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#1 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me start by saying I love being a SAHM to my almost 8 month old. I have wanted to be a mom all my life, and I am grateful that we are able to afford it and that I have a supportive DH. However, I have worked since I was 16. I have a master's degree and I worked very hard to get to where I was in my career before DS was born. I always prided myself on being independent and providing for us. I feel very lucky that we are mostly able to afford our previous lifestyle, but at the same time, I feel like I'm not contributing and DH is working much harder than he had to before. I was making a great salary, now I'm making nothing. It's not really about money, I am ok with the small sacrifices we have had to make, but I feel like I am not doing enough for my family, in addition to feeling like I abandoned my career and will be starting over when I do return to work. It took about 3 years for me to find a position I really liked, and leaving it behind was a little sad. Being with my DS is more important that any of that, but the transition from full time professional to SAHM has been kind of a culture shock. I guess more than anything I feel out of the loop and a little lonely. Everything I do, think about, and talk about revolves around parenting. I have thought about getting a part time job, but it's not really what I want either. Any advice from those who have BTDT, as far as the transition, and concerns about the future state of your career?

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#2 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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That is a great picture of your DS.  Love it.

 

I'm just here taking notes... :notes I'd like to hear what mom's advise.  I don't have advice because I am in similar shoes, except that I actually want to do part-time work to feel productive and not lose my skills (in my field, you have to keep up with technology).


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#3 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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I have no advice because I am in the same boat.  I too have a master's degree that is currently stagnant.  I loved my job too.  I'm more than ready to go back to work but there are no teaching jobs, and subbing is not an option because of the whole childcare thing.

 

To be honest I'm pissed.  I feel trapped.  And I am sick and tired of people cooing at me that my DS is so lucky to have me at home, and oh! you're doing the right thing being a SAHM, your son is so lucky.  Whatever.  Its almost like once you become a mother your worth no longer lies in your skills or your mind but in your presence.  All identity other than mother goes out the window.  Funny...fathers do not have the same standards or issues.

 

Sorry...I'm struggling with this too.

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#4 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think a lot of my problem is that I used to be taken seriously at work, I had certain skills that were valuable. Now, everyone questions everything I do, and just because I don't have a degree in breastfeeding, parenting, etc. does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about. When I had an opinion about something before, it was heard. Now I have to defend my parenting choices or explain them over and over again.

 

The other thing is, I feel like I have nothing to talk about. When DH comes home and tells me about his day, I end up telling him about what the cashier at the grocery store said, or something equally trivial. I feel very rewarded by being with my son, but I also feel like I'm no longer interesting.


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#5 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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I can totally relate. I think part of it is that in a good work atmosphere, you get recognition and have measurable accomplishments. You conduct meetings, you meet deadlines, you check things off your task list, you come up with creative solutions to problems, etc.. I just don't get the same kind of feedback for good parenting.

 

One small suggestion--a hobby. I sew a little bit and I usually have a couple of piano students and those things give me a world outside of just being a mother as well as a creative outlet. They help with the identity issues.

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#6 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking of that...I need a hobby. I have always wanted to learn to sew, or how to use my camera, and many other things. I really need something to focus on that feels like an accomplishment in the non parenting world.


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#7 of 29 Old 11-30-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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I totally understand what you mean.

 

I don't have a masters, but I finished two undergrad degrees with a high GPA. I was incredibly go-getter, involved in stuff, active, etc. Then I got unexpectedly pregnant in my last year of college, had ds 2 months after graduating. I too, find fullfillment in mothering, it's what I've always wanted to 'do'.

 

However, the past few years, being at home, and now with another new little one, I realize how much of myself I've lost. Little kids take so much energy that it's easy to wrap oneself up in taking care of them and raising them. And forget about yourself. I did. I still do. And I've been struggling with how to find myself, how to figure out this post-kids life I want. Because, to be honest, I know that this time period when I am their world is short. And I don't want to be one of those moms whose sole purpose in life are their children and who lose it when the kids become independent.

 

How to do this, I am still figuring it all out.

Combine it with where I live, and it's tough. I feel like people here are always on the go. Which was great before kids, when I had the time/energy/inclination to do lots of stuff outside the house.

 

I'm also annoyed at the fact that my husband hasn't had such a huge adjustment either. When I talk of getting a part time job somewhere, as a way to help out and also get some time away from kids, the topic of childcare always comes up. Why do I have to only worry about this? Why is assumed that dh can work whatever times he wants, whenever? No one asks him what he's going to 'do with the kids' if he decides to work 70 hours one week. Oh, and then I get suggested to do a WAHM gig. Because, you know, between watching the kids, it's sooooo easy to work. angry.gif

 

My older son is also very inquisitive, which makes hobbies difficult. When I started sewing, he wanted to reach in and play with the needle. Yea, really cut back the sewing hobby. :(

 

Ami


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#8 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 04:53 AM
 
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I used to be in that place.

 

The first three years of parenting are so intense. There is little space for mothers to be themselves outside of mothering.

 

Adjusting to being a SHAM is huge and sometimes difficult. The world looks at you differently.

 

Wait until your little one is 3. Something magical happens and suddenly you will see that you are you again. Your child will not need ever second of your attention. You will have space to develop yourself outside of your mama identity. The space for hobbies will open up. Your child will be be a little more independent and child care issues may become a little easier.

 

Of course, if you have another child the cycle resets and you go back into intense mothering again. But the second time around it's easier since the huge adjustment from work life to SHAM is no longer a part of it.

 

Read Radical Homemakers. It will change your prospective on your value to your family and to society. winky.gif

 


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#9 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 06:14 AM
 
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I had a huge adjustment to being a SAHM.  Part of me wondered if I'd go back, when I'd go back, etc, etc.  The original plan (before I had a baby) was for me to work part time for a few years after my first, to transition to being a SAHM.  That didn't work out, and I've been home full time since I was 36 weeks pregnant with #1. 

 

After about 13 months, I was ready to go back to work. I got pregnant again. 


After #2 was 13 months old, I was ready to go back to work.  I got pregnant again.  ROFL

 

And, now that #3 is 5 months old, I can honestly say that I'm not going back to work any time soon.  My #1 is just over 4 years old, though, so it's taken me a while to get to that point.  My life is busy, parenting is intense, and we plan to homeschool for now, so my career is on the back burner. 

 

There have been HUGE changes (we downsized housing, for one), and it's been a long road.  But, I can say that I'm where I want to be.  I think that it took until my #1 was 3 years old to feel really secure in my decision to be "just" a homemaker.  I do have some hobbies that I enjoy, I try to keep my brain active (by reading and staying current on current events, stuff like that), and I am more than just a mama.  But, I really like our family life with me home (it's much slower and not hurry, hurry, hurry), so it's worth it to me for now.

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#10 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 07:07 AM
 
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I feel like this and I didn't even really have a career before. I only went to college 1 year, and have worked several part time jobs at once since I was 18. I think it's just getting out of being accountable to someone other than yourself, and making a schedule/routine that works for both you and your LO. I even wrote a thread about this..I think I called it "I feel like I got more done as a WOHM." Anyway, I've been SAHM for about 8 months now and I'm still having an adjustment period. It's hard to go from one extreme to another.


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#11 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 07:16 AM
 
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Yes, I can sympathize, and I, too, never had a career before. But I had jobs, and I worked a lot, and hard. DH always made way more money, but what I brought in made a significant difference. Maybe I felt like I had more power? I don't know. It was all very different then, and it's been many years, but I still sort of miss it. I love my life now in many ways, but sometimes it does feel like there is something lacking. 

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#12 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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I only have a BA, but I did have a job that payed well and that I loved when I became a SAHM. It was a very hard transition, and I felt like I'd made a terrible mistake for I bet the first year anyway. I had some PPD and I don't know if the transition was a contributing factor or if the PPD just made the transition harder. I love being a SAHM now, but I would say that there's nothing wrong with going back to work if you feel like that would make you a happier person. I know I'll never make what I made before, particularly since we lived in the Chicago area before and live in an area where there is a much slimmer job market now. That makes it easier for me to continue to be a SAHM, because I wouldn't make the same financial contribution I made before, but it would absolutely be a negative if I had a strong urge to eventually go back to work and try to pick up where I left off.

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#13 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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I think much of the problem with identity new SAHMs have is because of society's need to assign a role to everyone.  You go to parties and everyone wants to know "what do you do" because in our world what you do = who you are.  THen the assumptions are made.  It's maddening...but I think it is a response to the rule that contentious topics such as politics and religion (and anything else interesting that may spark disagreement) are verboten in "polite" company. 

 

Where I live I am surrounded by college professors, many of them women with children.  On the one hand this is kind of cool because these women are doing it all, but on the other hand it deepens my self-loathing because I am not doing it all.  Sometimes conversations are uncomfortable too, because it is assumed by these ladies that I am only capable of conversations centering around our children.  So depressing.  When I do jump into conversations that have taken an intellectual bend I am often shut out and made to feel like I am doing something inappropriate...and again I think this comes from the social role=identity problem.  And its not that these people are unkind in any way; they are actually a really warm and caring bunch.  But...

 

Having a hobby does help, but at the same time I hate that I have to have a "hobby" to not want to run screaming naked through the streets.  Because the whole implication of an "hobby" is that its done only for pleasure and is not very important.  Its not a "real" job or anything.  I guess for me its like a bone someone throws a starving person who is watching everyone else feast.  Infantilizing.


And, yeah, it totally irks me that my husband does not have to deal with any of this crap.  Nor does he ever have to worry about childcare, or what having a child attached to you 24/7 feels like.

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#14 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like this thread, I find myself agreeing with all of you, whether you had a career or degree or not.

 

I hate the idea of a hobby in the sense that it seems so...housewife. I do like it because it will busy my mind, but it's probably not something I would mention to others to make social chit chat.

 

I have a good balance of WOHM friends and SAHM friends, and I tend to want to spend time with the WOHM friends, only because I don't really want to talk about mom stuff, especially when I'm taking time out of being a mom to do something with a friend. I mean, it's ok if it comes up, but I feel like SAHMs are always discussing mom related things, and I don't want to be that way to other people who really could care less.

 

I guess my interpretation of SAHM is something negative...even though I'm finding it to be a very positive experience. It really has to do with what other people think of me, and I know that shouldn't matter, but when I'm struggling with my identity it's hard not to notice what others think. I guess that's the root of it, I don't really want to define myself as SAHM/housewife/superwoman *gag*. I still want to be me, with a kid.


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#15 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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I felt the same way, so much so that I began picking up some freelance work when my DD was around 9 mos.  I felt like if I wasn't "working" (which I had really been doing all along... babysitting from when she was 3mo etc, and finishing my Master's thesis....but somehow all this didn't feel like "real work" whatever that means) I didn't deserve to ask for the housework and childcare to be divided.  I still do the lion's share, though now DD's father will put her to bed most nights.  And so now I work part-time while wrangling a toddler at the same time.  So I still consider myself a SAHM.  I felt like I related sooo much to everything that's been written here.  And half the time I think, "What was I thinking?"  (about working without childcare, not the baby, she's awesome) It's so stressful, though I enjoy it at times.  And I hate when people are like, "Oh wow, it's so wonderful you can do that.  You can get up and write at 4 in the morning."  And I think,"Wow, are you stupid?  Do you want to get up at 4 in the morning to work after waking up six times a night?"  She doesn't wake up in the night very much anymore, but still...

 

I can't figure out why I feel so lazy being "at home" even though we are very busy.  While my BF will come home from work and lay on the floor with the baby and play with her and watch football and feel perfectly satisfied that he is working as hard as he should be (and he is).  But when she was a newborn, we would lay on the couch together and she would nurse all day and sleep in my arms.  And I felt so so so lazy.

 

Sometimes I think the only solution is to just stop thinking about it.  My boyfriend is proud of how hard he works.  I should be too, but I never am.  I just want to strike a balance between not feeling lazy and not feeling overworked.  Where is it????


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#16 of 29 Old 12-01-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View PostHaving a hobby does help, but at the same time I hate that I have to have a "hobby" to not want to run screaming naked through the streets. 


And, yeah, it totally irks me that my husband does not have to deal with any of this crap.  Nor does he ever have to worry about childcare, or what having a child attached to you 24/7 feels like.

 

To the first sentence, HECK YES!!! It's so frustrating. Even with a hobby, it's something that is done 'around' everything else. It is 'frivolous', so it's usually the first thing that gets the shaft.

 

And the the bolded, I think you pinpointed exactly where I am having issues. I feel like I am never alone. I can never BE alone. Even if I am alone, I have to be worrying about this other being. Why? Because, well, if something happens, I get called. Not daddy, mommy.  The majority of the childcare is on my terrain. Somehow, the fact that this child came out of my body, and I am literally feeding it with my body makes me the one who is expected to do everything, to be 'responsible' for it all, regardless of whether I work or not. But if I am NOT working, I do not have any reason to complain about it or seek outside stimulation/fullfillment.
 

 


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrs.t View Post

....because I don't really want to talk about mom stuff, especially when I'm taking time out of being a mom to do something with a friend. I mean, it's ok if it comes up, but I feel like SAHMs are always discussing mom related things, and I don't want to be that way to other people who really could care less.

 

I guess that's the root of it, I don't really want to define myself as SAHM/housewife/superwoman *gag*. I still want to be me, with a kid.


See, I could never be a housewife. Without kids, I would go insane being home all day. As it is, it is kinda driving me insane WITH kids. lol. Somehow, the act of SAHM means that my brains have been sucked out, my interests only revolve around the kids/home, and any desires beyond that are seen as 'crazy' or pathological.

 


 

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Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post

I feel like this and I didn't even really have a career before. I only went to college 1 year, and have worked several part time jobs at once since I was 18. I think it's just getting out of being accountable to someone other than yourself, and making a schedule/routine that works for both you and your LO. I even wrote a thread about this..I think I called it "I feel like I got more done as a WOHM." Anyway, I've been SAHM for about 8 months now and I'm still having an adjustment period. It's hard to go from one extreme to another.


 

This is a hard adjustment. And I think that we as mothers carry this burden more so than our husbands. Because, really, if anything is wrong or off, mom gets the questioning, not dad. I find it frustrating too that I can never really be 'off the clock' like my husband can. If he's working, he's working. And if he talks about needing 'down time' no one bats an eye. Yet I, who have not been without one child in months, mention down time and people question 'why'. I'm home all day, how much more time do I need? In fact, I should 'do more' by finding a job to help out dh. AAARGH!!! It is invalidating, and hard to deal with, mentally.

 

Ami



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Originally Posted by AbbieB View Post

I used to be in that place.

 

The first three years of parenting are so intense. There is little space for mothers to be themselves outside of mothering.

 

Read Radical Homemakers. It will change your prospective on your value to your family and to society. winky.gif

 




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#17 of 29 Old 12-02-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I can identify with loads of what has been said here... I've just been reading a book called 'The Milk of Human Kindness' about how childcare and specifically breastfeeding are not measured as part of the Gross national Product, as part of the economy, etc, despite making the most valuable contributions...it's a seriously radical, questioning book and reading it was really quite validating form e as a SAHM (and long term breastfeeder). I have ongoing battles with my Ex about the fact that i 'don't have a job' but he does, so automatically I have to pick up the flak for everything. Meanwhile I work twice as many hours as him doing unpaid childcare and also study on top of that.. Sigh. It's a real mental block with most people. That if it doesn't earn money or appear to have a measurable result, it's not 'worth anything'. I think it is deeper than just worrying about what other people think, for me. It's also that I am a very intellectual person and I just feel a bit out of my mind talking about Thomas the Tank Engine all day wink1.gif When I have days when I go out with DS most of the day and we have quality time DOING stuff like swimming and going to the library I feel tons better, like I am actually 'doing something'. But when I'm at home I just feel like I'm on a treadmill of doing tasks that never end while constantly being interrupted an average of once a minute, and of course also trying to do quality activities with DS. I am NOT a natural 'housewife', and I have lots of hobbies but it doesn't help. Working is different.

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#18 of 29 Old 12-05-2010, 04:02 AM
 
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First, I'd like to say that you are totally not alone in your feelings. I struggled with the decision to stay home for about two years BEFORE I even elected to leave my last position. It made sense financially for me to stay home....with four children childcare was expensive and I wasn't bringing home more than $200/week working 36 hrs after paying taxes and childcare. But I was scared of stalling my career, losing skils and relevancy. What helped me with the transition of going from FT work to 99% SAHM ( I work one day every two weeks) was having the ability to hold an extreme part time position and working on my degree. I'm currently just about finished with my BS in Nursing (I have an AS). So once a week, I leave the house and have a class where I'm not talking about potty training, children, schoolwork, or any mom stuff at all. I know you has a Masters.....but maybe there is a post grad class that is pertinent to your field, or a conferences/continuing ed in your specialty?

 

Maybe there is volunteer opportunity that works with your schedule or where you can bring your children?

 

I also looked at the transition as a time to not only be at home with my children, but a time to be home with myself. That, and I think that by the time I chose to stay home I had already worked out my struggles with the change in the two years of angst prior.

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#19 of 29 Old 12-06-2010, 08:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mrs.t View Post

I was thinking of that...I need a hobby. I have always wanted to learn to sew, or how to use my camera, and many other things. I really need something to focus on that feels like an accomplishment in the non parenting world.



photography is an extremely rewarding hobby!  I have friends who are so good at it that they book themselves out for weekend stuff, evening dances, portaits, etc.  They bring their babies, when they need to, and try to book for when they don't need to.  :D  VERY rewarding, both at home and in the bank!  I have one friend who is now part of shows etc. now!


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#20 of 29 Old 12-06-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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I'll add to the recommendations to read Radical Homemakers.  The home can be a center of production just as much as a workplace can.

 

I contribute quite a bit to my family, beyond cleaning and caring for children:  financial planning, tax preparation, general organization, repairs and mending, research for upcoming purchases and decisions, making many things that we need, creative problem-solving.  These are more than just hobbies to kill the time; I'm putting my talents to work for the benefit of the whole family, and I find these accomplishments very fulfilling.  Having a job is not the only way to be independent and provide for your family.

 

That said, if you want to keep your career options open, you might look for some small consulting-type jobs in your field, and keep up with reading the trade publications. Maybe provide resume critiquing and job search advice to soon-to-be graduates?

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#21 of 29 Old 12-07-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.t View Post I guess more than anything I feel out of the loop and a little lonely. Everything I do, think about, and talk about revolves around parenting. I have thought about getting a part time job, but it's not really what I want either.


I have been thinking of this post for a while. And I think that this is where a lot of women have problems, myself included. Society is no longer set up to 'deal' with SAHP. It's incredibly isolating. Before, there would be other SAHP (mostly moms) in the neighborhood. People lived and worked much closer to home. Multi-generational living was more common, and even if not, Grandma/Granpa lived nearby. Some aspects of housework were communal. A community bakery, frequent shopping for fresh items, even laundry was usually done on the same/similar days. So, for example, while I would be hanging out laundry on the line, so would Francine. We might not have been the best of friends, and I'm sure there were people one didn't get along with, but the social isolation was not as severe as now.

 

Also, children are not as welcome in as many places. I don't think that's changed much, but being a sole caretaker, at times, I can't leave the house without the kids. And if I'm not welcome in many places, that restricts me a lot. Which increases the lonely feeling.

 

I love being with my kids. I love seeing them grow up. But I am more than 'just' a mother. I feel, sometimes, that because I am a SAHM, that people think that all I want to do/be is a mom. That my interests only revolve around being a mom. But I am a grown woman. I should have outside interests. I should also have time to myself, even if it means going to a playgroup so the kids can blow off steam while I use my brain with other moms & dads. :)

 

Ami


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#22 of 29 Old 12-07-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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It gets easier.  It is definitely hard.  I have felt the same way many times.  Now that the little ones are 5 and 3 it doesn't really bother me much anymore.  I can easily see the value of me being at home.  Just go away for a weekend and leave hubby with the kids.  You will feel appreciated when you get back. 

I have two Masters and an Ivy League education.  Do I miss work?  Not anymore.  At first it was very isolating.  I would say it is very important to find some kind of mother's group that meets weekly.  They will find all your discussion of child only topics valuable.  You can support others and be supported.  

I also do some volunteering in the evenings.  This helps keep my intellect alive.

Yes people just kind of clam up or have no response when you tell them that you don't work.  So what.  Wouldn't it be nice if they were more than a job?

 

 

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#23 of 29 Old 12-07-2010, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

I have been thinking of this post for a while. And I think that this is where a lot of women have problems, myself included. Society is no longer set up to 'deal' with SAHP. It's incredibly isolating. Before, there would be other SAHP (mostly moms) in the neighborhood. People lived and worked much closer to home. Multi-generational living was more common, and even if not, Grandma/Granpa lived nearby. Some aspects of housework were communal. A community bakery, frequent shopping for fresh items, even laundry was usually done on the same/similar days. So, for example, while I would be hanging out laundry on the line, so would Francine. We might not have been the best of friends, and I'm sure there were people one didn't get along with, but the social isolation was not as severe as now.

 

Also, children are not as welcome in as many places. I don't think that's changed much, but being a sole caretaker, at times, I can't leave the house without the kids. And if I'm not welcome in many places, that restricts me a lot. Which increases the lonely feeling.


I totally agree with all of this. It's like, I feel as though everything I used to do, even for fun, is no longer an option because it's not "baby friendly". Also, a lot my close friends who are SAHMs have always been that, they were never in the workforce, never went to college, etc., so I find that they don't understand what I'm going through in terms of the isolation. On the other hand, some of the SAHMs I am friendly with who have worked were not my friends before I had a child, so it's like this contrived friendship based on the fact that we have kids.

 

I have really been thinking about how I can change things for the better. I had to realize that my life is completely different now, and that my previous life will never be a correct fit for me again. That's ok, I love my life as it is, and I love having a family. The part I struggle with is trying to define who I am when I am not with my son. Being a mom is amazing, but to abandon every part of who I was before is difficult. I'm now just trying to figure out how to reinvent myself, which feels really weird to say at 31 years old.


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#24 of 29 Old 12-08-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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There are times that I feel like I am wasting my time and my degree by being home.  But then I think (seriously) about where my kids would be and what they would be doing/learning if I were at work.  There is NO way I would sacrifice being able to be the one to teach them and raise them they way I feel is best just so I can use my degree.  And, honestly, I think my education is being better used right now, teaching my kids, than it could be anywhere else.  

 

For me, just looking at where my kids are now vs where they would be without me home is enough to make me feel better, and make me feel like I am doing something VERY worthwhile.  Contributing to my children's personalities, futures and development is so much more than a monetary contribution.

 

Plus, my hubby is pretty great about letting my know on a daily basis how much he appreciates what I do for our family :)


-T, Wife and Best Friend to R 3/2005; Mommie to E 8/2007; and G 3/2009

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#25 of 29 Old 12-08-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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Also, I wanted to add that it does get better as the kids get a little older.  I LOVE taking the kids to the science museum, the zoo, the aquarium, the butterfly house, the library, ect ect ect!  They learn so much and it is so much fun for all of us.  There is no way they would get to have this many early experiences if I wasn't home.  When they are babies, they don't really "do" much I guess and there are fewer places to go with them.  So, hang in there, there will be more and more opportunity as your little guy gets older.


-T, Wife and Best Friend to R 3/2005; Mommie to E 8/2007; and G 3/2009

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#26 of 29 Old 12-08-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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I didn't read all yet, but it takes a while to find a niche. I actually went back to school for a doctorate. I was able to go very slowly, do a lot of independent study, and I shifted my focus to early childhood education, so it all really came together (which I never would have had the thought or opportunity to do if I wasn't "at home"). I started a community service organization that I could work around my schedule and that kept me doing things and busy. I found that if i let myself be drawn to movers and shakers, were true to my interests, I found a way to be engaged in things I wanted to do too.

 

I think it is a misconception that it is "work " OR "at home". There are actually many shades of inbetween, and some things come and go. But see if there is something you like to do, something that means something to you... and follow it!

 

And, it took me about 3 years to really find this pattern (of course, it is all changing again soon with my littlest gearing up for preschool and me getting ready to graduate!). And, money was not really the point of value.

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#27 of 29 Old 12-08-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in. I'm in a similar boat. I have a Masters and for the past 10 years have been a consultant making more than my DH. After the birth of my DD in 2005, I dropped to 4 days a week, which in my field meant working about 45 hours...

 

I am still on mat leave (Canada) so I'm technically not even a SAHM yet, although I have told my wonderful manager that I won't be returning. The plan is for me to stay home until DS is in school when he's 4.5. Losing half our salary was less scary than I expected, but yeah, it feels very weird to not be "contributing". We had DD in daycare, and it was fine. She was happy, she learned things, it was a good group, but I never lost that sick feeling dropping her off every morning. I just couldn't do it with my new little guy, and DH agreed. So it's the right decision, but I do feel like people are going to wonder where my brain went. I've already started hearing some patronizing comments about how "they would be so BORED at home".

 

Then I went and wrecked our car last month, so we need to get a new one. That is the OPPOSITE of contributing. *sigh*

 

What I've made the decision to do is to consider this a time to reinvent myself. I'm 38, and although I was a good consultant, it wasn't what I ever planned to do - I never wanted to be part of the corporate machine. I haven't had time in my life to really sit down and figure out what it is I want to do - I just know now it needs to be in a service field. So I have a few years, once DS is a little less time-intensive, to figure out what it is I want to do to contribute to society.

 

I just placed a hold on Radical Homemakers at the local library. I'm 49th in line LOL.


Perdita - newly SAHM to DD July/05 & DS Feb/10 joy.gif
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#28 of 29 Old 12-09-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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I think a lot of my problem is that I used to be taken seriously at work, I had certain skills that were valuable. Now, everyone questions everything I do, and just because I don't have a degree in breastfeeding, parenting, etc. does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about. When I had an opinion about something before, it was heard. Now I have to defend my parenting choices or explain them over and over again.

 

The other thing is, I feel like I have nothing to talk about. When DH comes home and tells me about his day, I end up telling him about what the cashier at the grocery store said, or something equally trivial. I feel very rewarded by being with my son, but I also feel like I'm no longer interesting.

I feel the same way... I was in a professional career before my kids and feel such a loss of identity and self esteem staying home.  It's such a difficult thing to balance, because on one hand, I really love being with my kids.  On the other hand, I feel like all I have is them.  I'm no longer interesting either.  

 

I did go back to work briefly between kids and am finding it even harder after baby #2 to find my momentum to want to go back to work again.  I'm just so tired and my kids are such a full time job, I can't imagine adding more to my life now.  Later?  Probably.  Not now.

 

Sorry not much help.  Just understanding.

 


 


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and darling 2 year old guy

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#29 of 29 Old 12-10-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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I am a homemaker (about to be SAHM anyday now!).  I have a BS in a field I LOVED and frankly haven't worked, really, since we got married 2 years ago.  I've probably made a grand total of $1000 in two years.

 

Whenever I get depressed about how DH is supporting both of us, plus the cat, and now a baby on the way, I try to remind myself how much money I'm saving us.  By having time to make things vs. buy them, by cooking and baking from scratch as much as possible, by mending instead of buying, by having the time to shop at Goodwill vs. the department stores, by taking the time and effort to use the clothesline and plant a garden, etc.  I know that all of that will be more difficult for me to do with a baby, but I do believe that it will get a bit better as they get older.

 

Herbal remedies and homemade food keep us healthier.  No childcare fees help out our bank account.  I can't quanitfy everything that I do.  And someday, yes, I most definitely want to go back to school and have a "career."  Maybe it helps that I'm only 23, so starting a new thing when I'm 35 and the kids are older is totally doable for me.  I have finally made peace with that--that this is what I love, this is what works for our family now, this is what is important to me and my DH for ourselves and our family.  I do admit that I am excited for the day when I can answer the dreaded "so, what do you do?" question with a succint answer like "I'm a nurse" or "i'm a counselor" or "I'm a teacher" or whatever.  Right now I feel like the answer to that question can't possibly be summed up in the discreet amount of words that people want to hear. 

 


Emily--Married to the love of my life 2008--Joyful mommy to Rachel Elizabeth 12/10
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