SAHM stress vent/Mom burnout/Losing it - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 08-21-2013, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to lose it. I know it's my job as a SAHM and I love my kids and I know I signed up for this and I wouldn't trade it for the world but OMG it's really f*cking hard and I need a break. My baby is 10 months old and I haven't left her for longer than the half hour it took to get my wisdom teeth pulled. I feel like she whines constantly. She wakes up over and over at night. She won't stay on my back while I'm cooking anymore, and she's figured out how to get past the baby gate I have put up. I don't know how I'm going to make dinner for us tonight without one of us crying. I feel like my 6 year old asks me for things constantly and won't listen and won't help me out without putting up a huge fuss. She's harassing me currently to use the computer. She almost without fail wakes up the baby as soon as she's asleep and I think I'm going to get a break or get something done. I am getting angry and cranky and I am exhausted. I am so anxious I feel like I can't breathe. I am getting mad at my kids when I shouldn't be and I feel awful but I am just so burnt out right now. My head is spinning. My husband has been gone for a week and is working all the time when he's here. I just called him because I'm about to lose my mind and I told him how I was feeling and all he said was "Oh." OH?! That's it?! I don't have anyone to talk to and I am going to burst into tears the next time one of them whines at me for something. I love love love my babies and I feel so bad and like a horrible mother right now but my mind is melting and the anger is building and I am irrational and I am not sure what to do because I can't even go to the bathroom by myself or think any of my own thoughts. Ha, I am writing run-on sentences, I feel so crazy.

 

Am I just a bad mother who shouldn't have ever done this in the first place? My husband told me the other night that he "decided that we shouldn't have any more kids" because when he gets home from work I am exhausted and frazzled and I "complain too much" about it to him. He doesn't get it. He just does. not. know. what it's like to be with kids ALL THE TIME. He doesn't know what it's like to have to hold a screaming baby who wants to eat toilet paper while you're trying to poop. Sure, he works all day, I appreciate how hard he works and I am so happy he does, and I know he is tired at the end of the day. But at least he gets to poop in peace.

 

I am not always feeling like this, so I really hope no one writes in and tells me I should never have had children. Sometimes it's great. I love playing with my 6 year old and nursing the baby and bringing them to the library to play or the beach to swim. But right now my mind is feeling really fragile, like it's going to split in half at any second and my kids are the ones who are going to get the brunt of it and I feel AWFUL because it's not their fault and they are just kids and I shouldn't get mad at them because this is just life, and that's how it is, and I should just be okay with that.

 

But my god, I need a break and I feel like no one understands, least of all my husband. I needed to vent and feel like there might be someone, somewhere that will listen and say, I'm so sorry honey, that sounds like it must be really hard for you.

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#2 of 17 Old 08-21-2013, 04:44 PM
 
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Is there a reason you can't hire a sitter and get out a little? Sometimes a break is all we need to recharge our own batteries.
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#3 of 17 Old 08-21-2013, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by redcanary View Post

He doesn't get it. He just does. not. know. what it's like to be with kids ALL THE TIME. He doesn't know what it's like to have to hold a screaming baby who wants to eat toilet paper while you're trying to poop. Sure, he works all day, I appreciate how hard he works and I am so happy he does, and I know he is tired at the end of the day. But at least he gets to poop in peace.

Oh my gosh, I can totally relate to what you are saying, especially the pooping thing. LOL I once flipped out on DH because when he wants to go to the bathroom, he goes, but when I want to go, I have to hold a baby in my lap at the same time. Well, not anymore cause DD is 2.5 now, these days she tries to run off and get in trouble while I'm trying to poop instead. And I only have one kiddo, so I think you doing it with two is amazing right off the bat.

 

I think this is a perfectly normal way to feel sometimes, especially when you are the sole caregiver. I mean, consider that working full time you get breaks, time to eat lunch, heck even the commute to and from the office is time to spend sitting quietly and listening to music/radio with no one shrieking in the background or throwing crackers at your head. I agree with the above poster that time off really helps, even if only for the mental break and not to "get things done". Can you send DH to the playground or wherever (when he is home, that is) for an hour or so? When I have no other opportunities to take a breather I have been known to ignore what needs to be done around the house and take time for myself as soon as DD is asleep (if I wait, it's just my luck that she wakes up as soon as I try to relax). Sometimes that's getting extra sleep, other times having time to read a book or watch a movie with a cup of hot chocolate is mentally even more helpful.

 

I'm sorry you are going through a tough time. Sending you some virtual hugs. hug2.gif

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#4 of 17 Old 08-22-2013, 03:55 AM
 
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I think what you are feelin is to be expected for the circumstances. Everyone needs some mom friends to vent to and some time away from the kids. Fathers, no matter how involved just have a different perspective. Do you have any places you can go meet women? So far most of the moms I know I met through a breast feeding support group I go to or meetup.com.

I also totally agree that you need to get a babysitter or relative to watch the kids for several afternoons over the next few months for you to find some quiet and remember who you are outside of family obligations. If money is an issue, I'd prioritize this over all manner of non-essential things.

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#5 of 17 Old 08-24-2013, 09:11 PM
 
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Just want to let you know that you're not the only mama out there feeling this way. It's hard, too hard, to do mothering on your own. I was thinking the other day that I was finally starting to feel at least a little bit more on top of things and less overwhelmed (note I said "less," as I am still constantly overwhelmed) with my household responsibilities and with my 2 year old and 10 month old. And then I realized it was because DH had been home on the weekends for the past month. Before he was working through the weekends and coming home late on the weekdays, and I was nuts. Stretched way too thin, stressed beyond my ability to cope. I felt like a bad mom, and was just drowning in guilt over the fact that I had these two beautiful babies just doing their baby thing, and I wanted nothing more than to escape from them most of the time. They deserve a happy, present mama, not shell of a person barely getting by.

My DH is about to start having to work through the weekends again. I am preparing to go to many playgroups, make super simple meals, and let go of the things I can't accomplish without completely sacrificing my sense of peace. The toys will not be put away. The floors will not be clean. My only goal is to have as much peace for my kids and for myself as possible. I'm telling myself that this is where we are right now, not where we will be forever. Hugs to you, and I hope things start getting smoother for you very soon.
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#6 of 17 Old 08-26-2013, 11:55 AM
 
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I'm so sorry, OP. I've been there and am back there now too in some ways as I have a 6 month old! But my husband has always been very understanding. I'm sorry that yours isn't. And yeah, he has NO IDEA. Even mine really doesn't have an idea of what I go through on a daily basis, even if he's sympathetic. I feel like I've had two separate careers of being a SAHM. When my oldest ones were born through 2/4 (then I went to school) and now I'm back to it. What made me feel more sane is having other SAHMs to be friends with and have play dates with. I know it's easier said than done to find like-minded mamas who you connect with, but if that's at all a possibility for you, I'd look into it. I really don't think women were meant to raise their kids alone, in their own house, stuck all day... you know? It's a very modern problem. It makes us crazy!!! 


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#7 of 17 Old 10-04-2013, 07:19 AM
 
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I have been feeling the same way as you lately. My four month old has decided to nurse every hour at night now. And I can't nap during the day when the baby sleeps because we also have a two year old who wants to play. It irritates me when I email my husband at work during the day to vent about my day and he doesn't even respond. But if he writes to me about work being a grind, I respond. And the top of ticking me off is in the morning asking how many times I was up last night, especially when the night before I just told him he sucks at night time parenting, becausr he does nothing. Gurr. Like you I wish there were vacation days I could cash in.
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#8 of 17 Old 10-04-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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ZOMG mama you are NOT a bad mother. 

Lemme just put it this way. Yesterday was SO wretched, that as soon as my husband came home from work, I snatched the car keys off the counter, and told him "I am leaving. I will be back before bed time, i swear it, but I need to leave. " 

I then went, and got dinner, A.L.O.N.E. I even instagrammed it. ALONE. It was glorious. The people walking by I'm sure were all "why is that fat woman so delighted at snarfing that burrito!? and WHY DOES SHE KEEP GIGGLING AND SIGHING CONTENTEDLY" 

I adore my children, they are the reason i BREATHE, but I needed out. When I mentioned it to a friend today, she laughed and said "was this the first time you did this? I'm super surprised it took that long!" 

You must get some "you" time. Self care is VERY IMPORTANT in making sure you are the best attentive loving mother you can be. What do they tell passengers on planes? pull on your OWN mask before a child's. Attachment parenting (if that's what you practice) is not about completely sacrificing everything for your child, its knowing your own limitations so your children can see by example how to self regulate. Its not like your'e leaving them to CIO. 

Is there anyone you can trust to come watch the kiddos and you can go see a movie. Or hell, tell your husband he's got kid duty and don't disclose where you're going. If you must, lie and say you're going to the gyno or some shit.  Go see something completely and totally stupid that you KNOW your husband would never go for. Zombies, chick flick, whatever. Stuff your face with popcorn. Any guilt that rises up, give it the finger. Part of attachment parenting is taking care of YOU and your needs as well as your child and teaching them healthy boundaries. 

 

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#9 of 17 Old 10-13-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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How are you doing, and how is your stress level these days? I hope you have been able to get a bit of sleep, because I think that's one of the most restorative things for us moms. 

 

I hear you and my heart goes out to you! 

 

My journey has been similar - hope it's ok to summarize my story in the hopes of encouraging you to make time for your own care. 

 

2012 was a year of high stress for me, emotionally in my marriage, stressed out with my two boys and physically exhausted from painting a house for a friend over the summer and fall. I burned the candle at both ends - stayed up late on the computer, desperate for "me" time, (addicted to phone games too) and pushed myself too far. 

 

Fortunately my husband could see the downward spiral and we did some counseling that greatly reduced the stress I had in our relationship. If that crucial thing had not happened I would have hit the wall much sooner and harder. 

 

In May/June of this year things came to a head. I was having a hard time sleeping, the mental fog was very acute, low sex drive, irritable at the drop of a hat, nausea from sugar, caffeine or simple starches, overactive heart and "flight or flight" response. Started to research and think about adrenal fatigue, or HPA/ACTH axis. Hopefully this will be confirmed soon so I can tailor a supplement regimen. 

 

We know that stress is very damaging to our bodies, but I didn't realize how much my body was getting worn down. Long periods of stress and interrupted sleep means our adrenal glands can't produce enough cortisol to get through a day. Do that for long enough, and chronically low cortisol can mean a nervous breakdown. Also, our bodies can use progesterone to make cortisol, so that can get imbalanced as well and put a lot of body systems off kilter. 

 

So take heart! If you have any time to read about adrenal support it might help. http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/  There are things you can do to help your body through this time. All this to say - go easy on yourself! These early years are tough. There may be physiological reasons why you're feeling the way you do! Some simple things like taking a good B complex and extra Vit C, or Dr Wilson's Super Adrenal Stress Formula (I'm not paid to say that, but it helps me get through a day) could help. 

 

Also - I started making this amazing drink from Trim Healthy Mama that is amazing, called the Singing Canary. It's specifically for supporting your adrenals, with Vit C, good salt, lemons, whey protein/coconut oil, turmeric for anti-inflammatory, etc... It takes a little bit to get stuff together but it tastes so good, sweetened with stevia. 

 

Anyway, sorry to drone on so long. Hugs, Momma!! 


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#10 of 17 Old 10-26-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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I am not a stay at home mom and I only have one (13 mos) and sometimes I feel the same way. I BUST my ass at work but even though I run around like a crazy person and get stressed out because I manage a bunch of lazy people, it is not as tiring as taking care of kids. Just today we went to a birthday party for my friend's one year old (who doesnt walk yet so the house wasnt babyproofed...)  and it was exhausting, I couldn't talk to anybody because DS was trying to grab everybody's beer or slap the other babies, grab their books/wires/computers etc, etc.

 

You need some time off by yourself, that's all there is to it. I have nothing against SAHM, but I often observe that the husband does not interact/take care of the kids AT ALL and let everything to the wife because "that's her job". They come home and their job is done for the day. Their kids end up having an absent father and the wife is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It's just not healthy. If you had a lot of help from friends and family, it would be difference (bc you probably wouldnt feel so miserable). Maybe your DH should take a day off every other week or so and let you breath. Y'all need to have a serious conversation.

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#11 of 17 Old 10-26-2013, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post
 

. I really don't think women were meant to raise their kids alone, in their own house, stuck all day... you know? It's a very modern problem. It makes us crazy!!! 

Totally agree!

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#12 of 17 Old 11-14-2013, 06:12 PM
 
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 YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Even as I write this my 4 month old is screaming bloody murder and my husband is driving me crazy. I meant to write that in caps because you aren't and you are not a bad mum either. You need a break and it isn't wrong. It is work to raise 'dem babies! Your husband should try to be more supportive. Call a trusted friend, babysitter, mom or mom-in-law to help out if hubby can't. There's a saying happy wife, happy life.

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#13 of 17 Old 11-14-2013, 07:02 PM
 
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There is nothing wrong with having a break. Get a part time nanny. Twice a week, have 4 hours to yourself.

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#14 of 17 Old 11-19-2013, 10:38 PM
 
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I was thinking about starting my own thread, but this touched on stuff.

 

Husband and I are doing the plasma thing to help attack some payments.  It's not exactly necessary for our finances... but I go faithfully because it means an hour of peaceful reading (with a needle in my vein) while Husband stays home with the baby. 

 

I think there is definitely a culture with attachment/natural parenting that was never intended but that far too many people subscribe to.  You are always happy, your children don't just come first but are IT, you never ever ever allow your babies to cry (different from CIO).  I can't tell you how many times I've seen comments (even on this site) that have me researching what Dr. Sears actually says on the matter.

 

But this culture doesn't exist and I think those who tout it are fooling themselves.  Don't make some impossible standard for yourself.


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#15 of 17 Old 11-20-2013, 06:24 AM
 
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Yessss to this thread holy crap! And I'm supposedly a WAHM but sure as hell don't see work happening anytime soon with a 3mo and a 4 year old. I suppose my husband will think it's "not a big deal" for me to design a website while baby naps and DD1 is parked in front of the TV. Ugh.

My partner is what is really making life hard for me. Every other DH I see takes the older kid(s) and gets them to sleep while mom, me, takes care of the younger one. I don't get that luxury because DH gives up, doesn't put the work in on get DD1 used to it, and the worst part... blames me when he's tired after 5-6 hours of sleep!!!! I would just cry tears of joy if I got that much sleep. I get a solid 3 hours a night, usually. The rest of my "sleep" is here and there between baby not sleeping and the 4yo being up. She is really not doing well sleep wise and not much I can do for her. It's really heartbreaking. Most 4yos sleep pretty well from what I read. Not mine. She doesn't nap and fights bedtime. Then usually wakes up atleast once in the night every night now. And it's no wonder she's aggressive! She loves to throw things (got her sister with a book already!!!) and fights putting clothes on, going to the bathroom, eating. You name it-- she fights it.

Whew. Felt GOOD to get that off my chest!

My hours clock from 5am to like 6:30pm and then some extra overtime throughout the night. No one in their right mind would take a job like this! Maybe I should explain this to everyone when they ask "what I do all day" or "when I go back to work" because being a SAHM isn't looked at like a job. Well it's a damn hard one!!!

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#16 of 17 Old 11-21-2013, 05:49 PM
 
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Whenever I feel like that I make my hubby take the kids to the zoo for the day. Since it sounds like you have a nursling , maybe pump and YOU get out for a few hours. Get your hair done, go out with a girlfriend etc. Hubby doesn't have to understand (mine doesn't!), he just has to agree to take the kids for a few hours every week or two. It's lovely and rejuvenating to have that to look forward to.
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#17 of 17 Old 12-04-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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Hugs hugs hugs!! You're so NOT a bad mother. In my experience, it sounds like you're a wonderfully normal one! 

 

I know exactly how you're feeling. My wee-ones are now nine, eight and six, and I remember having the very same thoughts (like, yesterday :nut). I had a very difficult time adjusting to being a SAHM, and now, years later, I still have some issues. For this stressed-out mama, antidepressants worked after I had my third baby in two years and I truly felt like I was losing it at home. My Dr suggested that there may be some PPD going on, and Rx'd Effexor. I obviously wouldn't suggest meds/PPD dx for everyone, but it's definitely helped me. I've still had to make adjustments, but the meds help me not get so agitated and overwhelmed. DH and I don't have any support from friends or family, so finding things to do as "me-time" tend to be home-based (baking, felting, computer, etc). Anything that can be done after nine pm, when everyone is finally (hopefully) asleep.

 

I know your post was written months ago, and I hope things have settled down some for you. I can't imagine [i]anyone[/i] thinks this SAHM-thing is easy, although I'm sure I did, once-upon-a-time. Ha! :Sheepish

 

Best wishes.

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