Help! I'm going BATTY!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2008
Help! I'm going BATTY!
16
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 12:36pm

I don't know if I'm cut out to be a SAHM. Seriously, managing 120 fifteen year olds was easier.

I know that sounds horrible, but lately (last month or so) all Lucy does is walk around the house and whine! And pull at my legs. And cry. She seriously wants to be in my lap ALL DAY every day. The sound of her whiney grates on my nerves SO bad. I'm almost wondering if I need an anti-anxiety pill. Or anti-depressant. Or a job. I don't know. Part of me wants to go back to teaching and the other part really really likes being at home.

Right now she's crying on the floor under my chair and I'm just tired of sitting here with her all day. I can't even start a load of laundry without her following me around and crying.

I don't know what to do. I really thought that at 1 she would play a little more independently, you know? Is that unreasonable? Am I expecting too much from a 14 month old?

Does anyone follow a schedule with their toddler...with certain "activities" (outside swing, water play, video, lunch, etc) every day? I just wonder if she would benefit from a more predictable day? And not be so whiney? Or bored, maybe?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 1:39pm
I think that babies are different but these really low key easy babies who already play well independently at 14 months are NOT the norm.

Teddy gets into EVERYTHING. So if he does by chance feel like playing by himself for a few minutes it is usually because he has found something that he absolutely shouldn't be doing. Otherwise if it is just me and him he normally is not happy playing by himself. He also gets bored really easily at home with just us so we have lots of activities we do everyday.

We normally get outside in the morning and afternoon and tend to do tasks like going to the supermarket in the morning, whereas we tend to meet up friends, do storytime, go to the playground in the afternoon.

I think you live somewhere warm so you are really lucky to be able to get outside often. Where we live it rains a lot so we have to be creative going to places where he can run around inside.

I think we have to be patient about doing chores with them. I know at this point it is definitely hit or miss but that I normally can't do more then vacuum with Teddy awake. I'm guessing once they hit closer to the 18 month- 2 year mark that they will be a bit better at independent play.

You know once they can do things like color, actually look at a book without just turning every page and slamming it to the ground, and they actually start to play with toys as they are meant to be used instead of just banging, stacking, throwing them :D

Hang in there!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 1:43pm
Teddy also does awful at restaurants so no nice long lunch dates for me! I wish more restaurant had a fenced in play area in the middle like Ikea or McDonalds LOL
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2004
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 3:56pm
Hugs. Simon is also going through of a bit of a clingy thing. on our end i think its more of the fact that i work so much so he hardly ever sees me. i know its summer time but even a part time job or subbing be an option? that way you can still mostly be at home but still get some baby free time to?

 Cassie 

     

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 7:21pm
I can definitely see how you'd be going batty. I know some SAHMs who have a weekly schedule that they try to stick too (park on Monday, library on Tuesday, play group on Wednesday, etc.), and find it really helpful. Their child(ren) know what's coming and have something to look forward too.

I know, once 2-3pm comes along, I've kind of run out of ideas to keep Evan entertained - especially if the weather is bad and we can't go outside. Of course, I'm supposed to be working at home too, these days, so that makes things a bit tougher.

It might be good to get a part-time job, or even full-time if you really want to do it. It's okay to not love being a SAHM, or to not want to do it. I'm pretty excited to start working out of the home (even though I know I'll miss Evan like crazy) because I think it will make me a better mom when I am home.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 10:43pm

Heather- you are so not alone! Lucy is at a really tough age. obviously I only know ages going up to 2 ;-) but so far 1 was the hardest age. From like a year till 18 months or so, I felt like things were really difficult.

If you don't already, you have to get some sort of schedule. If you can, make a weekly schedule where you try to get out almost every day (we always do the mornings) and then make a daily schedule as well. Toddlers are learning so much at this age, which is awesome, but it also makes them super clingy and needy. James was not very good at playing alone, and the more I expeected him to do it, the worse he did.

Try to have fairly structured nap, meal, snack and bed times. Toddlers really thrive on structure. Do you have some sort of mom's network you've connected with in your area? If not I would try to plug in to something, that really helps. We always kept our mornings pretty busy at that age, Monday was a play date, tuesday MOPS or storytime, Wednesday grocery shopping, Thursday music group, Friday play date. Some ideas for mornings activites- swimming pool/swim lessons, gymnastics classes, la leche league (not sure if you're still BFing), the playground, the zoo or childrens museum, LIbrary storytime, walks (James has always been so happy on a walk and it's good for you too!), the play place in the mall (if you have one), shopping trips (short ones with lots of interaction with mommy). My husband comes home for lunch every day and that really helps break our day up, maybe you could try to meet up with Britt for lunch sometimes of something?

When you're home, try to have activites you can do together to break up her day, like reading books or singing songs, playing outside, sitting down and playing with one of her toys, etc., space these out during your home time to keep her from getting super bored. So like if you spend 10 minutes sorting laundry and putting it in the washer, then spend 10 minutes building with blocks with Lucy. Try to get your hardest chores during nap time if you can. There are a lot of things though that you can probably include her in. Forinstance, I used to stick James in the sink in the kitchen while I would prepare dinner. He was so happy to be included, he didn't mind that I wasn't holding him. Babywearing can also still totally be useful at this age. All the way up until David was born (19 months) I would wear James in a hip sling while I was doing certain chores (like cooking, or cleaning in the kitchen especially). For laundry I would totally put him on my back in the ergo or something. (well I would have if I hadn't been pregnant during the whiny stage ;-)) I would make up the bed around James and let him flop around on the pillows.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 11:00pm
Im the worst example of an active SAHM because we dont do anything...we are a one car family so to get out of the house takes more planning. Some things we do though are...

Take walks
Play in the yard
Go to the park down the street
Swimming twice a week

As for our days, they are relatively structured. Breakfast, independent play, morning nap, maman and baby play, lunch including one hour of cartoons (Bugs Bunny, lol), story, afternoon nap, play with daddy, bath by daddy, bed time story by maman, bedtime.

I just wanted to say that you arent alone. Maxim isnt particularly whiny but he is rather needy and goes in spurts. He doesnt have many words at all so he screams when he is frustrated and impatient and THAT drives me up the wall. Lately, since he has figured out how to stand, cruise and pull up, he doesnt want to play with me. I try to play with him by doing puzzles, showing him how to use his stacker, sing songs, talk about shapes and colors...but he is just far more interested in climbing all over me and using me as a stand for him to bounce at. Or he wants to do both...stand and bounce but reach for his toys and so on and so forth..its exhausting because it seems like he cant decide what he wants to do with me and I enjoy the extra hugs but after awhile I get annoyed at being a jungle gym. Anyway, hang in there!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2008
Mon, 06-13-2011 - 11:21pm

Thank you guys SO much! Just reading your posts and suggestions make me feel so much better about everything. I've really felt at my wits end over the past few weeks and have really been considering trying to find a teaching job this fall. It's crazy though, because we moved here for an awesome job for Britt so that I COULD stay home!

Truthfully, I probably do expect way too much from Lucy. I have been working to build my photography portfolio over the last few months so that I can do that part time. But that's been several "complemetary" shoots and I'm usually trying to edit while Lucy plays during the day. I'm also taking online photography classes that require a lot of reading, etc.

....I haven't plugged into a mom's group in our new city yet...but would LOVE to find something. We do have some friends that we do playdates with occasionally (like once a month), but other than that, it's just us.

...You guys have give some great suggestions for activities during the day. I'm going to my grandparents this week because Britt is working really long hours and I haven't seen them since Christmas. But when we come home, I'm really going to try to work out a "schedule" of weekly activities to keep us busy.

One more question....When do you shower?? Haha, if I wait until Lucy's first nap, I'm in PJs until 10 or so! But she's up right at 6:30 or so every morning. And I'm afraid I'll wake her up if I shower at night.....AH!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 12:34am
I shower at night, and we have a teeny tiny apartment. It's never woken my kiddos up. Once they're asleep for the night, they're less sensitive to noise, and the shower is really like white noise to them I think.

Definitely find a mom's group to hook up with, you'll be really glad you did. Especially when baby 2 comes along!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 2:04am

Heather,

You've gotten a lot of great ideas from the PPs but I just wanted to say that when I'm home FT, I try to have at least one thing planned for each day, otherwise Selin would get bored and cranky. I also stick to a pretty regular routine 7 days/week and try to keep to it when we're traveling as well. Breakfast, morning nap, morning activity, lunch, afternoon nap, prepare dinner, etc. Sometimes she plays really well by herself and other times she wants me to be the human jungle gym ala Ruby and Maxim, lol. She could care less about tv, we rarely let her watch it and when I have tried to distract her with a cartoon, she doesn't watch it anyway.

I'm fortunate that we live in a neighborhood where I can walk to do a lot of errands - grocery store, library, post office, etc., so I always try to think of somewhere we could walk to and do an errand -

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 7:38am
You aren't alone! I do think a predictable but FLEXIBLE schedule helps the day move along for me as much as for my kids. I didn't find that independent play increased until age two and even more so at age three. In the mean time, I planned LOTS of more structured activities so that I could feel like I was doing something meaningful, not just sitting and watching a toddler play. This might sound silly, but I got really hooked on talk radio and podcasts. I could set up my laptop, listen to really educational, thought-provoking information while still directly interatcting with my kids.

To be quite honest, since Jonah was born (almost 3 years ago), I also worked out of the home about 3 hours per week. Not much at all, but having something each week that I had to go to made the time at home more precious. Maybe you could find a single activity like a class or a standing lunch date that will break up your week and give you a little "me" time.

We follow a general pattern each day, and we have weekly outings that the boys have grown to count upon like trips to the library.

My mom told me a long time ago that the best way to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom is to almost never STAY at home. I have found this to be SO true. The busier we are the better!!!!
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