The neverending SAHM battle - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 01-10-2002, 10:09 PM
 
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Hi LaLa, I feel the exact same way too! I am a SAHM with a two yr old. I have older children 16,18, 20. When they were small I had to work full time and I was miserable. I would cry every morning and think it was so unfair to myself and my children that I had to go to work. I held it against my dh and it caused much grief. I started to suffer from panic attacks and my doctor said I was exhausted. I dreamt of one day being financially stable and having another child and staying home to raise it and do all the things I missed out on with my older children. Well 14 years later that time came. All my wishes have come true and guess what? I began having panic attacks again! and like yourself I just feel like something is missing. Sometimes I feel I need more mental stimulation. I feel like I need a challenge ( as though raising a two yr old isn't challenging enough.). Sometimes I think it is just a matter of my own lack of self acceptance! Sometimes I feel like everything I do now is so unimportant. I know its very important, but we tend to define ourselves by our accomplishments and picking up after a two year old doesn't do much for the ego in that respect. I think the most important thing is to remind yourself of how important this time is with your child and to live in the moment. When I just sit and think of the here and now I feel better. It does seem to be an age old dilemna though. My grandmother once cried to me years ago that she spent her whole life raising kids and cleaning house! I was so angry at her for saying this! I was working full time and raising my children alone. I felt she could not have asked for more- Financial stability, a great husband, great children and never having to go to work. Now that I am home I understand a little better. Sometimes I also think it is the lack of adult social stimulations. I don't know, but I know the feeling is common.
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#32 of 41 Old 01-11-2002, 02:34 PM
 
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Hi everyone -

I sat at the auto repair shop this morning reading the book "The Price of Motherhood" by Ann Crittenden. I am actually re-reading the book and Crittenden does a wonderful job exploring alot of our issues as mothers of small (and older) children from an economic and social/ historical perspective. The US has the largest number of college educated women who leave paid employment for unpaid parenting. Yes, parenting/mothering is the most important job, but still the least valued. Women and children are the most at risk for poverty and it is directly tied to our lack of social supports. The contributions of mothers is not included in economic indictators and much of our "work" goes unrecognized.

I really think that our culture tends to make issues seem PERSONAL, when the issues are really SOCIAL issues. Moms with small kids who "feel that something is missing" tend to be made to feel wrong. In fact, most women with small children are still isolated and it's a social problem - not just a personal problem.

Crittenden calls for economic and social reform and the book has alot of merit. I just wanted to remind everyone that what we sometimes see as a PERSONAL problem is often much larger in scope...

Kathleen
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#33 of 41 Old 01-12-2002, 07:11 PM
 
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Hi, I have been thinking about this a bit more and I realized that what I would really like is to be able to go to say for example my pottery workshop BUT with ds! Why do we have to separate? It would be so great to have a place where I could do my pottery and he would be accepted along with other children and adults. That I would Love! The same goes for other activities where society forces you to not bring the kids! I think what Im really missing is a community or something like a real tribe where people could gather and continue their activities and share the space with your family...
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#34 of 41 Old 01-14-2002, 06:58 PM
 
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But how do we find/ or start these places?

I have had some success in my homeschooling group. I have the people that want to do this, but we have been unable to get a place to help us do it. KWIM?
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#35 of 41 Old 01-14-2002, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I agree, but even today I was talking to the woman at our local Montessorri school. She asked me to come in for a look around etc, and I asked if dd could come or if she preferred that i left her with someone else. I was VERY surprised to hear that she thought it would be better if dd didn't come. I wasn't expecting that answer!
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#36 of 41 Old 01-15-2002, 11:32 AM
 
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LaLa -

Yes! I want to go places WITH my child, but it seems that we are forced to leave our kids behind if we want to do anything engaging with other adults. Even looking at preschools! Ugh.

K
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#37 of 41 Old 01-21-2002, 08:01 PM
 
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It really says something about our culture if so many of us feel this way! I just found this thread and all I can say is me too!!!!!!!!! In fact the whole reason I came to this web site in the first place was to find support around these issues. How can we, as a culture, change our attitudes toward parenting and families? This is why I want to be more of an activist (see my thread under Activism) But in the meanwhile how can I carve out a blend of all of the things that I want and need to be me? This is sooooo hard! I know in my heart that it shouldn't have to be this hard for us! The reality is that most public places are not tolerant to children and that is very, very sad. I was thinking about going back to work part time just to have adult contact and do some kind of meaningful work. And I really don't want to! And I am lucky enough to NOT HAVE TO for financial reasons. So where does that leave me? Well I have decided to try and do some volunteer work for an organization that is working for women's, mother's and family's rights. I haven't found it yet but think I am close. I am hoping to be able to do some work that will be stimulating to me on an intellectual level, rewarding to me in a social sense and includes my DS. I don't think this should be only a dream, I feel our culture should have more room for women who are mother's to find creative, spiritual, and intellectual stimulation WHILE they are enjoying parenting. It shouldn't have to be one way or the other! I would love to form a group that would work somehow to push for changes like these but have no idea what or how. I also know that I simply need a place to vent about this and get support so that I don't feel so alone!

I want to be a mother, AND a partner, AND an artist, AND an intellectual, AND someone who works toward goals I believe in!!!!

I want to be motherly, creative, smart, active, involved, nurturing, supportive, spiritual, loving, determined, hard working, and many, many other things ALL AT ONCE!!!!

This is my mantra as of late.

:

BTW-"The Pride of Motherhood" is a great book if you feel like I do!

And I must add (and I know that we have already heard this before) that the policy makers in this country give a lot of lip service to "the family" but don't even come close to actively supporting it!!
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#38 of 41 Old 01-21-2002, 10:55 PM
 
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gilnikche: imagine... that would be a great AP bussiness to start! I bet a lot of us would like to find such a place..
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#39 of 41 Old 01-21-2002, 11:56 PM
 
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The hardest thing for me to cope with was leaving my guys! I hated not spending all of dh's free time with him! But then ds1 started in Head Start and I found a calling--their Policy Council met twice a month and I learned so much about board meetings, government regs for that type of program, even how our city council works, it was a real eye-opener in civic duty, and got me in contact with some really important people in our city. It provided me with leadership skills, and set me on a path to finally finish my degree and figure out what to do with it. I got to go out of town for conferences (free!) and got that "I feel really important for what I can do outside of giving birth and breastfeeding" feeling.

It's so hard when the kids are little, I can so empathize with those of you who are wondering "is this it?" But consider it a vacation from life, think of all the free time you have now that you won't have in a few years, when you have more, when they get into school and you are carpooling all over the place. You actually have time to get sick and take a rest! I get sick, and I have to pool all of my resources just to get the 3ds fed and clothed and off to school and sometimes they don't get there at all if I can't take them! LOL!
And read read read...this is the one thing I miss the most, of course I could be doing that right now, but I just love chatting with you guys and reading your posts for an hour or so every day.

It gets better, just remember, we all learn something from the choices we make and the questions we ask, just be open enough to recognize when someone answers. I am not bold enough to assert I have all the answers, so don't think that's what I mean!
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#40 of 41 Old 01-23-2002, 01:12 PM
 
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I have often thought... If I am ever a store owner (or restaurant owner, or fill in the blank) I am going to have a big sign on my door saying BREASTFEEDING MOTHER'S and FAMILIES welcome. Then I would make a nice comfortable area with couches and soft chairs and tables and toys and crayons and paper and books- and hopefully the mom's and families would end up liking whatever my store had to offer and buy my stuff too. I have no real desire or plans of owning an establishment of any kind, but I dream of it if only to have that sign on the door and the conversations it would bring!!!
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#41 of 41 Old 02-04-2002, 12:40 AM
 
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Totally with you on thsi one, very happily and blessed to be a SAHM to myson who will be 2 inless than a month (OMG!!!!) Anyway, what helps me, is what someone mentioned a few posts back, some pure, uninterrupted ME time... my Mom watches Iain every Saturday from 8-3, and it is super great for everyone involved. He adores his Nana, and always has so much fun with her on the farm that day, and I have a nice stretch of time to do things that I want to do, that aren't neccisarily child related. Time to just be alone with myself. At first I felt like I had to "use the time wisely" and would spend most of the time cleaning the house really well, cause it was easier than fighting Iain out of the mop water when he was here. Anyway... that did nothing for my soul! Now I use my Saturdays as a day to replenish all that I give in a week, I go to the used bookstore and look around, go get a decent espresso, paint, craft, go to esate and tag sales looking for the perfect buried treasure, go to poetry readings, flea markets, Goodwill, or if the mood is right, just stay in my jammies, and read in bed. It has been a life, and sanity saver for me, and I ama much better Mother to Iain for it. It has helped to quench my thirst for something more, it is the something more now... time to just be with myself and do things that may not be what a toddler wants to do. Hire a good babysitter, ask family, take a day every week to spend with yourslef doing what you love, try something new, take an adult ed class, and art class make a pot of tea and write to some penpals, get out of the house and don't look back

Much more blissfully yours lately,
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