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A long year without MT

Last post 05-15-2009 10:54 PM by azores. 102 replies.
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  • 03-07-2009 10:05 AM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

    I think educated women may have an especially hard time with being a SAHM.  We spend all these years getting an education, expanding our horizons, becoming well rounded, talented individuals, and then we don't know what to do with ourselves when we find ourselves in the SAHM box.  I always laugh when people ask me how I have time to run a small farm - especially when they want to convince me to give it up cause it's too much work.  The farm *is* me.  If I give up the farm, I give up myself.  My animals are the thing that I do for myself.  The time I spend with them is time when I'm completely and totally happy.

    I told dh the other day that I'm always at a conflict.  Part of me is tempted to send the kids to public school for their education, and just enjoy the time to build my farm.  A bigger part of me feels that it would be morally wrong as I truly believe my kids need to be homeschooled to get the best education.  (Dh isn't quite as convinced as we are both products of public school.)  At this point it all speculation though, they are too young for school, and if I went to work, all I would pay for is daycare.

    I'll check out that music Azores!

  • 03-07-2009 2:26 PM In reply to

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Re: A long year without MT

    Well I have an education plan lol

    Maia goes to the best local private school, I pay a small portion as her dad pays the majority of the $600.00 monthly tuition. However I was able to get a grant for her, so the cost for next year will only be a 1/3. As for Connor & Tyler, they automatically get a sibling discount...and we'll pay approximately 1/4 if I volunteer at the school! The school is k-8, the class ratio is 11-13 students per teacher.

    So that's the plan!!! I know I'll be much happier getting out of the house too ;)

  • 03-08-2009 2:09 AM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

        I am looking back from the distant past with this issue and it never changes!  Either good to know or down right crazy.  I am at present going through the other side of the story!  My dh is unable to do much for himself so am again in a care taking mode.  It just seemed alot easier to russle up a bunch of kids than one adult.  For one thing,the kids think you are right so they are a little easier to convince that we are going to do it my way for right now!! 

    Some of the things I did that helped me back when were:

    Keep it simple.  Clear out the stuff you are not using now[too much toys,too much cloths,too many meal choices,. Get rid of it.  Clutter boggs you down and prevents you from change.

    Have a routine.  I know that the routine idea seems impossible but give it a try.  Meals at about the same time everyday. Brft, If they like cheerios,give them to everybody. [ Throw a few at the baby too,good for eye-hand coodination]For lunch pick a few choices that your most picky kid will eat and modify for the rest of them.  Isores mentioned tnat I think we short order cook way to much for kids.  Kids love to arbitrate about everything.  Give them choices like in a bowl or not in a bowl!!  Main meal the same thinking.  Work up a few simple nourishing meals and use them.  Kids do not get sick of the same thing.  You and your dh might,but add a salad for you to munch while the kids are doing laps around the house[you think I am kidding! I had a couple hyper kids who needed to run and jump and burn up a few clicks.  So we had contests in the yard for the kids while the adults rested and talked about the day.]  OR try a PBJ in your jammies with a bottle of wine after the kids are in bed

    Have a nap time and a bed time.  Sounds hard but all my kids hadFOB[flat on back] everyday from1-3pm.  They did n't have to sleep,just in their bed and quiet.  they could read,draw what ever.  Just no bugging mom or eachother.  We did this especially in summer till they were preteens.  Kids often do not get enough sleep.  Makes them craby and you crazy.Kids need 12 + hours of sleep at nite.  They will put up a major protest at first,but keep at it,they will adjust.  I strongly believe that one of the thing that makes SAHM so hard is the isolation from big people.  One of the things that makes dh tend to linger at the office is no time for the big people.  If you don't make time time for eachother,what is the point anyway?

    I know I sound like the kids are the enemy,but like someone said they gang up on you and soon they are running the farm and they let you stay there as long as you live up to the manner in which they have become accustume. 

    I know this sounds impossible but,get them to help.  If you start out young,they grow used to being part of the whole thing.  I didn't let my children trash my house[not that it didn't happen sometimes]but help them pick up the blocks before they get out something else.  They have to do that at school.  Put 3/4 of the junk they have in the attic and get out different things one every couple weeks.  It is all new and interesting again. Too much stuff at once makes them disordered and unable to process their thinking and creativity. 

    Being a mom is hard work.  Don't let anyone put you off about that.  Interact with they while they are playing with the blocks, If they feel they have your attention,they are much more willing to finish the thing thryare working on while you do something else. 

    Lastly set aside time for yourself. If it is only 1/2 hour,do it.  Your dh can man up here and let you do something by your self. I found them quite willimg if there was a mutual reward later.  

    Praise yourself,have outside interests,learn chinese,make a rock garden.  Read.  I read while I was feeding the babies.  Have longterm goals.  I went back to nursing school in my 40's.  Never give up and don't let the b*****ds get you down!  [Wish I could have taught myself to sleep at nite.  but that is when I do some of my best thinking and problem solving.

    Strive for peace and harmony

     

    claudia

    Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A Heinlein
  • 03-08-2009 2:56 AM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

    Wow, Claudia, what a post!  You're a diamond woman!  Thank you so much.

    Bec

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
  • 03-08-2009 6:58 AM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

    That's my Claudia!

     

    Mary

  • 03-08-2009 8:50 AM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

     Respectfully, raising a special needs child like Azores and I are doing does change the situation quite drastically.  I agree with everything Claudia said, but I've also found that I've had to relax my standards somewhat to accomedate the huge amount of work my little one requires.  I have to depend on the older kids to do things unsupervised that I would normally care to supervise and be grateful for their effort even if things don't really get done to my standards.  (I know it sounds almost insane to talk about 4 and 2 years being unsupervised, but what I mean is that I watch out for their safety - not whether or not they are putting the toys away correctly.  DD gets water for her and DS1 and attends to her own toileting and dressing without assistance.  A couple of times she even changed DS1s poopy diaper and did a pretty good job!!)  In the end, I do think this level of independence is probably good for them.  We have 7 therapy appointments a week, most of which are outside the home.  I guess we aren't really a "Stay at home" family anymore.  I'd say my time is divided - 50% on Juju, 35% on DD and DS1, and 15% on myself and household duties.  It's hard - really really hard - but I don't want to make out that we aren't happy and thriving.  I've just found that my ideas of what our household should look like have radically changed.  Picking toys up is very very low on the priority list.  BTW it doesn't matter if they have toys or not - my kiddos will tear scrap paper to shreds and strow it around the house if they have nothing else to play with.  Make a road out of cheerios across the dining room floor...  :lol

  • 03-08-2009 12:51 PM In reply to

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Re: A long year without MT

    A agree with Claudia & bluefish Smile

    Connor's cerebral palsy effects nearly every aspect of our family day. He has sensory perception issues, I cannot punish him for something he cannot control. I also cant expect the other kids to understand why they are treated differently. I try to treat them all the same, but ofcourse that doesnt happen consistently. Before I knew what Connor had, I went crazy on a daily basis wondering if I had a future cereal killer on my hands...his fiery aggression first appeared at 6 months. To my relief, therapy has helped immensely. Now my little guy, breaks my heart with "mommy, I fall all the time..." He's beginning to recognize his limitations, still he's a happy obnoxious child ;)

    Tyler is worrying me now too. No eye contact, has smaller vocabulary than Connor did at this age, doesnt like recognition, doesnt seem to like people besides our immediate family including other children. He began drawing at 23 months, squares (perfect squares), circles and his favorite are triangles. He will sit for an hour and draw, very focused now at 27 months.

    I brought up the eye contact to dh, Pete said he's never even made eye contact with Tyler....I was blown away! I've forced Tyler to. I hold his face in my hands and chase his gaze with my own, I've gotten him to make eye contact for 10 seconds max. Then he'll look every which way other than my eyes, even if its my nose or mouth.

    Maia needs me too, thankfully she needs me in other ways.

    I've put the majority of the childrens toys in the garage, they have too many. Same with clothing. I was thinking of holding a yard sale again, its been a couple years.

    A dishwasher is something I'm working on, & the little robot vacuum lol, that'd be great lol!!!

    All I can say is, my children were a piece of cake as babies in comparison to now lol...babies are so easy! I used to think babies were more difficult to care for, not true!

  • 03-08-2009 10:25 PM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

     Oh of course you must care for the children who need care.  And it doesn't hurt older children to help.  I don't think we give kids enough credit for the things they can do.  Some days the whole things goes up like a bunch of confetti!  And nothing gets done.  Make a picnic and go to the park or just get out of there for a while. It will all seem better when you come back.   One of my grands ate "bony n cheese" every day for lunch for about a year.  just kept on trying things and didn't make an issue of it.  She is 21,beautiful and a crusader just like the rest of the family.  She eats just fine,and is in fact a good cook.  Those were just some things I found that made life easier.  I am all about making it easier.

      I had a nurse friend at work who was boohooing about her big teen age kids wouldn't pick up there stuff.  I ask her why she was arguing with them  Sit them down,tell them that  you have new and wonderful news for them.  You will not be shouting about the mess again.New rule,.nothing of their junk can be on the main living area[like they can do their home work etc,just no clutter.]Explain that the new rule is effective immediately and they have 30 min to get it put away.  Then after that,anything on the deck is yours.  Take a trash bag an pick it up.  They have to do some kind of nipup to get it back.  Do it and mean it. Pre schoolers understand this.  [because hopefully you have already helped them to learn to pick up after themselves] Husbands need to get on board about this too.  It is the one thing they complain about the most.  They can be the junk police when they get home from work for a few minutes with the little ones..[good time for you to slip out to  the market!!]  Clutter truely dirves me nuts.  If it is dusty, could you not write you name or the date  ?Laugh at yourself and with the kids. 

    claudia

    Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A Heinlein
  • 03-09-2009 6:58 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: A long year without MT

    I agree wih claudia and at the same time understand fully that families with special needs children have to function a lot differently.  On bedtimes, YES, I feel that is so important.  Baby goes down at 7:30 and the two bigger ones at 8.  I cherish the time between their bedtime and mine/ours.  Its time for my husband and I to spend together alone in peace and quiet, or for myself (if dh is working nights, which he does some weeks).  I don't do any work at night.  I mean, I make sure the dishes are cleaned up and the toys put away (the kids take care of that), but as far as house cleaning and laundry and ironing or cooking/baking go, I don't do any of that at night after the kids go to bed.  That time is for me and my husband.  If stuff doesn't get done during the day, I don't do it until the next day.  I can't.  I would go insane without that time, and feel so demoralized and resentful if I forced myself to do all of that "after hours".

    I'm with Bluefish also on having an outlet.  I have a few of those.  Reading birth stuff/midwifery studies and gardening are a couple of them.  At times I dabble in natural skin care.  I make soap.  Those are things that, if I make the time for them, I can completely lose myself in them and have a richer life because of it.

    I really like the trash bag idea.  I'll keep that one in my hat.  :-)

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 03-09-2009 1:50 PM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

    azores:
    Before I knew what Connor had, I went crazy on a daily basis wondering if I had a future cereal killer on my hands...his fiery aggression first appeared at 6 months. To my relief, therapy has helped immensely.

    Could you share what exactly has helped his attitude?  We have a terrible time with Juju.  From the day when brought him home he has been very explosive.  I think he is aware of his limitations.  We can interest him in playing with us a little, cuddle time, etc.  But when it comes to physical therapy, he will not cooperate.  Our PT is super gentle, so I don't get it.  I don't want to make projections, but at this point I can totally see him ending up in a wheelchair.  We cannot keep his mood under control long enough to help him progress with motor skills.  Also once he gets worked up, it is very difficult to bring him down.  His new thing is breath holding.

  • 03-09-2009 9:11 PM In reply to

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Re: A long year without MT

    We had a fantastic occupational therapist that tried techniques none of the other therapists have done, we're no longer with her unfortunately due to insurance issues.

    She had me convinced that any time a child freaks out like that, it is what the child is feeling physically overwhelming him emotionallyl. The lack of being able to express dislike in a certain activity, or a fear that one activity will happen every time he goes to therapy...bad association.Or feeling things TOO strongly, like a pin *** feels like a hammer. Or a hammer feels like a pin ***.

    Connors therapist, had individual attack plans for each child. When children have too much energy/aggression & or a lack of security on outings etc....she had them wear a weighted backpack of their own choosing....the weight burned off more energy wearing it around all day, and provided a feeling of security, like a hug, & the constant presence. Fill it with a water bottle, favorite book, blanket, etc.

    Connor used brush therapy every 2 hours, like at the following link

    http://www.therapyshoppe.com/therapy/index.php

    we also did oral therapy, with my finger. Before he ate, and after. He used to gag like crazy, he's good now.

    Also breastfeeding calmed Connor down a lot, it always did. I hated when some people said he was using me as a pacifier, I didnt care and I rather he be soothed.

    I know there was more, just cant remember off the top of my head.

    Hey LOL the system wouldnt let me spell out the word (P-R-I-C-K) is that how you would spell PIN ***???

  • 03-10-2009 8:28 AM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

    Thanks for sharing!  Sounds like your OT thought alot of it was a sensory processing issue.  Juju isn't as over sensitive as he used to be, but now that I think about that issue again - I'm wondering if he is finding certain places harder to deal with.  I know he hates musty smells, and the old building the PT is in has a musty smell in the hallway.  He cannot deal with Target for some reason...

  • 03-10-2009 3:25 PM In reply to

    • midwifea
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-12-2009
    • Kailua Kona, HI
    • Posts 475

    Re: A long year without MT

    "At times I dabble in natural skin care.  I make soap.  Those are things that, if I make the time for them, I can completely lose myself in them and have a richer life because of it."

     

    Sorry to butt in here and divert the subject but, Robsgirl, you make your own soap?

    Can you share your favorite, easy recipe?  I have not used commercai shampoo or conditioner in about 1 year now and would like to graduate on to soap.  It's a little scary..... I have a book but after reading it I put it away, it looked like a lot of work.

    We are trying to be as self sustainable as possible and I am very interested in moving ahead with as many items as possible.

    Blessings,
    April
    moderator

    "The Voice

    There is a voice inside of you
    That whispers all day long,
    "I feel this is right for me,
    I know that this is wrong."
    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
    Or wise man can decide
    What's right for you--just listen to
    The voice that speaks inside."
    — Shel Silverstein
  • 03-10-2009 4:11 PM In reply to

    Re: A long year without MT

    Zoeysmom needs to share here....She is my Martha Stewart!

     

    Mary

  • 03-10-2009 4:31 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: A long year without MT

    Sure, April.  It really is very easy and fascinating.  My first batch came out so nice and it was an easy and basic recipe.  No frills.  I'm glad you have a book and have read it.  That's important the first time you make soap, so you know the basic safety principles before starting.  Also, its best to use a scale when measuring out the ingredients rather than using cup measures.  Otherwise, it can seem rather involved before you've done it, but once you do it, you'll find it easy.

    18 oz olive oil

    6 oz crisco (finally, a good use for hydrogenated oils)

    9 oz coconut oil (the cheap, deodorized type)

    4.5 oz lye (sodium hydroxide)

    12.3 oz water (distilled is best)

    Add the lye to the water, and stir.  Heat oils.  Let them cool to within 5-10 degrees of eachother (you can feel the outside of the pans to estimate this), somewhere around 100 degrees, a little more or less is fine.  Pour the lye mixture into the oils and stir until trace.  Place into prepared mold, cover it and throw a couple of kitchen towels over the covered mold to insulate it a little bit (or not, I think it will still come out fine if you don't insulate it).  When its firm (about 18-24 hours later), take it out of the mold and cut.  If you want to add anything for scent or texture (say lavender EO and ground up oatmeal), add it at trace and quickly incorporate.  I think a batch this size would require about 2 TB of EO for a good strong scent.  Probably a 1/4 cup of ground oatmeal would be plenty for some exfoliation.  Lay the cut bars on some kraft paper in a dry place, and let them cure for about 4 weeks.  You can use them after this, although they do get better with age.  It sure is great using homemade soap.  We love it.

    If you have any questions, let me know.  FYI, I like the MMS lye calculator.  I run my recipes through this to double check the lye amounts, or to tweak the ingredients.  But you'll be safe with the above, I just double checked.  And this one would be about 8 percent superfatted (which is great).

    Enjoy!

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


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