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Can one be a happy and rested SAHM without a support system? - Page 2

post #21 of 55
Both our families are many states away, and it has been very hard sometimes. My DH also traveled quite a bit when the kids were little. I definitely had some babysitters and also preschool later. It has gotten MUCH easier as the kids are older.

I have also met other moms and we have helped each other. But most people in the area where I live have family nearby.

I think it can be much harder when you don't have (supportive) family around.
Having help really made a difference for me, especially when my kids were small and I was exhausted. And looking back on it, I wish I had gotten more help than I did.
post #22 of 55
We are in the middle of the road, DD has her grandparents, but she goes there not really that often. My dad and step-mom live 10 miles away(plus DH's and my mom live 1 hr. away) and we also have our neighbors who offer to take care of her, but much of the time we still take care of her all the time.

My DH is a really wonderful father, if he wasn't so involved I *might* feel like I needed a break more often, but most of the time we choose to just be us and our little family. DH comes home and has his few moments of personal time and them he is fully into DD and parenting. They play(or we all play), then I usually go and make dinner and have my "alone" time. I don't do playgroups, the only one here I find extremely boring. I live in a small town, so I feel like I have a village I guess, I know that there are the resources for me, but I just rarely use them.

There have been a few times where I have been completely overwhelmed, but usually those have been because of other burdens I am feeling(financial, emotional, hormonal). It's not so much taking care of DD that I've gotten burnt out on, it's all the tedious life stuff.

Another big thing for us is that DH and I waited a long time to have DD so we had literally years of time alone doing whatever we wanted, and for us having DD was a pivotal shift in focusing on family and home.

I guess for the most part I am content and don't need to often use my support system, but they are there if that day comes(or if we have another baby). I would definitely need all the help I can get because DD is one energetic little girl, and I'd be a tired mama.
post #23 of 55
It was so hard when DS was a baby. Both DH and I were completely overwhelmed with adjusting to all our transitions (We moved 4 times in DS's first year ). I remember us having a very difficult time negotiating who took care of DS when we were both around. We were both beyond our limit and clawing for some relief. If we had a village back then, as we really had noone (nor any extra money), it would have been a much easier transition. We got through it, but man, was it hard figuring out who got some R&R. Both of us were in tears begging for it, and our mental states were too foggy to think clearly. (Wow, remembering this really makes me not wanna have another kid.) Now that we are more stable, care for DS flows really naturally, especially because he is such a fun guy these days. But we do pay for a little help now with DS in preschool.
post #24 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredmama View Post
We were both beyond our limit and clawing for some relief. If we had a village back then, as we really had noone (nor any extra money), it would have been a much easier transition. We got through it, but man, was it hard figuring out who got some R&R. Both of us were in tears begging for it, and our mental states were too foggy to think clearly. (Wow, remembering this really makes me not wanna have another kid.)
I hear ya!

The idea of having a baby, and repeating everything again, makes me feel...definitely not happy! Exhausted and panicked is more like it.

A difficult pregnancy, horrible back labor, emergency c-section, time in the NICU, difficulty breastfeeding, no one around to help, a husband who returned to work almost immediately and worked long hours, followed by other issues, and then culminating in a diagnosis of Autism...the last few years have been ones I don't care to repeat.

I love my little one dearly, however, and I don't have regrets. I just don't want to ever go through anything like that again. I hope it starts to get a little easier.
post #25 of 55
i think it depends on the mothers tempermant, number of kids, kids temperant, help from dh etc. i have three kids 6 and under, and a special needs child who drains me. i have no support but my dh and hes gone 16 hours a day. i have done playgroups etc but its not enough. i know if i had help i would be a much happier mommy
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Is a support system vital to your happiness, vitality, and efficiency of being a SAHM? Do you have a support system that keeps fatigue and burn out at bay? What does your support system look like?
It is so hard when there isn't any help available. My mom lives nearby but she is still employed full-time and is a work-aholic. Every once in a while she will say that she is going to quit and then take care of DD and DS so that I can go back to work. I don't want to go back to work though and I love being at home. She doesn't understand that and honestly I think she would not enjoy being with her grandkids all day. She would sit them in front of the television and shower them with hundreds of electronic plastic toys (that is another story lol). And I wouldn't enjoy that either!!

BUT... I need help.

When DD was first born we were overwhelmed. All of these visitors came to see the baby and yet no one was able to help. DH's mom is far away and both of our dads have passed on early in life. We have siblings but they are dispersed all over the country. Anyway, we were run ragged. I felt so unsupported and was undernourished, exhausted and filled with post-partum anxiety/sadness. I really believe that if we had organized a better support system I wouldn't have had such a tough time adjusting. DH was a superstar and took extra time off to help me. It didn't help that DD was very colicky and had some health issues.

Fast forward to DS and he was a dream baby. So eager to sleep and feed. Thankfully he was like this or I think I would have gone crazy trying to take care of two highly demanding children.
Again, my mom seemed to stay away. I dreamed she would bring us food or offer to take care of DD.

It's partly or mainly our fault, we never asked for help at all. Instead we waited for someone to offer and that didn't always happen. We just hoped our family would be there - at least more there for us. I remember the best gifts in those early days were from girlfriends who brought a meal by - even leaving it on the doorstep.

DH and I were soooo tired. We decided to hire a cleaning crew and they are wonderful women who come twice a month. This is one of the highlights in our days. We enjoy seeing them - the children both are so excited when they come - and they help us keep a clean house. It is well worth the extra money that we spend for this help.

Also, we have decided to get a babysitter who will take the kids to the park and do crafts with them. This is still not enough though.

I am much more open to asking for help now than I used to be. I teeter on the edge of burnout alot. There are some moms in the neighbourhood that are also SAHMs. I am going to try and organize a babysitting trade with some of them. We need to help each other out more. Neighbours here often keep to themselves - but it would be nice to change that and have a better support system.

Thatisnice I hope you are able to find some more support soon.
post #27 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarntz View Post
i have done playgroups etc but its not enough. i know if i had help i would be a much happier mommy
:
post #28 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarntz View Post
and a special needs child who drains me.
post #29 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kananaskismama View Post

BUT... I need help.
post #30 of 55


My goodness, WE ALL NEED HELP. To say otherwise is a denial.

Mothering is hard. Parenting is hard. The more help we can get, the better.
post #31 of 55
I have to say its hard to be a SAHM when you have no family around. I live several thousand miles away from my closest relative. Its a 14-24 hour journey on a plane to get to anyones house. My husband works between 10-15 hours a day M-F and some Saturdays and Sundays. He gets deployed several times a year for anywhere between a couple of weeks to two months. I don't have very many friends, the last time I was away from my daughter was for 10 minutes for a doctors appointment, she was in the waiting room with my husband.

I just do it. Honestly, theres nothing else I can do. Its harder now since Im 21 weeks pregnant and exhausted/sick all the time. I think with us we never had the support of family so I dont' know what that would be like. I visited my inlaws with my DD in May and it drove me nuts at times because there was too many people trying to "help". I enjoy being able to raise her without interference. Would it be nice to have someone to babysit? Yes.. I don't even know who is going to watch her when I have our new LO. However, Ive learned to adapt to being on my own.

Things I do to keep my sanity: (1) I keep in contact with my family online. I email pretty much daily, (2) My DH is wonderful when he is home. He is willing to do just about anything to help out and doesnt' complain, (3) I try to do somethings that I just love. During DD's nap time, instead of cleaning, I read or knit or sew or scrapbook etc. (4) We go to church every week, we go to the playground practically every day, we try to do family activities at least twice a month (zoo, garden, beach etc), I do have a friend or two who I will go over to their house and talk for a while (they just can't babysit because they are too busy) (5) I try to look at what I have instead of what I dont. I don't have a family who is nearby or even very supportive of my parenting but I do have a family. To me that alone is a blessing, I know a lot who can't say the same.

When the new baby comes I do plan of hiring a maid to come in a couple times during the first month and do a deep cleaning. Some of the young men from church have already volunteered to come mow the yard and hose down the porch. The ladys in the church I know will help cook meals for the first week or so. After the first month though I know Ill be back to being on my own and thats ok. By then I should have a routine to stick to.. and if not please let my husband NOT be deployed until I do.
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I hope it starts to get a little easier.
When it's that difficult in the beginning it has nowhere to go but up. I have 2 cousins who are autistic. They have their own special set of challenges, but the special joys that they inspire from us are remarkable. I the raw truth that they exude, they really wake me up to the beauty of variety in this world. I guess I shouldn't generalize all autistic kids this way, but this is my experience with the 2 that I dearly!

I hope you find the support you need, nobody can do it alone!!

Editing to change to "I couldn't do it alone". I suppose some people could.
post #33 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredmama View Post
When it's that difficult in the beginning it has nowhere to go but up. I have 2 cousins who are autistic. They have their own special set of challenges, but the special joys that they inspire from us are remarkable. I the raw truth that they exude, they really wake me up to the beauty of variety in this world. I guess I shouldn't generalize all autistic kids this way, but this is my experience with the 2 that I dearly!
Thank you so much for this.



That is one of the nicest and kindest things I've ever read.
post #34 of 55
i have learned to cope with no support. i have no family nearby and really no friends so there is no one to help me out my husband is gone to work 7 out of 12 days so i am on my own a lot. thankfully the kids are now older so it has gotten easier but it certainly hasn't been easy.

i envy my friends who have parents that take their kids for a week so the parents can have a break.
post #35 of 55
Well, it can be done without a support system, but I wouldn't want to do it that way.

I'm a homeschooling mom of four who also does childcare from home. Between homeschooling and having almost a dozen kids around most days, I want help.

I have a ten year old boy who comes and cleans once a week. His mom has him taught well and I only have to pay him $8 an hour.

I make sure to have another mom over for tea and pie once a week. The kids hang out and I get to talk to an adult.

We have a friend who goes with us on homeschooling field trips and helps with the mob.

I have a mother's helper (15) that I call as needed.

Dh's mom comes over every two or three weeks.

My parents babysit for us once or twice a month.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Is a support system vital to your happiness, vitality, and efficiency of being a SAHM? Do you have a support system that keeps fatigue and burn out at bay? What does your support system look like?

Spouse? Parents/grandparents? Aunts/Uncles? Friends? Hired help?

I'm curious to know because I find that play groups aren't enough of a support system for me. I feel tired and worn out, and while I do get a break away and alone time a few hours a week, it doesn't seem to be enough anymore (selfish, I don't know? unrealistic I don't know?).

Many of the people in the playgroups I go to seem to rely on grandparents and other relatives, but mostly on grandparents for a lot.

We don't have this as a resource at all on one side, and on the other side it's limited. Could you or do you do it without grandparents? How?

I'm feeling like I need to hire someone, but then I feel silly because the reason I quit my job and became a SAHM was so I could be the one to do all of this. I have friends (wonderful and caring friends) but they have their own families, jobs, etc so it's not really the same level as extended family.

I feel like I'm raising a child without my village. Does it really take a village to raise children?

Rested? No. But content and a loving mother? YEs.

I speak from experience.
post #37 of 55
My dd has behavior challenges and if I didn't get a break from her I would loose my mind. During the school year I teach one day a week and her and my ds go to a great daycare. During the summer I have a mother's helper a few hours a week.

All of my family here also have kids(even my mom), but they do what they can. My mom is watching my kids for our anniversary coming up. They'll be spending the night there. I love having my family's support, and I feel a great deal of sympathy for anyone who doesn't have that.
post #38 of 55
I was in a training class once where we discussed how support sytems are like stools, with the supports represented by the legs. It makes it much easier to sit on your stool if you have three legs or more.

My stool legs include DH (amazing man who does housework AND plays with the kids!), paid childcare (my sister, my friend, and my occasional mother's helper teen), and our little schedule of activities--it brings a rhythm to our day/week when we have a plan to follow. Other legs include friends I see maybe once a month, my volunteer work (200 hours per year), and my exercise.

It has taken a long time for me to find this rhythm. The first years I was home were okay, but I was isolated. I expected to be more connected with my family, but they were all busy busy busy at work and doing other things. I have some friends, but they aren't close confidants, we are just acquaintances who get our kids together to play. I find it very difficult to connect with a person while I am trying to supervise my children.

I feel now like I am living in another dimension because everything is so different than it was when I worked. Time feels different and there is a sense of urgency that is gone. Sometimes I feel energized and live 'in the moment', other times I feel dragged down by the lack of momentum.

FWIW, I had a pretty sucky support system before I got married. I knew I needed to work on it, and I tried, but I think personality plays into what kind of support system you need, and how easy it is for you to create one. The more social and willing to ask for help that you are, the easier your task. If you are introverted and have trust issues and poor connecting skills, your task is more difficult, especially when compounded by the constant distraction of your kids.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
To answer your question--No, a sahm cannot be happy and rested without a support system. I don't know how any woman can mother without some kind of support.

My parents live 5 minutes away. If I didn't have them, I don't know what I would do. I rely on them for alot, and I am not afraid to ask for help.

I also have a mothers helper. She comes twice a week, and takes the kids to the playground for a couple hours, or simply keeps them occupied while I catch up on laundry, or do any one of the neverending tasks required to maintain our household.

I hire a cleaning service every 2 weeks to do the major stuff (scrub floors, scrub bathroom, dusting) so that I have more time to spend with the kids.

It ABSOLUTELY takes a village.

WOW you are VERY blessed! I would give my left toe to have even one of those things lol
post #40 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dflanag2 View Post
I was in a training class once where we discussed how support sytems are like stools, with the supports represented by the legs. It makes it much easier to sit on your stool if you have three legs or more.
That is a really good analogy.

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