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asking for help


caedmyn
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*Please don't quote, I'm going to delete some of this later.*
 

I've come to the conclusion that I really need some help somewhere.  Except I don't know what area to ask for help in.  My kids are 7 months-11 YO with 3 crazy little boys in between.  My school-age kids all have dyslexia and I'm currently doing the Barton Reading program with two of them which is rather time consuming.  The older two also have ADHD.  We (except DH) have a ton of food intolerances so pretty much everything has to be made from scratch and it is hard to find things everyone can eat.  Plus they eat a TON!  I talked DH into doing a somewhat paleo diet with me, but now he wants me to make him paleo-ish lunches, and I feel like that is just one more thing I have to fit in somewhere...but if I don't, he'll eat fast food instead (he has no self-discipline when it comes to food and he's obese, so he really needs to eat healthier and lose weight and it won't happen if he's left to his own devices).  

I just feel overwhelmed all day long.  School is not an option for a variety of reasons.  Housework isn't that big of a deal other than all the cooking/baking.  We tried to find a mother's helper for several months and couldn't find one.  I don't know if no one wanted to drive to our location (15 mins from town) or what.  We don't have too many regular outside activities--martial arts two afternoons a week and speech therapy for one kid one of those days.  DH does very little other than his job.  He gets up around 8 and goes to work, gets home around 6 or 6:30, and watches TV for the rest of the evening.  He works half a day on Saturday and does paperwork and watches TV for the rest of the day.  Sunday he might do a project or two around the house (maybe) and then we have afternoon church.  The extent of his help is basically making dinner maybe once a week, doing the dinner dishes a couple of times a week, once in a while picking up a kid from an activity like DD's once a month 4-H meetings, and sometimes putting the middle 3 kids to bed (literally, taking them to their room, watching them get in bed, and closing the door...not an involved process).  It seems like he should help more...but he's not even home most of the time the kids are awake, so I don't even know where to ask for his help where it would actually be helpful.  We could potentially hire someone to help...if we could find someone...but again, I don't know where they could help since a mother's helper isn't going to happen.

 

ETA: I do get some breaks as my parents usually come every other weekend and my mom helps a ton when she's here, and 2-3x/month the older 4 go to a sitter for an afternoon so I can get some stuff done and get a bit of a break.  Also DH usually watches the kids, or at least the older ones, on Friday evenings while I get groceries and run errands.  And the kids watch a movie most afternoons so I can take a short nap.
 

Edited by caedmyn
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Even if you find a mother's helper, your dh needs to find a way to help and support you. You need a break.

 

What does your dh do on the weekends with the kids? Why can't he give you some time to yourself on Saturday afternoons or Sundays before and after church? Why isn't he doing more to help around the house? Housework, dishes, laundry... he can do those things at night after dinner and on the weekends.

Edited by Catwoman
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I just read that your dh now has special lunch demands.

 

Ummm... no.

 

Let him make his own lunch. He's responsible for his own health and his own lunch. The last thing you need right now is another child who can't take care of himself.

Edited by Catwoman
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You are outnumbered, holding down three full time jobs (mom, special-order chef and special-ed teacher) and don't get much in the way of breaks because you are in the trenches with little kids.  Then pile on lots of special dietary requirements and high-energy kids.

 

I'm tired just reading your post above.  Hugs, OP!

 

My suggestion would be mandatory quiet time during the day if you don't do this already.  Get them in the habit of an hour or so of quiet activity in their rooms each day so you can get some time to organize your thoughts.

 

Maybe your DH can get up a half hour early and watch kids while you prep his special lunches in the morning?  

 

Again - Hugs!  :grouphug:

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I'm sorry, that seems very overwhelming.  :grouphug:

 

Here is my take.  Last year, I did a diet similar to paleo.  I felt a million times better and had a lot of energy.  I would try to make a deal with your husband.  You will make him one month of Paleo meals to get him started, but then he needs to help out more once he gets home.  Maybe a paleo diet will give him more energy and he won't be inclined to sit in front of the TV all the time, KWIM?  Maybe after that he could help out by doing some of the shopping and cooking (which I know is exhausting when there are food issues).  Maybe you could have a kid free night once a week or something to recharge your batteries?

 

Can you maybe devote a Saturday/Sunday or two in April to making Paleo friendly freezer meals?  This is the link I used when I started:  https://onceamonthmeals.com/blog/recipe-roundups/50-freezable-whole30-recipes/  These are Whole30 meals so a bit more restrictive than paleo but maybe a good place to start.  I think I made enough breakfast and lunches to last for two weeks and it took me maybe 2 hours to shop and 3 hours to prepare/clean up. 

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I'd be setting the tv on fire in the yard if he wouldn't stop watching on his own. Dinner dishes and putting the kids to bed can be an ALWAYS job, not a sometimes job. He helped create the little cherubs. He can help take care of them. I would be really, really blunt about him stepping up. Would he rather have them totally on his own for 50% of the time? 

 

Do you meal plan? Freezer meals? There are a bunch of paleo meal plans now. Even if you don't do it monthly, prepping for the week on Sunday can help a bunch. Things that go in the crock pot or Instant pot: whole chickens, roasts, pork shoulders. Roast a few pork tenderloins. His lunches can be leftovers from dinner the night before. Or get a set of those black plastic and clear lid containers and prep them for the week. 

 

Split the household chores with him too. Make a list. Post everyone in the household's assignments. Big. List. 

 

:grouphug:

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I am glad you posted. I would be overwhelmed too. You have a lot of little people around and this is quite demanding.

I understand that you could not find someone like a Mother's Helper but do you feel you have exhausted all options?

Someone here will probably have some good ideas about that.

 

As to your dh and helping. Can you sort of decide who does what so it's more of a scheduled thing than a "great when it happens but cannot rely on it" event?

Maybe along the lines of Monday, Wednesday and Friday dh bathes kids and puts them to bed. Monday and Tuesday night he does dinner dishes - or whatever works for you. This way you would have some kind of schedule where you know when you have some free time to take a breath and think.

Edited by Liz CA
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I know you said housework isn't an issue, but you have so much on your plate that anything you can remove would give you more time.  I would hire a weekly cleaner, to start.  

 

How severe are your food issues?  Is cross contamination an issue?  We have anaphylactic allergies here, so this solution would not work for us, but might for you:  maybe you could research Blue Apron or Home Chef type options for your DH alone?  Or even better, for you and him?  They'll deliver a box and he can make it his job to prepare the food for his lunches - and preferably make one to leave in the fridge for you every day.  Or if he doesn't like those options, let him handle lunches for you both from scratch.  He can pack up lunch for himself and you, and put them in the fridge when he cleans the kitchen at night while you are putting the kids to bed.

 

My BIL is a very busy partner in a law firm, and works crazy, crazy hours.  But he made it a priority to do bath and bed time for his kids Every. Single.  Night.  It was their thing.  Maybe your DH would like to do that?  That didn't work in my own family, because my own DH travels a lot, but I always thought it was cool that BIL and the nieces and nephews had this ritual.

 

I do think you need help, so am just throwing out random ideas, hope that's okay.

 

How about hiring tutors for some of the subjects?  Outsourcing what you can?

 

I think a mother's helper is a great idea.  Have you tried Care.com?  Forget teenagers, if that's what you were thinking, we've had better luck with Care.com.

 

 

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Agree with all the PP's that DH *needs* to help more.  His work schedule doesn't sound unpredictable and the hours don't sound too bad.  He can't work his 8 or 9 hour job, punch out and have you pull a 13 hour + day each day, just doesn't work.  I would break out daily and weekly tasks into a list and sit down with him to divide it up.  Really, break them down.  Not just "clean bathrooms", but "clean master bathroom" "clean hallway bathroom" etc.  DH also needs to take ownership of his lunch unless you make lunch ahead for everyone and it isn't any extra time to portion food for one more person.  

 

I agree it sounds like you need some help, but what would be the most helpful to you?  Someone to play with / watch your kids?  Help you clean?  Help you cook?  Based on what tasks are the most meaningful to you, I would then look around.  Sorry you couldn't find someone before.  Is care.com available in your area?

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Oh, honey - you need some help - I was exhausted just reading your post!!

 

Your dh needs to step up and help some more, unless there are some extenuating circumstances not seen in your post.

 

I like Liz's suggestion above in which she suggested making a concrete list or schedule.  Seriously, you need help and there's no reason why he can't provide some of it!!! 

 

Sit down and think through this - what would be most helpful to you and be specific as Liz said.  At a minimum, I would think he could take over most of the dinner clean-up and all of the "putting children to bed" activities.  

 

:grouphug:  

 

Anne

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When my kids were little, DH had to help more.  I even made him get up in the middle of the night to take turn feeding babies.  This was also when he was working and I was not (working outside the house).  I think that is preferable to me being a raving nut case.  Do you think if you worked that when you came home you'd get to just plop your arse in front of the TV?  Uh...NO. 

 

 

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I like the suggestions about letting dh take care of his own lunch, and blowing up the television in the front yard.

 

With your family's challenges, nobody should be giving you more work, or watching television for several hours per night while you do all the work.

 

Going on strike would be reasonable. Also reasonable would be putting the school aged kids in school for awhile and/or reallocating funds to hire some housekeeping and child minding help.

 

Not bc you want the kids in school, or bc you can easily afford to hire a cleaner (most people can't), but to send dh a very clear message that you are overworked and must have help. If he won't help you, you'll have to outsource some things and hire others; its just true. So pick which it's gonna be.

 

Find balance before disaster finds you...burnout in mom leads to trouble. Many of us have learned this firsthand - as a parent of kids with special medical, dietary, and learning needs, I learned it the hard way and had to make changes for everyone's wellbeing, including my own, for once! You can make changes, too. With or without dh's help OR permission.

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I agree with others that your DH needs to lift his game but also I get that that can be nearly impossible sometimes. And sometimes the choice is an income earning only DH or no DH and you just have to deal with what you've got.

 

A couple of other maybe suggestions is - a lot of friends with food intolerance kids find their thermomix saves a tonne of time. I have no idea if it's in your budget or not. I remember from previous threads you have to supervise almost full time. The thermomix is a way of cooking so the cooking won't leave you needing to supervise that which could free you up to be with kids.

 

Secondly, how much are your kids doing to help? I guess with ADHD it may be harder to get them to be useful, I don't know. In our house I have one kid designated to help with each meal and cleanup. The plus side is now when I'm sick the seven year old can put a decent lunch together and my 10 year old can do dinner if needs be. I put the youngest on breakfast because even a 3 yo can empty the knives and forks in the dishwasher and put out some breakfast cereal. the plus side with the meal help is they are occupied and not getting into other trouble while you are at it.

 

Is there any government sponsored help available? Friend I know with special needs kids have someone come in several days a week and it doesn't cost them anything.

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I would LOVE to outsource some of the cooking/baking.  I really don't like cooking.  If I could find an in-home chef or something to come in once a week or every other week and do some of that, that would be heaven.  I doubt there's anything like that here though...it's not exactly a major metropolitan area.    

 

We don't have any allergies, just intolerances.  I think some sort of easy freezer cooking to crockpot meals might be do-able for lunches for DH.  The kids could actually do most of it if the recipes were simple enough.  The older three like to cook.  

 

Maybe I could get DH to get up a little earlier in the morning.  If he would do a little housework or meal prep in the mornings and keep the 4 YO and 6 YO out of trouble while I did the 8 YO's reading lesson, that would actually be a big help in more ways than one.  I don't see him doing that on any consistent basis though, and his idea of "watching" them is usually to turn on a movie, and I feel like they already watch too many movies since they watch an hour or more every afternoon, and more once DH gets home and turns on the tube.  

 

I've asked him to keep the TV off until the middle ones go to bed, around 7:30 most nights, and he does for a few nights, and then he goes back to his usual habits.  He just does not do anything but go to work and watch TV on any consistent basis.  Drives me nuts.

 

A couple of other maybe suggestions is - a lot of friends with food intolerance kids find their thermomix saves a tonne of time. I have no idea if it's in your budget or not. I remember from previous threads you have to supervise almost full time. The thermomix is a way of cooking so the cooking won't leave you needing to supervise that which could free you up to be with kids.

Secondly, how much are your kids doing to help? I guess with ADHD it may be harder to get them to be useful, I don't know. In our house I have one kid designated to help with each meal and cleanup. The plus side is now when I'm sick the seven year old can put a decent lunch together and my 10 year old can do dinner if needs be. I put the youngest on breakfast because even a 3 yo can empty the knives and forks in the dishwasher and put out some breakfast cereal. the plus side with the meal help is they are occupied and not getting into other trouble while you are at it.

 

That thermomix looks interesting, but oy, the price!  

 

The kids do help a good bit but it requires a lot of supervision and reminders on my part since the oldest two have so much trouble focusing.

 

 

 


 

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Operating on the assumption that your dh wants to do the right thing, but has years of bad habits to overcome, maybe it would be useful to start with one thing. Choose one thing and make it important. Don't back off when he relapses into old patterns! Don't expect it to be easy, but don't give up, either.

 

Remember, this is important for more than just you - this is important for your children to see their daddy stepping up to the plate so that the family can function the way it is supposed to.

 

Anne

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Hiring a tutor for my dyslexic was the best choice I ever made. I was fully capable of teaching the material, but that was irrelevent because of our reality.

 

It took us two hours to cover what should have been covered in one due to all the interruptions. Because I was solely focused on one child, my well intentioned but adhd kid accomplished absolutely nothing during those two hours on their own. Later I would have to sit with that child and get them caught back up. That means I was spending Multiple hours each and every day futilely. Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe my emotional state.

 

Now that we have a tutor, she can focus on the reading lesson while I cover math or whatever in the other room with another child. I no longer have to worry that I'm not covering enough with my dyslexic, and I can go back to being her cheerleader rather than her task-master. I can also do a better job of teaching my adhd kiddo better self-organization skills because I'm no longer torn between his needs and my daughter's.

 

Is the tutor expensive? Yes. However, if I calculate out their pay vs. all of the hours saved (rather than the single hour that they are here) it is an absolute bargain.

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My first suggestions has to do with meals.   Cook in bulk.  My DH takes leftovers to work for his lunch.  So, if you cook paleo, he can take that to work the next day.

 

Also, cook in bulk to freeze half.  That is a great way to start in with freezer cooking.  Cook everything double for 2 weeks, and you have 2 weeks of meals in your freezer.  

 

And, this isn't meant to be a husband bashing, really......but you said he has no self control with lunch.  I would say he has no self control with TV either.....it sounds like that is his way of coping with the overwhelming stuff you are dealing with too, only you don't get to just retreat to the TV.

 

 

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Your dh has an easy predictable​ work schedule. He can help a lot more! When our kids were born, my dh decided on his own he would do bedtime routines and any getting up at night. He worked incredibly long hours and sometimes traveled for work so sometimes I had to do those things because he was not home. Sometimes he got home fight at bedtime and went to care for the kids -- putting off his own dinner. Dh said he did this because it was his only chance to get to know the kids. 20 years later he has a great relationship with each child.

 

1. I recommend your dh get significantly involved in bedtime activity.

 

2. I recommend​ your dh do something active with the kids before bedtime. It's getting warmer, can he take some for a 30 minute nightly walk. Even if he's just taking the two youngest out in a double stroller, it's a start. It'll be good for dh and the kids will like it.

 

3. He needs to do something active with the kids on the weekend. Get them all out of the house and away from you for a few hours.

 

4. Get meal delivery, while you learn efficient meal prep for your diet restrictions. Either fully prepared or partial prepared meals. You should be able to find such services for Paleo.

 

5. As you learn think about utilizing the Crock-Pot. I used to a routine where I set aside a weekend (dh took care of kids) to prep freezer meals for 3 months. I'd have 4-5 options that I served twice a week and then two Crock-Pot meals and then a leftover night. All week night dinners we're planned quarterly and we're on the calendar just like an appointment. When I did that I also had the start of each weekly shopping list.

 

6. Search for a mother's helper again. Does anyone live near you? Could a neighborhood teen come and play in the yard with two or three kids twice a week while you do school with the others. I'd also get at least weekly house cleaning.

 

7. Quiet time midday is essential. Every week day every kid goes to their room for an hour. They may read, write, draw, listen to music (low). They stay in their rooms quiet.

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You have a lot on your plate.  I'd start by looking for a real break every day.  Dh gets up at 8am?  Good for him, but I'd start telling him that you're going for a run/walk at 7am before you start doing school, and then - very important - GO DO IT.  They will survive for 20-40 minutes without you, and getting the chance to start your day with a little bit of exercise will help keep you going.

 

I wouldn't spend my time on dh's health habits.  He's not a child.  If he's not willing to eat healthy, I can't make him.

 

Usually, in our house when dh is off work so am I.  Everything is 50/50 when we're both home.  For the longest time he cooked and I did dishes, or vise versa, or I'd do bedtime while he picked up the living room. And so on throughout the evening.  Not everyone knows everything that has to be done in a home so it's important to speak clearly. "Tonight, these things all need to be done.  Which part do you want to take?"  Until it becomes habit. DO NOT ASK FOR HELP OR FAVORS.  That implies it is optional and a one time deal.  If he wants to clean up after dinner and make sure he has leftovers for lunch the next day, great.  If not, it's not your job to be mommy here.  Just make sure that y'all are having budget meetings to take care of it all.

 

You have to get some time to be you, every day.  You need a break, every day.  Not because the list of things is overwhelming, but because it quickly becomes so when you burn out.  By carving out a little bit of time you avoid feeling under constant stress. 

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I think the key is you need him to realize that homeschooling is like having a job.  It takes time, energy, effort, just the same as his job.  If he doesn't see it that way, frankly, I'd quit homeschooling.  Of course you don't have to agree with me on that or respond the same, but the fact is you aren't just lazing around all day doing nothing. 

 

 

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I don't think you can do much to change a grown adult. I think it might make you more frustrated and tired trying to do so. The idea of an evening walk is a good one, but it might end up being just you and the kids.

 

I think an instantpot would help quite a bit along with bulk/ freezer cooking. I use frozen meat in mine, and once you load it,you are free todo your own thing( It does take about an hour to get up to temperature and cooked).

 

Maybe instead of trying to get him to do something, you can choose and evening a week and that will be your evening. I used to do a lot of what you are posting, but I had a little help from husband when he was in town.I also did not have that many littles . Cooking for special intolerances is hard. Especially because not everyone has the same one/seven. Bartons is draining...worth it..but exhausting. I used to go to a bookstore, or library or get outside by myself at a pretty park. I left at 6 and was home at 10( I say this because At first I got bewildered phone calls, checking to see if I was all right). My husband was welcome to plan something for himself too, just not on Wednesday. We also have a date night, so that someone can cook for me and serve me. Those things helped a lot. Going out one night for groceries cannot be your night.

Edited by Silver Brook
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You are outnumbered, holding down three full time jobs (mom, special-order chef and special-ed teacher) and don't get much in the way of breaks because you are in the trenches with little kids.  Then pile on lots of special dietary requirements and high-energy kids.

 

I'm tired just reading your post above.  Hugs, OP!

 

My suggestion would be mandatory quiet time during the day if you don't do this already.  Get them in the habit of an hour or so of quiet activity in their rooms each day so you can get some time to organize your thoughts.

 

Maybe your DH can get up a half hour early and watch kids while you prep his special lunches in the morning?  

 

Again - Hugs!  :grouphug:

 

I agree! This was the only way I managed to stay sane when I had five with about the same age spread as yours.

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Some other things we did so that I could stay semi-sane during those years:

 

I tried to run my errands after dh was home for the evening, just so that I had time away from the kids.

 

Dh did the bedtime routine with most of the children, not me.

 

If a child, other than the baby, needed help in the middle of the night, dh was that guy.  That way, usually, neither of us was getting up multiple times a night. A good nights sleep make a world of difference.

 

For awhile I cooked in bulk, and made liberal use of my freezer.

 

Dh always took at least one child with him when he ran his own errands on the weekend.

 

I did not keep an immaculate house.

 

I taught my olders how to get breakfast for the youngers, and we ate very simply or left-overs for lunch everyday.

 

And I strictly enforced what came to be known as "lay-down" every afternoon.

 

We pretty much only did together/ mom-intensive school in the morning. Oldest used "lay down time" to do his reading.

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The homeschooling is time consuming and draining.

You said the housecleaning is under control.

The cooking is a monster.

 

Sounds to me like you can handle two of the three things on this list, but all three is too much. And it sounds to me like there's not a lot that you need help with, really, other than the cooking. I mean, you've got the homeschooling and cleaning down, though it sounds terribly draining: it's the cooking that you mentioned is a problem.

 

And it sounds frustrating to have dh come home and do nothing but sit and relax.

 

So, here's what I would do:

1. Make cooking into a weekend event that Mom and Dad do together as much as possible: prechop veggies and meat, pre-make DHs lunches, premake any soups or items that reheat well. Then during the week, it's a matter of just putting it all together. Use whatever other clever ideas have been mentioned in this thread that will work for you.

 

2. Give DH some specific jobs to do. Like, he could become the dishwasher or the bath-giver or whatever. You'll have to talk to him in whatever way you guys best communicate, but tell him you're at the end of your rope and could he please take over X? Expect to have to remind him of his job without pestering or controllling or micromanaging.

 

3. Take time off. I go out one night a week for a movie night. I don't even care what I see. I've been doing this for a few months now and have seen some great movies and some real duds, but it doesn't matter. I'm in the car alone, I'm in the theater alone, and it's glorious. I wear earplugs because the movies are too loud, but I love it. Also, when I go grocery shopping every other week, I go alone and I stop at Sonic and eat a $1.79 junior delux burger and a mini mozza stick and I bring my own drink. I sit in the car for about 40 minutes, reading and eating my burger and mozza sticks.

 

Find something like that for yourself. The going for a run in the mornings is a nice one, too, if you like that sort of thing. I use a treadmill because I am an indoor person and avoid being outside whenever possible. :)

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Since you're doing Paleo-ish, pre-prepping is actually reasonably easy.

You cook big quantities of meat instead of small ones.  

A big roast of beef instead of a small one.

A leg of lamb rather than a rack.

A pork roast instead of pork chops.

2-3 roast chickens instead of one set of fryer pieces.

 

Then you freeze the leftovers in meal sized portions.

 

You buy bell peppers in big bags, and clean, seed, and cut them in strips.  Then freeze the strips in packages of one pepper each.

 

You buy bagged, prewashed salad greens.  

 

You keep several kinds of cheese around at all times, if you diet allows that.  Then you can always nosh.

 

This way you don't have to shop nearly as often, and cooking goes a lot faster.

 

Also, get in the habit of emailing a shopping list to your DH every week or so.  He can stop at the grocery store on the way home, and you don't have to leave the house to shop.

 

Regarding the TV, I'd go ask for specific help or have something to talk about every time I heard it come on before 7:30 for a while.  I wouldn't argue about it, I'd just interrupt it.  Like, "Hon can you please put these cans on the high shelf in the basement?"  "Hey, I wanted to talk about the car insurance--how about keeping me company in the kitchen so we can talk while I clean up?"  "Guess what!  Oh wait, I have to do those dishes--come in the kitchen and join me?"  "Can you please check the oil on the car--I'm saw a weird light out of the corner of my eye briefly today--not sure what it was."

 

In general, too, I think you need to have some time to yourself built into your schedule, and let the chips fall where they may.  An evening, or half a day per week is very reasonable, and it gives you something to look forward to.  I wouldn't ask, really.  I would just say, "I'm going to the bookstore Tuesday night, I can't bring the kids along."  And I would go.

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I don't think you can do much to change a grown adult. I think it might make you more frustrated and tired trying to do so. The idea of an evening walk is a good one, but it might end up being just you and the kids.

 

I think an instantpot would help quite a bit along with bulk/ freezer cooking. I use frozen meat in mine, and once you load it,you are free todo your own thing( It does take about an hour to get up to temperature and cooked).

 

Maybe instead of trying to get him to do something, you can choose and evening a week and that will be your evening. I used to do a lot of what you are posting, but I had a little help from husband when he was in town.I also did not have that many littles . Cooking for special intolerances is hard. Especially because not everyone has the same one/seven. Bartons is draining...worth it..but exhausting. I used to go to a bookstore, or library or get outside by myself at a pretty park. I left at 6 and was home at 10( I say this because At first I got bewildered phone calls, checking to see if I was all right). My husband was welcome to plan something for himself too, just not on Wednesday. We also have a date night, so that someone can cook for me and serve me. Those things helped a lot. Going out one night for groceries cannot be your night.

Grown adults change all the time.

 

The OP didn't always have 5 children. She has had to change and adapt in order to care for them while still taking care of the house and the cooking. Why shouldn't her dh have to change as well? Why should all of the responsibility be on her?

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If he wants paleo sandwiches, he can make them himself. You are his wife not his mother.

 

If you are working 16 hrs days, he doesn't get to work 8 and then become a couch potato. The end. He helps.

 

The kids and the hubby need a chore list so you can get a break.

 

Last, if anaphylaxis is not an issue, it may be time for a couple of the children to attend school and get their special ed help there. You are absolutely overwhelmed. School for a season is most definitely not the end of the world.

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Unplug and pack away the tv. Yes it will be hard but even your ADHD kids will benefit greatly from the stimulus of tv being gone.

Get some earplugs for the first week of whining.

Second, a serious talk with dh will need to happen. Does he want to be involved? Honestly, people have divorced over that one . I'm not saying you will or even suggesting you do! [emoji33] He sounds like he needs a reality check. Getting rid of tv for a month is a great place to start. This isn't the 1950's when the man comes home and buries himself behind a newspaper while the Little Wife waits on him hand and foot!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Paradox5
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Your husband's health is his problem - not yours. He's an adult. He can make his own lunches.

 

Also: He seriously needs to step up here. He needs to be helping you when he's home. You say he's "not home when the kids are awake", but it looks like he has two half-days every week - Saturday and Sunday. (Besides, homeschooling means you can set your own clock. Put them to bed an hour later, that's an extra hour that can be all his, every single day.)

 

Edit: Forgot about not quoting.

 

"Usually" watching "at least the older" kids while you do the groceries?

 

Honey, that's not a break. That's you doing the chores, and even then it looks like your husband only takes the easiest children some of the time.

 

If the rest of the time you can go to the store with all the children, then he can darn well go to the store with all the children every Friday evening and let you have a REAL break. YOU can sit around and watch TV all evening. HE can handle bedtime and dishes and dinner and last minute storytime.

Edited by Tanaqui
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This isn't the 1950's when the man comes home and buries himself behind a newspaper while the Little Wife waits on him hand and foot!

 

My grandmother was a 1950s housewife. Her husband helped out - and he even made his own lunches! He didn't get to buy fast food every day, because his allowance didn't stretch that far. She kept the budget, she determined how much money he got every week. If she said "Well, darn it, I guess we have to tighten our belts, you only get $3 this week, not $5.50", he said "Okay, honey" and made do.

 

(Wow, 1950s prices are weird!)

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If the rest of the time you can go to the store with all the children, then he can darn well go to the store with all the children every Friday evening and let you have a REAL break. YOU can sit around and watch TV all evening. HE can handle bedtime and dishes and dinner and last minute storytime.

It's not a question of 'letting' either.

You can't negotiate this, and you shouldn't get all pissy or sad in discussing it with him.  Basically you have to just do it.

 

Example:

Dinner is over.

You ask the 11 yo to load the dishwasher.  Then you go read a book in the living room.  If someone turns on the TV you say, "Can you please turn that down, I'm reading."  

 

See what I mean?  You just kind of go and do, in a calm way.  

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It's not a question of 'letting' either.

You can't negotiate this, and you shouldn't get all pissy or sad in discussing it with him.  Basically you have to just do it.

 

Example:

Dinner is over.

You ask the 11 yo to load the dishwasher.  Then you go read a book in the living room.  If someone turns on the TV you say, "Can you please turn that down, I'm reading."  

 

See what I mean?  You just kind of go and do, in a calm way.  

 

 

Yes.  I didn't ask my dh if I could go to the movies once a week.  I just said, "I need a break.  I'm going to start going to the movies one night a week alone."  It wasn't a big deal.  I adore movies and no one else in my family likes going to see them very much, so it works out for us.

 

I didn't ask my dh if I could shop alone.  I just said one day, "I'm not going to shop in the day anymore with the kids.  Too much hassle.  I'll go on a weeknight and they can stay home with you."  He didn't blink.  

 

Oh!  And when I get home?  I don't unload the car.  And I don't feel guilty about it.  I've spent 4 hours shopping:  40 minute round trip to the stores and back, 40 minutes at Sonic, and 2.5 hours going to two different stores for two weeks' worth of food and supplies.  I'm tuckered out when I get in--grocery shopping comes on the heels of homeschooling for 6-7 hours and cooking dinner for an hour.  I head straight to the bathroom with a book and unwind while he empties the car and puts the food away.  I don't emerge from the bathroom until it's all put away.  Then we both sit and relax.  It's a fair division of labor.

 

At first I helped unload the car, but honestly, I really am tired out after the shopping.  I told him that I was feeling pretty worn out from all the walking around and packing the groceries at Aldi and loading up the car at both stores and he said, "Oh, that's fine.  I'll just get it all."  And he felt all strong and manly saying it.

 

So, your sweetie needs to step up, but it doesn't have to be some big dramatic thing.  Just start telling him some of the things you'll do to relax, and start asking him to help you out because you need help.  Let him help you.  He might not know how much help you need.  My dh thinks I'm superwoman half the time until I tell him I'm not, and then he jumps right in.

 

If he refuses...well that's a thread for another day.  

Edited by Garga
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My dh works an insane number of hours with a somewhat unpredictable schedule (sometimes you never know when you'll be called in to work) and yet he still helps out around the house and with the parenting duties cuz he lives here and he helped make these children of ours. My kids (3 of them from 7yo-12yo) make themselves breakfast and lunch from the food in the fridge that I purchased and/or made that they or my dh put away. My kids do the dishes after every meal with tasks divided up to match their age and maturity. They also have daily housework tasks that they do every day (litterboxes, feeding pets, bathroom counters, etc). When we do our big whole house cleaning, everyone pitches in.

 

My point being, they all live there. They all help make the messes. They all help eat the food. They can all help in the labor of creating and maintaining the system that provides for them.

 

I wouldn't ask. I wouldn't make a big fuss, but I would tell in a calm manner what I need to happen and my answer to the inevitable why question would always be "Because you live here."

Edited by mamaraby
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Another thought,

 

Does your town have to-go grocery stores?  If so you can place the order from your laptop (I just keep a running list and hit order once we have enough to get the service for free) and have DH go through the drive-through and pick it up on his way home from work.  One less errand for both of you.

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I wish there was a to-go grocery!  There is a grocery delivery service, but it's kind of pricey and doesn't seem worth it.  

 

I think some of you have DH's with different personalities than mine.  He is a bit like a brick wall...if he doesn't want to do something, no amount of nagging, asking, reminding, or otherwise mentioning it will budge him.  If this TV was no longer an option, he'd use the one in his office, or stream movies on the computer.  And if I asked him to turn down the TV cuz I was reading...well it might get turned down a little, but he's certainly not going to mute it or anything.  If I kept interrupting him to ask him to do stuff, more likely than not, he'd tell me he'd do it later.  After the Final Four is over (Monday) I'm going to ask him to keep the TV off until the boys go to bed...or at least to just watch it in his office if he won't do that, so I don't have to worry about what non-kid-friendly shows are on.

 

There are some good ideas here.  I just need to write them down and then figure out what's most likely to work.

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Kill the TV.  This is not a joke.  Just get rid of it.  

 

My husband works 40 hours a week and studies another 30+ a week, and he routinely helps with the boys and around the house more often.  Dishes 90% of the time, bedtime (which is up to an hour of reading here) about 1/2 of the time and chips in elsewhere.  He would do more, but I tell him to stop procrastinating on school and leave scrubbing out the cabinets to me.   :laugh:

 

Also, you should be able to get special education services via the school district without enrolling your kids in school FT.  Child Find and IDEA apply to all kids, in public, private or home schools.  

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Get rid of the tv.

I'm not kidding.

I've commented before that you and I have similar situations. About 3 years, I realized that I had been doing everything except going to the paying job 50 hours a week since our second chikd was born, and, really, before that too. I did everything. He sat. TV or his phone. I had a child who took all the awards for intense plus a baby and an autistic/ADHD older brother. I was losing it. It took me 18 months to work up the courage to have that conversation, but, essentially, I told my dear husband that he could either step it up and be an equal partner, or I would be forced to move in with my parents so I could get some help. My parents lived across the country. I was dead serious. I was beyond exhausted and literally going crazy. DH chose to step it up.

 

It wasn't easy. I had to learn to tell him what I needed and get out of the way as he had his reaction (who wants to bathe kids when they are used to sitting and relaxing?). I had to learn to leave twice a week (I was really burnt out. Now I leave once a week) ignoring any guilt trips. It's all worked itself out now, but, for a long time, I had to remind HIM almost daily of his agreement to charge. Not nagging, just "dude, you said you were my partner

 

As for cooking; I cook 3-4 times a week. I cook a lot at once so we have leftovers for lunch and dinner. We eat leftovers for dinner 3-4 times a week I'm still rather overwhelmed by special diet cooking, but this works better than coming more often. I and I cook and freeze things like meatballs, chicken nuggets, and other convenience foods that are allergy friendly so I'm prepared for a rough night. I don't make his lunches. He's an adult. It's his body.

 

The TV is not on until kids are in bed. Devices aren't used until kids are in bed. It's just the St it is now.

 

And....I sent my youngest two kids to school this year so I could continue to recover from the burn-out/depression/exhaustion. My oldest stayed home because his unique challenges don't lend themselves to school. The other two are coming home next year (we think) because DH and I are a team again.

 

I get the stubbornness. I do. I'm telling you: it took daily reminders to my DH for a long time and my own (not naturally) thick skin. I didn't like it. I didn't think I should ace to remind and ask and all that, but that's life. :-) I literally had to walk away when he would react. I would text my good friend and tell her I stood up to him and that I regretted it (my DH is kind but oblivious; I grew up abused, so I freak out early and want to fix things. We both needed to learn. We created our marriage dynamic together).

 

I hope you find your solution.

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I agree with what has already been said. And I don't think personality can be an excuse!

 

I have only 2 kids, 5 and 3 and am pregnant with #3. This is our first year homeschooling (Ker).

 

My husband is gone to work 8-6, minimum (sometimes goes in early). He is also studying for his licensure exams for architecture. He ALWAYS does dinner dishes, bath and bedtime duties.

 

Over the weekend I get groceries (alone), but that doesn't count as my break! I usually try to go to Panera for one meal over the weekend and take a few things to plan, a good book, my Bible and spend about 3 hrs. I also do a book club 1x/mo.

 

*Usually* I do most of the other housework, but since I've been pregnant DH does the bathrooms and vacuuming. (He started this when I was sooooo sick first trimester and has continued).

 

It's not ok for your DH to just watch TV while you are this stressed. It's just not! It needs to change!

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Seriously, if he goes to bed at say, 11:30 that means he's watching about TWENTY-FIVE HOURS of TV just on weekdays.  Plus it sounds like at least another 10-15 hours a week on the weekends.  That's a second FT job (35-40+ hours a week).  He needs to curb the couch potato habit.  

 

Is he depressed?  

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I don't think getting rid of the TV is the answer, nor do I think her dh will agree to it.

 

I do think he needs to cut back on the amount of time he spends watching TV so he can be more helpful around the house and with the kids, and if the OP is as burned out as it sounds like she is, it might not be such a terrible thing to let the kids watch some extra TV during the day so she can get a little time to herself.

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ADHD has a significant genetic component, and it sounds to me like your husband has executive function difficulties; I'm going to hazard a guess that he is as affected by ADHD as your children.

 

And it might be worth considering medication for him so he can be a fully functional adult.

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The homeschooling is time consuming and draining.

You said the housecleaning is under control.

The cooking is a monster.

 

Sounds to me like you can handle two of the three things on this list, but all three is too much. And it sounds to me like there's not a lot that you need help with, really, other than the cooking. I mean, you've got the homeschooling and cleaning down, though it sounds terribly draining: it's the cooking that you mentioned is a problem.

 

And it sounds frustrating to have dh come home and do nothing but sit and relax.

 

So, here's what I would do:

1. Make cooking into a weekend event that Mom and Dad do together as much as possible: prechop veggies and meat, pre-make DHs lunches, premake any soups or items that reheat well. Then during the week, it's a matter of just putting it all together. Use whatever other clever ideas have been mentioned in this thread that will work for you.

 

2. Give DH some specific jobs to do. Like, he could become the dishwasher or the bath-giver or whatever. You'll have to talk to him in whatever way you guys best communicate, but tell him you're at the end of your rope and could he please take over X? Expect to have to remind him of his job without pestering or controllling or micromanaging.

 

3. Take time off. I go out one night a week for a movie night. I don't even care what I see. I've been doing this for a few months now and have seen some great movies and some real duds, but it doesn't matter. I'm in the car alone, I'm in the theater alone, and it's glorious. I wear earplugs because the movies are too loud, but I love it. Also, when I go grocery shopping every other week, I go alone and I stop at Sonic and eat a $1.79 junior delux burger and a mini mozza stick and I bring my own drink. I sit in the car for about 40 minutes, reading and eating my burger and mozza sticks.

 

Find something like that for yourself. The going for a run in the mornings is a nice one, too, if you like that sort of thing. I use a treadmill because I am an indoor person and avoid being outside whenever possible. :)

I enjoy movie nights alone regularly too! So refreshing for me. I can be free from responsibilities and just enjoy.

 

OP, I would be fried crisp on your situation. You've gotten a lot of good advice. Hugs.

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I don't think getting rid of the TV is the answer, nor do I think her dh will agree to it.

 

I do think he needs to cut back on the amount of time he spends watching TV so he can be more helpful around the house and with the kids, and if the OP is as burned out as it sounds like she is, it might not be such a terrible thing to let the kids watch some extra TV during the day so she can get a little time to herself.

 

If my husband were spending 35-40 hours a week watching TV and not equitably contributing to raising his kids I really wouldn't much care what he agreed to or not.

Edited by LucyStoner
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I wish there was a to-go grocery!  There is a grocery delivery service, but it's kind of pricey and doesn't seem worth it.  

 

I think some of you have DH's with different personalities than mine.  He is a bit like a brick wall...if he doesn't want to do something, no amount of nagging, asking, reminding, or otherwise mentioning it will budge him.  If this TV was no longer an option, he'd use the one in his office, or stream movies on the computer.  And if I asked him to turn down the TV cuz I was reading...well it might get turned down a little, but he's certainly not going to mute it or anything.  If I kept interrupting him to ask him to do stuff, more likely than not, he'd tell me he'd do it later.  After the Final Four is over (Monday) I'm going to ask him to keep the TV off until the boys go to bed...or at least to just watch it in his office if he won't do that, so I don't have to worry about what non-kid-friendly shows are on.

 

There are some good ideas here.  I just need to write them down and then figure out what's most likely to work.

 

I think the running theme here is to set your own boundaries.  Forget about asking or cajoling or nagging. Set your boundaries, and go take care of you. 

 

Be up front with your plans and what needs to be done.

Don't ask for help.  That assumes it is your job only and he's doing you a favor. 

Don't beg, nag, berate, or whine.  Take him at his word and go about your life cheerfully. 

Don't parent him.  Tell him what you need from him and don't pick up that slack.  Example: "Baths and dishes need to be done.  Which one are you going to handle tonight?"  After he picks, don't say another word.  If he chose dishes and didn't do them, well, guess what, the dishes sit there until he's ready to, even if it means you run out over the next three days.  You need a partner, not someone to clean up after and you're not going to do so.

Get out of the house.  Seriously, leave.  All by yourself.  Let him figure out what to do each day for 20min-1h.  He can manage.

 

 

If you're not willing to stick up for yourself, then the problem will continue.  Define what you will and won't do and have the self respect to take care of you.

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I don't think he is the least bit ADHD. I think he doesn't have a lot of self-discipline in many areas, but really it's a choice. He controlled his weight and exercised regularly for 15 years when he was in the service, but once that external motivation was removed, he stopped doing either. I think he developed some bad habits several years ago when he had undiagnosed sleep apnea for a couple years and was always exhausted, and now he doesn't see a problem with what he does (or at least, isn't willing to admit there's a problem) and so doesn't care to change. He is very hard-headed.

 

I do not think he is depressed.

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