send thoughts and hugs my way

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TPaul, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Hey guys and gals,
    Could use some extra thoughts and hugs my way right now. Feeling pretty overwhelmed with things and about ready to blow a fuse. I hate to complain-vent but since I have no one else to really talk to about it, I am glad that I can speak about it on this board. It does help to take the edge off, and I am thankful for that.

    Wife has been working the 2 jobs. Second as I have stated was completely her idea. She did that right after she went out and bought the van without discussing it with me. She had in her mind that we did not have enough money to cover everything because she seemed to run out of money before her next payday. That is because she binge spends almost immediately after each pay cycle. The reason that we don't have credit cards, :surprise:

    Any way, she gets only a few hours sleep each day with this situation. The kids hate that she is always at work, and she knows it. She is doing hardly anything, and I mean very very little, around the house to keep things running. When I got sick with the flu, all the clothes for the house backed up. She did one load the entire time I was sick in bed. With five kids and two adults , we produce approximately 3-4 loads a day of dirty laundry. You can now picture how our laundry room looks. Dirty clothes piled high and over flowing. She was off yesterday from both jobs, well was supposed to be off all day. She was home during day light hours. When I left for work yesterday, she was going to rest a bit then get up and do laundry. We discussed it and she said she would. Fast forward till when I come home at 7:00pm. (Had to deliver a piece of furniture about 30 miles from our town, after we closed the antique shop). Nothing and I mean not a single thing had been done the entire day when I got home. Add to that she was sleeping across the bed. She did at least throw some frozen dinner in the oven for the kids. Did not fix anything with it for the kids. They need good healthy balanced meals. That bothers me a lot, but I simply can not do all the house work, all the cooking, all the laundry, getting all 5 kids up everyday and ready for school, do my three jobs, and add the other various things like help kids with homework, yard work, house maintence, etcc (you get the picture). Late at night is my only quiet time when the kids are in bed, and she is gone to work. I tend to end up being up till midnight or so and then have to be up by 6am to get the kids going and start my day.

    The only good thing about wife working all these hours, is she is not home to unload on me, :faint:! She did decide that she was going to pay all the house hold bills and such this month since she gets a check from both places every two weeks. That will surely bite me in the A ** some how. She will end up saying, "She paid all the bills, so I should not complain" or some such. I tried to tell her to do it the way we have been with each trying to cover half. She said no she wanted to do it this way this time.

    Ok, all of that to ask this, LOL LOL!!! Can anyone relate to the above and can you offer suggestions on how I can get things to work smoother if I am going to have to do everything. My mom did FLY LADY for a while and this seemed to help them, but I don't know if I have the energy to try and completely grasp all the things the program requires to work successfully. Any suggestions on what you do to help things work better??????

    Sorry to unload, but I do feel a bit better after typing this, so thank!!!!!!!

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If you both are working so much, can you afford a house-keeper- at least part time? With all the kids and housework, this is an awful lot of work for two working people. And, get those kids on board to help out, too!
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I was going to suggest a housekeeper if you can manage it. Even if it is just every two weeks, having someone come in to do a really deep cleaning should help out a lot.

    In all honesty, wife sounds as manic/hypomanic as all get out, and I don't doubt you are ready to blow a fuse.

    Speaking from the bully pulpit, there is not a whole heck of a lot you can do for an out of control bipolar person. WE need to be medicated in order to function, and that means not just filling prescriptions, but taking them on time and in the dosages prescribed.

    You are not being unreasonable in expecting her to pitch in as she can within the limits of her work hours.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yes, I can relate because my husband had similar issue b.m. (before medications). I know this wasn't healthy, but I learned to just let go of a lot of things to keep my sanity. Things are improved around here, but far from perfect.

    The kids should certainly be helping out with the chores and thus learning life skills they will need later on. Laundry is an easy task for them to learn. And they can all chip in so one doesn't feel overwhelmed with it. Assign sorting to one child, loading and transfering to the dryer to another child, and folding and distributing to another (maybe the oldest since this requires a bit more patience). Each kid puts their own clothes away that have either been delivered to their room or placed in a stack somewhere easy to collect.

    If you have a dishwasher -- USE IT. And this is another very easy, kid-friendly task that doesn't take much time at all. All three of mine are experts at unloading and putting dishes away. I've just recently started working on teaching the oldest how to load it properly.

    Bathrooms are another area where kids can help. Mirrors are easy for little ones to clean. Save the dirtiest job for the oldest who should be able to manage some rubber gloves, a bit of bleach and a scrub brush. The younger ones can scrub out a tub and sweep/vacuum a floor. If they all work together they can get it done in a half hour or less.

    I think the trick for kids is breaking jobs up into small parts so they don't get overwhelmed and shut down. When mine balked at emptying the WHOLE dishwasher, I broke it down into sections and told them to ONLY empty the top rack, or bottom rack or silverware basket. That made it much more manageable in their mind.

    If you can afford help to come in once a month, I'd try that, too.

    You may not be able to change your spouse, but you can train your kids and hopefully over time be able to get back on top of the situation. Until you get to that point, you may have to just turn a blind eye to some of the chaos and focus on just the essentials.

    Good luck!
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was going to suggest the housekeeper as well.

    You have 3 jobs? Can you cut back one if she insists on working 2?
    Sounds like she is trying to not be home and when she is doesn't want to be. I think we all go through those times. I would see if all her needs are being met or if she is feeling like she is missing somthing.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Load up all the dirty laundry in her shiny new van.... take it to the laundromat. That should save you several hours. Also, come up with a chore plan for the kids... maybe offer a small allowance to your two eldest to do simple things like unload the dish washer, make the beds and take out the trash.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    T, I think you are married to my husband(except he cannot work)! I second GN, your wife sounds like she is hypomanic heading towards manic, and I hope something turns her around. We just went through that with husband and he ended up in psychiatric hospital for 5 days and now is cycling again.

    Sometimes it gets to where for me, in my situation, I have to drop the expectations that husband does anything other than pick kids up from school and take them to occasional appts. It is too hard for me to think,hope and expect for him to get some thing done and I get home and nothing is done. There are times he does stuff around the house, and when I get home it is awesome. I love it.

    How do I deal with it? My house is a mess, the laundry never folded, and you get the picture. I do what I can, and figure no one has died of a messy house.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    If you would like us to help you write out a chart of DELEGATED chores - just say the word, list the ages of your children and we'll give you ideas of what a child that age SHOULD be able to do FOR THEMSELVES and FOR THE OTHERS without it being a burden on the eldest, you and your wife.

    No WAY should you or HER be doing laundry, dinner, packing lunches, cleaning, yard work...with FIVE children if any of them are over the age of six. They live in a large family - GET USED TO IT.

    If you and husband insist on being the kind of parents that don't believe in delgating and continue to do it ALL? There will be this board for kibitzing when you feel like exploding, resentment at times, her working, her sleeping, you feeling overwhelmed while continuing to work 3 jobs, possible nervous breakdown, ulcers, Prilosec, and this will continue until the youngest child is about 16. :tongue:

    Just my observation.

    Oh and - May you find a 13th century treasure in a box at an auction that you bid .50 on. Closest I can get to a hug for a man I barely know. ;)
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Ahhh... we live in a parallel universe! That will be my new mantra...

  10. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member


    My instinct is to ask why she purchased something that would mean she had to take on a wait...a third job?
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry things changed so quickly and with-o your input.

    First, hire someone to come in once a week to do the heavy cleaning. There are services but you can also look in craigslist to find someone. Make sure you provide LOTS of clean towels/rags so that they can use clean ones as needed. (There have been some exposes that show major services (national franchises) using 1-2 towels for the entire house.)

    This will take a HUGE burden off of you and the kids.

    Then every single child should have chores. They should each have 1-2 that they are responsible for AND part of larger chores, like laundry and dishes, that they are assigned to help with.

    Don't just tell 2-3 kids to do laundry. They will each assume the others are doing the chores and then skip "their" share. Assign specific parts for them to do.

    Kids can make and plan healthy meals. It is EXCELLENT for them to learn now, rather than later. Involve them by having them help pick menus, set shopping lists, find coupons to help with costs, cook, clean.

    Sometimes it works that whoever cooks also cleans. Other times the cook doesn't clean. Use what works for you and change it if need be.

    This is hard, but all you can do is all you can do.
  12. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Thanks everyone for the input. I will try to answer some of the questions and clarify a few points.

    wife has taken on the second job, because after her binge spending is done she has used all her cash up from that pay period. In her mind, the only answer was another job. She normally does not make big purchases, but spends it all on lots of this and that. We made do for years on a small income till the kids got in school and I was able to be out of bed and able to work again. That has helped her to not seek big ticket items. A plus I know, and thankful for it.

    I work part time at the antique mall where I have my booths. Three hours 5 days a week and many times a full 8 hours on Saturday. I have 4 booths in the mall as well as filling in with the owners booth where we make themed displays. I have to find items to sell, clean them, research some items, price them, stock the booths, fill in where items have sold. My booths are all done with a decorated style to fit the type of items. I have started a staging and interior decorating service in addition to the above. With it all I work approx. 10 hours a day or so. Some days less, some a little more. Because I do not make set number of dollars for each of these above task, in wife mind they are not the same as a kind of job like she has. Funny though, I make more than she has made up till now and if my decorating jobs hold up, I will probably still make more than she will make with the two jobs she has. :surprise:

    We are doing better financially than we have in years, but do not have the additional income to hire someone to come into the home. Maybe in a year or so, but just could not swing it right now.

    I am the one that worries about having the house clean. It does not bother her the way it bothers me. That was how she was raised
    sadly. :sad-very: I do make the kids help me every evening when I get home. The problem that I have with assigning the chores is that Mom does not get on board and make sure that the chores are done consistently when I am not there, or get in later. She will say she wants them to do chores, has even made charts up a few times, but never every sticks with it more than a week. It is hard with two different sets of motivation for the kids to find a steady way to do things. The years of up and down, topsy turvy, wild ride with wife I know keeps them in a mixed state of emotions.

    Someone commented on her not wanting to be home. I think that is true. With all five kids home, she is instantly stressed out and loud and grumpy-angry. On the one day that she gets the kids up for school, usually monday, there is yelling, screaming from her at the kids every time. Same thing after school if she and they are both home together. I have only occasional trouble in the mornings, and usually with the oldest early hormone 12 year old daughter. Things run pretty smoothly besides that.
    I think because of the BiPolar (BP) she can not deal with the pressures and pulls of motherhood and wifedom, LOL, that are required of her while at home. At work she has a set way that everything is done. On of the is a 10pm-8am home health job, where those in the home are asleep so there is not alot required of her for many of the hours she is there. At the other home there is always 2 people there, to take care of the 4 residents of the home. She has help with the feeding, bathing, etc so it is easier to be at work than to take care of her home and family.

    Again thanks for all the post. Just typing about it, helped relieve the built up steam and stress. I talked to my oldest daughter this morning and she has agreed to help more with the laundry, in exchange for a bit more allowance. If she will stick to this, that will help a great deal. I am thinking about getting rid of all the plates, bowls, cups, glasses, etc... and using disposable instead, :smug: No need to wash those puppies, LOL!!! The other plates and glasses, even silverware tend to disappear mysteriously around here anyway.

    A lighter burdened
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    T--with 5 kids in the house I bet it is noisy and overstimulating for your wife. I know my husband just cannot handle too much going on all the time, makes him very irritable, grumpy and snappy. From another board I go on I have heard the same thing from many other BiPolar (BP)'rs.

    Not an excuse or trying to say her behavior is ok (it's not) but sometimes it helps to know what is at the base of things.

    I do think she may need a medication tweak. The next time she goes to the psychiatrist is it possible for you to go with her or to write him/her a note trying to be as objective as possible and describe her symptoms? husband used to not want me at his psychiatrist appts, but he would take a note in to him. psychiatrist actually thanked me for them at one point.
  14. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    I am having a hard time getting her to actually go and see her doctor to try and get medications worked on. She tells me she will, but then ends up just getting refills(when I keep at her to refill them, otherwise she doesn't do it) and not going to see the doctor.

    I believe that you are right about the over stimulation being what she has trouble handling. That makes the right combo of medications for her so important. I am hoping that since she is working all the hours with the other job and I seem to have a few months of steady decorating jobs to do, that I can get her into see Levi's psychiatrist. It would be worth the couple of hundred each month if I would help.
  15. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    It is a very fine line to walk, the line of helping and supporting your spouse but not getting too over controlling and involved. I am fortunate in that my husband keeps his appts, and is really more compliant than I ever thought or dreamed he would be. Sounds like you may be at the place where unless the person wants to help themselves, there is not much you can do.

    As for the medications, I refill everyone's medications and fill their medication minders. There is no way any of us could keep track of who had taken what without the pill boxes. I will remind husband to take his medications, but his memory is so bad right now I honestly don't know if he would remember to take them unless he was told too, the Tegretol has really hit him hard cognitively.

    It sounds like she is working a lot of hours. I hope she is able to handle that, she probably is trying to avoid home. I wish I had an answer as to how to deal with the overstimulation, I see both husband and my difficult child struggle with this. With difficult child if I can remove him from the situation and let him calm for a few moments it helps, but I cannot really do that with husband. I have not found a good way to approach that.

    I really hope things get better for you.
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    T.Paul, what the others have said. All during the tweedles years here (both are in out of home placement/treatment currently) our house was nonstop chaotic.

    When one was stable the other wasn't - sound familiar?

    Saying that, I agree that the kids can & should pitch in. Doesn't matter that mom/wife doesn't follow through. Kids need to follow through even if that means you need to assign the chores & then follow up. As they are kids, it won't be perfect.

    Mom likely shouldn't be taking the prozac with her mood stabilizers - generally not a good mix for someone with BiPolar (BP).

    by the way, Flylady isn't that hard - you take it a day at a time, a room at a time. Once you have the system down it's a breeze.

    Good luck
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I only have two kids, 3 pups, and an H, and there are times when I look forward to Monday so I can go back to work! I feel for you, I really do, and I also know that your wife's behavior sounds exactly like she is overwhelmed by her household responsibilities...yet doesn't seem to know or doesn't want to know how to change things. That leaves you and the kids.

    I like the flylady a lot. There is a lot of organizational methods she offers that would suit your home. There is also a lot that she suggests that you can ignore. Tackling one room or area a day is a great idea. Also, allowing your kids rooms to 'go' once in a while is not a big deal, really - just close the door. As long as there is no food or beverages allowed outside the kitchen, the rooms can be messy in my humble opinion without much damage.

    Can you schedule a whole day and rent a dumpster? Do it and have a cleaning out day where everyone cleans out and tosses anything they haven't worn or played with in 6 months. Get rid of junk and old **** that has been tucked in corners or hidden away for later. If it's not being used and it's not worth selling, dump it. Once your home is free from clutter, it will be easier to maintain. Try to put aside sentimentalities and just toss it! If you must save old junk, organize a spot in your shed or garage and build some shelves to store it. But mostly, clear out spaces like your living room and kitchen, hallways, closets and cabinets and bedrooms of all the clutter. My mother likely had BiPolar (BP) and was a packrat and a compulsive shopper. We'd go without a decent dinner for weeks so she could re-landscape her favorite corner of the yard, really. We ate rice and beans so she could afford a built in pool. She saved old newspapers and old toys from our childhood; she collected what she called 'heirlooms' that sold at tag sales and flea markets. We had 4 couches growing up and they were all in the same room because she liked them and wanted to provide more seating for visitors. She never consulted with my dad about any of these expenditures! Seriously, I get where you're coming from.

    ALL of your kids are old enough to be assigned a task or two per day per week. The littlest could be in charge of dusting and emptying the small waste baskets in bedrooms and bathrooms. She and the next oldest could also be in charge of cleaning bathrooms twice weekly. The older two could be in charge of meal prep and cleaning the kitchen - they take turns every other day. And the middle one could be in charge of taking out garbage and sweeping or vacuuming every other day. Divvy up the chores and then divide them between the kids. Having each of the five kids take turns in the kitchen, in my opinion, is a mistake - it is too much to keep track of. Dividing the kitchen chores between only two kids makes it easier to track, Know what I mean?? If need be, create a simple chart and put it up on the fridge for each day so there is no confusion. When my kids were little this worked, as they grew older, they would often trade jobs and as long as it was done I didn't care. And it didn't have to be perfect.

    Get rid of your washer and dryer. Sell them or donate them. Make a once weekly trip to the laundrymat. Your laundry is washed, dried and folded within an hour or two because you're using multiple machines at once, rather than waiting for each load to complete a cycle before moving onto the next load. It's faster and easier. Each person gets their own hamper or basket. No one can go out or have a snack until all their clothes are put away. This worked for us when I was a kid (family of 7 also!). Every Sunday morning, it was laundry time. It wasn't until the oldest 3 were moved out that my parents bought a washer/dryer again.

    Whatever you do, you need to create a system and stick with it, with or without wife's blessing or agreement. I'm sorry you're feeling so overwhelmed and miserable about these things - hugs to you and yours. I hope you find a way to make things work.
  18. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending gentle hugs your way.