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Marriage, family and work

so im new to the whole concept of talking about personal problems… 33 years old and I have always just internalized problems and let things build up. I am not someone who cries ( not that its bad to cry!! ) but I turn my pain into anger and dwell on that and refuse to cry when its probably needed.

Ive been married for almost 10 years and we have never had kids ( not that we cant but just trying to be responsible adults and waiting so we can afford a good life for them) 2 years ago my wifes sister abandoned her newborn son due to heroin / methamphetamine addiction and is still living on the streets. last November she abandoned her newborn daughter as well.

We took over care and are in the legal process to adopt the children and we have taken them on as our own. I know how I feel about them and my heart has accepted them as our own. we do not care about different biological parents.

Yet I find myself having a hard time with everything. This now raises the issue of do we have our own kids at this point? given the legal system in California we are very concerned for the kids safety and the chance they will be taken away from us and given back to their drug addicted homeless mother who will absolutely not take care of them and put them in extreme physical and mental danger.

with all of these circumstances its causing intense tension between my wife and I. on top of this I am going through some weird medical issues starting back about 8 months. ive spent the last 2 years talking with my doctor about ADHD and was put on adderall which has helped in that regaurd but I am soo fatigued still and cant seem to find an answer. I just did a sleep study for potential sleep apnea and waiting results.

we had an argument yesterday about the kids safety and I completely broke down. idk if it was an anxiety attack but i was overwhelmed with everything. I locked myself in my room and where I would usually just get angry started crying. I couldnt stop it I feel like I am failing my wife as a husband becuase I cant help, I feel like im failing the kids because im never around and when I am im soo exhausted im just laying on the ground half asleep while our boy tries to get me to play with him. our daughter is still fairly easy since she is just learing to crawl but its hard.

I just dont know what to do. I try to be patient with my wife but everything is soo overwhelming for her and when she tries to rely in me for help I cant. I work atleast 4 days a week 10+ hours a day just to try and provide for everyone, Im going to school to get a bachelors degree in occupational health and safety so that I can try and make more money. my wife works 3 days a week and the kids stay with the grandparents during those times because we cant afford childcare but we “make to much” for government assistance. yet we struggle financially especially after taking on 2 kids.

Am I just not patient enough? im trying to do all that I can to help but its not enough. I feel like its going to ruin our marriage. If I cut back somewhere it hurts us in the long run but Im barely making it through as is if you can even call it that. work suffers , schooling suffers and family life suffers because im spread soo thin. I want to be the best at my job and that involves very detailed knowledge of laws / regulations and I know im short changing myself and my schooling and that drives me crazy.

there are so many uncontrollable factors that being someone who likes a structured life mainly because its easy to control and at that point I am the only person i can blame if I fail. I just dont know where to go or what to do from here. These kids are all I worry about and making sure they have a chance to succeed is what keeps me going but im quickly fading and it seems as though I will soon have nothing left to give if something doesnt change.

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Hey moomjean, thank you for sharing parts of your story with us. I am so sorry to hear there was a break and you feel spread thin. That is not an easy place to be. It does sound like there has been a lot change in the recent years and it sounds to me like there’s been an unexpected yet precious addition to your family and that responsibility add pressure to provide, I can really understand where you are coming from and it does sound completely exhausting. I wonder too if there is a way to move forward for you - one that perhaps lessens the load of the responsibilities. Somewhere it’s got to give, and only you know what that may look like - choices and options. I hope for you that there are some options that you can consider to help ease this stress. I believe in you! You are cared for and valuable. You matter !! Sending warmth and rest <3

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hi @moomjean ,

i am so thankful that you are here on this forum to share your story and be so transparent with your situation. i admire your strength and perseverance to be the best husband, father, employee, and student you can.

being stretched too thin is one of the hardest things to overcome and recover from. it’s hard for you to prioritize these things since each “role” plays seamlessly into the others (being a great employee in order to provide for your wife and children). if there is any ability to structure your time to give you the room to manage all roles in ample amount of time, i think that would bring more peace to this hectic life. the only way that time management could be established here is to approach the dean of your undergrad program and ask for any amount of flexibility for your circumstances. you are giving each role your all and i want so badly for you and your family to rise above it all together. which is why asking for flexibility where you can will hopefully provide more stability in both your mental wellness and your relationship with your family.

through all of this, i need you to know that you are beyond loved, cared for, and most importantly, appreciated for all that you do for the ones you love. life is not easy, but i am cheering you on through your fatherhood, marriage, work life, and education. i am proud of you and hope that a solution reaches your lives soon to provide clarity.

i believe in you.

love,
twix

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thank you both for such encouraging words. I am truely grateful for the opportunity to be better in all I do…

i try to fix everything and maybe im taking on a long term burden and trying to solve it in a day… its those strugles that happen in real time and trying to fix them but knowing its a long term fix is whats the hardest.

I can’t give any more but i have to keep moving forward… i cant do any less im already at that point so maybe it will be hard but we are resilient and i just hope that i bend enough and not break

it definitely helps to talk about things and maybe being more open will help

thanks again i hope you both know how much this has helped

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hello! Just wanted to say I’m 32 and still often am a “shove it down and shut it out” kind of person. I am really thankful for this community for many reason, but one is that they provide so many spaces for me to process stuff in ways I won’t naturally come by in my daily life. Space here to type, space on Twitch and Discord for specific set questions and conversations. It’s still a little weird for me, but you’re so so not alone in feeling like this is all new!

I had a few thoughts while reading this. First, with the circumstances surrounding how the kids came into your life, it sounds like you needed some processing time and maybe your mind just sort of forced it on you when you broke down and cried? The love you have for the kids and your wife was so instantly clear in your post. I hope you found that at least a little healing. Going from zero kids to suddenly having 2 kids is a LOT of stress and pressure and change. So, it’s really ok for you to admit that it’s hard, even very hard.

One things Dan and Casey (they stream on Twitch for HeartSupport) have told me when I worried about being a good mother, is that my kiddo doesn’t need the perfect mom, or the most put together mom, but she does need her mom. Sometimes our life situation just leaves us with so much less to offer than we would like, but the truth is that it’s more about what we make with that little bit we have to give, and less about the amount we have.

One thing I was not prepared for before I had my daughter was just the… enormous weight of wanting to get it right. To be all the things to/for her, to be at the best, always, no matter what. I burned out pretty hard. When my sister had her son, I told her I’d been more tired before I had a kid, and I’d been more stressed before I had a kid, but I had never been that tired and that stressed at the same time. And then you add school and work on top of it, it’s no wonder you’re feeling it all bubble over.

As far as not being patient enough, that’s really tricky because, with kids at least, you will just lose your cool sometimes. You’re a whole human, they are a whole little humans, but it’s so clear that you’re really trying. So, maybe one day you’re not as patient as you could be, but it sounds like other days you really are, and you’re really trying. I can promise you that won’t go unnoticed by your kids.

Have you had a chance to speak with your wife about this? I know you said you like a structured life and I know how kids can just… throw that right out the window. Is it at all possible to structure your evenings a little more? I know that may not be possible with both of you working AND you also in school. But it might be worth checking out?

I hope this helps. I tried to reply to you the way I needed someone to reply to me when I was feeling all the same things you were feeling here. There’s a lot of parents around here, on Twitch, and on Discord. We’re all happy you’re here, and I hope you find this place helpful! You will get through it. You’ll figure it out. And while you do, you have a space here to just… blurt it all out instead of shutting it all away. <3

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