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Old 05-18-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a new SAHM transitioning from having had a very ambitious career. I have a 9 month old. The other day I caught myself doing something entirely uncharacteristic of me -- watching TV, and "desiring" to sit in front of the TV like a junkie. Just so you know about me and TV, I had NOT had a TV my entire adult life (more than a decade), and I have never wanted it or wished I had it. We've had this TV for the last 2-3 years and I never touched it. Why am I interested in vegetating in front of a TV now? I suspect that I'm just really bored (not the "have nothing to do" kind of bored. In fact life is pretty busy for me. But the other kind of "bored" if you know what I mean). Does this ever happen to you? What do you think is going on? And what do you do about it?

A sub question is, what do you do (and how) to keep yourself engaged, interested, excited, stimulated, while having your hands full with the baby & the household....? Could that just be what I'm lacking...?

When I think of the me before marriage & baby (which was only 2 years ago), it was young, full of energy, exciting, interesting and interested in everything, ambitious, had goals and things to look forward to, not to mention the being attractive & feeling good about myself part. Honestly I used to look at myself and think "I'm a good catch!" And now, I'm thinking, "if I wasn't already married, I don't know who'd find me interesting".... In comparison, I seem to be at the exact opposite end of the spectrum (and to be so different I'm even "enjoying" being a boring couch potato!). Why is all this? Is that common? What do you do to feel like "yourself" again? (your young, energetic, exciting & interesting self)
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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I went through that phase, too, and got over it quickly when DD seemed to start watching the TV with me and that was when it was turned off. I think that, for me, the point of the TV was to have an adult voice in the room with me since DD didn't talk yet and I was only hearing my own voice all day. I also started getting out of the house more with her at about 10 months old and joined some moms groups and started taking her to parks, etc. to have adults in my life from 8-5.

But you bring up the issue of being engaged, stimulated, etc. That is a big thing with me. I've found in the past 19 months of being a SAHM that I get depressed if I don't have medium-term goals in my life. Being a SAHM is all about short-term goals (do the dishes) and long-term goals (raise a great kid) and doesn't have enough medium-term goals. I think this is why some moms obsess about things like kids learning to walk and talk, since they are medium-term goals (although we kid ourselves that we have that much to do with it).

Anyhow, I find that reading a long book, working on a sewing project or other creative outlets are absolutely necessary. It needs to be something you enjoy, something that you did pre-baby ideally and something that takes about 5-14 days to complete. Do it during nap time instead of watching TV and see if that helps, it did me.

Karen , wife x 11 years to J and SAHM to Evie 9-19-08
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. Giving up my job to be a SAHM sounded perfect until I actually did it. I really felt like I lost my spark for a while. And yes I wanted to veg out in front of the computer or TV just to escape the feeling of being spark-less. It was a hard transition but now that I have my groove back I wouldn't do it any other way. Hugs to you-- I know you will get some kind words of advice here, or at least a little BTDT reassurance.

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Old 05-19-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyra1977 View Post
I've found in the past 19 months of being a SAHM that I get depressed if I don't have medium-term goals in my life. Being a SAHM is all about short-term goals (do the dishes) and long-term goals (raise a great kid) and doesn't have enough medium-term goals. I think this is why some moms obsess about things like kids learning to walk and talk, since they are medium-term goals (although we kid ourselves that we have that much to do with it).
I also wanted to add that I never really thought about it like that before but it really rings true.

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Old 05-19-2010, 02:46 PM
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Yeah, we don't have the TV on during the day, but when I SAHM'd and DD got a bit older (probably a little over a year) I had some good little personal goals, like working on my novels (which is HARD when you can only do it when she sleeps and she sleeps attached to your boob) or learning new skills like cooking, sewing. Sometimes just having a list of REALLY good books made all the difference.

Getting out was also key for me. I found some awesome AP playgroups and started one from a crunchy new mom's group I was in. The park and hanging with other mamas every other day or so made me feel much more fulfilled. We could talk about anything, not just babies, but we were all coming from a similar place, which helped it not be exhausting

Starting every day with a good walk and yoga also helped.

I also wouldn't feel too bad about wanting to veg out. Sometimes we all have down points in energy. Maybe your brain is working on something and just wanted take the day off. I think a brain vacation every once in a while is fine Right now I'm finishing up a year back at teaching and by the end of the day I am SPENT. I have no patience, energy, or spark left (I'm also prego). I'm trying to be gentle with myself and allow myself to sort of lay fallow mentally a bit. I know once summer comes I'll be ready to dive into things with my full attention and vigor.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I believe all SAHMs feel this way at some point, esp in the early years. I, too, had a very active life and ambitious goals for myself pre-baby. Going from that to staying home almost 24/7 to tend to baby and the home is difficult and can be depressing. On the days that I feel down, I just remind myself that for 1) I'm so blessed to be able to stay home with my daughter 2) It doesn't last forever and most importantly 3) Being a SAHM is the HARDEST job with the most rewards. Don't feel guilty for wanting a break bc you deserve it! As for the TV, I've had the same issue. I just liked the noise so it wouldn't seem so lonely when she was younger. Now that she's older and walking, we go for walks, go to the park etc. We also go to a monthly homebirth meetup and I get to talk to other moms going through the same thing. Maybe try learning how to bake, sew, or write/read while your baby naps. All in all, just try to live in the moment and know that when your baby is older it WILL pay off.

Earth-loving, birth-loving, body-working, simple-livin' mama to two sweet girls and fiance to a hard-working man treehugger.gif namaste.gifbellyhair.gif

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Old 05-21-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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Just offering empathy. I left work 9 months ago too, to be home with DD2. Left a lucrative, power suit kinda job that was an adrenaline rush every day. Now, while I wouldn't trade it, I feel like I am just busy being busy.

My goals for this upcoming year is: make friends that are smart and interesting, but also in the SAHM world I am....find a new hobby....and work the finances to have 4-5 hrs/week or child care to volunteer, consult, or something that is just me. And maybe shower more often.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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I can totally relate! My ds is now 2 and I have been a sahm for one year now. I desperately wanted to be a sahm and didn't think that leaving my career would have bothered me. However, as time went on as a sahm, I started experiencing all the things you have described. I BF my son, my husband travels often, and i have no family support around so i couldn't even think about getting a job on any level. I did all the things that you are supposed to do (to keep sane) as a sahm like getting out the house, play dates, exploring hobbies etc. and to no avail. Of course those things helped pass the time but i still had that feeling of boredom (the boredom you were describing). Well recently I have realized that I am not a good sahm. I am a great mom but not a good sahm....at least not good at sahming full time 24/7. It just so happens to be an okay time in our lives for me to go get a certification that will launch a new aspect of my career that I can do part time. I now have a pep in my step that I haven't had a for a long time. I am excited, motivated, and inspired. So for me, leaving my career that I worked so hard for was a tough pill to swallow and ultimately started a slow death for my spirit. I know that opening the door to career again will be challenging and of course I have feelings of anticipation regarding leaving my son for any period of time. I know things aren't always greener and there isn't a magic solution. We are ALWAYS sacrificing something for something else. But for me, I just had to admit to myself that I am just not very good at sahming full time. And I had to be okay with that. Like I said, my son is 2 so I feel like he is getting to a good age to where some type of day care situation will be valuable to his social skills. When he was younger (even a month ago!), I wouldn't have felt that he or I was ready to make this change in our lives.

So I think it's so normal to feel what you are feeling but I don't know what your solution is or what you are willing to sacrifice right now. You may just need to explore this side of your life and this side of yourself to see what you really do want for yourself and your family. Give it some time but don't stop questioning where you are at, why, and where you hope to be. Keep growing yourself even though it might not be the funnest personal growth you have ever experienced. It will pass and you will see the light eventually whatever that might be for you. It could be as simple as getting a hobby or going to the gym more regularly.

Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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I just want to add that about 8-12 months was a really hard stage for me because it was SO hard to go anywhere. DS was in a "I want to crawl NOW" stage and was not happy being carried or worn and it was so hard to find places to go where he could crawl around.

Have you checked out your park district? As silly as it sounds that was the age I got him involved in all sorts of little mommy-and-me classes. He could crawl and play and stuff and I got to *gasp* talk to other adults. It was good for both of us. We did them for about a year. And really, they were hardly "classes" but organized play dates. All about getting out of the house and being social.

Once he started really walking it was much easier to get out and about again.

And I have always had the rule that nap time = nap, book or tv. Complete down time for me.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Being a SAHM is definitely a challenge, but I wouldn't give it up. I definitely think like a lot of folks here that getting out helps a lot. I found a gym that has playcare, so I try to go 2-3 times a week. I have been doing that since my daughter was 2 months old (she's 2 now). We both benefit- she gets to be exposed to other kids and caregivers and learns that it's ok for me to be gone for an hour or so, and I get some ME time. It really keeps me going. Also, I like to run errands and keep busy that way.

I have definiety had (and still have) times when I sit and watch the TV or get on the internet. Sometimes I feel like I'm really lazy and selfish b/c I don't devote all day every day to my daughter, but then I look at her and think that she's a well adjusted child that is able to deal with new situations well. At least that's what I tell myself!

Heather

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Old 05-21-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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You have to find a hobby or other interest. I reached that point myself and went back to my music again, playing piano and composing. In another 5 years when this bubs starts school I'll start teaching piano.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey ladies, thanks for all your support and hugs.

I just derived a new post from this one, and that is "what do I need to do to be a happy & fulfilled SAHM" (http://www.mothering.com/discussions...6#post15454886). Please add your valuable opinions to that post so we can all exchange ideas. Thank you.

I will still be watching this thread...and appreciating support! (and add some comments that I don't have time to add right now)
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