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Mental Stimulation

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

How do you get your mental stimulation?

 

I think this is really hard for me. I'm at home all day with a toddler and a small baby. By the time any of my family members get home or dh gets home, they are exhausted and just want to veg. Yet there I am, practically frothing to have an adult (an ADULT!!!!) to talk to.

 

As you can see from my post count, I've tried to use this forum to get some brain stimulation in. But I find I need more. Am I the only one? What do you do to keep from going crazy after the 50th 'counting' session of the day?shy.gif

 

Ami


Edited by JTA Mom - 12/9/10 at 5:42pm
post #2 of 31

I see from your sig you've got a newborn... and it's winter... and a preschooler!  Wow!

 

Can you have friends come over and visit for playdates?  A friend of mine remembers her mom and grandma and aunts all socializing (and smoking...it was the 80s...) during the day when she was a young kid, cooking together, and just having the kids all play together.

 

Or can you schedule yourself in for a book club or something where you leave the kids home and go out once a week/once a month for an hour or two since you have a tiny little?

 

I like to go to Barnes and Noble or the library play room with the kid, and chat with other parents sometimes too....

post #3 of 31

It's something I struggle with as well. I'm in training for yoga therapy so the workload for that helps some, but I'm still wanting adult conversation, creative stimulation and inspiration as well. I'm curious to hear from others on this.

 

post #4 of 31

This was a HUGE issue for me for years. I had my first practically the minute I finished college and stayed home with her.... then the next one, and the third, and the fourth - all in under six years. I was mind numbing. I felt DH didn't and couldn't understand. To him being at home means time to read, TV, sleeping in, no phone calls (what I wouldn't give for more phone calls from adults!), and so on. To me being home means diapers, laundry, eating meals while standing and rocking a baby, smelling like spit up, not having a second alone, no shower, reading the same board books over and over, TV is only sesame street, not owning decent clothes because what's the point of that, etc., etc.

 

Then when my oldest was not quite five we started homeschooling because of moving and different age laws in our new state. It all changed then. I was no longer a cook and laundress, I was a teacher. Someone important with important things to do. It's great. I can now tell DH about what we learned that day and have discussions regarding math curriculum instead of talking about the great coupon I found for frozen veggies. I have a reason to leave the house. Visiting a zoo is no longer just recreation, it's an educational experience. I have work to do in planning lessons that requires time without kids around. I shop for and manage things other than groceries. In short, what I do matters.

 

Do you think you could find something like that? Volunteer work that you can take your kids to? Start your own playgroup?

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

Can you have friends come over and visit for playdates?

 

I like to go to Barnes and Noble or the library play room with the kid, and chat with other parents sometimes too....

 

That's just it. The friends I have who have kids all live in different states. The ones here are mostly single, and all are child-less. I'm the first in my generation and among my friends to have kids. I can see if there's a book club somewhere. Have you ever gone to one? How did you find it?
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

This was a HUGE issue for me for years. I had my first practically the minute I finished college and stayed home with her.... then the next one, and the third, and the fourth - all in under six years. I was mind numbing. I felt DH didn't and couldn't understand. To him being at home means time to read, TV, sleeping in, no phone calls (what I wouldn't give for more phone calls from adults!), and so on. To me being home means diapers, laundry, eating meals while standing and rocking a baby, smelling like spit up, not having a second alone, no shower, reading the same board books over and over, TV is only sesame street, not owning decent clothes because what's the point of that, etc., etc.

 

Then when my oldest was not quite five we started homeschooling because of moving and different age laws in our new state. It all changed then. I was no longer a cook and laundress, I was a teacher. Someone important with important things to do. It's great. I can now tell DH about what we learned that day and have discussions regarding math curriculum instead of talking about the great coupon I found for frozen veggies. I have a reason to leave the house. Visiting a zoo is no longer just recreation, it's an educational experience. I have work to do in planning lessons that requires time without kids around. I shop for and manage things other than groceries. In short, what I do matters.

 

Do you think you could find something like that? Volunteer work that you can take your kids to? Start your own playgroup?


That's me!!! Ds2 was born 2 months after graduating from college. I just started going back to school this past spring semester for nursing and found out I was due with ds3. So that's a bit on hold right now.

 

And to the second bolded--that is what I feel like. I love my babies, but I need some mental stimulation. I feel like I've got the whole household thing down, but it's not fullfilling. Too many mind expanding classes--ruined me, I tell ya.orngtongue.gif

 

I am trying to start up a playgroup, but with the holiday season, it's not really viable right now. Too many things on people's plates to add on one more thing. I do plan on continuing after New Year's though. The volunteer work is tricky. The baby should be easy to take anywhere--it's my toddler who I'm worried about. He is incredibly active and can climb things you wouldn't believe! lol

 

I am so glad I am not alone though. For a while I was worried that everyone else found SAH and raising kids to be all they needed, mentally, and thst somehow I'm not as good of a mom if I need more, kwim?

 

Ami

post #6 of 31

This is a struggle for me, too. I have a 2-year-old and am expecting again in February. I love working from home, but it is hard to get some interaction with adults!!


I have become more active in our church, and also a local MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers). This has been HUGE for me!!! We try to go to the library as well, but that has been more difficult as winter hit us fast and hard this year. During the past few weeks, I have even been too tired for playdates for my daughter (which are JUST as much for me!! lol).

 

DH has just recently realized how hard this is on me (I am such a pregnant emotional mess these days!), so we are trying to make more of an effort to do things together. We don't have any babysitters in our area, though (I mean, we haven't found one!), and our families are both an hour away. We try to go visit them during the day, and let them watch our daughter while we go to dinner or something. It works for us:)

 

Good luck!!!!

post #7 of 31

I started my own Meetup group for natural parents so I could meet like-minded folk in the area...and this is how I met a lot of my momma friends : ) Even having email partners can be nice -- writing long letters, talking about "stuff" etc. We also have neighbors over once a week for a pot luck, and each person brings something and we play board games.

 

I also love to read. If something interests me, I buy/borrow a book on it and learn. Not a lot of chores get done at my house, but many books are read!

post #8 of 31

This thread is full of such wonderful ideas. I've been trying to figure this out myself. I found that I was watching TV just to keep me company and that is no good. :) I'm looking for some play groups to join now!

post #9 of 31

i don't understand what DH and ds2 means...but anyways...I am in the same situation.I have a 2-1/2 year old and a 2 month old at home all day. I don't get out by the time my hubby gets home because its too dark and cold..(winter). I always try to find things to do like visiting a friend or going to my moms or sisters...but that gets old..not to mention all the drama with my family lol. It seems like in our town theres nothing to do but go to the same little parks..and now its winter so we can't even do that anymore. I kinda feel like i'm losing my mind. I will read the posts from other people to get some ideas. I'm glad you mentiond this situatuion.

post #10 of 31

I also know how you all feel. Don't know if I have any new suggestions, but just wanted to pop in to say that I DEFINITELY know what you mean!  It helps to have a partner who encourages you to make time for yourself, find something fulfilling to do, etc. I did not have very good support like that and was often made to feel guilty for wanting to "get out of the house alone" even if it was just to go grocery shopping! Ugh. Enough about me. :)

 

You are completely NORMAL for feeling the way you do!!! smile.gif

post #11 of 31

Maybe we could have an email support ring for mommas? Like we email recipes, ideas, jokes, letters etc?

post #12 of 31

Playdates and hanging out with other mamas during the day while we tend to the kids has made a HUGE difference for me.  JTA: like you most of my mama friends were out of state and I didn't have a lot of friends with kids locally.  But I've joined a few mom's groups-- and there's a lot of us in this situation.  I'm up in the East Bay, but I know there have got to be tons down in San Jose as well.  Either a small playgroup with a few moms and kids, or a larger group, where there's different people available on different days helps.  One was a yahoo group that one mom started and it has spread through word of mouth-- it's good for people to say "I'm going to the park at 3, anyone else want to come?" and we've had a book club form as well as some other things (babysitting coop).  Another group is a meet-up group where there's more official things planned (trips to the zoo, discovery museum, etc.)  Finding a network of local mama friends, when you can, can seriously improve one's days at home, imo!  If there's not a group where you are, I bet you'd get lots of interest if you started one.  Good luck :)

post #13 of 31

Boy I'm glad I came across this - I was wondering if it was only me!

The few friends I have who have kids live far away. And at that they follow a completely different parenting method.

 

While I'm at it, my family is rather unsupportive of breastfeeding. My son is now 10 months old, and I am planning on extended breastfeeding so I expect things to get rather uncomfortable soon (they expect me to stop nursing at 1 year, and I think preferred if I did it sooner).

 

For "play groups" I have really liked the local La Leche League meetups. Also babywearers international (beltway babywearers). It gives us some place to go and interact with other people a couple times a month.

 

I think an email support group or email chain is a nice idea too.

post #14 of 31

I only have one child currently, and have been working on a Master's degree for mental stimulation. Some of the classes are online. I plan to continue taking online courses this next quarter, when my second is due. Instead of watching every episode of Sex and the City while breastfeeding, as I did for my first, I'll do coursework.

 

Meeting other moms just to chat while the kids play helps, too.

post #15 of 31

Totally! 

 

Here's what I do.

 

1) I live in a University town, so the local university has baby classes, like Mommy and Me, but not.  I sign my daughter up for Baby Swimming & Baby Gym, and I'm not fooling myself that they're for her.  Most of these type of programs are flexible enough to let you bring siblings.  Check with your local University's phys ed department, the local YMCA, etc.

 

2) I started a laid-back MeetUp.com group for local moms. We now have about 50 members, and a weekly meeting at the local germ pit at the mall. Sometimes only 1 or 2 moms shows up, but hey, at least we're trying, right?

 

3) I visit the local public library frequently, and sign my daughter up for Story Time every opportunity.  She loves hanging out there, and I can grab a book for my sanity.  Plus, they host a really cool book club--last year it was Jane Austen and this year it's Virginia Woolf.  

 

4) I signed her up for music classes.  We started with Kindermusik, but a) it was expensive and b) it was way too structured for her.  Our local University's music department has a community arts program that does Infant and Toddler music classes. It's mostly nursery rhymes and music games, but since I'm pretty sure I'm tone-deaf, it's great fun for her -- and again, I get out of the house.

 

5) I visit the local Barnes & Noble for the day-time story time.  In fact, my daughter learned to pull up on the train table in the kid's section! :)  Your local bookstore should have something similar.  It's a great way to meet other moms and find a book club.

 

6) I audit a one-credit hour class at the University so I can take her to the Very Nice Rec Center (AKA gym) and splash in the pool.  Great way to meet other moms!  Check your local educational institution/gym for such an opportunity.

 

7) I joined a local Holistic Mom's Network group (and promptly got myself kicked out at the national level, but that's another story), and when the local leader agreed with me, she turned it into a local crunchy mommy group.  Check Yahoo Groups for local mommy groups.

 

8) I keep track of activities in town with a Sunday subscription to the local paper, periodic checking of the local tourist bureau, state park websites, etc.  There are a shocking number of family friendly activities.

 

When all else fails, in good weather, we just go to the local park and hang out.  In bad weather, we go shopping. My daughter has no expectation that we will ever buy anything, but the mall and Target have become places I just let her stretch her legs a little. And me stretch out of the house!!

 

I checked out MOPS locally, but they're really religious here (AKA fundamentalist Baptist), and I am Not.  The Mom's Club here is very active, but they're also only mothers. They wouldn't even let my husband come to one of the monthly meetings to pick up some literature for me!  The local childcare co-op (it is a university town, which tends to attract liberals like flies ;) is nice, but it's oddly enough, very pricey.  (I calculated it out to $11.65/hr last year)

 

Finally, I hired a babysitter. I don't leave the house, usually, but having an hour or two to myself 2 or 3 times a week has made all the difference in the world for my sanity!!

post #16 of 31

This is my solution. 

 

I listen to their CDs in my car while driving the kids around town.  Or at home while folding laundry.  It can be a little hard to tune in when my three-year-old gets chatty and demands responses.  But I'm still learning a lot from them.  They are available in almost every topic imaginable, and you can find some good sales.  Otherwise, there's always NPR. 

post #17 of 31

Great responses from other moms here! I certainly know how you feel. I only have one toddler, but when my husband comes home after midnight from a second shift, physical job - I'm all over him just to have some conversation. He's obviously too tired. Sometimes we don't even have any meaningful conversations for 24 hour cycles. So yes, that does make me go nuts. I am lucky to have my relatives living here and lots of friends with babies. Though nobody is close, at least I know I can get in the car and drive 30 minutes or an hour to see them. Between my sister and sister-in-law, I have 6 nephews all 6 and under. :)

 

My mom has been the lifesaver that comes every single Thursday to spend time with my daughter so that I can work from home. Even though I don't get to just relax, it is still relaxing to not have to chat with a 2 year old for two hours. I am close with my mother and aside from the two hours alone I spend a good two hours with her and my daughter just cooking, talking, drinking tea. That's why I am always eagerly awaiting each Thursday just because I want to talk with an adult so much! Not to mention she respects and is always curious about my parenting choices. 

 

You could try to find a local homeschool group with small children. They're usually around various hours of the day, many are into natural/attachment parenting, and as a whole homeschoolers are pretty accepting even if you don't plan to homeschool. I am actually in the process of getting involved with some groups since we plan to homeschool in the future.

 

I have recently discovered the beauty of audio books. I actually took a children's classic audio book from the library for my daughter to listen to. Though she is only two, she really enjoys it playing in the background while she plays. Which is great because I think I enjoy it even more than she does! Since we do not watch television, this is a great alternative for us. It develops language for her and it stimulates my brain. I'm thinking of taking out some adult classic literature audio books from the library next time, she wouldn't know the difference. 

 

Last but not least, I blog. I've started a natural parenting blog two months before my daughter was born and still going strong (if you're interested I can give you the url). I enjoy finding other like minded moms through it and have started a revolution of sorts among my mom friends who are realizing that what we and our children eat, put on our bodies, clean our homes with, what media we watch, etc., matters. It is very satisfying to start these conversations and then to have moms tell me that I have really changed their lives for the better. 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by omamasmama View Post

It's something I struggle with as well. I'm in training for yoga therapy so the workload for that helps some, but I'm still wanting adult conversation, creative stimulation and inspiration as well. I'm curious to hear from others on this.

 


Right here with you!  Started my first Bikram Yoga class last night.  It was fantastic. 

post #19 of 31

I'm not yet a SAHM, but I plan to be once August rolls around when I'm due with my first.  I'm not sure that I would have even anticipated all of this, so for me I feel like this is great preparation knowledge to file away for future use.  Thanks!

post #20 of 31

I know how you feel...

 

I was working part-time at a yoga studio front desk and then right after me and my husband got married we found out i was pregnant. 2 weeks later I was hit with the WORST morning sickness EVER. I was puking all the time. So hubby said just quit and enjoy this special time, unwind from all the wedding stress and forget about having to wake up at 5am to get to the studio. I love him! The morning sickness lasted all the way up to my 18th week so im glad i had the option to leave my job. 

 

But now 27weeks later Im bored out of my mind!!! Which is causing me to become a bit depressed. Which is NOT good for baby.

 

I try to fill my time with sewing cloth diapers, practicing some pre-natal yoga and reading. Occasionally I'll get motivated enough to get ready and head to pikes place, or the library via transit system ( no car irked.gif ) and just wander around. Thanks to an idea on this thread I just requested to join a local natural parenting meetup group so hopefully that will help me cope a bit.

 

Staying at home is not all its cracked up to be thats for sure. lol 

 

dust.gif

 

 

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