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Tips for surviving SAHMommyhood?

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM
  • 18 Replies
Firstly, I know this will sound self-pitying, and I know that I'm blessed to be able to stay at home with my son during his formative years. That said:

I made a conscious choice when my son was about 8 months old to give up consulting work and focus on being a mother - and I think I have been. My son is now 2, and has an excellent vocabulary, he's well-traveled (mostly because my parents have provided for said travel to join them at various destinations), and he is a sweet, loving child. I made the choice because - living so far from family and having no reliable sitters (I went through a few), I realized that I had to choose between local daycare (this is in no way a reflection of my views on daycare in general - just the local ones I've seen/we can afford). Financially, I didn't have to work, and I was tired of trying to schedule (then reschedule) client calls during naptime or after business hours, and the double load was wearing on my marriage (he would get home tired and stressed and we'd argue about why I didn't *need to* be working all night and why he was too tired to take over).

However, a year and a half later, and probably because of the age (thank you, terrible 2s), I'm starting to feel isolated. My husband travels often (monthly), and I have to turn down most social invites (or, like tonight, am simply not invited, bc we don't have a reliable sitter). Before our son, we were a great pair - we'd go to events together and promote each other. Now, I feel like the hired help - instead of strategy sessions, I plan laundry, meals, and chores. Perhaps because we shared the same field, and I know what I'm missing, it is particularly difficult for me to "ride the bench."

Today is particularly tough, because in my "birth club" (three friends who all gave birth within 6 weeks), one left her husband and decided she was going back into the workforce to stop relying on someone who didn't value her (iMHO - a decision long in the making), and the other was just prescribed Xanax - and called it "Mommy's helper." I'm not that dramatic, but my husband says I have a "free ride" (something he would never have said 2 years ago), and I feel like there is a bizarre power shift - his 40 paid hours have earned me 120 hours of unpaid labor.

For other moms out there in similar shoes, how do you maintain your sanity/identity?
by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2013 at 7:24 PM

I do not stay at home all the time that is for sure.  Go out and find toddler activities you can do with child and meet other stay at home parents.  You might be able to gain a support system of people going through the same thing as you and be able to gain more resources for childcare if ever needed.

SFLMom33
by Member on Nov. 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM
Thanks for the tip - and I should clarify - I do. We do Mommy & Me, weekly meet ups, etc. Maybe it's my family, but I miss the "me time" I used to have (I adore my son, don't get me wrong). But he's always out/on the road/taking clients for drinks - and my mom friends are always going home to family dinners. Bc he travels so much and is out to often, there are many nights when I'm home alone with the munchkin.

And again - it may be the age - but what I wouldn't give some nights to be dressed up and networking with a martini instead of home trying to negotiate with a 2-year-old why they can't get into the latest thing I thought I'd childproofed but clearly had not...
AM-BRAT
by Amber on Nov. 19, 2013 at 8:03 PM

For us it was structure and routine. 

I really just toughed it out but dh appreciated what I did and vice versa. Find activities if you can, and try to enjoy this time as it won't be forever.  :))

AM-BRAT
by Amber on Nov. 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM
1 mom liked this

I didn't have a single second of the elusive me time during my 5 years at home lmao. We deal. Moms deal. Deal. 

After bedtime was my prime time to soak feet and watch brainless tv. Those days are long gone since I work nights now but work is my new me time lol. Adjust and make things fit girl you can do it.


Quoting SFLMom33:

Thanks for the tip - and I should clarify - I do. We do Mommy & Me, weekly meet ups, etc. Maybe it's my family, but I miss the "me time" I used to have (I adore my son, don't get me wrong). But he's always out/on the road/taking clients for drinks - and my mom friends are always going home to family dinners. Bc he travels so much and is out to often, there are many nights when I'm home alone with the munchkin.

And again - it may be the age - but what I wouldn't give some nights to be dressed up and networking with a martini instead of home trying to negotiate with a 2-year-old why they can't get into the latest thing I thought I'd childproofed but clearly had not...



SFLMom33
by Member on Nov. 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM
1 mom liked this
I used to love that time. My kiddo used to be out like a light at 8:30. Now, I'm lucky if he's asleep at 9:30/10. And this last week (like I said, self-pitying/bad timing) he's been waking up between 3-4 as if it's morning and/or having growing pains overnight. So while I used to have that time to myself, now I'm so exhausted from staying up to be sure his bad dreams/pains are gone and fighting to get him to bed that I'm out by the time he's asleep, I am.
Hazelnutkin
by Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:17 PM

 A sitter you can trust is essential. Keep trying on that. I know it is a rough search but it is worth it. I have loved several sitters we found on care.com. This free-ride mentality is maddening. My husband doesn't say it, but I think he feels it. There is also the idea that when he gets home, he is on vacation. I appreciate how hard we works and provides and I tell him, but my job really is 24 hours, except those fantastic sitter-hours. I say build it in. Have a sitter every Thursday night from 7-10pm. Sweet freedom. Sanity. Less resentment. Try not to keep the mental checklist of your husband's short-comings. Date night once a month is good. Library or music classes during the day. That's all I've got.

polkaspots
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM
Get out of the house. There is no reason to stay inside all of the time. I'm not a social person by any means, but I love going to the park, the library, the supermarket... We always have fresh food in the house because as a sahm I can go to the store every few days for fruits and veggies. It's also nice that we usually have fresh meat in the house instead of having to plan the day before and take something out of the freezer. A routine is pretty important to me. Dd is in school now so it's necessary, but before it's what helped me stay sane. We are always doing something or going somewhere and we take a lot of walks.
As for the insensitive comments, tell him he's being obnoxious. That's quite disrespectful, you didn't marry an old rich guy for his money. You as a couple decided that you should stop working for the benefit of the entire family and he has no right no belittle you for that.
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ashley9603
by Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Well I have three,one is school age(10)and twin toddlers whom are 2.Just get something going for yourself.For me I still enjoy adding to the income so I work at home,plus I enjoy running.Most women lose themselves when they become moms and do not realize it is ok to enjoy activities that do not include the kids all the time.I run before dh and the kids wake up,answer emails and do my follow ups during the nap time.Just start to do something just for you,whether it be getting nails done(maybe your dh can help take care of your child so you can go)get your hair done,go for a jog etc.Its so important to do something just for yourself.

MyDiwa
by Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:49 PM
I have no advice - just wanted to say I completely get you. I'm a SAHM to a 5 year old and 1 year old with one on the way. I love my children, and I am truly grateful to be able to be home with them, and my husband is supportive and appreciative, but I feel so drained from the cycle of cooking, cleaning, laundering, schedules and mothering in between. I miss feeling like an important individual instead of little more than an unpaid maid. I haven't figured it out yet, but I do know I need to find some way of feeling like an intelligent, valuable, fun, ADULT. I like the idea of a weekly sitter...
JTE11
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Your husband needs to get on board and see that things of value don't always come with a dollar sign attached to them. You are providing a valuable service to him and to your LO, and yes it's unpaid but it's a very shallow and insulting viewpoint that it's somehow a free ride. Staying at home is a sacrifice in a way, at least a big adjustment for some (it was extremely difficult for me), and it's a tradeoff- what you can do for your child for what you can do for yourself. You DO lose social time, free time, personal time, control over your own schedule but it's for a very good cause. This is not a permanent thing, your child will grow up. You won't be an 80 year old SAHM. I think your DH needs to get some perspective on this as a temporary situation but one that is best for your LO. This is about your son and giving him a good upbringing, not your DH or even you at this point and he needs to see that this is just a short chapter in life and adjust his attitude.I don't think he'd respond kindly to you insinuating that he's not a good dad because all he does is leave his son all day to go to work and make money. That's a ludicrous statement, as is his free ride statement. It's still contributing to the family, but in a different way.  When your son is older you can return to work, you're not retiring, just focusing on more pressing matters for now.

I maintain my sanity/identity by understanding that this is what I need to be doing right now. It's not always fun, it can be tedious and trying, difficult, frustrating, isolating,  you name it but it won't last forever and when my DD is older and out on her own I don't want to have to say I wasn't there when my DD needed me. I am putting everything else on hold for now for her, because she has high needs, was a high needs baby, and she needs me more than I need a job or other personal fulfillment outside of the home, including friendships and social time by myself. Basically, it's a season of life and I'm where I need to be, for now, so I make the best of it knowing how much it helps and means to DD.

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