what it is to do wiht anything. i know people with 3,4,5,6, 7 children and all are either in foster care or Child protective services are in and out of their houses. how is it better than having one child?

doddle's kids BM had two, so what. she is not taking care of them. i had one but i took very decent care of her. i guess i'd rather have one in this case.

and frankly doddle does not even have a baby born yet but i already raised mine and did a decent job, so i assume i can give my opinion on raising children/child. even if only have one.


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Finedreams

"doddle's kids BM had two, so what. she is not taking care of them. i had one but i took very decent care of her. i guess i'd rather have one in this case.

and frankly doddle does not even have a baby born yet but i already raised mine and did a decent job, so i assume i can give my opinion on raising children/child. even if only have one."

Finedreams-

I really do believe you probably did a great job of raising your child. I don't think anyone is taking that away from you. But ONE child vs. two and being pregnant is two totally different circumstances. You have never had a "older sissy" situation to contend with.

I think the point Psuedo was trying to make is it's really easy to be judgemental when you are not the one in the situation. Yes, "My" BM had two kids but you yourself made the point that she is not raising them.... I am. Now I am VERY pregnant and having trouble "babying" the girls like they are use to. I can't throw my back out and daddy can't quit working just so the girls have someone to pick up their toys for them. That would be ridiculous.

I am not a first time mommy to Layla. I have been mommy to these girls for going on a year and a half. It's nothing new to be a parent to me. I already understand what kindof time and sacrafice. That being said even bio parents not in step situations can tell you being pregnant and jumping through unecessary (key word: unecessary)hoops for a five year old gets old fast.
I also don't understand where you keep getting this "long term solution" thing from. I want the girls to be a little more self sufficient. It has nothing to do with dad being gone alot. Even if he was a stay at home daddy I would think the girls need to start doing for themselves a little more. It's time. They are getting big. We can't be scrubbing their hiney's for them when they turn 15. I think you are blowing something very simple way out of proportion. Big sissy's have to start doing a little more for themselves when a baby is on the way. That's pretty basic common knowledge. What's the big deal? Thousands of people would agree with me on this because they have been there...done that.


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Finedreams part 2

"when i had hard time getting decent pay even with college degree, i went back to school. i owe a lot, over 50K in loans now (without interest) but that was what i did. i realize it is not always doable."

money was never the issue here. It was the girls not doing simple things for themselves. I am just exhausted from running around in circles for two little girls who should be doing ALOT of the stuff I am doing for them.

Even if J went to school and got another job he would more than likely be gone the same amount of time during the day, we'd be WORSE off financialy (around the holidays and birth of new child) and I'd still be breaking my 8 month pregnant back waiting on two very smart fully capable five year olds hand and foot.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Doodle-
I can remember being preggo with my youngest and having the other two kiddos to deal with (SD and DD full time) It is definately trying....what I have found after each childs birth (the younger two) is that the other children had to adjust, and this also meant pulling a little more weight for themselves...at 5 my SD (when my DD was born) was shown how to take her own shower,bath, (with us checking after her of course)pick up her room (at least so you could walk cant expect spottless from a 5 yr old) and to help clear the table......Life will no longer be just about the girls it will be about the girls and the new baby...if I were you I would start working with the girls to get them just a bit more independent before new baby comes....It isnt always easy...when we brought youngest son home from the hospital middle daughter looked right at us and peed all over the floor....(she had been trained for a year and a half) stuff like that last about a week and we continued to reasure her how much we loved her etc.. and it faded...I guess my point is...help the girls become as independent as they can to their abililities, and at the same time give them lots of reasurance...three is definately a different ballgame than two..at least with two you have a hand for each..with three someone either has to do it themselves or be patient!!


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Good advice Fiveinall. It reminded me of the Montessori method.

Look at your home through your child's eyes. Children need a sense of belonging and of being needed. They get it by participating fully in the routines of everyday life. "Help me do it by myself" is the life theme of the preschooler. Can you find ways for your child to participate in meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, and toys? Providing opportunities for independence is the surest way to build your child's self-esteem.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

I agree with five. The more independant you can help the girls to be before the baby comes, the less they are going to see it as them having to change because of the baby. Its also common for kids to revert for a while after the birth of a sibling, and thats the last thing you are going to need.

Its going to be very draining , once the baby is born, trying to care for two five year olds and a newborn. Are you taking time off when the baby is born? Or is that financially impossible.

Your own emotions are going to run all over the place for a while once Layla comes. Overwhelming love for your family will compete with pure exhaustion and an emotional roller coaster. If you realize in advance that this will happen, it will make it easier to adjust to.

If anyone asks what you want for the baby, tell them you want food. The kindest thing anyone can do for you is cook and leave the food on the doorstep. You arent going to have the energy for a while, and a good pot roast will mean much more to you than any newborn baby outfit that is outgrown in two weeks anyway.


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RE: Just a little venting here...

"The more independant you can help the girls to be before the baby comes, the less they are going to see it as them having to change because of the baby."

I agree completely. Make a big deal out of the "Big Girl" thing now, and the "Big Sisters" thing later. If the girls see all of their new responsibilities as being "the baby's fault" they could easily come to resent her. When younger DS was a baby, I would frequently comment to older DS how nice it would be when the baby could do all of the things older DS could do, and how wonderful it was that he was so capable. Worked well for a long while! (Now it's younger DS who is so self-sufficient and older DS who's the lazy one...)


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RE: Just a little venting here...

Kathline-

"Your own emotions are going to run all over the place for a while once Layla comes. Overwhelming love for your family will compete with pure exhaustion and an emotional roller coaster. If you realize in advance that this will happen, it will make it easier to adjust to."

You are so right and I'm bracing myself for it now. This is another huge reason why I want the girls to start being more independant NOW. The last thing I want is to be short or snappy with them because I'm exhausted and the more they can so for themselves the less likely I'll be to lose patience. I'm running damage control before the damage happens. I get irritated now when they say they can't do something I know they can do so imagine how easily irritated I'll get when I'm totally sleep deprived! I don't want to be grumpy all the time.

"The more independant you can help the girls to be before the baby comes, the less they are going to see it as them having to change because of the baby."

This is also so true. We would rather them get frustered with us now for making them do things themselves than blame it on Layla after she's here.


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