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What about the guilt factor---!!!! OK, now I'm very frustrated. Actually, furious. I love my kids. I love working from my home. But if I don't supply the guilt factor, my kids do--even though Im home with them, visit and work at their schools, take them to functions, etc. I've been trying very hard not to work when my daughter gets home from school. But at night I said she needed to go to bed on time (8pm) so I could work then. Every night 10 rolls around and shes still up--complaining about this or that--asking me when I'll come lay down with her. URGGG. Now Im yelling at her, because shes exhausted, crying, my other daughter is now out of bed, and Ive accomplished little. I love them so much and usually dont feel the need to complain, but NOW I'm very URRGGG!!! Double URRGGG. What can I do????????? Is there a measuring stick out there for when it's okay to have me time--oh that's right--me time, means work. Triple URRGGGG.”

7 replies so far...

  • thanks everyone. My temper tantrum is long since over. My kids are sooo good during the day and their bedtime problms are an issue because I let them get away with it. I'll have to try to work on it. Unfortunately, my husband works late 7 to 8:30 or so, with no consistency from day to day--so we never know exactly when he can come home. This means if we want to eat dinner with him we have to eat late and without a schedule. Sometimes, we try a more consistent schedule but the kids and husband feel sad after awhile about it. This situation won't change any time soon due to the state's economy.
    More consistency in sticking with the rules and scheduling is just necessary. I also love the idea of setting aside the time for them.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Susan on 3rd February 2008

  • Boy, do I know what you're going through! I didn't realize how much I had spoiled the kids to having me jump at their every whim until relatively recently. Here's what I did that has helped. First, I established a regular routine and kept it the same each day. This way, they knew what to expect at each time of the day/evening. I learned to anticipate what they were going to ask for. Kids will come up with all kinds of excuses to interrupt you if it's working for them!
    For example, after school they got a snack and free time. Then they did their homework, and then had to get their bath in before dinner. This prevented them staying up too late, since the bath time was the major issue. They had associated that with bedtime before, so they would give me a hard time about the bath. By taking the bath earlier, they knew they could still play, etc. before bedtime and no longer had that association. We try to keep the same routine each day. It also has helped me to know when I was going to have free time. It was difficult to set the routine the first couple of weeks, but once that was done, it made things so much easier!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Naturalsoycandles on 2nd February 2008

  • Great advice from Candi! Susan, just say no to the kids. Be firm! It's their job to push your buttons and oh, will they!! It's hard to break established behavior patterns(your guilt and their button pushing), and will be painful, but taking care of you is just as important as taking care of them. It's ok if they don't like it!! Remind them that your work and your 'me' time keeps them in food and clothing, and keeps you healthy and happy so that you can be a good mom, and not a stressed out mom. I second Candi's recommendation that you block some time for each child -it doesn't have to be hours and hours-and use a timer to establish a beginning and an end time, and also think you should block some for yourself!
    My boys both have set times they have to be in their rooms. They can still be up, but they gotta be gone! No ifs ands or buts...We have snuggle time(ok, not with my teenager!) for a bit before room time, but that's it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by OliveMartini on 1st February 2008

  • Ok, I'm going to ask a very sticky question here.

    Where's Dad in all this and WHY hasn't he stepped in to handle things so YOU can have that time you need? He contributed 1/2 of the DNA for your children after all...

    When I was studying for my Certified Legal Assistant exams, my dh would put our then 4 year old to bed, give her her bath, etc, so I could go into the basement, shut the door, and study without being disturbed. The weekend of the test, he was the one who told me to go to a hotel for the weekend (alone!) so I could study and take the test.

    I know children want their mother. You's the old "as soon as the phone rings, they demand attention." But my basic question here is, if YOU have work to do, shouldn't Dad be handling the kids instead?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by JKLD on 30th January 2008

  • I like Candi's idea of a defined block of time that belongs to the girls. I would add a consequence to the reward, as well. Since your daughter likes you to lie down with her, I would make this a reward contingent on her behaviour.

    "If you are ready for bed, and in your pajamas by 7:45, I will lie down with you for 15 minutes. If you are not ready by 7:45, I will not lie down. You will go to bed at 8, on your own."

    If that picture is current, 8:00 p.m. is a perfectly reasonable bedtime. You are not being selfish to get them to bed at that time, you are being a good mother! And by 8, the lights should be OUT. Again, another possible response to late bedtimes: for every 15 minutes you are awake AFTER 8 p.m. tonight, that's 15 minutes BEFORE 8 p.m. I put you to bed tomorrow.

    Which might mean that she's in bed at 6:30 one night -- but that's okay! Lesson learned. And maybe after all those late nights, she has a little catching up on sleep to do, anyway...

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 30th January 2008

  • Candi gives really great advice. Kids love to test our resolve and your girls are doing this to you mostly because you've let them talk you into things you clearly don't want to do. If you give them some concerted time, then you won't feel guilty about setting limits and promptly turning them back to bed (no negotiations! no laying with them in their beds!) whenever they try to push it.

    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Amy@UWM on 29th January 2008

  • Hi Susan,
    First off, big hugs!! I can feel your pain.

    I think the best thing for you to do would be to give the kids a set window of time every day that is all theirs not matter what. Maybe even use a timer or an alarm clock for fun. Say you eat dinner at 6pm for example. 30 minutes to eat, some time to clean up and so forth. Then you could say 7pm to 8pm EVERY DAY is for the kids. Getting them baths and getting them ready for bed wouldn't count either, you should make it all play time. That way when 9pm or 10pm rolls around hopefully they will have gotten their "mommy fix" and will understand that you need to work. If not you could always remind them that you spent the hour with them earlier and that they need to stick to the schedule or you will have to take away their hour of time the next day. You could make a calendar where on the weekend you sit down and plan Monday through Friday what you are going to do during that 1 hour time frame, that would make it fun for the girls.

    Also, my two middle boys share a room (ages 5 & 7) and they used to be real good with getting up after I have put them to bed. They would be asking me things or complaining about the other one bothering them, etc. What I did was completely ignore them or just say, You know I have to work right now, you need to figure it out. After awhile of them seeing that their games was not going to get them what they wanted (my attention) eventually they stopped. I also put them to bed 30 minutes before they truly need to be sleeping on purpose because I know they have to go through their routine before they actually fall to sleep.

    Hope this helps a little!


    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Candisueg on 29th January 2008