stay at home mom blues

Lauren - posted on 08/15/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hello, I have a 7 month old baby boy & he is my whole world. Recently I have been feeling like I am loosing all my friends. My fiance & I don't have a lot of extra money & any money we do have we like to spend it doin something together as a family. I used to get invites all the time to do stuff but now I barely talk to anyone. I get so busy & then on the rare occasions I do get asked to do something I say no because of finances or the fact I feel guilty leaving my baby. I feel like I'm a mom & that's it. I love being a mom don't get me wrong but I never get any time to for me. I haven't had a break in 7 months & I feel like I'm going insane but now I have no-one to go to. Is anyone else going through this or am I the only one?
Thanks!

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Heather - posted on 08/23/2013

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In answer to your question: "Is anyone else going through this or am I the only one?": You are Absolutely NOT the only one!!

My daughter will be 5 in a little over two months; despite my life-long insistence and absoluteness in the fact that I am not a person capable of being a "SAHM", I have found myself in just that role. Despite the fact that I have numerous college classes 'under my belt' (so to speak), I have found, especially with the economy 'in the tank', that the likelihood of making enough of an income to actually make working a financially sound endeavor is pretty much non-existent. Add the scheduling nightmare of last minute notices of travel and time away that my husband and I endure because of his job on Active Duty in the National Guard, and no solid support or resources, and post-partum depression, finding and obtaining employment, much-less staying employed, seems like it would be a career in and of itself. My husband and I have struggled and faced the same financial issues because of it.

Flash forward almost 5 years, and I find myself in the same position you are in (actually, I was in it years ago, which is why I really feel a 'need' to comment! :) )!

My friends have pretty much disappeared, though, I do have some that connect every once in awhile. I have dedicated my life thus far to being a wife and mother, and I have found myself in a position solitude and deepening depression. I struggle with the difficulty of merging who I "was" and who I "am", especially since they are polar opposites, and have all but lost me! I've always felt guilty for doing anything for me when those resources could go to my daughter or to our family, though, I do indulge a little-luckily, most of it lines up with familial benefit. I feel like, and pretty much am, a single mother. My husband and I have found ourselves in a situation that, when he's home, he "gives me a break" and does majority of what needs to be done as a parent. Despite that "break", I am still "on" and still connected as a mother (with added guilt), which negates most of that "break", but allows me enough to keep pushing my way through life (as does the fact that I have some serious baggage, thankfully, it has a profound effectiveness in forcing me to do what I need (and 'want') to do!!). A year ago we started sending our daughter to an independent Pre-School for two days out of each week (from 3 years on we've tried to get her into our City's Preschool program, but was always wait-listed) I feel as if I haven't had a break in nearly 5 years, despite the days she spent at the Preschool.

All of which has forced me to accept that, whether I want to or not (or like it or not), I need stop trying to be (as I like to think of it) "Super-Woman". I've had to stop taking on endeavors, and start trying to take care of myself. Which seems to, now, garner the opposite reaction in people/society. I heard, all this time, "take care of yourself", "do things that you enjoy", "be a little selfish sometimes", now that I need it, and am actually accepting it and trying to get it, I seem to be facing many closed doors and 'reminders' that parenthood is a 'willful sacrifice of self'.

All of which is a very long winded way of sharing the difficulty we all face as parents; in finding that balance, as well as a hope/attempt, to persuade you to look at the situation in a different perspective (my daughter had just turned a year old the first time she wasn't with me or my husband, and me being without her, in that first year, consisted of a pretty big fit to my husband-which finally allowed me to have, m a y b e, a handful of appointments -Dr.'s and such- without her in toe!)! If you are anything like me, and it sounds like you are...in certain way(s)...the guilt won't go away, at least, not quickly, but if you allow yourself to enjoy the time, it will benefit your family, and yourself, a lot more!

Experiencing it has proven to me (not that I needed it!) that continuing to sacrifice will only lead to growing discontentment, and,eventually, a depression that will require professional intervention (seeing a counselor/psychologist, at the very least), and an uphill battle (though I hope not!) to change the status quo. The worse the depression gets, the less you'll be able to do for and give to your child(ren), which will have the exact opposite effect on your life, kid(s), relationship(s), and how you feel about yourself!

If you need and/or want someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to let me know! :) (and I mean that!)

Kaitlyn - posted on 08/18/2013

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Try finding a moms club in your area. It's a national organization with groups everywhere. They have tons of free gatherings. They have babysitting coops and playgroups and things like moms nite out. There are lots of fun things. It is awesome because your kids play with kids their own age and you get to talk with other moms who are going through the same thing you are. Just google up MomsClub and find a chapter in your area. It's better than mommy and me classes as it costs $20 to join and you never have to pay anything else. My girls are older and I still have friends from that time we did momsclub. Good luck it is hard to talk baby all the time and adult interaction will make you a better person, wife and mother.

Mariya - posted on 08/17/2013

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I can see why the invitations are more rare from your friends. They are frustrated hearing "no" from you all the time (most probably). Also, if they do not have kids, their and your interests are not the same (I remember when my best friend had her first baby and I was still single, I could not connect with her because we were in different stages of our lives. She would talk about baby poop (which I was not excited to listen to), and I was thinking about life of a single lady. It is understandable.)

So... You could make new friends with other moms who have kids of the same age; or you could bring your baby-boy with you instead of saying no your current friends (this is what I try to do now as I have a 3-month old).
Also, you should not feel guilty leaving your baby to spend some time with your friends. At the end, your sanity is equal to your (and so also his) happiness = everyone is happy! Using help from grandparents if they are anywhere nearby, a friend, or even getting a baby sitter for couple hours could give you some of that needed sanity!

Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 08/17/2013

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ALL moms need time to themselves away from the baby! Even if it is just you going for a walk alone or reading a good book by yourself in the park! Do not feel guilty about wanting time away! It is Healthy for you to want time away from your baby.

As for your friends, I'm guessing you are on the younger side? I say this because you mentioned that you are losing all of your friends, if your friends had kids themselves, they would understand. It is a shift that all parents go through. Your friends without kids don't understand how you've changed (YES becoming a mom changes you, while leaving you the same...) It is a complicated situation. You will find yourself meeting new friends, other parents who understand how your idea of a fun night out has shifted to mean something different than just going to the bar. Try to find a play group or two in your area (they do have them for kids as young as yours) Mommy and Me classes, or even a New Mom's Support Group! You will meet fabulous women who either are going through what you describe or have already gone through it. Hang in there, it will get better and you will figure things out.

[deleted account]

You have to make time for yourself, and you have to make an effort to keep in touch with your old friends. A large part of the responsibilities of being a sahm is taking care of yourself too.

First, don't feel guilty about leaving your baby--all moms need a break, and time away from mom can be very beneficial for little ones.

Second, keep in mind that if you keep declining invites, your friends are going to stop inviting you because they are going to get the impression that you no longer want to hang out with them, or they don't know what to ask you to do. If you can't afford brunch or lunches out, invite them over to your place for brunch and mimosas or throw a small pot luck dinner party or bbq. Invite them for a run or to join you working out--everyone works out and it's much more fun with a friend, plus studies show we work harder and burn more calories when we have a workout partner.

Last, make some "mom friends". Hit the park once or twice a week. Look up story times at your local libraries and bookstores. Try out the mom&me classes. You'll have to meet tons of people before you find a few that you click with, so don't get discouraged if you just don't connect with a lot of the people you meet.

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Ange - posted on 08/20/2013

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You could look on MeetUp.com in your area to see if there are any mom groups that you might be interested in. Just read all their info, some do charge a small fee or have requirements for being at a certain number of meets, in order to stay in the group. I found one that was totally free and had no special rules. You could even make your own and see if there's anyone else out there with the same situation.

I was in the same boat, no money, friends gone their own ways, stay at home talking baby talk all day, etc. My library sponsored a play time for kids age 4 and under only, so that was good because my little one wasn't over-shadowed by big kids, and I was able to teach him how to be careful of younger ones (ie don't take a toy away from baby just because you want it).

I also got into a MeetUp group that was mom-oriented, rather than child-oriented. The idea was for moms to get together to support, sympathize, advise, and help each other. So the moms all shared similar concerns, but my guy got a chance to interact with some kids his age, some younger, some older. We just met at various parks for playtime, so there wasn't really much expense except gas to get there and I probably could've found a carpool if I'd really needed that too.

There are options out there. Sometimes it just takes having an idea of what places to look, to find them. Good luck!

Leandra - posted on 08/19/2013

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Once a month I attend bookclub, (aka wine club) We rotate houses, the host each month provides the dinner, attendees the drinks. The person hosting pick the book, and it is discussed at the next meeting. In our group, not everyone reads the book, and maybe only 5% of the time do we talk about the book, while the rest of the time, discussion is on what ever is going on in our world.

It is a great way to stay connected with friends, get out of the house, and maybe even read a book you would normally never read. Plus except the time you host, it is inexpensive.

it is good to have mom time, but it also good to have time to yourself, so you can regroup. It is hard to maintain friendships when your friends are not at the same stage in life as you are.

Paula - posted on 08/18/2013

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Invite your closest friends over to your place, a park or meet at a kid-friendly cafe/restaurant. Try to organise a BBQ or leave baby with a relative whilst you go out and enjoy yourself. There are plenty of places that are suitable for little to no cost. You only need to look around your area. You could also try to find a playgroup in your area so you could meet new friends that already have kids.

I know it's hard as suddenly being a mum when all your friends aren't, is challenging if you had a full social life before bub came along. You need to remind that although you Do have a bub, that you are Still the same you! This is an eye-opener as this will show you you're true friends and those who are only along for the ride.

:-)

Stay strong to who you are. You are you, plus one too!

Lauren - posted on 08/16/2013

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Thank you so much! I will have to look into the mommy & baby groups! I didn't even think about that

Chet - posted on 08/15/2013

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We have four kids, and we've also moved around a lot since our kids were born. I've definitely grown apart from a lot of friends. It's hard to maintain friendships with people who are in a different financial situation and a different stage of life. You are not the only mom to go through this. Far from it! It helps to make new friends, and to meet moms with children of similar ages to your own. Try to find some mom and baby groups. Many are free or very inexpensive. A lot of libraries do mom and baby programs. There are mom and baby music classes, yoga classes, and swim classes - although those can be pricey sometimes. Or mom and baby stroller exercise! People think these programs and activities are for the babies, but they are really for the moms - to get out, be with other adults who understand what it's like to be a mom, etc.

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