SAHMs - are you stressed? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying really, really hard to relate to my SIL.

She is a SAHM with 2 lil' ones, a 18 month old and a 4 yo. The 4 yo goes to preschool 3 days a week for 4 hours at a time. She lives in a 4500 sq ft. home, her dh makes gooood $, she has a cleaning lady that comes to do heavy duty cleaning every other week, my ILs watch the kids atleast once a week so they can go out - sometimes over night. This past weekend she was looking really tired - we got to talking and she says she is just so stressed out with the kids and everything - they seem to be waking her up 1-2 times a night : and she just can't get everything done that she wants to.

Maybe I'm missing something - I live a similar life, plus a kid, a dog, massive volunteer work, kids are with me 100%, dh and I haven't been out alone for ?? years, we cosleep, kids wake up at all hours (or the dog, or dh sleep walking) - so I just don't get it, the cleaning lasy is me (and MAN she sucks! )!

Do you know any SAHMs that are stressed about life as a SAHM?
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#2 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 01:51 AM
 
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to the max!!!

I decided to take on a per diem job to help out with extra costs which has now resulted in me feelin glike crap. We have extra money ut the house looks like crap and so do I.

My husband is not happy. Just about everything. But we are getting along.

I fell like I've made the wrong decision in commitin gmyself to something that is not in our family's benefit- althoug I thought it would.

I am soooo confused about my place in this world.

I have not finished my Christmas shopping and don't know when I will, if I will.

I'm stressed out about the worlds problems -to top it all off.
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#3 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 01:51 AM
 
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nak
I am. It's just the lack of time away and adult contact. Sounds like she has a pretty reasonable set up for herself though.
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#4 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 01:53 AM
 
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um yes. very stressed out. though in my case it's situational.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#5 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:00 AM
 
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Totally stressed but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being a SAHM, and having all the little unexpected joys that my children bring me because one day they won't be little anymore.

A friend once told me...there's a time and season to everything. I know my babies won't be little for long, so I'm just trying to enjoy them and know that one day I can do the things that I used to enjoy...
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#6 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:00 AM
 
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Very stressed! In my case right now a lot of my stress is coming from something else.

Sounds like she has something great going on for her though.
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#7 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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hmm I am not sure why you roll your eyes at this
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they seem to be waking her up 1-2 times a night : and she just can't get everything done that she wants to.
My life sounds like you SIL's (or it was like your sil's in the recent past) and having kids is stressfull. If they do not sleep through the night it doesn't matter that your house is clean or you have a fat paycheck- you are exhausted and miserable.
I found that I need LOTS of sleep just to be a normal functioning person- with a few nights of interupted sleep- much more weeks of it- I feel crazed and nearly delusional and suicidal.
That is just me and probably many other moms. We get tired and drag our butts through the day. I always revel at the ppl that think that SAHMs should be energized because they do not have a paycheck job. I beg to differ- working with kids- 24 hours a day is emotionally and physically draining. I understand that you are SAHM too and comparing your life to your rich SIL- but there really is no comparison. She may have kids that drive her bananas- their temperments (hers and the children) may not be as in tune as your children are with you. I don't really know, I just know that we are all different people and ALL of us that choose to raise our small children instead of earning paycheck are doing hard work that shouldn't have to be validated. If she says she's tired, then she's tired, respect that.

ELY -Mommy to many

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#8 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:06 AM
 
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I am very stressed.....babe is getting all of his molars in at once and nothing helps.
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#9 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to clarify - I rolled my eyes because i WISH that was all I was being woken up to at night! My llil' one, 18 mos, nurses about 4+ times a night - plus my dh is a MAJOR sleep walked and he has me up several times a night -

I guess I was just felling a little "what could you possibly be stressed bout!?" after talking to her. Her dh gets up with the kids in the AM before he goes to work so that she can sleep in - he makes breakfast every SAt...etc...

But you all are right - everyone is diff. and I shouldn't be judging her as I'm not in her shoes. Perhaps I need to look at this diff. and realize that whatever the situation is - she is tressed...I think I'll email her and ask if she wants me to take the kids for an afternoon so she can just chill.
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#10 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:14 AM
 
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I live with stress everyday. I'm a SAHM, we co-sleep and DD is with me 100% of the time. We sleep together, eat together and even shower together. I love her dearly, but I could use a break every once in awhile.
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#11 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:28 AM
 
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i think its quite possible to be stressed in any situation.

for some weird reason, i'm not stressed at all right now! A++
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#12 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 02:33 AM
 
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If my daughter was still waking up in the middle of the night at 18 months old I think I would be a little stressed out too I was really relieved when she started sleeping through the night at 3 months, I'm just one of those people who gets really grumpy without sleep and it makes it harder for me to deal with tiny little things that normally wouldn't bug me if I haven't got my sleep.

If it weren't for that I could see where you're coming from with all the extra help she has but everybody's different and has different levels of patience.
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#13 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 09:40 AM
 
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I think a big bank account and house don't make stress go away. I think it would be nice if you asked her about it, it could be something you could really relate to! Maybe she's stressed at upholding the image that goes with the house? You never know.
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#14 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 10:10 AM
 
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Stress has nothing to do with the circumstances a person is in, but on how the person perceives those circumstances. What stresses one person out will seem like cake to another. It doesn't make one better or worse than another, it just is.

I'm a SAHM and I'm stressed to the max these days. I don't have some of the things that your SIL has, ie a cleaning lady, financial security, etc but it's not that that's stressing me anyhow. Yeah, my baby's still up a couple times/night and my house is a disaster. That's just become normal for me. I'm stressed about dh and I not connecting, my 3yo being sick for the last 6days, me finding something to do that's my own so that I can feel like a whole person, etc.
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#15 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 10:13 AM
 
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Everyone can handle different things. There may also be things in her life that you dont know about.....debt.....marriage arguments.....any number of things. Maybe she has depression, who knows.

People probably think the same thing as me....I am a stress case right now and I only have ONE child. I am overdue and miserable with baby #2, my 3 y/o is throwing horrible tantrums about EVERYTHING and I just want to rip my own head off some days. I am sure there are people saying "oh what's her problem, she still only has one kid." but they also dont live here and dont deal with the same things that I do so unless they want to offer to come over and help out......they can keep it to themselves. LOL

Desiree

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#16 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 10:22 AM
 
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You bet I'm stressed. I'm mostly stressed about finances though. Being a SAH single mom doesn't really mix well. LOL. The sheer thought of having to go to work (as a nanny so I can bring ds) does my head in. I'm stressed with just my one special/high needs child, I truly can't imagine having to care for someone else's child too. sigh.
Plus, I don't sleep through the night. We cosleep and maybe that has a lot to do with it. I've always had trouble sleeping though.

Stress really is a personal thing though. Everyone handles stress differently. Some people are naturally carefree (not me) and some people are more......er.....sensitive (totally me). I worry about everything.

On top of it all, I'm lonely for a lasting relationship with a man. Yep, I admit it, I'm a 'lonely guy'. hahah.

Now, it's time for caffeine.
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#17 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 10:46 AM
 
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Some people have better coping skills than others. Some deal with stress and chaos (even their own percieved chaos) better than others. I've had to learn to curb my when people I know have a lot less "stressors" than I do but handle them horrifically. I have VERY good stress coping skills, so I tend to forget others necessarily don't have that skill as well as I do.

Ahhh tea the essence of life.
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#18 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:00 AM
 
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I know tons of moms who are stressed, SAHMs, WAHMs, WOHMs I know quite a few SAHMs who have taken to working part time to get "a break" from it all.

Am I personally stressed? RIght now, a resounding "hell yes!" I'm also 34 weeks pregannt, trying valiantly to be done with any preparation by 36 weeks. I have a toddler who can play happily by himself or at my side most of the time, but the past few weeks, not so much. My oldest is in school, but that doens't really do much in the way of de-stressing. Am I normally stressed when not trying to prepare for a new baby while coping with a toddler who cannot go to sleep? Nah, nottoo much, but that's more my personality than anything. I am WAY laid back. I'm very patient and peaceful. If I weren't, I assure you'd I'd have checked myself into some therapy long ago. I'm notjust a SAHM, I'm a Stuck-at-home-mom. Neither my DH nor myself can drive. We live in the almost-boonies with basically no neighbors and nothing anywhere nearby that isn't at least a ten-minute car drive. So I'm almost always here. I get out to go to births and do interviews, but, that's not really "getting away from it all". Until a year ago, my DH was gone over 14 hours a day, 5-6 days a week and I was feelin' a little stressed. Mostly I feel lonely, but not too stressed. My days are really pretty much too dull to be stressful, but it happens.

I think the SAHM gig has the potential to be very stressful, espcially for women who were out in the world before they started. I graduated high school and started having babies, so I know nothing else and that's just how I wanted it. I alsothink that a lot of women aren't prepared mentally for this gig. We think how awesome to be homew ith our children but we don't really know what we're asking foruntil we get here. I'm a firm beleiver that if at all possible, at least one parent should be home with children. If they are going nuts doing it, then by all means, go out and do something else, but try it first. Home is home. I think SAHMs would be greatly served if they saw the day-to-day of SAHMhood *before* they became one. It doesn't usuallyhappen like that unless they themselves came froma home with an at-home parent, and even then, I think more women need to see it beforehand. That made me think of an episode of "Roseanne" where she took a class of students home with her for a day to show them what she did each day -- cooking, cleaning, preparing things, all that stuff. It was funny BUT Ithought it was a great idea and I wish that more young people got to experience stuff like that before they got out and dive into it.

Namaste, Tara
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#19 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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Yes I am stressed.

I think a huge house would stress me out a lot. I'd be worried about whether I could continue to afford the fuel costs, the cleaning lady, worried about continuing to pay the massive mortgage.

I have struggled with envy of other moms who have more...more cleaning help, more house, more money....but they really are more like me than different, I have grown to learn.

This is just one more reason to put people before things as LLL says....it cuts both ways. If you have a lot, it can put a wedge between you and moms with a more simple lifestyle if either of you lets that happen. That is worth fighting against.

Also the lack of positive feedback can be VERY stressful as a SAHM. Who am I? How will I fill the void when my kids grow up? Who do I want to be when they fly the nest? Will anyone want to hire me after years at home? Will I make as much as dh? etc.

And the isolation can be a killer.

Still wouldn't trade the job though!

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#20 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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Oh yeah, and then some! My 5 year old is in school all day but I have my own 11 month old, another 11 month old that I watch, plus a 4 year old that goes to pre-k. What does that mean? Bundle up the two babies and two kids for walk to school for kindergarten at 8am. Then bundle up babies and 4 year old for walk to same school for pre-k at 11:45am. Then bundle babies up AGAIN for walk to same school to pick up 5 year old and 4 year old at 2:10pm. SOOOO. . . . .ladies, that means I'm at that dang school 3 times a day with two 11 month olds who are beginning walkers and HATE being restrained in the stroller but being 11 months old, they are not capable of walking down the driveway, much less down the street to the school. And being 11 months old, they are NOT good at waiting for the older kids. So we bring lots of finger foods and playsilks for peek-a-boo! Add that to the constant children up my butt all day long and the demands of having an in-home licensed daycare(unannounced inspections!), and you have a recipe for stress. And that doesn't include being a military family so dh can be recalled at any minute to go back to work, deploy, etc. My house HAS to be clean and sanitary to pass inspection but that doesn't happen easily with 4 kids(2 being babies) running through it all day long. It's a very very stressful life! And we don't have any family support within 800miles and no babysitter so dh and I can't remember the last time we went out!

Meg

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#21 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:23 AM
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Yup stressed here too.

Between taking care of a 2yr old and being treated like a 2yr old when it comes to money, yeah it's pretty stressful.

Oh yeah, living on a base full of "mainstream" women, no adult contact for the sake of my sanity...mommy wars abound on a base....and I'm not into that....

Oh yeah I gotta shovel the driveway later....
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#22 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:26 AM
 
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Stress can also come from anxiety. I have a pretty good set-up here, though DH is away 3-4 days a week & we have no family close by. No help with the house, but we plan to work that into the budget this summer.

Even though I have my healthy beautiful children, am married to my soulmate, and we finally found our dream house...I sometimes seem to wake up feeling like my whole body is clenched. I worry about things that really don't merit the kind of attention I give them, and I'm just crackeling with stress.

Usually, it's a lack of sleep, not eating enough healthy foods, having had a cup of coffee (sadly, I can't tolerate it as I used to) or sugary foods. I just feel miserable. I've learned to treat it like I would the flu...rest, fluids, nourishing foods, soft music, and not expecting to get *everything* done *perfectly* until I feel better.

Sometimes, though, it's the strain of trying to keep up the myth that I have everything together, and am doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. Since my family is concerned that our four children are too much work, and will ruin my health, I feel compelled to disprove them. I feel I can't be candid, or honest about how sometimes it *is* hard, but I have no regrets, etc. Also, since my neighbors think that I'm the earthy birthy bread bakin' mama who does it all with a baby on her back....well, I'd like to live up to that. It kills me when I 'fail', and buy the school lunch, forget to sign a school paper, am late driving DD to piano lessons, the neighbor sees the dirty kitchen floor or the piles of laundry I'm folding. It's like death by a thousand cuts, because I think people are *waiting* for me to stumble, so they can be smug. I'm pretty sure that most people are into their own lives, and really could care less about me, my kids, or my freakin' whole wheat bread! But still, I do it to myself. So yes, you can create your own stress too...*especially* when things appear perfect!

simply being a mama to 5!loving, living and learning at home...
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#23 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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Oh, and I forgot to add that sometimes my stress is increased by the guilt that I am "not grateful for what I have, and how far we've come" when I am feeling stressed, thus kicking off the stress/guilt/stress/guilt cycle.

simply being a mama to 5!loving, living and learning at home...
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#24 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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It's all relative. Being a SAHM is hard b/c you don't have a 15 min cofee break or bathroom break. It's constant on-duty day and night. If I'm lucky I can go grocery shopping by myself in the evening.

I *wish* I had housekeeping help!! My 4yo (almost 5) is homeschooled so no break there. She tried preschool and I found it too hard to rush her to school and then pick her up again. Homeschooling is much less stresful for me to be honest.

It was really bad for awhile when dd1 was having behavior/sensory issues and dd2 was vomiting 8-10 times a day and tube-fed, and I had PPD. Now THAT was bad. I guess I'm thinking I'm living the good life now that the PPD is gone, Dd1 is growing up, and dd2 is doing so much better.

I think having young kids is stressful, period.

I know full time working mamas and they are stressed, too. They have to come home and rush to make dinner and clean and catch up with the kids. One mama has a young baby who still wakes up at night a few times and she still has to get up and go to work the next day.

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#25 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:33 AM
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OMG My DH pulled that "you really should be grateful for what you have" bullcrap when I asked him if I could be more involved in the financial decisions!
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#26 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:40 AM
 
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I no longer spend time questioning why another person is stressed. I *used* to do that with a family member, and for the life of me couldnt fathom where her *stress* was coming from. She lived in a house her parents put a huge down payment on, she didnt have to work, and if anything was needed her parents paid (and they lived with them too). She didnt take the kids to and from school, I could go on and on. Yet, she was terribly stressed and I couldnt understand why, because in my head, if I had my mom and dad with me and my dad to take the kids from school, if i didnt have to worry about money.....I would be thrilled. But, people are different and whats stressful to some isnt stressful to another.

I am one of those people who find staying at home *not* to be stressful. But thats *me*. I find my job in the emergency room to be stressful, stressful enough that a few weeks ago I cracked/broke my molar from clenching my jaw so tight
I worked in an open heart ICU where I cracked 4 teeth at once and had to go to an oral surgeon for a significant repair to save the teeth (saved 3, lost 1!).

I dont think the OP is making a judgment per se as much as an observation. I could see why one person in one situation can look at someone else and wonder why the hell they are complaining (not that i am condoning it, just discussing!).

FTR I found frequent nightwakings the hardest part of the whole gig, and my mood and outlook improved greatly when the babies slept through the night (and mine all did by 14 months, with my youngest going all night by 4 or 5 weeks!).
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#27 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 11:57 AM
 
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Yeah, I can understand how that could be stressful. Even with the "ideal" setup as far as housecleaning, money, and babysitters are concerned, some people are just more prone to stress than others. Some people need uninterupted sleep more than others.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#28 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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I am so stressed that I asked for hypnotherapy stress management sessions for Christmas.
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#29 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 12:13 PM
 
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I'm not stressed, I should worry about money more then I do, definately have things to stress about but I leave the worrying to DH. Of course I have bad days, dd is going through a difficult phase right now, but generally I'm pretty laid back.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#30 of 62 Old 12-07-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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I'm stressed. I'm a single mom of three. From the outside, things probably look fine. The kids are doing great, we have a nice home and car, we're healthy, etc. etc. etc. BUT ex has decided to just pay what *he* thinks he should in childsupport (not nearly enough!), when he feels like it (not often enough!), AND he thinks that I should be able to take care of all of the bills with it - the mortgage, the car payment, insurance, etc. *Everything* we went into together, he now thinks I should take care of on my own, on waaayyyyy less than half of what we used to bring in. Therefore, I'm faced with a foreclosure notice on the house, Chrysler Financial calling every five minutes asking where the car payment is, and on, and on, and on. So yes, even though things probably look rosy on the outside, I'm stressed.
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