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Feeling out of touch with society

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all! I'm a SAHM of a 16 month old. As you all know, this is a very time consuming position in life. I have a lot of mom friends and we get together regularly, but all we talk about is mom stuff and baby stuff. I am starting to feel really disconnected from the rest of the world and even my husband because I don't have time to read the news, magazines or anything. Whenever I think my DD is content playing by herself for a moment and I try to read something, she doesn't allow me to get past the first 3 sentences. When she is sleeping, I only have the chance to maybe read 1-2 articles because I have so many other things that need to be done around the house. Plus, I feel that during her naps, I find myself just spacing out for a short time because I'm so exhausted. 
 
There is so much "noise" going on in my head all day long with taking care of her that I just don't feel like I have any more space in my brain. However, I'm really getting tired of not having anything to talk about with my husband because I don't know what is going on in the world. We can only talk so much about baby stuff and what we did each day. I miss having more meaningful conversations! He definitely tries, but I feel like most of the time, I'm just sitting there like "ok, whatever". My brain is fried by the time DD goes to bed that I just want to veg out in front of the tv, but I don't know how to change this.
 
Does anyone else feel this way? Any suggestions on how to make time to learn about what is going on? Are there any good websites that stream the news (or any topic that is interesting)?
post #2 of 16

Well, I read the news online on my phone while I'm lying down with my kids when they go to bed at night. Plus I read when I get in bed before I go to sleep. I've perfected the art of picking up a book and putting it down when I'm needed and then picking it up again. I might only get to read a page or two before I'm needed but those pages add up pretty quickly.

 

Really though, you're a SAHM to a baby, I think it's pretty much OK to be fried at the moment. It won't be like this forever and I'm sure your husband can deal with it for a while.

post #3 of 16

I suppose my main comment is be patient with yourself. This period isn't forever. :) It is hard and frustrating.

post #4 of 16

I used to be a great conversationalist. 

 

I miss real shoes.

 

You're not alone.  I second the notion that, at the moment, we're not meant to so much as comb our hair every day.  It will end, and we will be "back in the world". 

 

hug2.gif
 

post #5 of 16
NPR
Book group
Take an evening class, leave your partner in charge
subscribe to a magazine that challenges your brain
find other "brainy" moms
post #6 of 16

I have an eighteen month old, and I also find it hard to find time to read and stay current on things. I like books on tape in the background while I'm doing chores. I also will listen to  Ted Talks, since they are short snippets, and usually pretty interesting.

post #7 of 16

I've been there, and soon I will be there again! I know what you mean about JUST talking about baby stuff, even when you're socializing with other parents. It can get tiring. Do you and your mom friends get together in the evening without kids? In my experience, it's different when your socialize during the day around your kids, and when you go out at night for a couple of glasses of wine. The latter makes me feel sane.

 

Also love the recommendation of NPR!

post #8 of 16
I'm right there with you, OP except that my DD is 21 months and I'm pregnant with number two. I feel so fried in the brain department and honestly DD and the new pregnancy take up 95% of my interest right now anyway. I read a fair bit but it's either MDC on my phone, books on toddlers and nursing or the occasional sci fi ebook I download from the local library when I need to just tune everything out. My reading happens while I nurse DD to sleep or while I'm trying to fall asleep myself. My DH is very patient and understanding although when he tries to engage me about a topic, I often find myself frustrated. Kind of like I've been chasing a poopy bum and soaking pee off the carpet all day and you expect me to be interested in politics/baseball/union business/facebook right now?! I'm dull and I know it and I've embraced it for now. I just need to get through the next couple of years in one piece, then I'll start wearing real clothes and talk about real issues again. For now I'm happy if I'm functioning enough to meet DD's needs and if I can cook an actual meal, bonus! This may sound like a very depressing post but I'm just trying to say that although I miss having other interests, right now all my energy is going into this kiddo and figuring out how to adjust to another one in July. Good luck and hang in there! Make time for nurturing your other interests or give yourself permission to let them go for a little while but don't stress over it, whatever you choose to do.
post #9 of 16

I've been cutting back on reasons to be out of the house on purpose. I do my chores in the morning then I sit down near where they are playing and I read. I am supervising them but I'm not entertaining them. Their independent play has improved massively and I spend a lot of time on research. I read a lot of non-fiction. Honestly, I am mostly trying to deal with having PTSD. There is a lot of research involved in completely retraining your brain.

 

Not everyone is crazy like me, but man this time feels like such a gift. I get to grow and learn and develop. I have to be an autodidact. I have to teach myself.

 

What are you interested in? Gardening? Home remodeling? Don't aimlessly watch tv shows on these subjects--go to the library and study it like a subject. Find out what you need to know. Then bring your kids outside and practice.

 

It doesn't matter if you are perfectly up to date on politics. Talk about how you spend your time. If you think your kids are boring, do something more interesting. Maybe research accounting. I've had a few reasons to care about small business accounting. It's something to talk about.

 

I honestly feel kind of hostile about having to sit around and listen to endless rounds of discussions about the bathroom habits of everyone's children. I don't care. So I change the subject. "Hey, do you do any gardening? Do you know anything about plants? I'm trying to learn."

 

I have a really easy time talking to people. I deliberately pursue a few safe channels of conversation. But that started after my kids were both over six months old. When I had a baby I had nothing to talk about. I was a sludge.

 

I think that modeling reading time is extremely important. If your children see you learning and reading as just part of every day... that's a powerful message. How will that effect them forever? My four year is just starting to ask questions about my books. She is just starting to wonder what I am learning. It's really neat. And it means I am mixing it up and not just reading the crazy head books because that is not something I want to model either. My paranoia is a serious pain in the neck. Heh.

 

My fingers are crossed. And I'm learning a lot of interesting things. :)

post #10 of 16
Oh god I remember the monotony of one 16 month old, however when my son was 16 months I had just become a SAHM so I was pretty pumped to not have to get up and go anywhere every day! I got lots of household projects done that first week, did a lot of baking and just played with my son. After about a Minh and a half I joined a play group. It was nice getting together with other moms who were in the same boat as me. We tended to talk babies but we also discussed other issues. My kids are 20 months and 4 now and when I get together with my mom friends we are more likely to talk about religion, politics, gardening, and current events. It gets easier. It can be boring with one toddler that is your sole responsibility. Ill tell you what helped the most though, having another child!! wink1.gif
post #11 of 16
I definitely feel this way. I spend all day every day with my daughter (almost 3), and the fried brain thing hasn't really let up. She talks all day long, mentions every single thing that she sees or hears or that I do or that pops in her head.... It's exhausting and makes my head spin. NPR makes me feel human, or it did until DD started asking about Newtown and begging to go to Mali. : /
post #12 of 16
Maybe find a few political (or whatever you want to follow more in the world) blogs and read those as you get little snippets of time? Blogs tend to be very bite-size digestible with links to longer articles if you have the time.

NPR on in the car (or maybe at home too sometimes) to catch up one some of the biggest news stories. They are pretty good about being child-friendly too, not that it probably matters yet, but will soon.

Reading while supervising independent play is great, I do this with my DD and yes I get interrupted often, but I also get a lot more reading done too. Books, magazines, blogs, etc. whatever is easiest for you to put down and pick up. Ipad or phone or similar device can help with this if you want to access online stuff.

Try a different play group or suggest an article or something to read for next time so you all have something to discuss besides kids.

Get your DH to watch your baby once a week or something for an hour or two while you go out with a friend or by yourself and catch up on something non-baby a bit. It will be good for DH and your baby to bond anyway IMO smile.gif

I think it is ok to be in a cocoon for the first couple months, but after that I have a need to get back into the world and it sounds like you are feeling the same thing.
post #13 of 16
Hi all, I am a former sahm- i have 5 daughters and have found myself moving from busy Brooklyn NY to the middle of nowhere ny to be a stay at home grandmother...3 months now...12-14 hours a day my brain is sludge. When I was "at home" it was in a busy place with family near by. Stores, malls, libraries, etc. I was so active and then went back to school. My best treat was a ceramics class once a week. It was a great night out to just sit around with a bunch of people and accomplish something and have grown up conversation. Right now I feel myself unraveling. Money is tight as i have left my job to come here. I have a 13 year old daughter with ADD and our evenings are spent trying to get through homework and keeping a routine....and it's just me here! Yikes, Yes NPR- wait wait don't tell me- this american life- and audiobooks!!!!! audiobooks are saving my sanity- kind of. I loved the comment about shoes. I am stuck here snowbound on a mountainside..NO WHERE to go without a 20 mile drive!!! .I want to wear heels somewhere- do my hair. put on non-stretchy clothes for a reason! I miss my life!! I'm only 41 and was TTC prior to this little guy showing up!! Now at times I feel like my life is over!! haha- ok just a little drama there. I love your suggestions and hope mine will bump this up and get some more comments
post #14 of 16

You're almost out of the worst stretch (IMO 12-18 months is sooo hard), so hang in there.  (I'm on hiatus from being a reading teacher and a bookworm, so I found the year without being able to read INCREDIBLY PAINFUL!!!!!)

 

I would also recommend audio books, NPR, etc.  I listen to audiobooks around the house, or when driving, and NPR really does help you keep up with the outside world.  Magazines were also kind of a lifesaver because the articles are short.

post #15 of 16

gosh my son is 23 months and im still really busy and can hardly check y email..........i have been listening to kfk or npr through itunes and there is a cool mystery radio station that play old movies when they used to be listend to instead of watched..it's been fun.....just thought i'd share

post #16 of 16

NPR!  Podcast versions that you can pause whenever, ----and listen to headphones while you are nursing or whatever mommy activity that doesn't involve you needing to hear what's going on in the room.

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