SAHM's -- how do you deal with "outside" demands on your time and energy? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
murungababy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a busy 19 MO who keeps me running all day -- and all night. He has always been a crappy sleeper, and now teething is making it even worse.

Up until DS was about one, I only had time and energy for him and a little bit for myself. We saw that our marriage was suffering, and I now reserve my depleted resources for DH, DS and myself. Even that seems like a stretch at times.

So, here's my question: How do you deal with people who - for whatever reason - just don't seem to get how hard moms with young children are working, and make demands on your time and/or energy? :

I am so sapped that things which might seem small to other people - like answering an e-mail, or talking with a neighbor who needs a favor - is sometimes just too much for me.

I feel like I am really at my limit here, but not sure how to diplomatically address it with people making demands.

Any advice?
murungababy is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Devaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: here, there and everywhere
Posts: 1,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't really have any advice but just wanted to say i'm struggling with similar stuff here...i have friends from my 'old life' who just dont get it and expect me to come out at night, meet up with them all the time etc. its nice in a way that they havent just moved out of my life bc i have a baby now (he's 6 1/2 months old), but I end up feeling bad for having to cancel things and put things off a lot. partly its my own fault tho - i have another friend with a baby and 3 yr old who just never answers her phone, so she sets the boundaries better.

i think to some people it looks like as a mom you are just sitting round having coffee with other moms all the time. When I was trying to explain 2 this one particular friend (who isnt v baby friendly and totally doesnt want kids) how the sleep deprivation was getting to me, she was like 'oh is it like 'dreamy' tiredness?' like that's okay! I was like, no, it's like TORTURE!

I've discovered that I have to put my own health first. If I get too tired, I get ill, and this has happened a few times now. Bc i am a BIG people-pleaser.

I dont yet know quite how to approach it with other people, but i've thought of putting a big list of priorities up in my room somewhere with 'my rest, health and sanity' at the top of the list. Otherwise, it's all too easy to lose perspective.

i hope some other moms have advice for you!
Devaya is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 11:07 AM
 
hotmamacita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by murungababy View Post
I have a busy 19 MO who keeps me running all day -- and all night. He has always been a crappy sleeper, and now teething is making it even worse.

Up until DS was about one, I only had time and energy for him and a little bit for myself. We saw that our marriage was suffering, and I now reserve my depleted resources for DH, DS and myself. Even that seems like a stretch at times.

So, here's my question: How do you deal with people who - for whatever reason - just don't seem to get how hard moms with young children are working, and make demands on your time and/or energy? :

I am so sapped that things which might seem small to other people - like answering an e-mail, or talking with a neighbor who needs a favor - is sometimes just too much for me.

I feel like I am really at my limit here, but not sure how to diplomatically address it with people making demands.

Any advice?
Yes. Do what is best for your family and yourself and gently tell them you 'cannot help' them at this time.
hotmamacita is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 11:29 AM
 
starsrmndmeofyou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i have to do the same things , and sometimes i even have to ask for help myself. its hard though. but im real bad about screening my calls also , and if someone comes to the door and im not expecting them/oked it, i dont answer.
starsrmndmeofyou is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 12:55 PM
 
KBecks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,002
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I certainly do things like let the answering machine get the phone if I'm busy.

I guess I'm either an introvert to begin with. I actually enjoy talking with the neighbors for a minute or two to have some adult interaction, but I remember when our children were newborns, a neighbor would come over with a gift and I felt so bad but I didn't talk long at all. I was exhausted, and I probably looked it and now I don't think it's a big deal. I try to be friendly and chat for a few minutes when it works for me, but I don't apologize about closing off a chat if I've got things going on. I also have cut off friends on the phone, saying, I need to go and hanging up to go take care of a screaming child. That's just being a mom.

I love having me time out of the house but I have also cut back on volunteering a lot, and think it's been a good change. I try to get out for me time a couple times a week though.

I think I've gotten old enough where I feel no guilt saying no to an invite that I'm not interested in.

Oh, I'll give another example, I'm in a mom's club, but I don't do anything involved with the club except playgroup. I don't do moms night out, or meetings, or making meals for other moms who have had kids or anything. (I haven't taken meals from others either, and that's how I rationalize.) When I joined I told myself I was paying my dues and I was going to only do what worked for me and that's it, and I've been very happy with it.

Good luck!
KBecks is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 12:57 PM
 
Norasmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The sunny side of the mountains
Posts: 4,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's funny I have only enough energy for my family right now, other things just don't seem to be as important. I also have a 19 month old and she has been a pretty good sleeper, except when she is teething, like last night. We just woke up and it was 8am, late for us. She keeps me on the go, she will sit for a little while, but she is a busy girl, so busy it is making me not want any more children.

I don't even have the energy to go to a mother's group, but that's also because I feel I don't really fit in. I don't complain enough or something about DH. I have really just cut ties with many old friends because they don't "get it". My one friend is a mother of a one year old and is always saying she needs to "let loose". Her DH does basically whatever he wants, whenever he wants, things aren't that different than before I guess. I remember when DD was 6 weeks old they wanted us to go to another friends house to carve pumpkins, I had started the "6 week bleed", and DD also had a meltdown that night, they just didn't understand. It's funny though, because once they had their son they never could be out past 5 pm because he would get cranky, uh DUH. Sorry I'm making this my own personal rant. It's true though some people just don't get it, well that's fine, they don't have to. It's my family and I choose to do things this way. My DH made a very valid point the other day, this is only going to last a couple years. DD will go to school, have friends and things to do and I will be driving her to and fro. I guess for me it's just time to chill out at home, plus I've become slightly anti-social, at least compared to what I used to be(total social butterfly).

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
Norasmomma is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 02:43 PM
 
sacredmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's great that you've found your limit. You are such a good mom for keeping your priority your family!! Feel good about protecting yourself, it's a natural animal instinct.

Can you just say something like:

"I can't right now, I'm super busy with my family, but someday I will be able to help again I promise!"

Don't worry about people who don't get it. It's not your problem. Maybe someday they will, then they will understand. If these people are your true friends they will give you the benefit of the doubt, if they aren't your true friends, who cares what they think?!

*Liz* : mountain mama to DS 12/04
sacredmama is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 02:54 PM
 
earthgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,644
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fortunately for me, a lot of my friends are SAHMs w/ very young children. They are certainly understanding of my limited time, or the fact that I don't want to spend my "free time" (ha ha) on the phone or whatever. But we are friends w/ a childless couple and we see less and less of them. It's been work, to say they least. They really don't get why when they want to go out for dinner, we say "How 'bout breakfast" or why go to bed at like 9:00. They are planning on having children in the near future, so I'm just kind of waiting for that. They'll get it then.

I know this really doesn't answer your question. Sorry.
earthgirl is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 04-17-2008, 11:52 PM
 
Mama2MyMonkeys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I frequently feel like other people expect much more of me than I can give. I have recently started being more honest about it. I just tell them that I realize that other people have many more difficult problems in their lives than I do, but for me personally, I simply can't handle any more right now, and no, I'm sorry I can't help you out at this time. I don't even allow them to get very far with how they don't "get it". I just keep waving the white flag and saying that I just can't have anything else on my plate right now!

 chicken3.gif

Mama2MyMonkeys is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 04-18-2008, 09:52 AM
 
clothdipemomof2boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: In the kitchen in the suds!!
Posts: 1,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have the same problem. Only the funny thing is, is the one that demands alot of my time outside the home is my sister who used to be a SAHM and so she should know that I am busy and she will still ask for help. She is a cop know ans will say I dont have time to do this or that but she thinks i have all the time in the world. I just want to scream at her I HAVE 24 HOURS JUST LIKE YOU! what should i do thought.
I mean i know i don thave infants but I have the kids, a dog and housework.

vegan, *( . ) ( . )* wife to D and momma to peanut and monkey boy
clothdipemomof2boy is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 04-18-2008, 10:23 AM
 
Maddy123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I first left my job and was at home full time, I faced this issue a bit. I had one friend who was still working, and she called me all the time to let the plumber in, let her dogs out, pick up her daughter from school, etc. I helped her a lot, but there were so many requests, it got to be too much for me.

One thing that helped is that I got caller id and stopped picking up when I saw her calling (she called a lot for a while). Eventually her life settled down. I truly don't mind helping, but I hated having to be "on call" for her. I think she has since made new friends and while I still help, I'm not the only one she depends on anymore.

You really don't need to explain when you turn down a request. Still, it can help to have a phrase like "Things are really crazy right now" or "This just isn't the season of my life for that, but eventually I'll have more time." Repeat as necessary. Be firm. Caller id and not answering the door can also help.
Maddy123 is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 04-18-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
murungababy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OP here - thanks for all these replies. It is really hard to find diplomatic solutions, but there are some good ones here.

I have a downstairs neighbor who just moved in, is new in town, and we knew her a little bit from a work thing of DH's. We helped her find the place (regretting that now , and have tried to give her as much of an orientation and direction as we can. She acts like she is being sensitive to our schedule (like not coming around after 6 pm, ), but she is up here with questions and wanting things 2 or 3 times a day!

We are overseas, and she doesn't speak the language here, (although there are plenty of english speakers), so I want to be helpful, but I really can't take it anymore!

I think I am just going to have to start with the "it's not a good time right now" and, "things are crazy right, now." And if that doesn't work, I will talk to her more directly. I realize that with things as they are, I just get angry whenever she comes over, and that saps my energy even more.
murungababy is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 04-18-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Amys1st's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You have a toddler so you are going to have to put the demands on hold for when you toddler gets older. Oh wait, you might have another baby by then too! When you have small children, this is very normal to have these issues with others, esp the ones who dont have kids yet or dont plan to.

You kids will get older and it will get easier but right now, you are going to have to tell the phone caller, neighbor whatever that you cannot talk right now and will talk another time. That leaves it open to say- another time! And yes the overseas thing adds more to the issues. Maybe she is lonely. Can you maybe have her help with anything to ease this up for you?

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
Amys1st is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 04-20-2008, 10:51 AM
 
robinCBN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 40
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Before I got married I used to hang out with some of my friends a lot, after I got married, it turned out that they didn't really get along with my husband all that much so I saw less of them, after I had my dd I saw even less, mostly because they just didn't "get it". They got mad when I wanted them to wash their hands before holding the baby and I was late for lunch once (they have no cell phone, who needs those, so I couldn't call and let them know) and they just couldn't see how some one could be an hour late and they also didn't really seem to want to know, so what ever. I hardly ever see them now and its sort of sad but my situation changed and the friendship wasn't able to change to accomodate it. I just end up doing what I have to do, which means almost no outside activites except alone time a few nights a week when DH takes dd with him, and I don't nessesarily like it, but being totally crazy with exhaustion or stress is worse.
robinCBN is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 04-21-2008, 11:30 AM
 
bczmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"I am so sapped that things which might seem small to other people - like answering an e-mail, or talking with a neighbor who needs a favor - is sometimes just too much for me."

While obviously the family is primary, I do think its important not to cut oneself off too much. Keeping up some of these relationships means that you have a support network as well. For example, you may need a favor from that neighbor yourself, and these things are frequently a two-way street.
bczmama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off