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what the &*?! are we all doing?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Reading the post on our relationships after baby really kind of makes me sad. What the heck are we all DOING?

    I should preface this by saying work is just awful lately, huge deadlines, lots of pressure and my Wednesdays home with DD were pulled out from under me with very little notice. Oh, and on the news this morning they mentioned finding evidence of terrorists trying to derail commuter trains. I hate work, I hate having to work, and I hate being away from DD.

    Anywhoo, it just feels so wrong that we are all pulled in so many different directions, so constantly exhausted, neglecting our relationships with DH or friends or family, or ourselves.

    What do you think would have to change to give us (maybe just me?) more family centered lives, or just less stress - working closer to home, working less, universal healthcare (maybe some of us work mainly for the benefits?), winning the lottery, stepping away from old friendships?

    It's Mother's Day this weekend. I'm exhausted and spent, and my daughter hasn't even started all those after school and weekend activities. Watching friends with older kids running around exhausted beyond recognition terrifies me.

    Is it possible to have a calm balanced life centered around our family these days? What would have to happen for you to be able to really do that? Is that what we even want?

    Just struggling with this today :( Hugs to all of you (and your husbands). Happy Mother's Day, sleep in!
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Drastically reducing your mortgage (which I'm assuming is the biggest reason both people need to work?) usually involves moving further from the city, but if it meant one of you wouldn't have to work would it bring the change your looking for?  There would be tradeoffs, of course, like whoever does have to work would probably have a longer commute, for instance.  It depends, of course, on your overall financial picture and how much you depend on two incomes, but if you're mortgage is slashed and childcare costs eliminated those are two biggies for most families...

    That's the only thing I can think of, really.  I mean you can save a bit here and there, but usually not enough to eliminate the need for one of you to work unless you do something super drastic like move.

    Anyway, regardless, I'm sorry you're feeling so overwhelmed.  It's a terrible, constantly stressful place to be.  As you know, I suffer from generalized anxiety and have had depression, and I don't know what herbs are safe for BFing moms, but I have noticably good results with a Hops/Valarian herbal supplement for anxiety relief.  Maybe if you can't change your situation, you can boost your ability to handle it all.  It doesn't have any side effects or make me sleepy or anything, I just have a less anxious outlook when I take it.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Leila32. Show Leila32's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    I hear you and I don’t even have my baby yet (pregnant with first).  I really think we are expected to be super heroes these days.  It really is ridiculous, and talking to my mom and grandmother makes me realize how different things are now and all the pressures we are under.  Not to say that my mom or grandma had it easy, but it’s just different now.

    I’ve been unhappy with my job for a while now but ever since I’ve gotten pregnant I hate it.  I hate it every minute I’m there and it feels like I am wasting my life.  Right now I’m the breadwinner, I work 50 hours a week in a high pressure, fast paced industry and the people I work with who have families don’t spend much time with them.  I don’t want that at all.

    DH and I have been discussing this seriously lately.  He is up for a promotion at work and will have his masters in a little over a year.  We are thinking of a complete lifestyle change, which includes me quitting and working part-time so I can be home during the day and us moving out of state where there is affordable housing and to be closer to family.  Right now with our careers we are pretty secure financially and this change will cause us to have less money, less savings and be on a strict budget but at this point the alternative is us both being overworked, overwhelmed and unable to spend much time together.  I know this isn’t something everyone can do, so I am not suggestion it as a solution for everyone, just sharing how we are trying to deal with this dilemma.  It’s a tough decision to make no matter which way you have to go.

    Happy mother’s day to all!
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Hang in there ML!  It's a sad state of affairs overall, if you ask me, but take some comfort in the fact that you're not alone.

    I've been feeling pressure at work lately too, and I've started looking around at the people pressuring me... 1 hugley overweight, generally cranky guy who's one child (now in his 20's) has had troubles for years, 1 guy, mid 40's never married, another guy, who I worked with for year, always worked late... his wife left him after 20 years... plenty more examples

    I don't want to end up like any of them.  I am good at what I do, and they don't generally pay me to work 50 or 60 hours per week, and if that is required on an ongoing basis, then my plate is too full.  I try to work hard while I am here (when not posting to BDC!) and leave on time.  There are exceptions of course, deadlines, sick kids etc. but I try to keep work in perspective.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Forgot to mention, Happy Mothers Day to all my Mommy friends!
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Unfortunately I think it's impossible to live a calm, balanced life as a parent these days.  Between mortgages, car payments, health care, child care, etc., it's really tough to get by on one income. 

    My job can get very stressful at times, but I do love it.  I'm very lucky to work close to home and for a very flexible boss.  I'm the breadwinner and I carry the benefits, so I had to come back to work whether I wanted to or not.  I do love working, but I would give anything to be able to cut back to part-time and spend more time at home with DD.  I feel really guilty sometimes and I dread the days when she gets older, starts hitting those big milestones, and I'm at work missing them all.  :(

    And speaking of health care, has anyone else really felt like they're getting completely $crewed by their health insurance?  I pay hundreds of dollars a month, and now we have huge deductibles and more/higher copays.  Sometimes I wonder what I'm even paying for!  Expensive insurance is better than none, and I'm grateful that we have it, but geez!
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    ML-it gets better! Your DD will start to show you more and more how much she appreciates you. So much so that you won't mind all the running around you do for her.

    Just yesterday I worked from home while DS is sick with a cold. After lunch DS made me sit at the table while he got a surprise for me. He kept pointing at the table saying "no, mommy sit down. I get su-pur-prise." So my little two year old went into the freezer and got me some ice cream, to treat and take care of me. You will soon get these things and all your stress and anxiety will lessen as you look at that little person who loves you and cherishes you beyond belief.

    I feel like the worst mommy of the year today as I left my DS who is sick at home with my sister to take care of him. Unfortunately I have a high level position where I work and need to be here. I tried to take a step back in my career, but things constantly change where I am and I'm back in the limelight

    So there are definitely ups and downs in the parenting world.

    One thing to note about my relationship with my husband. i feel more in love with him after DS was born. Our relationship isn't what it used to be, isn't perfect, but it's strong and understanding. The most important part is we're both trying to be understanding of each other, and who we are now as a couple.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Well personally, I think that we should have mandatory (for companies -- not for parents!) 6 months paid parental leave (to be divided up as parents see fit) for everyone. I also think that the work week should be 35 hours and that we should have universal healthcare and social services to support us all. Because if we live to work, are we not simply animals in suits? Isn't our capacity for love and compassion what makes us human?


    But since I can't change the realities of parenting in the US, I will just say HANG IN THERE (kitty/tree photo). It gets a lot easier as the baby gets older. You get more sleep, and you can go places and have fun with her instead of just tending to her and trying to keep her from flipping out all the time (although there's still some of that going on too). And the things you do are FUN instead of just kind of nurturing and loving and dull. My daughter and I go to Friendly's once a week on a date and just talk and hang. We SHOP together and it's so exciting to see what clothing she likes. This Saturday we're going to the Home Depot kid thing where they bang on a bit of wood with a hammer and get an orange apron. Once she could walk, it became much easier to take her to parties and cookouts. Last summer, our cookoutingest friends got a kiddie pool for her to play in while we're over there, and when we went for our last visit they'd gotten a cozy coupe. Everyone pushed her around and played with her and had fun while my husband and I relaxed. And we have friends over to our house at night -- in the summer we hang outside while she snoozes away in her room. And we are able to do really fun stuff together and talk about it later, so it becomes more about the quality of the time we spend together than the quanitity. And since she sleeps soundly all night, we can also get a sitter and go out and have a good time when we want. So you just have to gut it out for now.


    The job stuff sounds like the biggest problem in your life right now, though. I remember how it felt to hate my job. It was like a lead weight in my chest all the time. Is there any way you can find a new career?
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Leila32. Show Leila32's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    That’s what my mom and grandmother were saying, how these days it is next to impossible to get by on a single income.  My grandparents raised 7 kids on a single income, and when my parents divorced my mother somehow raised 4 kids as a single parent (with no child support) on less than $30k/year.  I think this state is particularly hard.  My older sister is a single mother and she raised her daughter alone on a paralegals salary, yet still is able to own a lovely 3 bedroom home in the south.  We pay more in rent for a tiny apartment than what she pays for her mortgage.

    Don’t even get me started on healthcare.   I am on my husband’s healthcare because his is so much better than what my company offers.  What is sickening is that I work for one of the largest companies in America (in the top 5) yet they offer employees a crappy healthcare plan that hardly covers anything. 

    ETA: Kam that ice cream story is soooooo sweet!
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Oh, and the whole thing with dragging kids from one activity to another -- you don't have to do that.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Gosh, you guys must think I'm such a psycho, always ranting about how hard it is. Seriously, it's because I don't complain to anyone else, and overall I'm very lucky and have alot of help!

    My daughter is definitely not any kind of problem, it's every other thing that comes between the three of us that I really resent: stressful job, long commute, disorganized household.

    I just know so many people in the same boat, wish we could somehow start a revolution or find a real solution to balance our lives. I have to say, I kind of almost envy those really Christian moms in Arkansas or Oklahoma or wherever that just "make sacrifices" and stay home with their children blogging about their $5 meals. That's never going to happen in MA, and it's never going to happen in my household!
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    I am a SAHM.  For my first I did work.  When I became pregnant with my second we did the math and my salary minus 2 kids in daycare minus the cost of parking at my office was going to net my $30/week or less.  So, we made the decision for me to stay home.  We cut cable, we bargain shop, we never eat out anymore.  It has been major sacrifices that I have been okay with.  Now with the cost of EVERYTHING going up and the fact that we had to buy a car when DH's died I need to go back to work doing something.  I am so torn.  Part of me would like to do evenings/nights and part of me would like to go full-time.  I think it will depend on what I find.  We have really had to stop "keeping up with the Jones's".  It is not easy.  Buying groceries for a family of 4 on $50/week is near impossible but I can do it.
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    In Response to Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?:
    I have to say, I kind of almost envy those really Christian moms in Arkansas or Oklahoma or wherever that just "make sacrifices" and stay home with their children blogging about their $5 meals.
    Posted by ml2620-2

    Lots of those on kellymom. They're all frustrated and neglected and stressed too.
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lemna. Show Lemna's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    ML, your post really resonates with me.  I don't have any kids (I'm just about to start TTC), and this is the thing that freaks me out the most about having kids.  Being exhausted and sleep-deprived and spread-too-thin, it doesn't seem like the way we should go through life.

    I guess I'm at the point now where the desire for a family outweighs my fears about the constant stress. I like to think I can avoid some of the stress by working part time (and convincing DH to work part time), but if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. :(  I like to think I can steer my kids away from doing a zillion activities when they get older, but sometimes they really want to do all those things and I'm sure it's really hard to deny them the experience.

    I don't have anything to add that someone else hasn't already said. I think finding a job that you like better, or finding a way to make your job fit into your life better, would be the best thing.  No amount of money justifies being miserable.
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from CookieM. Show CookieM's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Hi everyone.  Love this thread, and please please know that I am by NO MEANS weighing in to play the martyr card.  I've been feeling overwhelmed myself the last few days, and our LO hasn't even arrived. 

    But, between "restricted activity" (which is vague and not helpful), still working full-time but trying to stay off my feet, and trying to fit in weekly chemo appointments, it's starting to add up.  DH and I are starting to discuss our post-DS arrival plans.  Just starting in on that is making me anxious.  I broke down this AM when I felt guilty that I'll have to back out of the Red Sox game in Philly in June.  (Okay, it's at the same time as my chemo, on week 10 of 12, six weeks before I'm due.  It's the right thing to do, but still.  I'd also like to blame yesterday's steroids and pregnancy hormones.)

    I love my job, but it can be high-stress.  I'm very well-compensated, and very well-respected. I really can't complain. But I'm starting to think that with a newborn, upcoming surgery and radiation, that there might not be a way to make that work.  A lot of ML's point resonate, parking costs, commuting time, missing things at home etc.  I never thought I would consider not working, but it's crossed my mind a few times this past week.

    I'm starting to think that work-life balance is a myth.  I don't know anyone with kids who feels like they've got it down.  So, letting go of the idea of being perfect I think is a start.  After that, I think it's about looking inward and prioritizing what's right for each of person individually, and for the rest of the family.  There is no one-size-fits-all.

    And, maybe either some tequila or yoga.  Both of which are currently off limits.  Ugh.
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    ML, I don't think you sound psycho.  I think you sound normal.  And I can't remember how old your DD is, but I know that the first three months back at work were the hardest for me.  And I LIKE my job.  Some of it is hormonal (especially the Major World Worries -- I tended towards catastrophizing for the first few months) and some of it is the sleep deprivation.  Those both get better. 

    I don't think that working and a calm/centered life are necessarily exclusive, though ... I just think it's really hard to be calm and focus on family with all the noise around us.  I have a whole slew of little things I do to try to manage my stress/balance my life, but the things that have the most payoff are: working out, cooking on Sunday for the whole week, Blackberry "black-out" time from 5p to DD's bedtime. 

    That last one has done me a WORLD of good.  When I'm stressed, I literally turn the damn thing off.  I power it back on after we've put DD to bed and had dinner.  I answer anything pressing, delete any clutter and then put it away to have time with DH.  It takes me about 30 minutes, usually, but it's SO much better than having it buzz every two minutes while I'm trying to spend time with DD.  I still get credit for being "available" off hours, but I feel less resentful about it. 

    Also, and I'm not sure how to phrase this, but I have had to limit my interaction with a few girlfriends who are very prone to long e-mails about how hard everything is, how much mommy guilt they have, how badly their husbands Don't Get It, etc .... and my at-work b*tching with a few people here who are super unhappy with everything and want to whisper about it endlessly.  If the conversation or e-mail exhange starts getting toxic, I try to make a graceful exit.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be there for friends and work through stuff, and everyone has a bad day at work and needs to vent, but some of it is a little one-note and it winds up making me feel lousy and guilty and sad and angry and stirs up stuff in a non-productive way. 
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Sorry so many of you are feeling so overwhelmed!  But I do think it's so cool that so many of us are the main earners in our family!  Go women!  I am too.  The problem with that though is that there is still a stigma in our own heads about needing to do all the "women's work" at home in addition to being a top notch in our jobs.  I think many of us need to ask for help more.  I know I am guilty about wanting to do it all and then being resentful that I do it all. 

    I never thought I'd want to stay at home either.  Even after maternity leave I was happy to get back.  Those newborn days can be rough.  You give so much but don't get a lot back, because, well,  the LO is just too young.  But last month when we went on a 2 week vacation with DD (11 mos at the time), and that time was just so amazing!  It was so much fun to just hang out with such an interactive and fun little girl and not be so tired from work.  It got me thinking that maybe I could do the stay at home thing. 

    So DH and I have been discussing downsizing and possibly even leaving the country for a bit (he is from the UK).  I could stay home with the kids, and if/when we did come back, I would look into a career change - something I had been talking about long before kids came into the picture.  I have considered becoming a teacher for quite a while.  It'd be a huge pay cut (from what I have read) but at the end of the day, I don't think my family needs a lot of material goods to be happy.  And as IPW said, each day you are unhappy at work you are wasting your life. 

    One other thing I'll mention before I end this rambling post is that I found everything sooooo much better after I stopped nursing and pumping.  I stopped when DD was 11 months.  I never really enjoyed it as some of you ladies have mentioned you did.  It wasn't hard, but just not enjoyable either and it was incredibly draining for me.  Even now, at 6 months pg, with a active 1 year old, and working full time, I feel a million times better to have my DD off the breast.  (I will stil nurse my DS though).

    So as some of the other toddler moms have said, the first year is really hard, but it does get so much better.  My DD just started giving us real hugs and boy does it melt my heart every time she does!   

    And Kam, LOVE the ice cream story!

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    ML you're totally normal. We all have these moments/periods of feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated.

    One thing to remember is that nothing is permanent. your job will change, sometimes for the good, some times for bad. Your baby will grow and become more independed, sometimes too independent. But everything will change, what you feel right now is not permanent. The first year is really the hardest (from what I can tell of my 2 years of experience). You'll find your grove, you'll see how much fun your LO is having at daycare/school. Once your LO really starts to interact with you its such a profound experience, it really put a lot of calm into my perspective about work and life balance. It's hard to describe.

    if you feel like a career change is necessary do that. I applied like crazy when I was on maternity leave, landed a new job right as I was about to return. The new job was much less stress...but now I'm back to high demand stress job, hence why I say things always change.
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to all and that my sister and I have made a frightening revelation -

    Maybe the Sister Wives have it figured out.  Hmmm... 4 women, share one man, share the domestic duties, have the additional support of other women at home. (I am imagine 1/4 of the s*ex too for those who have libido woes).   Truthfully, I don't see what the man gets out of it.  Granted he can sleep with 3 additional women but that seems like a terrible trade off for having 3 additional wives to deal with.

    Anyway, we have been joking that the 3 of us sisters need to start voting some of the husbands off the island.

    Of course, this is all tongue-in-cheek but we laugh all the time about this.
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from culhasa. Show culhasa's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Funny....(well not really) my husband and I took a walk with the boys last night and had this exact same conversation...I actually just left my job to stay home with my boys for a little bit of time.  My job was also crazy hours and I wasn't very happy.  So I decided to take a break...(and thankfully we are able to handle me doing that)....funny that although I'm taking a break from the corporate world...I think being at home is harder!!  Hang in there....and happy mother's day to all....
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    I don't have kids yet, but I definitely understand the hating your job part. I had a this horrible job and every night I'd come home crying (I was The Girl Who Cried on the T; the people I saw every day probably thought I was insane) and on Sunday nights I would get so upset about the prospect of another week at work that I'd be throwing up and having panic attacks.

    DH finally convinced me to quit and work part-time in some coffee shops. It did wonders for my mental health. Not everyone can do that, though, and we don't have little mouths to feed (except for our pug puppies :)

    It seems like you're shamed (by Society) in keeping a "lucrative" job that you hate, though, and if you're not doing something like that then you're just a waste. I felt a lot of shame when I left my job, even though DH and I were both a lot happier. Now I'm going back to school for a total career change and I'm really excited. If you can, start looking for other work while you have this job, maybe something totally different.
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Don't worry, ml, we do NOT think you're a psycho!

    Trouble - I agree that it's nice to know there are other breadwinners out there.  DH gets laid off periodically, so there's a lot of pressure on me to be responsible at all times.

    I go back to work in a couple weeks and I'm worried it's going to seem entirely pointless now... We'll see!
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    WPP, I was The Girl Who Cried on the Pike for 8 years.
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    Fram, Trouble, others... I too am the major breadwinner/more stable job (we'll see if that is still true after this week)  and really appreciate hearing others perspectives... it's not something I talk about much with my real-life friends
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: what the &*?! are we all doing?

    I was having a crap morning on Saturday so at 8 AM I stomped off to Whole Foods with my darling two year old son in tow.  All I had to do to cheer myself up was glance in the review mirror and see him as he bopped along with the music and then smiled and waved at me.  Everything else just fades and its all worthwile in the end.

    The moral of that story - Just don't forget to look in the rearview mirror every once and a while.