First, I need to say that I know I have a good life and a good husband and that many of you think I am silly for being sad and upset. But, to each their own - everyone has their own problems. Mine are just temporary and I am being silly wiht how I am responding, but I seriously don't know what else to do.
I have been married for 7.5 years and with DH for 11 years. We have been having the same arguments for our whole marriage - is that the way it normally is? He is a good man - he works full time, helps with the kids (we have 2 girls 2 and 4 years old), cooks, cleans, and takes care of me. I work around 20 hours a week and make cakes as a side business (I have my license for at home).
I have anxiety disorder, which leads to depression and finally went to the doctor about it a year ago, so I am on anti-anxiety medication. I don't know what started the issues that I am having now, but it seems that since I've been on the meds, things have gotten out of hand. For over a year I have let my house slide with regards to cleaning the house, paying the bills, cooking dinner, etc, etc. I don't want to blame the medication, but I did switch this year, too so you know that and it helped a little, I guess. But, to add on, around the same time as my starting the medication, I started a job (I had been staying home full time) which involves working two nights a week, random stuff during the day and Sunday mornings, and I also got my cake license within the same time frame. So, to blame it on my meds would not be accurate. A lot changed at the same time.
So, now, my house is a disaster area, my bills are always late, we go out to eat at least 5 days a week, I'm spending money as if I have it, I have no idea what our bank accounts are like right now (did I mention I am responsible for the finances???). Everything has gotten out of control. I have talked to DH about it and he makes promises, but never keeps them. At one time, he promised to be responsible for the money as long as I paid the bills - never happened. He promised that if I did the finances, he would clean the house - lasted 3 days. We have always argued about house work, but before that I had more time, so I just did it rather than press the issue. My house was never spotless and there was always clutter, but it was clean and straightened. Now, there is stuff EVERYWHERE! My house is not dirty, it just has a lot of stuff everywhere. Mail is on the table, toys are on the floor. I'm not just talking about a couple of toys are a letter - you need to watch where you walk because you might step on something. I am at my wits end. I had the house spotless 2 weeks ago - I spent 3 days cleaning it. Within 3 days it was a mess. He just doesn't help keep it up. I have no time anymore, it feels like. I ignore my children if I clean my house or ignore my house if I spend time with my children. I honestly feel as if he doesn't care. So, here is the part that I have been silly - do you know that joke where the husband asks the wife what she does all day and one day she decided not to do any of it? Well, that is kind of what I've decided to do. I have not picked up, cleaned or done a dish in 3 days. I have put dirty diapers and gross stuff like that in the trash, but stuff wise I haven't done anything. I get home from work last night and he has done nothing. He then says "I thought you were going to be another hour, I was planning on having this cleaned by the time you get home". And he apologizes. So, I think, great he is going to do something. He doesn't. He sits on the couch and watches tv for the next 3 hours. He did clean the hamster cage, but that was it.
What am I supposed to do? How do I get help from him? And if I can't get his help, how can I get done what needs to be done without going crazy, feel like I am ignoring my children or have to give up all time I have by myself? (like the hour a night I have to check my e-mail - which usually involves doing some sort of work for my job).
Thanks for reading this long post. I am so tired and I am feeling very low on myself. I feel terrible about everything that is going on. I will have to clean up the extra mess I've made tonight - it's driving me nuts. But, I feel so defeated when I clean because I knwo it isn't going to stay that way. I feel like a horrible person and that there is no excuse for me to feel this way or live this way. I'm tired of it, though. I don't know how to get out of it.
Thanks for listening to me vent. I just needed to get it off my chest.
I wish I had some great advice for you, but I don't. I do understand how frustrated you are feeling. I hope something changes for the better soon. ((((HUGS))))
oh where do I start? I'm so sorry to hear that you're having a hard time. We've all been there. Maybe start w/having a serious sit down talk wDH so he knows you mean business. Make a chart of responsibilities. Who's responsible for what on what nights/day. Also, at 2 & 4, your girls are old enough to help out w/simple chores like saving clothes, p/u toys, the like. Choose the things that get you the most worked up. Like I don't mind toys all over the floor but I can't stand for the dirty clothes to pile up. Make it a priority to get those particular things done if nothing else that day. I understand how frustrating the situation is. Once you get those things under control, you'll feel better. I got the 15 min. quick p/u rule out of a magazine, set 15 min. aside each day to do a quick p/u. Set a timer. When the timer goes off, you're done. It's for everyone, not just you! Time-wise, my DH and I strategize. He'll bath the kids, I dress them. If you set priorities that your DH doesn't accomplish, then the time to get it done comes out of his free time (golf, suppers w/the men, working in his shop). Money-wise, my MIL gave me this advice which I didn't take. She puts all her bills on direct payment of her credit card. At the end of the month she has only her one credit card bill to pay instead of 20 individual bills. Just an idea. I personally know how quickly things can get out of hand. What about a routine at home? Household chores and bills get done in the morning before anything else gets in the way? Take 2 lunch breaks a wk. set aside for errand running, bill paying, etc.? Just take a deep breath, strategize a plan, stick to it, slowly it will come under control. Although its sounds like you're being realistic, make sure what you're asking for is legit. W/kids, there will always be toys out. So don't expect the toys to stay saved. But dirty dishes don't need to be left out. Its reasonable for each person (except the 2 yo) to put them in the dishwasher. Its great that you were able to reach out and ask for help. I'm sure other CC will have good advice for you. HTH
I know how you feel. I'm there too with three girls 5, 3 & 1. I was so depressed, couldn't focus on anything so nothing got done. my only sanity was coming on here and "chatting" with you guys and looking at pretty cakes after the kids went to bed. I worked part time from home and felt like if I cleaned the house, then work and kids weren't being tended to. If i cleaned the house then work wasn't being tended to and kids would just destroy it minutes later. I recently quit my job... well no I quit my job in September but I work for the mob, I mean my FIL and he just decided to ignore my pleas for freedom for 3 months. Finally last week he started taking over some of my duties but every day he's calling me asking how to do this and that or asking me to come over and walk him through things. i found a kitchen to make my cakes out of just yesterday so I'm hoping things will get a little better soon.
I don't really know how to help you, I wish I did. I can suggest maybe involving your children in some of the day to day so when you do clean up, they're involved and you're not "ignoring" them. make it a game to straighten up, they can help unload the dishwasher or dry them, etc. they can help sort laundry. The older one might enjoy a little dust buster to vaccum with? My hubby is the same as yours so I can't offer any suggestion. mine drives me nuts, he'll sit right next to me and watch me fold laundry while he watches TV and never offers to help. The only thing he does is homework with the 5 yr old and he puts his plate in the sink after dinner (only to set a good example for the kids) and he only does homework because i told him it was either that or he had to clean up after dinner, ready the coffee pot for the next morning and pack my daughter's lunch while I did homework with her since that's what I do while they're doing homework. I wish you the best of luck. I hope things get better for you.
Hi trumpetmidget (love that screen name btw).
Sorry you're feeling so down Do you have any family or friends near you that could maybe help you out with your kids? Just to give you a couple of hours to yourself, you know, a mental health break. We all need those every once in a while. It sounds like you're being pulled from so many different directions and it's natural to be overwhelmed.
As far as your house, just take one room at a time and concentrate on getting just that room organized for the time being. If you look at the total picture, you'll get overwhelmed. I think it's unrealistic to expect a house with 2 little ones living in it to be perfect at all times. Let them play and have toys, like you said it's not dirty, it's just stuff.
Definitely talk to your DH and let him know how you're feeling and tell him you need his input and help with the kids, house and bill paying. Maybe if he just took over the finances, that would ease some of your burden.
Most importantly take care of yourself, you aren't any good to your kids and husband if you don't. You have to make "you" a priority.
Good luck, I hope things get better for you, I'm thinking of you.
Aww, sorry to hear you're feeling so down. There is some great advice here. Try not to do everything all at once. Pick your battles and train your family. Why should you do everything? Work out with DH what you are each better at - if he's better at handling the money, why can't he manage that, and you stick to keeping on top of the house. And by 'keeping on top' I mean just that - it doesn't have to be spotless, just clean and tidy enough that you don't feel so overwhelmed.
Regarding food, maybe try buying some ready meals that you can heat up and serve with fresh veggies, so you're not going out to eat every night (that $$$ really adds up).
I'm a caterer and it's a real treat when we actually turn on the stove for dinner! Lawyers die without wills and a caterer's family lives on fast food!
I went on strike when I got no help in the house. I actually moved out of our master bathroom. It's all his. INcluding the cleaning. I think it gets cleaned once every 4 months or so, but I don't care. not my mess ... I'm not touching it.
We both get home from a full day at work and he says, "What's for dinner?" I respond, "I dont' know ... what you are making?"
Just letting you know what worked for me. I too went on strike just to see what would happen to my house. You guessed it, it became a pigsty. My dh and son, just stepped over everything and did not lift a finger. Then I came down on them and told them that if I had to pick up after them, then I got to make the choice to keep it and hide it or throw it in the trash. My reason was that if they did not care enough for their things, then I would take care of them my way. This went for toys, (big and small), clothes, hobbies, books, anything that was not where it was suppose to be. I told them I was going to do one more major spring cleaning and then it was up them to pick up after themselves. It worked. No more clothes on the floor, somehow they really did know what a hamper was used for. Toys, seemed to find their way back to their shelves. The biggest problem was dishes. So, I told them unless they started putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, they could only use paper plates and plastic cups. It did get better after about a month. The dishes at least found their way to the sink. Now, my house is not spotless, but at least you can walk around without tripping on something. Our worst mess now is our coffee table in our den. It seems to collect all the newspapers, mail, magazines and junk. I just decide on cleaning it everyother day and if something gets thrown away, then I tell dh that he should have filed it away or put it where it belongs. Make it fun for your kids, put socks on their hands and tell them to go wipe everything in reach and find the hidden surprises that you hide underneath different items. Make sure you know what you hid and how many so that you know whether or not the cleaned everything. Do a reverse treasure hunt. When they put something away, they find a IOU a play day note or something silly that they will enjoy. Hey this might work on your dh also.
Don't look at this problem as a mountain that you have to climb, look at it as stepping stones to get around so that you can go have fun. Get your kids three baskets to sort out their own clothes. They get bonus for making sure all whites go together, all darks go together and all towels go together. At the end of the week, add up their bonuses and have a surprise box that they get to choose out of. Of course have different boxes that have different values of gifts. Small gifts work best, like colors, paints, books, drawing pads, cd's, etc. Make sure you have different charts for different chores that you need the kids to help you with.
We must be married twins. Trust me going on strike does not help. I use to do that and it was really bad. My house is a mess now trust me. But I've learned to look at the bigger picture. How am I contributing to this mess? I've learned that I dont hang my coat up. I leave cups lying around on window sills instead of the sink. I may walk over something on the floor and dont pick it up. When I feel like cleaning I begin yelling at everyone that the house is a mess and we live in a pigstey. I dont help the situation. I've learned to turn the TV OFF! It will suck up your day. Turn on some music dance with the kids and your husband and start cleaning. My husband and I have started cleaning one room together and work on it for an hour then move on to next room. Some rooms go faster then others. And we have garbage bags ready. Usually we throw out like 3 bags of garbage on those days. We go through all the rooms we can in on day usually kitchen, living room, dining room and kids play room. Then during the week I will clean bathroom and kids rooms. We both clean our bedroom when we get to it. Trust me its hard and I have kids the same age as yours and another on the way.
1. take responsibility for your own actions.
2. Stop yelling at everyone and try to work together as a family.
3. TURN THE TV OFF FOR A DAY! Trust me it helps
4. Take it room by room
5. Give yourselves a treat after like a movie night
6. Stop eating out its not good for you! Start making simple meals. Even a box of mac and cheese and vegtables is better than eating out. Get with the family and write out some meal ideas and go shopping for whats needed for the ideas. Then tell you husband he has to pick two day to cook. Even lunch!
Try these things and see what happens its helping my family some. good luck you can pm me if you have anymore questions.
Thank you all for your advice. Some of it is really hitting home for me and I am going to try some new things. Tonight, I am at my aunts with my girls and staying the night just to have some space. My DH wasn't happy, but I didn't expect him to be. I talked to my pastor this morning and got the name of a marriage counsler that we are going to start going to. We talked late last night and we have so many barriers put up because of past things (or at least I do) that we are having a hard time being willing to change on our own. So, we are going to get help. You are right, Kareema - I have to look at what I am doing. I, too, step over things. I get spiteful and think "if he isn't doing it, why should I?" I need to not be so spiteful. I need to suck it up and start giving. I am reading a Max Lucado book about Facing Your Giants and one of the things that keeps being reentered is being gracious even when no one else will be. I have to do that. My life is so out of control right now and I need to reign it back in. I feel very helpless, but have to get over that and empower myself. Leaving for the night was a way for me to get that view. I will call the counselor tomorrow and set up a meeting for us. Thank you for all the non-judgemental support. It helps to get advice and know that I am not the only one struggling with these issues. Please pray for me and my husband. We are not seprating - it is not like that - but we need to do more than coexist and have happy moments. I want to live a happy life with sad moments - because they are unavoidable. So, thank you for your help as I ramble on.
Counseling is a great and brave first step. We've done it and it helped our entire family immensely. You are definitely not alone, in fact I'm sure most relationships go through some rocky times. Just know that you can always come to your "cake family" for support. We're all here for each other, which is my favorite thing about this site. We probably won't ever get the chance to meet one another, but yet, I feel like I know a lot of you personally.
You definitely have my prayers, I wish you all the best.
The first thing I thought of when I read your post is that you are depressed (it goes with the anxiety). Have you discussed your feelings about your meds with you doc? You said that you think that since you started them this all got worse. Maybe you need to change what you are taking in addition to the counseling. Believe me, I've been there with the anxiety and the depression. If you are depressed you aren't going to want to do all the stuff around the house. Who wants to do it when you are feeling good (not me!)? They're called chores because they are chores! I'm not saying it is all you - what is going in is definitely not your fault. I can tell you that no one does a thing here at my house. I almost took my husband's job of doing the trash away from him but then I thought, well then he would't have any job - well at least in our home (although he makes all the money and I do get to stay home). Anyway, I think there is good advice here but I do think that getting yourself feeling better first is going to help a lot. We can get into a funk very easily and make "small" things seem bigger than they really are. Please take care and let us know how you are doing. ((hugs))
I understand why people say going on strike is good-but will being in a messier house with bills piling up really help? I think instead of being passive aggressive, you need to take control of a life that seems way out of whack.
You need some balance, and everyone needs to carry some weight. Yes, the kids, too! They are not too little. There was a time when I did 100% of everything. And it was too much. So I changed it-here is an example:
Yesterday, I was sick with the flu, got up out of bed to the living room where the kids were watching a movie. Stuff was everywhere, and food from snacks they had gotten themselves. So, the first step was handing them each a plastic shopping bag, where I had them pick up all their trash. Next they had to pick up all their toys and put them away in their room. Anything that didn't get picked up, they lose. My kids are 3 and 5, so barely older than yours, and they have had to learn responsibility. So do your girls. I tell my kids that whatever they leave out gets swept up and thrown away. They don's mess with me about that one.
For your husband, Turn off the TV and get him to help you at night, once the kids have gone to bed (and cleaned up their stuff) for the two of your to work on things together. One of you do the dishes while the other sweeps. Pick a stupid TV show and fold the laundry in the living room. Make him do it with you.
For dinner, this will sound so cheesy, but try getting a slow cooker and look up one pot meals that you can throw in there at the beginning of the day and won't have to fuss with. You can have a healthy meal for your family and save a TON of money. And slow cooked meals tasted amazing. (Now I sound like a Suzy homemaker, lol).
For the budget, sit down and reconcile your account every other day or so in Quicken. Make it a habit. You HAVE to do this in this economy-you are playing the bankruptcy and losing your house if you don't.
I know sometimes when things get out of control that you don't know how to get it back. But making small changes will make your life so much less stressful, and you will feel better. Taking control will be the best thing you can do.
I'll pray for you. I keep praise and worship music going constantly wherever I am, all throughout the day, even in the car, etc. Surround yourself with only positive people, places and things. You are not alone. Many of us have struggled through the exact same things. You are a survivor, and it's good that you've reached out for some advice. Let us know how you are doing. Keep breathing, keep smiling and keep looking up. Love, Denise
Thank you all for you support! My DH and I went to our first therapy session on Thursday and she said it was a good thing we were there. She also said that was a sign of a healthy relationship, especially since it wasn't our last straw - we are doing it to get back what we are losing. It was good. She feels my DH is depressed and should be on meds, too. Ah...what a couple we will be. Tonight, I cooked for 4 hours straight and now have 20 or so meals ready to go to be pulled out of the freezer and just heated up. So, that is a start - we will have home cooked meals for a month and not eat out so much. Last week, DH and I cleaned the kitchen together - it felt good. Only happened once, but it is a start. So, this week my goal is to get the finances back in order and make a game plan. Therapy isn't going to help in the regard, but liek DH and I both said - we need it so we will spend the money. There is hope on the horizon. But, I am afraid...very afraid, actually. As with all things, I am thinking it is going to get worse before it gets better. I really don't know if I can handle worse....