Struggling. A lot. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 07-06-2015, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Struggling. A lot.

I have a 6- and almost 9-year old. Love them more than anything. Love my husband too. He works hard and is a super husband (plays with the kids, cooks dinner, etc).

So why the heck am I so depressed? I feel overwhelmed with housework... bored... lonely.... like my dreams and potential are being wasted.


I get so angry at people who say that moms should work, but I'm starting to feel that way myself. I get nothing but rude comments and disrespect from society for being a stay at home mom. Although I feel like it's the best thing for my kids, I just cannot handle this much longer.


I don't know what to do. Nobody will hire me (I tried looking for a job a few months ago). Nobody wants a depressed 30-something whose working hours are very limited because of all my kids' activities and appointments. I don't even know how working moms do it. I don't know the first thing about daycare or how to arrange for a babysitter. It all seems so foreign.


I cry all day and I'm a terrible mom because I am so depressed I have no energy or motivation to do anything with my kids. I'm seeing a therapist, who is no help at all,and I was on meds for years and they didn't work (also made me gain 50 pounds) so I quit them.


I feel like I'm on the verge of having an affair or divorcing my husband or doing something insane just to feel alive.

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#2 of 22 Old 07-06-2015, 12:28 PM
 
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I'm so sorry and I understand you well, and I think that many other members here do too.

What (I think) you are seeing is the shocking reality of the patriarchy. Being a SAHM is a very low socioeconomic position in society. I had some ideas about what I wanted my life to be and they included being a mother. It didn't include being invisible, being a servant, being disrespected, being abandoned to the child care duties. Welcome to the real world.

There are probably as many strategies as there are mothers. Find yours. Mine has been to be an activist for women and families in any way I can, including simply educating myself, participating here, teaching my daughter how to avoid pitfalls and work for change. I also took up some "hobbies" or interests that were not really my first preference but which offered opportunity, such as running my household with zealous economy, learning to sew and garden, and taking up yoga to give me a convenient healthy activity to reduce stress.

I have eventually realized that my goal in life has always been to be the best person I can be, no matter what. I imagined that would be cultivating my strengths and would result in certain trappings. In reality I just took the opportunities that I had at hand and did what I could with that, and I intend to do so until I depart this beautiful life

My child is an adult now and I have half my life (I hope) ahead of me still, so there is still plenty of time for personal investment on the other side of those 20 intensive years of childrearing.
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#3 of 22 Old 07-07-2015, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the kind response. I feel better today. Sometimes things just get to me.... but I feel super blessed to be able to stay home with my kids while they are little. I think it goes both ways... stay at home moms have doubts about not working, working moms have doubts about working. And both have pressure from people who see things differently. I guess that's the natural result of a world where women have so many choices. And that can be a good thing
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#4 of 22 Old 07-10-2015, 06:50 AM
 
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Since your availability is limited, maybe you could find some volunteer work you'd enjoy. Of course you wouldn't be making money, but you'd get a chance to get out of the house and feel like you are using your skills. And it might even lead to a job opportunity (or at least a good reference and something to put on your resume) down the line.
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#5 of 22 Old 07-10-2015, 09:56 AM
 
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Do you have a hobby? Do you ever go get a mani/pedi or spend time with friends sans kids?

I am a HUGE believer in being a SAHM. It was very fulfilling to me, but I did need time for myself. Now that the kids are much older, I work and am in college and still make time for myself...along with being very present in their daily lives. Maybe you don't need a job, you just need to take better care of you. (((hugs)))
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#6 of 22 Old 07-12-2015, 08:03 PM
 
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I am a single mom, but I am currently staying home to finish up my degree. My days can be very overwhelming with 4 kids at home and being on my own. I am lucky I can stay home because of substantial child support and help from my mom and I don't have to rely on federal or state assistance. I was feeling down on myself for being home, even though I am going to school and raising 4 kids is tough on my own. I felt a lot better when I started a small veggie garden with my kids, it's something we do together and I can do it on my own. I also started doing yoga at home, eating better and make it a point to do something for myself once a week, even if it's just a bath and a glass of wine after the kids are in bed.. point is,, it's much needed me time and we all need that. When I was married and my older 3 kids were babies, all 3 born in just under 4 years, I felt terrible. At that time, school, work, a garden, were not options where we lived as a military family. I joined playgroups, mommy and me's, free programs at the local library and museums to get out of the house and utilized forums such as this for support.
I hope things start looking up for you
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#7 of 22 Old 07-12-2015, 08:53 PM
 
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It is true that mother's work is considered the equivalent of watching tv all day even though it requires a significant amount of emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical requirements. Especially when kids are little (which is all I know right now).

My suggestions mimic the rest. Find some small life changes that can greatly benefit you. It is deeply personal, but I find that when I do certain things I'm more balanced, WAY happier, grateful, and all over a better person (nicer to be around). Some of the things I do are: write three pages a day (usually free venting & then end with all the things I'm grateful for), yoga, getting out of the house, gardening (potted plants on a patio), doing something new each week or every few weeks, being mindful, and going for walks.

I don't do all of those every week, sometimes I do them rarely, but I know they make me feel much better and so I need to remind myself to do them. Really I need to get into the habit of doing things. I think this is a common problem in our culture. Either people are hyper busy all the time or people find themselves unable to pursue things that really matter to them, to cultivate dreams and goals. If you no longer remember what makes you happy, take your time to figure it out. Play. Do silly things you used to love to do. There are some great books that discuss cultivating a creative and happy life with small changes. I've gotten them at my library before and you could probably find them - if interested let me know.

I think that it sounds like you are in a rut. There are lots of other things you could do too - sometimes it just takes some freedom from what you "think" you should or shouldn't be doing to find out what you love to do and to be happy.

As far as depression, please make sure you are eating really well. Lots of veggies and fruits and high quality protein. Try to take some Omega 3s. Eating protein for breakfast and taking an Omega 3 reduced my baseline almost constant anxiety to nonexistent. (Ok, well also getting into yoga and making sure I ate much better also had an impact.) Good luck and let us know if you find anything that makes you feel better.
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#8 of 22 Old 07-14-2015, 04:09 AM
 
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For me it isn't just about being alive...but noticed, validated, appreciated. The part that gets me...they think I like cleaning (hello kitties' mom's fav activity: cleaning...b*tch, please)

Terrible moms starve their children, beat them, humiliate them...moms get through!
Having emotions and reacting to them doesn't make you terrible. It makes you a woman frustrated by an undervalued, non paying job, that (if you do it right) you are working yourself out of a job.

There is a reason why Valium became so popular in the 1950s!
Hugs not drugs!
I know you don't want medication...me either...consider an herbalist.

What are your dreams? What would you do if you...were in control of your own existence?

One thing I've started doing is picking something for me that we do. So...you go to music, you go to soccer, I go try on sunglasses for 15 minutes or whatever. I sit with the calendar and plan. The rules are simple. I am going to do this for me, you Will behave. If I have to talk to you about your behavior or if you "ruin" my moment...I get a whole other moment. It doesn't always work but making them think of it as dividing up time between all of us helps them see me as human. I have also given into imperfection as it helps them see me as human.

My local gallery has adult workshops. We look at the artwork then go back and make something. It feels like a thousand classes I've taken them to but IT'S FOR ME. Do you have something like this?
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#9 of 22 Old 07-14-2015, 07:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaprovides View Post
For me it isn't just about being alive...but noticed, validated, appreciated. The part that gets me...they think I like cleaning
A lot of kids learn this from the other adults in their lives, such as the man of the house and extended family. My SIL disrespects (and dislikes) me and being a SAHM is her favorite angle. Very subtle behavior and commentary when she socialized with our family, ignoring me and putting down my opinions because I don't have a job and am "sponging" off her brother. I decided to distance myself from her and from other family members who don't respect me, not just for my own dignity, but so that she didn't affect my daughter's opinion of me. The straw was when I got my own computer since my husband was often working on the one we had. My SIL's expression of incredulity and sarcasm over dinner were echoed the next day by my 8-yr-old "What do you need a desk for?"

It can be an uphill battle trying to get respect from adults. The children aren't the ones who made being a SAHM a relatively powerless position, they get this message over again from everywhere. Eliminate this kind of flak from your family life, it's a political creation.

EDIT: I use the term "flak" specifically here, in the political sense. From Wikipedia: "The term 'flak' has been used to describe what Chomsky and Herman see as efforts to discredit organizations or individuals who disagree with or cast doubt on the prevailing assumptions... favorable to established power." A SAHM who uses or demands social power, and is receiving a response oriented to proscribe and limit her to the societally defined role of a non-economic, relatively powerless wife-and-mother-homemaker is getting political "flak."
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Last edited by pumabearclan; 07-14-2015 at 11:57 AM.
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#10 of 22 Old 07-18-2015, 08:01 PM
 
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I took the kids on some errands a couple of weeks ago. There were three store employees and they were NOT at all busy. But because we're loud, and because I'm constantly trying to reign the kids in, ("Stay where I can see you." "No, we can't buy that." "Uh-oh! That's breaky!!"), I got lots of glares from them. Not one of them said what you're taught in Retail 101: "Hello, may I help you?"

At that point, the depressing thought occurred to me that we're stuck at home. When we finally leave the home, the world is often hostile and unwelcoming to us and would rather see us stuck at home.

I could commiserate for hours, but I'll get to the productive part. What's ultimately important that you do something to develop your identity and humanity. Pull out a community ed course catalog, or look for ideas on meetup.com or volunteermatch.org.

Just go about it carefully. If you take a community ed class, make sure that it's fun and stimulating but doesn't involve too much homework. (Let's just say that I won't be attempting Mandarin again for awhile! ) If you join a book group, make sure you genuinely like the reading list because reading time is so hard to come by for SAHMs and should be used on reading what you love. If you volunteer, make sure that you're not in one more SAHMish role of others (usually your "employers") taking you for granted as you put others' needs above your own. If you're an athlete or getting in shape, set realistic goals.

Another though: Break away for a weekend alone. Stay in a beach condo, a B&B in the country, or whatever is near you. Bring a book, craft project, or a DVD that no one in the family would watch with you. Order take out from a restaurant where you couldn't normally eat because the kids would hate it. Paint your toenails. Or don't if that's not your thing.

As SAHMs, we have to fight to keep or identities. But it's a worthwhile fight.
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#11 of 22 Old 07-18-2015, 08:13 PM
 
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I run a small public library in a rural area. Story hour every week is an opportunity for mothers to get out of the house and into a friendly space where they can talk to other adults and not have to be full on with the kids. And it is free. Plus, public libraries have lots of helpful resources. Entertaining light reading--even 15 minutes a day of reading something for fun can help your sanity. Free videos. Exercise videos. Books on doing yoga with your toddler. Craft books. Cook books. Music.

I think sometimes people don't think of a library as a place to escape to when things get crazy.

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#12 of 22 Old 08-02-2015, 07:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by larali View Post
I have a 6- and almost 9-year old. Love them more than anything. Love my husband too. He works hard and is a super husband (plays with the kids, cooks dinner, etc).

So why the heck am I so depressed? I feel overwhelmed with housework... bored... lonely.... like my dreams and potential are being wasted.


I get so angry at people who say that moms should work, but I'm starting to feel that way myself. I get nothing but rude comments and disrespect from society for being a stay at home mom. Although I feel like it's the best thing for my kids, I just cannot handle this much longer.


I don't know what to do. Nobody will hire me (I tried looking for a job a few months ago). Nobody wants a depressed 30-something whose working hours are very limited because of all my kids' activities and appointments. I don't even know how working moms do it. I don't know the first thing about daycare or how to arrange for a babysitter. It all seems so foreign.


I cry all day and I'm a terrible mom because I am so depressed I have no energy or motivation to do anything with my kids. I'm seeing a therapist, who is no help at all,and I was on meds for years and they didn't work (also made me gain 50 pounds) so I quit them.


I feel like I'm on the verge of having an affair or divorcing my husband or doing something insane just to feel alive.
I read your post you are not alone. I'm a mother of two my husband walked out on us. It's horrible. I understand how you feel. I stay at home and I work most of the time on my business it helps me to focus on my goals. Someday's I'm ok other days I break down. It's tough. Hope you can find something you enjoy. I'm open to talk anytime if you need a friend.

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#13 of 22 Old 09-08-2015, 02:30 AM
 
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I am so sorry that you feel that way But believe me, you are not alone. You just need to find different ways to keep yourself busy, like doing some volunteer work. It helps a LOT.
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#14 of 22 Old 09-10-2015, 06:47 PM
 
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I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time. Everyone has feelings of doubting what they do or feeling like it isn't good enough. It is likely that even if you were working, you might still feel that you don't measure up to whatever you are comparing yourself to. I know it helps me to stay active mentally. Things like book clubs, volunteer work (I am active in a community chorus), doing something you enjoy that also keeps you in the adult world and feeling sharp. I found that local churches also have a lot to offer SAHM's. There are often great volunteer opportunities and if you are interested in apologetics, that can be a great way to sharpen your mind as well, studying in groups with other adults. I find that being a SAHM is valued in that environment, as many see motherhood as a great vocation, in and of itself. Hope you feel better. You also might want to look into taking Vitamin D and getting your thyroid checked. Being sure you exercise regularly, eat nutritiously, etc. Just take care of yourself. I know its hard as a mom.

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#15 of 22 Old 09-11-2015, 10:12 AM
 
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I have so, SO been there only I had anger issues instead of depression. I joined alanon (I have many alcoholics in my life) so a support group setting was the right solution for me. There are also support groups for depression. I made a ton of friends in alanon - many of them artists like me- and we started our own writing groups and creative recovery groups and I started acting and writing again! Today, I'd say I'm through the woods, but there is another group that id like to check out called Underearners Anonymous because my ultimate goal is to write and act professionally. However, community theater has been a lifesaver for me. My kids are happier because I am happier. I wish you love and hope.
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#16 of 22 Old 09-11-2015, 06:48 PM
 
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It sounds like you suffer from serious depression. I am with the people that say diet and exercise is paramount. I was pretty much broke when my kids were young and many a beans and rice and cornbread got served. If you can afford a nutribullet get one and make at least one blast a day. Use nuts in your drinks as they support brain health. Take Omega 3 capsules or fish capsules if you are a non vegan. Limit dairy and meat in your diet.Drink lots of water. Buy some exercise CDS and do them at home with the kids. My kids and grandkids love to exercise with me. Is your husband off weekends. Let him "pick up the slack" those days to give you some you time. Change your therapist. Dont give up till you find a good one. I know most people here dont agree with meds but there is a certain percentage of the population that suffer from real depression that originates in the activity in their brains. Keep searching till you find the right concoction for you. There is no shame in depression. It is a serious mental illness. It sounds like your situation just triggers the depression. Again there is no shame. You are not a bad mom. Your struggle is real and more common than you think. Try to find support groups in your area for sahm and or depression. Do your kids go to school. Try and find some work at fast food. They usually have accomadating schedules. I use to work fast food at eves and nights and my husband stayed with the kids then. I was with them in the day when he was at work. We did not see a lot of each other but grown ups makes sacrifices for their kids. The years pass quickly. Soon they will be old enough to be at home alone a few hours while you work. I am 61 and have grandkids and it starts all over again lol. I am very involved but I choose to be. I am not sorry that my kids were at home with one parent or the other. The sacrifices were real but worth it.
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#17 of 22 Old 09-12-2015, 12:08 PM
 
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I've been where you are. :(

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I've been where you are...miserable, exhausted, unfulfilled, lonely. Ugh ugh ugh.

Several years ago I made some big, scary changes that helped me move out of the darkness. And now I'm able to help others do the same. I have a FB group devoted to moms like you, if you'd like to join. bit.ly/revsahm

Ashley
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#18 of 22 Old 09-12-2015, 01:15 PM
 
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Here are so many inspiring ideas on here about how to revive the SAHM experience. I know everyone is different so for some, exercise will help a lot, for others maybe a creative outlet. Or just being alone for an hour. I think the key to making any change, is to start small. Add an hour a week to your schedule, for example, and when it becomes a routine that your family life has adopted, then try to branch out more. When my eldest was very young I tried so many things to get used to being at home, but got overwhelmed. I found that I had to follow a pretty strict morning routine in order to get some time for myself to exercise (which is what I need to stay sane). Then I let my kids dictate the afternoon time to their interests/mood.
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#19 of 22 Old 09-12-2015, 02:28 PM
 
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I read somewhere about research showing how SAHMs are prone to depression, and moms working outside the home are prone to anxiety. So it's win-win for us moms, right? @larali Please check in and let us know how you're doing.

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#20 of 22 Old 09-21-2015, 06:29 AM
 
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I have no advice, but wanted you to know you are definitely not alone. Going through this now also. It sucks.
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#21 of 22 Old 09-27-2015, 10:54 PM
 
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I was where you were in from November until January. My DH is super supportive and when I told him how I was feeling and what I wanted to do about it, he said whatever you think will make you happy. So I went to my doctor, did some blood tests, and got on an anti depressant within a week. It can take awhile (up to 12 weeks) for the anti depressant to become fully effective, but my god, so worth it. My quality of life just shot straight up after that. Now, this was a final resort for me, and it may not be right for you. But I would strongly urge you, if you can, to get professional help. I hope this helps.
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#22 of 22 Old 11-25-2015, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wrote a long post and lost it when my internet connection went out-- blah!

Anyway, I just came back to this forum after months and saw all these sweet replies. Thank you all so much.

Since I made this post back in July (can't believe I have been struggling with this for so long!) I have done a couple of things.

First, I've decided to start a little business. I'm super excited about it. It will give me a creative outlet, something to bump up my self-esteem, while being able to stay home with my kids.

Second, my husband and I are thinking about having a third child.

So, things are generally looking up.

But I want to say this: this is just how I'm personally dealing with the issue. I don't want to make it sound like all moms need to work, or have more kids, in order to feel fulfilled. My mom and grandmother were perfectly happy being a mom as their sole occupation, and I love and respect them so much for that! I think that we are all on our own path, and we moms need to do what is right for us, in order to stay sane and healthy for our kids and families. I support ALL moms, no matter what you decide to do.

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