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Has anyone recovered from being a train wreck?


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We are a mess. We just are. There are reasons for it and many are not our fault and many of them are. My house is never clean. We're not talking hoarders messy, just cluttered and dusty. We never have enough money. Some of that is that DH just doesn't make enough and I can't work (due to DD's disability). Some of it is I don't manage the money well - I get overwhelmed and use money we don't have to buy yarn or books. We have been endlessly bailed out by friends and family. We are that family you know who just never has it together - we are good hearted people but we suck people in because we just always need more. I just feel like I never ever have it together and I don't know how to get it together.

 

There have been a dozen times over the last years when something has brought me to a crisis point and I have resolved to change. The intentions are bone deep and completely sincere. But it doesn't last and somehow I slip back into mess-ness.

 

I am at another crisis point. I want desperately to change. I realized last night that I am not sure I believe that change is possible for me. I am 35 - I should have it together by now. Is it possible? I just don't know. If anyone has BTDT, I would love to hear how you changed. Of course, I realize I might be the only grown up in the world who can't get it together.

 

ETA: There are good things about me. :) My kids are amazing. I think I had a little bit to do with that. It's just I am not together at all.

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

You need an accountability partner. Someone to sit down with every week and go over your budget, come over and help you get organized, etc. Someone to help you stay on track. Even on here or through email. I'll help you! :001_smile:

 

 

:iagree:

 

The BEST accountability partner you could have is your HUBBY!

 

We went through the SAME THING for the first 12 years of our marriage! It was completely my fault. I often ask my hubby why he stuck it out, though I'm grateful he did! We joke about it now. EVERY pic of my kids / family from that "era" of my life shows piles of laundry in the background, toys from one of the house to the other. Not "dirty," just MESSY!!!

 

I personally went through a VERY difficult time emotionally (long story!). Wonderfully happy ending, though! I came to know the Lord through it. My hubby became my BEST FRIEND! And our homeschooling efforts went through the ROOF! For me, it was just the overwhelming thought of "where do I start?!!?!" Talk to your hubby. Share your frustrations. Set up a time once a week that you can talk openly and honestly about what you're BOTH doing right and / or wrong. And encourage each other!

 

I can't imagine dealing with all of that and a disabled child on top, so I know you've got alot on your plate! Take a BIG, DEEP BREATH! Say, OUT LOUD --- "I can DO THIS!!" And jump in with both feet! Make it fun and a family affair and see what happens!

 

Hope today is the beginning a new day for you :)

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:grouphug:

 

Sounds like you are in a tough position all the way around. It is very admirable that you want to stop behavior that you know isn't helping you, your family, or your relationships. I would start with one aspect of your life that you can control. It would be very difficult to tackle everything at once. When I began taking control of our finances 3 years ago this month I never imagined how it would change so much in my life. I could never have imagined how that discipline would spill over into so many other areas of my life. Instead of always feeling like our finances controlled me I began to feel that I controlled our finances. It was very empowering. I would strongly recommend Dave Ramsey. He is no-nonsense. His advice is simple to understand. He has a book Total Money Makeover and he has classes all over the US, Financial Peace University.

 

God Bless,

Elise in NC

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Yes, I was a train wreck, and things are better. Not sure HOW that happened, other than my son got older and able to help, DH finally got a promotion with more money, etc. Plus, honestly, I learned that spending money because I'm sad/frustrated is a bad idea.

 

The house? Best thing was to take a few days off of everything, have everyone help clean it, spend a SMALL amount of money on a few nice things (new bedspread from good will, or throw pillows from Walmart, or whatever). THEN keep it clean. But playing catch up never works for me, it has to start clean to give me an incentive.

 

Plus, in all honesty..I divorced my neglectful, emotionally damaged husband...that helped too.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

I hear you! I can't get it all together either. If I am losing weight, my house is a mess. If my house is clean, the kids haven't done enough schoolwork. If we do school, no one has clothes to wear. :tongue_smilie: I have read Sink Reflections, Side Tracked Home Executives, Etc. and I still haven't gotten it all down. I'm just learning to keep going, but accept a little bit of messiness in life.

 

Also I read this blog the other day and it spoke to me.

 

http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com/2012/08/dear-sweet-mom-who-feels-like-she-is.html?m=0

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:grouphug:

 

Sounds like you are in a tough position all the way around. It is very admirable that you want to stop behavior that you know isn't helping you, your family, or your relationships. I would start with one aspect of your life that you can control. It would be very difficult to tackle everything at once. When I began taking control of our finances 3 years ago this month I never imagined how it would change so much in my life. I could never have imagined how that discipline would spill over into so many other areas of my life. Instead of always feeling like our finances controlled me I began to feel that I controlled our finances. It was very empowering. I would strongly recommend Dave Ramsey. He is no-nonsense. His advice is simple to understand. He has a book Total Money Makeover and he has classes all over the US, Financial Peace University.

 

God Bless,

Elise in NC

:iagree:

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:grouphug:

 

Sounds like you are in a tough position all the way around. It is very admirable that you want to stop behavior that you know isn't helping you, your family, or your relationships. I would start with one aspect of your life that you can control. It would be very difficult to tackle everything at once. When I began taking control of our finances 3 years ago this month I never imagined how it would change so much in my life. I could never have imagined how that discipline would spill over into so many other areas of my life. Instead of always feeling like our finances controlled me I began to feel that I controlled our finances. It was very empowering. I would strongly recommend Dave Ramsey. He is no-nonsense. His advice is simple to understand. He has a book Total Money Makeover and he has classes all over the US, Financial Peace University.

 

God Bless,

Elise in NC

 

 

There is a book out called The Power of Habit. It is not so much a self-help book as a look at how habit(s) influence our lives as well as the society around us. Quite fascinating. The philosophy in it is very applicable to each of our personal situations. It does not make changing a habit easy, but it does give us a deeper understanding of the role that those habits play in our lives.

 

He discusses how just being able to change one habit can spill over into other areas of life and be empowering.

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You are not alone. I have been through the same life and have to work daily to improve. I also left the drug addicted dh who was redirecting our family's limited resources, but you have it better...your dh can be a partner in winning the battle.

 

Dave Ramsey is the way to go.get his book and take it seriously. Find someone you trust here who will help you be accountable. You can do it!

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I have felt similar so many times lately. After two years of unemployment and a year of underemployment a lot of days I just don't even know if I can get out of bed. Right now DH and I are talking about making a drastic change that will either make us or break us. But that's a whole 'nother post. :001_smile:

 

DH said he read somewhere the other day that you should make a goal and then come up with three small things you can do to reach that goal. Every day do those three things. We are still working on our specific goal. We are going to nail it down this weekend and come up with the three things we have to do. So, I don't know how it works yet, just something we are going to try.

 

With homeschooling and housecleaning lately I have worked hard to make myself do something. I know every day we are going to do something for school even if we don't get everything done. Even if it's just math or LA we are going to do something. For cleaning I know I am going to at least pick up the stuff in one room every day. I have a basics cleaning schedule that the kids and I work through every day and then a deep clean that we do on Saturdays. I make myself do the basics. Pick up, wipe up, sweep up, every single day. On Saturday I do at least one deep cleaning chore. My house is still cluttered and a bit out of joint at times, but I don't have a problem opening my door on most days anymore.

Finances - the best advice I have is to stay home and don't shop on the internet. If you go to the store have a specific list and only take cash. If you have to buy something off of the internet ask yourself why you have to buy it. Staying home was a big one for me. I tend to pull in and grab lunch somewhere when I'm out. With cash at the store it stops me from making impulse buys who wants to be at the cash register without enough money? Oh and a calculator is essential to this mission. Ask me how I know. :glare:

Watch your diet. Eating lots of fruits, veggies, and good fats have really helped me to feel less depressed lately, less disillusioned, I think. When you eat well you have more energy and more energy means you can get more stuff done.

 

This is just some of the stuff I've tried to do over the last few months to pull myself out of this slump! You can turn this around. BUT you did not get this way overnight and you won't wake up tomorrow and be the superwoman you might be asking yourself to be! It's little changes along the way that will make a big difference in the end! Good luck to you and know that some of us really do understand! :grouphug:

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My house was a really cluttered mess, and I found that just totally decluttering and tidying (and beautifying just a bit) ONE room at a time really helps. Once that one room is clean and beautiful, it is soooo much easier to keep it that way. One room at a time, and soon enough quite a few rooms are tidy.

 

My master bedroom (and bath) was by far the worst room in the house, and I decluttered and cleaned it several weeks ago for the first time since we moved into this house 4+ years ago. Now that it is all beautiful, it is so much easier to keep it tidy. When a basket of clean laundry comes in, I put it away within hours. When clothes come off my back, they go straight to a hamper. When a hair straightener is used in the bathroom, it goes right back to the drawer. If a pile of misc junk comes in, it goes RIGHT BACK OUT! LOL, I think it is just easier to SEE the mess, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

 

Once you have a beautiful space or two, you get so much calm and comfort from those rooms that you are highly motivated to keep them that way. Taking the few moments several times a day to maintain them is infinitely easier than it was when they were disaster areas.

 

Anyhow, my house is far from house-beautiful, but it is soooo much tidier than it used to be.

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You have taken the first step and identified that you need/want to change. You are to be commended for that.

 

Others here have mentioned Dave Ramsey. I would suggest that you can apply his debt reduction principles to other areas in your life also. He talks about paying off your smallest debt first, then adding that amount to what you are paying on the second smallest and paying that one off, then combining the first and second amounds toward paying off the third largest debt, etc.

 

Try applying that to your house. Set aside 15 minutes for cleaning. Look at something small that could be cleaned up in two or three 15 minute sessions, one per day. When that task is done, take that 15 minutes and perhaps add another 10 or 15 to it and apply that time to another small task - just 25 - 30 minutes per day, but do it every day. Gradually, you will see that you have fewer things that need done, and you will be in the habit of devoting an hour or more per day to them.

 

Regarding finances - you must start living within your means. If the money is not there, you may not buy it. Not yarn nor books nor fast food, nor even the internet. If the money is not there, then neither are you. Although borrowing from others may fix the immediate problem, you are taking a huge hit to your self worth and self respect every time you do it.

 

Sell what you can. Get a part time job. Cut up your credit cards, or at least freeze them in a bowl of water so that they are not readily available. Financially you are "bleeding to death". Identify the problem areas and stop the spending. Until you get things back onto a more even keel, you should not be spending on anything that is not essential - basic food, gas for dh to get to work, rent/mortgage, and basic utilities. (Cable and internet are not essentials.)

 

No one can do it for you. If you want it to stop, you must step up and stop it. But that is definitely doable.

Edited by hillfarm
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another thing - sometimes you have to confront things in your past which are dragging you down . . get them out in the open where they cant interfere with you on a subconcious level, making you sabatoge your plans when old pain and doubts creep in.

 

My life has been all over the place . . but money was never a problem. i have an intuitive understanding of my budget and how to live within it. Flylady helped me at at times. Just believing i deserved better was a part of it for me though.

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I realized last night that I am not sure I believe that change is possible for me. I am 35 - I should have it together by now.

 

I would wager that this type of thinking has become the root of your problem. You won't change if you don't think you can change. I just read Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and it was very helpful. My issues aren't the same as yours, but it definitely helped me see my own stumbling blocks in a different light. The author also quotes from Mindset, which might be a good read for you as well (I have not personally read that one yet). Get them from the library! :D

 

I realize I might be the only grown up in the world who can't get it together.

 

:lol::lol::lol: LOL!!!! Seriously! LOL!!!! :lol::lol::lol:

 

That just might be the funniest thing anyone has ever said on these boards. Take heart! You are not alone! I only know two kinds of people: imperfect ones and imperfect ones who believe they are perfect. ;)

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The BEST accountability partner you could have is your HUBBY!

 

We are struggling in our marriage. He is terribly unhappy with his life - he basically doesn't want to be working. He is also very, very moody. I think he needs some help and so I feel like it is all on me.

 

I would strongly recommend Dave Ramsey. He is no-nonsense. His advice is simple to understand. He has a book Total Money Makeover and he has classes all over the US, Financial Peace University.

 

I have read Dave Ramsey and was inspired. But then I feel like we don't even have enough money to make a budget which is just silly. I have TMM and will reread it.

 

My master bedroom (and bath) was by far the worst room in the house, and I decluttered and cleaned it several weeks ago for the first time since we moved into this house 4+ years ago. Now that it is all beautiful, it is so much easier to keep it tidy. When a basket of clean laundry comes in, I put it away within hours. When clothes come off my back, they go straight to a hamper. When a hair straightener is used in the bathroom, it goes right back to the drawer. If a pile of misc junk comes in, it goes RIGHT BACK OUT! LOL, I think it is just easier to SEE the mess, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

 

Once you have a beautiful space or two, you get so much calm and comfort from those rooms that you are highly motivated to keep them that way. Taking the few moments several times a day to maintain them is infinitely easier than it was when they were disaster areas.

 

I'm taking this advice. I am going to work very hard to get my room an oasis of peace and tranquility this week.

 

Try applying that to you house. Set aside 15 minutes for cleaning. Look at something small that could be cleaned up in two or three 15 minute sessions, one per day. When that task is done, take that 15 minutes and perhaps add another 10 or 15 to it and apply that time to another small task - just 25 - 30 minutes per day, but do it every day. Gradually, you will see that you have fewer things that need done, and you will be in the habit of devoting an hour or more per day to them.

 

I like this. And I can't figure out a way to work part time because of my DD's disability. She gets disability insurance and a small amount of money from the government. If I work, we forfeit the insurance which is not an option. Her health care costs topped $500,000 last year.

 

another thing - sometimes you have to confront things in your past which are dragging you down . . get them out in the open where they cant interfere with you on a subconcious level, making you sabatoge your plans when old pain and doubts creep in.

 

This is helpful too. I grew up in a hoarders type house and I want better for my children. I mean, it is better but I want even better than this. Also I think everything fell apart when DD got sick and I think I have not gotten through the pity party. Also right now we are down to subflooring due to a hot water heater leak that kicked us out of our house for all of June. My girls' room is completely not useable but I am hoping to get to that this weekend.

 

I would wager that this type of thinking has become the root of your problem. You won't change if you don't think you can change. I just read [url="h

:lol::lol::lol: LOL!!!! Seriously! LOL!!!! :lol::lol::lol:

 

That just might be the funniest thing anyone has ever said on these boards. Take heart! You are not alone! I only know two kinds of people: imperfect ones and imperfect ones who believe they are perfect. ;)

 

Thanks. That helps to hear.

 

 

There is a lot of good advice here and I just have to do the work. It is so hard and I feel so alone. But if I believe I can do it, that will help.

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First of all, :grouphug:

 

Second, you didn't get into this situation all at once, and you can't expect to get out of it all at once. Choose an area that either 1. bothers you the most, or 2. will give you the biggest feeling of accomplishment. Do you want to budget? Keep the daily clutter out? Plan meals on a regular basis? Pick something, and work on it. That doesn't mean you can't work on more than one thing at a time, but pick something and try to make it a habit. It takes 28 days for something to become a habit, and I've discovered that even one day of not following my plan sets me back much more than that one day. And if you do fall off the wagon, just get back on as quickly as possible.

 

A few things to keep in mind -

 

 

  • As a PP said, you've taken a huge step by just recognizing the problem
  • Don't beat yourself up over the past. What's done is done. You can't go backwards, only forward.
  • Take it slow, and recognize small accomplishments
  • It's never too late (and you're never too old) to make positive changes.

 

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Yes, you can remake your life completely, even when you are 35!:D I think there are two types of people in this world - those who see a need to change, and those who simply want to complain/be depressed about how things are (but never do anything about it.) Generally, the things you talk about in your OP are symptoms of a larger problem.

 

It takes baby steps. Pick one area and break in into pieces. Pick one thing and do that. When it becomes a habit , choose another. Some things will be BIG things, and some will be very small (and easier.) Some things may be totally mental.

 

I'll also add that things are infinitely harder when your spouse is not on the same page with wanting to change things. You'll have to accept that, not expect anything from him, and change for you and your children (sometimes even if it means going against what he wants.)

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Yes, this summer has been a train wreck for us. To top it all off, I am bi-polar and have severe insomnia. These are conflicting problems. The medicine I take to help with the depression and axiety causes even more insomnia. The med I take for insomnia pretty much leaves me incohenrent the rest of the day. Right now we are working on my insomnia so my house is a mess, I am three months behind on filing and bills and we are heading into the most expensive time of the year. I feel like I need a month's break to do nothing be sit and read, watch tv, crochet and nap but that just isn't in the cards.

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We are in that process right now. Overcoming situational depression (mine), cluttered house (all of ours), marriage struggles (DH and I) mostly due to an awful job that DH had.

 

First, we worked on the marriage then he finished the bad job assignment, which help with the depression, which helped with the motivation to work on the house. A couple years ago I started getting our finances straightened out, with the help of Dave Ramsey and YNAB. I'm not as "gazelle intense" with the finances as I should be right at the moment, but we are getting back to that, too.

 

We are still in the process, but looking back, things are much better than they were even 6 months ago and I bet another 6 months will be even better.

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another thing - sometimes you have to confront things in your past which are dragging you down . . get them out in the open where they cant interfere with you on a subconcious level, making you sabatoge your plans when old pain and doubts creep in..

 

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

That was my problem EXACTLY!!! Years of abuse I'd never truly dealt with. For me, when my life was chaotic, it kept me from sitting still and LOOKING, REALLY LOOKING at the mess I was. When everything was "done" and I had nothing to do but be with the "me" inside my head, I went NUTS!!!!

 

You can do it!!!! Whether it's just discouragement and something more, God has the answer :)

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I'm going to buy the book linked below; the Amazon preview looks excellent. And this is a great quote to remind us of how important specific goals are:

 

Some is not a number. Soon is not a time.

 

 

 

I would wager that this type of thinking has become the root of your problem. You won't change if you don't think you can change. I just read Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and it was very helpful. My issues aren't the same as yours, but it definitely helped me see my own stumbling blocks in a different light. The author also quotes from Mindset, which might be a good read for you as well (I have not personally read that one yet). Get them from the library! :D

 

 

 

:lol::lol::lol: LOL!!!! Seriously! LOL!!!! :lol::lol::lol:

 

That just might be the funniest thing anyone has ever said on these boards. Take heart! You are not alone! I only know two kinds of people: imperfect ones and imperfect ones who believe they are perfect. ;)

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The BEST accountability partner you could have is your HUBBY!

 

 

 

Not necessarily. Sometimes spouses enable each other's undesirable habits and behaviours. It might not be all the OP's doings that led to this, or even if it is, she might have a spouse who enables those behaviours.

 

IMO, in situations where you seem to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, it is wise to see an objective person (an eye from the outside in) to help you change.

 

That said... anyone can change their behaviours, but they have to REALLY want to change. You have to commit to making changes and then actually DO them.

 

OP, I would start making one change at a time. Which is your most pressing problem? Money management, household management, personal habits?

 

Choose one thing and start making changes on that. When you feel you have that under some semblance of control, then you can start making changes in other areas. The success of having made changes in the first area often gives you the boost you need to keep you going with changes in other areas.

 

Remember that it takes time to break an old habit or thought pattern and establish a new one, so nothing is going to happen overnight. That's why a real commitment to making the changes is paramount.

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First of all, :grouphug:

 

Second, you didn't get into this situation all at once, and you can't expect to get out of it all at once. Choose an area that either 1. bothers you the most, or 2. will give you the biggest feeling of accomplishment. Do you want to budget? Keep the daily clutter out? Plan meals on a regular basis? Pick something, and work on it. That doesn't mean you can't work on more than one thing at a time, but pick something and try to make it a habit. It takes 28 days for something to become a habit, and I've discovered that even one day of not following my plan sets me back much more than that one day. And if you do fall off the wagon, just get back on as quickly as possible.

 

A few things to keep in mind -

 

  • As a PP said, you've taken a huge step by just recognizing the problem
  • Don't beat yourself up over the past. What's done is done. You can't go backwards, only forward.
  • Take it slow, and recognize small accomplishments
  • It's never too late (and you're never too old) to make positive changes.

:grouphug::iagree:

 

Here are some quick links to Dave Ramsey's online tools http://www.daveramsey.com/category/tools/ Even if you spend more than you make, a written plan will guide you as you begin to make better choices.

 

Another helpful site: http://www.juliemorgenstern.com/Products_Books_OIO.php This doesn;t just tell you "hide clutter in decorative hatboxes" or "keep your socks in a drawer" but rather helps you see where things will make sense for you. For example, my kids leave their shoes by the back door. Instead of griping at them to put them away, I just got a basket and put it by the door- now they have somethign to aim for, and I'm not tripping over shoes.

 

Don't try to do everything at once. Start small, and guarantee success- maybe something liek throw away all old ratty socks and undies. Eliminate outgrown/worn-out clothing as you're sorting laundry. Get rid of old newspapers/magazines/coupons. Do some simple getting rid of obvious trash before you tackle long-stashed stuff. If you have a lot of laundry- more than you could do if you spent an entire day on laundry and nothing else- consider loading it up and going to the laundromat. Mine has machines that can handle *80* pounds of laundry. Just stuff it all in, throw in a few SHout Color Catchers, and separate it for the dryers based on drying times. The bright launrdomat lights will help you decide what clothes to just pitch in the trash while you're there. I know this from experience. :D

 

:grouphug: You can do this. Maybe not all at once, and maybe not overnight, but you can do this. I'm cheering for you!

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Not necessarily. Sometimes spouses enable each other's undesirable habits and behaviours. It might not be all the OP's doings that led to this, or even if it is, she might have a spouse who enables those behaviours.

 

That's what I was thinking too. Dh and I have a good relationship, but we don't work well as accountability partners. I have a hard time telling him no or confronting him on certain things--I end up feeling like I'm trying to parent him. I guess our relationship just doesn't have the right dynamic. We're great at encouragement, though!

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I understand. I was a SHOPPER. I mean "the kids can wear a different outfit for 3 months straight and not repeat" shopper. I got us a WHOLE lot of debt a few years back b/c I was not working and simply bored. I tend to throw myself full force into things and go overboard. Thankfully I have gotten this into a more controlled state even though I am a bit of a curriculum hoarder.

As for the house:

I got the motivated Moms checklist and that has helped. I have the kids more involved and they take some of the burden off me. I still have to shuffle things around to get them all done but I have found that the cleaning seems to be chugging along.

I have also purged quite a bit to help with the clutter.

I can tell you that there are 4 rooms of this house with books all over. This is me-all me. I plan here...then there....then maybe a bit in this room....:glare:

 

I am taking tomorrow to put IT ALL AWAY. I am making a pile of sell stuff too.

Please remember one thing that you have that other moms don't. You have time with your kids. I could send all but one off to school, read, clean, make cute Bento Box lunches, adorable cupcakes.....but instead I have time. Time that many of the moms around me don't get. I think as HSers we take that for granted. We are sacrificing so much to just be with our kids and our kids will never forget it.:grouphug:

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yes for a bit I was a train wreck... I didn't start out that way when we only had two kids I managed quite nicely but then we had three more fast,I had health issues, didn't have any support system like zero (not even in my marriage, my husband was more of a drain then a help) and became depressed and discouraged. It started looking up for me when they figured out some of my physical issues which gave me more energy and helped clear out the brain fog.

But even though I was feeling more energized I didn't have the skills to run a household of our size well. I grew up with only my dad with nannys and housekeepers,I was clueless. I had to start from scratch.

I would choose one area to improve on. I would read everything I could research,choose then implement. Some things worked, some things didn't but things always improved even if just a bit. Then I would move on to the next and so on. If things still needed tweeking I would go back to it, I would keep researching till I found something that worked for us and now most of the time I feel pretty good about what we are.

Number one thing that helps is don't beat yourself you will only make it worse even if you move in the right direction only 10% it's still a move in the right direction.

books I liked best

Managers of the home (how to make a schedule)

slob sisters

organized simplicity (she wrote this longer after I needed it but I thought when I read it "Oh if only she had wrote this years ago it's everything I needed"

Dave Ramsey books

If I think of anything else I'll come back and add it. Hubby wants me to come upstairs HTH

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We are struggling in our marriage. He is terribly unhappy with his life - he basically doesn't want to be working. He is also very, very moody. I think he needs some help and so I feel like it is all on me..

 

This alone could make many people have a hard time finding the motivation to change on their own. It is hard when a partnership isn't balanced.

 

What do you mean by this? What does he want to be doing instead?

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\

Please remember one thing that you have that other moms don't. You have time with your kids. I could send all but one off to school, read, clean, make cute Bento Box lunches, adorable cupcakes.....but instead I have time. Time that many of the moms around me don't get. I think as HSers we take that for granted. We are sacrificing so much to just be with our kids and our kids will never forget it.:grouphug:

:iagree: this was so very well-said :001_smile:

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This alone could make many people have a hard time finding the motivation to change on their own. It is hard when a partnership isn't balanced.

 

What do you mean by this? What does he want to be doing instead?

 

DH is just unhappy. He doesn't want to have to work. He hates leaving every day. Most of his time is spent trying to latch on to ways that mean he could quit his job. His job is fine - he just wants to be here. He thinks that I have it easy and he wants to be the one to SAH. He also wants to farm our land.

 

This is not new - he has bounced from one job to another since we've been married, thinking the new job will give him the happiness that eludes him. It's just much worse lately.

 

He works - and so I do all the management of the house, the money, DD's medical issues, the homeschooling, and all the little details of life. I don't feel like I can go to him because he is so resentful and already feels like I do a poor job. Besides he talks a lot about change, but seems to have trouble enacting it.

 

So, yes, there are deeper issues here in my marriage, but especially in DH, that need to be dealt with (and I am open to advice about those as well!) but I still have to get it together.

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Life can get crazy!

 

Is there anywhere particular you want to start?

 

Maybe breaking it all down will help?

 

I think I need to start with the house. Creating a not cluttered, peaceful place for my family.

 

And I think if the house is staying all right then I won't feel a need to escape as much by buying something.

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I spend when I shouldn't one way we deal with that is to have money come out on pay day that goes right into special savings accounts. Oneis just savings for short term goals or emergencies. Not much but it helps. The other is bills, everything from cell phone to music lessons to municipal taxes. We figure out what our expenses are in a year for those things, divide by 24 (for his bi-weekly pays) and set it up to be automatically deposited every pay. Then what we have left is just for groceries and extras and we're always protected from ourselves. :D

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DH is just unhappy. He doesn't want to have to work. He hates leaving every day. Most of his time is spent trying to latch on to ways that mean he could quit his job. His job is fine - he just wants to be here. He thinks that I have it easy and he wants to be the one to SAH. He also wants to farm our land.

 

This is not new - he has bounced from one job to another since we've been married, thinking the new job will give him the happiness that eludes him. It's just much worse lately.

 

He works - and so I do all the management of the house, the money, DD's medical issues, the homeschooling, and all the little details of life. I don't feel like I can go to him because he is so resentful and already feels like I do a poor job. Besides he talks a lot about change, but seems to have trouble enacting it.

 

So, yes, there are deeper issues here in my marriage, but especially in DH, that need to be dealt with (and I am open to advice about those as well!) but I still have to get it together.

 

What about making the home management a joint thing?

 

My husband and I try to sit down once a week for a bit of a meeting. We plan out the week, review appts. and commitments like family birthdays, see what we'll need cash for, discuss the kids, etc. I do all the cleaning and cooking right now (he's recovering from shoulder surgery) but generally he pitches in a bit. He also does the meal planning which I have a hard time with.

 

Maybe part of your husband's problems iis that he feels a bit disconnected from the house and family? Maybe bringing him into the home management would help him feel more connected?

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Oh my goodness! YES!

Like you, we have some *real* issues and some is our fault.

I soooooooooo badly want to do better in several ways and end up failing every time.

I do give myself credit for continuing to try. My "giving up" NEVER lasts.

Of course, I guess we could say I fail at that too. OH well, at least THAT is a positive!

I'm going back up through the responses for a cure.

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I think I need to start with the house. Creating a not cluttered, peaceful place for my family.

 

And I think if the house is staying all right then I won't feel a need to escape as much by buying something.

 

 

Can you call some friends & ask them to help you bag stuff up and drive it to Goodwill, or drop off at one of those bins at Walmart?

 

Clearing clutter might not be the whole answer, but it can help lots.

 

 

PS. Throw things away that aren't useful. Junk is junk.

Edited by LibraryLover
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Yes! I'm digging out of train wreckage right now. We are decluttering, and actually starting to follow Dave Ramsey as well.

 

 

For me, it was a change in attitude that was most important. You have to get in your own head and remind yourself why you are changing. For me, spending is my go to. When I'm bored or stressed or just unsatisfied with life. Of course it ends up causing more stress, which makes me unhappy and it's just a vivacious cycle.

 

 

You have to get off the merry go round. :) :grouphug:

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:grouphug:

 

we could start an accountability thread each morning.... that really helped me a few years back.

 

fwiw, i'm in my 50s, and it wasn't until my late 30s that i began to believe it might be possible to manage my house. :lol:

 

we never finish "growing up" until we're done.

 

what worked for me was working on tweaking my day one part at a time. so i looked at what i wanted/needed my morning to look like, and messed around with that until it happened without constant effort. and what that means for us is that at the very least, the bed gets made, the dishwasher gets emptied and a load of laundry gets done. i actually found homeschooling helped, as i was able to force myself to follow a structure.

 

other things that helped included flylady, and cannywoman, and largefamilylogistics, because i discovered that i work well with little sayings to remind myself what i intend to do. so largefamilylogistics gave me "just do the next thing", and flylady gave me "i can do anything for fifteen minutes" and cannywoman gave me "shop at home first", "do don't buy", and "procrastinate" (which is not telling myself i can't buy something, but just procrastinating on buying it ;). the longer i procrastinate, the more likely i am to decide i don't "need" it).

 

for money, the best things we did were unsubscribing from commercial television (no one telling us what we wanted or needed). the next best thing was using an envelope system, where i put money in envelopes every two weeks, labelled things like "gas", "food", etc. and once the money was gone, it was gone. if gas money was gone, we stayed home. if food money was gone, we ate what we had, etc. i kept trying to draw up a budget, but simply couldn't force myself to do it, but envelopes are a form of budget, because you have all the money on the table in front of you, and you move it from envelope to envelope until its all divided up. and i discovered i have no will power if i go into a store, but i can make myself not go in a store at all, so that's what i do. i go for a walk instead. and getting outside always makes me feel better.

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

you can do this!

ann

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I think I might be doing better. Maybe. I started from a different place this time. I had occasion to write down WHY we are such messes. Four and a half years ago - I had a clean house and a fair amount of savings. Writing down how we got here helps me to accept what is, put it in context, and try to figure out where to go from here. Here's what I wrote - kudos to you if you read it all ;) :

 

DH and I moved to a county several over in August 2007. We were taking a job as co-pastors at a church. We shared one job which was what we had been looking for - a rural community where we could both serve part time, bringing our best gifts to a congregation we could work with. We moved into the parsonage that August - our DDs were 1 and 3. There was a drought that summer that was pretty severe and there had been no rain or moisture for more than two months.

 

We were all pretty healthy when we moved here. Both girls had had some viruses and a few times each needed nebulizer treatments at the doctor’s office. I had exercise induced asthma and needed an inhaler maybe two or three times a year. When we moved, we switched insurances - this church used a different insurance than our former church.

 

In October, with the return of the rain, DD2 started to get sick. She had nasty coughs and trouble breathing. We would take her to the doctor and they would give her breathing treatments. It continued to get worse. We took her to the ER for the first time in November. They did more breathing treatments and started her on steroids. We were given a nebulizer and told to start treatments at home. She was admitted to the children's hospital for the first time that November. She was diagnosed with asthma then and started on inhaled steroids. She continued to be more and more sick, constantly coughing, more doctor’s appointments. We spent seven days in the hospital over Christmas that year, celebrating our first Christmas in our new home at the children's hospital. Neither one of us led our first Christmas Eve service at the church. January was much the same - with doctor’s visits and short hospital stays. She was tested for cystic fibrosis. In late December, DD1 started to get sick as well. She had breathing symptoms also that we treated as they came up. Her’s were less severe but she was coughing a lot and needing frequent breathing treatments. I got sick in February. My lungs were tight and I was wheezing. I was coughing most nights and using the inhaler that I used to use a few times a year every night multiple times. One night it got so bad I went to the ER for the first time in my life.

 

As all this had been going on, we had slowly begun to suspect the house. The windows were wet all the time on the inside. The house felt very damp and we knew the basement leaked. The house had a moldy, musty smell. We hadn’t seen any mold but something seemed off. We struggled with what to do about this. It seemed like a tricky situation to go into our new church and say, “We think your house might be making us sick.†And we weren’t sure. So we continued to try to figure out what was best.

 

The night that I went to the ER, the doctor I saw didn’t have any doubts. Upon hearing about the breathing issues the girls had, and what I had, he urged us to get out of the house immediately and have it checked for mold. He was sure that was the culprit. So that night, we took what we could pack and stayed with church members. We called the board chair and reported all this to him. He’s a good guy, although skeptical and non-alarmist by nature, but he agreed we should stay somewhere else until all had been sorted out.

 

Initially we stayed in a hotel, but soon a church member volunteered an empty house he owned. We ended up staying there from February to May of 2008.

 

Also during this time, DD2 was dropped from our new health insurance. They had gone back and found a place where in the doctor’s notes her pediatrician where we used to live had written that “due to RSV, patient may have slight predisposition to asthma.†They declared that this was an undisclosed, preexisting condition and they refused to pay for any more lung related issues and made that retroactive. This was financially catastrophic for us. We had managed to save up a small amount before we moved but we were soon completely wiped out financially from paying doctors’ bills. We also had to begin paying for DD2's prescriptions and many months that was an extreme hardship. Our doctor gave us samples when she could. The children's hospital was wonderful - through their charity arm, they wrote off all the hospital bills, but there were still literally over $100,000 in doctors’ bills to pay, and no way to pay them.

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Meanwhile, the church had hired an environmental company to come in and check the parsonage for mold. They found “unhealthy†levels of mold in the parsonage. They said it was especially dangerous for children. They also found visible spots where it was growing that we had missed. The church hired a different company, wanting a second opinion. The second company agreed with the first. Primarily, the mold they found was aspergillus that was in such unhealthy quantities. Both companies estimated that it would be at least $150,000 to fix. That put the church in a quandary. The house was surely not worth that much and the church budget was stretched pretty tight. They had another parsonage, but it was also in bad condition and had mold issues. They couldn’t really afford to pay us more so we could get a house of our own. They debated and struggled. They filed an insurance claim and were given (DH and I can’t remember - I thought it was around $30,000, he thought around $16,000) some amount of money. Finally they decided to tear down what the girls had by this time coined “the sick house†because it was unlivable and would be too much to fix. They decided to pay us $500 extra dollars a month so that we could find a place to live. With DH’s father’s help, we bought a 5 acre farm about 2 miles from the church for a mortgage payment of $1100 a month. In retrospect, it was not a good financial decision. We were so overwhelmed with all that had happened, I don’t think we were thinking straight. Anyway, the sick house was torn down at no cost to the church because the guy who took it down wanted the wood for his barn. By the time it was torn down, the house was almost over run with mold. The basement was especially bad and we lost almost everything we had stored down there. We had to get rid of all furniture, all appliances, all mattresses, stuffed animals - everything. Anything hard could be wiped down with fungicide and saved. We lost so much. The church helped us with the wiping down process and gave us $2500 to help with repurchasing some of what we had lost. It was a generous gift, but when looking at a new refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, couch, sofa, four new mattresses - it didn’t come close to covering it. Our family helped a lot and some things we still haven’t replaced.

 

As the church went through this process, we started to find out what they knew about the mold before we moved in. They had purchased the house fairly recently. They knew there had been mold growing because they cleaned it with bleach before we moved in. One of the board members had actually lived there before the church bought it and told the board that there was mold and that she and her son had been sick when they lived there. She was ignored. It is my belief that they really just didn’t think about it. It didn’t occur to them that the mold would grow back and that a leaky basement would contribute to that. So we knew nothing - and when we moved in it was dry.

 

After we left the parsonage, DD2 continued to be sick. Every six weeks or so, she would be admitted to the hospital. She would need treatments in between and would be on steroids every six weeks also. Sometimes it was more frequent, sometimes less. We saw pulmonologists, allergists, and others. She didn’t have any real allergies. The best guess they could come up with was that her lungs had been made hypersensitive by the mold. She had what felt like endless testing. When I look back on that time, it was all so deer-in-the-headlights. I don’t really know how we all got through it. We spent so much time in the hospital and it was so disruptive to our lives.

 

The church, however, was (understandably probably?) ready to move on. They had hired us to help grow the church, not to be weighed down with a sick child. Plus, we still had no insurance for her. By January 2009, we had decided that we had to do something. I applied to do a chaplaincy internship, with the goal of being able to do chaplaincy residency in fall of 2009 which would give us all insurance. I was accepted to the internship program and the church agreed to have DH as the full time minister. So I no longer worked there. It was just as well, really. My pastor’s heart for the church had gone through a lot and had felt betrayed at numerous times along the way. I was bitter and felt like the church was tired of DD2 being sick and tired of their pastors having to deal with it. DH was less angry and more personable anyway. So he became sole pastor in March of 2009.

 

As I began my internship, DD2’s doctor suggested we apply for Social Security disability for her. The medical bills were still mounting - every six weeks or so as she went into the hospital. A few of her specialists would still see her out of kindness, but some wouldn’t. Anyway, she was awarded disability immediately which covered retroactively 90 days worth of medical bills. That was a huge relief. Suddenly everything she needed was covered. We could get whatever prescriptions, see whatever doctors. We were very relieved.

 

She continued to struggle. She was admitted to the ICU in May of 2009. We had no idea what to do to make this better. We had, with the help of friends and family and at the doctors’ recommendations, pulled up all carpet in the house and replaced it with laminate and installed a full house heating and air system with filter. We had taken her to every doctor we could, we had tried all the medication. One of her doctors recommended that we take her to National Jewish Hospital’s Pediatric Pulmonary Center in Denver. We spent the spring of that year trying to figure out if disability would cover that and then trying to raise money for the trip.

 

We left for Denver in July of 2009. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House when we weren’t at the hospital. They were in depth and wonderful. We learned more about asthma there than we had anywhere here and received some new diagnoses and new medications. When we came back from Denver, DD2 had three good months in a row which was a new record for her.

 

I started my chaplaincy residency in August of 2009 with the hope that DD2’s troubles were behind us. But in October of 2009, DD2 was back in the hospital. And then again a week later. I resigned my chaplaincy job as it seemed impossible to complete a demanding residency if DD2 was going to be sick so frequently again.

 

Meanwhile, the church continued to struggle along. We had been their first full time pastors and they had not had the growth they had hoped for when we started our ministry there. Seeing the writing on the wall, DH offered to move to part time in January of 2010. We lost insurance for all of us at that point. DD2 was still covered by disability and we were able to get DD1 on state insurance.

 

We were also made aware of the restrictions that came with DD2’s disability coverage. We were informed, that as her primary caregiver, I was not allowed to have any income. This limited our options considerably. DD1 was also diagnosed with asthma around this time. She had continued to have flare ups, but they were mild compared to DD2’s and we were slow to get them checked out. When we did, we discovered she had atypical asthma like DD2's - no real allergies, just hypersensitive lungs. Also, my asthma had stayed bad. Our doctor said that it was clearly linked to our time in the sick house, and I need either Advair or Singulair to control it. I don’t have insurance and so sometimes I have neither, and that is a struggle.

 

Since I was unable to work, DH began substitute teaching along with serving the church. Ends were not meeting and we ended up in foreclosure. We were bailed out by our family. We went through 2010 the same way as far as DD2’s health. Hospital or ER every 4 to 6 weeks. She was not always admitted now - the doctor had been able to work with the ER so that she could get the IV meds and super breathing treatments she needed and hang out for a while. If all was well, we could go home. This did make it somewhat easier on all of us.

 

But there were more concerns emerging. The steroids DD2 has had to be on regularly since before she was 2, have begun to effect her bone density. She has had two bone scans that show bone loss due to steroids. Also she has had a lot of weight gain, which not only effects her health but is difficult for her emotionally. These are effects of the steroids. In April of 2011, another sinus CT scan showed inflammation and the ENT doctor she was seeing believed that cleaning out her sinuses would help the systemic inflammation that effected her lungs. The surgery was scheduled and cancelled, scheduled and cancelled - she was never well enough to do it.

 

Also in April 2011, DH resigned from the church. His heart had not been in it for a long time. Although he was not as angry as I, the relationship was surely damaged. He did not love them as he wanted to and though we weren’t sure what we would do, we knew it was not right to stay. The church gave him 90 days to find another job. In July 2011, DH began work at a large sustainable farm. It was a pay cut, but he was burned out on church. I left them, feeling angry at how we had been treated. I felt like our life had been irrevocably changed and both my children harmed and no one there seemed to care. No apologies, no concern, no anything. There are some good people there, but there are many who just don’t care. It is not a healthy congregation.

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We have continued to struggle on DH's income, talking periodically to our disability caseworker to see if there is any way I can work. Last winter, when DH’s hours went down, we went into foreclosure again. We were bailed out that time by friends. We were hoping that if DD2 could have her surgery, she would be better and I could work.

 

DD2’s surgery finally got bumped up in priority. They decided that the effects of the steroids were just too damaging, so they decided to put her on a ventilator and do the surgery even though her breathing wasn’t good. So in May of this year, she had the surgery and was admitted to the ICU afterward. She recovered quickly and it really seemed to have an effect. A culture of the gunk in her sinuses showed the presence of aspergillus - mold that was so high in the parsonage.

 

We have been so hopeful since her surgery. She was definitely able to breathe better when well and we went from May to August with no flare ups. But then two weeks ago, she had a huge flare up - her worst in years. We were in the hospital five days because she couldn’t get off of oxygen. The airways in her lung collapsed and she was really struggling. We have been told that this is likely to be normal for her. If things work the way they should, she should have healthier in between times but severe flare ups requiring steroids and hospitalizations. But they don’t know for sure and she isn’t better yet from this go round. She is still tiring easily and was up half the night last night struggling with breathing.

 

And so it is clear I won’t be able to work. We feel stuck. DH is surely not making enough and winter is coming on again. We are considering our options which seem limited. And so we are weary as a family and feel like total messes. I need to get my life together in what seems like is going to be the norm. I just have to figure out how.

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First of all :grouphug: to you and your family. You have been through a lot and the way you were treated by that congregation was horrible. I can understand how you got to where you are now, but remember that can change and may pp's have given you lots of ideas on how to start that process.

 

My question was after reading most of your story, would it make more sense financially for you to go back to work and have dh be the sahd? You mentioned how you had started the residency. I don't know anything about that and what or if it pays, but it sounded like something you were interested in. Is that something that could be revisited? If not, is there something else you are qualified for or interested in doing? Maybe it's a good time to make a switch. Dh would be facing the day to day challenges with your daughter, which will be challenging but he may have more energy for them at this point since he hasn't been the primary one dealing with them for the past couple of years. You will have other challenges with a new job but they will be different from the day to day challenges you have been working with as well. Maybe it would energize both of you to pursue different paths.

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