Struggling as a stay at home mom

User - posted on 01/14/2012 ( 64 moms have responded )

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I'm a stay at home mom to a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old. I chose to stay at home because I feel kids do better when they spend that extra time with mom rather than at a daycare (just my opinion).



Ever since I became a mom I've been struggling with identity issues and have had trouble settling into this new role. Since my 2nd came along, this has gotten worse.



I've suffered from depression in the past and now it's ongoing (can't afford therapy).



My kids constantly complain about what we feed them and how we do things for them. They're constantly demanding and want things RIGHT NOW.



Hubby works 10-12 hr days so he sees a fraction of what I deal with on a regular basis. I'm finding it very hard to not resent him.



I try my hardest to have that "me" time but with hubby working long hours it doesn't always happen so I try to grab it in small amounts (and the kids usually don't let me). By the time they're in bed, I just want to go to bed myself.



I find it's hard to feel happy for what I have when all I seem to feel is depressed and unappreciated.



Thanks for letting me vent (I don't have anyone really to talk to about this stuff....)

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VICKIE - posted on 01/16/2012

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Been home for 5 years now and have loss a lot of friends so I know your pain. Mine are 2, 4, and 14 and no the 14 year old don't help he make it worse because he act like he their age. Wanting everything to be about him. My 4 year old is in school all day and my 2 year old is in a church private preschool which is about $200 a month for 4 days a week 9 to 1pm. It helps some but it don't seem like I get anything done since now I'm the taxi with 3 kids at 3 different schools with different pick up and drop off times. I have no family and friends here and my husband went from working on the road for months at a time to second shift and just a week or two ago its changed to getting off at 9pm. Just in time for them to go to bed. I still have no energy left after they go to bed. I pray things get better for you. Make play dates and look in the children magazine booklets for weekly free activities. That helps. Wish you the best of luck.

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I thought about this the other day, because we have triplets and don't live near family we have always seemed to get more help than most. I still got depressed when they were little, so I feel your pain. Staying home with the kids is a lonely job sometimes and to change that you might need to get out of your comfort zone a little. Being a stay at home mom does not mean you don't get a break. Pay a sitter for 3 hours of time once a month, a sad depressed mom is not a very fun mom (or wife). When I wasn't in a mommy group I would always make sure I left the house with the kids so I didn't feel so isolated. Find a way of connecting back with society because I think that is the number one reason stay at home moms get depressed.

Dana - posted on 01/16/2012

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I am the same way. No friends because we moved a few times and it was hard to get out and do stuff due to the lack of funds. But now that my daughter is in school and there is just my son at home during the day things got better.



My kids are very high demand kids ... they want 100% of my attention 100% of the time, always needing and wanting hugs, kisses, drinks, snacks. They don't sit and play. I finally laid down the law..... snacks at certain time, they can have some thing to drink when I am done with the task at hand.

Timora - posted on 01/15/2012

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I'm sorry you feel like this. The other moms have had wonderful ideas. Maybe you could work part time? Just maybe 10-15 hours a week. You would still be with your kids most of the time, but you would get some time to feel like an individual. Another thing I've done with my daughter even though she doesn't nap anymore is to enforce 'quiet time.' She goes in her room for an hour in the afternoon. Whether she sleeps or not I get an hour to myself. You probably do this already, but an early and consistent bedtime will give you time each evening to yourself. You could make take an online course, or teach yourself something new. I've heard there are a lot of videos on youtube teaching you to do things like play an instrument. Or if you can afford a sitter for a few hours once a week or have a friend you can trade with, maybe you could take lessons, or go to an exercise class.



Also if you don't I'd highly recommend looking into your local library story times - free, but gets you out of the house and gives some routine to your days. With my almost 3 year old I'm also starting to run a 'preschool' morning with her. We have circle time and read books, spell her name, go over the calendar and then I plan an activity of some kind. It keeps her occupied so she doesn't get bored and then she generally behaves better. She also get my undivided attention for an hour or so which makes her more willing to play alone after that. If you can afford it, there are plenty of Mommy and me music classes that are wonderful.



I hope you find some time for yourself and something you want to do!

Sheri - posted on 01/15/2012

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I have struggled w/ this, and what makes it more difficult is we are tight financially but I can't work at this time due to a disibility, so at times I've felt like I have no choice but to be a stay at home mom...what we've done is found a small privately owned daycare that does hourly, daily and weekly rates...it's only $4.00/hr, and although we have a tight budget, we've managed to squeek out $75.00 in the budget every 2 weeks to allow me to bring our 2 yo daughter there once a week if needed to give me a "sanity day." It is very helpful, and it doesn't break the bank. And I still take care of her 6 days a week, but that one day off for me is an absolute godsend! I am able to schedule appointments, clean the house, visit w/ friends, SLEEP, etc... And I used to feel bad about this, but I've come to the realization, that if I'm happy, sane and well-rested, the family will be happier and things go smoother....so maybe try to find a decent, cheap daycare in your area and budget for a weekly sanity day!

Edna - posted on 01/15/2012

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have you tried toddler groups? I take my son to a different group everyday, they give the children somewhere to play outside the normal routine of the home and it gives you people who have similar problems to talk to and ask for advice if needed, you get the chance to sit and have a cuppa in peace.

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im so sorry you feel this way, i feel that way myself sometimes. ihave everything i need, not everything i may want but im doing just fine and im still unhappy. my bf works long hours and has only sundays off and thats his sports and maybe take us to walmart but other than that its me and my 2y/o daughter. she is the best thing in my life as my grandma and family live five hours away i dont see them as often as id like. i have found a church that does a mothers day out program that i started this Fall. its 13.00 a day from 830 til noon or later til 2 but is alittle more. she goes both days they offer it and it gives us both time to be seperate from oneanother. you may want to call around and ask for that. some churches offer a dayschool or playschool and thats usually as much as daycare like 165 a week here or more. so be sure to ask if they offer a mothers day out program for a few hours a week. this would be good for you to put them in as well as your four year old maybe old enough for preschool and if its in a school district its not expensive like a daycare preschool. this will allow you to have your time to clean house, nap, take a walk, watch tv, exercise, read or whatever you like to do that doesnt cost anything. ive recently enrolled in college here at the local community college to finish my associates degree takin just online courses. this will give me something to feel accomplished and even added a photography course because i love that sort of thing. maybe that could be an idea, i dont know if youve ever been to college but also if you apply for grants and loans you automatically get the amount and depending on your income and that you have two kids you can get a refund of the left over money to help get you a new computer or pay for living expenses, this too will help pay the mothers day out program and maybe help pay bills so hubby doesnt have to work long hours. the student loan and grants are to help for living expenses while in school. if youve already done that, go higher for a BA, you will feel accomplished and keep busy while your little ones are out of the house. it is making me excited as my classes start Monday!! and my little one will be home since its a holiday. but please dont feel resentment towards your hubby, hes working and thats all men think fixes everything, but as far as your little ones being demanding, some structure from the mothers day out program will help them. its not just play time. they sit and have lunch and do crafts and take naps and they learn structure and manners. i hope this all helps. good luck and msg me whenever you want to, im very lonely at times as my husband is always gone or glued to the tv.

Lori - posted on 01/14/2012

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I like the suggestion of some of the other moms here. Try to find a moms group near you. I found a MOMS Club near me and I am so glad I did.



http://www.momsclub.org/



It's for stay at home moms or moms who work part time. Most chapters do all kinds of things throughout the month including play dates, book clubs, recipe clubs, outings for the kids, Moms Night Out, etc. Hopefully there's one in your area and you can get to know some moms near by who go through the same types of things you do.

User - posted on 01/14/2012

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@Chrystal i'm trying to figure out what i want to do for myself - something that gives me an identity aside from MOM, WIFE, HOUSEKEEPER, PERSONAL SLAVE, etc.



It's hard to remember what I enjoyed before kids (aside from the usual: sleep, the ability to go anywhere at anytime, etc.)

User - posted on 01/14/2012

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Thanks guys - I really am feeling burnt out! Sorry for the pity party but at least you all were invited :P



@meg I have thought about yoga but haven't found the time to do it! I downloaded a dvd in hopes the kids would try to join me but with their short attention span.....



@sarah yes, the kids have both sets of gparents nearby (1 set just down the road; the other set less than 5 mins away) but the 1 set are tired of watching grandkids (were taken advantage of by other siblings) and the other set are great for spontaneously taking the kids for a few hours but it's hard during the week to ask for help when they're at work :(



ps: the unwilling gparents are my own parents which opens another can of worms with my depression :(



but i will definitely check out the mommy vent group :)

Chrystal - posted on 01/14/2012

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The other ladies have given good tips I just wanted to say I can relate my husband is gone 12+ hours a day 6 days a week. I can also relate to losing a sense of self at times it feels like all you are is mom and mom never gets the full credit she deserves. I think that's normal for a lot of us moms it's why it's so important to find something that lets you just be a person not mom for me it's spending a few hours twice a month out taking photos something I fell in love with in college. I agree you need to be firm with your husband and make sure he knows it's not a want to spend some time alone it's a real need. I've been at the burn out point balling my eyes out on the bed because I was feeling really negative things toward my family and I felt shame about it my husband was great and helped me calm down and we got a plan for me to blow off steam every few weeks and it helps a lot. Hang in there and remember this is a great site to come to when you feel like getting away for a minute.

Sarah - posted on 01/14/2012

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Do the kids have grandparents near by? My hubby also works 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week so I totally understand there.

Once a month, I tell my hubby that I need to take the daughter to my parents. It's a little over a hour away & we're on a serious budget so I have to impress upon him a little that this isn't just a want. I sit & visit with them for a little while then I go walk the mall or go to a $1 movie and leave our daughter with my folks. It is amazingly freeing!

If you don't have family near by maybe you could hook up with a mom group for something like this plus playdates.

Everybody goes through this! You always have the mamas here to talk to. If you feel like letting loose a little more there is a community called "Moms who need to vent". It's awesome! It has become my other mainstay besides this one.

Stay strong!

Meg - posted on 01/14/2012

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Hang in there! It sounds like mommy burn out, and is more common than you'd think. Of course its hard to see your husband 'escape' while you deal with the mundane everyday battles. I find it helps to remember that I choose to be a stay at home mom, that I believe its the right thing for my little one, and to do things to empower myself in this role (which is usually under appreciated and overlooked).



My little man is very demanding, but I find that by arranging activites that engage him alongside doing something for me helps. Try picking some activites you can do for yourself, but include your kids in, whether that is a walk out in nature, drawing together, dancing ridiculously to music, etc.



I have also suffered from depression in the past and had great results with meditation and a yoga practice, Yoga Nidra is esspecially good when your tired and have little time on your hands (all you have to do is relax and listen)



Try to remind yourself that children live in the 'now' so of course they want everything right away, try to be in the moment with them lovingly and help guide them in the right direction, while cutting yourself some slack, you don't have to be perfect!



Above all don't forget how great you are, how important your role as a mother truly is, your raising a future generation after all! So enjoy creating wonderful memories with your little ones! They won't need you forever, so make it count while they do :)



All the best!

Kate - posted on 01/14/2012

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Hi. I am so sorry to see you are struggling. I think all of us have these kinds of feelings from time to time. I know I have and I do. Here are my thoughts: Kids will be kids and you can't change that. Maybe someday they'll appreciate the sacrifice you've made. As far as "the working half", they will never understand. And it is really hard to maintain a happy and loving relationship with a person with who you feel out of sync. The best thing I ever did was to join a mom's group. I found one on meetup.com and connected with 4 moms and we started hanging out together. It makes the days go by faster. You have someone else to "play" with and so do the kids!

I hope it helps you to know I listened and certainly feel your pain.

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