Hate my SAHM role and DH hates it for me... can't find balance! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Says it all! I really hate the way things are. I feel like I'm in a job with no days off.. no hours off, really. I am never not working. 


I take care of the kids (3.5 yo and 14 mo), feed and dress them, nurse and diaper DD, take them to the park (we live in a scary apartment, I cannot let them play outside here) pretty much every day, go to museums and zoos and etc etc etc, cook and clean, do the grocery shopping, do the budget and pay the bills, plan our family outings, plan our family trips (our friends and family live 3 hours away and we visit once/month), I bathe the kids and put them to bed. I nighttime parent and partially cosleep with DD, who is not nightweaned. I am too tired to attempt to nightwean her because I'm at home on my own overnight.


DH cooks once a week. He takes out the trash (sometimes). He does the laundry (except the dipes). He takes the kids out for a few hours on Saturday mornings... and while that sounds like a break, it's because Saturdays are my long run day. Running is my passion, my only hobby or activity, and I only take like 45 minutes twice a week, and then a long one Saturday because I am training for a marathon. But at this rate, I feel like I am losing this time too and am on the brink of giving up running.


Here's our schedule: DH works 11pm-7am, is with us from about 730 am (when we wake) until 1 pm and then goes to bed. I am on my own with the kids for the rest of the day and night until he gets home from work the next day at 730 am. He has two days a week off, and sleeps at night with us on those days, so he has to take a lengthy nap in the middle of the first day. There's also the issue that his job is unpredictable and sometimes instead of 730 am is 930.. or 1030..


I feel like DH being with us 5 hours/day should give some sort of relief but it doesn't. He's tired coming off of work and doesn't want to take care of the kids on his own, plus he wants time with me. I also want time with him, but gee, I would love some time away from the kids. I have even considered working part time just to get away (seriously!) but I literally make what childcare costs around here (who knew childcare was so outrageous?!) and I just can't reconcile sending my kids to some random place I don't trust at all, having to leave their mama, so I can do a pointless job where I'll have a "break". 


I hate feeling like a martyr... like I'm doing everything for everyone and nothing for myself. How do SAHP's find time for themselves? How do you negotiate more household responsibility with your partner?! HELP!



ETA: DH wants to help me change this. He wants me to have some more freedom, but neither of us can come up with any realistic ideas. 

sleepytime.gifjog.gifSleepy, running, wife to superhero.gif DH 08/09 -  Mama to jog.gif DS 8/08 & love.gif DD 1/11

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb


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#2 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 09:45 PM
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What's the budget like? Is there any money for a gym membership that would include childcare? (our rec center gives an hour of childcare for free each time you come in, I've been tempted to join just for a chance to shower uninterrupted!) Or a mother's helper? When DH works a lot of OT and we have the money, I've hired neighborhood kids to come play with mine so I get a little break. What time do your kids go to sleep for the night? If you could find someone willing to come and sit at your house while your kids are in bed - say from 8-9, even - you could go to the library, the grocery store, out for a run, whatever. It would be a great job for an older lady or high school student in your apartment complex, if you can spare the cash.


I've been in your shoes, and always on too tight of a budget to do the things i mentioned above, or put a kid in preschool, or anything else.  From my own experience:


My first piece of advice is to hang in there. Chances are, your 14 month old will start sleeping better soon, and things will get easier.


My other piece of advice is to identify one change you want to make. Is more time for running? Is it improving your sleep by nightweaning? Pick one thing to work to make life easier for everyone, and focus on it. 


Also consider that maybe the marathon isn't what you want right at this moment. Maybe running for 45 minutes three times a week, plus a chance to relax or sleep, would be more rejuvenating for you. 


Try to plan something for the time your DH is home, once a week or so. Maybe make breakfast your big, special meal of the day. A walk if he's not too tired. Reading stories. Whatever might be fun for all of you. This is where you have more family time than I do, but less couple time, because DH and I usually hang out after the kids go to bed. If at all possible, plan a date night. Maybe when you visit your family, they'd watch the kids while you and DH run together or just go for a walk?


And while I am NOT saying what you are doing isn't hard - I know it is, last year at this time I had a 6 year old, a four year old, a sixteen month old, and a two month old - try to count your blessings. Your DH has a job and is working hard to take care of his family. You have two awesome kids. It will get easier and there will be more time for you.


Wish you lived near me. We could swap childcare and both get a break!

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#3 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 09:54 PM
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I wish I knew because then my life would be lots better!  DH works full time and goes to school full time.  I am at home with the kids, by myself doing it all, all the time.  I also take the kids with me to work 3 hrs a day.  Weekends belong to homework, so it's not much better. 


It's strange to feel lonely with you're with two other people all day.  At least for me, DH only has a year left, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there are bad days... like today.  And they are really hard to muddle through sometimes.


Wish i had more help, but I've yet to figure out how to make time for myself.  I've started on insisting to go grocery shopping by myself, that's about the only alone time I get, ever.  I can't even find time to go running, I have to do it at home on the treadmill and stop every few mins to run and check on the kids. 


It sucks!

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#4 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 01:55 PM
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You sound like you definitely need a break!


I would hire a baby-sitter to come in for a few hours a couple of days a week, just so that you have some time alone to do whatever it is you need to in order to recharge. Maybe you could even barter for the hours, but if not, still consider it. I know that when my husband brought that idea up for us, I just couldn't get behind it at first -- I felt like it was a "waste" of money when I could be taking care of the baby myself. But it is so, so very worth it. Even you have to budget differently for a little while. Think about it...that time makes such a huge difference!

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#5 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 02:13 PM
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Can your hubby take on some chores for you? Maybe breakfast or lunch prep, or possibly grocery shopping (with at least 1 kid along). It sounds like just a few small changes would really help you. Also, child-swapping! Find some like-minded pals and trade for some FREE free time ;)

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#6 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 05:03 AM
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Second shift is rough. hug2.gif . your husband does need to realize that you are working too and need a bit of time to yourself. Maybe a morning run would really lift your spirits. Watching his children should not be an option. Mom's need and deserve an hour a day to themselves.  I also want to say your kids are very young and it does get easier. Try connecting with more people in your new area. Meet some new friends. Maybe someone you could run with or start a small playgroup. Putting your oldest in preschool a few days a week might help. It really does get easier as they get older, hang in there. hug2.gif


On a personal note, my husband cooks 1x a week, takes out the trash and fixes the cars. Sometimes he helps with laundry but I don't ask him to do to many chores around the house(my kids are older then yours though). Childcare is a different story. They are his children too. If I want to go out to coffee with a friend or go to the store by myself or what ever it should not be an issue. It has not always been like this. I have been he parent doing everything except working. It's not  healthy for mom, kids, or a marriage. If you really can't talk some sense into him maybe a few sessions of marriage counseling would help. Being a SAHM should not mean you are an indentured servant. 

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#7 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. Lots of good ideas mentioned cost $$$ we absolutely don't have. However, we did cancel our cable, considering how silly it was we had it in the first place... and that $70/month is now a membership to the Y who has free childwatch while you work. That was pretty much our only opening in our budget. I am hoping to put 3.5 yo DS in preschool this summer as well, but we're still saving for that. 


Child swapping sounds like a great idea. I was thinking about trying to arrange a meeting of the other spouses who work with the officers on his shift. Can't be easy on all of them right? Even if they are working parents, it's unlikely they also work midnights.


I also decided to join a running group who meets on Saturday mornings so at least while I'm out for my weekend runs I get some company. Part of me wants to give up on the marathon, but I have been training since August and the race is in 7 weeks. I've just worked too hard to not do it now. I will be very proud and relieved when it's over. 


I thought about the suggestion for marriage counseling and think I'm going to talk to DH about this. I think it seems like a strange idea to us, because of the stigma that only "bad"  marriages need counseling.. and DH and I have hardly even had a disagreement in our 5 years together (2.5 married). But our roles within our marriage have seriously changed in the last year and it's been pretty hard on me.. plus counseling is offered to us for free because he's in law enforcement so I think it's a good idea to take advantage of that. 


So I wrote this 5 days ago and I was ready to crack, and though not much has technically changed I do feel a sense of hope now that I can at least change it a little at a time. 

sleepytime.gifjog.gifSleepy, running, wife to superhero.gif DH 08/09 -  Mama to jog.gif DS 8/08 & love.gif DD 1/11

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb


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