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LisaB June 30th, 2009 01:03 AM

feeling alone
Thanks for listening, in advance. I am just feeling overwhelmed and alone these days. I have 10-month-old twin girls, and I work from home full time. Before the girls were born, I enlisted help from my mother and stepfather, who said they could come by 3 days/week to help out when my husband was at work (he works 3 24-hour shifts per week).

My mother practically begged me to be my childcare. She did the same for my brother, and was great at it, so I happily agreed. She said she could come every day my husband was at work except for the days she was teaching, so those days I would need to hire a sitter. Which is at most 1 day/week.

But of course nothing worked as planned. Even when my husband is home, he's not much of a baby sitter. I'm constantly hearing a miserable baby crying and I have to intervene. He forgets to feed them & other basic stuff which boggles my mind. How do you ignore basic baby needs like feeding or nap time? He also parks himself on the couch, watching golf, while the kids entertain themselves on the ground below. Well, if I was going to let the girls play alone watching TV all day, I could do that by myself!

Then there's my mother. My stepfather is wonderful; he loves the girls, interacts with them, is helpful and respectful of my wishes as the girls' mom. My mom, on the other hand, does what she wants and does not listen to me. She is constantly bullying me throughout the day and so I literally get NO work done. NONE. If I finish putting a baby to sleep and sneak back into my office to try and do some work, she hears the floorboards creaking and catches me before I even sit down. Why would she do this? She makes her own excuses - the other baby is fussy & wants mommy to put her to bed too, is her usual line. But I know it's not true, especially if that baby just woke up an hour before. What she REALLY wants, and she's told me many times which is how I know, is for me to quit my job and be a SAHM as opposed to a WAHM. But, my husband and I can't afford this, and in this economy I shouldn't throw a perfectly good telecommuting job away.

So I am constantly sabotaged by my mother, who by the way assured me she wanted nothing more than to help out with the girls when they were born, and reassured me that I wouldn't have to quit my job or hire a sitter full time. Just like she did for my brother when his daughter was born (he and his wife are also telecommuters). Guess what? I now have to hire a sitter full-time. On top of that, my mother charges me $100/week for gas and her time. She never charged my brother one dime, and she helped him EVERY DAY.

Then there's my husband, who just ignores my requests for parenting my way and does it his way, which results in miserable, screaming babies who need Mommy to comfort & calm them down. Their schedules also get so out of whack when he's in charge (meals & naps not on time or skipped entirely) that they don't go to bed on time, and I end up being the one trying to put them down between the hours of 7-11pm. Sometimes midnight.

And only then, because the rest of the house is asleep, can I actually get work done.

Reading this I know it seems obvious - fire the mom as babysitter, and get a night nanny. When I was pg, my mom promised me she would come 3 days/week. She still does this, but she now comes around 5pm and helps put the girls to bed. That's all. Tonight, she didn't even do that - at 11pm, when both girls were still up & crying (I have no idea why), she said "I give up, I'm going to bed!" and abandoned me.

She never abandoned my niece or my brother. It hurts my feelings that my mom offered the same child care for my brother when he and his wife both telecommuted from home, and she never charged them. She also never nagged them to leave their jobs & never constantly harassed them while they were working. I'm one of those quiet nice types who never says anything, which I think has made her not respect me or my wishes.

I am just at the point where I am so sad I cry all the time and I snap at everyone around me. I feel completely alone as a mother and caregiver. The only person who helps me is my stepfather, and he only does when my mom isn't looking. The only other person who helps is the babysitter who I pay. Actually I pay both of them.

Why is it that my brother can work full time and no one constantly nags him and makes him feel an inch tall for leaving his daughter for even one minute to work? I don't see him working at midnight trying to get his work done. No one in the family charged him for child care. It's not fair I should be made to feel like a bad mother when I spend a lot of time with my girls. It's not like they're in day care where I don't see them for hours on end. I breastfeed both of them; I play with them often throughout the day; I put them down for every nap, which is at least a 1/2 hour of reading, nursing and singing.

This sucks. I love my girls, and so I feel held hostage by my love for them. I could never abandon them to a bad babysitter like my husband, so I'm stuck in this situation I guess. I suppose a lot of mothers feel this way. I'm just so tired, I never get to sleep or even sit down to rest. I never get any me time or have any fun. Today I had to run an errand for my husband and my mother let me escape for a while (but said I had to be back in 45 minutes), and I turned up the music and felt a feeling I hadn't had in a long time - happiness. Where is the old me who used know how to have fun and enjoy life?

Anyway, if you've read this far I'd be surprised but I appreciate it. I'm sorry it's redundant and goes on forever, I'm really sleep deprived is my only excuse. I feel like I"m going to just crumble one day. I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this. Thanks for reading this.

Mom.to.PinknBlue July 1st, 2009 03:40 AM

Re: feeling alone

Your girls are beautiful! I am sorry you are going through this. IMO, you need to speak up. Both to your husband and your mother. Your mother has no right to parent Leigh and Lucy how she wants, you are their mother. And your husband is just being a lazy, selfish a-hole. I'm sorry but that is how I see it. He needs to realize he has these 2 beautiful miracles that he needs to care for and interact with. I would fire your mom as a sitter, she doesn't seem to be doing any good except causing you stress. And give your husband a good smack in the back of the head. Tell him you are not doing this alone, that wasn't the plan. Put your foot down! I know you said you are the quiet type that never says anything or speaks up, but I think its time that you open that mouth darlin'. I used to be the same way, and now pretty much call it as I see it and dont put up with the bs. I don't have any children right now but I know I would feel the same way if I ever found myself in your position. Your family is walking all over you and that is not right or fair. If you are already paying a baby sitter, tell your mom thanks but no thanks and tell her enough is enough. Pay the one that actually helps you and won't tell you how to be a mom. It is possible your mom acts this way because she raised ex amount of kids so she knows what she is doing and these are your first. My mom has been like that with my nephews. Also maybe no one said anything to your brother about working full time while he had a daughter is becaue maybe your mother sees it as the man's job to bring home the money and provide for the family. Which in this day and age, is pretty much hard to do with the economy. I applaud you for your efforts. And lemme tell you, I would have cracked long before now. So darlin' open that mouth of yours and speak up. Also wanted to point out that most men are idiots (sure you knew that though), and you will probably have to be pretty blunt with your husband. That is wonderful your stepdad is helping out, but not fair that he only does it when your mother isn't looking. I think you need to have a talk with him too. Let him know you really appreciate it, but the fact that he only does it when mom isn't around just isnt right.
I hope this situation resolves. Keep me posted. If you need to vent some more feel free to PM me!

in_mommy July 1st, 2009 05:51 PM

Re: feeling alone
(((HUGS))) I agree with the previous poster, you really need to talk to your mom and your hubby. Things just cant continue on the same path. I hope things work out for you!!!

Alchemist July 2nd, 2009 04:19 AM

Re: feeling alone
I think you also need to realise that there are unresolved issues with your mom you need to work through. What you are saying is that she favours your brother over you... maybe she does, maybe she doesnt mean it or whatever but its there.

I think you need to close the boundary and get yourself sorted out WITHOUT her help. the boundary will help resolve the issue you have with her and when things calm down you can calmly tell her whatyou are feeling. right now you need to sort out your support system which is not doing well.

get a night nurse for a few months and also get your hubby to hear you.... therapy may help with him.....

jtcpb12 July 13th, 2009 11:16 AM

Re: feeling alone
your hubby sounds like mine,, I'm soooo sorry!!!! i hope things get better for you

josephinebowman July 18th, 2009 06:30 PM

Re: feeling alone
Very sorry to read of these aggravations-especially after the great miracle of the babies. If you can swing a babysitter or nanny, do so. Talk to husband and to mom but send mom home and post a schedule for the babies. It is likely easier to shove you around than the sister-in-law. I am so jealous of your tele-commuting! I notice that when I am home husband does not step up. And I worry that baby cries more than I would let him but then baby looks good and husband has had to figure it all out when I am at work.

mswordwiz July 19th, 2009 10:04 AM

Re: feeling alone
Lisa, Its me NAY...

I would start by limiting mom, and phrase it to her that she seems to be stressed out and needs a break, and stick with another sitter, so you can get your work done. I think with her trying to run your household as if it were hers, something really needs to be done. Save the gas money for your mom by telling her she does really need a break.

I know that the experience we had with just Suzie in the house was a lot more manageable before the twins arrived, and maybe mom does not want to admit shes not super gramma. Maybe mom is being this way because she may be stressing out. I know you are!!!!!!!! I think you both need a time out from one another.

My DH as you know is very similar in attitude to your DH. Its his day off meaning its couch tater time, or time for guy stuff, as its the wife's job to take care of the house, kids, car stuff etc, and since its HIS DAY OFF that is the only thing that matters...... I never knew I could add personal sock picker upper to my resume as a job duty.....

I have learned with our tribe to work around DH, and give him small tasks to do. NO commitments more than 90 minutes with the babies. He cannot handle it beyond that, stuff got missed, and that really bothered me. He is a great dad with the older kiddos but is still clueless with the babies. He wants the fun part, not the work with the babies.

I had to bring in outside help, in addition to our normal child care plan, and ask for help from my mom/dad who relocated to be near us to help out.

Counseling has helped a lot with my stress management and helping me find ways to work with DH, not scream and yell. We both go if for nothing else to discuss family issues with out the 3 older sets of ears pressed to the door trying to listen in.....

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