SAHM Burnout - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-29-2008, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been at home since my oldest daughter was born, about 3 years. My youngest is 18 months. Lately, I have said more and more frequently "I wish I could go back to work!"

Part of it is their ages. I find them very trying at times (Who doesn't?) because while they play beautifully often, they also fight like crazy. I am finding 3 and extremely difficult age with the backtalk, not listening, and general crabbiness mine seems to exhibit a lot of the time. My 18 month old is very active and tries to do everything her sister does and often bugs the crap out of her. So...some days I am pulling my hair out and WAY less than the gentle parent I would like to be. By the end of the day I am losing my mind a good chunk of the time.

They go to mother's day out two mornings a week from 9-12 which helps, but I also end up using that time for errands and stuff. I feel like I am pulled in a lot of directions as I am also working as a doula and towards being a childbirth educator. I feel like I never give my full attention to the kids and yet...I don't accomplish anything else fully either.

Going back to work isn't really an option, because I'm doing what I want to do right now, it just happens to be that it is done mostly in the hours after my husband gets home. So it's almost like I'm working double since it's not as if I'm teaching childbirth classes while the kids are at school or meeting with doula clients during the's all done in evenings or weekends.

I'm looking for creative solutions to a) maximize my time and efficiency so when I am home with the kids I feel like I can give my full attention to them without feeling distracted by other things and b) feel more fulfilled in my professional/personal life and c) manage my impatience with these crazy kids! It's important to me to continue on my doula path and teaching classes...I am ready to be something more than a mom on a personal level and I really WILL lose my mind without some kind of outlet.

So any ideas or just commiseration are welcome!!

mama to 3 girls: Abigail 2.12.05, Eliana 8.26.06, Willa 1.9.09
RN-BSN 5/11, CBE, former doula
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#2 of 8 Old 02-29-2008, 04:55 PM
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I don't really have any advice but I couldn't read and not post to give you a . I do know how you feel, though.

Mama to DS (3/7/06)om.gif, DSD  hearts.gif(11/17/02), DD (1/16/08 )energy.gif ,  DS2 (5/30/10) sleepytime.gif and Baby Quinn angel.gif (R.I.P 3/22/13)

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#3 of 8 Old 03-01-2008, 09:56 PM
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Oh I hear you Mama!
Things are totally out of balance right now for me, but things that have helped have been purposely NOT using my scheduled alone time (I have a babysitter for 2 hours a week) to do housework or errands. I "force" myself to have downtime- journaling, time in the bookstore, or a manicure or something. Yes it is easier to get stuff done without kids in tow, but you really can get groceries etc with kids, what you absolutely can't do is have quiet alone time! I also feel that this is what fills my patience tank for my daughter as well. How are things with hubby? Are things balanced as far as housework goes? I only ask because I know that when my hubby does his share of the housework, I'm a lot less likely to be operating in burnout mode. (Unlike this week! Hubby's been a total turd when it comes to housework this week!)

Heidi , wife to my DH , mama to Hope Isobel (4/3/06), Molly Grace (7/31/09): , furbaby Callie :
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#4 of 8 Old 03-02-2008, 11:57 AM
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I'm am in a similar boat, so I know where you are coming from. My 5 yr old just began kingdergarten but I am still home with my 3 yr old daughter. I used to be so calm before the kids(I was a nanny for years and always patient) and even w/ just one child. I find that I loose my patience very easily and forget to stay calm and just remember that behaving that way yields bad results.
I also have the stress of my husband not having enough work and his brother living with us(he is an alcoholic). I have a few long term goals with the end result of me getting my CNM degree. It just feels so far off and I am completely overwhelmed.
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#5 of 8 Old 03-02-2008, 11:58 AM
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I felt like that about a year ago. What helped me was getting more time to myself like pp said. Hopefully it will get easier as they get alittle bit better for you.

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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#6 of 8 Old 03-02-2008, 04:29 PM
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It's sounds like you have a lot going on and NEED some time for yourself. I agree with PPs that you should take the time on one of your mother's days each week to do something for you.

It's so easy to put the needs of our partners, children, and the house in front of our own. If we don't take time for ourselves, nobody is going to give it to us. I hope you find the balance you're looking for soon!
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#7 of 8 Old 03-06-2008, 10:45 AM
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Well I also have a three year old and I have a book suggestion for you - Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline.

I have felt periods of burnout and they usually coincided with a developmental turn in my daughter that I wasn't sure how to deal with. As soon as the new behaviors get ironed out and I understand how to change my behavior to deal with hers, I love being a SAHM again.
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#8 of 8 Old 03-06-2008, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LolaK View Post
I have felt periods of burnout and they usually coincided with a developmental turn in my daughter that I wasn't sure how to deal with. As soon as the new behaviors get ironed out and I understand how to change my behavior to deal with hers, I love being a SAHM again.
Good post!

Yes, I agree. I think that "burn out" often comes when there is a bit of transition (the eg above of development/growth), or some other kind of challenge.

For SAHMs, it's easy to get burned out when your child(ren) is going through developmental stages.

I want to add also that when I worked a 9-to-5 paid job in a career I loved, I suffered from burn out, as well. It happens! Life gets tedious, boring, challenging, frustrating, etc. It's not just a symptom of being a mom.

Often it's when you lack support or if there are too many frustrations or challenges that you have to meet on your own. I know in my case I'm burned out not by my children so much as the lack of support or help from my "so-called" support system, or lack thereof.

So, I think the previous post is good advice!
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