Balance, negativity and complaining

A while ago I read a post on Hangry Pants about complaining and what's the point of complaining when you can't change things? I feel like I complain all the time and I'm starting to see myself as a negative person. It's affecting my life. I have good weeks and bad weeks with the kids and in the bad weeks, all I can think is that a) I'm a horrible mom and b) I need a part time job. I can't just do this (staying at home) anymore. I feel like there are 50% weeks of feeling this way and 50% weeks of feeling like everything is going well and I'm happy and a good mom. I don't think 50% good is a good number.

Here's what has been going on:

**Our house has been on the market since April. Every time there is a showing I put alot of effort and work into it. It's stressful and I end up yelling at the kids and my heart rate is through the roof. I really want a heart rate monitor. One weekend we had 5 showings then a couple of people come back, and nothing came of it. I've really just had it completely and want a house with a yard and to be done with this process.

**Nick is at a fun age (2 1/2). Sometimes I feel like Kara (at 13 months) is a total pain and makes things that are fun less fun by her whining and crying, flinging her head back, etc. She's so high maintenance in my view and wants what she wants. I feel bad thinking sometimes that it would be nice to leave her at home and do fun things with Nick, but sometimes I do feel that way.  I feel like I have to leave the house every day or I'm going to go completely insane.

**Nick doesn't share with Kara and is sneaky - pushing her down, shoving her and head butting her like an ox. She fights back by hitting him and trying to bite him. I'm nervous what she is going to be like around other kids!

**Bill leaves the house around 7 and gets home close to 7. Many days by the end of the day, I've absolutely had it. I want to run out of the house. On the days that I get to tutor, I cannot wait. I feel like I am being paid to get out of the house and bedtime. It is the best thing ever. I need more of that.  When Bill gets home and sees that I'm in a horrible mood or have had it, he doesn't want to hear about it.  I feel like I complain too much and he doesn't love his job and doesn't want to hear it. That makes things even worse for me and I just get angry, feel like a horrible mom and person and don't know what my life is.  I feel like I'm a bad communicator and instead of just sucking it up and moving on from the day, welcoming Bill home and appreciating some help, I'm just in a bad mood so he feels like I'm taking out a hard day on him.  Usually I'm just frustrated and like I said, want to run out of the house, but I guess I need to be a better communicator and figure out a better way or better balance.

**During the harder weeks I really want a part time job. I say this all the time and never follow through with it because really there isn't anything around for teaching part-time. Most districts are laying off, not hiring. I don't know what my future holds in the job front, but I feel like I keep telling myself it's important to be home with my kids now, I'll regret it later, and that I can teach in the future when they are in school. I don't know what the best thing for me is.

**Right now I feel like there's just a lot going on and I want to be settled with a house and neighbors that I can hang out with and have playgroup with. We live in a community where I'd rather just stay inside (lots of older people, divorcees, etc) and have no yard. I'm trying to be positive about everything and feel like I'm just a huge complainer and not a positive person.

Here are some questions for you:

How do you keep yourself positive?
What are your best techniques for effective communication?
Do you thrive on structure or going with the flow?


  1. I'm sorry that you're having a hard time staying positive and finding your 'identity' (not sure if that is the right word) lately. I can't say I know how you feel b/c I don't have kids.

    As much as you want to be home and feel like you SHOULD be home with your kids at this age, you need to make time for yourself also. If that means having a part time job, working out or just locking yourself in the bathroom with a book - I hope you can find a way to make this time for yourself every day for your sanity!

  2. Being a mom is so hard, isn't it? I totally get what you are saying. I work full-time, and I feel like a bad mom for that. I feel badly when I take time away from Sam to go for a run. I feel badly that I don't spend as much time with my husband as I probably should. I feel like there is no way to juggle everything well. And I only have one kiddo :-) So seriously, I think what you are feeling is normal!! I don't have a solution for you, and honestly, I'm not sure there is a perfect solution for what you are feeling, and what lots of us moms feel, but don't feel badly about feeling the way you do. It is normal!! I hope you can find a way to get a bit more balance in your life. And if you figure it out, let me know :-) Hang in there!!

  3. Oh Natalie :( You're a great mommmy.

    Can you put the kids in a MDO program? our daycare center lets us do drop-in for $4 an hour. Even if you do nothing but sit at home with a cup of coffee, you really need to have some more time on your own.

  4. I hope you can find a way to make this time for yourself every day for your sanity!

    1 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas

  5. It sounds like you are overly frustrated because you haven't found a "good routine" to settle into. Also trying to sell your house is very frustrating. We've had ours on the market for 15 months and I feel a lot of things I have on hold because when we do move it will be to a different town. Try to find something you can get involved with your kids that it won't matter where you live when you move. I just looked into a local MOMS group. Someone else also mentioned MDO which would be good if you want time alone. There is also MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I am considering this because each session has a speaker, craft, etc. (although this may not interest you). So check out the mom groups in your area.

    As for being positive.......it's a habit you have to make a big effort to become. My husband and I try to really positive people, but we have our moments. It's important to read books that help this area, such as "Hung by the Tongue", "How to Win Friends and Influence People". There are also numerous Christian books around wives/moms being positive if you are comfortable with that. Who you associate with also has a huge impact as well. If you have a friend who constantly complains, you will too. I've learned to distance myself from the people who negatively effect me this way. Everyday is a challenge, but if you keep reading books to encourage you and make a good effort you will start seeing changes. I also believe that in turn you will start letting "little things" not bother you as much and let them go.

  6. Something that has made a HUGE (and I can't emphasize enough!!!) with parenting is buying this flip charts: http://www.personality-insights.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Session_ID=5eb428587cf08246fab342480b029881&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=FC-1002&Category_Code=FC&Product_Count=1

    Robert Rohm has several books about personalities. I highly suggest reading one of his books so you have a basis of how different personalities are and purchasing the flip charts. The flip charts help you and your husband know how to discipline each of your kids based on each of your personalities. Since getting these there is much less frustration dealing with Ethan.

  7. First I say this all the time but I wish I could give you a huge hug!! I'm so sorry that you are struggling!
    My husband and I are AWFUL at communication and it was magnified when we had Em. I can only imagine with 2! I try to stay positive about things but it is hard...especially with 2.5 year-olds. I love her to death but her quest for independence clashes with my need for order!!! Whenever I am feeling like things are caving in on me, I try to take a step back and look at all that I am doing. I try to eliminate things that are just adding more stress or revise them. I am so not a go with the flow girl so structure is craved! My gift to myself this summer was that Em went to daycare for one day a week. It gave me a chunk of time to get things done or just spoil myself with alone time if I needed it. I did long runs and vegged at the beach. I felt guilty at first but also knew it was what I needed.

  8. i'd go nuts 75% of the time staying home so 50% sounds ok to me! i'd find a babysitter for a set time each week for a couple hours...and either take just one of the kids for something fun or go relax by yourself. andra LOVES preschool (and loved daycare) and it's goof for them so even if nick has an adjustment period don't feel badly. i think it's GREAT he's going to preschool!

  9. It was a few years ago that I found myself becoming a very negative person as well, although when I found the source of the problem, it was actually that I hated my job (I worked in insurance). It was then that I decided that I didn't like the negative person I was becoming and I would do what I need to do to change this. That is when I went back to school to get my master's degree, and I found an entry level job in a library. I took a huge pay cut and had to work full time while getting my graduate degree which took 3 years, but I am so much happier because of it.

    I realized that I was unhappy because I felt like I had no control over my own life and when I took control, it made all the difference. When I read your list of stressors, it seems to me like you also feel like you can control none of these things and perhaps that is what is causing your discontent.

    Look at each issue and see what things you can do, be it small or big, to get a better handle on the situation. Maybe it means you will take the house off the market for a while and try again next year. Maybe you are going to go ahead and find part time work, even if it isn't a teaching gig (can you sub?) Maybe you can find a local playgroup to take the kids to, where you can meet up with other moms while your kids get to play with others their age.

    Just know that what you are struggling with is not uncommon among us mothers/wives/working women. You will get through it and be an even stronger person because of it!

  10. Just reading about all of your house showings gave me flashbacks and sent my HR through the roof! I went seriously nuts while our house was on the market. Looking back at the situation, I think a big part of it was that much of the house selling was out of my control and the only thing I could control is how our home looked during a showing. So I just went nuts with cleaning and it was so stressful. And since you are the one at home, most of the stress is falling on your shoulders. And keeping up with the messes that kids make is nearly impossible.