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"educated" SAHM needs intellectual stimulation

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Any ideas for how to satisfy my brain? I'm really glad to be a SAHM but was previously teaching college English/Philosophy and reading Goodnight Moon three times a day isn't really doing it for me. My 16 mo old DD is wonderful and we enjoy doing a lot together (especially active things) but I want to talk about literature, politics, philosophy. My DH does this sometimes but he's often too tired or we're absorbed by DD most of the time we are together.

Some things that have been helping are reading New Yorker, NYTimes online, date night w/DH, online discussions. I was teaching one class but it was still a lot of work to do at home and I found myself neglecting my own pursuits to correct papers. I do get together with some other moms with similar lives, but we just end up talking about poop, teething and our kids even tho we have the best intentions. Just hard to accept the change that my life is no longer about my intellectual pursuits.

I'd love to hear how other SAHMs feed their minds. Thanks!
post #2 of 59
Read books.
Join a book club.
Volunteer with an organization you believe in.
Write a novel.
Plan regular girls night outs where you go out WITHOUT the kids and do something non-kid related.
post #3 of 59
Joining a book club was a great escape for me. Esp. since the club consisted of single girls, married girls w/o kids, working moms, gay men and others who had different things going on in their lives other than babies. We not only talked about books but very little of the conversation centered about baby stuff.
post #4 of 59
Hi!

I just wanted to say that I echo your sentiment. I have not quite found what will keep my intellectual side satisfied either. I've just come out from 5 years academia and work...and my intellect feels like it's come to a grinding halt.


Reading and doing research has kept me stimulated, but not challenged like I want. Not sure what will help! I'm loving being a SAHM through and through though...

Writting a book seems like a good one. I generally find keeping myself really busy with activities helps.

Good luck!
post #5 of 59
I'm not "educated" formally, but I do have a serious need to keep my brain stimulated.

Reading obviously is a huge mental outlet and having a few people I can interact with that have similar interests helps.

I recently joined a book club.

I have my little activism side that I engage by piping up about things that matter to me. Writing to government officials, supporting causes I believe in makes me feel involved and alive.

Also just keep reminding yourself that while your life has changed, it will continue to change. Eventually you'll be sad because your kids don't need you as much- and then it'll be your time again.
post #6 of 59
I think most SAHM's, educated or not, need to find a way to stimulate their minds intellectually.

You could always take an online class (or on-campus for that matter). The other suggestions sound great, too. I enjoy reading, writing, researching and learning a variety of new things -- heck, just a decent adult conversation when the opportunity presents itself is stimulating enough.
post #7 of 59
I think the easiest thing to do would be to look for/start a group for mothers like you who want to discuss intellectual things. Make a rule that there can be 15-minutes of mama talk at the beginning and then, no more diaper discussions. Maybe it would be easier if you had a specific topic to talk about each week.
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I think most SAHM's, educated or not, need to find a way to stimulate their minds intellectually.

You could always take an online class (or on-campus for that matter). The other suggestions sound great, too. I enjoy reading, writing, researching and learning a variety of new things -- heck, just a decent adult conversation when the opportunity presents itself is stimulating enough.
s

School is a fantastic outlet for me. I'm taking Summer off, but staying busy really helps me through the rainy season here in the PacNW. I usually take 1-2 online classes & 1 onsite class while my daughter is at her 1/2 day preschool 2x/week. My onsite classes are 1x/week, so the other day she's at preschool I can get a lot of work done.

The online classes usually intense & have prompt deadlines, but if you have time to post on Mothering you have time to for a virtual classroom

It's difficult at times to find balance, but practice helps. If you were just teaching one class then maybe school just isn't for you It's a lot of home work.

You could also pull up Syllabuii from classes that interest you & follow them at your own pace with books from the library.
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carley View Post

The online classes usually intense & have prompt deadlines, but if you have time to post on Mothering you have time to for a virtual classroom
so true... I just need to ban myself from MDC so I can spend more time studying.
post #10 of 59
Read, read, read. Try some online classes 'for fun' that are challenging to you!
post #11 of 59
I took art classes at night for years. On and off with yoga. Meeting new folks and learning new skills can satisfy my brains for a time.

Book club is crucial. Find one that actually discusses the book. Some woman seem to think this is just an excuse for a grousing session. A time for them to get tipsy and complain about their husbands. Steer clear of those.

I use Meetup and Meetin online to find groups of folks who love the things I love.

Good luck.
post #12 of 59
I have a radio in my kitchen and when I am in there, and in my car, I listen to our local NPR station. That allows me to be engaged/learning as I go about more mundane aspects of my day.
post #13 of 59
Thread Starter 

thanks for suggestions

Lots of good suggestions. I do have a wonderful book group that is fabulous, as is the time I have to read. But the group meets one day a month and I have to be diligent about reading since my day often doesn't allow for an hour of uninterrupted time. I can't read like I want to when my dd is awake.

Yoga & taking classes sound good but we don't have the $$ right now for daycare or class fees. I really don't think I could do a class anyway, that's a lot of time and for me requires much more focus than chatting on MDC. And writing a novel...are you kidding? That's exactly what I miss, I used to write a lot but there's no time (or $ to make time by hiring someone to do my chores or take care of dd) or energy to do that now.

I guess I really miss the extended time to focus and analyze, and as one person said, that time will return to my life in a few years when my dd is in school. For the time being, I'll really force more people in my life to discuss these things with me As well as making mothering my activism and analysis for the time being. Thank you for the thoughts, some great ideas!
post #14 of 59
i hear ya.... they totally killed me when they shut down the news and current events and politics forum!!! that was my source for non baby talk, mental stimulation, and intelligent debate...now i don't know what to do!!!
post #15 of 59
I've said pretty much exactly the same thing! Thinking of ways to gently discipline and teach my 2 year old is definitely an intellectual pursuit, but I do need activities that stretch my mind in directions outside my home.

But I completely know where you are coming from. I need some stimulating adult mental activity that doesn't involve my children. After my son was born, I became involved working with non-profits on causes that are important to me. I'm working with the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services and Solace for Mothers. I've also gotten out the house for Irish dance classes and I find that a very fulfilling challenge to focus my mind and my body in that way.

Is there other ways than teaching that you could put your education to use? I like the write a novel idea, and if not the length of a novel, for literary magazines and periodicals? Too bad, MDC doesn't have the politics and current events forums anymore, you probably would have been titillated by those. What about working from home? What about finding a community college to teach online classes through? The students' papers would be relatively short...
post #16 of 59
I decided to get my social worker's license activated again, and will begin doing some volunteer work a few hours a week. My plan is, in a couple of years, to work part-time. I can't handle it any more. And my MSW cost $$$ to get, so it'll be nice to put it to good use. My brain, too!!!
post #17 of 59
I am kind of a math geek and at the end of the day, when I need a break I like doing puzzles from here http://www.krazydad.com/puzzles.php

I am also trying to start writing and possibly submitting to some magazines.

And my husband thinks I should write a mystery novel.

And, well, we are homeschooling so that is pretty stimulating in and of itself. I am learning many things I never knew.
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I think most SAHM's, educated or not, need to find a way to stimulate their minds intellectually.

You could always take an online class (or on-campus for that matter). The other suggestions sound great, too. I enjoy reading, writing, researching and learning a variety of new things -- heck, just a decent adult conversation when the opportunity presents itself is stimulating enough.
I've had a good time taking classes at community college--things like letterpress printing, off-set printing, writing classes, biology (just for fun). I can take a class and then take a semester off... And they don't have to be towards anything.

Book groups can be good.... of you can't find a good one, start one!

And reading. Writing letters that have more to do with ideas then the blah blah blah of day to day.

Find a project--write a book, learn to paint, learn a new language, it doesn't have to be a purely intellectual pursuit to be intellectually stimulating.

I struggle with this as well. Learning to cook strange things has also been fun, since you need to eat anyway, eh?

And know you are not alone, but it does get better... bonding with you child will pay off when s/he is big enough to have a really interesting conversation with, and share books with.
post #19 of 59
Kudos to you mamas taking online classes! I couldn't take the pressure of exams or papers with a tiny baby.

I don't know what it is but I will go out of my way to make sure I read the news every day before my husband comes home so I have something to discuss with him but I always completely forget what I've read soon after - LOL!!

Lately, I have been so interested in learning about the economy. I found a very entertaining podcast explaining how markets work and I listen to the podcast while I cook or take dd for walks. I also read and write to the comments section of the podcast site. It is such a new field to me but I find it very fascinating and it definetly satisfies my intellectual side.
post #20 of 59
I read a book every week or every 2 weeks. My DH and I pick topics to discuss that really stimulate us and its a lot of fun. Joining groups is a good way too. I will be going back to college in about 2 years, online though to be a Midwife. I have already been to college once, but when I became pregnant I became a SAHM.
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