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do you know any SAHMs who are really unhappy?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Do you know any SAHMs who are really unhappy? How do you try to reach out to them, to support them? Do you feel like you should tell them to change lifestyles, to WOH or something else?

I have just been thinking about this lately because one of my best friends is an extremely unhappy SAHM. She suffers from depression and is constantly overwhelmed by childcare and housecleaning responsibilities. I can't help but wonder sometimes, if her happiness comes from claustrophobia or not wanting to be dependent on her husband.

Another SAHM I know has a "perfect" life, her husband makes a good income, they just moved into an unbelievably beautiful house next to the woods... and she's very unhappy.

I know life is hard no matter what choices we make, and nothing is ever perfect. I just never know what to say to friends in situations like these. It's sort of like when you have a friend who is having trouble breastfeeding and is in pain-- you don't want to tell them to stop, but at the same time you don't want them to suffer.

Anyway, if anyone here has SAHM friends who are very unhappy, how do you support/ talk to them?

PS this is the kind of thread I NEVER would have started on another board! glad to have the sahm board.
post #2 of 5
Sometimes bringing up the subject is a recipe for losing a friend. I have a friend like this, and she works part time now that her ds is 2.5. She's doing better, I think. But her job is only in the summer. She rents way out in the country- I think she wanted to be the homesteady type- but it's just resulted in isolation. I think she and her husband drink too much, I even believe they were taking valium or xanax (maybe still). I think that maybe living so far out is a way to hide the substance abuse which started because of depression, isolation, and some old friends who came to visit who we know are bad news. I've encouraged them too move closer to the city- they just make excuses. When I asked about the other, it just resulted in her hiding her behavior. She's gained weight and looks better now that she's working, and she will only work in the summer and sahm in winter, and her ds is with a mama who has 3 sons and and awesome play/learning setup. But I know without a doubt that if I confront her she'll just clam up, and stop calling, and then her ds could be in trouble. A depressed mama who tends toward vices is bad news. For my friend, there's no point to bring it up anymore. I keep an eye on her ds, and I'm going to try to find an excuse to get her mother's phone numbers so if I think she's gone of the edge I can call her family. If I bring it up to her again I will only do so if I have concrete solutions like another place for her to move to or a counselor hidden in my closet.
post #3 of 5
My sister works part time and stays home with her kids part time. Many days she is miserable with her kids. I think her expectations are way too high and very unrealistic. I try to listen to what she has to say about it and usually comment from there. I ask questions to try to help her figure out what she needs. She takes the kids to a sitter on days when she works. One day she only starts work at 1:00pm. so I suggested she take the kids to the sitter at 9:00 am so she can have some time alone. I have also suggested she work more simply because she is NOT HAPPY and neither are her kids when she spends the day yelling at them. I have suggested to her that her expectations are unrealistic and that her children are behaving like children. I have suggested that instead of barking orders at them all the time, she give them alternative ways of dealing with specific situations. I have suggested she see a counselor, take parenting classes, and take up drinking (joking of course.)

But I only make these suggestions when she asks for them. I try to do it in a non-judgmental way. And even though I know that staying at home is the best decision for my family, I realize that it isn't the best for everyone else.
post #4 of 5
There are a few in my neighborhood....all they ever do is complain about how hard it is, how sick they are of their kids, how their spouses don't do much, how they never get a "break", etc.

However, I didn't know them before they had kids and sah so they might have always been miserable, ykwim? Whenever their former worklife comes up they seem pretty negative about it too so that might just be who they are.

I am blessed to not suffer from depression or substance abuse issue and I liked school, working, being a working mom, and being a sahm. I have family members who have pretty much not liked working or parenting

Barney & Ben
post #5 of 5
My sil kind of fits into this category. She had told me over and over that she wasn't a "kid person", and would have been just as happy to not have kids and continue a career, but she had strong beliefs that she was supposed to be at home with her kids. She would have never gone out to work. I'm afraid I wasn't supportive at all, because at the time I was going through infertility and wanted a baby more than anything, and I was frustrated that she had everything I wanted and in my eyes didn't appreciate it. My sil really struggled to be a good mom to her young children. We saw a lot of evidence of depression during that time, especially during her pregnancies. We worried about her treatment of the kids (yelling, not spending time with them), and the borderline neglect.

Things are really changing for her now, and there are several reasons: 1) her kids are getting older, and it's apparent that while she struggles with babies and toddlers, she thrives on the types of things she can do with older kids. She loves to teach her dd piano, watch her kids' soccer games, help her dd with homework, read chapter books to her older kids, etc. 2) during her last pg, she got put on an anti-depressant. 3) She started taking piano students. I have mixed feelings about this, because she has a lot of students, and her kids basically run wild several hours a day while she is teaching. But I can't deny that teaching piano is her passion, she's really good at it, and she is tons happier now that she has that outlet.
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