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Why do I get so annoyed?

By June 3, 2010 - 6:26am
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I am a 29 year old stay at home mom with two beautiful girls,3 and 4. They are a handful. They laugh together one minute and fight a second later. I feel like I am always yelling at them. My husband is a greay guy who loves us dearly but it drives me crazy when he get's home from work or has a day off and I am still left to do everything. I understand he is tired, but so am I. With all of the laundry, cooking, and cleaning I am done by the end of the day. I even feel guilty when they want to read a book with me, or want me to lie down with them at night and read them a bed time story and I just don't want to. My girls do NOT sleep through the night so I am up with them in the morning and at night. Why does he just watch me do everything? There are times when I've had enough and I turn to him and say can you do it this time. I also get annoyed with my mom, sister, and brother for yelling at my girls when they are doing something wrong. Now I am all for family help and them correcting my girls when they are doing something wrong, but why do they have to yell. They are my girls and it is my job. I feel like the mother lion coming out of her den. Or if the girls are doing something wrong and I start to open my mouth to correct them and my sister, who has no kids (neither does my brother for that matter) cuts me off and starts doing it. I am there, back off and let me be the mom. We get into fights all the time and I am always telling her don't yell at my kids. She thinks it's so easy to raise children and I keep telling her you have no idea until you have your own. I used to swear up and down that when I had kids they were always going to listen to me and never talk back, that was a joke. So I guess I am wondering if anyone else has ever or is now going through the same thing. Thanks.

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Hi Marie09

I think Diane has given you some great advice! I very much agree that your family have no right to yell at your kids. They don't get a free pass just because they are family.

Please let them know that you have certain standards of parenting and if they cannot meet them, it may be best to keep visits short. If yelling begins (I would assume your kids are just being kids!) then you will have to remove them. You need to be the parent here, both in action and word. I'm shocked that your brother and sister yell at your kids. What on earth...? With no kids themselves, their place in your childrens lives is to be the fun aunt and uncle! What on earth makes them think they can yell at them? Maria, please remove your children when this happens. Don't spend time fighting with your own sibling about this - you are grown adults and you need to take control here.

Hire a babysitter if you need time away (or better still, join a trusted and small co-op or group where you all spend a half day taking care of all the children, giving you then several mornings a few mornings alone to get things done. You will be more refreshed, happier, get chores done faster and your children will have great fun in a safe setting with other kids. These co-ops are usually free. You 'pay' by donating your time. If there is a fee, it will be very small. This way you will no longer be dependent on your family.

With regard to your kids and the fighting - my kids are 4, 5 and 6 and I am also a stay-at-home mom who also works from home. Siblings will fight no matter what. It's the nature of childhood and finding our way through it. At times I just want to jump in my car and drive away. Then at other times, when they are all best friends, my heart wants to burst. I'm sure it's the same with you.

My husband also works very hard and travels for work at times so I know your level of exhaustion. Sometimes I lay down with a child at bedtime - just to comfort them, and I can barely get up, such is my exhaustion. When this kind of exhaustion happens, we find the smallest of things can really upset us.

You husband, no matter how tired, needs to pull his weight in the evenings and on weekends. Working moms and work from home moms are done by evening and they do not get to relax and watch TV when they get home. They do what's called the "second shift" which is meal prep and clean up, housework, laundry, homework, baths, teeth, bed etc. I am not generally done with this until 10pm due to my work, and that's generally with my husband helping. What does your husband do for a living? Is he unhealthy in general? If not, then he needs to stop using work as an excuse for being too tired to be a Dad at night. This is what we sign up for as parents. If he continues this, you will find strains on your marriage as resentment sets in.

One tip may be to write a list of things he needs to help you with at night. Since you are with the kids all day, he should be in charge of baths, teeth, stories and making sure their rooms are tidy, including changing their sheets. This can give you time to get the housework done and then both of you can be done by about 8pm. This will ease feelings of resentment and give your husband much needed time with his girls. I'm sure he is indeed a great guy and is providing for his family but this still doesn't justify him sitting around all night. You need to take a stand on this.

To help with your own stress (Maria, your life and problems are actually very normal! But you need coping tools.) take a warm bath at night, all alone, no kids. Soft music and sheer relaxation. Use scented candles and oils in the bath water.
Treat yourself to an occasional mani/pedi once your husband gets home. You can even volunteer for massages at a beauty school and get them done for free or very little charge! You can also have your hair done this way. It doesn't have to cost lot to treat yourself. Try a yoga class or meditation class for a low cost at a community center. You can take a bike ride (I often do this) and then sit down with your husband and have couple time. A happy wife can make her husband happy too... ;)

You will never learn to achieve good coping skills if you do not work as a team with your husband! Please tell him how you feel (or accidentally leave this web page open on your computer!) so that you can work together to ease the stress. We are all under a lot of stress in life; it's our coping skills that get us through it all. I did the list thing for my husband and although he does need reminding about the list, it has really helped,

I hope this info helps and please talk with your husband (as well as setting your foot down with your family - I simply cannot imagine my family members yelling at my kids - I would NEVER allow that!).

You are a woman and friend and wife, as well as a mom. Don't forget that and use your girlfriends as a sounding board when you can. Getting away for a while is not selfish - it's a great way to make you the best person you can be. A great mom is a happy mom.

I wish you the very best, Maria!


June 4, 2010 - 11:45am


Gosh. You have a lot going on. You're tired, you're extremely busy, you're feeling unappreciated and invisible at times. Am I right? It makes complete sense to me that you are annoyed or angry at times, even when you love your daughters and your life.

Let's talk about things one at a time.

First of all, your girls are 3 and 4. That means that you probably haven't had a great night's sleep in 4+ years, and you have two children who are extremely close in age and take an enormous amount of your love, time, attention and care. It's not like one is 8 and the other is 3, for instance. You have a very busy hands-on parenting job right now.

Second, it's normal that they have some sibling rivalry. They are competing for your attention, for their toys, for everything -- and they spend all their time with each other. My sister and brother were just 20 months apart, and my sister's two youngest kids are just 17 months apart, and in both cases the sibling love was extremely strong AND the sibling rivalry was extremely strong. It sounds par for the course, even though I know it doesn't help when you are feeling frazzled.

Third, you love your husband and say he is a great guy, but I feel some anger and resentment bubbling up about the fact that the home front seems to be all your responsibility. This is the case in so many households where one parent stays home with the children and the other parent works outside the home. The parent who works outside the home feels like home should be their break, their place to relax -- and the person who stays home with the kids feels like they NEVER get a break. Have the two of you talked about this? Have you told him how you feel? In the beginning, did the two of you ever talk about how the household would work?

And here's another question: do YOU assume you should be able to do it all? I know that moms often fall into that trap, and it's not a good place to be. If you're exhausted and overworked, you also probably are not taking care of yourself, either, right?

If your guy is great like you say, he doesn't want you to be tired, sad, angry and frustrated all the time. It feels to me like you need a lunch away from the kids on Saturday afternoon to really talk about this in earnest, for two reasons: 1, so you can get it all out and really share with him and listen to his side too, and 2, so the two of you can make a plan of action. Maybe he takes on some chores permanently. Maybe he takes responsibility for getting the kids to bed a certain number of nights in the week. Maybe you can hire a person to come and clean for you once a week. Maybe you get a babysitter to come spend the day with you once a week, playing with the girls, feeding them lunch and putting them down for their naps so you can get some things done. Would any of those be at all possible? Especially the talk? What would his reaction be?

And now, to your family. Honestly, I don't think it's EVER ok for your family members to yell at your daughters. OK, unless they are in danger -- getting too close to the street, or something. Other than that, NO. It is not all right. It wouldn't be any different if they did have children of their own, in my view. Correcting your children is your job and your husband's job. Period. If anyone else feels the need to correct them when you are there, they should come and tell you. The times when I have corrected my sister's children (she has four and I have none) are FEW and far between and generally happens when she has just told them something, then left the room and they do it again. And the correction always starts with something like, "Now, you knowyour mom just told you not to do that. Let's not get in trouble." Otherwise, my job is to be their loving and spoiling aunt, who adores them just because they are in the world. My job is not to raise them. My job is to enjoy them and to be a supportive adult in the world for them. That is your sister's and brother's job, too, and your mom is there to be their grandmother, not their mom.

I think that -- again, away from the kids -- you need to have a discussion with your mom, sister and brother and tell them that this is just not OK with you. Be strong, and compassionate -- if this has been a habit for a long time, it may be hard for them to break. And after that, if you are there and one of them yells at one of your daughters, immediately, in a calm voice, ask the person doing the yelling to come with you into another room, and be sure they know that that's just not OK with you. It's important that you not yell at the same time. Someone has to keep their cool, you know?

You are completely not alone. Many many many moms have gone through the same thing. But don't lump it all together into one big thing. It's a lot of things, and it's possible that you can address one or two of them individually and that it will start to have a domino effect on something else.

Please don't feel guilty that you don't feel like doing even MORE than you do. You are a good mom doing a tough job and you're tired. You need some help from your husband and a little less interference/criticism of your children by your family. Take one baby step -- any of these that I've written about, or another one that you think will help -- and when that is done, take another. Hang in there, and write back. This is what we're here for.

June 4, 2010 - 8:52am
(reply to Diane Porter)

Thanks Diane. Well first off my husband and I have said from the beginning we wanted me to stay home and raise our kids. Let me give you an example of what really get's under my skin. The other night my husband came home, I had already given the girls dinner, a bath, and got them in their pj's. I go to sit down next to him for a break when they call me "mommy, can you come here"? If I say no I just sat down they will nag and nag. Look to my husband and he doesn't move. So I go, annoyed, and come back to see that the toys and blocks are still sitting on the floor. I start to pick it up, than I get " mommy". I go and come back again and the blocks are STILL on the floor. Than they call me again and I have to look at my husband and say do you think you can get this one! I don't mind doing the cooking and cleaning, etc. while he is at work but I think when he comes home he needs to help with our kids, after all he did help in creating them. When he is off he doesn't want to do anything. He watches sports center, national geographic (not so bad), or CNN. I am home all the time, I don't want to sit in front of the tv and I am sick of our kids watching tv. So I say let's take them in the pool (we live in Florida), or try to think of something inexpensive we can do but it feels like I am pulling teeth. I'm not saying I am interacting all day every day with them as far as painting, or the pool but I try. I think I forgot to mention their sleeping habits. They don't take naps unless they are in the car and they don't sleep through the night. I get a zero break, which is why I am now finding myself cringing when they call for me. Sometimes I feel like a lazy or bad mom for feeling this way. I can't even go to the bathroom without one of them following me or calling me. My 4 year old goes to school 3 days a week but that doesn't give me much of abreak. Than I look around the house and it's a disaster all over again and I am tired of cleaning up after everyone. What also frustrates me is when I tell my mom I need a break and she doesn't say well let me take them for the day and you go do something. I mean she lives 10 minutes away! Here's the clincher. My birthday is on Tuesday which means we'll probably do something on Sunday. No one put forth any effort to plan anything until last night and it ended up being me and my sister doing the planning. I shouldn't have to plan my own day and I shouldn't have to have it planned around everyone else's schedule. And of course my last night when I told hubby what we decided he didn't like the plan and I lost it. I just told him I shouldn't be planning anything and they are all jerks for waiting until the last minute. I don't know. I know this is long, it just feels good to vent.

June 4, 2010 - 11:31am
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