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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm just a little overwhelmed right now. i had a sort of epiphany last night as to why i'm so unhappy now (which is not really like me, to be unhappy). i don't think i'm paying enough attention to my own needs. (i know i'm not alone!). but.......it's getting me down. i work f/t and my favorite part of the day is coming home to DS in my arms! we spend the eve together and then i put him down around 9-10, and by the time he's out i am ready for bed too. so DH gets almost every weeknight as "free time" to do whatever he wants (clean, email, read - read, what's that??) and he works a lot of weekends/nights. i adore my weekends with DS - i really adore all my time with him - but i need an occasional break! i feel like i don't know who i am anymore. i rarely have time to connect with my friends, and i'm feeling distant from them. not to mention i hardly have any energy to give DH the attention i want to give him. i know it won't always be like this - i try to keep perspective - sometimes it's just difficult.

how do you squeeze in some "mommy alone time"? what do you find helpful when balancing schedules? i know there are times i just need to flat out ask DH to take DS for an evening while i do something fun - but i always put DS down for the night (nurse to sleep) and can't quite cross that line of letting DH try to put him down without me. ahhh, the guilt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
forgot to mention DH is SAHD. he gets plenty of time with the babe and i'm sure also needs "down time". it's so hard to balance it all!!!
 

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Hi, just wanted to add my opinion...Am not in your situation but have several friends who are.

Two of my closest friends have three children between them. I am expecting my first in December, and for the longest time, I was the odd person out, but I absolutely loved going out on outings with them all for the sake of our friendship. I am wondering if you could set up some play dates for your son with moms who can also be friends with you, even if it's just to sit for a cup of coffee.

Also, (and once again, please pardon me for butting in) I don't think you should be so hard on yourself for wanting some time on your own. I think children would prefer to be with a happy, relaxed mommy for two hours, than a run-down, unhappy one for four. The best thing you can do for your family is to take care of you. I got this wisdom from watching Dr. Phil and Oprah.


And consider that men have been in your situation for ages-- working full-time with stay at home spouse-- and yet you hardly ever hear them feel guilty about taking time for themselves!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ah yes, that's the thing - i know DH never feels guilt about taking his own time, staying out til 3am on the weekends, etc......i know i'm entitled to some "me time". i need to learn to shed this &*%# catholic guilt-ridden conscience.


i agree DS deserves a mommy who isn't so moody and cranky (sigh)
 

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I'm a bit of an introvert and I feel like I genuinely need time to myself to recharge & be the best mom/wife/friend/etc I can be. Once a week, most weeks, I take a night off for myself.

Sometimes I'll take the whole night off, i.e. not come home until later or lock myself in a room immediately upon getting home. Sometimes, I'll just take an hour or so off and come home before the kids are in bed. Sometimes, I'll come home for dinner then leave again before the kids are in bed. And, sometimes, I just skip my night off altogether.

I'll usually (though not always) skip it if DH and I are having a date night over the weekend, which is fairly often. We got out once every 3-6 weeks (more in the summer it seems).

It took quite a long time to realize this need of mine but I'm much happier when I get a little break each week.
 

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The only way you are going to get over the guilt is by making plans and doing something for yourself. Pick a good time, maybe a Saturday or Sunday morning or evening. Think up some things you'd like to do (I know I'd like to take a prenatal yoga class or a photography class.) and do them. Even if it is a one hour trip to the pool to swim laps, it will feel good to come home to dh and ds and feel like you can give them your full attention.
Go to the coffee house with some girlfriends, take a class, get your hair done, take a walk. You need to do something for yourself everyday. It doesn't have to be long or expensive-just something that makes you feel good.
I drove the long way to work this morning so I could enjoy the river! =) Only an extra 3 minutes but it felt good!
Suzy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i just had a nice vision of sitting in a coffee house with an iced chai (ahhhhhhhh) and a good book. i really need to start reading again! i don't know why i have this huge mental block that prevents me from thinking i can leave DS to "have fun". i mostly create that block and it just doesn't help anyone. he is fine without me (this i know) and i don't need to feel like less of a mother for making "me time".
 

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That's right!!! Make plans to take an hour to yourself this weekend. If you get to the coffee house and sit there with your iced chai and book for 15 minutes and still feel guilty, you can always go home.

Let us know how it goes!
Suzy
 

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I know just how you feel. You are right you need to start taking care of yourself. At first you feel guilty at the thought of it- I know I did because I thought that an hour away was just that another hour away from the kids that I love and I missed so much when I was at work. You know, after I started taking that hour I realized how they got a much better, less stressed, less crabby mama- and that everyone wins.

It took me a while to settle on what I wanted- and I take a yoga class. It's a little over an hour of yoga only one time a week. With the driving and the changing clothes- it really adds up to a bit over 2 hours. That is my 2 hours, though, and it brings me balance and peace. In a whole week 2 hours isn't that much of a sacrifice. I wish I had time for more yoga, and I sometimes (okay, well most of the time) suffer from an all or nothing mentality- where I think that there is really no point in doing an hour of yoga once a week when it would be really more optimal to develop a shorter daily practice. I can't seem to manage that right now, though, and its really okay.

So here is my advice to you mama, do what you need to do- plan a regular time to do it and just make it part of your weekly/daily rhythm. Like me you will find that taking that little bit of time is really such a non-issue for all the reasons you worry about doing it (the time away, other stuff not getting doen, etc.) and such a huge issue in your own sanity and well being.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jlbaby
i just had a nice vision of sitting in a coffee house with an iced chai (ahhhhhhhh) and a good book. i really need to start reading again! .
I read 4 or 5 books a night!.......
..does Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Little Critter Series count????

I'm in the same boat. Except for the SAHD, we both work full time. But it seems that Dh always has the nights off to watch tv, read, play on the computer.
:
 

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I have a group of co-workers that gets together about once a month to catch a movie, eat dinner and play silly board games from childhood. Its geeky but hey, its my night out without the little one.
When my DH was a SAHD, I rarely got time to myself. I spent all my energy trying to keep him happy so he'd continue to stay home.
: It wasn't fair but it was only supposed to be a temporary situation. Is there anyone else like a grandma or aunt that could keep your baby for you for a an hour or two? My DH always fussed if I left DS with him any longer than I had to. Maybe a good friend or relative would be more willing to help than your DH if he's anything like mine (for your sake, I hope he's not
).

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
seems most men i know were born without guilt in their vocab.
: i wanna learn how!

DH really isn't fussy when i want to leave DS with him. they really do fine together. but often DH gives me the pouty "can't we come?" because a lot of the time he wants us ALL to do stuff together. (except at night when it is his time to do computer, play music, etc. hhrrrmph). i guess i really need to 'splain to him how important it is that i can do things alone every once in a while. once a week sounds like a good place to start. a yoga class sounds great also! that is one thing I have not tried yet that i would really like to.....i like the idea of an activity to exercise mind and body.
 

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Hi jlbaby,

Good advice from everyone and some I will certainly be taking for myself.

One thing I recently did was bought a subscription to the New Yorker Magazine and I also subscribe to The Sun Magazine. I DO NOT have time for novels which was making me very sad because I too love to read. So I found some mags that have good fiction and non-fiction and I can successfully carve out a couple of hours per week to just read.

I too have SAHD and he is always needing time away because he is home with the kids. I find that I make sure he gets a little break on the days he's home with the kids. I think that is part of the crazy switch that occurs when moms are the main bread winners. I am not complaining because he does a lot of stuff I hate (garbage, cat boxes, mowing the lawn), but sometimes gives me the pouty face when I ask to do something.

Sometimes I take a day off of work in order to do something special with a friend (maybe every couple of months). It is still very challenging, but I think while we have little ones who need us so much, this is the reality of our situations.

Best of luck!
 

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Would the baby be able to go to sleep an hour earlier? I recently started working f/t after being a sahm for over 2 years, then I got quickly promoted, all of which resulted in LOTS less time to be with the dc and practically no time for myself. My kids go to sleep fairly early (after around 7 for the youngest, 8 for the oldest) and I was using that time to SLEEP. Lately though, I've been forcing myself to stay awake for at least a little bit and do something purely for me. Even if it was only watching a dvd while kicking back on the couch, I needed something. Doing something productive also helps (crafts, exercise even if only for 10 minutes). Of course, I'm not the best source on this as I'm still trying to figure it out myself and still spend most of my non-baby time sleeping or working
 

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I think every working mom really needs "me time". And that includes me.
Surely I have that "guilty" feeling too. I think my mom is okay if I take my DS to her and I spend my day alone of hanging with friends. But the feeling keep coming..
:

So, one day, on one weekend, I decided not to leave him all day long. Instead, I just left him for about 2-3 hours and I stopped by at a small restaurant, which is about 30 minutes from my house, and I ordered my favorite pizza, plus a small bowl of spaghetti, banana split, and a glass of iced lemon tea... (wow.. high calories, right?
)...

But I really really enjoyed the time alone. And I got home happily and came up with "more energy" to meet my little boy.


Cheers,
- aurora -
 

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I can relate 100%. And I agree, you NEED to slot in some time for yourself. Read, shopping, the spa for a pedicure, heck, I even like to grocery shop alone...I feel like it's a treat. I near had a breakdown from NOT doing this. Do not feel guilty, you will be a BETTTER momma, wife, and employee if you are getting some balance (YOU-time). Even a small bit helps
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by muttix2
Even if it was only watching a dvd while kicking back on the couch, I needed something.
DVD? what is that??


yes.......i have been feeling near the point of breakdown, and want to avoid that. this thread sure helped! all these feelings came up last night when DS would not go down (after an hour of nursing, squirming, etc) and i asked DH if he would stroll him to sleep (usually my surefire back-up). DH gave me a "look" (i was interrupting his email time) and then took DS. i was so mad! so after DS fell asleep, i went to DH and said we have to talk. it was a very very helpful, productive talk. a lot of the same things bother us. we really only have sundays as a day when we can do stuff on our own (i.e. his home improvement projects, my bike riding or a pedicure or something, etc). we decided to rotate sundays. every other will be "his" and every other will be "mine", and the other parent will be dedicated to the babe that day. plus i need to get out and see my friends more. he was very understanding of my need to "me" time and i felt bad about getting crabby with him, but......we definitely made progress last night. DS miraculously was still sleeping 2 hours later when we finished our conversation at 11:30pm! that has been the other hard part........finding time to talk. somehow my lil' sweet pea knew we needed the time and stayed asleep for us.
 

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Hey jlbaby, I wanted to give you some hugs and also a big pat on the back for having that talk with your DH. It sounds like you had a productive discussion and you sound calmer already!

I also wanted to suggest, if you haven't already considered it, finding someone else other than you and DH who can take your son for short periods on the weekends. Whether it's a grandparent, friend, or even the teenager next door -- even just taking your son outside to play in the yard while you are inside doing whatever -- it can really be valuable for ALL of you. Your son will benefit greatly from interaction with others, and there is no reason you and DH need to feel like it's just "the two of you vs. the world." Just knowing that there's someone else out there whom you could call on can be a big load off your mind -- and I bet you'd be pleasantly surprised if you started calling friends/family and saying "would you be willing to spend an hour with DS every now and then?" Often people are delighted to help out in that way but they feel weird about offering, so they are waiting for you to ask. So ask!!

And just in case you still have any lingering doubts, let me remind you that needing some time to yourself does NOT make you a bad mama!! The huge amount of demand that a baby/toddler puts on you is a really intense emotional hit -- especially with your first child. It's really HARD to adjust to that and is totally normal to have times when you need a break from it. As everyone else has already said, getting a break will make you calmer, and a calmer mama is a better mama. So give yourself a break!!


-Joan
 

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I gotta tell you, it is a miracle to do all and be superperson! All I can say is what got me through all this is prayer....

I reduced my stress level by making my work schedule fit my family schedule. Even though the "job" may have their objections, I simply optimized my priorities. They didn't like it....tough....after all I had to do it for others when I was single and worked many hours to help other people (whether it was for family reasons or not)....

Now I have my own business and do it around my family...there are still challenges with time, and I do still have to leave my kids either at school or with a caretaker if I cannot bring them with me, but it is reduced considerably.

This has also helped my time with hubby. Yes I have time and energy now to be more affectionate, and do things just for him. I think it works out better all around. I remember who I am married to....my dh or the "job".

Anyway, I totally understand the dilemna of balance and was highly frustrated with it for a long time.
 
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