sahms and working moms..not a debate..calm

Tah - posted on 10/13/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )




So i was just watching good times and Florida was having a crisis, she was snapping and yelling and slapped michael. We find out in the end that her problem is that she feels she has no life apart from her husband and children. Now that they were grown, Michael being about 13, she felt like she still didnt have anything to talk about but her children and her husband because she made them her life. So i was talking to my neighbor in August at the pool, he said after the 10th year anniversary, his wife just woke up and started screaming at him because she felt her life was the same as what florida said, her oldest is maybe in 5th grade and the youngest is about 5, he said he didnt even know anything was wrong because he never told her she had to work or that she couldn't and that she feels like she is missing something. So to my sahm's:

Do you or did you ever feel like this?

Do you have anything that you do apart from the children that makes you feel connected?

If so, what is it?...besides come on here and start trouble...

This question is for my working moms also in a way.

What do you do besides work and then try to have family time?

Is all your free time, if you have, focused on your children and husband/SO?

Do you think it is important to have something for yourself?...

I will come back and answer my own questions, i have to run..karate back...


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Jocelyn - posted on 10/14/2010




(After I had my first baby) I hated, absolutely HATED being a full time SAHM. I was miserable. I had nothing in common with any of my friends (I'm a young mom and the first of my group to have kids). After my second baby, when she was around 3 months, I started bartending a couple nights a week. I LOVE it. I work 3 nights a week, and I get to be out in civilization. I get to have adult conversations, I get to hear all the gossip. Because I am out in the world, it is easier for me to say "You want me to come to burlesque class with you? Hells yes count me in!"
I love my kids, but I am TIRED looking after them. Between running around after a 1 yr old (and trying to prevent her from eating the dogs food) and paying constant attention to my 3.5 yr old son who has PDD-NOS, I am drained by the end of the day. The bar is my place to rewind, to reconnect with other people.
I almost lost myself after the birth of my first, but now after my second, I am finally returning to ME.

[deleted account]

I think the main thing for me is, I feel like I've been at this long enough. You all may think its very sad but this is my social life. I know tons of people in my area, I was born here, but I only have a couple of close friends and our schedules don't mesh very often. I swore I was done having babies in March 2007 when I lost my son, and then I met my hubby. We hooked up in August 08, married by January 09, pregnant by August of 09. The only real job I've had in the last 7 years was at a daycare, so now that my older kids are all in school and its just me and the baby, I find myself going through the years and wondering what happened to fun me. I know my kids think I'm fun but I had my first at 20, my forth at 27 and its time for me to find myself again.

Once a week when I go have a beer with a friend of mine she can't even have one with because shes at work. I used to want nothing more then to be a SAHM but when my son passed away I changed and I closed out the world except for my kids. I wasn't home because I went out for the first time in 2 years and I will never know if I could have done anything to change it. Now I am more distant and numb and I don't like it, so I need to figure out who I am for my family. Work keeps me stable.

Tah - posted on 10/14/2010




i guess because i had my son so young it became imperative that i add to my resume of being mom in order to just get started in life...

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2010




I feel like mothering isn't what I want to do with my life (sorry if that offends anyone) and it's not a job to me. I enjoy the laziness and relaxation of not getting up and getting ready for work and being abused on the job etc. I still have friends that don't have kids and we hang out and friends with kids that we see a fair bit. It's very important for me to finish my bachelor of nursing and contribute financially after the kids are a little bit older. I have free time yeah, I tell my partner "I'm going out bye" and leave Logan here with him whenever I want to or tell him to bath Logan or that I'm going for a nap. But I am with Logan all day while he is at work and hardly ever leave him with other people unless it's important like getting my hair dyed for our wedding. It's really important to me to have something for myself that is my achievement even though now that we have kids it will still be OUR achievement since he will be paying the rent and looking after the kids more.

Carolee - posted on 10/13/2010




I am a SAHM.
Yes, I do feel like I have absolutely nothing to talk about other than the kids. My son is 3 and my daughter is 3 months. I feel trapped in the house and like I cannot do anything because we have only one car. I get "cabin fever" a lot because this apartment is too small for 4 people. My past has a lot to do with my reaction, though. I was once held 'prisoner' by one of my exes in an 8-foot-by-8-foot room for a year. (That's only a little blip of what's happened to me, but that's all I will share here.) I get jittery when I HAVE to stay in the same place for a long period of time.
Every 2 weeks, my friend comes over and we (used to) go to the salon and get our nails done. We (still) watch movies, spend hours talking, and play an RPG (role-playing game... Star Wars is the one we're on now).
Because of my past, I am very socially awkward, even online. I don't tend to put myself 'out there' much, but then I get to the point where I just need to "break free" from EVERYTHING and be wild. I'm still trying to find my middle ground. It doesn't help that I've been basically abandoned by each of my friends one at a time when they found guys to date/marry. So, basically I come on here and play POGO.

Jodi - posted on 10/13/2010




I am a SAHM to a 19 month old girl and soon to twin girls. I LOVE it! But, to answer your questions:

Do you or did you ever feel like this? Yes, I occasionally do or did, but only because on the rare occasions I DO bring up my child to my friends they immediately clump me in with the group of moms who have nothing else to talk about...if they actually do exist!

Do you have anything that you do apart from the children that makes you feel connected? If so, what is it?...besides come on here and start trouble... I scrapbook for one, read lots of books, dabble in drawing and painting and belly dance. I love talking current events/politics with a few of my girlfriends, and also ethics/debating/morals etc etc etc. I get together with other friends and we scrapbook together, I have one friend whom enjoys baking, so we make elaborate cakes or hard candies together during the holidays etc etc etc.

Do you think it is important to have something for yourself? My goodness yes! My only role in life is not just mother, I'm a wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, woman, family is my life, but I still have a life! lol

I think it can be easy to feel isolated and disconnected as a SAHM, we don't go to an office or workplace everyday and socialize with other adults! Not that we dont' socialize, just in a different way! Some women dno't want to stay home, some women want to, but end up hating it, some women want to and love it, I'm the latter so far as was my mother, but to each their own! Some days, I am jealous of working moms who get to have child free time everyday and have adult conversations every day! lol But personally, I wouldn't trade my job for anyone elses in the world!

La - posted on 10/13/2010




Serena- I have young children also who don't allow me to partake in hobbies with a lot of parts to be assembled LOL. I was thinking of trying to learn some sign language.

Serena - posted on 10/13/2010




I love my children more than anything in the world but for the life of me cannot understand why they would want to spend every waking minute with me. But I muddle through it counting down until my husband's next day off. He works a schedule that has him on duty for at least two days at a time. So yes I do feel like this at least once a week.
I would like to have hobbies that don't include my children or husband but since we just moved here I am still adjusting to the area.
I keep the mantra in my head though that once the kids get bigger and more independent I will have time to myself again and perhaps finally able to use the bathroom without an audience LOL.
Any suggestions though for hobbies for a mother with three children under the age of 4 including two babies 9 mos apart? I tried scrapbooking but by the time I get all the materials out, someone is up from nap and interested in eating the paper or glue...

Charlie - posted on 10/13/2010




Nope im not missing out as a SAHM , i have a great social life , i still do everything i want to do the only difference is i have kids with me .

I have just started making bags and Tshirts to sell at markets , i catch up with friends 3 -4 times a week for a coffee or nibbles and a glass of wine while our children play , If Jamie is home he will take the boys and let me go out on my own to visit friends and i take the kids and let him go out with the boys ( his mates ), Mum takes Cooper once a week overnight and occasionally she takes Harry for a couple of hours ( 2-3) so Jamie and i can go out for Dinner together and we always plan a few concerts during the year ( not so much this year with a newborn ) but next year we are heading up to sydney for a massive heavy metal concert to see Iron maiden , rob zombie , queens of the stone age , slash and heaps more and a seperate TOOL show after that , my mum is coming up with us and having the kids for the day at my uncles house while we go check out the bands and on top of that we are planning a holiday over to Tonga next year with the kids , other than that i really enjoy my time at home BECAUSE i have independance , i love going to the beach with the boys , hanging at the park , painting , cooking with Cooper ECT , i think the biggest mistake a person can make is forget about themselves and their relationship with their partner , who are we if we lose ourselves , YES i am a mother and someones partner but first and foremost i am Loureen and i have interests outside of my home , taking time for myself is VITAL for my sanity and wellbeing it allows me to engage in adult conversation about things other than children ( although it always comes back to that ) , luckily for me most of my highschool friends have kids and those that dont love my kids anyway so i always have my children in tow when i am out and about being a social butterfly :D

Oh and summer time is a never ending round of BBQ , beach and babies ! all of us (friends )get together every weekend and have a BBQ at the beach while the kids play in the park or swim, In fact we are doing it this weekend YAY for nice whether !

You can live life AND be a mother , it just takes a little more planning and effort than pre children its about finding balance between mummy and ME .

Tah - posted on 10/13/2010




@Kelly, thank anyone can answer the "do you think it is important to have something for yourself?" question..glad you did....

Now i am a working mom but i do all the stay at home things also so i will answer both, and anybody can feel free to do the same.

I work nights mostly..about 3-4 a week. I am not anyone's fulltime employee. I am classified as a PRN(as needed) employee at all 3 of my jobs..(i widdled it down from 6, aren't you guys proud of me..,lol) anywho...They call me tell me their needs. I hang up, go downstairs check the kids schedules..what events do we have blah blah blah...check husband's duty schedule(when he works 32 hours straight once a week) so the kids aren't here overnight without a parent, then i fill in the 3-4 days a night with that job, pick up a couple evening shifts at job 2 and then my weekend at job gives me flexibility, i can schedule appts, activites for the family etc and i have insurance from the military so i am blessed i don't have to commit to ft or pt at this point, it's the best of both worlds..make my own schedule but still make the money...

so do i ever feel like the ladies in the OP?...why yes i did. It was all about them and what they needed to do, what they wanted to eat, activities etc. and i think i had a little breakdown on parenting debates or mummy chats early this maybe a little before...

Coming on here does make me feel connected, i have friends apart from this but we don't talk about the same things as with you ladies, it's usually another sad love song with them, not all but some. intelligent people, just not happy people sometimes. I am also active in the childrens activites to the point where i joined karate with them. I also consider that to be for me because i take my classes seperate from them so that i can have that time to concentrate on being me and learning and having fun without worrying about anything at that moment. School is also what keeps me connected, being able to talk about issues and do group projects is fun to me and it makes me feel like i am closer to my goals. My husband made me an office across from our bedroom, and sometimes i go in there and watch netflix that he put on my computer and come on here and talk to you ladies but i'll take my books in there and open one so he will think i am doing homework and keep the kids out...sometimes i here them saying daddy daddy daddy and i laugh.....(evil i know)...

You ladies know i think it is very important to have something for yourself, absolutely. I think it keeps you well balanced and connected. It keeps you from being a mommy martyr as someone on another thread so nicely put it and it gives you time to get refreshed and to not feel like the ladies in the OP...i felt so bad for my neighbor, she was so bad he was sleeping in the frigging barracks and she was threatening to take the kids and move back to california. i told him i didn't want to say to much sinces she walks by me like i am people are like that, but he is very friendly, that maybe she just needed something for herself since everyone in the house had that but her. I mean i never see her go anywhere but the supermarket and they park right next to me so everytime we come out or go in, her jeep is there, her kids are never at the park or outside unless he brings them out, i mean she must have cabin fever like it's nobody's business, they seem to be okay now..or i'll say he's back home. I wish her the best and i honestly think that if she had something for herself she would be happier and when mama is happy, everybody is happy....that is the rule here

Jodi - posted on 10/13/2010




With my youngest at school this year, I have started searching a lot for what's next for me....I do work at home (I have my own business), but that's not what I want to do forever. It has suited me very well, and will suit me well for a while in the future, but I have just decided to apply to do my Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching next year. I will do it part time over 2 years so I can still have a lot of time with my kids, and still manage my business, but this qualification will give me the opportunity to do relief teaching, and even teaching at tertiary level (because of my work experience for the last 20 odd years).

I had a big career before I had kids. I still had a career when I had my oldest, and because I was a single mother, I DO feel like I missed out on him growing up. My kids always tell me that they love that I am home for them after school. I'm not ready yet to put their needs aside. But I am starting to think about it because I know that not too far in the future, it won't be that way. I don't want to go back to what I was doing, so I have found something I would like to do and am spending some time preparing for it while still meeting my families current needs.

In addition to all of the above, I love to do my crafts, I love to work with the children at the school (I do volunteer work), and I love to cook. These are all important to me. Those are the things I do because I choose to in my spare time :)

ME - posted on 10/13/2010




I do read books pretty often, and I'm thinking of taking a yoga class this winter...but other then that, I'm happy doing things with my kids and my husband. We try to pick things that everyone enjoys like zoos, museums, aquariums, etc...but it doesn't really matter to me what we do...

C. - posted on 10/13/2010




I LOVE Good Times!!!

I've always wanted to be a mom, but sometimes I just have to 'get away'. When my son is asleep or when hubby gets home (whichever comes first) I hop on here or I tend to the few plants that I have. I also try to do other things, like clean.. But lately I haven't been able to do much of that :/

And yes, I do think it's important to have something for yourself. Every mommy needs time to themselves for a little bit, even if it's only about 10 minutes. Just like a paying job, we need breaks, too.

ME - posted on 10/13/2010




Ummm...I can relate...I did, however spend my entire 20's doing exactly what I wanted...I met my husband when I was 27, and married him 1 month before my 30th birthday. I'd gotten 2 MA degrees by that time, lived on my own 1000 miles from home for 10 years, spent a summer living in the woods in the mountains, camped my way across the western part of the US for 3 weeks one summer, traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico, and through most of my own country, and gotten a green belt in kung fu....and lots more...I don't have any regrets...

Sharon - posted on 10/13/2010





I was ME!!!! Long before the kids & hubby came along. I dated, had long term boyfriends and even live in boyfriends but I still had a life and interests apart from them.

Until I got married & had kids. I didn't set out to get rid of "me", it just happened. Naturally, I think.

The are and always will be the most important things in my life.

I tried to take time for myself here & there but it was hard when the kids were small. Later we hit financial hard times & I felt guilty about getting a cup of coffee or buying a new book. It was only about $8 bucks but damn that was half a case of diapers nearly or badly needed gas money.

But I recognised this. Lucky me. I could see what I needed but couldn't do it. Finally my kids were oldest enough I could go back to work - WHOO HOOO!!!

I don't resent my kids at all or ever. And my first job ended with my third pregnancy but now all three are well into school with no need for daycare and I'm back at work and possibly on a career path.

I LOVE my family. I miss them when I'm away and working late. But I like that I miss them. I like coming home and they jump on me with kisses & hugs (even the 15 year old!!!). That feels good too.

[deleted account]

Currently SAHM, way too soon going to have to be working mom...

Nope. Ever since I was 14 the only thing I wanted to be was a mom. I do take some time for myself (computer, watch a movie, chill on the beach while the kids are playing, etc..) obviously cuz everyone needs a break from time to time regardless of what you do, but being w/ my kids is exactly where I want to be. That's why I want to work in a preschool since I have to be working soon. Kids (and not just my own) ARE my life.

[deleted account]

Nope, not weird! I pretty much feel the same as you. Roxanne is still young and I know eventually I'll be wanting and finding more things to do for myself but right now I'm super happy, content etc. doin the SAHM thing.

[deleted account]

I have my own things and I stay active. I go to church 3x a week and my daughter goes to the nursery. I have a very small jewelry business that gets me out of the house twice a month or so. I have girls' night once a month and book club once a month. But in all honesty, my favorite days are the ones where my husband is off of work and we spend the whole day as a family. I don't feel imprisoned by my family in the least. I love being with them. And when I do go one of those other things, I feel good for the first hour or so, then I'm missing my family! Maybe I'm weird...

[deleted account]

yes I do feel like I'm missing out

a friend of mine is a bar tender and she buys me a beer on wed. or thurs. evenings

but I love coming on here to start trouble too:-)

La - posted on 10/13/2010




I'm a SAHM and I definitely feel like I have no life other than my kids and SO. He is gone all day and my kids are young and don't talk yet so I pretty much spend the whole day babbling outloud with no reciprocal conversations. My youngest is breastfeeding and wants to eat and be latched on pretty much all the time she is awake and my toddler is autistic and needs constant stimulation so the only time I get to do anything for myself is when they are both asleep. By the time they are napping I have to choose between eating, showering, cleaning the house, or taking a nap myself. Stepkids are here every other weekend and since we only have one compact sized car we can't fit 4 kids and 2 adults in it so I'm stuck in the house on those weekend also. That leaves 4 days a month that I could have SO watch the kids for me to go do something for myself, but since we never have time to do anything together during the week I usually use those days to take our 2 girls out (I can't do too many things by myself with my girls because if the baby needs to breastfeed that means I can't run after/entertain my autistic toddler who will either run off or start flipping out if i leave her buckled into an unmoving stroller.)

I have my nursing license and would love to work parttime but we can't put the kids in daycare and if I work nights I won't get time to sleep during the day. I have also been thinking I should pick up a hobby, but I can't seem to find something that fits my schedule, budget, and interests. I'd like to take some yoga classes, start working out again, and get back to riding horses every now and then, but I'd feel guilty that I was taking time away from being with my kids/SO if I use our only free time to be away from I feel bad either way: I'm upset that I don't get anytime to do anything for myself but if I do something for myself I feel bad that I'm being selfish with family time.

[deleted account]

I'm a SAHM to a 1 year old son.

1) No I haven't felt like that, I have a life other than my son and my hubby, I would go mad if I didn't.

2 and 3) I meet friends (from before I became a mummy) for lunch or coffee and we chat about normal stuff and I make a point to only chat about my son a little bit. I have my hair done (although I need it done now but will have to wait until next month, what with Ethan's 1st birthday yesterday and mine and hubby's anniversary and birthdays within the next week AND a holiday we have no spare money for haircuts). I read, I love reading.

[deleted account]

Hmmm, I don't know why I'm answering this because my daughter is only 11 months and I don't know if I qualify as either a SAHM or a working mum since I work 2 days a week but take my daughter with me, but these are my thoughts (always have to add my 2 cents LOL)...

I do believe parents need something for themselves. I work 2 days a week so that I can talk with other adults, be a part of a team (besides the team that is me and my husband), think about something other than my child/family/home and have a lunch break to myself :)
At home, I enjoy taking the dogs for a walk by myself or every now and then getting out with friends. Hell, I even enjoy going off to staff meetings LOL. Doesn't mean I don't love my family, but I need me time. I've always been an independent person. Part of what makes my marriage work is we have our own interests and don't need to be with each other 24/7.

For the mothers in the OP, I think its unfair of them to take it out on their kids or their husband. We all have options. We all have choices. Don't be a martyr and forgo yourself for your family. Coz that's not doing anyone any favours in the long run.

[deleted account]

Good questions, Tah! Maybe this will help breakdown some of the stereotypes between working moms and sahm's.

I am a stay at home mom.
"Do you or did you ever feel like this?"
No, not really. I mean, I have days where I wonder Where is my life headed? What do I really want to do with my life? and so on, but for the most part, my life is very full and I am constantly accomplishing things and working on new goals.

"Do you have anything that you do apart from the children that makes you feel connected?"
Yes! I am a member of a book club that I love. I volunteer with YouthBASE which is a program for neglected kids. I am part of the Art Therapy program, but I also organize their charity auction and help with other fundraisers to get some interaction with adults as well as the kids.
That is really all that I do that is not related in some way to my son, but I get a great amount of reward from the things I do for him--I volunteer at his school in the SEEDS reading program, the publishing center, and I organize fundraisers for the new track and the library expansion. I am active at his Taekwondo school with volunteering at competitions, and helping him train for competitions. I home schooled him for preschool, and kept busy socializing him until he was ready to begin school.
And of course I have my friends, both "mommy friends" who have kids who are friends with mine, and my "non-Mommy friends" who don't have kids at all. That may not be task or goal oriented, but just hanging out with them and chatting is very fulfilling to me and makes me feel more connected to the outside world and not so cocooned into parenthood.

"Do you think it is important to have something for yourself?"
I know that was aimed at working moms, but I want to answer anyway because I feel it is very, very important to have things just for ourselves whether we work or stay home. It is so easy to loose your identity in parenthood, and that is what leads to the feelings you described in the OP. :)

Becky - posted on 10/13/2010




Yes, I have felt like that at times, especially when the kids were tiny and my life revolved around breastfeeding, spit-up, and poopy diapers. I've complained to my husband that I feel like I'm boring now, because all I talk about is the kids. But, as the kids get older and more interesting, I feel less boring, lol! :) I don't think I've ever really felt like I had no life, because I do get out of the house quite a bit, but at times, I've felt like my life is boring to anyone else but me. KWIM?
A lot of what I do outside of our home is still with my kids - I go to a moms and tots group, get together with friends, hang out with my sisters and their kids, do family-friendly activities, and my kids generally come with me when I go shopping or run errands. But I have a few things I do that don't include my kids. I scrapbook, and get together with friends to do that - although right now I'm working on scrapbooks FOR my kids. My husband and I attend a small-group Bible study. And I get together with other women for breakfasts or girls nights without the kids once in a while. Oh, and I get my hair cut! That is like the ultimate break for me, I love having my hair washed and styled at a salon! :)
I do think it's important for any mom to have some stuff for herself. Some people would say that for a working mom, going to work is her break, but I think it's still important for her to take time to do things that are just for her, not about her family, not about her job, just about her.

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