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The neverending SAHM battle

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I struggle with this all the time.

WHAT will make me happy? I pour myself into a thousand different crafts while staying at home with my wonderful dd. I don't want a 9-5 job. I don't want to leave her in the hands of some daycare. BUT something is missing and I don't know what it is?

Is it a change in my independance? Is it a need to stimulate my brain? I haven't found the answers and we struggle with it as a family.

Dd and I go to Mommy and baby groups at least 2 times a week. We go out and run errands every day. I keep very busy with Sleeping Bean and the Boards and when I find a moment free, I like to work on crafts. So, it's not that I'm bored, and it's not that I don't have anything to do.

What is it? What is this empty feeling and how do I fill it?
Also, I feel like until I figure this out, I am doing my beautiful dd an injustice because I am not there 100% for her (I am, but mentally there is this conflict).

Please, advice, words of wisdom!?
Thanks ladies.
post #2 of 41
I am also a SAHM, I have never had that feeling, it always seems I am too busy to think about anything that deep. (Maybe because I don't want to figure out what I will do when I grow up?) However, it just reminded me of a conversation that I had with my mom before I had kids. It went something like this:

Me: its so nice that she is willing to sacrifice a few years of her life to raise her own kids.

Mom: I never for a moment felt like I sacrificed anything to be home with you, I loved every minute of it.

It was without a doubt the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

I guess what I am trying to say is, enjoy it while it lasts. Growing children is the most important job in the world.

post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
I know that it is the most important job I will ever have. That doesn't change this feeling that I should/can do more?! I guess I don't know how to explain it other then that.

I wouldn't trade beign with dd for anything.
Maybe I'm just being hormornal?!
post #4 of 41
o lala, Ihope I didn't offend you i guess it was just what popped into my head. what i was getting at is enjoy this time now, worry about personal growth when little ones aren t so needy.
post #5 of 41
Hi LaLa- I was very happy to read your post! I know to some it may seem strange that I say that, but you have described my feelings exactly, and it is so nice to know I am not the only SAHM who loves her children (I have dd and ds) as any parent does, but is still not completely 100% content as I feel I am supposed to be. What is it I am looking for? I don't know, and that is probably a part of the problem! I also do not want a traditional 9-5, but I do long for something. I don't think this is much help, but for me it is nice to know I am not the only one.
post #6 of 41
I couldn't have said it better myself! I stayed home for 3 years with my boys. My dh's job wasn't going anywhere....very long hours and little money to show for it! We were miserable and I always felt "brain bored". I did all the things you described but something was missing. Then, after we contemplated over what to do, it was decided that I would go back to teaching and my dh would stay home! We decided that b/c I am home at 4:00 most days and i'm guaranteed weekends and lots of holiday breaks...not to mention summers. The money is the same (crappy) but we manage and the extra time we have is worth it! So I was so excited to go back to work. But now there is the flip side....missing staying home and doing all the things that i griped about. And my dh is now feeling the way i felt....now he is missing something. It's soooo hard to make it all work where everyone is complete. Now when this school year is up we might change our minds again. Our friends always laugh at us, the way we live and are always changing jobs and such. But i laugh back at them b/c we are way happier doing it our way!
post #7 of 41
I struggled with this a lot too. See, I am a work at home mom and I love it. I run my own company from home and my computer and I still get to spend the majority of my time with Emily. I work maybe 7-8 hours a day but with no commute time and no time off for lunch (I just eat while I work) I work from 7am to 2pm or 3pm. That leaves the rest of the day to be with Emily.

So in the mornings I'm all business, and in the afternoons it's all about playtime, going to the park, and one on one time.

We hired a nanny/sitter who comes in and plays with Emily from 8am to 1pm, then she naps, but I'm here with them the whole time, I just shut the doors and work, but if she needs me I am there. I can always juggle my schedule.

Anyway, my point is, that there may be a possibility you're overlooking. I didn't want a 9-5 either. Think about it. There's a lot of books out there about starting a business from home, especially designed for moms with wee ones.
post #8 of 41
La La -

I sounds like you need more people contact and more stimulation or challenge. I can understand that...

I work part time (three 7 hour days) and work is totally boring to me (hectic and boring - what an awful combination). I need to figure out when to make a change and what to do, but I am finally giving myself the time to figure it out. I may stay where I am while I have small kids - it's flexible, the pay & benefits are good and I can do it with my eyes closed. I have lots of quantity and quality time with my son and still get to go out to lunch with co-workers and keep my foot in the professional world.

I deeply respect all mothers (those who stay at home and those who work outside the home). If you choose to use a childcare provider, you will choose a great caregiver for your child and you will find what works for your family.

I think it's important for us to model in our lives what we want for our children. Stimulating, meaningful work is part of that. Of course - not to the detriment of our kids, but a balace. That's the hardest thing...

You are totally impressive with your business and being a great mom to a young child. But still, I know what you mean. I would like to teach yoga more, do less of my professional job and still have lots of time for home life. We make choices and they are hard. You aren't just being hormonal - you are dealing with real issues.

I hope you understand what I mean. It sounds like you could use more stimulation/ work challenge. I know that I need that - but it may be awhile before I figure out how to fulfill that.

post #9 of 41
Have you tried Adult human contact that is in no way child related? I find thats usually what I need so I sneek off for coffee with childless friends for an hour or two every other week. I think its the "Me, Just Me" time thats missing when I start to feel that way
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
I appreciate you all sharing your ideas and stories. Erin, I admire you for being able to work at home sucessfully!

Julie, maybe some "me" time wouldn't hurt, but the only "me" time that really sounds appealing is a trip to the spa...

Maybe for Christmas!
I can dream, can't I?
post #11 of 41
LOL LaLa you and I both! Ive soooo asked for a trip to a day spa for christmas...I just dont see it happening anytime soon tho...DD is Exclusivly breastfed at 6 months and wont take anything but be so I cant go anywhere with out her Not even for a massage and a facial.....Soon tho Soon....

Ohohoh I know what im going to ask for for Christmas...Use of Someone elses bathtub so I can have a bath by myself...I think I remember those.....almost as good a s a spa.....

But seriously, find some Me time, I go to scrapbook workshops, their only for a few hours once a month but its great adult time. I really enjoy going to coffee with other SAHMs who have escaped for a bit, they understand, I dont think anyone else does understand....
post #12 of 41
Hi everyone I am so glad the boards are back!!!

LALA I can relate. It has taken me four years to figure out that I want it all--just kidding--I work two evenings a week as a psychotherapist I love my work it challenges me and fulfills me. For me working and answering this challenge has made me a better mom and a happier person. Two weeks ago I flew by myself to a conference and was just me the Psychotherapist not the mommy for two days. It was great but I was also ready to come back.

When I am at home I love being at home and often I don't want to leave for work. When I get to work that feels great and I get charged.

I just accept I will always feel torn. I am lucky thatave always been able to maintain my career with just two nights a week. My children have alone time with Daddy and it works.

Be creative. Wanting more does not make you a bad MOMMY.

Good Luck
post #13 of 41
I'm with Julie. I have two "childless" friends. One married, one not. I have been blown away with how important they have become in my life as my connection with the rest of the world. They love my kids and love hearing about them but my time with them helps me focus on the part of my life that was there before my boys were born and will still be present after they are grown.

But if you need a buddy to go to the spa with you LaLa, that is my ultimate dream!
post #14 of 41
I would recommend reading the book "At-Home Motherhood, Making it Work for You" by Cindy Toliver.
It might give you some ideas to reflect on.
post #15 of 41
I have felt this way too! For me it happens sporadically, but on those days, I just feel completely unmotivated and "not there" for my daughter. Then it will pass. I am hoping to find some good suggestions on this thread. Thank you for posting this.

post #16 of 41

Re: LaLa

LaLa - {{{hugs}}} Do you mind if I ask again how old you are? I seem to remember you're in your mid-20s - am I right?

The reason I ask is that I went through so much soul-searching at that phase in my life when I was home with my first son. I kept feeling something was missing even though I had a wonderful child, hobbies and a close relationship with God. I think it's just par for the course as your first child gets a bit older and you're wondering where you fit into the whole scheme of things.

What helped me through that period was a lot of journaling and mentoring-type relationships with older women. My best friend at that time was a woman in her 60s who helped me through some of the most confusing and difficult times in my life. It was as though I needed someone to "parent" me when I was trying so hard to parent this little boy - while my own parent was halfway across the country.

That time of life is also when most people come to terms with the relationships they have with their own parents. It can be the perfect time for examining your family of origin, what you want to do the same/differently, and for making repairs if there are severed ties.

Another thing that may help you feel better is to do some volunteer work. Maybe you and Baby could go pass out holiday cookies at a nursing home, go caroling with other couples/babies, or donate time/resources to a charity. Often reaching out to others can make us feel better about our own situations. I know...it sounds trite, but I've been there and it helped me. I hope you find what helps you.

Love, KG
post #17 of 41

I know how you feel

Hi there, You are not alone in your feelings. I know exactly what your talking about. After almost 2 years of feeling that way I decided to become a LLL leader and I also trained to become a Bradley teacher. I will begin teaching out of my home one night a week.
What I am trying to say is find your passion and go from there. My passion was breastfeeding and childbirth education, so I decided to help other women and couples learn what I was passionate about.
Good luck!

post #18 of 41
Hi, I have definitely felt this way too. Last year 2 mums from the park/nursery applied for funding from our lotteries commission board and set up a women's writers group. We hired a tutor and booked a creche in the same building and started to meet weekly for 2 hours. Eventually the children crept back in to the room, not liking the creche situation! And as the summer months came we met outside in the 1 o'clock clubs ( enclosed children's areas in parks) and managed with just 1 paid child minder whom we all knew, sometimes to 10 children(!) and ourselves keeping an eye out, running to the rescue etc. Our parenting styles were quite different some of us are homeschoolers and long term breastfeeders, others have their days mapped out and children organised in the school and nursery systems. Soma are single parents, some have grown-up children. The tutor doesn't have any children and is totally amazing in her delight and patience. The upshot of all this is that we have managed to write a play that we are going to produce next year. Our children have learned to be with us and respect our need to be doing something for ourselves. We have become close and our creative needs are being met. We have even encountered 'office politics' as our third draft draws to a conclusion. I know some of you live in quite remote places But if you already have support groups (LLL)perhaps you could add something like this, you don't have to be away from your kids, and the stimulus of adult company with a goal is marvellous, much love to you all MM
post #19 of 41
I know what you are talking about...feeling like something is missing. What helped for me was to get involved in a cause that I believed in (AP). I became a leader for Northwest Attachment Parenting and then got on the board of directors. That has helped me a lot as far as having a purpose and a passion. I also obviously love yoga, so for me I have started taking regular classes again and that is one way I refill myself, and then can be more present for my boy. Good luck on your search!
post #20 of 41
I can also relate to what you are feeling. It is like this emptiness that makes me not feel totally present with my son some days. I was crazed about buying a new house this week it was all I could think about. Now thankfully that has passed. I don't think it is totally about purpose though, because for me I am in graduate school and that is my passion. I am gong to buy that book for sure. I also liked the idea of a mentor. I had hoped to find that in my son's dr. but that hasn't worked. I think I know another friend that could help, again thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I am happy to know that others struggle with staying at home which can be a really hard concept that you don't try to explain to working friends! Writing also helps, thanks to the boards! thanks sarah
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