- Miss Mochaccino
- 3 months ago
- Wedding: June 2012
I’m really looking for some objectivity here… and I don’t want to talk about this with my local girlfriends right now because I don’t want to impact how they see my husband.
Basically, I feel that I don’t get enough rest, downtime, or me time, and I’m starting to feel depressed. I’m wondering what is “normal” for this full on period of life as a mom of small kids, because I suspect lots of people feel this way, but at the same time I’m wondering whether I should be fighting harder to make some “me time” happen because I can tell I am really burnt out. My husband says I just need to “be more mature about it” and “just get used to being tired during this season” which I feel is really unempathetic of him.
Here is the situation. I have two children, aged 5 months and 2 years. I’m a stay at home mom who works about 6-8 hours per week from home (eeking out the time in the evenings mostly) while caring full time for my kids. (By working I contribute about $13k-$15k the household income and cover the bulk of our grocery bill as well as my personal expenses and lots of kid stuff.) My 2yo boy is full of energy and life and no longer naps at all — he is all systems go from the moment he wakes up (around 7) until he falls asleep (7pm ish). My 5 month old girl is such a joy and sleeps and naps fairly well for her age. I get up with the baby and my husband usually wakes up with the 2 year old (who does still go through periods of waking).
During my typical day, I am literally with the kids all day long, and there is no downtime because my son doesn’t nap and is at an age and developmental stage where he craves lots and lots of social interaction with me and with other children. I try to have “quiet time” for him in his room, and sometimes he plays quietly for a while, sometimes for 5-10 minutes here or there, and occasionally for 20 min or so, but mostly he wants to run around wildly and stay busy and engaged with me or with someone else. Most days, I take my son either an educational activity or a friends’ house or the park or we have a friend over. Throughout the day I have to remain hypervigilant when both children are together (whenever the baby is awake) because my 2 year old, although well meaning, tends to be rough with her and I have to contstantly prevent him from being too rough and try to teach him to be gentle. During the times when she is awake, I can literally do nothing besides supervise both children intensively. There is no turning my back to throw in a load of laundry or do dishes. I have a few places I can put her where she is still close to me and he can’t reach her — but she gets bored after a while and cries to be moved.
Most days I make a hot breakfast and hot dinner for my husband, and sometimes he comes home for lunch and I make a hot lunch (or heat up leftovers).
My husband is — definitely — and involved dad, and i’m really grateful. He chose a lesser paying job a couple of years ago so he could be closer to home when our son was born. He helps get our son dressed in the morning and most nights helps bathe him and put him to bed. He also helps with dishes and laundary quite often, although he used to complain that he was only helping because I was doing an inadequate job, he’s generally stopped complaining so much and it’s started to sink in a bit more how busy things are.
Even though my husband has taken a job that pays less and is closer to home, he has still gotten to travel internationally quite a few times since our baby was born (twice in the last 3 months, totallying over 3 weeks of travel) and he has gone on “retreats” with his work to relaxing settings for team events. I know he was working hard and experiencing jet lag and it wasn’t all roses; however, while he was away, I reached burnout and it was a tipping point for me. I wanted silence, childfree time, time to breath and walk without a stroller like never before. It caused me to realize that i have absolutely no “me time” right now and I think I should do something about it.
On the weekends, my husband usually says he realllly wants family time and is disappointed and tries to make me feel guilty for saying I want to go to the gym or go on a child free walk. The longest I’m able to get away is about one hour to 90 minutes here or there on the weekend.
My struggle is that I have no regular “escape” time or time I can count on to rest and recharge.
I’m wondering whether I’m even being realistic to think that I should try to make something like that happen — and what “the norm” is from other mom’s experiences.