Feeling like I have no life of my own - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lately I have been very discontent with staying home with my kids and I'm not sure what to do. I have 4 children: 16, 14, 12, 3. I have always been home with them because we have homeschooled, but I feel really burnt out on it. I feel I don't have any kind of life of my own. It's always been, the children come first, their needs and wants and I sacrifice my needs and wants. Shouldn't there be a line somewhere so it doesn't feel like I am only here as a mom and housekeeper? I don't have many opportunities for social interaction with other women, but when I do I feel like I have nothing to offer. I don't have anything to talk about but my children. It makes me feel like a loser. All people ever talk to me about, too, is my kids. It's like they know I have no life of my own. It would be nice of someone to ask how I was doing for once, you know what I mean? Anyway in these situations I always see other women, moms usually, with lives outside their kids: they have jobs or are going back to school or are busy with social activities, etc. and I think why can't I do that too.

Well I have a few problems:

First, my husband wants me to be home and homeschool.
Second, every time I start thinking about doing anything for myself I feel guilty, like I would be abandoning my children, esp. my youngest who is only 3.
Thirdly, we are broke, barely scraping by, so it's not like I have any money to go anywhere or do anything.
Fourth, I tried, a few years ago, when I felt similar, to get a minimum wage job because I haven't worked in forever and couldn't find anything else. It was terrible, I hated it because I was treated like I was stupid and looked down upon, etc. Going into that kind of situation doesn't seem like an answer to me.
Fifth, I live in a very small town with limited possibilities.
Sixth, after years of living only for my kids I wouldn't even know what interests me or what I would want to do.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I keep going around and around in my brain, but always come up with obstacles that I'm not sure I can overcome.

Thanks
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#2 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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Can you set aside two hours 2-3 times a week for yourself?

Either leave the littles under their siblings' care or in your DH's care, and get out of the house.

Start at the library. See which books interest you, and go from there. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself.

Regardless of how you embark on this journey, I think just getting out of the house and being with your own self will make a marked difference in your mood and perspective.

Good luck!

Mom to a sunny toddler and a snoozy baby
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#3 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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What about volunteering? Find an organization you care about that you can volunteer at night or on the weekends? It would give you an opportunity to talk about things other than the kids and it's free.
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#4 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I would defintiely start by carving out some time during the day for yourself. Do not feel guilty, the kids will survive. You sound like a great mom who puts everyone else's needs ahead of your own, it would not hurt them for you to take a couple hours to yourself. The library is a good idea, do you enjoy reading? How about taking a nice walk by yourself? I find walking to be both relaxing and invigorating. It gives me time to think and also keeps my mood up. You could even just stay home and have time to yourself in your room if that's possible. Whatever works for you.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Do you have a local YMCA? As far as money goes, their membership fees are flexible, depending on the number if people in your family and how much money you make. We've always used their sliding scale memberships.

Our Y membership includes free childcare up to 2 1/2 hours a day as long as I stay in the building. So I can work out, read, etc, while the kids are in the babysitting.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#6 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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well your two oldest are old enough that they could babysit?!

Start out by giving yourself 2 hours every week. then slowly start upping that time as the guilt fades. I felt horrible leaving my son but, now that I have 2 kids I NEED it.

Go to a restaurant, order a coffee...or a few and read. what did you enjoy before kids?

OR go shopping for yourself. make a plan to stay out of the kids stores and shop only for yourself for two hours. even if it is something small that doesnt cost much.

Your kids need a happy mom. They need to know the real you. Not a burnt out version. If your not giving yourself the time you need you are taking away from your kids. It is healthy for your kids to know that moms can be people too. AND THEY WONT HATE YOU FOR IT!

erica.mommy to korbin (july 11/07) + taylor (june 21/09)
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#7 of 7 Old 06-08-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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a book that really helped me figure some of me out is called "the artists way" http://www.theartistsway.com/
I got it at the library.
I agree with volunteering. I do a lot of volunteer work and I love it. See if there is a teen parenting group in your area. Since you have teens and a little one you are in it so to speak. I love working with my teens and I have found over the years there is a lot I can give with out really giving.
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