The parent trap.

I am a mom of 3. We have two boys (5 and 2 years old) and a girl (11 months). Combined my husband and I have: 6 sisters, 3 brothers, 2 brother in-laws, 1 sister in-law, 2 “step”moms (one is more like a real mom, 1 birth mom, 2 dads, 1 grandma, 1 grandpa.
Since having children (grand total of 5 years) we have had ~2-3 weekends without children. By weekends I mean we were child-free for one night and about 2-3: 24 hour periods. The last time was ~3 years ago. We have paid for sitters for any time we go out (last time was about 4 months ago) except for a handful of times and the longest we’ve ever left our kids with a sitter was 3 hours. We are woken/get up during the night anywhere between 2-20 times during the night, every night, for the past 5 years.
My husband and I have just made a pact to take our grandkids for weekends every so often so that our kids will get breaks when they become parents and will get to date their spouse and have nights of solid sleep.
We have yet to meet anyone else who has the parenting life quite like ours. Parents who have parents who are either unable or unwilling/don’t have the desire to spend time with their grandkids and family who also are either unable or unwilling/don’t have the desire to spend time with their nieces and nephews. Everyone we know has a parent that is ecstatic about being a grandparent and they want to spend as much time with the kids as they possibly can.
We’ve discovered through early development intervention that having those relationships is very important to developments. Both our boys are slow to speak and we’ve been told it would be beneficial for them to spend time with people who are not us, their parents. Problem is: we can’t afford it. Sitters charge 10-20/hour and daycare, well I’d have to get 2 full time jobs to cover daycare for just two of our kids.
Parenting is hard. Parenting without help is even harder. Sharing battles with so many close friends I discovered that there is nothing in this earth that we could or are battling that we are the only ones who are doing that exact battle. So, if you are out there and somehow come across this and are the only adult in your child’s life and are there 24/7 and are exhausted and worn down, you’re not alone.
If your child isn’t talking because they’re always around you and you instinctively know what they want/need, there are resources that can help. Push for them because sometimes you have to. If you’re in the Salt Lake City area and want to trade off watching each other’s kids so you can have a moment to pee without little fingers under the door and a minute to breath and talk with your significant other (you know, in a place where you can actually have entire sentences that aren’t made by a Tourette like person), leave me a comment.
You’re not alone. And off I go to respond to my 5 year old’s whispers while his brother and sister “nap”.

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