If You Are A SAHM...

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Old 11-11-2011, 07:36 AM
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If you are a SAHM...

Do you ever feel like you do a whole lot of nothing all day long?

My DH gets up and goes to work where his opinions are valid, he sits and enjoys his coffee, and he sees other adult human beings.

Me, I get up and get 3 kids dressed every morning, walk to the bus stop, get back, try to keep my baby from crying, snap at my DS to stop doing X, Y, Z, struggle the rest of the morning to make my coffee and eat something. I don't even get time to work with my DS on home pre-k stuff. On a good day, I have time to read him a book.

By that time, it's time to go get my oldest back from the bus stop.

I struggle the rest of the afternoon to get lunch on the table, get the laundry done, clean up juice all over the floor, clean up toys, try not to trip on toys, oh yeah and be the sole food source for 1 of the little humans.

We rarely ever get out of the house. I never see another adult human being aside from my DH, for the very brief time he's home in the evenings and weekends.

Some days, my kids tell me they want me to go back to work.

I love my kids incredibly, please don't take my post the wrong way in that sense. I just struggle to see the value of what I'm doing with my life. I'm always tired, hungry, exhausted. I used to work full time in an office for several years, and then we moved and I've been a SAHM for 1.5 yrs now. However, I don't want to go back to working outside the home in an office or anywhere, don't even know what I would want to do. I feel torn, stuck and isolated a lot of days.

Now my DH recently accepted a very excellent new job, we will be moving again. What he does affects so many lives and he will highly regarded in his field. Me? I wipe my kids' butts. Looking forward to those social family work functions.

Please tell me there is a silver lining? Again, I love my kids, I don't for a SECOND take them for granted. I just don't like the way I've been feeling for a long time. I don't feel like a good Mom, and this is what I always wanted to do.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2011, 07:48 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I could have written the same thing, except sometimes my husband has to go overseas for months and I don't interact with any adults at all. I'm thinking of taking ONE college class next time he leaves so I can feel like I'm doing SOMETHING. I was just telling my husband that he is great, but I feel like a beggar when I ask him for money, and I feel like a thief if I go to the bank and get money on my own because I was accustomed to making my own money.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:56 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I'm a sahm too. Some days I feel the exact same way you do. Others, its great. I get the 4 oldest ready and off to school at 7. Then clean the house, play on here, whatever till the 2 youngest wake up. Then we have breakfast, bath, get ready for prek, lunch, and take 5yo to school. Me and little man get our stuff done while he's at school. Pick him up, get others from school and/or activities, eat snack, make dinner, do homework/chores/practice instruments, showers, and bedtime. I also do random little field trips with mine. Nothing spectacular: go to the pet store and play with the animals, go to the fire station, police station, etc. You NEED to get out and do things with them. If you are stuck at the house 24/7 you will get burnt out on being a sahm. So what if there's toys on the floor. They will still be there later. Your kids are not gonna remember that Mommy cleaned up every speck of dirt as soon as it dropped. They are gonna remember that Mommy loved them, had fun with them, was always there for them. One thing I loved when mine were little was pudding painting. They could paint with it and it didn't matter if they ate it since pudding is edible. Make homemade koolaid playdough. Tastes nasty, but smells good and won't hurt them if they eat it. Go to the library for movies and books. Go to the playground. Have a picnic. When its warm out, put swimsuits on them and wash the car/have a water fight. Put swimsuits on them and some dishsoap and water on the floor and let them slide around. This is my favorite because the floor gets clean and they have a blast! Get window crayons or window markers and color on the windows. Have a girls night for you and a few friends once a month. Let me know if you need any more ideas, advice, or just need to vent. :-) And remember even if you think your job is pointless or hubby's is better, there are some very important children that think you have the most important job in the world.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:09 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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Not alone. I had to laugh about the getting coffee part. Sometimes I warm up my cup three times and I never get to finish it. Lucky if I can get breakfast in before 10 if I get it. I only have two one school aged and a preschooler so I may have it a little easier. Being a SAHM is work and just like any other job some days are good and some days are bad. And yes no matter how you feel you are making a huge difference. You are giving your kids what is best for them when they need it the most. I always remind myself how fast time flies and that it is only rough for a little while and there will be time for mom to pursue a career later. Right now it is important to be there for your kids. Remember you can never get these years back and you can always work when they are in school. To me my kids right now are more important than interacting with adults or making money.
That said you may want to schedule some time out of the house so you can interact with other adults. We are social being and we do need it from time to time. Is there other SAHM you know or a mommy group you can go to or host in your home once a month or so.
I am lucky enough to have two SAHM in my neighborhood and we do get together from time to time. Maybe look up MOPS, library programs, parks and rec programs, church, family resource center for preschoolers in your area. Most of these programs are free and they will at least get you out of the house.

Just remember that you are making a huge difference for your family and your kids will be better because of it. Teachers can point out kids that have parent caretakers vs daycare.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:18 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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Thanks everyone, it's just a struggle for me to get out of the house because I'm always tired, and the idea of chasing my 2 older ones around the library, store, wherever, is exhausting. That and my baby doesn't like being worn in her moby wrap carrier much anymore, so she is always wanting me to just hold her or nurse her all.the.time. I can't just sit down somewhere and nurse her, while my son is wreaking havoc in public, ya know? Oh and my baby won't take a bottle of breastmilk at all either, so I can't get out of the house alone.

What makes things worse is I am an extreme introvert, so being around a lot of people exhausts me mentally, and then I always worry 1 of my kids will get lost or run away. I've lost my son at Kohl's before, they almost had to do a store lockdown. He's almost gotten hit by a car running outside of Target. Yes, I have a "leash" for him, I've misplaced it though, but I mean he's almost 4....

I haven't gotten to know anyone because I knew we'd only be here for 2 years until DH got another job. I am not good at meeting people either, that whole introvert thing.

I'm just not very good at this parenting thing, and it's the 1 thing I always knew I wanted to do.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:25 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I feel the same and it is rough but I have given up on ever drinking a hot cup of coffee, breakfast being anything other than cold oatmeal or leftover scraps from the kids plate. I usually try to take time off but its rough lately. I am sure you are good at the parenting thing, just some days it feels like an endless hamster wheel that keeps spinning even when ya wanna get off. I usually try to buy myself a few moments of sanity with a short cartoon and naptime Hang in there it does get easier.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:26 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GwenythOwensMama
Thanks everyone, it's just a struggle for me to get out of the house because I'm always tired, and the idea of chasing my 2 older ones around the library, store, wherever, is exhausting. That and my baby doesn't like being worn in her moby wrap carrier much anymore, so she is always wanting me to just hold her or nurse her all.the.time.

What makes things worse is I am an extreme introvert, so being around a lot of people exhausts me mentally and I always worry 1 of my kids will get lost or run away. I've lost my son at Kohl's before, they almost had to do a store lockdown.

I'm just not very good at this parenting thing, and it's the 1 thing I always knew I wanted to do.
I know exactly how you feel. I'm part of a meetup moms group but half the time I feel like I have nothing to add & I'm so awkward that stupid things just fly out of my mouth. I only have one (&one on the way) but my son is wild. He will run the second he has a chance. He also can't play with one thing for more than a minute so even taking him to the park is exhausting. I feel like a terrible mom because besides going to the gym and park we don't do much else. I see moms from my group hosting events and playing games while still managing to look pretty. I don't know why I can't just be like them. I feel like I'm going to fail my children because I don't have the energy. Don't get me wrong, I give my son all the love in the world, I just wish I could be better at this than I am. The point of all this is to tell you that you aren't alone! We do the best we can.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:29 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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You need to change the mentality of thinking your not good enough. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!!!!! and yes I was yelling there ;-) So what if your not Martha freaking Stewart. You are you and that makes you the best mom for your kids. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect parents. If your kids are happy and healthy (well most of the time. They are kids after all) then that makes you a great parent. The fact that you are asking for advice says that you are a good mom that just needs a little help and support. Keep your head up and know that you can do this :-)
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:38 PM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I knew from a very young age that I wanted kids but wanted to work. I saw my mom who was a sahm to just me and her teeny tiny world of clean windows and knew I couldn't do it.

For years, I worked. Many times opposite shifts from DH. Three years ago at age 46 I lost my job and knew I'd never get another one. I ended up on SSDI. And home, with my kids. They were 9 and 13 at the time.

While I'm glad to have had this time with them, and while I love my kids to death, I made the right choice for me. I could never be a nurse, I could never be a sahm.

It is a hard, exhausting, thankless job where everybody expects things to magically happen (dinner, laundry, etc..)! It takes a very special kind of person to do that job. My DH was a sahd for many years and did waaay better than I ever could have.

It's amazing you do this day in and day out. My kids were older when I started being at home and I still got frustrated. Work is nice. It's generally clean, you can usually grab 5 mins if you need to, and people appreciate what you do and tell you!

Hats off to anyone who does this full time!

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Old 11-12-2011, 09:52 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I have good news for all of you. 1. It gets better. 2 your kids will reap great benefits. I was not a full time sahm but when my kids were young as I was able to work part time, different shifts than my DH. I was an X-ray tech at the time and our 2nd shift was mostly made up of moms. We worked 2 nights per week and every other weekend. The weeknights didn't start until 4:30 so DH was with them in the evening. Yes it was difficult when they were young. My youngest (now 26) was diagnosed with ADD and was a handful. It wasn't until he was 21 that we found he was NOT ADD but autistic. It explained alot about the problems we had when he was younger (high functioning autism was not as well known then). When they were preschool I thought I never would get anything done but 20+ years later there are no ill effects. Is there any way you could get a job just 1 or 2 days/nights per week? It really helps alot to talk with other adults. Or how about a class at your local technical school or rec department. Anything to be with adults for a few hours per week. The early years are tough but I did not worry about toys not put away or if the house was spotless. Once the kids were in school (this is when it really gets easier), I did housework etc during the day and they house looked better but I don't think they cared. The greatest thing, was that I (or DH) was always there and we didn't need daycare (ocassional babysitters for nights out). I was able to volunteer at their schools (which is much needed), assist on field trips and be on other committees with other moms (adult interaction). The best reward I ever received was when DD said (when she was about 19) "it was so great to have mom home and able to do things with us when we young" She is now 29 (just married in June) and wants to start a family soon. She just told me she will be looking for a new job so she can cut her hours (10+ per day from spring-fall) because she wants to be able to be home at least 2 days during the week when they have kids. She said she wants to be able to take them to the park, library, help at school etc just like I did when she was younger. She even brought up some of the things we did on our "day outings" that I long forgot about. I know I made the right choice for us.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:18 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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For the OP, and maybe a few others, have you considered that maybe you are also suffering from Postpartum Depression?

I have had issues with depression all of my life so I can tell you that feelings of worthlessness are not normal.

While everyone has days where it is just a struggle to get through because you are tired, stressed or sick. If these feelings last for more than a few days, (current wisdom is 2 weeks) you really need to speak to your Doc. There are a lot of techniques out there up to & including medication to help. I know that if you are breastfeeding, medication would be a last resort, but it may be necessary & you shouldn't feel that you have anything to be ashamed of if it comes to that. Better to stop breastfeeding & get the help you need than to get into such a depressive spiral that you can't be there at all for your kids, your hubby or yourself.

Hopefully this is not the case for you, but I just wanted to offer my advise & support if it is. Having been in those exact shoes, I say, do what you need to do as soon as you need to. Waiting makes it harder to treat.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:52 PM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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aww mamma it gets better. There has to be a silver lining. I am also a SAHM right now.to 10mos twins and a 19,yo,18yo,17yo,12yo,11yo. This from being a NCO in the military for almost 10 yrs and then a large child care center owner. I decided it i were to have more kids I would stay home with them since I missed sooo much with my older ones. We sold everything last year moved closer to home and I have been a SAHM every since Apr 2010. It has been a struggle and I decided to go back to school for a MSHRM in order to get out the house and see other adult humans. But it does get frustrating and you must believe that your silver lining be that you have given your best to your children and that they will benefit in the future (even though it is hard to see now). There are just never enough hours n a day but. I would say try to find some "me" time however you can. My me time is from 4am-7am() the 24 hr stores are well stocked and very little ppl. But in many communities there are support or mommy groups that you may also benefit from. But I understand what you are going through and look on the bright side one day they will be grown and have as much free time as you can handle. I wish you the best..and keep us updated
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:11 PM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GwenythOwensMama View Post
Do you ever feel like you do a whole lot of nothing all day long?

My DH gets up and goes to work where his opinions are valid, he sits and enjoys his coffee, and he sees other adult human beings.

Me, I get up and get 3 kids dressed every morning, walk to the bus stop, get back, try to keep my baby from crying, snap at my DS to stop doing X, Y, Z, struggle the rest of the morning to make my coffee and eat something. I don't even get time to work with my DS on home pre-k stuff. On a good day, I have time to read him a book.

By that time, it's time to go get my oldest back from the bus stop.

I struggle the rest of the afternoon to get lunch on the table, get the laundry done, clean up juice all over the floor, clean up toys, try not to trip on toys, oh yeah and be the sole food source for 1 of the little humans.

We rarely ever get out of the house. I never see another adult human being aside from my DH, for the very brief time he's home in the evenings and weekends.

Some days, my kids tell me they want me to go back to work.

I love my kids incredibly, please don't take my post the wrong way in that sense. I just struggle to see the value of what I'm doing with my life. I'm always tired, hungry, exhausted. I used to work full time in an office for several years, and then we moved and I've been a SAHM for 1.5 yrs now. However, I don't want to go back to working outside the home in an office or anywhere, don't even know what I would want to do. I feel torn, stuck and isolated a lot of days.

Now my DH recently accepted a very excellent new job, we will be moving again. What he does affects so many lives and he will highly regarded in his field. Me? I wipe my kids' butts. Looking forward to those social family work functions.

Please tell me there is a silver lining? Again, I love my kids, I don't for a SECOND take them for granted. I just don't like the way I've been feeling for a long time. I don't feel like a good Mom, and this is what I always wanted to do.

Oh my dear, you have one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs ever! You really need a mental/emotional/physical break from your kids even if it's 30 minutes to soak in a bath, go for a run or call up your best friend. You owe it to yourself to start taking better care of yourself so you can have the energy to take care of your family. Have you told your DH what's happening? Have you told him what you need? It sounds like you're handling the kids it all alone. Communication is the key and your DH is part of your parenting team. YOU are a vital person to your family but you can't be at your best when you're stressed. I was a registered nurse for 9 years before I decided to become a full time SAHM (due to my DH joining the ministry). For me I had a breeze when my 2 kids (4 years apart) were young up until Jr. High. As soon as they hit High School they've been working my last nerve! I love both my kids but I've had to go back to parenting school (watching shows, reading books/magazines and talking with other parents). There is a lot of help out there for you but if you want things to change you need to reach out. Contact your friends and family and tell them you need help. If you don't have anyone, contact your church, kids school, library, college and see if there are any classes or groups you can join to get you out of your rut. Click HERE for some parenting hotlines you might want to check out. There are resources out there to help you but you have to be the one to reach out. Praying for you and your kids.


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Old 11-13-2011, 09:40 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I don't have time to type a lengthy post, but I know what you are going through. My kids are 5,4,3, and almost 6 months. I hardly ever get out of the house and when I do it is to coupon (which I LOVE, but it is hard with kids). Most days feel like I never have anything to look forward to. I live in a tiny town where everyone already has their friends (can you say clique?) so I am pretty much alone. Just wanted to say if you ever want to chat please PM me, I know it is better to have support in real life than online, but every bit helps, right?
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:40 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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My daughter is in preschool 3 mornings a week. That is a total lifesaver. Not only is she learning from someone other than me, I get to clean, shop, or workout all uninterrupted. I even have play dates set up with another parent for adult conversation. I only have on child, but even arranging preschool or play dates so you only have the baby at home on morning at week will help you. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:21 PM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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Thank You

Thank you all sooooo much.

I have so much to be thankful for- 3 healthy kids, my DH just got his dream job (we will be relocating in April).

I do just feel stuck in a rut, big time! Marcie said it great, like nothing to look forward to! (Thanks I might PM you sometime!)

DH might want more kids someday and I just say, haha easy for you to say now, you aren't the SAHD anymore. Funny how the tables have turned.

As far as PP Depression, I had it bad with my first 2, worse after having my son. I think it was mostly because they had to go to NICU after birth and no family support around. I was exhausted/depressed.

After having my 3rd baby 4 months ago, I didn't feel any change or the depression I had after having my first 2. So, I don't *think* I've been suffering from PP depression, but my feelings do last almost everyday for the most part. Just feelings of what am I really doing, did I make the right choice to be a SAHM, I let my kids watch too much TV, I am on the computer too long (my escape), I am not providing enough opportunties for my kids, I am tired all the time, I am scared to take them out in public for fear of loosing 1 of them, etc.

These are really all just excuses. I am waiting for the day to get the motivation and courage to do better for them, and now I'm starting to realize I am really stuck in a rut I guess. I do need help to get over these feelings I think. Maybe I do need a part time job just 1-2 nights a week or something, maybe I should look into that for when we move & get settled. I always dreamed of doing something from home though. I do already have a friend in our new area we will be moving to, maybe spending some time with her will be good for me. I don't have any friends nearby right now, but at the same time, I'm so introverted, I like being alone too. It's weird. I am seeking out mental stimulation right now too. If I get 5 minutes to myself, I like to read the newspaper or anything! I find I can't even hold an interesting conversation with my DH anymore. I worry he finds me boring! He has a Ph D and is about to start working in a prestigious position. Me, I can't find anything to talk to him about other than my DD2's poopy diaper. SO, maybe I can take 1 class at the local university when we move, just any kind of class to get my brain gears moving again! Oh and my DS will be in pre-k next fall, so I will be able to get out and about with just my 1 baby by then (well, she'll be more like a toddler though)! :-(

Thank you all so much for your understanding and heartfelt replies!!
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:28 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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Hi again, I just wanted to share this link to Prayers and Positive thoughts. Click HERE to check it out. Hope you're hanging in there. Wishing you the best.

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Old 11-21-2011, 09:51 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I really find it hard to reach out easier said than done melanievcb when your an introvert. I'm an introvert that likes to be alone and don't have many friends which is so hard. Meetup.com is pretty cool and I hope to come out of my shell and make new friends.
I have two kids a 2yo daughter and a 4mo son. I really enjoyed being pregnant with my first but my second was rough I almost took my own life. I got the help I needed by going to the ER so I guess I did reach out. I also reached out by seeing a shrink,prozac,and going to church and finding friends and support. I sure hope it gets easier like many people said. I'm much better and happier now and I thank GOD everyday for the blessings he's given me.

Best wishes to you!
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:50 AM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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So true val2381 I used to be an introvert and I remember spending one whole Summer sitting in my living room looking out the window waiting for something to happen, I was bored to tears. The catalyst that made me change was my late great aunt. My great aunt was an elderly women who lived life to its fullest (she was independently living on her own and had a "younger" boyfriend up until her death at 100). She gave me the best advice and told me to "go for it". She meant my goals and dreams. I don't think anyone wants to be a hermit living "alone" (even when others are around) feeling depressed and hopeless. Anyone can learn to be more extroverted (I don't mean being a party animal or life of the party) and develop more friendships that will guarantee success in surviving this trial called life. I'm so very happy that you didn't take your life and you are living proof that if you reach out your can survive anything that comes your way. I also believe, like you, God should be an important part of our lives. God bless and have a beautiful day
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:58 PM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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I know exactly how u feel.. I have a 5yr old & a 3yr old.. I have been home ever since i had my daughter. Daycare was too much $$ for us (@about $750-$800 per child). My city doesn't have preschool, so I went from a having a B.S. in Business to learning how to teach my kids preschool from books & the internet..not easy 4 me.. there r days when i do feel like the walls are closing around me. I barely go out except to walk my son to school & my daughter to swim class at the local YMCA. My only solution is that my husband takes charge of the kids after 8p.m. He bathes them, brushes teeth & puts them to bed. On certain days when I need time to regroup, I get my ipod & go to my room & exercise, this often helps. You are not alone.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:32 PM

RE: If you are a SAHM...

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My kids are 16, 14, 7, 6 and 5. I have so been in your shoes. Before we had the last three I was a VP of Operations for a small company. Then those last 3 came along and I became a SAHM. The first 2 years were the hardest. Socially, emotionally, physically and financially, it totally SUCKED. Things improved when my husbands job improved financially, but a lot of things just had to change in the way I viewed them.
Now for the first time in 15 years, I am not working, and I do not have anyone home during the day to take care of since they 5 yo is in kinder....I have to say, I thought I did nothing all day when it was me and little people at home, but now I REALLY do nothing. Cleaning went from all day to maybe 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day including laundry. There is no one to feed but myself after breakfast, until they all get home from school, then it is a marathon event until bedtime.
Now I fill my time with boards like this one, volunteering at the school, or wasting time playing completely mindless computer games.

Hugs...wonder what women felt like before the 1900's....
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