I'm a SAHM to three children (and am pregnant with my 4th due in November). I live in a great town - we can walk everywhere, people are friendly, helpful, etc. We moved away from family a year ago and I'm really starting to feel their absence now that I'm 31 wks pregnant and in need of serious help. I have friends, and we help each other out, but most of my friends work at least part-time and the few moms I know who stay home full-time have a load of kids like me (3 under 5 for example) and are barely keeping their heads above water as it is.
We swap childcare occasionally, but it's rare enough that I have to rely on my DH to take sick leave from work when I really need help. I am barely sleeping anymore (a combo of issues - pregnancy insomnia, kids waking multiple times at night, DH has to leave at 6:30 for work so I have to be up early, etc.). I just never get a nap during the week because only my youngest still naps and the older two, while they don't need constant supervision, are constantly coming and asking for snacks, etc. when I do finally collapse on a couch. I have to drag multiple kids to all my OB appointments, to the grocery store, etc. and I'm just freaking exhausted.
School is starting up so my oldest will be in all day (he's going into the 1st grade) so that will lighten my load a little....but of course he's the easiest of the three. My 4yo will be in morning preK, so I'll be able to at least go to the grocery store with only one. I just wish I had more help. I know most people don't have help...so that got me thinking - when did this SAHM gig become a solo one? It used to be that most moms could at least afford a little cleaning help, but now that is such a luxury. My mom was a SAHM in the 70s to five kids and talks about how lax things were (how you didn't worry as much either) and you'd just leave all your kids in the car when you went to the grocery store or put the 10 year old in charge and leave them all at home. Not that I'm planning to go that route, but I can see why things might have been a bit more manageable back then. Now I know why people don't often have four kids anymore!
It just seems like a lose-lose now for SAHMs. There are strict rules and warnings about safety and how we should never, ever take our eyes off our kids. But cleaning help, nanny help, etc. is expensive and barely anyone can afford it with regularity. And then our neighborhoods are packed with busy working families who don't have time and just aren't around to offer reciprocal support. So we're left alone to raise our kids without much support. And of course since we have really crappy family leave in our country, my DH has to conserve his sick/vacation leave like a hoarder for when the baby arrives.
I just posted an ad on sitter city looking for a mother's helper. But we really can't afford it and I imagine I'll have slim pickings since most people work or go to school during the day.
Anyone else frustrated by this?