Do any other SAH mama's out there ever feel stuck? I LOVE being able to stay home with my 18 mo DS3 (since birth- did the same with my older DS1 and DS2 until they were close to 2). I love that I am able to be with my boys before and after school instead of putting them in extended childcare. So it's sort of a conundrum, Because I value being a SAHM and what that means. However, I feel stuck- and maybe it's just letting outside scenarios get to me too much. Maybe there is a solution that fits within my values of being home/ there for the kids.
We have a blended family of 6*- DH, Me, My two from a previous relationship- DS1 & DS2- His child from a previous relationship -DSS- and a child between is, DS3. Our children's respective families are both families of 4*. We have split custody, I tend to have my boys a lot of the time. Out of all 6 parental figures, I am the only SAHP. What this has evolved into over the past few years is that I am sort of relied upon when kids are home sick (DSS in some cases on off days), and drop offs and pick ups. when school is out for summer or holidays I have my boys the whole time and DSS more than usual. Essentially, I am available for the kids so everyone else can work and go to school. Some of this is shifting presently, but it is still more or less the same.
Recently I have just gotten to feeling like I am sitting back watching everyone else move freely- "New job? More school? Back to school? Longer hours? Why not?"- Not that working a lot is glamorous, it is more of the principle of being able to say: "I want to do this, so I'm going to." We are all trying to evolve and grow and do better by our families- a lot of motivation is getting out of the every day struggles, living paycheck to paycheck, and not knowing what the future holds. We want to clear up our debts, buy a house. I want to learn, potentially go back to school, and work again someday, for myself ideally. A bigger house, school, work, business- they all take money we don't have. Putting all of the kids in childcare would cost big. To the point it wouldn't be worth the income I could bring in now (why school would be necessary, or investing in a business etc).
I have brought up taking out more loans to finish my degree, and DH does not like the idea. I had backing to go into a year long training I wanted to do starting in January, but it just wouldn't work out without putting a big strain our immediate & respective families. I feel stuck because for as much as I have gained being home, there is also no financial growth in our household or funding for endeavors I am passionate about. I am not about to demand a change, I am posting this more to see if other SAHM's go through the same thing.
Thank you for listening!
What is your degree in? Do they have classes that you could take online? The only problem with that is that you need to be consistent. I have bought courses and never finished them because everyday stuff has gotten in the way. It is better now that the kids are in school.
I am sorry. I do feel stuck sometimes.
I only have one child- 15 months old, so it's not quite as intense as your four kiddos. But it's hard. My DH is in medical school, and a lot of our friends are in medicine. It's tough for me, personally, to see what seems like *everyone* around me tapping into their potential by furthering their education and establishing noble careers, while I'm stuck in the muck of motherhood.
Oh, I love my daughter dearly. Fiercely. I'd die for her in a second. But then, if I'd die for her: why is it so hard sometimes to be a self sacrificing SAHM, I wonder? Just staying home to meet her needs? I know being home for her is what's best for her. It's just tough establishing any sort of balance between my needs and my family's needs... and it's tough making time for things I'd like to do.
I guess the thing is, this phase is temporary (as you know from your first two kiddos). One day we'll be able to do more, and we'll probably even miss the neediness.
In your case, you are the parent with the largest share of the caregiving pie, and involved with the interests of many adults and children; what a challenge!
You are enabling his whole tribe of people to work, grow and succeed by being where you are, and that is an amazing effort on your part.
As you mentioned, one of the things that is truly challeging is the flexibility needed to be able to accommodate all these other people's evolving needs while meeting your own needs.
Have you sat down and really thought about what you would like to achieve for yourself personally in the upcoming year or so?
I have been working on realistic goals for myself, and that has really helped me to be less stuck. I've also been having some insight in to some of the ways I get myself stuck ( trying to solve other peoples problems before I solve my own).
This is a fabulous bit of advice. Another mom of four said something similar to me, actually.
And something changed and clicked for me when I wrote down a list of goals for the next 15 years. 15 years for me was a long enough span to allow for space to accomplish things. Anyway, when I began to think long term like that I was able to see what areas of my life support my goals and what areas need to change. Since this is long term, nothing necessarily needs to change overnight- I can allow that certain things aren't going to happen in THIS season of life, and that's okay as long as nothing is standing in the way of eventually meeting goals.
An example is: I'd love to go back to nursing school and get my MSN. (I have an unrelated BA right now.) But my baby is young and needs me at home, I'd prefer not up send her to daycare, I don't have the money to fund another degree, and so much of my family's energy is sucked up by my DH's schooling.
BUT. That's okay. Because one day the baby will be bigger and in school. And my husband will not be in school and will actually be making money. Then it will be my time. Until then, I am shadowing a local nurse midwife, finishing my birth educator certification, and slowly taking online prereqs. Because those things SUPPORT the eventual goal.
Anyway, enough blathering. I think the goal setting could be useful to you. Keep us updated!!