Author Topic: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family  (Read 21413 times)

mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2015, 05:01:43 PM »
My biggest struggle is that I crave either silence or deep conversations with adults, and with three boys, there's precious little of that in my life!
ROFL.  +1000 - and I only have the one boy!
+2000 (I have two)

and there was this:

Quote
"I can't adult!" memes

I feel that way sometimes.  After a full work day or work week, then the second shift.

The mental work thing - I think it's hard.  Aside from my full time job (which is new to me right now, same company, different job), there's the home front.  At work I have to wear many hats and keep track of 15-20 + projects.

At home, I do all of the grocery shopping, meal planning, most of the cooking, etc. - that's work!  Brain work and physical work.

Plus I'm the co VP of fundraising for the PTA, and that's keeping track of book sales, raffle tickets, donations and thank you notes, jog a thons...and I simply cannot do more than one at a time, on top of everything else.  These things overlap. I  just can't do it, sorry.

Just this week, before bed, my son wanted a banana. I hadn't heard him, because I was relaxing on the couch for my 30 minutes a day.  Then I joked later "I'm off duty after 8!"  (What I mean is, off duty from kitchen duty after 8.  Forage for yourself after that.  I basically do kitchen stuff from 5:30 to 7:30 every night.)  My husband said "I don't know why YOU get to check out for 30 minutes before bed every night when *I* don't get to go off duty."  I was PISSED and he apologized, but it took all of my control to not say FUCK YOU.

Because I am asleep every night before my children.  They stay up too late & WILL NOT FUCKING SLEEP (well, mostly the toddler because he naps at daycare).  That 30 minutes is the ONLY time I get to "check out" ALL FREAKING DAY LONG.  Otherwise I'm working, interacting with children, or doing chores.  And even then it's loud and chaotic.  My husband is awake for at least 1 to 1.5 hours every night after the kids go to sleep, so that's his time to relax.  I don't get that.  (He's also on travel right now, so I REALLY don't get that because it requires me to stay up 30 minutes to 60 minutes later.)

Plus it seems like just "more stuff" than in the old days.  More appointments, more papers, more things to keep track of.

Sayyadina

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2015, 03:50:46 PM »
I think both parents working while trying to raise kids leads to a lot of divorces, which results in a lot of screwed up kids.

Yeah, divorce sucks, and putting people into a situation where it's more likely is bad.

Sometimes, divorce is the better option for everyone involved, though, including the kids. (It actually was for me, as a kid, even though it hurt for a bit.)

My anecdote is not data, but your statement was too black and white for me to let it go. Stigmatizing divorce kept my parents together, and very unhappy, for a lot longer than they should have been.

Cressida

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2015, 01:15:33 AM »
I don't know if y'all read Captain Awkward, but after reading through this thread I want to offer "Jedi hugs" to pretty much all of you. I myself never wanted kids for whatever reason, and certainly we all have our own personal crosses to bear, but I salute you guys.

Eric222

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2015, 06:09:59 AM »
I think both parents working while trying to raise kids leads to a lot of divorces, which results in a lot of screwed up kids.

Yeah, divorce sucks, and putting people into a situation where it's more likely is bad.

Sometimes, divorce is the better option for everyone involved, though, including the kids. (It actually was for me, as a kid, even though it hurt for a bit.)

My anecdote is not data, but your statement was too black and white for me to let it go. Stigmatizing divorce kept my parents together, and very unhappy, for a lot longer than they should have been.

Can verify (n=1) that divorce can be better for everyone involved.  Both my ex and I are both now much, much better parents - you have a finite amount of energy...and when a large portion of it goes towards an intense dislike of your partner, the kids get less love and attention (in my case anyway). 

I'm glad we separated just before my kids were old enough to remember or ask too many questions.



Neustache

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2015, 06:56:14 AM »
This is such a good discussion!  I'm currently a SAHM but plan to re-enter the workforce when my little guy enters kindergarten. 

Justajane - how old are you boys?  THREE!  I can't imagine the noise and fun (but it's mentally exhausting, I'm sure).

I'm hoping to avoid being super stressed when I start work again, but I think we have some systems/lucky breaks that will help, and I'm planning on ramping some others up before I start work. For example:

* Husband cooks and meal plans plus we have back up 'easy' dinners on hand always.  I add to meals by baking when I feel like it or when it's called for (pita for Greek food).  We both enjoy this arrangement.  If I had to handle this because I'm the woman, (not right, but seems to fall that way) then this would be very hard for me. 
* We've been paying a bit more for groceries to be delivered, which is silly, because I'm a SAHM, but for now we are really enjoying it as I'm in school and I've been mentally drained to do things I find exhausting like groceries.  We will definitely utilize this service when we both work.
*My youngest, who is three, is really compliant, happy, and capable.  I didn't realize three year olds could be this easy.  He has his moments, but I mostly find them adorable and not mentally draining (very different than my experience with my firstborn).  I don't anticipate any issues with him when he starts school. 
*Our kids start the bedtime process at 7pm and by 8pm I'm done and downstairs.  I'm sure as the oldest ages the lights out time will get later, but it's extended by her reading quietly/playing in her room - we'll start the process by 7pm.  This habit has been a lifesaver and will hopefully give me 1.5 hours of downtime each evening when I work (as it does now).
* We don't do extracurricular anything now.  Since I'll be a teacher, swim lessons/piano lessens/etc. will mostly be done in the summer.  My daughter is not athletic and has no interest in sports, the boy is very athletic and we might do ONE sport a year for him, and it won't be in a competitive league. 


I think the above will hopefully make our transition easier.  I also want to do the following before I start work:

* establish AUTONOMOUS morning routines with notebooks so they know each step.  I still help my 7 year old get ready and hopefully by the time she's 9 this will end.  There's some ADD going on that makes it just easier for me to work with her than try and have her get ready herself but that will need to change.
* have kids make breakfast and their lunches
* really get into routine of 1 load of laundry done per day plus start dishwasher every night.  I'm not good about this, because I can always catch up the next day if necessary.


I can't imagine what it would have been like to work full-time when my kids were little.  Even if I had taken the first year off of work with each kid, they weren't sleeping through the night yet and so I would be exhausted every day when it was time to wake up.  If I had been working......yeah....I would have been tired and stressed. 

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2015, 11:30:16 AM »
The "emotional work" is one big reason why I struggle sometimes with being a SAHM - not that I think it would be easier if I worked. On the contrary, I would have both the "emotional work" and the "work work" to get done. But it would be nice as a working parent to have another outlet and another life, so to speak. I would be able to escape the messes and the chaos, if only to come home to it every night.

I think projects, messes, home maintenance etc. all weigh more on me mentally and emotionally as the SAHP than they do on my husband who is away from the house for much longer and has an identity outside these four damned walls. Plus I know the responsibility is more mine than his precisely because I have more time in the day (albeit with little humans in tow).

And there's the aspect of all the work I do being unpaid. I think for some personality types it can weigh on your self-esteem to spend all of your time doing something that is unpaid.

I guess my point is that life is not all sunshine and roses just because a family can manage to swing one parent at home. At least for the first five or so years of a kids' life, I think most, if not all, parents are "stressed, tired, and rushed", especially if you have multiple children.

Yeah I can relate, been a house husband off (no kids) and on for the past 15 years and to honest at times it's a struggle, I mean I should be happy we have an awesome life on one income but sometimes I miss the structure of work. I know there are several house husbands here and I often wonder if they struggle too. I suspect not as they have kids which keeps them quite busy and structured.

Done on my iPad so Any typos are Steve Jobs fault.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2015, 12:33:12 PM »
Justajane - how old are you boys?  THREE!  I can't imagine the noise and fun (but it's mentally exhausting, I'm sure).

They are 7, 5, and 18 months. I've found the second year of my youngest's life harder than the first. You forget how emotionally and physically exhausting toddlers are. I think my kids are unusually loud, though. They are good kids overall, but all three are chatter boxes. Apparently I was the same way, so I guess it's cosmic revenge somehow.

I'm sure I'll miss it when they are sullen teenage boys.

Squirrel away

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #57 on: November 26, 2015, 04:51:45 AM »

Yeah I can relate, been a house husband off (no kids) and on for the past 15 years and to honest at times it's a struggle, I mean I should be happy we have an awesome life on one income but sometimes I miss the structure of work. I know there are several house husbands here and I often wonder if they struggle too. I suspect not as they have kids which keeps them quite busy and structured.


That is strange as I don't think I have ever met a house husband in the UK, ETA without being at home with kids.

cerat0n1a

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2015, 05:30:53 AM »

They are 7, 5, and 18 months. I've found the second year of my youngest's life harder than the first. You forget how emotionally and physically exhausting toddlers are. I think my kids are unusually loud, though. They are good kids overall, but all three are chatter boxes. Apparently I was the same way, so I guess it's cosmic revenge somehow.

I'm sure I'll miss it when they are sullen teenage boys.

Agree on the exhausting nature of toddlers, although I think looking back, age 2-4 was probably my favourite as a dad.

What I wanted to say, though, was that teenage boys don't have to be sullen. My two teenage sons are pleasant, helpful, sensible full of plans and ideas and generally great company. Sure they have moments when they're argumentative, unreasonable or unpleasant, but probably less often than me & my wife do. Their friends are pretty nice to have around too, so long as you don't mind that they all seem to be about 6 feet 6.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2015, 03:21:37 AM »

Yeah I can relate, been a house husband off (no kids) and on for the past 15 years and to honest at times it's a struggle, I mean I should be happy we have an awesome life on one income but sometimes I miss the structure of work. I know there are several house husbands here and I often wonder if they struggle too. I suspect not as they have kids which keeps them quite busy and structured.


That is strange as I don't think I have ever met a house husband in the UK, ETA without being at home with kids.

LOL it sure wasn't planned that way, but years ago I was working and the wife unemployed so she went back to school. Years later she got a job offer in Germany and so I quit my job and  followed her over. I have had work aver the years but it was always based around her schedule. With our most recent move I have been looking around but haven't found anything yet.

shelivesthedream

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2015, 04:56:55 AM »
This whole thread is fascinating. I'm going through a bit of a "must adult better" phase (do laundry BEFORE we run out of underwear) and helps to know that even "real" adults struggle with it all from time to time. Sometimes everyone on this forum just seems so damn competent!

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2015, 06:13:22 AM »
Since (so far) this has been a semi-safe place in which people haven't been saying "Quit yer whining!!", I'll express another struggle I have with parenthood:

I'm sure I'm probably sugarcoating the past, but I remember a time when holidays were somewhat enjoyable. Sure, you had to deal with your aunt's xenophobia or your grandfather's rants about whatever, but I used to be able to sit and talk to people.

By now, my two older boys will go and play with their cousins, but this is what you don't really internalize about having multiple kids: once one kids grows out of needing constant attention, you have another one and start the process all over again. I usually feel this most acutely at the holidays.

Take this Thanksgiving. After the two-hour drive in which my toddler blessedly got his one nap for the day and only screamed for about 15 minutes (triumph!), we get to my husband's grandma's house. I help cook for an hour or so, while my husband watched the kids. Then we sit down for the meal. I think we got about 10 minutes to eat before we were up again chasing him around being sure he doesn't kill himself in a non-baby proofed house. But my MIL wanted us to do some sort of new family ritual in which we read what we are thankful for. Apparently we all had to be seated and all present for this ritual. Sounds nice in theory, but getting four older kids and a toddler organized and quiet is a challenge. But I know it's important to her, and her barometer for whether this Thanksgiving is a success seems to rest on this, so we manage to keep the toddler semi-quiet and seated with much rangling.

Then later we go to my father-in-law's house in the country in the late afternoon. This house is a museum with breakables everywhere. There are also ungated stairs, which everyone who has ever had a toddler knows is like crack to them. So, my husband and I tag team trying to keep the toddler from falling down the stairs and breaking the apparently heirloom statue of Buddha on the hearth which we were warned was very valuable and meaningful to them. The one not on duty gets to relax for short periods. By 8 p.m., I feel asleep with the toddler in the hotel room, only to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to do it all over again.

I think the hardest part is how isolating it is to watch everyone else enjoy their holiday (as they should, no judgment) while we are struggling just to get by. I don't expect schedules and times to alter for me as the parent, but honestly I dread holidays when they are not at my own home. And parents of adults are usually so invested in having events at their home that the formula can't be easily altered without causing a fuss. And we also can't say, "Because of our toddler, at Christmas this year we're only going to stay a short time and not stay for the entire 2 hour meal and the 2+ hour present opening session/cocktail session." You just can't do that.

Indio

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2015, 06:33:12 AM »
Since (so far) this has been a semi-safe place in which people haven't been saying "Quit yer whining!!", I'll express another struggle I have with parenthood:

I'm sure I'm probably sugarcoating the past, but I remember a time when holidays were somewhat enjoyable. Sure, you had to deal with your aunt's xenophobia or your grandfather's rants about whatever, but I used to be able to sit and talk to people.

By now, my two older boys will go and play with their cousins, but this is what you don't really internalize about having multiple kids: once one kids grows out of needing constant attention, you have another one and start the process all over again. I usually feel this most acutely at the holidays.

Take this Thanksgiving. After the two-hour drive in which my toddler blessedly got his one nap for the day and only screamed for about 15 minutes (triumph!), we get to my husband's grandma's house. I help cook for an hour or so, while my husband watched the kids. Then we sit down for the meal. I think we got about 10 minutes to eat before we were up again chasing him around being sure he doesn't kill himself in a non-baby proofed house. But my MIL wanted us to do some sort of new family ritual in which we read what we are thankful for. Apparently we all had to be seated and all present for this ritual. Sounds nice in theory, but getting four older kids and a toddler organized and quiet is a challenge. But I know it's important to her, and her barometer for whether this Thanksgiving is a success seems to rest on this, so we manage to keep the toddler semi-quiet and seated with much rangling.

Then later we go to my father-in-law's house in the country in the late afternoon. This house is a museum with breakables everywhere. There are also ungated stairs, which everyone who has ever had a toddler knows is like crack to them. So, my husband and I tag team trying to keep the toddler from falling down the stairs and breaking the apparently heirloom statue of Buddha on the hearth which we were warned was very valuable and meaningful to them. The one not on duty gets to relax for short periods. By 8 p.m., I feel asleep with the toddler in the hotel room, only to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to do it all over again.

I think the hardest part is how isolating it is to watch everyone else enjoy their holiday (as they should, no judgment) while we are struggling just to get by. I don't expect schedules and times to alter for me as the parent, but honestly I dread holidays when they are not at my own home. And parents of adults are usually so invested in having events at their home that the formula can't be easily altered without causing a fuss. And we also can't say, "Because of our toddler, at Christmas this year we're only going to stay a short time and not stay for the entire 2 hour meal and the 2+ hour present opening session/cocktail session." You just can't do that.

How about asking your in laws to put away the valuable stuff? I used to tell my family that I would like to visit but since their house isn't baby proofed, it will be too difficult. If they really wanted us there, they would move the fragile items to higher ground. For other longer family visits where we stayed at their house, I used to ask if I could bring my baby gate and set it up on the stairs so I wouldn't have to worry about the toddlers being injured. I traveled with a boatload of stuff but it made my visit more enjoyable.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2015, 06:48:10 AM »
How about asking your in laws to put away the valuable stuff? I used to tell my family that I would like to visit but since their house isn't baby proofed, it will be too difficult. If they really wanted us there, they would move the fragile items to higher ground. For other longer family visits where we stayed at their house, I used to ask if I could bring my baby gate and set it up on the stairs so I wouldn't have to worry about the toddlers being injured. I traveled with a boatload of stuff but it made my visit more enjoyable.

I readily do this at most houses we visit, but my step mother-in-law is weird. When her kids were little, apparently they ate everything on their plates, slept through the night since they were born, etc. etc. I think in her mind our toddler should be disciplined enough not to break things, which is crazy IMO. My mother is even weirder. In addition to thinking that little children should learn not to break things, she'll proclaim loudly, "I don't really care if my grandson breaks this trinket I've cherished for 50+ years. It's only stuff." But I know this is not true. She will resent it. So, yes, if we were staying longer, we would have moved the beloved Buddha. Thankfully at Christmas, he will be moved into storage to display the shit-ton of presents that we get to open one by damned freaking one.  :)

We will definitely bring our gate with us at Christmas, but I'm not sure it's going to go over well, since the other older kids (eight of them) constantly go up and down the stairs.

But I know what you mean about bringing enormous amounts of stuff on even a small road trip. We always joke that we appear to be preparing for a lunar landing each time we spend the night anywhere.

I have this fear that I am going to get a bunch of snarky comments from people about my "whine" above. So here are the disclaimers: I love my kids. I chose to have all three of them. I own my decision. But that doesn't mean I don't struggle.

Neustache

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2015, 06:53:20 AM »
Since (so far) this has been a semi-safe place in which people haven't been saying "Quit yer whining!!", I'll express another struggle I have with parenthood:

I'm sure I'm probably sugarcoating the past, but I remember a time when holidays were somewhat enjoyable. Sure, you had to deal with your aunt's xenophobia or your grandfather's rants about whatever, but I used to be able to sit and talk to people.

By now, my two older boys will go and play with their cousins, but this is what you don't really internalize about having multiple kids: once one kids grows out of needing constant attention, you have another one and start the process all over again. I usually feel this most acutely at the holidays.

Take this Thanksgiving. After the two-hour drive in which my toddler blessedly got his one nap for the day and only screamed for about 15 minutes (triumph!), we get to my husband's grandma's house. I help cook for an hour or so, while my husband watched the kids. Then we sit down for the meal. I think we got about 10 minutes to eat before we were up again chasing him around being sure he doesn't kill himself in a non-baby proofed house. But my MIL wanted us to do some sort of new family ritual in which we read what we are thankful for. Apparently we all had to be seated and all present for this ritual. Sounds nice in theory, but getting four older kids and a toddler organized and quiet is a challenge. But I know it's important to her, and her barometer for whether this Thanksgiving is a success seems to rest on this, so we manage to keep the toddler semi-quiet and seated with much rangling.

Then later we go to my father-in-law's house in the country in the late afternoon. This house is a museum with breakables everywhere. There are also ungated stairs, which everyone who has ever had a toddler knows is like crack to them. So, my husband and I tag team trying to keep the toddler from falling down the stairs and breaking the apparently heirloom statue of Buddha on the hearth which we were warned was very valuable and meaningful to them. The one not on duty gets to relax for short periods. By 8 p.m., I feel asleep with the toddler in the hotel room, only to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to do it all over again.

I think the hardest part is how isolating it is to watch everyone else enjoy their holiday (as they should, no judgment) while we are struggling just to get by. I don't expect schedules and times to alter for me as the parent, but honestly I dread holidays when they are not at my own home. And parents of adults are usually so invested in having events at their home that the formula can't be easily altered without causing a fuss. And we also can't say, "Because of our toddler, at Christmas this year we're only going to stay a short time and not stay for the entire 2 hour meal and the 2+ hour present opening session/cocktail session." You just can't do that.


You just had me flash back to memories I had completely forgotten!!! OMG.  I totally forgot how HARD holidays were with little ones.  I actively hated them, because all I wanted to do as a SAHM was talk to ADULTS!!! But I had to run around making sure the little ones didn't destroy anything. 

It gets better.  If you stop having kids.  Ha!

My little one is almost 4 so the past year or so I've been able to just sit at the table and relax and chat.  I have to get up a few times to wipe bottoms (y'all couldn't have done this earlier, could you?  Right in the middle of dinner.  Sigh.) But I remember being in tears one Christmas because my in-laws have stairs that lead to marble flooring so I felt like all I did was follow my 1.5 year old all day to make sure she didn't crack her skull open. 

I also remember breastfeeding by myself during get-togethers and that sucked too.  I had a SIL and BIL who were majorly uncomfortable with it (and a baby who didn't like blankets) so I couldn't be out with the others (I'm uncomfortable if I know someone else is uncomfortable).  GAH!  That was the worse!  I just wanted to speak to adults, but I was holed up in a room for 20 minutes every two hours. 

It really does get better....how many more kids are you having?

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2015, 07:21:17 AM »
It gets better.  If you stop having kids.  Ha!

It really does get better....how many more kids are you having?

We're done. Officially done. My husband had a vasectomy this year.

I always wanted three kids. Maybe it's because I was a third. Who knows.

We had a good run in there when kids 1 & 2 were older. That was about 2 years of more relaxing times when we could sit for more than 10 minutes and talk to people. So I don't want to paint a picture of being harried for seven years straight. That's not true. I've already experienced the other side, and it's awesome. It really is great to get together with our friends and family when the older kids get to play and run around like crazy kids. They have a blast. We'll get there with this one too.

I actually had a year or more of no diapers in there as well. That was nice. But diapers really don't bother me that much. That's not to say I won't do a happy dance when the last is potty trained, though.

I know what you mean about breastfeeding. We have a male friend (a pediatrician) who always was like "Whip it out! We don't care!!" But I cared. So, yes, I have also spent many 20 minutes sessions alone in a strange bedroom listening to the laughing, clinking of dishes, etc. while the event went on in the other room. As an introvert, though, I actually liked the break from the socializing, especially when I had a Kindle.

Indio

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2015, 07:21:36 AM »
How about asking your in laws to put away the valuable stuff? I used to tell my family that I would like to visit but since their house isn't baby proofed, it will be too difficult. If they really wanted us there, they would move the fragile items to higher ground. For other longer family visits where we stayed at their house, I used to ask if I could bring my baby gate and set it up on the stairs so I wouldn't have to worry about the toddlers being injured. I traveled with a boatload of stuff but it made my visit more enjoyable.

I readily do this at most houses we visit, but my step mother-in-law is weird. When her kids were little, apparently they ate everything on their plates, slept through the night since they were born, etc. etc. I think in her mind our toddler should be disciplined enough not to break things, which is crazy IMO. My mother is even weirder. In addition to thinking that little children should learn not to break things, she'll proclaim loudly, "I don't really care if my grandson breaks this trinket I've cherished for 50+ years. It's only stuff." But I know this is not true. She will resent it. So, yes, if we were staying longer, we would have moved the beloved Buddha. Thankfully at Christmas, he will be moved into storage to display the shit-ton of presents that we get to open one by damned freaking one.  :)

We will definitely bring our gate with us at Christmas, but I'm not sure it's going to go over well, since the other older kids (eight of them) constantly go up and down the stairs.

But I know what you mean about bringing enormous amounts of stuff on even a small road trip. We always joke that we appear to be preparing for a lunar landing each time we spend the night anywhere.

I have this fear that I am going to get a bunch of snarky comments from people about my "whine" above. So here are the disclaimers: I love my kids. I chose to have all three of them. I own my decision. But that doesn't mean I don't struggle.

Older kids love being in charge of the younger ones. I used to show the oldest how to work the gate and put them in charge of opening and closing it for everyone. They loved it and so did I.
Your family doesn't sound very understanding about their grandchildren. If my mother made a comment about not moving something bright and shiny sitting at eye level, I would either move it myself (and move it back to its spot when we were leaving) or tell her that they would eventually inherit it anyway.
I boycotted one Christmas because of the hassle to get there, after that there was a used high chair and pack n'play at her house. All grandchildren got a lot of use out of those items for the next 6 years. Nothing like a little incentive to see the beloved grandchildren. 😉

Neustache

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2015, 07:34:53 AM »
It gets better.  If you stop having kids.  Ha!

It really does get better....how many more kids are you having?

I know what you mean about breastfeeding. We have a male friend (a pediatrician) who always was like "Whip it out! We don't care!!" But I cared. So, yes, I have also spent many 20 minutes sessions alone in a strange bedroom listening to the laughing, clinking of dishes, etc. while the event went on in the other room. As an introvert, though, I actually liked the break from the socializing, especially when I had a Kindle.


Oh yes, a Kindle would have made that better.  I just got one last year, and I love it.  I'm more introvert than extrovert, but I'm kind of borderline.  Maybe in a year or so it'll be better?

I also have in-laws (BIL and SIL) that are much, much more strict than us.  Our kids are excellent eaters, but at family events all they want to do is play.  So we let them after about 5 minutes of trying to eat a roll, while the in-laws make their kids who won't talk hardly at all during dinner eat all their food.   The BIL and SIL are also spankers (or were, as their kids are older now) and yellers (I am, too, in my bad moments, but I have enough shame about it that I DON'T do it in front of others!) so we come across to them, I'm sure, as really lazy, bad parents.  Oh yeah, they slapped little hands when they went for breakables, while I was the kind who put those things up until my kid knew and understood not to touch or touch in a safe way.  Just totally different parenting styles - I'm sure they judge us.  And totally different kids - my kids inherited the talk about anything to anyone gene from my MIL's side, theirs are just quieter overall. 


I'm going to have to remember all of this if my younger SIL ends up having kids (we have no idea if they will or not, they don't talk about it, we don't ask).  I'll try and make sure to get up and watch the little one for her so she can sit and chat.  But my younger SIL is so relaxed compared to me...so maybe she won't care as much.  I don't know!

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2015, 07:36:39 AM »
I know what you mean about breastfeeding. We have a male friend (a pediatrician) who always was like "Whip it out! We don't care!!" But I cared. So, yes, I have also spent many 20 minutes sessions alone in a strange bedroom listening to the laughing, clinking of dishes, etc. while the event went on in the other room. As an introvert, though, I actually liked the break from the socializing, especially when I had a Kindle.[/quote]

What about a blanket or towel? That's what anyone I've ever seen breastfeed do.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2015, 07:42:20 AM »
I know what you mean about breastfeeding. We have a male friend (a pediatrician) who always was like "Whip it out! We don't care!!" But I cared. So, yes, I have also spent many 20 minutes sessions alone in a strange bedroom listening to the laughing, clinking of dishes, etc. while the event went on in the other room. As an introvert, though, I actually liked the break from the socializing, especially when I had a Kindle.

What about a blanket or towel? That's what anyone I've ever seen breastfeed do.
[/quote]

Particularly if it's too warm, babies tend to hate the covers. They spend so much time getting upset about the cover they lose focus and won't nurse.

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2015, 07:46:53 AM »
@Captain and Mrs. Snow
It really depends on the kid, and in general, as your baby gets older, they are less likely to tolerate a cover. If you nurse past six or so months, it's almost impossible. My babies were all so demonstrative when they nursed - flailing their arms around and such that a wrap wouldn't stay in place.

And as far as open nursing, I think there is a lack of understanding on many peoples' parts that it really depends on the size of your breasts. Some women can get away with nursing openly, but it's much, much harder to be discreet if you are larger. There's just so much more tissue to be exposed. That was my experience at least. I don't judge any mother for nursing without a cover, big breasted or no, but I personally wasn't comfortable doing it.

Switching gears, I was going to ask if you have struggled with prejudices or subtle comments from people about your status as a stay at home spouse. I find that people can be very judgmental when a spouse and not a parent stays home. I find this unfortunate, because many of the reasons to have a spouse at home are the same whether you have children or not. 

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #71 on: November 30, 2015, 03:32:20 PM »

Quote
After the two-hour drive in which my toddler blessedly got his one nap for the day and only screamed for about 15 minutes (triumph!), we get to my husband's grandma's house. I help cook for an hour or so, while my husband watched the kids. Then we sit down for the meal. I think we got about 10 minutes to eat before we were up again chasing him around being sure he doesn't kill himself in a non-baby proofed house. But my MIL wanted us to do some sort of new family ritual in which we read what we are thankful for. Apparently we all had to be seated and all present for this ritual. Sounds nice in theory, but getting four older kids and a toddler organized and quiet is a challenge. But I know it's important to her, and her barometer for whether this Thanksgiving is a success seems to rest on this, so we manage to keep the toddler semi-quiet and seated with much rangling.

Then later we go to my father-in-law's house in the country in the late afternoon. This house is a museum with breakables everywhere. There are also ungated stairs, which everyone who has ever had a toddler knows is like crack to them. So, my husband and I tag team trying to keep the toddler from falling down the stairs and breaking the apparently heirloom statue of Buddha on the hearth which we were warned was very valuable and meaningful to them. The one not on duty gets to relax for short periods. By 8 p.m., I feel asleep with the toddler in the hotel room, only to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to do it all over again.

I only have 2 boys, and they are 7 and 10, and VERY easy relative to younger kids.  For most of their lives we lived a 5 minute drive to my parent's house and my in-laws who were a 5 hour flight away aren't big into Christmas so it was never an issue that we didn't hang with them. So I never had to deal with what seems to be the obligatory 2 hr drive to visit family for a holiday celebration that ends up being more work than if you'd just stayed home, not until recently anyway, now that we moved over an hour away....but even now, I don't drive to them. I have 2 kids. End of conversation.  If you want to spend time with us over the holidays come over and visit us in an environment that is set up to accommodate them. Tell your FIL to pick up GrandmaIL and head on over.

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas get crazy enough with the extra cooking and holiday "cheer"  that is required, but when you have to load a small team of children into a car and drive to a place that you can't even sit down and relax with your partner for more than 2 minutes because your family isn't courteous enough to kid proof their home for their grandchildren for an afternoon visit....wellll, I think it's entirely fair to say, sorry you need to come here, or else put some of your "precious" shit away.  You'll probably only feel guilty the first time you have to say it, and then you'll be having to much fun relaxing in your own home and enjoying the holidays.

We have my family over for thanksgiving and Christmas. Doing this, I get to do all the Christmassy stuff at home, but also deal with my kids in their own environment when they start being little shits turkeys.



mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #72 on: November 30, 2015, 03:47:14 PM »
Since (so far) this has been a semi-safe place in which people haven't been saying "Quit yer whining!!", I'll express another struggle I have with parenthood:

I'm sure I'm probably sugarcoating the past, but I remember a time when holidays were somewhat enjoyable. Sure, you had to deal with your aunt's xenophobia or your grandfather's rants about whatever, but I used to be able to sit and talk to people.

By now, my two older boys will go and play with their cousins, but this is what you don't really internalize about having multiple kids: once one kids grows out of needing constant attention, you have another one and start the process all over again. I usually feel this most acutely at the holidays.

Take this Thanksgiving. After the two-hour drive in which my toddler blessedly got his one nap for the day and only screamed for about 15 minutes (triumph!), we get to my husband's grandma's house. I help cook for an hour or so, while my husband watched the kids. Then we sit down for the meal. I think we got about 10 minutes to eat before we were up again chasing him around being sure he doesn't kill himself in a non-baby proofed house. But my MIL wanted us to do some sort of new family ritual in which we read what we are thankful for. Apparently we all had to be seated and all present for this ritual. Sounds nice in theory, but getting four older kids and a toddler organized and quiet is a challenge. But I know it's important to her, and her barometer for whether this Thanksgiving is a success seems to rest on this, so we manage to keep the toddler semi-quiet and seated with much rangling.

Then later we go to my father-in-law's house in the country in the late afternoon. This house is a museum with breakables everywhere. There are also ungated stairs, which everyone who has ever had a toddler knows is like crack to them. So, my husband and I tag team trying to keep the toddler from falling down the stairs and breaking the apparently heirloom statue of Buddha on the hearth which we were warned was very valuable and meaningful to them. The one not on duty gets to relax for short periods. By 8 p.m., I feel asleep with the toddler in the hotel room, only to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to do it all over again.

I think the hardest part is how isolating it is to watch everyone else enjoy their holiday (as they should, no judgment) while we are struggling just to get by. I don't expect schedules and times to alter for me as the parent, but honestly I dread holidays when they are not at my own home. And parents of adults are usually so invested in having events at their home that the formula can't be easily altered without causing a fuss. And we also can't say, "Because of our toddler, at Christmas this year we're only going to stay a short time and not stay for the entire 2 hour meal and the 2+ hour present opening session/cocktail session." You just can't do that.
Boy I hear you.  My younger son is about 3.5, and we are starting to see the light, but still with the breakables, and not wanting to eat, and being "on" all the time.

Our regular weekly outing as a family is a potluck in the park with neighborhood friends.  Because he can play on the playground.  Glorious time!

We live far far from family, and don't go home often.

Also on the perfect children:  you mentioned in a later post about that.  I've had that exact conversation with my MIL's boyfriend, about how his children were better behaved.  There are a few things going on here:
1.  punishment.  Spanking, hitting, yelling, etc. were more common back in the day, so I have no doubt that on average, children were better behaved
2.  Involvement.  No matter what MIL's boyfriend says, he was the dad.  He worked.  He was not home with the kids much at all.   He really doesn't know how they behaved 90% of the time.
3.  Memory.  He's in his 70's and doesn't remember crap!  I think this is the biggie.  The vast majority of grandparents who wax nostalgic about how better behaved their kids were simply DO NOT REMEMBER what it was like to have children.  Little 2 year olds sitting quietly for any length of time?  Then why are there "cry rooms" in churches?  And parks, and ...fill in the blank.

We just visited family this summer, and after a few days we were over the boyfriend and he was over us.  I felt a little bad (my boys are noisy), but not too bad.  When they were noisy inside I tried to take them outside and he said "don't let them get wet!"  Our cousins were there and they noted that our children were well behaved compared to the friend's kids, so yay!

Your Thanksgiving sounds exhausting.  We were supposed to do a 10-hour road trip and week long vacation, but my 3 yo got the stomach flu before we left, so...that's how we spend our week off (yes we ALL got it). 

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #73 on: November 30, 2015, 04:49:02 PM »
If you want to spend time with us over the holidays come over and visit us in an environment that is set up to accommodate them. Tell your FIL to pick up GrandmaIL and head on over.

I wish it were that easy, but both of my husband's grandmothers (who are 91 and 95) are homebound and live there. Plus he has a very disabled cousin who can't really walk without assistance. Not to mention, these events are usually 15+ people at each event (step brothers, step grandparents, etc), almost all of whom live in this town of 5,000 people. It would be impossible to ask dozens of people to drive two hours to our home for our convenience.

We did request that they switch the times, since it would work better for naps and our overall sanity, but we were overridden by the stepsons of his stepbrother, who won't be in town at the requested time. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous. It is ridiculous to me that people who we seriously only say 10 sentences to a year dictate our schedule. What I am trying to learn from all this is, when the time comes when I am a grandparent, that I should not get invested in this idea that all my nearest and dearest need to be in the same house at the same time for a holiday. That is what is driving all this. Especially because I have three kids, this is just an unreasonable request. I know I will struggle with it. I imagine as I get older I won't think it is as unreasonable to want my sons and their families together once a year, but it can be such a burden for young families, especially in the case of divorce like in my husband's family when you have to coordinate with so many step and peripheral relatives. I mean, for goodness sake, the divorce happened when the kids were already grown, yet we still gather together once a year to make his step-mom happy.   

The rest of the year, we do tend to expect his parents to come to us, but we still travel there to see his elderly grandparents.


Making Cookies

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #74 on: November 30, 2015, 08:41:30 PM »
Great posts. I can sympathize. We've always traveled the couple of hours to the family gatherings since day one. Nobody was really willing to make the same commitment to the holiday events at our house as we do at their houses (staying more than a couple of hours, etc). We're asked to come, stay overnight, go shopping, etc. The highway only works one direction. ;) Nobody coming to our house.

Whatever. ;) That's surely a big part of the 300K miles on our family daily driver.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #75 on: December 01, 2015, 04:07:34 AM »
. The highway only works one direction. ;) Nobody coming to our house.
Whatever. ;) That's surely a big part of the 300K miles on our family daily driver.
Noticed that ourselves, when you move away everyone will come and visit once or twice but really the onus is on you to go back and visit. Weíve been gone going on 18 years still go home every two years (used to be every year). Itís not only that but usually Iím the one emailing calling planning organizing chasing people down

@ mm1970 and justajane - even without kids that sounds like our trips home, we need a few days afterwards to decompress from so much visiting and family!!!!!!!

@Captain and Mrs. Snow
It really depends on the kid, and in general, as your baby gets older, they are less likely to tolerate a cover. If you nurse past six or so months, it's almost impossible. My babies were all so demonstrative when they nursed - flailing their arms around and such that a wrap wouldn't stay in place. 
Thanks, not really experienced in that only what Iíve noticed other mothers doing

@Captain and Mrs. Snow
Switching gears, I was going to ask if you have struggled with prejudices or subtle comments from people about your status as a stay at home spouse. I find that people can be very judgmental when a spouse and not a parent stays home. I find this unfortunate, because many of the reasons to have a spouse at home are the same whether you have children or not. 
Funny enough the only place I really ran into any problems was the British clubs. Every major city in Europe has one and they used to be known as the Womens Wives Club but for the sake of modernity they dropped it but for all intents and purposes they are for women only and usually very posh as well.

What is hard thought is when you get asked the usual question ďwhat do you doĒ, just the other day in the apple store, making small talk and the guy asked me that very question. Usually I just say house husband and it always gets a funny look because itís so unusual. Iíve often thought of either starting a blog or  business or something just to be able to announce to the world that I have a purpose. They are quite a few house husbands around here and Iíve been meaning to ask if they struggle with the same thing or not.

Edit: honestly I think that is causing my anxiety, since we've moved back (from Spain to Germany). I've been struggling to find my role purpose. In Spain I taught English and I loved telling people I was a Professor Ingles, sounded so cool! Funny I would feel this way because in every regard life is going on all cylinders (or what ever the idiom is).
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 04:51:00 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »

golden1

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #76 on: December 01, 2015, 06:57:11 AM »
Reading the stories of young kids and holidays definitely brought me back.  It really was SO hard!  I was an idiot and hosted thanksgiving at my house when my daughter was an infant.  But at least she was immobile.  Subsequent years were tough with all the chasing around during family gatherings, but luckily my in-laws are really laid back.  My parents always had this horrible metal and glass contemporary furniture that would tip if you looked at it wrong so going to their house with toddlers was so stressful.   

I have seen both sides of this since I was a SAHM/ part time student for 8 years before returning to full time work when my kids were 6 and 8.  They are 11 and 13 now. 

Now that my kids are in pre-teen years, the difficulties of parenting are less physical and more emotional/psychological.   My son has high functioning autism so I spend a lot of time helping him with his homework and managing his overall stress levels.  He has just entered middle school which is a whole new set of challenges, but so far he is doing fairly well.  My daughter had a rough patch at the beginning of this school year.  Thirteen is a really tough age socially and emotionally, but she seems to be doing a lot better lately. 

I can definitely relate to the "mental" work aspect of housework.  Over the years I have found that I have just ended up doing almost all of the planning work, probably a holdover from when I was a SAHM.  I have slowly handed over a lot of that to my husband and I am starting to realize how much that weighs you down. 

The toughest part about being a full time WOHM is just that there is very little down time, period.  Even most weekends are devoted to preparing for the week ahead or other family activities.  I really crave unstructured personal time, and I rarely get that unless I have a long weekend.  I realized this over this last weekend where I had 4 days off, and it was marvelous.  Since I only get two weeks vacation off a year plus one week sick/personal, time off is an enormously precious commodity.  It seems like every six months of so, I just hit the wall and I end up taking a mental health day to just get my head right.  Most of my other personal/sick time is used for caring for sick kids or Dr. appointments during the day so I usually end up with only a week of real vacation a year, which really blows. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #77 on: December 01, 2015, 07:08:14 AM »
Also on the perfect children:  you mentioned in a later post about that.  I've had that exact conversation with my MIL's boyfriend, about how his children were better behaved.  There are a few things going on here:
1.  punishment.  Spanking, hitting, yelling, etc. were more common back in the day, so I have no doubt that on average, children were better behaved

You don't know any children that are disciplined with violence, do you? It doesn't work and the children will hit houseguests because they think that's what people do to each other.

justajane, I hear you on holidays and non-babyproofed relatives' houses. My father-in-law likes to leave screwdrivers and pliers around. Thankfully my sister's kids have gotten my parents to fix most of their shiny-crap-at-eye-level problems before my daughter got into it. Still, watching a toddler at another person's house is exhausting when there are expectations that you'll be participating in everything. I was on all day last time we were at my parents' house, and I had a cold, and I really didn't enjoy it. And my daughter is a fairly self-disciplined two-year-old - watching my sister's kids is way harder.

Making Cookies

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #78 on: December 01, 2015, 09:43:54 AM »
We spanked a few times. I was spanked growing up. My wife was so compliant as a small child that her parents never needed to do more than look at her funny. My kids have never hit anyone to solve a conflict.

Spanking has to be more than just beating your child out of frustration. I wished we had other "tools" to use for discipline but time outs did not work at one point. Spanking did. We haven't needed that for years. I can count the spankings for each of our children as 4-5 each. I'm really glad we are past that. The spankings broke a stubborn streak that appeared in both children at certain ages.

I knew some boys growing up that got vicious spankings that I would count more as beatings than anything else. Done with a leather belt. Each one of them seem "altered" by the experience and none of the three (different families) are very well adjusted adults providing for themselves. The fathers weren't very high quality people - and their sons' behavior were (I think) a consequence of bad parenting (small corrections with teaching vs huge over-reactions involving violence).

< < <  > > >

Taking a small child to someone's house is exhausting. The glass shiny things, the TV show choices that are not toddler friendly. We have that relative that thinks trashy TV isn't a big deal, the kids aren't watching, they are playing with their toys - right?

The older I get - and our kids aren't little anymore - I'd just rather stay home. Let the child free relatives (kids are grown or grandparents) travel to see us. We're good hosts. Okay, so we don't have cable TV. The Roku has Netflix, Amazon VOD, and Hulu. Plenty to watch. ;) Maybe the problem is that we don't watch football and we are too far from the nearest OTA towers to make use of that.

The older I get the more I'd rather just stay home - whether we get to see the whole crew during the holidays or not. ;)

mm1970

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #79 on: December 01, 2015, 10:49:52 AM »
Quote
You don't know any children that are disciplined with violence, do you? It doesn't work and the children will hit houseguests because they think that's what people do to each other.

I do actually.  There are levels of hitting/ spanking/ violence, and what works for one kid won't work for another.  All kids are different and respond differently to various methods of control, whether it be physical or mental or emotional.

shelivesthedream

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #80 on: December 01, 2015, 01:30:23 PM »
Quote
You don't know any children that are disciplined with violence, do you? It doesn't work and the children will hit houseguests because they think that's what people do to each other.

I do actually.  There are levels of hitting/ spanking/ violence, and what works for one kid won't work for another.  All kids are different and respond differently to various methods of control, whether it be physical or mental or emotional.

I would never hit a child to discipline them, although I would use "force" to get them out of a dangerous situation (like yanking them back away from the plug socket). However, I do agree with the original point that children probably did behave "better" when they were routinely hit because you would if you knew you were going to get a thrashing. However, I have no doubt that it taught them the wrong lessons and is not a good long-term solution.

ThirdTimer

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #81 on: December 01, 2015, 02:22:12 PM »
Since (so far) this has been a semi-safe place in which people haven't been saying "Quit yer whining!!", I'll express another struggle I have with parenthood:

I'm sure I'm probably sugarcoating the past, but I remember a time when holidays were somewhat enjoyable. Sure, you had to deal with your aunt's xenophobia or your grandfather's rants about whatever, but I used to be able to sit and talk to people.

By now, my two older boys will go and play with their cousins, but this is what you don't really internalize about having multiple kids: once one kids grows out of needing constant attention, you have another one and start the process all over again. I usually feel this most acutely at the holidays.

Take this Thanksgiving. After the two-hour drive in which my toddler blessedly got his one nap for the day and only screamed for about 15 minutes (triumph!), we get to my husband's grandma's house. I help cook for an hour or so, while my husband watched the kids. Then we sit down for the meal. I think we got about 10 minutes to eat before we were up again chasing him around being sure he doesn't kill himself in a non-baby proofed house. But my MIL wanted us to do some sort of new family ritual in which we read what we are thankful for. Apparently we all had to be seated and all present for this ritual. Sounds nice in theory, but getting four older kids and a toddler organized and quiet is a challenge. But I know it's important to her, and her barometer for whether this Thanksgiving is a success seems to rest on this, so we manage to keep the toddler semi-quiet and seated with much rangling.

Then later we go to my father-in-law's house in the country in the late afternoon. This house is a museum with breakables everywhere. There are also ungated stairs, which everyone who has ever had a toddler knows is like crack to them. So, my husband and I tag team trying to keep the toddler from falling down the stairs and breaking the apparently heirloom statue of Buddha on the hearth which we were warned was very valuable and meaningful to them. The one not on duty gets to relax for short periods. By 8 p.m., I feel asleep with the toddler in the hotel room, only to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to do it all over again.

I think the hardest part is how isolating it is to watch everyone else enjoy their holiday (as they should, no judgment) while we are struggling just to get by. I don't expect schedules and times to alter for me as the parent, but honestly I dread holidays when they are not at my own home. And parents of adults are usually so invested in having events at their home that the formula can't be easily altered without causing a fuss. And we also can't say, "Because of our toddler, at Christmas this year we're only going to stay a short time and not stay for the entire 2 hour meal and the 2+ hour present opening session/cocktail session." You just can't do that.

First, I'd like to preface this by saying that it sounds like you're in a really tough situation, and I 100% empathize with how tough it must be to deal with three kids and complex extended-family dynamics in a holiday-type situation. But I was struck by your use of "can't" to say that you simply can't stay for only a short while and leave to relieve yourself of this burden, because I feel like Mustachianism is all about taking the things that society says we "can't" do and saying, "hm, is that really true?" Loads of people say "Oh, I can't possibly retire before I'm 65," when what they really mean is that the trade-offs they'd have to make to do it aren't worth it to them. For instance, perhaps it's more important to them to continue working at a low-paying job that they really love rather than seeking out a higher salary, or to have a less-cramped house, or to be able to pay for their kids to go to really excellent private schools, or whatever.

I'd say the same thing is true here. Obviously, you have the ability to form your mouth into the right shapes to make these words come out, and I assume that nobody locks the doors and windows and physically restrains you from leaving until the five-hour visit runs its course, so you can pass on or shorten these visits, so I'm guessing what you really mean is that the consequences of doing this are more undesirable for you than the unpleasantness of having to wrangle three kids in a non-baby-proofed house. For instance, maybe it's important to you for your kids to have a relationship with their elderly great-grandparents, or it's more stressful to deal with your MIL's anger over you "ruining Thanksgiving" than it is to just suck it up and go. I think it's valuable to think about this way, because it's often empowering to think about things as a choice you're making -- e.g., "I could retire earlier, but I'm willing to work longer because I really value being able to travel with my family and the money I earn would allow me to do that" -- rather than something you HAVE to do, and because it sometimes allows you to come up with ways to get that thing that is important to you in a way that is less burdensome (for instance, maybe you can maintain the relationship with the great-grandparents by coming for visits at less stressful times & bringing the baby gate, etc.).

Anyway, just some food for thought. Definitely not meant as a 'quit yer whining!' or anything like that since it sounds like you have some very real and difficult constraints, but just offering another way of thinking about things that might make getting through the upcoming Christmas festivities a little more bearable. :)

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #82 on: December 02, 2015, 03:38:52 AM »

Funny enough the only place I really ran into any problems was the British clubs. Every major city in Europe has one and they used to be known as the Womens Wives Club but for the sake of modernity they dropped it but for all intents and purposes they are for women only and usually very posh as well.

What is hard thought is when you get asked the usual question ďwhat do you doĒ, just the other day in the apple store, making small talk and the guy asked me that very question. Usually I just say house husband and it always gets a funny look because itís so unusual. Iíve often thought of either starting a blog or  business or something just to be able to announce to the world that I have a purpose. They are quite a few house husbands around here and Iíve been meaning to ask if they struggle with the same thing or not.

Edit: honestly I think that is causing my anxiety, since we've moved back (from Spain to Germany). I've been struggling to find my role purpose. In Spain I taught English and I loved telling people I was a Professor Ingles, sounded so cool! Funny I would feel this way because in every regard life is going on all cylinders (or what ever the idiom is).

Oh, I didn't notice that you said you were already retired. Why don't you just say you are retired?

Or you could say you are a consultant, people never usually have a follow up question as people don't really know what that job role means.:P

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2015, 06:22:07 AM »

Funny enough the only place I really ran into any problems was the British clubs. Every major city in Europe has one and they used to be known as the Womens Wives Club but for the sake of modernity they dropped it but for all intents and purposes they are for women only and usually very posh as well.

What is hard thought is when you get asked the usual question ďwhat do you doĒ, just the other day in the apple store, making small talk and the guy asked me that very question. Usually I just say house husband and it always gets a funny look because itís so unusual. Iíve often thought of either starting a blog or  business or something just to be able to announce to the world that I have a purpose. They are quite a few house husbands around here and Iíve been meaning to ask if they struggle with the same thing or not.

Edit: honestly I think that is causing my anxiety, since we've moved back (from Spain to Germany). I've been struggling to find my role purpose. In Spain I taught English and I loved telling people I was a Professor Ingles, sounded so cool! Funny I would feel this way because in every regard life is going on all cylinders (or what ever the idiom is).

Oh, I didn't notice that you said you were already retired. Why don't you just say you are retired?

Or you could say you are a consultant, people never usually have a follow up question as people don't really know what that job role means.:P

No that was a very recent decision, I hadn't been working for quite a while and had grown kind of depressed about it, the phycological difference between being "unemployed" and retired is huge! I put down May 1st as that's International workers day and the day we registered after moving back to Germany.

Edit: changed my profile to say Freedom 55 because that's when I really made the decision to stop wanting to work, even though I've been been working much in the past few years
 
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 12:59:15 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »

justajane

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Re: [Article] Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2015, 06:49:15 AM »
First, I'd like to preface this by saying that it sounds like you're in a really tough situation, and I 100% empathize with how tough it must be to deal with three kids and complex extended-family dynamics in a holiday-type situation. But I was struck by your use of "can't" to say that you simply can't stay for only a short while and leave to relieve yourself of this burden, because I feel like Mustachianism is all about taking the things that society says we "can't" do and saying, "hm, is that really true?" Loads of people say "Oh, I can't possibly retire before I'm 65," when what they really mean is that the trade-offs they'd have to make to do it aren't worth it to them. For instance, perhaps it's more important to them to continue working at a low-paying job that they really love rather than seeking out a higher salary, or to have a less-cramped house, or to be able to pay for their kids to go to really excellent private schools, or whatever.

I'd say the same thing is true here. Obviously, you have the ability to form your mouth into the right shapes to make these words come out, and I assume that nobody locks the doors and windows and physically restrains you from leaving until the five-hour visit runs its course, so you can pass on or shorten these visits, so I'm guessing what you really mean is that the consequences of doing this are more undesirable for you than the unpleasantness of having to wrangle three kids in a non-baby-proofed house. For instance, maybe it's important to you for your kids to have a relationship with their elderly great-grandparents, or it's more stressful to deal with your MIL's anger over you "ruining Thanksgiving" than it is to just suck it up and go. I think it's valuable to think about this way, because it's often empowering to think about things as a choice you're making -- e.g., "I could retire earlier, but I'm willing to work longer because I really value being able to travel with my family and the money I earn would allow me to do that" -- rather than something you HAVE to do, and because it sometimes allows you to come up with ways to get that thing that is important to you in a way that is less burdensome (for instance, maybe you can maintain the relationship with the great-grandparents by coming for visits at less stressful times & bringing the baby gate, etc.).

Anyway, just some food for thought. Definitely not meant as a 'quit yer whining!' or anything like that since it sounds like you have some very real and difficult constraints, but just offering another way of thinking about things that might make getting through the upcoming Christmas festivities a little more bearable. :)

I meant to respond to this sooner. Thanks for your thoughts! You make some very good points about agency and perspective. Yes, I guess the best way to see all this is that I am choosing to put ourselves through this in the interest of relationships. I'm sure some people can relate about the fact that you can pick up on when events are non-negotiable and when they aren't. Thankfully the only real non-negotiable events (other than funerals, of course) are Christmas gatherings. We regularly say no to reunions, 4th of July celebrations, even Mother's Day, etc. if it means that we will be unduly stressed with the kids and the travel. But Christmas? We just can't go there. So for now we "suffer" knowing that it is so that we don't cause a rift. Thanks for the reminder.