Does anyone else ever feel down and overwhelmed?

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Lots-o-Tots's picture
Joined: 01/29/06
Posts: 574
Does anyone else ever feel down and overwhelmed?

Hi, it's been awhile since I last checked in here.

I know we all talk about how great it is to have large families, and it is. But don't you ever feel overwhelmed? Like you bit off more than you can chew?

I've been feeling kind of down about it lately. It's really hard raising all these kids, and it's really started to hit me lately how much more we'd be able to give our kids (I'm speaking for my family, personally) if we didn't have so many. I'm starting to feel like we've been really irresponsible to have this many kids. I mean, I adore them all, but it's hard. And expensive. We can never get ahead. Michael has a good job and makes good money, but it all goes to pay expenses (not that we live high on the hog, we don't), and there's virtually nothing left over. We have very little in savings, no retirement (and we're not spring chickens), there's no way we can pay for college for any of our kids (which isn't that far off for our oldest). Kid number 2 has a consultation with the orthodontist this afternoon - he desperately needs braces, and I have no idea how we're going to pay for them, let alone braces for the twins in a couple of years. It's not just money, either - just the practical aspects of being so outnumbered by the kids - it's hard. Sometimes I feel like a hamster running on one of those wheels - running, running, running, and never getting anywhere.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way sometimes. How do you cope?

Joined: 07/20/08
Posts: 40

Frequently. Mine are too small for braces, but even little things get me. We've never taken a big, traditional family vacation. The older boys are starting to want more, expensive little electronic things that to get for both would take a big chunk of our birthday present budget for all of them. Not to mention all the house stuff that keeps eating away at our savings. Our van is just guzzling our money, but I'm hesitant to get yet another monthly bill. And that's not even getting to the time/kid ratio sometimes.

Just gotta keep going though. Eventually it all passes.

lby_mommyof3's picture
Joined: 11/12/07
Posts: 644

I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed lately! You are definitely NOT alone! I have been trying to decide if I want this to be my last pregnancy (me, not DH, just me). And the conclusion I have come to is that physically, I don't feel like my body can do this again. Emotionally, I am worn out! I am afraid to add another one to the bunch we already have. It is hard to manage my time to spend time with everyone, to get everyone where they need to be, and to keep up with the house and meals. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world, but that doesn't mean it's easy! Like Laney said, we've just gotta keep going. One day the kids will all be grown up and all of the little stuff won't matter anymore. Hang in there!

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

Yes Lisa, you are not alone. I have these thoughts often and they are also a topic of conversations I have with DH....
We had had a German exchange student live with us for the last 3 weeks and we did a lot of outings with her. If we ate out, it was never under a $100.00 ... We took most of the kids when we could, but sometimes it was just plain too expensive or too hard, so we took a few of the kids, which usually outraged the little ones and made it so I had to work doubly hard to make it up to them. I felt like I was spinning! It also put an automatic guilt trip on whoever was lucky enough to go out. Kind of defeated the purpose...
And it is like that often in our house. Somebody almost always feels like they are shortchanged. But is it unique to large families?
DH works many hours to provide for us, yet we still have to budget, even though he makes a good chunk of change. We too have very little in terms of savings, no college funds, braces scare me. Consider this, we cook everyday for -what others consider to be a large party-that they would have to cook for, maybe once or twice a year... I mean, when we went on a field trip to a firehouse, the fireman showed us the kitchen and said something like : " Imagine cooking for 10 to 12 people EVERYDAY!" I don't have to imagine....
Yeah it's expensive, yeah it's a ton of work and yeah it is sometimes not rewarding b/c no matter what, somebody is going to complain. Like you, we don't have a devoted grandma to whisk any of the kids on a magical weekend to make them feel special. It is all up to DH and me. It is a lot of pressure!
But when I look into Sebastian's eyes ( he is my ninth) I feel so much LOVE . When I spend any one on one time with any of the kids, it is so soothing to me. It makes me feel like they are all individually worth all of the struggles.

I just hope that when they grow up, they remember the good times more than the hard times and that they become HAPPY adults.
Our reason to have a large family was to provide them with relatives for their own kids. Aunts, uncles, cousins, etc... I do tell them that often. It is kind of sad sometimes when we don't have anyone come over for Holidays , recitals, Bdays ....
I think we have reached that goal... now I need to work on squelching my feelings for " just one more" ! Wink

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

you are definatley not alone.....i don't even have enough time to type my response....LOL....overwhelmed, no $$, expenses up the wazoo.......maxed out in more ways than one Smile them all to pieces...but i hear ya on every angle.....
i have one in every stage right oldest, sarah, is a junior in high school, max is 13 and in middle school, lucy is 6 and in elementary school, abby is 4 and does home preschool, and jack is 2 and well , is a typical 2 yr from physics to diaper changes in 30 seconds.......from 4-8 pm , don't call.....the insanity is just amazing....after 8pm is either errands or housework....which ever didn't get accomplished during the day, and time for the older kids.....

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

Ditto! Seriously I feel like I am never caught up on anything and am always struggling to find time, to find money (and my husband has a pretty good job too) is just neverending. I am so glad we had all the children we did, 4 was really the minimum I ever wanted, but it is a lot of work!

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

You are not alone. Though what I remind myself is that even my friends with 2 children feel the same way-- so it may not be the number of children so much as our stage of life, kwim?

We've decided that 5 is it for us (Trey had the big V last week-- woot!) I'm so glad that we have each of children, but think I am personally maxed out.

Hang in there! I also remind myself that that first year of adding a new one is so another year it will all get a bit easier, right?

HockeyTownMom's picture
Joined: 05/20/02
Posts: 417

I was just talking about similar things with dh the other day. Friends of mine took their two kids on a cruise last week. We can not do that because of money and we'd need to cabins. What fun is that? We can't stay in hotels until we have two rooms, or we take our camper on vacations. We can't fly anywhere as a family. Luckily for us cost of living isn't as much as other states. Ayden needs braces - getting them on Monday, Kailey's K9's are compacted and Riley's teeth are just like Ayden's. It is extremely overwhelming. So I understand where you're coming from.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

Omg you took the words right out of my mouth. All total with DHs two boys from a first marriage we have six and I'm pregnant again. I can't even wap my mind around the fact that this will be baby number seven. My eldest is ten and I can't even imagine all these kids being teenagers and costing double what they do now. DH and I together make almost six figures a year, and I have no idea where it all goes. Our home is too small now for all these kids (four bedrooms and only 1700 sf), our cars are too small, and we have zero savings. We spend almost $1200 per month just on groceries alone. I'm exhausted all of the time and have no idea how were gonna handle another baby. I know things will all work out in the end, but your concerns are on my mind daily... You're not alone.

belindab's picture
Joined: 06/15/02
Posts: 1033

I completely understand! I just had a breakdown the other day because I felt so overwhelmed. I feel like I can never get caught up around the house and we're struggling financially (DH's hours just got cut). I can't fathom life without my kids but at the same time I feel like I'm in over my head sometimes. Some friends of ours were just talking about taking a trip to Disney and asked if we'd be interested. There's no way we could afford that. It would cost us close to $700 just to get us through the gate for one day, not to mention the cost of hotel and food. Heck, our big meal out is the $ menu at McDonalds! We wanted a big family and were willing to sacrifice in order to have it but it's still hard sometimes. There's days when I tell DH I'm having sensory overload! All the chaos and noise make me want to lock myself in my room at times. I feel like I can't vent to anyone because I know they're thinking "well, you CHOSE to have so many kids". They're right, we did. But we're human and we should have the right to have a bad day or feel stressed at times just like anyone else.

MrsSchepp's picture
Joined: 12/30/06
Posts: 496

In a word: yes! Sometimes I will get these random glimpses into other people's lives and that is when it kind of hits me how...odd...we are Smile Odd is not bad, but not always good either. The sheer amount of laundry and dishes and running around is a LOT sometimes too much. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have just one (or none!). Ultimately, I love having a big family and I would not change it for the world but it is extremely overwhelming. I feel alienated a lot as well. Not many people really "get it" or "get me". It is definitely a difficult life...