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  •  This too shall pass nobody at all. (8+ / 0-)

    You described me and my husband to a tee. And we survived and you all will too.

    It's going to be okay.

    Your house will never be perfect with small children. They are destruction mess making robots that never stop, even in their sleep.

    You will never have all the answers, there are simply too many variables.

    You cannot please everyone, so do what you can to do your duty and then please yourselves. I know it's hard to ignore, but whatever it takes.

    Ask her if she would be this hard on another mother and if she says no, then tell her to cut herself some slack like she would for any other mere mortal.

    I have a plaque in my house that says, "Yes you can touch, but please do not write in the dust."

    It suits me fine. I was never a big house cleaner to begin with, so I have what some may think of as minimum standards. Oh well. It is what it is.

    I feed the kids. I have bad days, the kids eat yogurt or leftovers, I have a regular day, we eat grilled cheese and fruit, I have a good day, I get all fancy with spaghetti.

    If that ain't good enough for some busy body, then I say, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

    If the neighbors don't like my dirty laundry, then they are free to volunteer. Same with yard work, or dishes.

    And if my kids are dirty, then too bad. They get way that sometimes when they play. I photograph them with mud on them all the time, I think it's healthy.

    I know for me, part of my extreme unhappiness was exaggerated by my hormonal imbalance that wasn't diagnosed until my second kid was 4. Oh lord what a lot of suffering could have been prevented if I had that diagnosis before then.

    Consider if she will let you, if she feels depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, etc., even after the kids are walking and talking, that maybe she needs to be tested for hormonal issues, including but not limited to, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, thryroid issues, etc.,

    Lots of health problems, often temporary ones, go undiagnosed in women after childbirth, knowledge that could save their sanity, prevent weight gain and avoid emotional problems and long term exhaustion.

    Because it shouldn't be this bad. I know that now and I am passing it on to you.

    •  All excellent advice up there. (4+ / 0-)

      Mothers never "get it right" as participants in a competitive sport. Parenting is a life-long job and there are many opportunities to figure out how to do it more effectively as you go on.

      Even if kids came with users' manuals, there is no guarantee the instructions would work.

    •  The first kid.... (5+ / 0-)

      All was perfect and new.

      Second, not as much.

      By the third and fourth, second hand works fine, and stressing over perfection is not an option. :)

      My Aunt used to have a needlepoint framed over her stove.

      "My house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy."

      Me? The stuff on the floor isn't deep enough to hide bodies. :)

      My kids have clean clothes for school, they have plain old school food to eat, mostly homemade. They get tons of books and toys from the thrifts.

      And we dont do the endless expensive activities that many parents stress over.

      Fuddle Duddle--- Pierre Trudeau.... Canadian politics at......A Creative Revolution

      by pale cold on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:37:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I bought all the toddler toys off eBay. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, FloridaSNMOM, pale cold

        Duplo blocks went through the dishwasher.  He didn't know or care that they were second-hand.

        I knew they'd get expensive over time, so I paced myself in the expense department.  Besides, they're boys, so I knew they wouldn't be picky about clothes or furniture.

        •  I didn't buy many toys at first. What I found is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badscience, pale cold, FloridaSNMOM

          that my kids don't like too many choices. So it was cool to just have a few favorite things and let it go at that.

          But we did carry them around in baby slings all the time and they had lots of interaction with us, with toys and without.

          Babies get bored with toys, but they sure love attention from mommy or daddy.

          •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And another thing we have always found is simple works.
            My 7 yr old loves to build things from blocks.

            Her daddy made her some lovely wooden blocks from a project he worked on. Leftovers. Untreated kiln dried pine. Just the cost of the sanding paper and some time.

            Hours and hours of stuff she has made.

            I have other pics, she also made a very good copy of the empire state building. But she had never seen it, so it was really even more cool.

            Fuddle Duddle--- Pierre Trudeau.... Canadian politics at......A Creative Revolution

            by pale cold on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:14:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's true. I take childhood in phases. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, mamamorgaine, badscience

      Some folks are really good with infants.  My first had severe colic and believe me, I'm an expert on that.  I have 50 ways to make a child burp or fart.  I should write a book.

      Toddlerhood?  Not my thing.  I worshiped my wonderful day care professionals who managed (somehow) to potty train my little urchins, get them to eat exotic foods and teach them how to share and get along with others.  

      Schoolage?  Now we're talking.  I dive into homework issues, ADD issues (both my kids have it,) enjoy working with teachers, school concerts, etc...

      We'll see what teenage years are like.  Each phase is different.  Don't expect to be good with all of them.  Other cultures give their children to the village to raise because they know that parents aren't good at everything.

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