Husband needs advice - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Husband needs advice

My wife is a stay at home mom and has been for about 12 years. We have a 3rd & 6th grader in school and she is home while they are at school. She is doing a fantastic job raising our boys. we have no discipline issues and our oldest has straight A's. She is a GREAT Mom and wife and i have no complaints. Lately, she is down on herself because she feels worthless and feel like she is not contributing financially (we are fine and finances are not an issue)
while on the outside it looks like life is good, she is really having a hard time. claims she is bored, claims her college degree was a waste. Here is the catch...she has plenty of friends, we get plenty of date nights, we are very social. How do i help her get thru what she is feeling.? i can only tell her what a great mom she is and what an awesome job she does with out kids so many times. How can i make her feel appreciated, what advice can i give her to get out of this funk? i don't think she is depressed and i don't want to be insensitive and just say get a hobby. Any advice is appreciated & thank you!

You moms have one of the hardest jobs out there and i know its hard to juggle kids, husband and house, so thank you for everything you do!

Last edited by Alex43; 12-15-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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#2 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 10:28 AM
 
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The best thing you can do is listen. Just listen. Allow her the luxury of actually being heard. Not dismissed because you think she shouldn't feel the way she does because from your persoective her life is great. And not try to solve the problem or fix her. And allow yourself to consider that she may actually be depressed. While mothering is fulfilling it is not the end all be all for some women. How would you feel if you never used your degree? Even though you did something very valuable with your time and energy? It may actually be hard for her to feel like she is not valued outside of what she does for you, your boys and your home. As the boys get older, she will have to deal with who she is outside of raising them. And what her identity is outside of wife and mother. Because the mothering job will end. At least fulltime. Then what? How old is she? Maybe she is considering that question now in light of where she is in her life (age wise) as well.

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#3 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 10:37 AM
 
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No advice but I am wondering if you could clone yourself and come find me 😁

Bring back the old MDC
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#4 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you

My wife is 43 years old
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#5 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 01:01 PM
 
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Maybe she would like to go back to work part-time, or at least volunteer in her field. Her children are older now and it might be that time! Would you support that?
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#6 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post
Maybe she would like to go back to work part-time, or at least volunteer in her field. Her children are older now and it might be that time! Would you support that?
I would support it 100% actually i have encouraged it! i talked with her about Starbucks and Jamba Juice because they offer health insurance on part time work, but she wants and needs to be challenged not just kill time. She is a very smart woman and finding the work she want with the flexibility she wants is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

I like the volunteer idea and i will approach her with it...i have a feeling she will say she already volunteers (at the kids school)
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#7 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 03:45 PM
 
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Your wife talks about her degree being wasted. She is obviously a professional, so working at Starbucks is exactly the wrong thing to suggest to her. Making drinks for whiny people is exactly the kind of drudgery she has at home. She obviously wants to search for opportunities to use her training.

I don't know what her field is. Is it possible for her to get involved in her field somehow, keeping an eye on what opens up?
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#8 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 05:00 PM
 
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I was a SAHM for many, many years (14). For most of that time, I loved it. Then there was a period when I was done, but the kids weren't done with me. I eventually went back to work, and then decided I wanted a career change from what I had done pre kids, and I'm finishing up a different degree this year.


My advice -- get serious about a plan (even if it is a multi year plan) for your family to transition to its next stage. This stage involves your wife having a life beyond your family which uses many of her attributes that honestly just aren't needed at home. She is telling you she's done. Listen to that. She may be speaking the truth to you. Quit trying to talk her out of it.


Part of transitioning is about you and your kids growing up, and about you taking over some of the stuff she does during the day, and about seriously considering to what degree your kids are getting spoiled by mom doing things for them rather than learning how to really function as a team. Then there is the question of what someone else could be paid to do that she is currently doing.


There are jobs with flexibility, and work from home jobs. There is the option of a regular job *with you also making changes so she isn't the default for everything from dental visits to oil changes*.


I could be wrong about you, but since you said, "She is doing a fantastic job raising our boys" I suspect that I'm not. You guys are supposed to be raising the kids and running the home together.


She's burned out from doing the same job for 12 years. Give her space to figure out what her next step is. May be she needs to take some classes. May be she needs to do some contracting.


But rather than giving suggestions such as "get a job that pays minimum wage where you still wait on people" give her support and encourage to be the intelligent, independent woman you were attracted to in the first place. Helping her find balance in her life will require greater balance in your whole family, but ultimately, that's a good thing.
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#9 of 16 Old 12-15-2014, 10:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alex43 View Post
My wife is 43 years old
I'm 44 and, to another poster's point, have been doing essentially the same job for the past 17 years. I would love to change. To being a SAHM, in fact! But, I digress . . . point being, she is likely considering what will her "second act" be? And I completely agree that were she a professional prior to having kids, that a service position is not going to be the change her intellect is apparently craving.

Kudos to you for seeking a way to support her during this season of change.

Mama to a dd 10/05; ds 3/09, dd 2/15 and two angels. Expecting another miracle 7/16!
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#10 of 16 Old 12-16-2014, 05:10 AM
 
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I agree...

Our job is a strange one as a job well done essentially works us out of job. There is no raise, no promotion, no gold watch...but plenty of laundry.

I think her soul is screaming for something...her intellect is need of a challenge.
A job at Jamba Juice seems like...not soul gratifying work.

I say...art! As Gaimen says, "make good art!"
Volunteer, pottery, jewlery, acting, painting, knitting for the shelter...who knows...there maybe something in it.

What's more I think she needs to ask herself...way back, before the kids, what would she have done. It's time get back to that. What was her degree in?

I also think you and the kids should throw her a party that validates her work thus far and to get her thinking about her next move. Whether its just you guys or the whole neighborhood is up to you. Something dramatic that stirs the pot, so to speak.
You could get her the zenpencil's book to inspire her to think about it. It will be a hard shift for her to focus on herself (and not see herself as a withering vine) but that's what she needs to do.
(Actually, from a parenting stand point, it's a good thing as it will teach the child to validate and respect this in there future partners and develop respect for her work all these years...in case you need the talking point. ^_^)

But then again...I might be projecting. ^.^

(She isn't claiming to be bored. She is bored.)

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#11 of 16 Old 12-16-2014, 06:35 AM
 
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I'm guessing she feels like her full time mothering job is not feeling so full time anymore. A professional job (or at least fullfilling volunteer position) would probably be a good place to start. No one goes to college with the intent of working at a fast food place. Maybe she could start with jobs or internships in the field she has her degree in? If that doesn't interest her, how about substitute teaching, freelance writing, or CASA volounteer? Ask her where she sees herself in 5 years, and start looking into what it would take to get there.


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#12 of 16 Old 12-16-2014, 08:19 AM
 
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One of the PP's said something that I think is very important. Mainly, listen to her. If you know reflective listening skills and can do it a little without sounding cardboard, she'll know she is being heard. I would not make suggestions unless she asks you for them. It's really unlikely that if she's having an existential crisis that she's turning to you to solve it; that kind of solution needs to come from within.

What I would do is to make sure she knows you are there to hear her. At the most, ask her if she is at the point where she wants to start thinking about an action plan. You might start by saying something like, "I will support you if you want to make plans to do something new in your life. I know both our roles might have to change." But only if you mean it. Even if she doesn't feel ready to think about what to do next, that might open up a door for her to begin to think about a way to help herself feel more purposeful.

She may feel career life has passed her by. Depending on what she wants to do, that's just not necessarily true. There are some fields where it's tough to get started if you don't whiz in right out of college, but definitely not all fields. The program I work with just hired 5 new social workers. Three are fresh out of social work school, and two of those are older. Older as in have adult children. One changed careers, the other not only changed careers but straightened himself out after years of substance abuse. The two older recent grads rock at their jobs! I have a friend who changed careers to become an artist in her late 30's. I have another friend who, after early retirement, got a job akin to Starbucks but also pursued coaching basketball, largely on a volunteer basis.

Your wife is telling you she needs an action plan, but that's not the first step. The first step is gathering the courage to do it.
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#13 of 16 Old 01-25-2015, 10:40 PM
 
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I think the best thing you can do is support her, and realize that her feelings are valid. She wants to explore something new. Many of my friends who were SAHMs for 10+ years have been seeking jobs outside the home, especially when the younger kids go To elementary school. I think it's very normal. Perhaps you could help her prepare a resume, look at job ads, think and strategies for maybe getting some training.
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#14 of 16 Old 02-13-2015, 12:43 AM
 
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I was in the same situation at one time. The worst thing she could do is get a part time job that doesn't mean anything to her. I got one and it was just soul crushing. Quit after a month. Then I started volunteering at an animal shelter, which was much better. I did fund raising, adoption events, helped out on rescues, it was just what I needed. DH and I would find a way that I could volunteer at least twice a month. After that it kind of rejuvenated me. I started freelance writing (something I did in college) and took on more responsibility with the shelter. I think she needs to take a good look at what she's passionate about and then you two find a way to get that into her life.

Have her check out a neat website called www.meetup.com. Maybe she can find something there.
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#15 of 16 Old 02-20-2015, 06:19 AM
 
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wow, what a great husband, can you talk to mine? joking, sort of. Anyway, I think that these mamas above me said exactly what I would have said. Personally, as a artist, I have the same feelings as your wife, wanting to more that just mom stuff, I dont mean "just" mom stuff to degrade what we do, its just all that i do . I want to be creative, make some art, take some photo shoots, write some short stories, get good at something new like break dancing (i know, sounds a little crazy)... i think she wants to express herself in a new way... if she wants a challenge, maybe she could start her own business in her field?

Be Good Family =)
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#16 of 16 Old 09-12-2015, 02:25 PM
 
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I think everyone else has great ideas. I mostly agree with listening to her, and not trying to fix her problems. She's a smart lady and she doesn't need you to do this for her. She does need your support, though. I mean full body, mind and TIME support. Not just a "Sure honey, whatever you want."

Mostly I wanted to reply to say thank you, on behalf of myself, your wife, and other SAHMs. THANK YOU for reaching out to others to find help for the woman you love, when you can see so clearly that she is struggling. It says so much about you to come here and ask something like this. Thank you for supporting and loving your wife while she gave up 12 years for the benefit of your family. You obviously appreciate it. Now it's your turn to give up a few things for her.

ETA: I totally just realised that this thread is months old. Sorry about that!


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