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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ran into an old friend of mine; someone I've known half my life and who I adore. She's a kind person and a loyal friend. We have ended up parenting very differently in some ways -- for starters, I'm a SAHM (work from home very part time, mostly when kids are sleeping, and I spend lots of hours working for my son's cooperative preschool); she's part of the full-time *paid* work force, and her two little ones (6 and a baby) do day care.

She plays soccer once a week. She is in a book club. I don't know when she sees her kids . . . a few hours each evening, while juggling dinner, and on weekends (when she also gets time to herself to run 12 miles at a go). Well . . . sometimes the contrast leaves me reeling emotionally. Part of me is nonplussed by her okayness with never seeing her kids, part of me is jealous that she gets so much time to herself, part of me just can't figure out how she does it all with just 24 hours in each day. If she or her husband get sick, no prob! They stay home and rest while the kids go to day care! (I have had one day off in 5 years, when I got food poisoning and was so sick I literally could not stand up.)

The other day when I saw her she looked FABULOUS. Has lost twenty pounds by running and counting calories. She's fit, she was wearing new sporty clothes and a new haircut . . . and instead of being happy for her I just wanted to cry! I would love to loose ten pounds and be in a book group and play a sport regularly etc. etc. Aw, crap. I'd like to just read a book ONCE.

Augh!!! I just need to vent! I know someday I will look back on this time with my kids and be glad about the decisions I made. But . . . but . . . I don't know. Somedays I just feel like I must be doing something *wrong.*
 

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Well, if you are feeling bad then maybe you could do a few little things for yourself. It doesn't have to be all of nothing. I also SAH and work a few hours a week while the kids are sleeping.

However, I am in a bookclub. I started one that only meets four times a year -- we read a book per season and it only takes me away from my kids 8 hours a year, but it makes me feel really good to go and meet with other women, you know?

Or if you want to exercise - you could make a point to run with just one kid in a jogging stroller a couple of times a week when your dh is home with the other. That way you could each get one-on-one time with each kid and you could get two runs/walks in a week.

Or if soccer sounds fun - you could play in a league and the kids could come and watch you. I bet they would LOVE it. One of my friends plays in a mom soccer league for eight weeks a year or something like that and her dh and kids pack a picnic and come cheer her on.

You are right that this time will pass quickly and you will be glad you have devoted yourself to your kids, but if you are jealous of someone else you should look at ways to continue to really be there for your kids while taking care of yourself. Afterall, we are an example to our children on the way to live our lives too and I think that being in a bookclub or taking a bit of time to exercise demonstrates that taking care of your body and reading are activities that you truly value. It is a good message to share, you know?

BJ
Barney & Ben
 

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YOu can be a sahm and read books, join a book club, play a sport, or take a class, or whatever you want to do to make you feel fulfilled.

I read at least a book a week. I've taken night or distance ed classes. I am a bf peer support volunteer.

I don't play a sport, but I do take my daughter swimming at least once or twice a week, and we go for a walk every day.

Make sure you nurture yourself too mama.
 

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I'm a stay-at-home mom and I am a member at a gym, I go to language meet-ups in the evenings once a month, and at once point when I had only one child I was in a book club. It's possible, just make your mind up to do something that doesn't cost a lot of money (since we're all one-income families) and go for it!
There are walking groups, book clubs, moms' nights out . . . look at see what is in your area. I found mine through meetup.com. Good luck!
 

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Sounds like you are missing some time for yourself. That time can be important. Maybe pick one thing to do for yourself regularly.
I'm not in a book club but I read.
 

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I enjoy getting a little reading in just before bed. I get up extra early in the mornings so that I can exercise. Try to make time for yourself. You might not be able to get away but you can do little things at home just for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone. I think part of my problem is that I'm insanely jealous of anyone (SAHM, WOHM, etc.) that can actually plan and schedule such activities. My husband has an unpredictable work schedule that can include evenings and weekends. So I'm on call with the kids 24/7. I get an afternoon off or morning off or hour off from time to time, but rarely get more than half a day's notice. Kids have special needs that chew up extra time/energy and makes childcare help trickier than average to arrange. There are days when MDC/e-mail is my only contact with the rest of the adult world!

Complain, complain. I actually do know that I am one of the lucky ones that I even have the option to stay at home and that, except for the craziness of my current [non]schedule, am extremely lucky. I know I just need to be more creative and assertive about taking care of myself.
 

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Oh T.E. that is so, so tough to not be able to schedule in advance.

I hope you can find something, just for you, in your time off.

I totally understand about MDC/email. The internet has been my saving grace more than once.
 

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I'm so there with you. My dh also has an unpredictable schedule. Sometimes he is around to 'help' although he always has other things to do. I rarely get any time to my self and to make matters more difficult, we live 20+ miles from town and so when I can do something I have to include a half hour of drive time also. And we are poor. And the kids are little. It IS really hard right now. I also see others doing the same as your friend but I also know their kids do need them more and she (and her dh) don't see it at all. So for me now MDC is really it. Thank God it is great here!!!
 

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Does this mom know the pain of holding her child all day because they are sick and know the overwelming sense of love when that sick baby looks at her for just a moment and forgets how crapy they feel b/c mom is there. Does she get to see every discovery and relearn what she forgot as her babe learns it for the first time? Was she THE first one to see them smile, sit up, crawl, walk, laugh, pojectile vomit a distance that can shatter records?
I know she looks great and anybody can be jealous of that, it is hard not to and natural to feel that way. My hair has not been cut in a year, or highlighted. Needles to say, it could use some work. I am sure that if I ws working we could afford some great cute clothes, but I CHOOSE to stay at home with BigE. I am lucky that I have that option. I lost all my baby weight taking my boy on walk after walk after walk day after day after day. We get to explore, learn about nature, ( and that mean ass dog on the corner
) and I lose weight while we are at it. When DS gets up at the buttcrack of dawn and is ready to go we go yard saleing andd find some GREAT deals. The last book I read was great, a real page turner, and I HIGHLY reccommend it. I read it back to back SIX TIMES and it is a quick read!! The auther has a weird name but the title was The Foot Book!!!

I love my life. There are PLENTY of days that I have the selfish thoughts like you are when I see women you have that kind of life, but then I wonder, is the grass really greener on the other side? I am a FIRM beleiver in doing things for YOU, you need it and after giving SO much of your life and being selfless a vast majority of them time, you not just deserve it, but need it. It may not be as much as what others get
: , as unfair as that is, especially when they don't put in as much as you, but take what you can get at enjoy every minute of it, because you deserve it!!
:
Hugs momma, being a mom is never easy!!

PS Don't ever watch that show Yummy Mummy, it will set you in a tailspin. IT IS HORRIABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!
:
 

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I tink maybe you do need to find something jus tof ryou. This doesn't need to be badat all, assuming you have a partner or parent or sibling or inlaw who is responsible and whom you want your child to have a good relationship with.

I'm a SAHM. During the school year, I go to the gym M-F. My younger son goes to the childcare there--less than 2 hours/day. He LOVES it. His 2 best buddies are kids her met there--parents I met there! My older ds (6) met his oldest friend there--right after we moved here. His mom is one of my best friends. I've been going for 6 years, and the childcare there has had very very low turnover (2 ladies out of 8?).

I also go to EGA (www.egausa.org) meetings, and I'm our chapter pres this year. This is where my own personal growth is--I learn new skills and techniques from the other members. When ds 3 was a baby, I just took him. Everyone LOOOOOVED having him there. Babies tend to be very welcome amongst so many older ladies
Now, my guys stay home with dad and get mac n cheese that night. They LOOOOOVE it! Boy night--soccer and mac n cheese, boy heaven 1x/month.

I don't feel guilty about these things--I'm w/them every day. I want them to have a good relationship w/dad. I want them to meet other kids and make friends. I want them to see that mommy is a person, but I don't need to be gone 45 hours/week to do that (fortunately).
 

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WOW! I could have written your post word for word! I think we have the same friend! Haha! No advice from me - I do cry about my lack of me time!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EastonsMom
PS Don't ever watch that show Yummy Mummy, it will set you in a tailspin. IT IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!
:
OMG yes it IS horrible!!!!!!!!! We don't have cable or satellite here, but we did when we lived in Arizona, and I found this disgusting show on Discovery Health Channel! All it does is emphasize getting AWAY from your kids and your husband and being selfish. They even did a segment on ELECTIVE C-sections for first time moms!!!!!!
: Then they talk about buying expensive makeup and clothes that no REAL mom can afford, and getting the "perfect" family car. We have ONE car that is nice, but far from perfect and nowhere near big enough. Sure the Nissan Murano is gorgeous but most of us dont have 30 grand to drop on it!!!!!!!! And they wonder why moms like the OP feel the way they do.

OP- I think you've done the BETTER thing and the RIGHT thing for your family. Who cares about your jet set friend. She'll be wishing she was more like you when her kids are grown and don't respect her.
 

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I can totally relate to what you posted, OP. I guess we have both gotten some good advice. I think the worst thing for me is, with a new little one on the way, knowing that I have a while before I will have much freedom and knowing I will be stuck inside for the winter months (cold weather + small town + new baby = stuck inside)...I have to gain weight after working hard to lose it and don't look forward to losing it again...etc. I love my kids, but giving all of the time is tough. My dh also works long and erratic hours, though things slow down for him in the winter. It is also a pain to get him to commit to watching the baby. I do go to Starbucks every Thursday night for an hour to meet with a friend or friends. Sometimes I have to bring ds, sometimes dh watches him (the girls are at church for that hour - there is no childcare there for under 3's, so I can't stay). Many weeks just thinking of that one hour meeting keeps me going. I do struggle with being jealous sometimes, even of moms who have their kids in preschool/school during the day, but I know the little ones will grow up fast... Good luck!
 

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the yummy mummy show annoys me too
I make time for myself or I get cranky lol. I don't do anything outside of the home right now, but a long bath after the kids are in bed, doing my nails, getting up before the kids do to read my bible, even tweezing my eyebrows is "me time" lol
I am still working on getting rid of baby weight, but working out makes me feel good about myself and sometime my kids try to do it along with me
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Unless the Yummy Mummy show is on PBS and comes on immediately after Dragon Tales, I think I'm safe. :)

But seriously . . . thanks everyone for the support. Got up early this morning and took a long walk; that helped. Also want to say something about my buddy who inspired this little emotional crisis: She may do things differently from me, but she's one of the kindest people I know, loves her kids, and doesn't make decisions frivolously or w/o consideration of their needs. She and her husband, like all of us, are trying their best. And, to their credit,they have made some big pro-kid decisions that have negatively affected careers and income and free time. It's a tough balance for all of us -- taking care of homes, finances, children, ourselves, our communities.

I think my big problem is that I see this huge gap in a sense of entitlement to self-care and it makes me realize that I may not be hitting a healthy balance in that area at all. I feel guilty **so** easily, esp. when I say "yes" to myself and "no" to others. *sigh* Back when I worked full time, w/o kids, I found this extremely difficult. I'm more grown-up now, more realistic, have a better "big picture" -- but with my 24/7 mom job, it's harder than ever!

hugs to all of you!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by T. Elena
Unless the Yummy Mummy show is on PBS and comes on immediately after Dragon Tales, I think I'm safe. :)

But seriously . . . thanks everyone for the support. Got up early this morning and took a long walk; that helped. Also want to say something about my buddy who inspired this little emotional crisis: She may do things differently from me, but she's one of the kindest people I know, loves her kids, and doesn't make decisions frivolously or w/o consideration of their needs. She and her husband, like all of us, are trying their best. And, to their credit,they have made some big pro-kid decisions that have negatively affected careers and income and free time. It's a tough balance for all of us -- taking care of homes, finances, children, ourselves, our communities.

I think my big problem is that I see this huge gap in a sense of entitlement to self-care and it makes me realize that I may not be hitting a healthy balance in that area at all. I feel guilty **so** easily, esp. when I say "yes" to myself and "no" to others. *sigh* Back when I worked full time, w/o kids, I found this extremely difficult. I'm more grown-up now, more realistic, have a better "big picture" -- but with my 24/7 mom job, it's harder than ever!

hugs to all of you!
I could have written your post!

One of my closest friends is a WOHM or a 5 yrs old and a 2 yr old. She also runs (in the evening after they're in bed) & was even recently in a pagent. Sometimes I do get jealous, but then I have a conversation with her like the one I had yesterday where she tells me how she only has about 20 minutes of one on one time with each of her boys a day.
: Of course she sees them more than that, but lots of that time is spent driving home, getting dinner, baths, bedtime routines....that type of stuff. Or when I hear her talk about how hard it is to get her one son, who has some special health needs, to the doctor or for testing because of not being able to get off work.

So, yes, I'm jealous of *some* parts, but not others. Just try to remind yourself about all the great things about your life she's probably jealous of too!


Holly
 

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Oh my goodness, glad to see someone else has the same reaction to "Yummy Mummy." BUt there's one out there that's even worse: "Surviving Motherhood" on TLC. The same type of thing but much worse!
 

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To T. Elena, what a good friend you are! You appreciate your friend even though she has made diff choices than you. I think you do need more time to do things you love/enjoy/fulfill you. Our town has a couple of places you can drop the kids off for an hour or two (to maybe have coffee with a friend, or alone, even)and a gym play area. It is really important to take care of yourself, and find ways to do it. And now your kids are at the age where their needs arent so basic. I try to make sure I go for a walk/lunch/coffee with a friend at least once a week, and it's helping alot. Take care of yourself, you deserve it! And how lucky your children are to have you.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by T. Elena
I think my big problem is that I see this huge gap in a sense of entitlement to self-care and it makes me realize that I may not be hitting a healthy balance in that area at all. I feel guilty **so** easily, esp. when I say "yes" to myself and "no" to others. *sigh*
Yes, I agree with you - that is your problem!
No, really - taking care of YOU and YOUR EMOTIONAL NEEDS is important. There is precious little more important. How are you supposed to be a positive force in the life of your kids if you are tired and bored and unsupported and uninspired and out of shape and your life consists of diapers, sippy cups and library books?

I speak from experience! I have been a SAHM for a decade. My girls are 10, 5 and 3 now. About a year ago, I really got burned out. I had let myself go, physically and intellectually. It was pathetic. I spent all my time, energy and money on kid stuff. Even my breaks were about kid stuff - PTA meetings or toddler group parent ed or scrapbooking pix of kid activities. It wasn't balanced! There should be a balance! It isn't wrong or selfish to spend a little time and money on YOU! You count too!

I now spend some time for ME. I go out to lunch with my sister. I buy a cute pair of jeans and have my eyebrows waxed. I go to the gym each night when the kids go to bed. I go to browse the library or a bookstore and don't even go into the kid section! This doesn't make me a bad or neglectful mom. I think it makes me a BETTER mom! I am happier. I am modeling taking care of myself. I think it is crucial as the mom of three girls - as I don't want them to martyr themselves in the name of SAHMing. I think we can get so lost when we are SAHMs. It was wonderful for many years and then all of a sudden it was like a cage. I wish I'd taken more time for me before I got to that point - because I can guarantee you that it hurt my kids when I got to that point.

You can love your kids and be a SAHM and be attached - and still take some time for you. I have zero guilt about the time I take. It is important for ME. And I count too.
 
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