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#1 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!  How do you do it?  I have one child, 9 mos, and I am having a really really hard time being a SAHM.  I could not imagine having more than one - my hat is off to all of you!!  smile.gif

 

I am having trouble keeping him entertained.  For the most part, we play with his toys in his room for the majority of the day.  I will occasionally put him in his entertainment center and/or let him watch Baby Einstein (and I always feel horribly guilty afterwards for sitting him in front of the TV).  He does take at least one nap (usually 45 min) in the morning by himself, but I usually have to lay down and let him nurse for the afternoon nap.  Of course he is super clingy right now, if I even turn my back to him or walk out of the room he screams and takes of crawling after me - I understand that this is all part of his age right now.  I have rented a few different baby carriers to try carrying him on my back in order to get a few things done, but he hates it.  He does fine while out and about while being in a carrier, but he hates it while at home.  How do you get housework done?  I wan't a great housekeeper before, and it has certainly gone down hill since.  As for DH, well, um, he is not very helpful with DS or around the house.  He does work, so I understand that he is tired, but during the weekday it consists of come home late, eat, watch TV, and go to bed. Usually I have DS down for the night before he even gets home.  DH usually plays video games during the weekends.  I have to ask him to do anything with DS.  "Will you go get DS?  Will you feed DS some food? Why don't you go play with DS?," etc.  I love DS more than anything in the world, and I am very grateful to be in a position where I can stay home with him, but, gosh, it's so hard.   

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#2 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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This SAHM gig is no joke, that's for sure.

One thing that has saved me is getting out of the house, every day. Can you get out? We go for walks, playdates with friends, baby storytime at the library, or JCC, or bookstore. The grocery store. We go out for lunch, and we meet DH for lunch once a week. I joined a gym with childcare which has been a HUGE help. I got a membership to the zoo which is close by, and when the weather is nice we go several times a week. Museums.

I'm a homebody by nature, and at first it stressed me out to go on so many trips with DS, but getting out is now crucial to my sanity.
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#3 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Oh I feel you. Yesterday on one of my endless handholding walks down the hallway I was so done with staying home.

I told my DH about it. "How is this the most rewarding job on Earth? It sucks. Mother should be paid WAY more."

 

My son (10 months) is okay on my back for about 30 minutes (if I'm lucky) as long as I'm moving the whole time. Stopping means whining. So I do the kitchen as quickly as i can. Later in the afternoon I do my zone work for 10-15 ala Flylady. The rest doesn't get done. We live in mild chaos and clutter.

 

The rest of the days is me hoping for nap time, lunch time or time to go pick up DD from school. At least it will be warm enough today to walk.

 

My husband is sort of the same when it comes to video games. But I often just plop the baby on his knee and say here, I'm going to cook supper/clean the kitchen or whatever. He also has a low tolerance for crying so if I let the baby squawk on the floor for a few minutes he'll get down and play. But he drives me a bit crazy too, because he jumps at every little noise and by Monday the baby is thinking he should have all my attention.

 

I listen to a lot of podcasts. It's like having an adult in the house. At least it's talk about something other than baby bowel movements and it keeps my mind distracted while I am endlessly walking back and forth, killing my back.

 

I also keep books stashed in places he likes to stop and hang out. One at the far end of the house and one in the living room where we do spend most of our time. I can read a few sentences while he's playing.


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#4 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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I agree. Getting out of the house,and for me, a routine. I am not a great housekeeper but keeping to our routine, I could get things done for 2 hours a day while she naps. I am lucky that DH helps me out on the weekends, b/c a lot of time when she's napping, I'm just hanging out....like now.

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#5 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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I don't have much more experience than  you, since my DS is only 14 mos old.  I too sometimes feel like I would rather go to work outside the home, bc I crave adult interaction, work that has a beginning and an end, conversation that goes 2 ways... etc etc!

 

I think a key part of keeping your sanity is getting your DC to play independently.  Luckily for me, DS has always been good about that.  I'm not sure if it's because I often put him down by himself while spending a few minutes in the other room cleaning, using the bathroom, putting in laundry, etc - or maybe it's his temperament.  But he can happily play for quite a while by himself, with toys, or exploring the kitchen cabinets (we latched only the ones we needed to, so he has 2 big "safe" lower cabinets he can unload and reload and play with the contents), etc.  He does want me nearby and he can see that I am and he will seek me out if he wants up or wants to nurse or something like that.

 

I know yours is at the clingy age, but maybe you can gradually get him used to physical distance at home?  Like play on the living room floor with him, then sit nearby while he plays, then gradually move to the next room?  Just an idea, I don't know if it will work, but since that's kind of what we did to get DS used to crib sleeping, and it worked there, why not?!  lol.

 

Also, like pp said, try to get out of hte house every day.  To do errands, to the park, etc, to playgroup, whatever.  We don't always get out, esp in the cold winter, but I feel much better when we do.

 

Also, from what I've read, your DS probably needs more naptime.  The experts recommend 2 90 minute naps at his age (and still until 15-18 months when it goes down to one 2-2.5 hr nap).  Others may disagree, but it has proved true for us. That would help him feel better if he's tired and it would give you some alone time to relax or clean or read or whatever.

 

As for your DH, I would sit down and have a talk with him about it.  You both are parents and he should do at least 50% of the parenting when he's home.  You "work" all day too, at least as hard as he does, so he shouldn't expect to get freedom from responsibility and baby interaction when he's home.  Advocate for yourself by discussing it with him and working out a plan for what the evenings look like.  Maybe he needs 30 min at first to relax, (and you should too! relax together in that case!) but then he should be helping out. You are not a nanny and a maid.  And he is not your boss.  He is your partner and baby's parent.  Just my opinion!


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#6 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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I remember feeling that way with my 1st.  Being a SAHM can be really isolating.  There's a couple things I would recommend. 

 

First off, I agree with the pp about getting out of the house some.  It really does help break up the day.  Our local library has storytime once a week, and even just going up there for half an hour makes a big difference in our day/week.

 

Second, I would work on the sleep stuff.  It will help you feel more sane if you get him into a regular sleep routine that gives you X amount of time a couple times a day to be an adult and have some alone time.  Also, if you do decide to have more, you won't be able to keep up that schedule with two kiddos under foot.  He would also probably be a bit happier and more independent if he were better rested.  My favorite sleep book is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  It's really helped me with DD2 (I hadn't read it when DD1 was a baby) and it's made a world of difference.

 

It will get better though, I promise.  Remember that these days do have meaning and try to live in the moment.


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#7 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies!!  It's nice to know that I am not being a weiny and it truly is hard at times.  I have been contemplating signing up for a "mommy & me" swim lesson at our local gym and I think I will do it!  I am somewhat of a homebody, but I think staying home - especially in the winter - will drive me crazy!  

Yes, DH and I need to deal with these things.  Sometimes I think he is intimidated by the baby; I honestly don't think that he knows what to do with him.  I thought maybe he would gain confidence around him in his own time, but it's getting to be a bit ridiculous.

I am ashamed to admit it, but I really never thought to work on DS's independence from me.  I can see though that working on it now will be a lot easier than trying to work on it later! smile.gif    

We are working on the naps.  He used to nap really well, but always in my arms.  Now I try to get him to take naps in his crib.  It is a whole lot better than it was, but it is still a work in progress.  Thank you for the book suggestion CrunchyChristianMama - I will look into it!!

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#8 of 14 Old 02-02-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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Another book rec - "The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight" by Kim West, LCSW.  Previous edition was just "Good Night, Sleep Tight".  We used it to get DS on a sleep schedule and to get him out of our bed and into the crib (at 5 mos) since cosleeping wasn't working for DH and me.  It worked really well for us, and it lays out a pretty clear schedule for each age so you know what to aim for.  Good luck!!
 

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Originally Posted by fishywishy View Post

Thank you for the replies!!  It's nice to know that I am not being a weiny and it truly is hard at times.  I have been contemplating signing up for a "mommy & me" swim lesson at our local gym and I think I will do it!  I am somewhat of a homebody, but I think staying home - especially in the winter - will drive me crazy!  

Yes, DH and I need to deal with these things.  Sometimes I think he is intimidated by the baby; I honestly don't think that he knows what to do with him.  I thought maybe he would gain confidence around him in his own time, but it's getting to be a bit ridiculous.

I am ashamed to admit it, but I really never thought to work on DS's independence from me.  I can see though that working on it now will be a lot easier than trying to work on it later! smile.gif    

We are working on the naps.  He used to nap really well, but always in my arms.  Now I try to get him to take naps in his crib.  It is a whole lot better than it was, but it is still a work in progress.  Thank you for the book suggestion CrunchyChristianMama - I will look into it!!




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#9 of 14 Old 02-03-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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I also once read that it's important for SAHparents to set goals and continue to learn.  If you were at work you'd have training and goals etc, so if your at home you should do the same to keep your mind engaged. And it could help you career wise if you go back to work.


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#10 of 14 Old 02-03-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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the weekend seems to be my "me time," and not because DP helps out a ton with DS, its only because I'm physically gone a few hours on the weekend. I'm not sure what he and DS do all day while I'm gone, because it's certainly not cleaning :). I'm not saying it's right, but I can see how it would be hard for DH to go from working his butt off all day during the week, to having downtime on the weekend and chose to spend it cleaning, picking up after DS, cooking, etc..basically all the stuff I do during the week. They usually watch a movie, or play inside while I'm gone, but the house is usually pretty messy when I get back. Luckily it's worth it to me to have 3-4 hours to myself, doing something stimulating..I sing with the band at my church, and occasionally I work 3-4 hours at night. I'm sure this will change once DS arrives in May. I keep on top of stuff right now, but I have a feeling things will spiral out of control when I'm dealing with a newborn. DH will have to step up a bit more, and we've already had this conversation a bit.

 

As far as staying busy during the day? GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! I've been cooped up for 2 days iced in, and I'm about to go crazy, lol. Playdates, mall play areas, parks, the zoo, Barnes and Noble for books and train table, coffee with friends, lunch, grocery store even.. Sometimes I just go there to let DS run around..we smell the candles, I tell him to go find this or that, it's a game. i was never the type to go and do stuff all day either..I'm a big homebody, but it's indeed crucial to my sanity as well as another poster said. Have you checked meetup.com? It's where I found my local moms playgroup, and we do about 2-3 playdates a week. Yeah, the house isn't nearly as clean as it used to be pre-baby, but I've come to terms with that! I'm sure it will only get worse once DC2 gets here.


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#11 of 14 Old 02-05-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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Just chiming in to say that it IS tough--anyone who thinks a SAHP has an easy job should switch places for a week!--and cut yourself some slack. My DS is getting more independent finally at 20 months, but even so I go crazy if I don't get at least a little "me" time every week. My DH currently takes DS to a music together class every Saturday morning, and he helps get him ready for bed (bath and reading), and even just that helps me stay sane. We also go outside every day--playgrounds, library, La Leche League (which has saved me from going crazy more than once)--and that helps immensely. If you can, try to find a group of moms who understand where you're at; it's SO important, and so helpful to be able to talk to others going through the same thing you are.

 

Hang in there--these years will pass in a blur and before we know it we'll have teenagers, right? ROTFLMAO.gif


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#12 of 14 Old 03-08-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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If you are a home body it is exceptionally hard to get into that getting out routine, I know! My relaxing content time used to include a book and a bottle of wine. Join lots of groups and take turns alternating who host playdates. Having people come over (at least for me as I am a home body) has always brought a lot of joy in my life. I also listen to talk radio on Sirius so that I feel like there is someone there all the time. It also challenges me to  keep my bring active. And every night even though you may not want to bundle up and walk around the block! Before Christmast I realized that there were some weeks were I went 5-7 days without being outside and getting fresh air....that is enough to drive anyone batty. My DD was super attached to me and would wail the first week I would leave but gradually she learned that daddy was just as good as mommy, and that I always came back.

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#13 of 14 Old 03-08-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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FWIW, I think it's harder with one baby than with three kids.  You're the only thing happening in the house when it's just you and baby, so baby's following you around.  Mine follows me around, too, often, but sometimes he plays with (or watches with glee ;) ) the other kids and the other kids have each other to play with...

 

Anyway, so, what kept me sane when DD was that age was getting out of the house pretty much every day.  We went everywhere... she loved just hanging out in the stroller and walking so we went on a LOT of walks (that's not so easy, now, with the older kids until spring comes and they can ride their bikes).  We went to the public pools, the playgrounds... she loved the swings.  Anyway, getting out was crucial.  I also found a local mommies group that had an online forum and I started posting when I was planning an outing and seeing if other people wanted to come, too.  That was great... I met tons of people and made lots of new friends... so then once I had mommy friends playdates were pretty frequent.  I hate being home all the time with no one to talk to, it was so important for me to find people I could talk to!! 

 

Now, with three kids, we still do some playdates with the mommies I met when my oldest was a baby.  Now, though, I go out less, but mostly because it's a drag trying to hassle everyone to get ready. lol.gif  I listen to a lot of talk radio (I love NPR), which keeps my brain going, at least.  My baby will only nap on me, too, so often he's in the ergo and I'm pacing until he falls asleep and then I can get some things done.  He's also been walking for several months now and so he likes to "help" me with laundry and loading/unloading the diswasher, etc.  He's also even more interesting in watching the older kids and exploring the house on his own, so I do get a bit more done, in terms of housework...


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#14 of 14 Old 03-08-2011, 11:40 PM
 
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People who haven't done is always think being a full-time at-home parent is a day on the couch eating bon-bons.  Couldn't be further from the truth.  This is a job that doesn't come with breaks!  Even going pee can mean trying to keep a little one out of trouble!  I envy my husband getting to actually sit down and relax for lunch.  For me, an actual lunch at all isn't guaranteed!  And I run a small business on top of it....

 

For cleaning, I do a quick sweep and pick up anything that isn't trash and throw it on a couch.  Then I sweep up (no carpets) what's still on the floor.  Takes maybe three minutes for the living room.  If I can distract her long enough, I'll toss her toys into her fishy-thing in the family room and at least try to get everything else in the rooms where they belong.  If there's a dirty dish, into the washer it goes.  Washer's full?  Then dishes wait until Daddy gets home.  Daddy and I do the laundry together on his days off.  I wash and dry, he folds and puts away.  Thankfully he acknowledges that being home all day is just as much, if not more, work than he does.  he also does the dog poop in the backyard, and both cats are housebroken (no litter!), and I do my hamster's cage.  The bathroom takes me just a few minutes to swish the toilet, toss the trash in the trash in the kitchen, and pick up any laundry and throw in the hamper until we do laundry.  Kitchen trash being taken out is what gets backed up worst of all.

 

Sometimes I decide "screw it" and let the messes stay for a while, and "cleaning" means turning off the light.

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