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I feel like I'm not contributing... - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.t View Post I guess more than anything I feel out of the loop and a little lonely. Everything I do, think about, and talk about revolves around parenting. I have thought about getting a part time job, but it's not really what I want either.


I have been thinking of this post for a while. And I think that this is where a lot of women have problems, myself included. Society is no longer set up to 'deal' with SAHP. It's incredibly isolating. Before, there would be other SAHP (mostly moms) in the neighborhood. People lived and worked much closer to home. Multi-generational living was more common, and even if not, Grandma/Granpa lived nearby. Some aspects of housework were communal. A community bakery, frequent shopping for fresh items, even laundry was usually done on the same/similar days. So, for example, while I would be hanging out laundry on the line, so would Francine. We might not have been the best of friends, and I'm sure there were people one didn't get along with, but the social isolation was not as severe as now.

 

Also, children are not as welcome in as many places. I don't think that's changed much, but being a sole caretaker, at times, I can't leave the house without the kids. And if I'm not welcome in many places, that restricts me a lot. Which increases the lonely feeling.

 

I love being with my kids. I love seeing them grow up. But I am more than 'just' a mother. I feel, sometimes, that because I am a SAHM, that people think that all I want to do/be is a mom. That my interests only revolve around being a mom. But I am a grown woman. I should have outside interests. I should also have time to myself, even if it means going to a playgroup so the kids can blow off steam while I use my brain with other moms & dads. :)

 

Ami

post #22 of 29

It gets easier.  It is definitely hard.  I have felt the same way many times.  Now that the little ones are 5 and 3 it doesn't really bother me much anymore.  I can easily see the value of me being at home.  Just go away for a weekend and leave hubby with the kids.  You will feel appreciated when you get back. 

I have two Masters and an Ivy League education.  Do I miss work?  Not anymore.  At first it was very isolating.  I would say it is very important to find some kind of mother's group that meets weekly.  They will find all your discussion of child only topics valuable.  You can support others and be supported.  

I also do some volunteering in the evenings.  This helps keep my intellect alive.

Yes people just kind of clam up or have no response when you tell them that you don't work.  So what.  Wouldn't it be nice if they were more than a job?

 

 

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

I have been thinking of this post for a while. And I think that this is where a lot of women have problems, myself included. Society is no longer set up to 'deal' with SAHP. It's incredibly isolating. Before, there would be other SAHP (mostly moms) in the neighborhood. People lived and worked much closer to home. Multi-generational living was more common, and even if not, Grandma/Granpa lived nearby. Some aspects of housework were communal. A community bakery, frequent shopping for fresh items, even laundry was usually done on the same/similar days. So, for example, while I would be hanging out laundry on the line, so would Francine. We might not have been the best of friends, and I'm sure there were people one didn't get along with, but the social isolation was not as severe as now.

 

Also, children are not as welcome in as many places. I don't think that's changed much, but being a sole caretaker, at times, I can't leave the house without the kids. And if I'm not welcome in many places, that restricts me a lot. Which increases the lonely feeling.


I totally agree with all of this. It's like, I feel as though everything I used to do, even for fun, is no longer an option because it's not "baby friendly". Also, a lot my close friends who are SAHMs have always been that, they were never in the workforce, never went to college, etc., so I find that they don't understand what I'm going through in terms of the isolation. On the other hand, some of the SAHMs I am friendly with who have worked were not my friends before I had a child, so it's like this contrived friendship based on the fact that we have kids.

 

I have really been thinking about how I can change things for the better. I had to realize that my life is completely different now, and that my previous life will never be a correct fit for me again. That's ok, I love my life as it is, and I love having a family. The part I struggle with is trying to define who I am when I am not with my son. Being a mom is amazing, but to abandon every part of who I was before is difficult. I'm now just trying to figure out how to reinvent myself, which feels really weird to say at 31 years old.

post #24 of 29

There are times that I feel like I am wasting my time and my degree by being home.  But then I think (seriously) about where my kids would be and what they would be doing/learning if I were at work.  There is NO way I would sacrifice being able to be the one to teach them and raise them they way I feel is best just so I can use my degree.  And, honestly, I think my education is being better used right now, teaching my kids, than it could be anywhere else.  

 

For me, just looking at where my kids are now vs where they would be without me home is enough to make me feel better, and make me feel like I am doing something VERY worthwhile.  Contributing to my children's personalities, futures and development is so much more than a monetary contribution.

 

Plus, my hubby is pretty great about letting my know on a daily basis how much he appreciates what I do for our family :)

post #25 of 29

Also, I wanted to add that it does get better as the kids get a little older.  I LOVE taking the kids to the science museum, the zoo, the aquarium, the butterfly house, the library, ect ect ect!  They learn so much and it is so much fun for all of us.  There is no way they would get to have this many early experiences if I wasn't home.  When they are babies, they don't really "do" much I guess and there are fewer places to go with them.  So, hang in there, there will be more and more opportunity as your little guy gets older.

post #26 of 29

I didn't read all yet, but it takes a while to find a niche. I actually went back to school for a doctorate. I was able to go very slowly, do a lot of independent study, and I shifted my focus to early childhood education, so it all really came together (which I never would have had the thought or opportunity to do if I wasn't "at home"). I started a community service organization that I could work around my schedule and that kept me doing things and busy. I found that if i let myself be drawn to movers and shakers, were true to my interests, I found a way to be engaged in things I wanted to do too.

 

I think it is a misconception that it is "work " OR "at home". There are actually many shades of inbetween, and some things come and go. But see if there is something you like to do, something that means something to you... and follow it!

 

And, it took me about 3 years to really find this pattern (of course, it is all changing again soon with my littlest gearing up for preschool and me getting ready to graduate!). And, money was not really the point of value.

post #27 of 29

Just wanted to chime in. I'm in a similar boat. I have a Masters and for the past 10 years have been a consultant making more than my DH. After the birth of my DD in 2005, I dropped to 4 days a week, which in my field meant working about 45 hours...

 

I am still on mat leave (Canada) so I'm technically not even a SAHM yet, although I have told my wonderful manager that I won't be returning. The plan is for me to stay home until DS is in school when he's 4.5. Losing half our salary was less scary than I expected, but yeah, it feels very weird to not be "contributing". We had DD in daycare, and it was fine. She was happy, she learned things, it was a good group, but I never lost that sick feeling dropping her off every morning. I just couldn't do it with my new little guy, and DH agreed. So it's the right decision, but I do feel like people are going to wonder where my brain went. I've already started hearing some patronizing comments about how "they would be so BORED at home".

 

Then I went and wrecked our car last month, so we need to get a new one. That is the OPPOSITE of contributing. *sigh*

 

What I've made the decision to do is to consider this a time to reinvent myself. I'm 38, and although I was a good consultant, it wasn't what I ever planned to do - I never wanted to be part of the corporate machine. I haven't had time in my life to really sit down and figure out what it is I want to do - I just know now it needs to be in a service field. So I have a few years, once DS is a little less time-intensive, to figure out what it is I want to do to contribute to society.

 

I just placed a hold on Radical Homemakers at the local library. I'm 49th in line LOL.

post #28 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.t View Post

I think a lot of my problem is that I used to be taken seriously at work, I had certain skills that were valuable. Now, everyone questions everything I do, and just because I don't have a degree in breastfeeding, parenting, etc. does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about. When I had an opinion about something before, it was heard. Now I have to defend my parenting choices or explain them over and over again.

 

The other thing is, I feel like I have nothing to talk about. When DH comes home and tells me about his day, I end up telling him about what the cashier at the grocery store said, or something equally trivial. I feel very rewarded by being with my son, but I also feel like I'm no longer interesting.

I feel the same way... I was in a professional career before my kids and feel such a loss of identity and self esteem staying home.  It's such a difficult thing to balance, because on one hand, I really love being with my kids.  On the other hand, I feel like all I have is them.  I'm no longer interesting either.  

 

I did go back to work briefly between kids and am finding it even harder after baby #2 to find my momentum to want to go back to work again.  I'm just so tired and my kids are such a full time job, I can't imagine adding more to my life now.  Later?  Probably.  Not now.

 

Sorry not much help.  Just understanding.

 


 

post #29 of 29

I am a homemaker (about to be SAHM anyday now!).  I have a BS in a field I LOVED and frankly haven't worked, really, since we got married 2 years ago.  I've probably made a grand total of $1000 in two years.

 

Whenever I get depressed about how DH is supporting both of us, plus the cat, and now a baby on the way, I try to remind myself how much money I'm saving us.  By having time to make things vs. buy them, by cooking and baking from scratch as much as possible, by mending instead of buying, by having the time to shop at Goodwill vs. the department stores, by taking the time and effort to use the clothesline and plant a garden, etc.  I know that all of that will be more difficult for me to do with a baby, but I do believe that it will get a bit better as they get older.

 

Herbal remedies and homemade food keep us healthier.  No childcare fees help out our bank account.  I can't quanitfy everything that I do.  And someday, yes, I most definitely want to go back to school and have a "career."  Maybe it helps that I'm only 23, so starting a new thing when I'm 35 and the kids are older is totally doable for me.  I have finally made peace with that--that this is what I love, this is what works for our family now, this is what is important to me and my DH for ourselves and our family.  I do admit that I am excited for the day when I can answer the dreaded "so, what do you do?" question with a succint answer like "I'm a nurse" or "i'm a counselor" or "I'm a teacher" or whatever.  Right now I feel like the answer to that question can't possibly be summed up in the discreet amount of words that people want to hear. 

 

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