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SAHD of 9yrs - Overwhelmed and More

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

1) I'm looking for good mindfulness resources (podcast, book). I have a hard time reading, paying attention to books is hard for me ever since I left college (when I used to read quite a bit).

2) I don't know how I'm going to change from not being compassionate/empathic enough for my wife, to learning and applying these skills.

3) I'm generally not happy with my life as an at home dad. I feel trapped and overwhelmed by the duties.


I'd write more, and perhaps I can in response, but I'm tired and (at least partially) just looking for support from other parents. I have 4 kids (and sheesh do I feel like maybe 4 was too many at this point), 9, 8, 5, 3 years old. We're an unschooling family. My father and I have almost no relationship, and I feel like that's hurting me as a father.

post #2 of 5

Hang in there, Dad! Staying at home with the kids burns you out, and there are a lot of parents here who sympathize!


Re: reading. I had to sort of change the way I did reading once I became a mom. I downloaded books onto my IPhone and read in little bits: on the toilet, at dinner, a few pages while in bed. It is not as good as reading all in one sitting like I used to, but it's something.

post #3 of 5

I feel overwhelmed a lot too.  I don't know exactly what type of mindfulness books you would like, but a Buddhist publication that has helped me out a lot is the magazine Shambala Sun.  It's much easier for me to read and think about a complete article right now, rather than process an entire book, so the magazine format works well.  The articles in Shambala Sun are always well written, and the majority of them are thought provoking and often funny.  My friend sent me a subscription for Christmas one year, and being a lapsed Buddhist (i.e. I haven't sat in meditation for several years - we have three children 9, 7 and 2), I didn't know if I would like it, but it has been wonderful. 


We're also a homeschooling family, and one thing I find that helps out a lot is to go places.  Staying at home is nice when I'm feeling organized and happy, but if I'm feeling overwhelmed or depressed, everyone is always happier if we spend the afternoon at the river or a friend's house or go to the library.  I think it has something to do with the fact that our house gets so extremely messy with three kiddos running around....


Another thing that helps me a lot, if we are staying home and I'm getting overwhelmed, is making a list of all things I want to accomplish during the day.  Even if the list includes seemingly banal things like making peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, or reading Goodnight Moon to the little one before bedtime.  The list helps me keep a rhythm in our day, and it makes me feel less overwhelmed. 


Do you have any other SAHD friends?  I always wonder if the SAHD in our homeschool group feels isolated and wishes for more male companionship.  Do you know any older or retired men who would enjoy spending time with you and your children?  Neighbors?  Every morning, my children and I go for a walk with my father and sometimes my mother, and it seems to set a positive tone for the day. 


I hope that helps.  It can definitely be tough to be a stay at home parent.   

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I've tried some reading on the phone, too. I find that if I reach for my phone I tend to go for something a little more "snack foody", like a quick game or something, and then I get distracted and never get to reading what I had intended to read. I've deleted games before because they've been time-sucks, but I haven't done that in a while. Perhaps I should give that another try.


We did just hire someone to come twice a week to help me while I'm at home, which I think will be a big help.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response, Dovey. I'm a Buddhist-leaning fellow, so I'll be sure to check out the magazine. I think that makes a lot of sense, not having to put so much time into a book. I can read an article, and it can help to remind me to be mindful of my process as a parent.


I'm pretty good at taking the kids out when I'm feeling overwhelmed, it's just been that the past month has really been a parenting-downer for me, even with taking the kids camping and out and such. I got home from a conference without kids where I'm surrounded by friends and fun, and it's so much harder to be here working my butt off for people that don't seem to care whether I'm around or not as long as they're fed.


I know two other SAHDs, and I'm pretty good friends with one of them. I go to a homeschool group each Friday and there are dads there, but it's mostly women. I think connecting with the one dad has been a good thing, though his kids are at a pretty different stage right now (his are very young).



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