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Coping: how to keep the spark in your mothering?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I always wonder how other SAHMs cope with being home all day.  I am fortunate enough to know of a handful of SAHs so sometimes I can go visit them (although my kids are the youngest of everyones and they all do homeschooling so that's a challenge).  Also we are members of a church.  So I get out of the house 2x's a week at the very least, plus I have a larger group of women to associate with. But I know some women don't have that outlet.

 

However, even amongst all of that I feel lonely being home with kids that don't think logically and one can't talk yet.  I get tired of having a groundhog's day.  And some days I feel just flat-faced with ideas to keep us going.  My sons are just turned 3 and just turned 1!  There aren't a good amount we can all do together because one is tearing up the others project or distracting him from learning things.  Summer will be nice since we can get outside more but right now I'm just bored.  Then another thread was talking about the do nothing day', something I would hope for at least once a week but if I attempt it, I just feel like it's the same as the other days.

 

Do you run out of ideas?

Do you get tired of going somewhere just to use up time (not because you actually want to go)?

Do you feel like you are doing it all and not enjoying it at all?

Do you ever feel bad because you think your children are even more bored than you?

How do you keep that loving mother attitude? 
 

post #2 of 10

Someone once tried to tell me that being the SAHP was like having a Saturday everyday. Nope, it is more like it is always Wednesday. 

 

Being hugely pregnant and low on energy has certainly taken the spark out of my parenting. 

 

Making use of the child care at my local Y helps. I get some exercise and my kids get to socialize. It was funny to be at a park once and this little boy ran up to my youngest daughter saying her name. Then he introduced her very formally to his father. I eventually realized that I knew the boy and his mom from the Y. 

 

My town has a lot of stuff to do but I just have to get off my duff and get us out the door. Last summer, when it was terribly hot and the air quailty was poor it was difficult for us to do anything because of my oldest daughter's asthma. We really ran out of stuff to do. I declared a couple of days "film festivals" and all we did was watch movies. We wore jammies and I had special snacks. I made it clear that this was not the norm. 

 

It does get better when the kids are a little older. My oldest can help some with stuff around the house. At least, she can be counted on to get shoes and a jacket on her little sister. (mostly)

 

 

post #3 of 10

well, i only have one babe - and he's quite young (3 1/2 months) but i was a "stay at home wife" for a few months before baby was born because we moved towns when i was 6 months pregnant and didn't (couldn't) get a job. For me, going out somewhere at least once a day keeps me sane. My policy (for the most part) is to say yes to any invitation I get to go out or participate in something. I've even taken the baby on the bus/ferry etc. by myself to visit friends and family in another town. I ended up being exhausted at the end of the weekend and...couldn't wait to be at home having a regular old boring day! My theory is that the more i get out and do things, the less boring the regular days seem. It's worked for me so far! We often do lots of running about on the weekends and by monday morning I'm happy to just be at home doing laundry/cooking etc. 

 

 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

those are good ideas, but honestly I LIKE being at home.  I like going places but occasionally not even as much as 3x's a week!  It's harder with two that you have to strap in and out and watch when you are out.  But yea my main thing is I really don't like leaving the house but I force myself at least once a week because otherwise I'll be going stir-crazy with these two (and they will too!).  I also hate trying to think of places to go with kids!  I mean yea grocery shopping or to the library but those get old.  Thanks for your input.

post #5 of 10

I have the opposite problem, I feel like I am never home. With 4 kids, we are on the go all the time. When I am home then I'm normally trying to cram a thousand things to do into the hour I have before leaving again. Or sitting here like now letting the baby take a well needed nap. I worry that my little ones won't know any other life other then being in and out of the house multiple times a day, we live in the car it feel likes. It can be difficult to feel sane because there is always someplace to be in 5 minutes, downtime just does not exist. I do remember once upon a time when my life was more like what the OP was descrying and then as the years went on, it morphed into something else. 

post #6 of 10

 

Do you run out of ideas?

Yes. But that is how new ideas are built. I improvise all day long. Like yesterday, I put out the little sprinkler toy for the boys to play with.  I gave them a couple bowls and then went about my business.  Ds1 eventually started making a "car wash" with the sprinklers, so I brought out some wash rags, and then their bubbles, and then every now and then another type of bowl, and then a random water safe toy, etc... They were out there for an hour! 

 

I have given them access to my old purses. I handed them over once and said, "Ok, go shopping!" and they spent forever running around the house putting things in "Mamas purse!" It was great :) Totally unplanned and it gave me time to have a coffee.

 

Do you get tired of going somewhere just to use up time (not because you actually want to go)?

YES! But, I try to see the learning opportunities in everything. It doesn't always happen, and sometimes I am so irritated that it takes ten minutes to get in the car, but I try.  Like going to the market. I could just wait for dh to come home, and quickly get our groceries.  But then, I love seeing the boys buckle themselves in their car seats (fine motor skills!) and I love how they jump from the front to the middle to the back seat (gross motor!) and when they scream and laugh when I pretend to lock them in there and "lose" the key (uumm..imagination? lol.) And then all the hand holding and positive reinforcement and learning to walk at a steady pace and not run ... I mean, I feel like I am socializing them and I know that's important.  So I keep doing it. 

 

And anyways, when I actually want to go somewhere, I usually don't want it to be with two toddlers.

 

Do you feel like you are doing it all and not enjoying it at all?

Only when I am arguing with my dh.  Then I feel like I want to pick up and run away! Haha.

 

Do you ever feel bad because you think your children are even more bored than you?

Only when I have the moments when I need to be by myself and I put the TV on for them.  It doesn't happen often (1-4 times a week, depending) but I beat myself up about it.  

 

How do you keep that loving mother attitude?

By remembering my mom. All she did was clean the house all day.She would try to play with us, but to her, only housework mattered, and then she didn't even take pride in what she did, it was always a chore.  She never did anything for herself and it showed.  So when I do my laundry, I try to go slow, take in each moment, savor my surroundings, etc. I try to listen to my own needs, and do things that make me happy, even if it means I have to wait til 8:30pm when the boys are asleep until I can have my beloved cup of coffee, because that's just how busy the day was.

 

I also have started blogging.  So now when I do fun or interesting things with the boys, I take quick pictures on my phone, upload it to the blog and write a quick summary. Our family can look at it and see what we do all day, and they are usually so happy to see the boys having so much fun.  Its kind of the same feeling of when you're at work and the boss gives you a thumbs up. 

 

post #7 of 10

This is exactly how I've been feeling too! I have a 3 year old & 5 month old & the days are exhausting.

 

Do you run out of ideas?

 

Constantly. I am loving pinterest these days. I have tons of ideas pinned & many can be done on the spur of the moment. Recently we created a craft drawer so our supplies are close at hand. I'm also fairly ok with messy activities & those often take up a lot of time (water play is always a favourite). I can't wait for the warmer days when we can go out easily (no snowsuits!) & be out a lot longer.

 

Do you get tired of going somewhere just to use up time (not because you actually want to go)?

 

Yep. We live outside of town so all outings mean car trips. I've actually been actively trying to reduce trips lately.

 

Do you feel like you are doing it all and not enjoying it at all?

 

Some days. I definitely feel guilty that I'm not in the moment enough.

 

Do you ever feel bad because you think your children are even more bored than you?

 

Yeah. When ds is getting crazy & driving me nutty & I realize he is just trying to get something interesting going on. Tv actually seems to make it worse.

 

How do you keep that loving mother attitude?

 

I don't always but I try to start each new day fresh & sometimes make real effort to regroup partway through the day.

post #8 of 10

Do you have a hobby? Something you can loose yourself in? It sounds like you have lots of outlets but are still unhappy and bored. Really putting yourself into something could help give you a sense of accomplishment and take your mind off the doldrums.

I understand how hard being a SAHM is. My lo is 2 now and I also didn't work the whole time I was pregnant. No matter whether you have 2 kids or 20, it can still be mind numbing.

I've recently started meditating and just trying to be mindful of the present. That and reading inspirational stories have really helped clear my mind of a lot of unwanted clutter.

Try beliefnet.com

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 


Hey lifeguard I just wanted to reply to you specifically first and say that YES my son gets a ton worse when I let him watch tv, esp. if it's action or very character driven (like calliuo?).  But I have found if I get some education clips together on Youtube, that sometimes will help and he's easy to pull away from it.  I don't do pinterest because they want you to be on facebook too and I'm not. But I found a similar (yet different) image saving site called gawker that's fun for a relaxing minute while they are napping or busy.  thanks for replying so I don't feel alone!  when my youngest son was between about 5 months and 1 yr, the days were very tiring.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

This is exactly how I've been feeling too! I have a 3 year old & 5 month old & the days are exhausting.

 

Do you run out of ideas?

 

Constantly. I am loving pinterest these days. I have tons of ideas pinned & many can be done on the spur of the moment. Recently we created a craft drawer so our supplies are close at hand. I'm also fairly ok with messy activities & those often take up a lot of time (water play is always a favourite). I can't wait for the warmer days when we can go out easily (no snowsuits!) & be out a lot longer.

 

Do you get tired of going somewhere just to use up time (not because you actually want to go)?

 

Yep. We live outside of town so all outings mean car trips. I've actually been actively trying to reduce trips lately.

 

Do you feel like you are doing it all and not enjoying it at all?

 

Some days. I definitely feel guilty that I'm not in the moment enough.

 

Do you ever feel bad because you think your children are even more bored than you?

 

Yeah. When ds is getting crazy & driving me nutty & I realize he is just trying to get something interesting going on. Tv actually seems to make it worse.

 

How do you keep that loving mother attitude?

 

I don't always but I try to start each new day fresh & sometimes make real effort to regroup partway through the day.



 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

This response was GREAT!  Cherry you really give me some ideas and some encouragement about what I'm doing.  My mom did the same!  She worked and kept the house beautiful but I can't remember times when she did really do stuff with us and got to know us as people not just her "kids".  I never want that.  I never want to be so worried about the state of my home that I don't enjoy being with my kids.  I love the shopping idea - I should think more in terms of a learning experience (are you going to homeschool!).  I like the blog idea and had that some thought because when I was taking a lot of time to post pics for family it was a lot more "fun" and fulfilling.  Thank you for commenting.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

 

Do you run out of ideas?

Yes. But that is how new ideas are built. I improvise all day long. Like yesterday, I put out the little sprinkler toy for the boys to play with.  I gave them a couple bowls and then went about my business.  Ds1 eventually started making a "car wash" with the sprinklers, so I brought out some wash rags, and then their bubbles, and then every now and then another type of bowl, and then a random water safe toy, etc... They were out there for an hour! 

 

I have given them access to my old purses. I handed them over once and said, "Ok, go shopping!" and they spent forever running around the house putting things in "Mamas purse!" It was great :) Totally unplanned and it gave me time to have a coffee.

 

Do you get tired of going somewhere just to use up time (not because you actually want to go)?

YES! But, I try to see the learning opportunities in everything. It doesn't always happen, and sometimes I am so irritated that it takes ten minutes to get in the car, but I try.  Like going to the market. I could just wait for dh to come home, and quickly get our groceries.  But then, I love seeing the boys buckle themselves in their car seats (fine motor skills!) and I love how they jump from the front to the middle to the back seat (gross motor!) and when they scream and laugh when I pretend to lock them in there and "lose" the key (uumm..imagination? lol.) And then all the hand holding and positive reinforcement and learning to walk at a steady pace and not run ... I mean, I feel like I am socializing them and I know that's important.  So I keep doing it. 

 

And anyways, when I actually want to go somewhere, I usually don't want it to be with two toddlers.

 

Do you feel like you are doing it all and not enjoying it at all?

Only when I am arguing with my dh.  Then I feel like I want to pick up and run away! Haha.

 

Do you ever feel bad because you think your children are even more bored than you?

Only when I have the moments when I need to be by myself and I put the TV on for them.  It doesn't happen often (1-4 times a week, depending) but I beat myself up about it.  

 

How do you keep that loving mother attitude?

By remembering my mom. All she did was clean the house all day.She would try to play with us, but to her, only housework mattered, and then she didn't even take pride in what she did, it was always a chore.  She never did anything for herself and it showed.  So when I do my laundry, I try to go slow, take in each moment, savor my surroundings, etc. I try to listen to my own needs, and do things that make me happy, even if it means I have to wait til 8:30pm when the boys are asleep until I can have my beloved cup of coffee, because that's just how busy the day was.

 

I also have started blogging.  So now when I do fun or interesting things with the boys, I take quick pictures on my phone, upload it to the blog and write a quick summary. Our family can look at it and see what we do all day, and they are usually so happy to see the boys having so much fun.  Its kind of the same feeling of when you're at work and the boss gives you a thumbs up. 

 



 

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