Adjusting to being a SAHM...not as easy as I had thought....

Alesia - posted on 04/30/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi there!

I've recently transitioned to being a sahm and still feel like I'm just on vacation from work. It hasn't quite sunk in for me yet. I'm finding myself feeling a lack of worth as my husband goes to work each day and I'm just.... at home. He's been so supportive and tells me how much he appreciates what I'm doing and sacrificing my career to be with our kids. I'm so grateful for his support, but this transition is rough. My friend just got a promotion and is making significantly more money...and I've taken a part time sales job at a home improvement store after working in HR for 5 years. Our budget is going to be pretty tight and I convinced myself how precious it would be to be with the kids more (after commuting for years), but I find myself feeling jealous of those going to work and earning an income. I'm still paying on my student loans and now not even using my degree either.
Any words of encouragement or advice?

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Alesia - posted on 05/05/2013

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Thank you, Alicia. I appreciate your thoughtful words. You especially make a good point about raising a healthy, well balanced polite child. I honestly feel that in today's culture it is so emphasized that women can have and do it all, but the truth is that when I tried to have it all by having a career and having children I couldn't help but feel guilty that someone else was raising my child other than myself (simply because I wasn't there for them most of the day). That was my job; my responsibility. And as you said...the most important job in the world.

I had some co-workers tell me before I left my job that they actually had moms who stayed home when they were little and it ended up being the most memorable times of their life and to think back and remember all of the fun things they got to do with mom. I'm looking forward to this summer and the fun we'll get to have and the adventures we'll go on. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and create many moments that your children will be able to look back on and always remember.

Alicia - posted on 05/02/2013

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listen i'm a stay at home mom too... and there are lots of us and we have the most important job in the world. I'm a Mom and there is no better job then that. some people dont think of being a mom as a job but i do its just different. its no 9-5 for $10-$12 an hour with benefits. Its 24/7/365 with no pay and more benefits then any other job in the world. you'll be there for everything that they need and you dont have to be a stay at home mom forever. i went back to work doing demos in stores (like in costco all those samples i did that) and yeah it was only on weekends but i did it while i had 2 at home an one on the way. and i'd do it again except my husband is away all week and wants me home on weekends so he can see me. look for weekend jobs if you feel the need to contribute. but i wouldnt your job as a mom is the best one in the whole world. just remember that you are contributing in the form of a healthy, well balanced, well adjusted, polite child cause i'm sure that you are going to raise them right. and i'm not saying that moms who go back right away dont raise those kind of children but it just not as easy as moms who can stay home. dont worry about anything you are doing great just fill your day with your baby. and after bed time relax just like a work day. have a bath read a book and have some 'me' time. dont worry about your degree it'll always be there ready and waiting for when your ready to go back to it.

i hope you feel better.

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Oh, I almost forgot. I also do a lot of marketing for charitable entities from my home. I can create invitations to galas, contact corporate sponsors for donations, organize catering, design banners, maintain websites, write press releases, etc.
I love organizing a good party, and a lot of charities use black tie dinners and galas to raise money for their cause. You can do a lot of the planning for those at home with a little one. I've also organized 5k runs, and help with an annual Walk for the Homeless event for United Ministries.
This was easy when J was an infant, but it became difficult to take on much once he reached toddlerhood. Then once he started school, I took on a little more until I got involved with his school.

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That can be a very difficult obstacle. You do have to think outside the box a little.

When J was an infant, up until he started school, I was involved with an "adopt a grandparent" program at several of our local nursing homes and hospice centers. It may not sound like you are making a big societal impact by visiting old people, but you are thanking them for the effort they've put into building our society--everything we have, they built or helped to maintain, or nurtured us so that we could create it. Many have no family close by, or left at all, and it brings an unbelieveable amount of joy to their lives to see young parents and young children. Plus, they tell some AMAZING stories. The memories I created in those nursing homes and hospice centers with J are some of my most cherished.

Once he could walk, we began delivering Meals-on-Wheels together. This is a national service, look on their website to find your local chapter. They deliver meals to people who are unable to leave their homes or cook for themselves. Again, very rewarding.

In addition to those positions which were already available, I created a few positions of my own. I worked with my local Women's Shelter to create a program that would offer child care to women so that they could attend job interviews. I could watch J while I looked over the children.

Stemming from that, we created a reading program for those children where we read to children of women who are homeless or fleeing abusive situations. (Studies show that those children are rarely read do, and that reading to them early on increases their chances of success at school, and decreases their tendency toward behavioral problems and mental illness. I just brought J with me to the story times.

Annaleida Van De - posted on 05/01/2013

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Hi Kelly,

Thank you for your reply. I do really agree with you, and have actually already looked into volunteering myself. The only problem is, how do you combine that with a little one at home? I would really like to do some volunteering outside of the house, so I'll meet other people, but can't find anything where I can bring my baby along. And bringing her to daycare isn't an option, because of money issues. How did you solve this?

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I know how you feel--when I quit my job to become a sahm, I actually went back to work and quit 3 times before I finally found my groove.

Basically, you've attached your self worth to how much money you make. It is a VERY easy mistake to make in our society, but it is not healthy at all.

You need to look at yourself, and your new role as a sahm, and redefine your self. Figure out something you can do in your new role to recover that self worth that you've lost. For me, it is volunteering. I find that I feel much more valuable to our home, family, and society by doing meaningful volunteer work, than I did working a part time job for $12/hour, which didn't even add up to drop in our financial bucket.

Does that make sense? Don't let society determine your self worth based on how much you make, or how much you are able to buy. Instead, look at how valuable to your community, to society as a whole, you can be by DOING something meaningful.

Annaleida Van De - posted on 05/01/2013

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Hi Alesia,

I can really relate to you! I've recently become a sahm and - although I really love spending time with my daughter - I am feeling more trapped every day. I used to have a fulltime responsible job, and now I feel like my brains are slowly draining empty of intelligent content and filling up with diapers, crying and runny noses. My husband is very supportive, but he has to work and that leaves me alone most of the day. Since we've just moved from another country, I don't have friend or family to fall back on. I've met some other mums, which is nice, but since they are all experiencing the same situation as I am, meeting up with them is really nice, but isn't really challenging my intellect either.

I have looked into doing other things, like sporting, taking up more reading or online studying, but so far it has proven impossible to combine this with taking care of my 6 months old baby. And in the evening I'm to tired to begin with these activities, and frankly to happy my husband is home and I can talk to someone!

So, I'm lonely, bored and slowly gaining weight! And I do not know how to get out of this negative cycle!

At the same time, I am happy to be able to give our daughter the best care possible for her right now and I am convinced that we are doing that right now. I just need to feel good about myself at the same time!

I'm sorry if this post isn't much use to you, but I'm really glad to find someone to relate to.

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