What do I need to do to be a happy & fulfilled SAHM? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-28-2010, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What exactly do I need to do to become a happy & fulfilled SAHM? The background to this question came from my separate post earlier: (http://www.mothering.com/discussions...8#post15420518)

Since I have deciphered my thought kind of down to this one question, I thought it'd be a good one to ask all the happy & fulfilled SAHMs who:

1) are truly happy about their life (satisfied, fulfilled, etc)
2) are properly stimulated, excited, interested, and not bored
3) are not feeling lonely or alone
4) are feeling beautiful & sexy (not feeling like an ugly, unattractive woman passed their prime)
5) are feeling great about themselves in every aspect
6) feeling accomplished, have goals and meaning

Maybe no one here have all 6 of the above, but what exactly do we need to do with ourselves, our kids, our husbands, our family, our life, our time, our thoughts, our mind, etc in order to feel the way above?

I happily gave up my relatively successful career and a substantial salary (which I had worked very hard for all my life) to become a SAHM and be with my son. I feel absolutely right and great about this decision. And I've always known that being with and raising my son is far more meaningful & important than dealing with office people, politics + climbing the corporate ladder. I still stand right behind this belief, and have no regret giving up my large salary to live on one-income, count every penny, recycle everything and cut coupons. But somehow it's not what I imagined SAHM life to be, and I don't feel very fulfilled and happy about my life (as I described in my other post referenced here). So I'd like some ideas on cracking this nut. Please share.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
1) are truly happy about their life (satisfied, fulfilled, etc)
2) are properly stimulated, excited, interested, and not bored
3) are not feeling lonely or alone
4) are feeling beautiful & sexy (not feeling like an ugly, unattractive woman passed their prime)
5) are feeling great about themselves in every aspect
6) feeling accomplished, have goals and meaning

.
Ummm... Maybe it's just me, but I don't think ANYONE feels this way! How old is your little one? I think it can be really tedius and boring sometimes to be a SAHM. Particularly with a baby. It's a big adjustment. Even if you love it. There isn't the positive feedback that you get at an out of the house job and it can be tough, especially for your self -esteem.

Newly Single-Mama. Raising homebirth baby, Josephine, July '09.

 

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Old 05-28-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I don't think its possible to feel happy with your life 100% of the time. I know I have big hormonal fluctuations in line with my cycle. I can be ontop of the world for a couple weeks and then down in the dumps for one, and then moderate for the next. But I'll try to respond based on my happy times:

1) are truly happy about their life (satisfied, fulfilled, etc)
I have to play mind games with myself sometimes. When I am feeling less than satisfied I think about those who struggle to get pregnant, or experience loss, single moms, or those who have no choice but to work to support their family and I am thankful for what I have. Its not always peachy but my life is pretty easy for the most part.

2) are properly stimulated, excited, interested, and not bored
This is a hard one! It takes work to transition out of mommy mode. My DH and I try to get intimate a couple times a week even if we are tired because its important for our relationship! We try to retain our own interests and get out occasionally on our own to fulfill ourselves. And our oldest son is in preschool 2 days a week and that has really enriched his life, which in turn enriches my life and gives me something to work with him on.

3) are not feeling lonely or alone
Mom friends/playdates, and girls nights out once a month or so keep me in touch with other women! Also the preschool thing is great because I get to chat with other moms and we sometimes spend the morning together while our kids are in school.

4) are feeling beautiful & sexy (not feeling like an ugly, unattractive woman passed their prime)
I worked very hard dietwise to lose my baby weight. And I try to get dressed and put some makeup on everyday so I don't feel slobby. Plus having a good sex life with the hubby makes me feel amazing.

5) are feeling great about themselves in every aspect

Thats a stretch.....

6) feeling accomplished, have goals and meaning Some of the things that I feel accomplished about- I'm a great cook, I keep a pretty good house, I am a gardener, I am pretty fit after 2 babies, and some goals I have are to get back into art, knitting, get back into doing some massage clients.....

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I used to be a SAHM and though hubby earns a good income. I still feel that I can still be productive at home hence; I applied for some legit online jobs and after years of research God has blessed me with a legit one from odesk and until now I am a full time odesker. I get to enjoy my child and earn a great living.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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Motherhood is a huge adjustment, SAH or not. I would imagine that going from having a time consuming successful career to a SAHM of one is even harder.

For me, I get happiness from doing my best, which sounds really cheesy, but it's true. I do not iron my aprons so someone will see me in my apron and say "wow, your apron is so wrinkle free!" I do it for the satisfaction of doing it, and being busy, even if what I'm busy with isn't "important" if that makes sense. I use the apron example because obviously no one will ever compliment me on my nicely ironed apron especially because it is constantly filthy, but it applies to everything. Making bread, ironing the collars of my kids shirts, cleaning my house, etc. I don't enjoy any of these things as what they are, but I do enjoy keeping busy and I feel satisfied when I am done. I think a lot of this is important to being a homemaker (or a SAHM) because so much of what is done in the home isn't noticed, and isn't going to get much recognition, which is different from most jobs outside of the home. And a lot of what we do is gone within an hour, a lot of times less. Dinner? Gone in 20 minutes. The toys in the playroom? Back on the floor as soon as the babies get to it. Clean freshly folded laundry? Some of this usually lasts for a few days but there's always dirty laundry to replace it. A lot of this stuff would probably be noticed if it wasn't done, but some of it wouldn't be noticed for weeks.

1) are truly happy about their life (satisfied, fulfilled, etc)

I am very happy with my life. I wouldn't change anything about it. This has not always been true, I used to be fairly miserable and nothing has really changed about my situation, just my attitude and the way I go about life. I don't wish for help or a few minutes away from my kids anymore. I am not resentful anymore.

2) are properly stimulated, excited, interested, and not bored

I am certainly not bored! I'm excited about life, the future with my family, the baby I am growing, spending a long weekend with my kids, getting the grill out tomorrow, the movie I am watching with my kids tonight, the brownies on my counter.

3) are not feeling lonely or alone

I do sometimes feel lonely. My husband is deployed right now and communication is not great. I don't dwell on it though, I just write him a letter or an email when I am missing him and wish I could talk to him. It helps a lot. I did this before the Navy came into our lives, too, just a little note to leave for him when he got home. I also have a couple of good friends to sit and chat with from time to time. I haven't always had that, but it's nice when I do. I have a lovely neighbor with three daughters the same ages as my three youngest. We will grab an extra latte when we're out and bring it to the other, things like that. I also have my kids to keep me company. Mine are older than yours though, I believe, so I know it's different.

4) are feeling beautiful & sexy (not feeling like an ugly, unattractive woman passed their prime)

generally, yes, I feel this way. For me, it's important to wash my face and brush my teeth as soon as I am awake. Getting dressed in real clothes follows shortly, as does spending a minute on my hair and maybe a little mascara. I do my nails once a week or so, never anything but clear polish on my hands though because nothing looks worse than chipped nail polish. Showering is a challenge for me, I'll admit it. Sometimes I can get a quick shower while my kids are busy but I always hear them screaming or crying (it's in my head, apparently I'm crazy) while I'm in there. So generally I take a bath with my two youngest every other day. I wash my hair in the sink because I can't stand to wash my hair in the bath, I don't know why. I love a good shower but at this point it's just not in the cards for me so I don't stress about it. When my MIL comes to visit after the baby is born I can take a shower.

5) are feeling great about themselves in every aspect

I am hesitant to say this is true, I know there are things I'd like to change, but I am very happy about myself in general.

6) feeling accomplished, have goals and meaning

I feel accomplished. But I don't get a sense of accomplishment because of any huge things that I do. I feel accomplished when I learn to do something new, or when my kids do something amazing and I feel like I have contributed to it. I have goals, most of them are little things like dragging my dh's grill out of the garage and figuring out how to use his chimney starter and not burn anything. Some things are bigger, raising five loving responsible decent human beings is one of those. But it's hard to see stuff like that day to day, I'm going to have to wait about 20 years to see how that goes.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:32 AM
 
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I can only respond to number 4 because I'm not a very good SAHM and need advice on the other things myself. Anyway, for #4, I recommend checking out the website www.youlookfab.com The creator of the site is a wonderfully generous stylist, and she has put together a number of Mom-on-the-Go formulas for cute outfits that are practical and cute. I can't tell you how much better I feel when I dress in well-fitting, cute clothes than when I spend the day in yoga pants. You can just search for mom-on-the-go of MOTG.

As I said, I don't feel like I'm a very good SAHM. I have a 3-year-old and an infant, and I just try to get through each day without going crazy. I'm trying to be okay with that and not expect myself to be blissfully happy. What helps us the most is getting out of the house and getting the 3-year-old as much exercise as humanly possible. I'm sure that making mommy-friends would help a lot too because it would make the endless visits to the park more palatable and allow for a social outlet.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I've been a stay at home mom for 13 1/2 years. I've had some of the things you listed some of the time!

Exactly what works depends on many factors, including how many kids you have and how old they are, and what your support network looks like. You basically personallity is something to consider too.

I'm not an introvert, and I really need time around people. So for me, part of being happy when my kids were little was being in playgroups and hanging out with other moms A LOT. I was never meant to be all by myself in my house day after day.

Exercise is, I believe, a universal. Not only does it lift our moods, it makes us feel younger and helps us stay beautiful.

A great hair cut is super important to me, and make up that I can put on quickly.

Even if you are a little overweight or out of shape, some clothes that are comforatble, fight right, and look put together are imparative.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 06-02-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
What exactly do I need to do to become a happy & fulfilled SAHM? The background to this question came from my separate post earlier: (http://www.mothering.com/discussions...8#post15420518)

Since I have deciphered my thought kind of down to this one question, I thought it'd be a good one to ask all the happy & fulfilled SAHMs who:

1) are truly happy about their life (satisfied, fulfilled, etc)
2) are properly stimulated, excited, interested, and not bored
3) are not feeling lonely or alone
4) are feeling beautiful & sexy (not feeling like an ugly, unattractive woman passed their prime)
5) are feeling great about themselves in every aspect
6) feeling accomplished, have goals and meaning

Maybe no one here have all 6 of the above, but what exactly do we need to do with ourselves, our kids, our husbands, our family, our life, our time, our thoughts, our mind, etc in order to feel the way above?

I happily gave up my relatively successful career and a substantial salary (which I had worked very hard for all my life) to become a SAHM and be with my son. I feel absolutely right and great about this decision. And I've always known that being with and raising my son is far more meaningful & important than dealing with office people, politics + climbing the corporate ladder. I still stand right behind this belief, and have no regret giving up my large salary to live on one-income, count every penny, recycle everything and cut coupons. But somehow it's not what I imagined SAHM life to be, and I don't feel very fulfilled and happy about my life (as I described in my other post referenced here). So I'd like some ideas on cracking this nut. Please share.
I feel very happy in life, and I think I can tell you why for each area you listed:

1. satisfied fullfilled etc - I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I've been with my husband since I was 14 and then when we got married we tried to concieve for 3 years with no luck and no explanation/help from doctors. Then, after we sort of decided to try and get used to the idea of not having children, I got pregnant! I am just so greatful now to have my son and now I am pregnant again and I just count every moment as a blessing. I also have a wonderful wonderful husband who takes great care of me and that certainly helps a lot too.

2. not bored - I really go out of my way to try and make fun for us. I take my child anywhere and everywhere that will be fun for us. Out for ice cream, to the park, to the beach, outside to play, and we do lots of crafts, artwork, etc. He also loves to help me around the house which is great. I try and keep things upbeat and happy - play music in the backround almost all the time, lots of laughing etc.

3. not feeling lonely - I don't feel lonely because I find company in my son, in other friends who have children, and in my husband every day when he comes home. It helps tremendously that he is understanding and helpful, so when he comes home he really does whatever he can to help me be comfortable and relax, and help me out wherever he can.

4. feeling beautiful and sexy - I used to weigh 275 lbs and I changed my diet and got busy running and lifting weights and I lost 125 lbs so that has pretty much boosted my self esteem throught the roof. Eating healthy and exercising so that you can look and feel your best does wonders for self image and self esteem.

5. I feel great about myself because I look at the positive things rather than the negative. I believe that we create what we want in life, and so I feel that I'm getting just what I want.

6. I have meaning because I put every effort into being an awsome wife and mother.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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Disclaimer- I work VERY part time (around 10 hours a week) but ds comes with me and dd stays with my parents, so I'm mostly a SAHM


1) are truly happy about their life (satisfied, fulfilled, etc)
I am incredibly lucky and blessed to have a fantastic life. I really do enjoy it most of the time. Do I *like* my kids all the time? heh. no. But I love them to pieces and at the end of the day it's totally worth it.


2) are properly stimulated, excited, interested, and not bored
I don't have time to be bored. I am very involved in a volunteer activity (whole family comes with- I work with Odyssey of the Mind) so between that and work and just life at home and homeschooling we're crazy busy.


3) are not feeling lonely or alone
In early mother-hood I did feel lonely. It took me awhile to establish a new peer group. But now I have more friends than I ever had before. I have a fantastic supportive groups of similar-minded moms who I know I can count on.


4) are feeling beautiful & sexy (not feeling like an ugly, unattractive woman passed their prime)
Mostly, most of the time. Not always of course, but being covered in snot and other kid stuff does that to most people


5) are feeling great about themselves in every aspect
eh, there are always things to improve. At the end of the day I'm happy with where I am.


6) feeling accomplished, have goals and meaning
Sure. Plenty of things still to work on, but I feel that I make a difference in a number of ways.

-Angela
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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I really struggled with transition from old job to SAH and your #s 1-6 are definitely still works in progress.

However, things overall changed from a sort of panicky despair to more happiness/ fulfillment when DD was around 14 mos. I think it was partly her developmental stage - she got way more fun, walking and talking, and became a little more independent. (She was a fairly high-needs baby.)

Also, I relaxed into my role a lot more. I realize that I have the ability to create my own reality more than I ever could at old employment. I finally learned to let things go around the house so that I can have more fun with DD. It was so hard for me to drop the ambitious to-do list (and the heartache that goes with it). Instead I plan ONE thing (cleaning project or outing, etc.) every day that is outside of the normal grind.

Also, it took a while to stop being the person I needed to be at old job and start nurturing new talents/ skills/ or other parts of my personality that hadn't had a chance to shine : patience, physical endurance, tolerance, humility, etc.

Thanks for making me think about this and verbalize my progress. Good luck on your journey!
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