Monday, March 15, 2010

How Do I Breathe?

The Questions:
Dear Jane,

My name is Natalie. It is 1040pm and I can't sleep as I reflect on my day with a 2 yr old, a 1 yr old and I am 20 days away from giving birth to our 3rd child. We struggled with infertility for 6 years and after 6 long years of waiting came a precious little girl by way of adoption, Whitney. Shortly after her birth we found out we were pregnant with our first biological child, Michael, who turns 1 this month. Having been told by my OBGYN that I still had about a 3% chance of getting pregnant after Michael, we found out we were pregnant with our 3rd child to be born this month. Whew!, I'm exhausted. I still totally and completely feel like a first time mom and when other moms with 3 children get together, I still feel like the "greenie" in the bunch to say the least.

A friend recommended your website and I read it with admiration for all the great advice, with wonder at what other moms are going through and with awe at the patience that everyone has for their children (or maybe it just sounds like that in writing.)

I have 3 questions for you along with a little background on each...

1. Like I said, it's 1040pm...I feel like this is the first time I have sighed a relief all both my kids are asleep, my husband is asleep and the baby is kicking away. I feel like I hold my breath in anticipation all day. My shoulders hurt from the stress and I don't feel relaxed at all. I'm sure my children can feel the stress, but I just don't know how to relieve it. My 2 yr old (i have been told) needs to be put in Montessori school for discipline. Apparently in nursery, she can't drink out of a cup and is more rambunctious than the others. I can attest to her energy as I feel it at home all day long. I just don't know what to say to others as I am clueless as to how to hone all this energy myself. She is a fireball. I am on my toes all day long, rarely sit (really!) and cannot prevent enough accidents and problems. For example...I have NOTHING below the 5 ft mark in my house, she can open sliding doors (those now have dowels in them that she knows how to remove), all bathrooms have 2 locks on them, everything is kid proofed 2x's, I can put ingredients for cookies on the counter and I turn away to help child #2 (still in the kitchen) or to go to the bathroom with the door open and she'll reach the butter, smear it all over the bookshelf and books, have it all over herself in less than a minute. We have no chairs out, we use folding chairs and put them in a closet after every meal even before getting her down from the table. I fear leaving the house and even have anxiety going over to other people's houses when I know their child isn't as "crazy" as mine or their house isn't child proofed. I only go to stores where they can both be strapped into the seat (mainly Costco and the grocery store with the double seats.) People comment all the time about what a crazy child I have and it's not like I sit at home and teach her to bounce off the walls. I RARELY give her sugar anything and cringe when other people do. It is SO stressful to not be able to turn my back for a second. I feel like this relays to my 1 yr old. He has just learned to walk and almost keep up with her and he gets so excited to follow her and get into whatever she is into. He is a lot more low-key but is a little "follower"...if she is doing it, he'll attempt it, but he would prob. not do the same thing on his own. I am at a loss of how to "control" or hone her energy. People ask if I do playdoh or crayons or activities with her at home and I would love to but the mess and the struggle I have with her is not worth the energy and exhaustion and the mess. She is very strong willed and has learned from somewhere (because this behavior isn't taught or displayed by my husband or I) to kick, hit, scream, throw herself on the ground, etc...I don't know how to stop it. We use time outs and an occasional spanking with her for bad behavior. Because she is so energetic, strong willed and a go-go-go child...I do A LOT of one-on-one quiet activities with her like reading books, singing songs, learning the alphabet and numbers, teaching her whispering games, etc. My husband and I are pretty active but not loud or crazy, so I know that a lot of this is nature not nuture. Oh, what to do, I am at a loss? Bottom line for this question do I take a breath during the day? How do I get to the end of my day without feeling like giving up? In hindsight EVERYDAY, I think, I should have been more patient, I should have tried this...but quite frankly, with a husband that has a job that is very demanding, I feel like a single parent and that I am doing the very best I can. As I am writing how crazy this is, I realize I am holding my breath...does it ever get easier?

2. With so many parents around knowing that I am a new parent with my hands very full, I often get caught in their trap when they comment on my rambunctious kids. I love my kids and as much energy as they have, I am EXTREMELY grateful for them, thank God every day for his blessings to us and I just cannot imagine not having them in my life. But when friends or neighbors or ward members see us chasing our kids around like chickens with our heads cut off and comment about our crazy existence, we often find ourselves caught up in the explanation and I often feel bad when leaving that I did not support or talk more positively about my children. For example, someone after sacrament meeting seeing BOTH OF US chase them around in the hall for the FULL HOUR...will say, how are you every going to do it with 3 this close? What are you going to do with that Whitney? or What are you guys thinking having kids this close? Birth control? or most of the time it's usually a negative comment about Whitney. Instead of not commenting or brushing it reply usually starts off with a sigh as I corral one of my kids or am battling them on my hip, etc. I just wish I left people with an impression that this was easier, or that I enjoyed it more...or that they didn't encourage the sigh or the craziness they see at the start of a conversation about how hard my life is, it only exacerbates the chaos. Hmmm...this is a tough one for me. How do I show the very best side of me and my children and let people know that I really did sign up for this (maybe not all at once but HF is the only one with that control) and let them walk away not thinking that I am not cut out for this or don't want this?

3. My husband was in the construction industry before the economy went south. He had a great job and we were doing well. He lost 2 management jobs last year due to the economy and because of this stress, we made the decision after some thought/prayer to change his career path. He is now in management at a financial institution, a very different direction than we had hoped and probably not where we want to stay long term. That said, to make ends meet he commutes 2 hours a day (1 hr 1 way) and works ON AVERAGE 10 hr days. Most days he leaves around 6am and doesn't get home until 7pm. He goes to school on Saturdays all day and some weekday evenings. Our main family time is on Sundays or when I keep the kids up late to see him during the work week. I really struggle with not complaining (esp around my kids even though they might not understand) and maybe the pregnancy makes it extra worse, but I feel like a "single parent." I often have the thought in the back of my head, "is this what I signed up for?" I really am having a hard time with no breaks, expressing my love all the time with my kids and being patient and always being on my "best mom behavior." I feel like with no down time at all (i only get a shower if I get up when my husband is getting ready at 5am and take one because the kids are not on the same nap schedule as hard as I try) I have many a sleepless nights wondering how to be a better mom when I feel so depleted and quite frankly at this young age where they don't really express gratitude a whole lot...very under appreciated. I know, I know...woe is me. I always said in the 6 yrs we were childless that I would never take being a parent for granted and I would always love my children and have the utmost patience with them and I would look at mom's yelling at their kids in the grocery store and say...never, no never would I do that. And then just a month ago...big and pregnant, in one of those race car grocery carts, Whitney grabs the 18 ct eggs from the cart in front (which is so hard to reach, btw) and she just starts chucking the eggs across the aisle, at people, at food on the shelves...she got to all the eggs before I could reach her and manage to grab them away from her. I have never seen a bigger display, struggle or mess in a grocery store EVER. And my I lost my temper...yep, in front of everyone. And that wasn't the worst of it...the worst part was trying to get someone to help me, as I wrangled a terrible two temper tantrum on a sticky gooey messy, egg-y kid and try to calm my other crying child who had been pelted with eggs from his car seat. Whew...once again...I find myself holding my breath as I write this.

Well, now that you've read this BOOK...I wonder what advice you have for a crazy, losing her mind mom of almost 3. I do realize that things seem worse with pregnancy hormones. But quite frankly, I rarely leave the house with these 2 and I hyperventilate wondering how I will EVER leave the house with 3! I told my parents since the ripe old babysitting age of 12 that I always wanted to have 10-12 aunt and uncle in Utah when we were growing up had 8 and I thought it was the funnest, most amazing family ever and I always wanted to be just like them. Now, on my 3rd, I wonder how I will go on to do mom's do this? Is it my personality that can't handle this many? Is it just so much change at once that it's brought me to needing to seek psychiatric help? Is it the lack of support from my husband right now in his career and life? I don't know. All I know is that my dreams of having a big family are quickly being dashed and I look forward to a day when my children will be able to appreciate all we are going through to get them here and hope that they won't be traumatized from the quickness of having them all at once and so close together. Any help or advice would be appreciated. I am on my knees quite often asking these questions to my HF...but thought I'd ask you too for I love the encouraging responses from other writers/readers.

I'm hoping there are other moms out there like me, surely I can't be all alone...I know our story is unusual but not unimaginable. People often compare our situation to triplets and I can't help but thinking that that would be easier...weird I know...but at least they are all on the same page at the same time...or at least I think they would be. Is the grass always greener on the other side? My book is done. I will leave these questions to your great minds to answer or ponder. Thanks for your time.

Holding my Breath,


The Answer:

Dear Natalie,

Before we talk about your life--which is extremely difficult right now--I want to tell you that I so appreciate your honesty and humility and your desire to be a good mother. You have a pure heart and I wish I could offer you what you really need--an assistant!

Your life is extremely challenging. You have a number of factors that make is so. I read through your letter several times and gave it a lot of thought and here's what I think. Yes, three children under 3 are challenging. An absent husband makes is doubly difficult. Financial worries add greatly to the stress. But I believe you could manage all of that if you could resolve your core problem--your 2 year old daughter. Her behavior causes you almost constant anxiety and embarrassment. Two-year-olds are known for their spunk and mischief but your daughter really seems to be taking it to a new level.

She is the person I'd like to focus on first, because I feel that if she becomes manageable, you will be able to ride out the rough year ahead. I'm wondering why she is so out of control. While you've given many good examples of her negative behavior, I'm not sure what is at the root of it. Was she a difficult baby? What are your feelings toward her? Does she connect at all or accept limits? Does she receive affection from you? I've thought a lot about what I would do in your position and this is what I think. I'd have her completely evaluated. Maybe she has some difficulties or problems that need attention. Discuss your concerns with a doctor that you trust and find out what he recommends. She was adopted and may have issues--genetic or in utero that need to be addressed.

Maybe you will find that she is just a very normal active 2 year old. If that's the case, then I would put my energy into forming a stronger connection with her and setting some simple, clear limits. It sounds like you've set up an environment (for your survival) that doesn't require her to control herself. You can help her to have tiny successes with self-control. Help her to feel competent and responsible even in small ways. Teach her continually. Teach her carefully how to drink from a cup, how to walk in a store, what things she may touch. Shower her with praise and physical affection. Don't just do things with her--build a bond of love. This process may seem exhausting, but it isn't half as exhausting as what you're dealing with now. You're spending all of your energy putting out her fires. Turn it around so you are in control and you're helping her to succeed.

She obviously needs great supervision. And this is not going to be an easy year for you. I've had a few of those "extreme years". But time passes. Your daughter will mature. Your husband will finish school and things will ease up. This is a year (or two) for hunkering down and giving your best. Your husband (and you) will find out what your made of. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says. Let them think what they will and stop letting that add to your stress. This is your life, your family. True, it isn't the calm, unruffled life you had two years ago. It isn't the tidy car and house. It's much more meaningful than that--and therefore, much more difficult. Your going to have to get up every morning and work harder than you've ever worked. But the work will be rewarding and even exciting if it's focused on teaching, loving and orchestrating small successes. Otherwise, your life is custodial and frustrating.

Now, from a practical standpoint-- recognizing that you are in a state of emergency (a year-long state of emergency) you need to do everything you can to equip yourself to weather it well.

List everything that is hard about your life and brainstorm with your husband and pray together to find solutions.

Discuss each child and develop some positive plans.

Discuss ways to become as organized and stream-lined as possible.

Figure out how you're going to get out once a week by yourself, how you can have time together, what you can do for each other that brings real comfort and relaxation.

Find some outside support. Do you have any family members that can come in regularly to help you for a while? Don't be afraid to ask church members or friends. You won't always need support but for the next little while, I think you really do.

It helps to realize that this "extreme time" will pass. This isn't forever. It's a year or two. I think of the early pioneers who signed up for a long, arduous trek so they could wind up in the middle of nowhere and build something out of nothing. They signed up for two or three very difficult years in the hopes that they were accomplishing something great and worthwhile. They were! And so are you. You can do this, so believe that you can. Each of your small efforts are moving you forward. That great family that you knew in Utah and wanted for yourself-- didn't become "fun and amazing" overnight. That family developed over years and years and was the result of endless teaching and enormous sacrifice by a father and a mother.

I know from experience that the Lord will make you equal to your life. I very much want your success.

With Love,



  1. I have four children that are very closely spaced. Being pregnant with young children is especially hard and having an absent husband is also--at least you have that Sunday as a reprieve, I have never had that either. My husband works 10-12 hour days and often 6 days a week, one of them almost always being Sunday. For two years he also went to school full time, which started during my 4th pregnancy and then for 1-1/2 years after she was born.

    Don't be afraid to ask for help from ward members, especially during the first months of this new baby's life.

    And don't forget to pray, really pray. Heavenly Father knows your needs and knows your children better than you do and if you really pray and learn to listen, He will whisper what you need to know and do for your children. After all, who wants your children to succeed more than you do? He does!

    It is hard, but children do grow and these days will pass, and very quickly, believe it or not.

  2. Natalie,
    Where do you live? I want to run over and help you all day! I have 2 year old twins and you're right--it is much easier that they are on the same page. I was in a similar boat with infertility. I swore I would never yell,spank, be ungrateful either. But I have been all of those things. But they are the exception. Don't be so hard on yourself.
    And other people just need to mind their own beeswax! They have no idea what it is like to be you! My guess is that most of the negative comments come from people who feel inadequate with their own "easy" life, so they have to put someone down who has a harder life. Try try try to surround yourself with people who will be supportive. Jane is right-there may be an issue with your daughter. My nephew has similar issues and is in a special school. But they do sound mild and manageable with the right help so give yourself the peace of mind by finding out. There very well could be nothing unusual, but at least you will know.
    Since I can't come do your dishes, or take your children for a walk while you nap, I will just pray and pray for you to be able to enjoy your days again...
    love from a mother who is going to appreciate her life today...

  3. My first and last sons were very much like Whitney...especially that year from 2 to 3. It was just constant destruction by them. My husband was also almost always gone, 7 days a week. Those were very physically challenging years for sure. I've come to think of 2 year olds as mentally ill, because that is truly how my oldest and youngest sons acted back then. I remember all the advice I was given from ward members just trying to be helpful. But most did not have a clue about my life. They would gently imply that maybe we were too hard on him at home, maybe he watched too much violent TV, etc etc....all not true. My first son was even banned from the nursery at Primary...he was given his own teacher in a room all by himself. I came home and cried the day I found out that! Some 2 year olds are just a lot harder than others.

    It was easier with my last son because even though he was my hardest 2 year old of all (4 sons), by then I knew he would eventually get better, I knew we just needed to endure it and love him, and I was more confident in my mothering by then. I remember praying every morning for his safety and protection because he would do the most dangerous things..throw things, break things, continually try to escape the house even during the night...I had a goal of keeping him alive until he was 3 and then I knew he would get better...and he did! He and his wife will graduate from BYU in a few weeks.

    My 2 middle sons did not go through this like my other 2 sons did. So I also got a taste of how it is in other families with calmer 2 year olds.

    They do grow up and they do get better. I think there was an extreme difference between ages 2 and 3. It's like one day they wake up and the "mental illness" is gone and they are such pleasant little people.

    I remember this older gentleman at church one particularly difficult Sunday with my first 2 year old. I guess he saw me struggling with Brock and he said to me, "I've often thought how nice it would be if we could just put 2 year olds in a box and take them out when they are 3." He and his wife had raised 6 great kids, so I took his wisdom to heart and I realized it was not just me, not just my son.

    Our greatest blessings in this life, are also our greatest challenges. Funny how those 2 go hand in hand.

  4. Natalie-
    I was crying as I read you post because I HAVE BEEN THERE!!! Although my boys aren't as close together as your children are, my middle son was and extremely HARD toddler. I felt that same anxiety going ANYWHERE! Church was a nightmare and I was forced to purchase something i SWORE I never would...a leash...a cute "monkey backpack" but a leash non the less. I figured that it was better than losing him in a public place, yet agiain, because maybe next time I wouldn't get him back. We have had the police over to our house searching for our missing escape artist child and he was once actually sprayed by a skunk! We have discovered that he is mildly autistic. That was a hard fact still to this day...he is 5 now, I sometime convice myself that he is/was just a normal kid. I tell you this not to scare you but to reassure you. When he was 2-3 years old he was a mess and so hard to deal with, but now as a 5 year old he has grown out of a lot of the behaviors that stressed me out so much when he was young. In fact now, when I tell people he his autistic they are surprised. Now don't get me wrong he still has his moments (i think every single one of his primary teachers are going straight to the celestial kingdom), but they are now managable, no more than managable, especally compared to the first 3 years of his life. I wish there was a magic trick to gettting your toddler to behave but for me there wasn't. I just had to be prepared, and realize that I was doing the best I can and if anyone else had a problem with me or my kid, that is just what is was, THEIR PROBLEM!! There are services offered by your local school district that could help. Early intervention programs may be available for help, and they are typically free. There are many different ways kids can qualify, she doesn't have to be autistic, but it might give you some reasources that could be helpful. Just know that you are not alone. I can't tell you how many times I have cried myself to sleep! But it WILL get easier. If you ever need anything or want to talk, Jane and Natalie know how to get a hold of me... :) HANG IN THERE!!!

  5. In some ways I feel like I have totally been there and some days I am still there. While my husband was in graduate school we were living away from family and friends and we had a ward that didn't like us at all. For what ever reason they didn't like us. In fact, right in the middle of sacrament meeting an older couple got up and moved to the front to get away from us. It wasn't all in my head, they did it for the reason that we were too loud. That's why we sat in the back! We had people constantly making comments about how wild my two red headed boys were. In nursery one of the teachers was trying to discipline my son by slapping his hand to get him to stop taking the wrong play doh. I saw this with my very own eyes. I would seriously cry everyday and night wondering if it would ever end. Thinking about now makes me cry just because I knew that as a family we were better than what the world saw, but no one could understand us. It was just HORRIBLE!!!!! Every situation with every child is different so I really don't know what I would do, but what Jane says sounds really good. I do have to say that I asked my husband for a blessing and it REALLY helped BOTH of us. Jane talks a lot about how you feel about your children and I would say that there are times when I don't feel the love for them that I should and when I don't I ask my husband to pray with me or give me a blessing because sometimes I am not in the right frame of mind and he is and for some reason it works for us. I have had friends who have used early intervention and have been amazed at the growth their children have acquired. Last thing, now when people make any comment that I interpret as a back handed comment I just say something like..."i've got some great kids." Even if I do feel like everyone is judging us or they are acting out of hand. Just because I want my children to hear me say to other people that I love them. and it's really none of there business what they think of my parenting. I use to apologize for everything and sometimes I still do, but I don't feel like I am doing it as much which makes me feel better. You are an awesome mom! I love that you were so honest! I want to be that way too!

  6. Sweet Natalie- I feel your desperation and frustration coming through the screen. I want to send you my positive thoughts, prayers and encouragement- you are a good mom and you are doing a good job.

    I want to second what Jane said about reaching out to your ward- asking for help can be painful and humbling but you truly need it and are deserving of it. Your ward members will rally around you in service and love and definitely extend you and your family more patience and understanding.

  7. I don't have the time to put into words what I really want to say to help you... I have a 3 year old "fireball" and an 18 month old "fireball-in-training"... (just last week the 18 month old climbed a ladder to the roof of our patio). But right after reading your letter, I read this ( and thought, WOW. Don't we all need to hear this?

  8. Sweet Natalie! I just want to hug you! I am not in your situation but I *have* dealt with severe peri-natal depression and anxiety (including before and after childbirth). I used to hold my breath ALL THE TIME - PND or no PND, it's a classic symptom of stress. I realized later that when I allowed myself to breathe, I would start to cry. (Crying was something I was always trying to avoid.) When I finally sat down with a therapist and she started trying to help me to relax, she asked me to take several deep breaths and I just started sobbing, and it all came out. It may not make sense but I realize now that crying was what I needed, body and soul. It's not an instant ticket to happiness, but I came away feeling quiet and peacful, like a great amount of tension had been released, which was a great start. Many people feel ashamed of crying - it's not favorably viewed by society - but I think it is a gift from God, one that helps our bodies and minds to release tension and find healing. This is just a little thing, but I hope it helps you find a little relief.

  9. Natalie,
    I read your letter and I just kept nodding. I have been there too. The whole thing; the husband being gone, the two kids close together and pregnant with a third, the wild kids who were worse than everyone else's, the destructive child that I (still) can't turn my back on for a minute, and the negative comments from others even when my kids were being good! I developed several nervous habits like eating too fast to biting my lip. But it did get better, much better! Life is still busy here, and some days (now pregnant with our fourth) I still think I'm just treading water, but my oldest is 5yo and I know the toddler stage will pass. All the difficulties will pass.
    Jane's advice is wonderful, and I would start there. Also look for other books/CDs about parenting and home management to give you as many ideas as possible. I found the book/Cd The Strong Willed Child by James Dobson to be really helpful, and the book A Mother's Rule of Life: How to bring order to your home and peace to your soul by Holly Pierlot, to be absolutely life changing. Ask people you admire for advice and ideas, and try new ideas consistently for two weeks. If they don't work for you try something else until you find what works for YOUR child. Also, try to wake up before your kids, even when you are exhausted, you will feel better all day if your day starts with a shower and a few quiet moments to yourself. Above all pray when you get discouraged, the Lord says we can do nothing without him and this includes motherhood.
    Good Luck! And if you want to read about one of our disasters you can read about the time I tried to take my kids to a Music and Movement class here:
    And here are the posts about the class I found that WAS right for my kids (a little more up-lifting :) and

  10. Beautiful post and wonderful ideas and comments. I love the parallels to the tough pioneer years.

  11. Natalie, where do you live? I'm in West Valley and I'd be happy to take one or both kids to the park so you can take a nap. Email me if you're close.

    I agree you should talk to your ward. I'd recommend finding a friend who can sit with you during sacrament. See if any of the Young Women would like to sit with you and read books or help color or something. I have a friend in my ward and the YW LOVE to help with her kids. Check with the Relief Society President to see if she can recommend anyone who has some spare time one or 2 days a week who can sit at your house with the kids while you shop alone. That is SUCH a nice breather. Maybe it would work best if you try to schedule your shopping for your daughter's nap time so they can just watch your son.

    Do you live where your kids can play outside? Try giving your daughter more time to just run around outside. Maybe she's feeling cooped up. You could sit on the porch and read a book while she runs and plays in dirt and chews on sticks (I promise this won't hurt her.)

    I'm very lucky in that I have 5 sisters and we've all been there for each other when needed to babysit while someone took a nap, or went shopping, or went to the doctor. I don't know if you have any family close by, but it's worth asking them for help.

    Again, email me if I'm close to you. I'm serious about the nap. ;)

  12. I thought of another idea for Natalie. When I had my twins, it was mid-summer, so I hired a 13-year-old to come over three afternoons a week for two hours as a mother's helper. Sometimes I'd run errands, sometimes I'd nap, but usually, she just played with kids and babies while I got some downtime. It wasn't very expensive, and after a few weeks, we started having her come twice a week, then once a week.

  13. Natalie, I'm so sorry. I feel your pain - this is all too familiar. I second Jane's idea to ask for help from the ward or friends - if there is any time to be "Survivor Mom" instead of "Super Mom," this is it. And also just know that you're doing the best that you can, and that God knows that, and that He'll make up the difference for you as you walk through these excruciatingly difficult times.


  14. First of all, a BIG hug to you! And just to help you feel the bright side of things, my fireball (who I was sure was going to destroy himself or our home when he was little) is getting ready to receive the priesthood next week, and has become the most wonderful, responsible boy. All of those qualities that made me crazy (the independence, persistence, ambition, etc.) serve him well now that he is older and knows how to use them. He is a huge help to me and we are really close. (An added plus - the stubborn streak is GREAT when it comes to peer pressure! Just remember that one day her friends won't be able to talk her into squat either!) Try to visualize what things will be like when she is older. I know how hard it can be to deal with great big spirits inside little tiny bodies! Remember that the fact that she is in your home is the Lord's vote of confidence in you. His Atonement covers all of our heartaches and shortcomings, and I know that He will be there to help you.

  15. I cried when I read this post. I have one 2 year old, but although he has TONS of energy, he is very well mannered and pretty obedient. I am so sorry for the way that others are treating you. I pray that you will have a sister come into your life that will aid you and love you for the wonderful mother that you are! Until that happens, I would take all of the advice about asking for help from your ward, friends, neighbors, and family. It is hard, my son had a life-threatening illness at one point, and I had to put my pride aside and ask for help- lots of it. I know the Lord can bring others into your life as a blessing, just as he did in mine! Try to remember the precious blessings that your children are, and pray like crazy for you and your husbands sanity!

  16. You have gotten so much good advice. There are two Situations that have helped me in my hard times.
    1)My friend had a little boy who was crazy like your sweet Whitney. He would run around the chapel during sacrament and all of us neighbors who loved him would jump up to help catch him. He peed in her fridge, I thought he was possessed. When he got into school, they realized he was a genious and his mind just couldn't stand the stillness, it needed to be constantly stimulated. He is on medication now to help calm him, but he is 11 and brilliant.

    2) Another friend had one daughter and couldn't get pregnant. 6 years later she had another one. Then 2 years later another one. Then 11 months later another one. Then 12 months later another one. In my craziness she said to me, "When people tell you you have your hands full, you tell them you love it. This was what you wanted, and you did! You say it enough and you'll believe it. Quit telling yourself, 'This is so hard' or you will make it harder. Say 'I can do this! I love this!" You can't do that all the time, but it really helped me change my attitude, perspective and feelings for my kids.

    I got a 4 page type written letter one day from an annonymous sister in my ward after our family spoke in sacrament. She told me all the things we were doing wrong with our kids and what we should be doing. I cried. Then I realized I didn't want to be like her anyway.

  17. My comment for Natalie is this.....Remember when in your letter you wrote "And that wasn't the worst of it...the worst part was trying to get someone to help me" could it be that sometimes we are to afraid to ask if someone needs help?....Those shoppers might have been too worried that by asking if you needed help you might then become more upset and embarrassed...BUT i bet would have been more than happy to help you....ALL you have to do is Ask.......ask neighbours or friends or church friends and teens of friends to help....accept any help that is offered...I had three children, my son was 4.5 when my 2nd daughter was born just 13 months after her sister and i was always on the saving grace was a teen up the street from where i lived...she LOVED babies....And almost EVERY afternoon asked to take the girls for a walk...oh my god! how that one hour saved me....Just ask sweets.....and maybe just maybe you will get that saving grace....Best of luck always...

  18. It's been exactly a year since this post...have things gotten any better? I wanted to reach out and help, but then looked at the date (been reading older posts).


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