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adjustment to being a sahm

1182 Views 24 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  MommyMine
What was your biggest adjustment to being a sahm. Not financial or what not, I mean emotionally. Maybe you had none?

Mine was accepting the pace of life and learning to just live in the moment. No more meetings, no more rushing. Sure I had plans but if we have to use the potty now we have to use the potty NOW so we stop and do that. I am late now, I have to accept that. I rush to get out the door and a park where I basically wait (interacting of course) for my kids to play.

Just being OK with the slower pace and accepting all that space in my head was very hard for me at first.

What about you and how have you dealt with your little battle?

I think I solved this by simply coming to terms. Still I know I am a much busier mom than some. We go somewhere every day. I also do board work to keep my mind going.
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The hardest thing for me was schedule related. I taught fifth and sixth grade before making the change to stay at home, and my days were scheduled up pretty well. It was so different to me that I tried to make schedules. I've moved on from that to just having a basic routine that seems to work for dd and me. We have things planned 3-4 days a week. I'm a member of a monthly book discussion group, LLL, we do storytime a couple times a week. It was a big adjustment, but I feel like I have a handle on it (for the moment...I have a feeling things might change when I have the new babe in July!!!).
Hmmm...for me, the total lack of social life for awhile. DH and I hadn't made any friends where we lived before DS was born, but we socialized enough at work that it didn't really matter (and we were in L*O*V*E - who needs anyone else when you have each other, right?)...

It took awhile, but I slowly made some 'mommy' friends and wow, when I look back, thank goodness I did.
I agree with all the pp - for me it was also finding things to do during the day. Particularly low cost/free stuff. I just was at a total loss about how to entertain myself + child during the day. We eventually got into a good routine with walking to the park, playing, nap, etc.

I think the adjustment was also very hard for me because I went from working 60ish hrs per week to moving to a new place (no friends) and having a baby, and my husband was deployed to Iraq. So I was really isolated and it took time to find things to do and make friends.
For me it was the total loss of "me" that the early months of SAHMing meant. Before being a mom, I did what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. Yeah, I'm married and I worked, but I've always been the kind of person who lives life on my terms and everyone around me has the choice to accept that or walk away.

And suddenly, I was living life on Isabel's terms. And that was really hard. I felt like I couldn't be "Vick" and that I was only ever going to be "Isabel's mom". It took me months to find myself amid all of Isabel's 'things', but when I did, I realized I was still there. And knowing that gave me the freedom to really enjoy being the new me, "Isabel's mom, Vick"
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I guess for me it was finding a new way to define my self-worth. Before, I was earning 6-figures in a very senior engineering position. A lot of my self-worth was tied into my job. Also, all of my friends were basically my co-workers (except my mom and my husband). It's been hard finding replacement friends.
I am having trouble adjusting to the lack of free time. At my job, I had tons of free time to do whatever I wanted. Now, I have a person demanding all of my attention 90% of the day. That's been a huge adjustment. And hard, at times.
New friends was hard for me too susannahm. I didn't realize how work dependent my friends were. Even my non work friends didn't have kids or kept them in daycare and didn't want to get together with me and my brood!

I also feel the loss of the prestige that came with the income. I knew I had "made it" as a sahm when I finanally stopped needing to tell people what I used to do and could just say that now I am a sahm. Thought I do sometimes still need to remind people that I used to do something else and I am not just about wiping snotty noses
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I've made a lot of adjustments, mainly changing my circle of friends. I went from having a large circle of friends through work and clubbing that slowly disappeared after DD#1 was born. 8 years later, I'm beginning to make friends that I share interests with and who accept me for being myself, not just for what I do.

The most personal thing has been that staying at home has forced me to find myself. Instead of identifying myself by a job or clubbing like I used to, I've been able to discover that I'm a pretty talented person. I can do things that I never thought. And I'm ok with not getting dolled up everyday. I used to never leave the house if I wasn't. Now I am just happy with being me.
For me, becoming a SAHM was easy. I've always been a homebody. I love the freedom of doing what I want on my clock. I always knew that when the time came, I wanted to raise my kids that way. I knew my chickies would never spend a day in daycare unless it was an absolute neccessity. But, I do know all about the social abandonment thing. I always hung out in the local village with the hippies. They were very "natural" and "down-to-earth". Funny thing was, as soon as the very natural act of getting pregnant happened, none of my friends wanted to hang around anymore. It was like I was hindering their creative abilities or something. Luckily, in the environment I grew up in, I was used to losing friends as quickly as I made them, so it didn't bother me too much. And I sweet dh and my tots are the best friends I could ever hope for. I have made a life for me that I love, and wouldn't change for the world. I did recently have a large tiff with my MIL though, and that has probably been the biggest shoot down I've experienced. I had been a SAHM for about 2.5 yrs, and she told me I can't keep a clean house, and I'm a terrible wife, my hubby should leave me, and I'm an overprotective, paranoid mom. That hurt. I know what it feels like when the main contribution you make to the fam is raising kids and running the home. When she insulted my whole integrity as a wife/mother, I was crushed. It took quite a bit of consoling from my dh to convince me that I am doing just fine. My motto now is, love your kids, know your kids, and support your kids. Everything else will work itself out in time.
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The weird thing is, the more time I have on my hands, the less motivated I am to do things. When I worked I use to have the house spotless (worked nights) and I would clean the house every morning before I went to bed. Now I have to make myself do anything, wierd.
Transitioning to being a SAHM can be very difficult, and sometimes it is hard for a DH to understand.

My, "ah-ha!" moment came when my sister reminded me that mothering is a vocation that, while not always given the respect it deserves, serves a greater purpose than anything that I did in life before kids. She reminded me that I have been trusted with this little miracle who needs me far more than anyone in my office ever could. Raising a happy child is a much higher calling than managing a real estate office.

We SAHM's have to take pride in what we do. There's aren't many exciting stories to be found in doing dishes, cleaning, making dinner, and caring for an infant, but there's a far greater reward in it ultimately than there was in working for someone else.

That said, I think staying at home is WAAAAY harder than working outside the home! Maybe it was the job that I had that was easy, but I left the office at the office every day. And no one from the office ever woke me up crying in the middle of the night.

Mama to Ren (1/26/06)
: and AJ (2/8/96)
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Originally Posted by Sharlla
The weird thing is, the more time I have on my hands, the less motivated I am to do things. When I worked I use to have the house spotless (worked nights) and I would clean the house every morning before I went to bed. Now I have to make myself do anything, wierd.
That's true with me too. Sometimes I feel like I've lost my momentum or something.
For me, the 2 hardest things are 1) a much smaller social circle and 2) being much less respected by my family!


DS was a surprise baby and I was in school at the time getting a master's degree for nursing.

Now it is always, "When are you going back to school?" or "Going to get a real job?"

The hardest part for me is just not having "my own" money. I was used to making a nice chunk of change every month so when I stopped working I felt like I was going crazy! I've gotten over the whole not being able to shop for myself thing by now. But I still wish I had my own money sometimes, but then I look back and realize I'd rather be a SAHM than a working mom who has to put her child in daycare, BUT has cute

Someone else said that being a SAHM is harder than working at the office. I agree! And I worked at a hard core fast-paced mortgage sales company. The physical demands of a child are much harder than closing a sale, IMO. We should be very proud of what we do. I feel blessed than I can finacially afford this job and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Originally Posted by Sharlla
The weird thing is, the more time I have on my hands, the less motivated I am to do things. When I worked I use to have the house spotless (worked nights) and I would clean the house every morning before I went to bed. Now I have to make myself do anything, wierd.
Yup, I can relate. I definitely go through phases. If I am regularly having people over, like playgroups, then I clean like a madwoman to get it ready and perfect for guests, but when I go a long time without inviting groups over, sometimes it just gets messier and messier and I just can't seem to get motivated to do anything about it. Fortunately, DH is pretty good about spending time on the weekend or weeknights on occasion and we tag team to get the rooms in order.
I definitely have to ditto the two ideas already mentioned - the problem of how to fill the day constructively and the shifting of identity. I, too, am new to an area where I do not really know anybody with no family nearby so that first one can really be a problem. I am trying to get out and about more, but do need to try harder. It is tough though. And I still think I have not really adjusted to the fact I am no longer have my career as part of my identity. Sad, but true.
trying to find ways to occupy my son all day long
very little 'me' time
Probably being constantly overtouched and always with someone else. Before marriage I spent a LOT of time alone and enjoyed it that way. Being alone, one is not touched... but I didn't realize that would ever be an issue. The issue arose after DD's birth. I don't know what happened, but something about the birth process caused my skin to crawl if anyone other than DD touched me without my first knowing it was about to happen. I'm still not completely back to normal (and DD is just older than two now!). Also, I think, the feeling of someone always (I don't feel this way all of the time... it's more a cyclic thing) wanting something from me... DD wants time and affection (ok, that's cool... I'm prepared for that, she's a kid and needs what she needs) and then DH wants sex (not so ok, no so cool... and MAN, was I unprepared to feel that way!!! I always thought I was a total sex fiend prior to DD's birth! I was certainly changed in that area and not in a way I like so well). Just me.
My hardest adjustment was sort of financial. For the longest time, I felt like I wasn't contributing to the family b/c I wasn't contributing financially. Logically, I knew that wasn't true. DH never even hinted at it. It was just from me. I had worked an outside job since I turned 16- dd was born when I was 26 and I became a SAHM when ds1 was born and I was 28. So, I had 12 years experience 'working' and none being a SAHM. I always got bored at work when I had to do the same repetitive task over and over and as a SAHM there were many repetitive tasks I did over and over and over. Diapers every 2 hrs, clean up the same toys 150 times an hour, etc.

Once I got over myself and realized being a SAHM was harder than I ever thought it was and I was contributing, even if not bringing in a paycheck, things were much better. It didn't help that ds1 had issues for the first few months. It took me at least 6 mos to be comfortable with my new role of SAHM.

I've told countless people that I think being SAHM is harder than WOHM in many ways. It's much more rewarding,IMO, but much tougher for me.
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