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
. 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.