Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Pit of Despair

Well, my computer was down for a few days, and I really missed checking up on my new blog community. I did get more laundry done, and got my bedroom cleaned, so maybe my guardian angel pulled a wire or something, them mercifully reconnected it today.

We have a three bedroom house with 7 children. Currently the baby is in our room. Consequently, I cannot go in there to put away clean clothes, dust, vacuum, make the bed, etc, etc, if she is asleep. If she is awake, I don't have a large block of time to give to the room. Once she is asleep for the evening, I can't go in there unless I am ready to have her up. This means I can't put on pj's, wash face, brush teeth, etc. When I do go in there, she instantly cries, screams, literally shakes her fist until I pick her up. Ever try flossing under those conditions? I have slept in my clothes more times than I care to admit, because I will stay in the living room reading, folding laundry, watching t.v., and then fall sound asleep. My dh can sneak in the room with out her waking up (go figure), so at 3:00 am, he stumbles out to the living room with a crying baby for me to feed. I usually go back to my room, and feed her in bed, but never had a chance to put on pajamas, brush teeth, etc. YUCK! I could put her in the other girls' room, but there are already 3 of them in there, so baby would get woken up frequently. So in the meantime I am left with a bedroom I call "the pit of despair", a totally out of whack routine, and for some reason a complete lack of creativity in adapting to this situation. I used to follow Flylady, and I am sure she wouldn't allow these excuses. I NEED MY ROUTINES BACK, but I am not sure what to do. Any suggestions??

I did get to clean my room this week, because the lady that tutors my kid's math loves holding her, and held her through all the math, giving me 1 hour uninerurpted to clean, vaccum, dust, and put away clean clothes. I actually finally got the bin of maternity clothes out of there, and the baby is 8 months old. But the problem remains, on a daily basis, I need to take care of my space and my person more consistantly, while giving baby a peaceful place to sleep. Speaking of baby, she is starting to crawl, is thrilled, and soooooo cute. She also wears herself out, and is currently begging to be put to bed, so I must end for now.

10 Comments:

Blogger Essy said...

Having similar issues and my 'baby' is 17 months old! He was sleeping in his own room for quite a while but his night wakings just got more frequent recently (teething and I'm thinking seperation anxiety)so I have put a play pen in my room where he sleeps (at least for little bits at a time)...anyway, all this to say that I sympathize. My bedroom is a total pit! Prayers going out for the both of us.

January 26, 2005  
Blogger alicia said...

Baby is 8 months old now? Remember this - you are the mother, she is the child. You are doing her (and your other children and husband) no favors by not having a clean space in which to sleep. You have my sympathy. Is there a way that you can develop a routine where you get the important stuff done in your room while she is awake? I used to put the baby in her sling on my chest to do most of the housework, if I couldn't rely on the older kids to keep her busy and safe. She was a sling baby until she was walking. I used a soft front pack (snugli) and/or a hard frame back pack for my other kids to accomplish the same. How old are the other children? Can they take on some of the responsibility for housekeeping chores?
On another note, can this baby only sleep in one place? I used to have several 'nesting spaces' where I could put a sleepy baby or toddler down throughout the house. So I could have the baby asleep in the living room while working in the kitchen or the bedroom, etc. Not playpen/baby jails, but a safe and comfortable (and portable if possible) place.

January 26, 2005  
Blogger Essy said...

Wowzer...I know that wasn't posted to me...but geesh I took offense to that(maybe just the kind of day I'm having). First of all my baby sleeps in a 'clean space'...I might have piles of clothes that need attending to, but his crib is clean. Also, yikes on the play pen/ 'baby jails' thing. The play pen I use is simply a safe sleeping place...I don't put him in there for bad behavior or for any other reason. Again, I know it wasn't directed at me, but alot of it went down like a bitter pill and I just had to comment.

January 26, 2005  
Blogger veronica said...

Spikey has a few places to sleep during the day in my house, too. I have a pack-n-play set up in one bedroom, and he shares a room with his sister, and I have a swing set up in the living room that he likes to sleep in. So, if there is work to be done in one room, just rotate him! Babies are great in that they can be so adaptable. You are a wonderful mommy! Even if you don't get to put on your PJ's at night. It's a happy day when I get to brush my teeth first thing! As far as routines? I start with my teeth. :)

January 26, 2005  
Blogger Mary Poppins NOT said...

Well, it is true that the baby always has a clean, comfortable place to sleep, but I don't. I had totally forgotten about the baby bjorn (it's in my car) and I will try that. My older kids do watch the baby, but as homeschooled kids, I don't want them to get used as baby-sitters when they should be working. I have tried putting baby to bed in the two year olds crib, and that has worked from time to time. He still is a napper, so we get a little jammed up there. I have tried setting up a portable crib in the girls room, and having her nap in there. That works also, but the 4 year old is a napper, and again, we get a little jammed. I could put the portacrib in the den, and let her sleep in there - never thought of that. The problem is just that I need a plan, and to think ahead, and I haven't been doing such a great job with that lately. So, today I hung my pj's in the other bathroom so I could get to them, and decided to do a post dinner hygiene routine so if I don't get to in right before sleep, I won't go undone. I also put a spare set of toothbrush and moisturizer in the kids' bathroom. Never thought of using that before either. As far as laundry goes, just in case it wasn't clear, it's always clean, folded laundry that sits in my room. So it's a matter of sorting, and putting in in drawers and closets. I know there is a way of doing it, I just haven't spent enough time planning. Just writing about it today helped me get it out of my head and into some order. I took no offense at all. I do know that the issue of safety is one that is primary to me, and even though the oldest kids are 10 and 11, sometimes they let the baby do dangerous things (like chew on a playing card), and I can't get absorbed in a project. Thank you both for the replies, prayers are helpful, as are hints from someone who has "been there, done that." blessings!

January 26, 2005  
Blogger Mary Poppins NOT said...

Oh, another thing that might not seem so concerning - for at least 4 or 5 months, the baby would sleep while I went in my room. It has just been recently she has become a lighter sleeper, and wakes up. This is a fairly new development.

January 26, 2005  
Blogger alicia said...

Essy - I was not referring to the baby not having a clean safe place, I was referring to the mom not having a place for herself. (boy, I hate the way blogger does comments, I can't go back and read or cite my previous comment nor can I re-read any other comments). As a mom of 6 (now mostly grown) I can so relate to the self sacrifice of taking care of everyone but mom and I was trying to put is a few tips on how mom can care for kids by caring for self. It took me eons to learn that and my older kids suffered because I was being a self-pitying 'martyr' instead of 1) asking for the help when I really needed it and 2) planning for the developmental changes as the kids grow. My children were all early developers - walking between the ages of 8 - 10 months. I also had 4 of six with ADD and a couple with learning disabilities and those kids really force a mom to stretch her own skills. I was not being critical at all - we've all been there. But I do see in our culture a tendency to let the children run the program and that isn't fair to them or to their families.

January 27, 2005  
Blogger alicia said...

Maybe I should have said 'uncluttered' place to sleep (remember, I am talking about where MOM sleeps) rather than 'clean'. I don't know about you all, but I have been known to wash and dust under the piles, and then carefully replace them!

January 27, 2005  
Blogger Essy said...

Thanks Alicia, that does clarify things...especially knowing where you are coming from helps...that you have BTDT. Like I said, I was having a very prickly day and was finding offense in alot of stuff not just what you posted...PMS and lack of sleep will do that I think...LOL. I'm sorry for the over sensitivity on my part.

January 27, 2005  
Blogger Kitsune said...

One thing you might think of is just getting the kids out of the house for a while. You *do* have a husband, and even if you have doubts about his long-term capacity to deal with all the kids at one time, there's nothing that should stop him from putting them all in the car and taking them for an ice cream at a drive-through place. That could easily give you an hour of time to go in and do what you have to do. This is something that I overlooked for a long time, but it's a lifesaver to just get the kids AWAY from you for a while, especially if you homeschool. That, or look into hiring a babysitter or a mother's helper to come in for a couple hours a week. You can run for a long time on your own energy, but you will eventually burn out if you can't find a way to get some time alone to deal with things. Just because you want to stay at home, homeschool, breastfeed, etc does not mean that you need to be there 24/7 with the kids hanging on you. Doing so is a sure recipe for having a nervous breakdown. Been there, done that. Carve some time out of your week for you to be totally alone in the house, even if it's just for an hour. Take that long hot bath without someone dipping toys in the water. Put the laundry away and declutter the bedroom and just enjoy the silence.

If you don't take care of yourself, who will?

January 27, 2005  

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