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Author Topic: I'm to young for this  (Read 5860 times)

DMcD

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I'm to young for this
« on: Jan 24, 2004, 05:08:06 PM »
I just turned 24. I'm the mother of three small children and raising six kids total. DH has been gone 12 weeks and counting. BM has seen her kids only 15 days of those 12 weeks. I'm stuck at home cleaning house, doing dishes, folding laundry. If I'm not doing that, I'm taking kids to doctors, attending school conferences, arranging playdates. All of my friends are going out, having fun. Here I am, waiting for the cookies to finish baking and listening for the dryer to buzz so I can fold the seventh load of laundry I have done today.

I may seem older to many of you. I'm only 24. I listen to Limp Bizkit and Blink-182. I have hip-hugger jeans and a Nine Inch Nails tee-shirt.

My schedule is booked. I desperately wanted to take a few classes at the community college less than a mile away from my house, but without the support of DH, I would just end up having to drop the classes. Most young adults my age are just finishing their degree and wondering what they want to do with their lives. I already know. I will be a mother for the next 17 years. It is a choice I have made and a job I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, but there are times that I long to be my age. To act my age.

God forbid I go out to a bar and get drunk with my friends. Who would watch my kids? How would I take care of them when I got home? Not that that's something I am dying to do, but it is one thing that I certainly can't do. Linkin Park is coming to town. I would give my right arm to go but I have to buy diapers and pay the mortgage and the insurance. Concert tickets are NOT in the budget.

I like who I am. I love my family. My kids and skids are great. I just sometimes wish I had different responsibilities. Not fewer, just different. I sometimes wish that instead of worrying about how often the kids take baths or if they are getting enough vegitables in their diets that I was stressing over midterms or budgeting how to pay for next semesters books. I sometimes wish I was the kid still and not the mom.

Someday (soon, I hope) I will find a balance somewhere in between. Until then, I just try to be a good mother and SM. Maybe once DH gets home, I can take those classes and he can take care of the kids while I'm in class.


Forthelittleones

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Some thoughts
« Reply #1 on: Jan 24, 2004, 05:28:43 PM »
Our local college has a drop in FREE day care for students - well actually mothers, they wont help DH - but thats another story.  See if your local college has something like that -

If I remember correctly- your DH is off TDY for training - is there a military base near by with a child care center?  Any mothers day out programs, or church based programs that offer drop in care?


Is there a mom in the area who you could trade duties with to get some you time?

And yes, I thought you were older, like 30's but this is all just an interent thing and we could all be any age!  

Take care of you and everyone else will be better including yourself!

DMcD

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RE: Some thoughts
« Reply #2 on: Jan 24, 2004, 06:03:30 PM »
They have a nursery at the college, but it is strange how it works. Parents have to volunteer as many hours per week as the kids stay and they are so backed up, kids stay on the lists for several semesters sometimes. I could try to get the kids in there, but if I took 8 hours of classes per week, that would make my total school commitment 16 hours per week and I really wouldn't have the time for that. I'm stretched as thin as one person can be.

Both the air bases nearby have closed. One still houses a BX and Commisary and the other houses the VA hospital. Those are the only military run facilities left on the bases. The rest of both have been turned into private business offices. The next closest base would be about 40 miles from our town.

A lot of people had promised to help me with the kids before DH left. But even my SIL has flaked when it comes to the kids. She is always too tired and when she does tell me she will take the kids, I'll try to call her when she doesn't show up and her cell phone will be turned off. I'll get a call several hours later with her telling me that she fell asleep. This has happened about 6 times already. I don't ask her to watch the kids that often anyway. She doesn't supervise them at all, so I come home to a house that has been destroyed by my boys who had no limits and no discipline. Add my SIL's girls (who don't have any limits at any time) into the mix and you would think someone loosed a heard of wild pigs in my house. It takes me 3 times the length of time I was actually gone to clean the mess that was made. My other friend has been trying to help, but her DH just went out for his annual training and he will be gone for several weeks. I have painfully few non-internet friends. I don't get out of the house much.

So, I have thought through the majority of options and right now, I can't see a viable way of taking classes this semester. I also work a part-time job in the evenings for DH's atty, just to help make ends meet. I have lost 15 lbs since DH left. That may not seem like much, but that leaves me weighing in at a meager 95 lbs. I'm making myself sick. I shouldn't take on any more until after he gets home.

Thanks for the support. Sometimes this is a very lonely house, despite the number of occupants.

wendl

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RE: Some thoughts
« Reply #3 on: Jan 24, 2004, 08:25:27 PM »
Hey D
By anychance do they have a program to subsized daycare costs in your area, that may be an option, or even online classes.

Also you really need to put AT least one day or night aside for YOU and only YOU maybe go to a movie, get your nails done whatever but its important. I try to do it, lol some times it doesnt always work that way.

Keep up the good work and EAT.

(((((hugs)))))

DMcD

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RE: Some thoughts
« Reply #4 on: Jan 24, 2004, 08:44:06 PM »
There is a childcare program like that. I have been referred to them by WIC, but I haven't heard anything yet. They should be contacting me soon, but I will probably be put on a waiting list. I'll be on the waiting list and hope that I will get an available spot in time for summer classes to begin. They only cover work and school time, though. I wouldn't be able to go to the movies and have the childcare program pay the babysitter. I have actually considered dropping my kids off with the local crisis nursery and letting my skids stay home for a few hours. I'm worried that if I take the kids there, they call CPS. I really don't want to do that, but it would be a way to get out of the house for a while.

I eat. DH asks if I eat. It has nothing to do with the amount that I eat. I eat as much as I always did. I think it's the stress. All I know is that I can't wait for DH to get home so that I can take a few days for me, myself and I.


wendl

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RE: Some thoughts
« Reply #5 on: Jan 24, 2004, 08:50:23 PM »
keep your chin up D, it will work out in the end.  Hopefully they will approve daycare for you for school that is what I had to do when I was 20 single and going to school.  Good luck with that.

I would take your kids if you didnt live so far :).

I know how it is with eating I lost 20lbs due to stress & I am little to begin with too.


DMcD

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RE: Some thoughts
« Reply #6 on: Jan 25, 2004, 09:26:10 AM »
I know you'd take them, Wen. My kids are my life and I feel like an awful mom for feeling so discontented with my life. SD takes on such a huge responsibility with my kids and it's not fair. She usually volunteers, but I still don't think that it's right for her to have to do so much. She should be taking her driver's ed classes and studying the DMV manuals. I really feel like I have been barely holding things together up until now and it's all ready to come unraveled. I am not in control of the house or the kids and give them only what I can give. It's not much considering all the work that has to be done both in and out of the house. What I need is someone to come in and really help. My sister and SIL end up making more to do when they come over to "help". My mom is still MIA. Even if she weren't, I don't think I'd want her and my dad around. That would just fray my nerves even more. I'm bitching and complaining, I know. And if wishes were horses... (as the old Mother Goose rhyme goes). Maybe I'll get abducted by UFO's. LOL

oneandonly

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((HUGS)))
« Reply #7 on: Jan 25, 2004, 12:20:11 PM »
Just some input here--you are doing a wonderul job and do not doubt yourself for one minute! None of what you are doing (raising your children, raising the skids, etc..)comes with a "manual"-you do the best you can.
Personally, I'd hold off on the college class thing if this is for credit or future career move--added stress.
There's no reason to not delegate more responsibilities to the children---for their own things and for the good of the family. There were 6 of us in our home and each and every one of us pitched in regardless.....if you should, God forbid, get sick or something, they would have to help, right? My mom came down the pneumonia right after she had the last babies-twins (I remember doc coming to house!) and the 3 oldest boys were responsible for cooking, cleaning, laundry, and their homework, etc......didnt hurt them one bit (dad worked 12 hour days).
Oh, and  no such thing as allowance for us either--we just did our chores.
We also never had babysitters---but, after our chores were done (summer time, weekends), mom always took us somewhere. Now of course, we knew how to behave and watch out for each other..and it was always some place free.....but I think that was my mom's way of "getting away" without really "getting away"--know what I mean? ANd, with the added incentive of a trip or whatever, we always got our chores done. She did this with 14, 13, 8, 3 and 1 yr old twins to travel with....I remember "cleaning" my own room up at 3 or 4.....
I do remember, on occasion, one neighbor lady watching us---with her kids too--and then my mom would do the same for her once in awhile....is that an option for you?
Stop being so hard and demanding of yourself~
*come back to chat soon too*

DMcD

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RE: ((HUGS)))
« Reply #8 on: Jan 25, 2004, 04:28:12 PM »
Thanks for your support. I'm in a catch-22 situation here. The kids were taken from BM for multiple reasons, but one of the reasons was that SD was raising my SS's. She would cook and clean and help with homework and BM wouldn't do any of those things. Now, I know that I would be doing all of those things, too, but I can't help but see the parallels in the two situations. BM also made a lot of noise about SD becoming the household's "built in babysitter". Again, we assured everyone that wasn't going to be the case. I certainly don't want to make that the reality. She has her own issues to contend with. YSS and SD both have moderate to severe depression, but I can't treat it because BM won't agree to have them placed on anti-depressants. So, I have to just try to make their lives as consistent and routine as possible to make sure their depression doesn't worsen. OSS is very angry at the whole dad having to leave just after he moves here situation. He can rationalize the issues, but even though he understands, the hurt and anger is still there.

Three kids with emotional issues, three kids with severe academic problems, three kids with years of untreated medical and psychiatric issues added to three small children who demand my attention at every waking moment, I sometimes feel that there is nothing I can do to take care of everyone. I may be too hard on myself, but the truth is, all six of the kids deserve more than what I am able to provide to them right now.

Everyone has to make choices in their lives. I make choices for these kids every day, good or bad. Sometimes I screw up, sometimes I do the right things, but I have this weight on my shoulders that six children rely on me for just about everything. Six lives are counting on me to figure out how to make this group of people live as a family. Talk about stress.

wendl

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RE: ((HUGS)))
« Reply #9 on: Jan 25, 2004, 04:49:59 PM »
D--
Dont be so hard on yourself. so what if the house gets messy (lol mine gets bad with only 1 kids full time and 2 skd on weekends)

Have the kids help fold laundry and do little things to help you out, that wont make if feel like you are making then raise eachother or themselves.

Growing up I had  2 sisters, 2 stepbrothers and a stepsister, we each had chores, dishes etc, this helped my parents out a lot even.  Maybe you can do a chore list for each child then as a reward you can make a trip to the local park or something that doesnt cost money.  I know in our area on the weekends they have a free petting zoo at the local park.

Try and set a time aside for homework time that way you have a little peace, maybe they could all sit around the table while you care cooking then if they needs help they can ask, who knows maybe the older ones can help the little ones, this way they are being mentors and you would be right there to supervise.

Just a couple of ideas.  

When does dh get back.

HUGS TO YOU

lucky

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RE: I'm to young for this
« Reply #10 on: Jan 25, 2004, 06:41:37 PM »
D --

I've been thinking about the depression of your stepkids.  I'm assuming that your dh and pbfh have joint legal requiring both of them to agree on treatment, etc.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm basing this on dh's court order giving him and pbfh joint legal.  If you have a doctor's diagnosis stating that those children are depressed and recommending anti-depressants, I would GET THE MEDS!!!!  

Let pbfh file for contempt.  Yes, it might be more stress, BUT, left untreated (and the kids may not be able to even deal with therapy right now without the meds -- my son couldn't) there could be far worse consequences -- suicide is one that comes to mind.  

If you have professionals diagnosing the depression and prescribing the Rx, I don't see how the judge could find you in contempt.

This is just my opinion -- dh has made decisions against what pbfh said/agreed to and nothing has ever come of it because those decisions were made at the recommendation of medical professionals.  I would double check with your attorney about what he thinks the chances are of her actually winning/getting a hearing on a contempt motion regarding this.  

(((((D)))))
Lucky

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers

DMcD

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RE: ((HUGS)))
« Reply #11 on: Jan 26, 2004, 09:15:36 AM »
He gets released on March 20. I think that's about 8 more weeks. 8 weeks seems like 8 years. I have so much to do every day and it just seems like I never have enough time. I've heard of single parents raising six or more kids, but I have no idea how they do it. All I know is, I'm not really cut out for this, long term. When DH has his 2 week annual training drills, I won't mind, but this 20 weeks of absence is just KILLING me. The kids have chores and a set homework time. They have friends over on weekends or go to friends' houses. They are normal kids, for the most part. But getting them to and from school, helping with homework, cooking a balanced meal every night, budgeting $4k per month in expenses with less than $3k a month in income, all of that adds up to me being in a constant state of stress and frustration. Even those stupid anti-depressants they gave me don't deal with the stress. In fact, they have just made things worse. I used to not feel much of anything. Now I find myself crying for no reason. I am emotional and stressed. I feel like I did while I was preganant and the hormones made me an emotional basketcase. All I know is that I have to be strong while he's gone for the sake of the kids. I can't have a meltdown and I have more to do than I ever thought possible. Seems like if I relax a little, the house is going to fall apart. Seems if I try any harder, I'll fall apart. You guys are great. If nothing else, I know that if I come here, I have a group of people who know what I'm going through and that care. I think that helps more than anything.

DMcD

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RE: I'm to young for this
« Reply #12 on: Jan 26, 2004, 09:49:24 AM »
You are absolutely right. For cripe's sake, she had the kids taken from her based, in large part, on her failure to treat their medical and psychiatric conditions. She is forcing us to do the same. She hasn't turned in the intake papers that I gave her for the child psychiatrist. She hasn't contacted the facility. And darn it, that court order says that parents have the right and RESPONSIBILITY to make major medical decisions. We have given her the right, she has not met her responsibility. Since she doesn't even care enough to call the children's center to talk to the psychiatrist, why should I care enough to wait for her to get the information to finally decide on whether to put him on meds? YSS was diagnosed in early December. It's going on 2 months since the diagnosis. Still I wait for BM. I'm going to stop waiting. I'm not about to neglect his medical treatment. If YSS were diagnosed with pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics to treat it, no one would wait 2 months, or even 2 days, for BM to take the initiative to call the doctors, medical facilities or or other health care professionals. We wouldn't wait to see if BM approved the type of antibiotic used or the dosage or anything else. We would fill the damn prescription and let BM know that he was on it and the reasons why he was on it. Well, that's what I'm going to do. If she takes this in to court for contempt, she will have to explain why she continues to neglect the children's medical treatment, even as the NCP. She will have to explain why she took all the time and effort into filing a contempt action while not taking the 10 minutes it would take to phone up the children's center and ask about her son's treament. SD has her child psychiatrist appt next month and I'm just going to go in and treat it like any other appt. If she get prescribed meds, I'll fill the prescription.

Thanks, Lucky

LizaLou1

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RE: I'm to young for this
« Reply #13 on: Jan 26, 2004, 10:17:31 AM »
Sounds like you need to get the court to grant you, the stepmom, rights to care for the children (doctors, meds, etc) if and/or when your husband TDY/deploys again.  That way you will not be left waiting to the BM.

Best of luck

LizaLou

bananas

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No, you are not too young
« Reply #14 on: Jan 26, 2004, 11:34:51 AM »
Everyone has a different life.  If you weren't swamped with six kids, you'd be swamped with something else.

I have been married for 13 years.  I married DH when I was 20.  Didn't go to college.  DH has two kids.  They are basically grown now.  I went through all the crap that goes along with having stepkids.  I have a house, two cars, a good job, and am in debt up to my ears.  We don't have kids together but are trying now.  I'm happy.

I recently got together with a friend I knew in school.  He is my age.  When we graduated from HS, he went to Yale.  Studied music.  He had a girlfriend for five years, but she wanted to get married and he didn't, so they broke up.  Then he lived in Seattle for a few years.  Dated a few more girls.  He met one girl from South Africa and dated her for a while.  He then moved to South Africa for a year and lived with her.  He recently came back and is trying to move to California.  His girlfriend should also be coming back to the States soon.

He has no job, no car, no place to stay.  But, I think he's happy.

At work, I'm in the process of watching two of my co-workers go through divorces after having kids.  They were both married for a couple of years, had kids, and are now splitting up.  In both cases, I think it was because they didn't get a chance to do what they wanted to do before the kids came along.  I think one spouse in each case was pretty immature and wasn't ready for kids.

I think you are mature enough for it.  I think you'll do just fine.

I guess the main theme (??) of my post is to say that even if you had different responsiblities, it might not make you any happier, better, etc.  Wouldn't it be fun to just drop it all for two weeks and go party?  Some of us have that option, but some of us don't.  But if you don't, it's not a bad thing.  

It's hard when your hubby is gone for weeks/months at a time.  I think the stress you're under is why you posted, not that you are dealing with six kids.  If your hubby were there, you probably wouldn't have posted!  You just need a little break, and you'll get that once your DH gets home.

You're doing great, hang in there!!!!

lucky

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You are more than welcome, D....
« Reply #15 on: Jan 27, 2004, 05:22:55 AM »
I figure that with you being at the end of your rope, you are NOT going to be able to keep those poor kids on an even keel -- no matter how hard you try or want to.

Besides, typically, antidepressants take several weeks to see a change.  With my son, they started him at 5mg of Celexa per day, after about a month, we saw a small improvement and that's it.  They upped it to 10mg for about a month -- again a small improvement.  BUT, he could then participate somewhat effectively in therapy.  Last week they upped it to 15mg so we'll see in a couple weeks.  We're just lucky that the first one they tried worked -- with my dd, we tried three different ones with varying amounts before finding the right one.  Be prepared for that as well, D.  

In addition, maybe you are on the wrong prescription as well.  If it is making you an emotional basketcase, check with the doctor to see if yours should be changed.

You need to take care of those kids.  It'd be nice to have BM's input and agreement, but she obviously doesn't care enough.  Let her try to cause trouble because it seems to me that is all she cares enough about to do.

And like all the others say -- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO!!!  Couldn't you even have your sd watch the little ones while you take a half hour candlelit bubble bath with headphones on?  It's not like she'd be the ONLY one there and in charge....  Perhaps do it while you have the kids watch "Finding Nemo" or some similar movie the littler ones would like.
Lucky

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers

DMcD

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RE: I'm to young for this
« Reply #16 on: Jan 27, 2004, 08:38:34 AM »
They have joint legal custody. They have "equal" rights and responsibilities. I doubt the court would take her rights from her just because DH is gone. I was granted legal guardianship of the kids, so I can make day-to-day decisions, but in regards to something like this - a major medical issue - both parents have rights and must agree according to the court order. I spoke to DH's atty last night and he said give her 48 hours and if she doesn't respond, put him on the meds. After all, she doesn't have the right to ignore her responsibility or her son's emotional health. We're just going to do it that way and if she files contempt, I'll throw that provision right back in her face. Before she can have the RIGHT to make a medical decision, she has to take the RESPONSIBILITY to actually MAKE a decision and notify someone regarding her choice. If she doesn't, no one has any way of knowing what she would like to see done. In that case, we have to use her silence as consent. If she were that opinionated about the matter, she would probably talk to someone and let them know she doesn't agree with the treatment plan.

DMcD

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RE: No, you are not too young
« Reply #17 on: Jan 27, 2004, 08:41:34 AM »
You're right. And usually I'm pretty content with my life. I love all the kids. I'm happy when they accomplish something good, sad when they don't make it on the first try, encourage them to get up and try, try again. I just can hardly stand the stress anymore. I try so hard to keep myself focused on the good and let the rest go. It just doesn't always work that way. Sometimes I feel great and sometimes I feel like I'm heading for a meltdown. I try to avoid the latter.

DMcD

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RE: You are more than welcome, D....
« Reply #18 on: Jan 27, 2004, 08:46:48 AM »
The psychiatrist recommended a regimen of 25mg daily Zoloft or Prozac. That was what I was prescribed, and when I first started taking it, I felt better within 72 hours. Hopefully, that higher dosage will work well for him and get him back on track fairly quickly. I don't really worry about when or whether it will work, but how hard it will be for me to get him to take it if he knows his mom is strongly against it. Of course I will give his dose to him everyday, but he may not be honest during his med checks or counseling appts. That's just a minor concern, but I think he will be 100% very soon. BM has 48 from 11 PM, PST last night to respond or I'm filling his prescription with no guilt.

forthekids24

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Think of it as an adventure
« Reply #19 on: Jan 27, 2004, 03:57:10 PM »
... you are building memories with the kids.  In the future you all will be able to look back and say "remember how we all stuck together when Dad was off at training?" "it was tough, but we had fun right?"

I am a young mom also... but I prefer to think of it as that I chose to delay my wild and crazy times to when I am more mature.  I will be able to enjoy going out after my kids are grown and independent.

Of course, like you my musical taste is very close to my teenage son's... which embarrasses him to NO end.  But hey, it is my job right?

I guess what I am trying to say is you are not alone, you have made choices in your life that sometimes you look back on and wonder "what if", that is completely normal.  Your family and your kids are your priority at this time in your life,  just make sure you do take time for "you" every once in a while.

 

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