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#1 of 46 Old 05-21-2009, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know if this is the right forum. I've read pages and pages in various fora, and this seems to be the spot? the overall issue seems to be my SAHM lifestyle, and lack of driving personal interests. I d have interests, but they are things I fit in when I can. not anything I can commit to, as my availability is unpredictable.

I'm not 100% clear on my problem, so this may be a bit all over the place. Perhaps just laying it all out will be helpful as well, for me. I think I've ben depressed for the past 4 months or so. I have little appetite, I am generally blue, but keep it together for the kids, or I'd REALLY start yeling at them. If i start to think of why I'm unhappy, it snowballs into an unstoppable mass of tears and snot, and I feel like my life is nothing like I'd hoped it would be, and there's no hope of fixing that without making it so much harder.

I'm a SAHM unschooling mom to 3 kids (2, 5 and 8). They rock and I love how we run our days. It's very laid back, we do what suits each of us each day.

DH runs his own business. This means he works F/T days, and then evenings/weekends he carries the mental burden of working on estimates, planning designs, invoicing clients. His down time or way to find balance is to play sports, he plays on a team one night a week, practices another night and then does a bootcamp/strength training night another night. So 3 nights a week he is out for 2 hours betwen dinner and bedtime. He is starting to feel his age and wants to stay/get fit as part of a lifestyle change to support his body as it ages.

I have agreed to this for years. I completely understand the need to have down time/your own thing you pursue, outside of parenting, partnership, your business. I completely support this. and dealing with the kids when he's out is fine. I'm with them all day and put them to bed every night anyway, so him being out is fine, no big deal.

If I did want to go out at night, it's fine. he can put them to bed, it's not a big deal.

But I don't go out, generally. A night with girlfriends for some wine every few months, fine. a night of running errands at the mall, fine. i do not want to exercise at night. and I'm too tired to get up early in the am, to exercise before he goes to work. plus if I'm gone the youngest wakes up and cries, and wakes up everyone else.

So I'm a SAHM who does not 'need' to work (though there is no 'extra' money for anything, which is fine) and is 'supported' by her DH, generally. He agrees with hschooling, and I pretty much make all the decisions regarding our kids. I plan any classes they take, buy their clothes, meals, health, cut their nails, when we go out I get them dressed and pack my purse (snax, first aid, hats, toys for baby) and he gets himself dressed and hangs out on the sofa with his coffee.

I've always been around, home. From day 1 I was the attached nursing mama who never ever left her kid. He had the 'they only want you, i can't help' perspective.

I understand that, since he's at work so much, and the reality of me going out the door naturally involves getting me AND the kids out, whereas for him, most of the time when he goes out, either to work or sports, his reality is that he gets himself ready, and only himself.

When we sit down to dinner, I've asked the kids to wash their hands, what do they want to drink, I've served it in such a way that they'll eat it (seperate for one kid, add butter for the other). he just sits down to eat it. again, most of his waking hours he only needs to think about himself. this is what he's used to.

I feel like I run our family and raise our kids. He works and exercises.That we have totally seperate realities.

He's not a jerk who says 'tough luck' and says it's all my job. This is just how the lines have been drawn over the years, and I've drawn lots of them. We've talked (okay I have) about twice a year when I just feel so so seperate from him, that when I come out from putting them to bed, and go to tackle the dinner able of dishes, he's on the sofa saying 'hey, want to watch a movie/play cards/have sex/hang out?'. And that I can't, or don't want to. That his lack of involvment is unnattractive to me, and does not help me. That I'll have a crappier day tomorrow if I wake up to dishes and laundry, so I need to get them done now. And since I'm the one who gets up with the kids, I need to get to bed soon, so no dear, bonding with you tonight aint gonna' happen. He is not a chatty guy, nor a touchy guy, so my need for connection is not met through him, but through close girlfriends. not what I want. but he shouldn't change who he is anymore than he'd expect me to. We've been together for 15 years, why is this bothering me now? (likely because after 15 years of no talking and him-focused sex, I'm fed up! )


I was raised by an overworked, underpaid single mom. She busted her butt for us, and I just assumed that my life would involve both a dream career for me, whatever that was (running my own coffeeshop, politics, theatre), and single parenting my kid(s). Dh was raised by a SAHM who never asked anything of her own DH or two sons. No chores, no intimacy, no birthday acknowledgement. She thinks feminism is . . . how to explain, 'not for her'.

And now here I am, a SAHM in what seems like a pretty great life. And I'm unhappy.

DH will say I need to get out and exercise, do my own thing, hire help if needed. (with what money honey?). I know that, in the past, when I got regular, daily exercise (I had just one kid and took him along in the stroller) I was happier and felt better. I slept better. I had ideas and dreams and meditative quiet as I walked with him.


I do not want my kids in school. Some friends think that is the solution. No way. I would not sacrifice them for 'me', my needs. (no, I don't think anyone who's kids do go to school is wrong, okay?).


But I don't know what my needs, my thing, my wants are.

but I grew up NEVER wanting or thinking I'd be SAHM. I loathed the idea, of planning when I'd clean what, and being utterly wrapped up in the minutae of my kids lives. (and yet i missed my working mom when i was little, and stay with my kids because of that).I assumed that DH and I would share the work. That I'd run my P/T midwifery clinic, and he'd have his P/T business. then he revealed that no, he can't work P/T, he needs to give his all to this venture. And frankly, if he didn't, we'd be broke broke broke. so I pulled out of school and planned to stay home.


Before I had kids I went to midwifery school, I ran a few businesses . . my happiest jobs were working in cafes, coming in the morning and choosing the music of the mood of the day, greeting the regulars, baking something interesting, the hum of a local business. the routine? the connection to my community?


Still reading? Okay, I'll try to sum this up. I think my life looks pretty sweet. I think it IS pretty sweet. But I'm unhappy. And I am stuck in the internal debate of * if you are unhappy, it MUST come from some aspect of your life. fix your life, fix your happiness. or *is it really JUST in my head? that if i just shift myself into a positive POV I'll be happy. I'll accept that DH simply cannot help out, he is too busy with his business, which I understand he needs to be to make it successful, and that the problem of my life is mine to fix.

but I don't know what I want. Or what to do to make things better.


is to choose to accept and be happy choosing to deny my true desire in life (whatever that is?)? It feels like I'd be buying into the pre-feminist life of June Cleaver to see this as all in my head. and yet I've been through the whole thing of is my work of value, that I don't ned to further prove my worth by adding to my stress level and getting a job out of home. that raising my ids, esp. by homeschooling them, IS of value, and I would not put them in someone else's care (school) for anything, that a huge part of my 'wants' is to homeschool them.

yet I'm unhappy. I feel like I'm turning into someone who just thinks negative bitchery about her dh, that I clean the toilet in anger at him, that i snark at the kids instead of snarking at him.Yet as he says, thre's nothing he can do (said not in a jerk way, but still jerky nonetheless). that I'm responsible for my reality.

and my reality is unhappy.


Can you identify? commiserate? do you see the flaw in my set up that could be tweeked to help me feel like there's a ME somewhere in my life?


thanks for reading. I know that was really long.

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#2 of 46 Old 05-21-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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Tell him what you just said here.

He needs to know how you feel, so he can pitch in and do his share. If he can be out of the home three evenings per week, then he can darn well do other things that benefit the family and help you.
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#3 of 46 Old 05-21-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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You sound bored and unsatisfied. I can relate sometimes! Being a SAHM means you do everything for everyone else most of the time.

I'd let your DH read your post and open an dialogue about your relationship.

Then I'd think about what you need to be satisfied in your circumstances. For a long time I thought I needed challenge. Something mentally stimulating. Like a career. but as I am a SAHM longer and learn more about myself it's more that I need something to look forward to. A trip to plan, a project like a quilt or a painting. I need to remember my extrovert needs too.

If you're like me, you don't want to put the kids in school and go get a career. You know that what you're doing is important. But it's also really hard to have nothing "me" in there. I struggle with it all the time too. Sometimes I have taken classes or do a part-time WAH job with flexible hours. (Right now I work 10 hours a week as a reseach assistant to a professor at a university.) It's just enough "me" to keep me happy!

Keep thinking... you'll come up with stuff to make things better. And it sounds like your hubby will listen if you really talk to him?

Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#4 of 46 Old 05-21-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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I could have written that. I totally understand. It's like, yeah, take classes or do something for yourself, but when? how? And in the end, what? My DH comes and goes as he pleases. Yes, I've talked to him about it, laid down the law. But it doesn't look like it will change. "But my friend hooked me up with REALLY great Dodgers seats! You're not going to make me miss the game!" And then it's the Lakers the next week. I digress, this post isn't about me .

You do sound stuck in a rut. Could you get a weekend coffee shop gig? Or maybe work a couple nights when your DH isn't doing his sports thing? Or hook up with another HSing family and trade a few hours of childcare just for some "me" time?

Where I live, there's a really great yoga studio that offers concurrent adult/child yoga classes. I go almost every week without fail and my DD loves it and I at least get that amount of exercise every week.

You sound like a person of revolutionary spirit. Is there any activism you're particularly attracted to? Including the kids in some awesome volunteer work could be a vital element in their homeschooling curriculum.

I'm just brainstorming ideas (for you and me both!)

I really hope you start feeling better. You sound like an awesome mama!
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#5 of 46 Old 05-21-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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I want to offer some

I don't really have any advice beyond talk to your DH. I think that as life changes (kids age, we get older, etc.) sometimes we just have to re-evaluate and get back on the same page with our spouse. It might be more than one conversation but I do hope you find a happy you in all this.

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#6 of 46 Old 05-22-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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Have you talked to anyone about your depression? Or tried supplements. I ask because except for the personal details I could have written your post a month or two.

While I'm not seeing anyone for the "funk" I had been in for a long while, I did start taking SAM-e with B vitiamins and eating a bit better. I started taking care of me as well (lifting weights, interval exercise, walking, a long bath one or two times a week with candles and bubble bath, trips to the store by myself ect...Things that don't really seem big but help). And now I feel SOOO much better. The SAM-e started working in a couple days and I started to not feel blah.

Also do you have a family member who could come and stay with you for a little while and help with day to day stuff? I KNOW you don't NEED anyone but sometimes it's nice to have a break. For the last week and half I've had my little sister stay and she's having a blast with the kids and I'm getting time to rest and refresh myself. I didn't even realize that I wanted (needed) the time as much as I did until she came. Now I feel like when she goes home I can be a better mom, because I've had the time to start finding me again.

Good luck

Israel, mom to  DD, Ivy, 4-27-06 :and DS, Kai, 12-29-07 and DD, Lilith 2-1-10 and always remembering Alice fullterm stillborn 08/31/11 (unexplained placental abruption) 

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#7 of 46 Old 05-22-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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i was totally there years ago, with my ex.

it got to the point that i would just ignore things on purpose, in an effort to see whether he would pick up the slack, or even notice there was slack to be picked up! He didn't.

while you don't have to ignore your kids and make it all about you--you do need to figure out a balance where you don't feel guilty taking time for yourself. your dh obviously doesn't see a problem with him taking time out for himself--so why should you?


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#8 of 46 Old 05-22-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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how helpful to come on here and get such support. Thank you! And you're all right. Up until a few months ago, I did a daily exercise 'thing' (push-ups, sit ups, running) and then my youngest got sick and I had to lay off a bit. Now I feel weak and unmotivated to start again, because I think I won't do as well/much as I did before and it'll just bring me down. Defeatist thinking, I know. I do take St. John's Wort oil caps daily, and I believe it helps. And I know my own health, hormones, eating is a part of how I feel . . . yet there is no clear answer. I've been cleansing in various ways since January, and then with this recent bad mood, am all over the food map. Yet still eating well, just not what I *think* is well, kwim?

I DO need to be my own rabble-rouser, and take what I need. yet it's hard when it depends on him to help. I won't get into the details, but my needs, which he knows, include a sewing space in our basement, which is cluttered with his junk, and time to myself both inside and outside the home. Last night I said if he'd get up at 7 with our youngest each morning, I could go for a run then. He said sure, just remind him the night before. Do you see the issue there?

it feels so wrong to think of this as a solo thing, that I need to fix it and do what I need, regardless of whether he gets it or understands. that it's almost choosing to drive us further apart, instead of building a connection again.

and then if he does do something (recently he made two attempts at connecting) I'm all 'oh NOW you give a shit' and don't respond as he hopes, pushing us further apart.

Argh, that I need to fix my life, AND *I* need to be the bigger person and see his little olive branches as useful and meaningful. It's still all me, kwim?

ooooh, feeling selfish now.

I put holds on a few marriage books from the library, and yet that peeves me because again I'm doing it, not him. but this is the bed I made, I guess?


thanks again. It does help.

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#9 of 46 Old 05-22-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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I put holds on a few marriage books from the library, and yet that peeves me because again I'm doing it, not him. but this is the bed I made, I guess?
It's a marriage bed, you both made it. I'm guessing that you are a smart, creative, efficient person and it's just easier for both you and your husband if you take on the majority of the family and household jobs. I totally get that, but it's a huge trap.

You are bored and depressed, no doubt about it. You have three small children, a huge challenge.

You have a part of you that is calling out for attention, and that part of you is worth giving attention, commitment.

Your perspective might be a little skewed. There is a place between over-worked unavailable single mom and June Cleaver, there really is. It's not all or nothing.

The marriage books from the library = resentment: I can only sympathize. I've found that women do the vast majority of emotional work in a partnership. We're interested in it, the guys are not. Not that they don't care about us, or the relationship. But they simply aren't interested in studying relationship theories, you know? (And then there's all the relationship books written by men to just make the husbands look bad. ) Their strength is elsewhere.

I don't have specific advice re: your husband's long work hours that make it possible for you to be a sahm or the homeschooling = no break dilemma. I think that's where the crux of your problems lie and that's where you and your husband need to get creative and find solutions.

You need to grab something non-family related to do. You need it and deserve it and the person you have to convince first is YOU. A paying job could be good, because frankly I think making a little money boosts a person's self-esteem and changes the power dynamic in the marriage.

Your husband is understandably comfortable with the status quo. He really may not know how unhappy you are, especially if you're so good at keeping it together, and are a particularly efficient person. He doesn't know you need a change. He doesn't know the sex sucks if you don't let him know, and you aren't motivated to let him know if you don't value it. This is where depression can take a big toll on you, too.

Again, I don't know what solution is right for you, but there is a solution out there.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#10 of 46 Old 05-23-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Last night I said if he'd get up at 7 with our youngest each morning, I could go for a run then. He said sure, just remind him the night before. Do you see the issue there?
I'm sorry mama, but I DON'T see the issue. Why didn't you remind him that night before bed?

In your OP you said you put the kids to bed and come out and he makes offers to hang out together...that seems like the perfect opportunity to work on reconnecting. You say there's NO time but it seems to me like there is time and you are choosing to do other things in those moments. Is the dishes really more important than connecting with him? That's the message I'm getting and he might be getting that too. Maybe you could say "How about we do the dishes together and then we'll watch a movie?" or something.
My husband helps out a lot but only because I ask or give specific instruction. He doesn't just know but he's willing and it really sounds like your husband is too.

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#11 of 46 Old 05-24-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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Sorry but I disagree with the above. The issue is that she asked him to get up at 7am each morning so she could run...he shouldn't need reminded the night before if it is to be an everyday thing.

And as far as his offers to hang out after kids are in bed...maybe if he did the dishes etc while she was putting them to bed she would be more inclined to spend time with him.

I do think though that men often need explicit instructions to do stuff and don't really use their initiative and think what might need done so you maybe just need to say to him as you are going to put kids to bed what needs done so that you can spend some time relaxing together after.

I really hope you can sort things out within yourself and find a way to be happy...you sound like a wonderful mum!
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#12 of 46 Old 05-24-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Sorry but I disagree with the above. The issue is that she asked him to get up at 7am each morning so she could run...he shouldn't need reminded the night before if it is to be an everyday thing
As I'm reading it, him getting up to be with the kids isn't an everyday thing. That's why she brought it up. And as something that would be a break in the routine I'm not seeing the problem in him asking to be reminded. My dh sometimes asks me to do something the next day (take something to the PO) and I'll often say, "Sure, leave a note to remind me before you go." Not a big deal.

Once the dh getting up early with the kids becomes routine - and OP, I think this would be a great idea for you - then he shouldn't need to be reminded anymore.
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#13 of 46 Old 05-24-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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I just wanted to give you and let you know that you're not alone. I feel much the same.
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#14 of 46 Old 05-25-2009, 04:11 AM
 
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He needs to help out more. He is not involved in your family and that is the problem. You need to demand that he help out more.

The way I look at it, you have a full time job and he has a full time job. So, once he is back from work, it should be a joint effort. You work your job while he is working his job, then when he is off, you both need to help out. Just cuz he goes out to work, does not mean his job is more tiring in the day than yours, so he should not get to rest while you keep working.

My husbad works a FT job and I am a SAHM. Once he is back from work, he helps with dishes, getting our child ready for bed. While one of us is putting her to bed, the other person is loading the dishes. Nobody rests until the work is done. Then we both get to relax and spend time together (or by ourselves).

You need to tell your husband straight out that he needs to help. And although you've put up with his non-helping thus far, you had a revelation and you are not putting up with it anymore. He decided to have kids just as you did, and kids are work. HE NEEDS TO HELP.

Stop letting him get away with this, because this is making you miserable, depressed, and you should not put up with this anymore.

Get some self respect and courage and tell him what needs to change.

Do what's best for you and your family and you will be SOOO much happier and so will the rest of your family. GOOD LUCK MAMA!

HUGS!!
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#15 of 46 Old 05-25-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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I feel as you do. Luckily, my dh doesn't work as many hours as you and he takes his "free" time early in the AM when I'm still asleep. I;m a US mom too with a 3 and 5 yr old. this is NOT a natural way of life for moms. We are not meant to be mom/teacher/maid/cook/wife/sex toy 24/7. I think the little things like suplements, expersize, mini-vacations can help in the short term, but they are not long term solutions to the feeling of unhappiness w/ this life style. I guess for me, I tell myself that my feelings of occasional unhappiness are the price I pay for the feeling that I am doing the best I can for my children (by unschooling). And I remind myself that this is a short phase, before I know it my girls will be grown and on their own and it will just be me and dh.... I can work, paint, climb mountians etc then.
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#16 of 46 Old 05-25-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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From the sounds of it your DH seems like a decent - if not clueless - guy.

Why not just put together a plan, sit down with him and let him know what the new schedule is going to be. Set the alarm clock for him, and go out running in the mornings. Stop by the coffee shop on your way home and take a few minutes to breath. Then I would find a class/job/volunteer project and set 2 nights a week (opposite the ones he is already using) and let him know that he should be home those night. Make a list of 'chores' that need to be done and assign some to him (and your older kids!).

I honestly think if you do this in a straight forward way - not out of anger - that it would work just fine. I would think he simply just dosen't realize what you are feeling. You have put up such a good front all these years why would he think differently?

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#17 of 46 Old 05-25-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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Most guys need you to spell out what you want them to do. They just aren't wired the way we are.

For example, when I need help I will often phrase it like this: "DH, would you rather feed the dogs or change DD's diaper?" or "Would you rather give the kids a bath or go to the store?" He always picks the "easy" one, but it's still one less thing I have to do.

If I want him take them somewhere so I can have a little "me" time, I try to make it simple. He could sit around for hours trying to think of something to do if I just said, "DH, why don't you take the kids somewhere?" But if I say, "There's a dad's group at x place on Wednesday night from 5-6, could you be home in time to take them?" it usually gets a better response.
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#18 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. Your posts are coniciding with what I'm feeling/trying right now. He came home yesterday and I said there's dishes and laundry, which do you want? And I'm keeping this issue at the forefront in our time together. I don't mean that I'm endlessly crying and talking about it. but rather starting a habit of communicating my take on a given interaction. And it seems that he's developing a way to handle hearing me speak that way (he doesn't clam up and make his hard face that tells me he's feeling attacked.). Definitly a lot of work is on my shoulders, as far as recognising that I'm of value and that my needs matter (regardless of what his mother says ).

And Zenzero, you spoke so EXACTLY what I meant on that issue. That I don't need reminding to buy groceries, make dinner, not make any plans on his team nights, buy birthday gifts, and so on. Yet I need to remind him of what he keeps saying 'no problem' to? This morning he slept in until 5 mins before he had to leave, then left. And no, we did not agree that I'd go running or anything. . . but I'd been up with the kids for hours by then. Without being reminded.


I am noticing how this really is a depressed time for me, in the sense that the feeling/thoughts are constant. That I have to actively choose to think positively, to get up, shower and eat well, and just start something, a chore or a game with theb kids, or I'll descend into the no-shower-eat-only-chocolate-and-cry-all-day hole that I fell into on Sunday. That even when I make myself take time to sew or read, I still have to keep myself 'up', I'm not carried away by the activity alone, like it used to be.

My mom takes antidepressants, and I've always seen it as a weakness, an excuse, on her part. Because her life truly sucks, and she allows it to stay that way. I'm not nasty to her, I keep these thoughts to myself. but that I've always felt mindset equals lifestyle happiness, or vice versa. If your life sucks, then yes, you'll be unhappy. And so my mind is constantly questioning right now, will I be happier once I get my needs met, and this will be a non-issue, or is there a hereditary aspect to this, or rather that I can have a chem imbalance that is NOT a reflection of my life. that I may not be able to use my mental state as a measure of whether my needs are met enough, kwim? thoughts on this, not just about me but as a bigger picture of depression?


I really appreciate all of your posts. thank you.

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#19 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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This morning he slept in until 5 mins before he had to leave, then left. And no, we did not agree that I'd go running or anything. . . but I'd been up with the kids for hours by then. Without being reminded.
I am not trying to be snakry AT ALL but can I just ask why? Why don't you just wake him up if you are up with the kids. I really don't understand. Those hours he was sleeping could have been 'his time' with the kids and 'your time' to do something else. Especially if you are doing the nighttime parenting as well.

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#20 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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and yes jeteaa, I need to remind myself that I chose to quit midwifery school to stay home and unschool my kids. And I don't regret it. but it's not DH's fault that he *wants* to work F/T. no more than I think my being home with them is so important (as does he).

and I do want my kids to see a happy, empowered SAHM, with her own interests, and her own ambitions, not an angry, bitter SAHM.

sigh. more work for me to do after all.

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#21 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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I have to say that I haven't read anything so similar to my own situation. I am also constantly playing tug-of-war with myself: "But isn't staying at home what I wanted, and what is important?" vs. "I used to have so many passions and now I have no outlet."

People recomend taking classes- but what would I do with the kid? And who would pay for it?

Talking to DP- this ends up in promises (which are usually fulfilled short-term) or arguments (which are never quite resolved)

Asking DP to perform specific tasks- He will do them, but I end up having to redo them, and as soon as he's done, he's off- like a kid eager to finish his chores so he can go play, he swipes some counters and throws some laundry in, and then he bolts.

My DP's hobby/interest is not exercise, but music. He is in a band that practices once or twice a week, plus any shows they play, usually 2-3 times a month. Also he has to "network" with others in the music scene, which involves copious hours at bars all around the metroplex, taking up another night or two a week. Once every two weeks or so I am able to find a sitter and accompany him, which I can't complain about, because it's great to let go and just go drink with the boys. But of course when we get back I am the night time parent on duty. (Though to give him credit, now that DD is semi weaned he does lay down with her and tell her stories if I am nursed-out.)

I have more to say but must go back to parenting!! Just wanted to come and say I'm in the same boat, mama.
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#22 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 07:42 AM
 
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I am not trying to be snakry AT ALL but can I just ask why? Why don't you just wake him up if you are up with the kids. I really don't understand. Those hours he was sleeping could have been 'his time' with the kids and 'your time' to do something else. Especially if you are doing the nighttime parenting as well.
You make a good point here but I know that I often do the same (although my DH is great and does pull his weight etc in general) and don't always ask for help as I sometimes feel that it just adds to my workload/is easier to just do things myself! In that situation for example I would have to go up several times to get him to wake up...not because he doesn't want to just because he falls asleep again so easily/quickly...so it just doesn't seem worth the extra hassle. I know that this attitude isn't great and really just contributing to the problem in a way (would be easier all round just to ask for what we want!) but I think the point is that we shouldn't HAVE to ask them/remind them about stuff like this because it is as much their responsibility as ours (as a pp said...we both do a full time job and when we are both at home the work should be shared).

But then as I said before men and women are just different and I know for a fact that my DH would willingly do anything, it's just sometimes he needs pointed in the right direction!

Anyway, sounds like you are making a good effort at resloving the situation. I know what you mean about having to force yourself to do things sometimes and I know that I can easily get into a funk and struggle to get myself out sometimes.

Keep talking about it though...it will help. Sending you hugs!

Linz x
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#23 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 08:45 AM
 
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A couple of thoughts:

-Start small. You don't have to suddenly find your life's passion to feel better. Running or walking 1x per week or getting out of the house to get some coffee in the evenings with a friend every other week will do wonders for your mental state and help you begin to make more changes toward your goals of enjoying your life again.

-It really doesn't matter how you get there. This is something that I'm still learning, and I suspect that it will be a lifelong struggle for me. In the example that you use of having to remind your DH about running, I would also have been disappointed that I would have had to remind him. One thing I've been told by a good friend, who is also a therapist, repeatedly, is, "Does it matter how you get it, if you're getting it?" For a long time it mattered to me that he "wanted to WANT to do the dishes", and now I just care that he does the dishes, you know? If what he needs is for me to wake him up in the morning to take care of the kids so I can get some extra rest, then that's what I'm going to do. What person is going to spontaneously set his or her alarm in order to get up earlier when s/he already works hard and needs rest? Especially one that has been conditioned by his or her partner to not do any extra work?

Start asking and I think you may be pleasantly surprised, and also realize that it's less important that he anticipate your needs, and more important that he fulfill them.

Mama to H (6) B (3) : A (1)
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#24 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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Start asking and I think you may be pleasantly surprised, and also realize that it's less important that he anticipate your needs, and more important that he fulfill them.
OMG, I think every woman in a relationship needs to have this rule framed and hanging on the wall above the sofa.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#25 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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It really doesn't matter how you get there. This is something that I'm still learning, and I suspect that it will be a lifelong struggle for me. In the example that you use of having to remind your DH about running, I would also have been disappointed that I would have had to remind him. One thing I've been told by a good friend, who is also a therapist, repeatedly, is, "Does it matter how you get it, if you're getting it?" For a long time it mattered to me that he "wanted to WANT to do the dishes", and now I just care that he does the dishes, you know? If what he needs is for me to wake him up in the morning to take care of the kids so I can get some extra rest, then that's what I'm going to do. What person is going to spontaneously set his or her alarm in order to get up earlier when s/he already works hard and needs rest? Especially one that has been conditioned by his or her partner to not do any extra work?

Start asking and I think you may be pleasantly surprised, and also realize that it's less important that he anticipate your needs, and more important that he fulfill them.

I think that, for me, I had to get over wanting my dh to not only pitch in to give me a break, but to do it happily because he felt I deserved it. HAHAHA! That wasn't going to happen; it just wasn't. What I found is that after his initial discomfort over being asked to do things that helped me out, he got used to. For me, the big thing is getting in a nap each day. I've always been a napper and will always be one and I simply feel better and happier when I have one. I simply make it a point to lay down each day, assuming it wouldn't be messing up something else. I do it when my older dd is in school and I have dd2 lay down with me. On the weekends he often has to watch both of them. I used to feel guilty until I realized that he didn't feel the least bit guilty about sleeping in until 10am.

In short, demand (nicely) something for yourself and don't let his behavior over the request keep you from doing it!

Gazing furtively at you from under my siggie!
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#26 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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A couple of thoughts:

-Start small. You don't have to suddenly find your life's passion to feel better. Running or walking 1x per week or getting out of the house to get some coffee in the evenings with a friend every other week will do wonders for your mental state and help you begin to make more changes toward your goals of enjoying your life again.

-It really doesn't matter how you get there. This is something that I'm still learning, and I suspect that it will be a lifelong struggle for me. In the example that you use of having to remind your DH about running, I would also have been disappointed that I would have had to remind him. One thing I've been told by a good friend, who is also a therapist, repeatedly, is, "Does it matter how you get it, if you're getting it?" For a long time it mattered to me that he "wanted to WANT to do the dishes", and now I just care that he does the dishes, you know? If what he needs is for me to wake him up in the morning to take care of the kids so I can get some extra rest, then that's what I'm going to do. What person is going to spontaneously set his or her alarm in order to get up earlier when s/he already works hard and needs rest? Especially one that has been conditioned by his or her partner to not do any extra work?

Start asking and I think you may be pleasantly surprised, and also realize that it's less important that he anticipate your needs, and more important that he fulfill them.

:

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#27 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I don't really buy into the whole idea that a SAHM's job is 24/7, but her working husband's job is 9-5. Not into it. We're both parents, all day, every day. Because I stay home, I do the majority...while he's at work. When he's home, he pitches in to do what needs to be done.

It took some time, and some tears, and some heart-to-hearts (with some arguments tossed in too, I'm not going to lie), but my husband is really turning out to be such a wonderful husband and father. He used to be similar to your husband. I think if I could and wanted to handle it all he'd be perfectly happy with your husband's current set-up, actually. But, and its a BIG but, I can't and don't want to do that.

When he comes home from work, he shares in all the work that having three small kids entails. He plays with them, occupies them, takes them outside, helps me make dinner (or makes it himself often these days because I'm often exhausted and just not into it). He'll help prepare their plates (cut up the food, etc). If its bath night, one of us will do the bath, the other will get them dressed. He puts my oldest two to bed every night while I put the baby down.

All of this to say that something has got to click for him to make him realize that right now your plate is FULL. If he helps relieve some of that load for you, it'll free up more time, energy, and desire for HIM.

Nicole - Mom to FOUR healthy, happy, wild boys.
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#28 of 46 Old 05-31-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Another way to frame this--

You had your 3rd child two years ago--perhaps what was working with two isn't working as well with three. I am like you, my DH has a lot of other interests and things he does on weeknights and I respect that and have no problem with it. But I can see how our life could change (more kids) and how all of a sudden I might need more help. But most likely I would have to very directly tell him that he/we needed to reprioritize our family time.

It's not bad to ask for help--my husband actually really likes it when he feels needed. Sometimes he does offer, but usually if it is something I really need, he doesn't anticipate (as mentioned above) I do have to ask. And maybe remind.

Also, you asked about depression and to me, your posts do read depressed. I am pro-meds, have had loved ones on medication and off and I can see what a positive difference it can make, but the first step would be to get some counseling. Might help clear your head and figure out if medication is what you need or if more self-care will do the trick.
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#29 of 46 Old 06-01-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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Lot's of good advice :.


I recommend "Fighting for Your Marriage"; this book help me in the first few years of our marriage. It helps you identify your communication style and why it may not be getting you anywhere.

It may take many repeated conversations before this situation sinks in; and he still may forget. I still have to remind my dh from time to time that I am NOT a mind reader. Often our SO's have a different idea of what is "necessary", so in their view they are not actually slacking at all.

Workout what you need from him; draw up schedules and diagrams if necessary.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#30 of 46 Old 06-05-2009, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
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: thank you thank you thank you. Your supportive words, the "i'm in your boat's" and the acknowledgment of my general discord in my self, the thoughts about how our lives have changed, how I can start small, how I need to not feel the guilt . . . . I have such a feeling of hope after reading all of this. Thank you so much for your wise thoughts.

It IS baby steps, not a total sudden shift. I can see how it can get better, what small changes can be made, just to start us and myself down a better path. I need time to think, because a lot of this is my own issues, besides the overall lack of partnership we're in right now. My own needs, and figuring out what they are, and are not.

I'm going to keep coming back to reread these, okay? And if I manage to create a better reality, I'll share that too.

Did I say thanks?

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