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Crazy Question for the Mom's [Feb. 6th, 2009|08:29 am]
Lanette
[Current Mood |curiouscurious]

For anyone without kids it seems crazy hard to figure out how you would deal with having kids every day. I mean, how do you ever relax? That's so many dang tasks on top of already having tasks.

Then I figure it must not be THAT bad since so many people end up repeating the process and having even more kids.

My question is, I already feel swamped and overwhelmed just dealing with my house, my job, our cars, the yard, and trying to manage my own health. How do you add in more people and keep any level of happiness? Do you lose your mind from the stress?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: nadalia
2009-02-06 04:32 pm (UTC)
That is one of the many reasons I chose never to have kids.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 04:34 pm (UTC)
I have a strong desire to be a Mom. I mean, I want a child so bad. I feel like it is for me like I'm meant to be a Mom and so that is why I'm interested, but I do want to know how you balance tasks.
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[User Picture]From: nadalia
2009-02-06 04:38 pm (UTC)
I know you want to be a Mom. I just don't understand it. My sister is the same. She's always wanted kids. She's due with #2 in April. She doesn't sleep much. She also has always has help from my Mom, had the first kid in daycare since a very young age, and now is married and has help from her hubby too. It's tough for her to balance her life, I can't imagine how hard it is for single people who have kids and don't have the support of family/friends to care for the child. *sorry for rambling*
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 04:40 pm (UTC)
I asked because I really really do want to know. Craig and I have talked about becoming parents together and I would have his help for sure if/when we decide to do that.
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[User Picture]From: specsafety
2009-02-06 04:36 pm (UTC)

Having Julia in my life....

Having my daughter is so wonderful, words cannot even explain it! Lanette, I too, thought about all the added responsibility, cost, and the sublimation of my own wants and desires. But the miracle of having my daughter is over the top wonderful! She is so cool! And watching her grow into adulthood is like being part of an exciting novel....I highly recommend parenthood
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 04:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Having Julia in my life....

That is wonderful. I know in my heart that I want to be a Mom and my heart just melts when I see a baby. It is a dream to me to have a child. I do worry about the task aspect of it. Not about me letting the child down, but about me being so tense and stressed that the child doesn't have the best experience that they could have. I want a child with a happy mother who is fulfilled and has the time to give them the love and affection they need to grow up confident and feel loved.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 07:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Having Julia in my life....

I suspect that you and I are very much alike personality wise - and what you write here is one of my biggest challenges. I rarely relax, find time for myself, and I often stress about schedules/school/homework/kids STUFF that I worry about not being a good mom to them. I often catch myself focusing so much on the mundane things that I realize "Whoa! You're missing out on the good stuff!" And that's when I sit down and bake cookies with them, or play playdoh, or color pictures or read stories or just play with them and let everything else go. You know what? Kids are SO resilient, and they love you no matter what, and because you love them back it all works out. You're going into it planning (which I didn't) which is a good thing. You're mature enough to have realized that these are obstacles to face head on.

The biggest/hardest part is to remember that it will all be ok, that you dno't have to plan/create their lives - you have to let it go sometimes and just watch it all unfold.
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[User Picture]From: matrixx
2009-02-06 05:07 pm (UTC)
I lost my mind years ago. And I drink a lot. :-P

Seriously, though, you just do what you have to do. Taking care of kids is satisfying in the same way getting your job done is, but it's a different kind of stress. And on the whole, the add to your happiness rather than detracting from it. It is a lot of work, but I can't imagine NOT doing it.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 05:52 pm (UTC)
*giggles* You seem like a really fun Mom. I want to be a fun Mom and not one in tears because she can't handle her sh*t, you know? I guess that I've been in a high stress job for 8 years, so I should do alright?
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[User Picture]From: matrixx
2009-02-06 06:01 pm (UTC)
Kids do a lot better if you can laugh with them instead of worrying over them. So do moms!
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 07:13 pm (UTC)
This right here.
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[User Picture]From: matrixx
2009-02-06 05:40 pm (UTC)
I disagree. My standards are much higher now BECAUSE of the children. Providing them with an environment in which to succeed is a huge motivating factor in getting up every day. My first is definitely the troublemaker, but I was pregnant with the second before he could even walk, so the species continues!
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 05:53 pm (UTC)
I think my priorities will have to change, but I'm ready for that. I would love to have just one baby, two at the max. I don't understand how those with 3+ and a job don't just drink a gallon of vodka each night.
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[User Picture]From: matrixx
2009-02-06 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can't imagine not being able to work from home. I have the luxury of a very supportive husband, and I could quit my job if I wanted to, but I like the connection it provides me to the outside world. Having three little kids is hard (my oldest had just turned three when the third was born), but it gets easier (and more fun) as they get older. Once they grow out of the toddler stage, siblings are a blessing because they can keep each other entertained while you can get stuff done. And it's nice when they're old enough to help with things, too. If only I could teach them to mix me drinks...
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 06:08 pm (UTC)
*giggles* I love that I can work from home on Fridays most of the time. I'm not sure how I would with kids making tons of noise.

I think from when they start walking until they have some logic and are out of diapers (age 1.5-4) would be terrible, and when they get hormones to when they can drive (age 12/13-16) will be awful. So, baby, kid, and young adult I would enjoy. Toddler and Puberty? Not so much.
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[User Picture]From: matrixx
2009-02-06 06:17 pm (UTC)
Toddlers are cute, though. You get used to the diapers. The screaming can get a bit overwhelming at times, but that's why God created iPods.

Wait, did I just call Steve Jobs God? That's not right.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 06:19 pm (UTC)
*giggles* I bet somewhere he's beaming. I think parents have a built in screaming tolerance that I don't have. I may end up with a child in a muzzle.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 07:16 pm (UTC)
That's why I have a basement. :D
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[User Picture]From: dkstwin
2009-02-06 10:00 pm (UTC)
Naps Lanette, naps! You can either destress by joining them or take that time to work on things in the relative quiet.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 07:14 pm (UTC)
oh, you mean I'm not supposed to go to bed with my tequila bottle? Shit. I've been doing it wrong all along. ;)
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[User Picture]From: ebullientjenn
2009-02-06 05:39 pm (UTC)
It's the kind of thing where you just do it. Because really? What's the other option? Fall apart and let someone else take care of your shit? That's not an option.

So you just do it. The thing which suffers the most often is my sleep. Sometimes just to get in a little time on my own I'll stay up WAY too late surfing the web or reading or whatever just to have a some me time. With reintigrating my work outs though I'm finding that fulfills some of my need to have time in my own head though.

I really want to have another baby as you know. I have no idea how I'll pull it off, but I have faith in my ability to adjust and make it work. I've seen you do exactly the same kind of thing. The key is flexibility, and not being afraid to ask for and accept help when you need it.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 05:54 pm (UTC)
Well, one option is not having another baby, but it seems that even though it's hard, people DO want more kids.
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[User Picture]From: alicroc
2009-02-06 05:59 pm (UTC)

Novel Alert

Stress will become the mantra you live by when you have kids. And sometimes I get so stressed I just have to cry. But....for me...its all worth it but for some its not...you hear of moms who run..it happened to my cousin when she was only 6 months old and it took 20 some years to reconcile with her mother.

I mean..right now...2 kids under 3 years old is tough as hell. My girls are 14 months apart and while we never intended to have them so close together it just happened that way. Part of me is glad because with Aryana turning 3 in April and Sabriyya turning 2 in June we're almost out of the woods baby-wise and hitting childhood hard head on.

But I work 40 hours a week as a Development Manager for a local non profit. I am a staff of one...and I'm expected to raise 1.2 million dollars a year. So its not like my job is an easy one. Stress. And my husband works 40 hours a week AND is in nursing school part time AND trying to get his music group off the ground...so we rarely have time together...and I'm with the kids the majority of the week....Stress. My parents and his parents live either out of state, the closest, my dad an hour away. But at least my brother in law ans sister in law are in the Indy area. I drop the kids and pick them up from the sitters pretty much 5 days a week making my commute in and out of down longer.

I think my hubby and I probably fight a little more than we used to but its still a rare occaision. And we rarely go out together...its usually me getting out while he watches the girls or vice versa. So that sucks a lot. You have to make sure your connection with your husband/partner is strong...cuz otherwise I can totally see how having kids could break down a marriage or partnership.

At the end of the day, if you feel you can provide the love, support, and you can live with watching your heart and soul grow up in front of you....if you can envision what it feels like to love so unconditionally you would die for them...if you can envision giving up a little part of yourself to make and your independence to make these beautiful babies happy. Then I say you're set to be a mom.

There is nothing I value more than coming home after a long day at work...and cuddling with my love bugs on the couch. Getting my baby hugs and kisses..cleaning up the messes (though it frustrates me so) and making them laugh and loving them in ways I never knew I could love. Ok...i think I just made myself cry again...ha ha!
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 06:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Novel Alert

I can't imagine having twins or triplets. I'm hoping for just one baby. ;)
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[User Picture]From: alicroc
2009-02-06 07:06 pm (UTC)

Re: Novel Alert

ha ha...i feel like they are twins but alas..they are at two completely different development levels...Gaaah! I have potty training x2 to look forward to at the moment.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 07:40 pm (UTC)
OK. I have 3 kids. They are all 4 years or more apart. So just when one started being fun and more independent, we had another one and started over. worse? My 9 year old still wets the bed, my 4 year old still poops in his pants, and the baby is in diapers. I have for 9+ years NON STOP been dealing with diapers/pullups/bathroom issues (and I still love my kids! how's that for resilient!) The mundane stuff you just deal with - it just becomes a part of life.

I am the suck when it comes to separating myself into parts: this is my work part, this is my mom part, and especially this is my wife part. It's caused problems. I highly recommend you attain this skill right away.

When I got pregnant with Justin, I had been told for years that I couldn't have kids. I was solidly ensconsed in my career - I was sure that's all I would have for the rest of my life (though i've always wanted kids, I'd accepted that I couldn't have them). It was a totally mindblowing life altering ordeal to have kids. My entire focus changed and my job was no longer important at all. (look at that - i went from talkin about my "career" to just my "job" - yet the only thing that had changed was a child!)

I work (more than) full time. I go to school part time. I volunteer a lot (usually skills, not time spent). My husband works full time. He also attends school part time. He's also in the USAF reserves which takes a weekend a month out of the PRECIOUS moments we have together as a family. We're very lucky that money, while still a concern, is not a deal breaker. We are able to take small vacations here and there and at least one big one a year. That helps a lot.

Not really sure what I'm trying to say. Its really hard, but the joy that you get from it makes everything worth while. You won't screw up your kids by being neurotic. At least I hope not, cause if so my kids are hosed. :)
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really really want a baby, but last night I got home, was ill, had been constipated for 9 days, had a 3 hour commute, was trying to get the trash out, clean up cat litter, do laundry and unload the dishwasher when Craig got home. He said one thing about a towel not being clean and I lost it. I just thought, how can I ever handle being a Mom if I'm this stressed without kids.

Your encouragement helps.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 08:12 pm (UTC)
You'll have more days like that. Lots more. I've totally lost it at my kids - starting crying, yelled, walked away, took a few moments and cried to myself at the back after I got them all buckled into the car and the doors closed. You'll definitely have days like that.

But you'll have more days that when you come home from work completely stressed out and not able to cope with anything. But then you'll see your child's entire face lights up at the sight of you and it just won't matter anymore. You'll let the dishes go, the trash will pile up and the cat litter may be scattered everywhere - but you'll take the 20 minutes you need to to cuddle with your kid, or hear about their day, or admire the latest thing they made out of macaroni noodles and paste and then you can cope with stuff again.

Then you'll notice that your kid has blue glitter that has been stuck to his head for 6 weeks and no matter how much you scrub you can't get it off. Oh wait, that's my life. ;)
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 07:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, and as they get older they help with taking care of stuff - eg: justin does the dishes, Liam sets and clears the tables (if he's not throwing dishes...) outside John will mow the lawn and the boys and I will weed the gardens. When they were younger they LOVED to help dust - so I'd send them around with a dust rag and they'd do the baseboards/table legs.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 08:13 pm (UTC)
Cool! I'm glad you are teaching your sons to do housework. I think more men should be raised knowing how to care for a home and expecting to do half of the home care. It will set them up for better relationships when they are older.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 08:17 pm (UTC)
In a house with 4 guys/men? I'm NOT the only one doing housework, dammit! I have Justin doing his own laundry (washing and drying - he still needs help to fold). Liam - he's a little tougher because of his attitude problems, but he loves to help vaccuum. I fully intend on my boys being self sufficient!!!
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[User Picture]From: alicroc
2009-02-06 09:47 pm (UTC)
I crave that time to come...i struggle to get them to put their blocks away......!!!!! I sadly end up putting the blocks away.

However...My 2 year old very much enjoys throwing things in the garbage and putting her empty juice cup in the sink.

My 1 year old loves brushing her teeth making me think a career in dental hygiene may be in her future :) ha ha...

So...its the crazy neurotic things that make you laugh in hindsight...and often..alot during the moment.

If my kids hadnt inherited my sense of humor I'd have had to eat them at birth. For their sake they are nutcases and I kept them to keep me amused for the rest of my life.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 10:08 pm (UTC)
I totally understand why some creatures eat their young - I've considered it a few times myself!! :)

It'll come, but start early!!!! By 4 my oldest was putting his laundry away (in the correct drawers!) and helping unload the dishwasher.

Like Mary Poppins, if you make it all a game they enjoy it. We have races to see how quickly the toys can get picked up (I set a timer). That works REALLY well.
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[User Picture]From: gonzy317
2009-02-06 10:30 pm (UTC)
in this same vein, the other night we were plaing ping pong in the basement. Everytime the ball hit the floor we had to stop and pick up a toy and put it back where it belonged. The basement was trashed when we started, but about 20 minutes later it was all better.

If you stay creative and enjoy yourselves it isn't too bad. But, these are things to keep in mind for when your kids are older. I can't imagine having 2 kids under 2!!! Hats off to you!
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[User Picture]From: marymont
2009-02-06 08:46 pm (UTC)
As others have said, you readjust your priorities. You learn fast ways to take care of the house/cars/yard. You find stress-relievers (a shower is fast but a tub-soak is more of a de-stressor).

Some women don't make it.

Some women are made to be moms. And it's over in such a short time and you get to start over with grandbabies--that's mine in the icon.
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[User Picture]From: meeshaphrenic
2009-02-06 10:01 pm (UTC)
one word: booze. ;)

it does mess with your mind, i've done both the working mom (when my oldest was little) and stay-at-home mom (current) and to be honest, i kinda miss being a working mom--at least i got out of the house and interacted with adults for part of the day. the best was when my son was 2 months-11 months, i only worked part time then, and it was an excellent balance.

i've haven't been away from audrey for longer than it takes to run errands except *once* in the last 10 months (the in-laws watched her for my birthday). being needed 24-7 does wear on you. i go a little batshit crazy from time to time, but thankfully adam is understanding. i'm extremely premenstrual right now and short-tempered, and i will admit to having an OMGWTFBBQ screaming fit this morning because she was being impossible. thankfully adam is working from home today so i could go grocery shopping during her nap and just get out of the house and breathe. also, it helps that my kids are 10 years apart--x can basically take care of himself and even watch over his sister for a few minutes. (but at the same time, i totally forgot everything in those 10 years, and had gotten used to having "time off" since i have joint custody w/his dad) i couldn't imagine having two under two.

what makes it worth it? the little adorable things they do, watching them grow and learn and become little people of their own, it's just amazing. audrey is strangely a very independent baby (it kinda makes me sad, even when she was tiny she wasn't that fond of being snuggled!) but even just having her lay her little head on my chest when she's getting sleepy, or how we play "where's mommy?" (i tilt my head back, say "where's mommy?" and she grabs my face and pulls it back down to meet her eyes and laughs) means so much and can make me forget a weeks worth of a teething monster baby. xavier is amazing as well, and while i still get annoyed when he trashes his room or forgets to turn in his homework, getting random hugs and i love you's are wonderful. plus seeing him get his black belt in TKD, or bring home a great report card, or even just being able to trust him to watch his baby sister while i get a quick shower makes me so proud.
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[User Picture]From: morghon
2009-02-06 10:16 pm (UTC)
I am a single mother and I rarely get to relax. Alice is the best thing in my life and the best decision I ever made but day to day life is hard. If I get sick, I keep going, she still needs to be fed and dressed, played with, taught, etc.

I can let her watch a show but it only lasts 20 minutes and then she will need me again. That is long enough for a shower and I am grateful to get one but if you have the flu from hell it doesn't really allow you to get a nap. And I feel horrible guilt if I park her in front of the tv.

It is almost impossible to complete anything, even a thought. It is absolutely exhausting both physically and mentally. Alice asks questions constantly and she is not satisfied with simple answers, she wants details. She often wants information I don't have and "I don't know does not satisfy her. She wants me to research her question, now. My house is filled with tasks in various stages of completion, a basket of laundry folded and partly put away, an essay for school cut off in mid-sentence, the dogs water dish filled but the food forgotten. It all gets done eventually but never efficiently.

When I was pregnant lots of people promised to help out but 5 years later I am really on my own. All of the grandparents are at least 2 hours away so there is no easy family help on a daily basis.

The child becomes the first priority in your life. For me this was pretty easy, it just seemed natural. Housework slides, the yard goes to hell, unless you hire someone to do those things.

It is hard to stay on top of work but you do it because you need to support the kid. So work becomes a top priority.

We are very lucky because Alice's father has been incredibly supportive of us financially. Without his help we would probably be living with my parents by now given the state of my career.

Because you are now responsible for someone else everything becomes more important. It would have been bad to lose my house when it was just me but I could have rented a cheap room somewhere if I had to. Now I have to be sure I can make a decent home for my daughter.

There is a significant loss of freedom. Before, I could have decided to move to the east coast or Europe or anywhere and it would have been a reasonably easy thing to do. Now if I did that I would be tearing Alice away from her father and her grandparents. I am not getting out of this area for many years to come.

And yes, the poop is copious and unending.

Another thing to be aware of is that they tend to bring up any issues you may have around things that happened to you as a kid. As you see them going through the same phases and issues it can be kind of intense emotionally. If you have dormant issues it can force them to the surface.

Since the question was more about the hard parts this answer sounds kind of negative but the truth is all of this stuff pales in comparison to the love I feel for my little girl and the joy she brings to my life.

Raising her is the best and hardest thing I have ever tried to do.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 10:34 pm (UTC)
I asked because I don't think people consider the bad days enough and I want to know what I'm asking for when I get excited about being a parent. I'm not silly enough to be just "Yay, baby!" because they are with you every day, even the terrible ones.
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[User Picture]From: vivaine666
2009-02-06 11:06 pm (UTC)
I think I'll go the spanish way and name my child Jesus so I can say "I love Jesus, but I drink a little."
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 11:08 pm (UTC)
I love that! I think it's brilliant.

If I name my child Emerald Citrine Green can I say, "I love jewels?" How about Money Green? That's so money, baby.
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[User Picture]From: vivaine666
2009-02-06 11:20 pm (UTC)
You so crack me up. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-06 11:22 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Money Green is an awesome name. I could name a boy River Green. River Leif Green that way he can grow up and go to Green River College and that would be awesome.
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[User Picture]From: gfrancie
2009-02-07 01:19 am (UTC)
You sometimes lose your mind from the stress.
And like other people said -you get through things because you need to. You adjust your priorities about all kinds of things. Some things become more important and other things fall by the wayside. Often friends can suffer a bit because your brain sort of becomes focused/spaced/whatever.
Everyone finds their private destresser. (sex, booze, a hot bath, 10 minutes of uninterrupted thought by locking yourself in the bathroom) My Mom used to go and run errands and hide in parking lots and just sit and read a murder mystery for about 15 minutes and not be beholden to anyone. Hee.
It helps if you have a good partner/support system. Those first few months with Senor Onion were definitely wild but Mr. Jenner and I laughed so much. We kept our sense of humor, would thank each other for helping, recognizing when the other person needed a break and knowing our own strengths. If someone is good or better at something, they might take care of that task.
Oh and the first couple of months? housework suffers. That is a reality. But that is okay.
And it is fun being with kids. It can be a destresser too. Just hanging out and being snuggly or silly.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-07 01:21 am (UTC)
That Mr. Jenner is a peach. :) You guys are very sweet to eachother and it makes me happy. You guys make marriage look like a swell idea.
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[User Picture]From: gfrancie
2009-02-07 05:09 am (UTC)
He is a very very patient man. Even when I am losing my marbles.
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[User Picture]From: verybadlady
2009-02-12 05:58 am (UTC)
Totally not reading all the responses because I have no time, so my response may be redundant.
People without kids see kids as stressful. People with kids acknowledge there are times of stress, but know that there is also much happiness and stress-relieving moments to counterbalance it. It is just a schedule to get used to, and once you get used to it you'll forget that you used to live without that one element.
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[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2009-02-12 07:03 pm (UTC)
True! Yes, kids are also delightful many times. I know lots of it IS work, but there is play as well.
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