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to hate being a SAHM/on maternity leave

(85 Posts)
NoGoodAtHousework Wed 31-Aug-11 15:21:45

I love my son, but I hate being a housewife/SAHM whatever you want to call it. I hate housework at the best of times but being home all day kinda puts an expectation on me.

I feel bad (and am often made to feel guilty fordoing so)asking my OH to do things, shitpick, sorting out the back porch(like he promised ages ago) etc when hes home as hes working full time and he does muck in with littleun when hes at home.

I dont really know anyone with kids, I have started mum and baby groups but they are only once a week and I cant spend all the time with mums I've met and having just gone onto SMP coffees and lunch out are not really an option, also I hate having people round as my house is rappy and I have a big dog which I have to lock out who just barks his head off the whole time.

I feel so alone through the week and no one seems to be able to understadn how I feel, Jay is only 6 week old and I already wish Iwas back at work (which is saying something as we're going through restructuing and redundancies!)I know everyone says get out of the house etc but I ont actually find it helps.

Dont know what to expect of anyone just feeling down today....and my son seems to hate me as all hes done is cry every time I go near him.

mankymink Wed 31-Aug-11 22:08:52

What does being on Maternity Leave with a 6 week old have to do with marrying a sexist man, Xenia?

vezzie Wed 31-Aug-11 22:10:07

OP, you sound very down on yourself. Don't be! I know it's hard when no one tells you you're doing a great job. But you are. you really are.
I bet your house is not crappy, by the way. I have a crappy house but although I have been very tentative and apologetic about inviting people over who live in much posher houses, they always seem delighted to come. It's not about your house.
Does your DH have housework expectations or are they all yours of yourself? If the latter, please talk yourself out of them.
Don't worry about going to groups if you don't like them. Don't feel guilty if you prefer not to go out. Do whatever makes you feel better, even if it is eating toast in bed with the baby and the laptop and crap on iplayer. I regret not being easier on myself in my first maternity leave. Like you I had some lasting physical problems, and struggled hugely with the transition, and tried to deal with it by thinking of Things I Should Be Doing, Actions I Should Be Taking. I found some bullying lists I wrote for myself in that vein recently. I wish I had spent more time on my arse and less time flogging about trying to Achieve things.

You are doing a great job. It is always hard, messy, repetitive, with no marked achievements. No one does it better than you. Lots don't do so well. Give yourself a big pat on the back and make sure you get one from your DH too.

mankymink Wed 31-Aug-11 22:27:27

NoGood, didn't want to not address your post.

I didn't know my name at the 6-weeks stage! Everything seems a neverending and thankless cycle with not much but crying and demanding.

It gets sooo much better, especially when your baby starts smiling at you and you realise that it has not all been in vain - that you have done a good job and come out the other side with a happy little person.

I also had problems with stitches following a tear, I was in such discomfort for a while which only added to the stress. DS is now (nearly) 7 months and I am, slowly but surely, getting better down there.

Don't lose heart, you sound like you're doing a fab job.

SouthernFriedTofu Wed 31-Aug-11 22:39:35

Most women with under 5s work. Many many of us have very good careers and work full time and always did even when we had babies. It is much the best thing for everyone. So why on earth are you at home? Did you marry a sexist man? Did you make such bad career choices as a teenager that you'd only earn a pittance anyway?

Can we please bind Xenia's fingers, before she does any more damage. It is perfectly normal for a mother to still be at home at 6 weeks, it is probably very unusual to be back after 2.

OP, I think your trip you took at 37 weeks seems nice, is it possible you could do more day trips? Maybe try joining something that you could bring your baby to that isn't babycentric? Join a gym with a crech, take a mini tour to london (or somewhere else if you live there). Try and volunteer to visit the disabled/elderly and bring ds with you?

Xenia Wed 31-Aug-11 22:46:22

I was back at work after 2 weeks. no one forces you to stay home for 6 weeks. If you don't like it get back into work. It's much easier and tends to work better for families.

Also phyiscally if you have a 3 and 1 year old as I had when we had baby 3 can anyone really conceivably say it is easier minding those 3 than sitting at a desk all day in an office?

mankymink Wed 31-Aug-11 22:55:52

That soon after childbirth (and with stitches) I don't think I could have sat down anywhere all day, let alone in an office trying to concentrate on work, taking over the world, that sort of thing.

The very thought is alien to me. But we are all different I suppose.

georgie22 Wed 31-Aug-11 23:11:21

NoGoodAtHousework - I can completely identify with your post. I also struggled with breast feeding and found the first few weeks/months of dd's life extremely challenging; I can remember almost wishing that I was back at work. Dd also went through a phase of being extremely miserable and crying quite a lot; looking back she was probably picking up on how I was feeling and I actually now do have some regrets and sadness that I didn't and/or couldn't enjoy those early months more. I'm lucky to have my family close and also friends with children for support but I still struggled.

Fast forward 10 months and I'm really not at all keen to go back to work. Dd is a delight to be with (and has been for many months) and keeps me company. She's picking up new things all the time and smiles and giggles constantly. I'm so glad I'm going back to work part time but I have commented to people that just at the time they're most fun you have to go back to work. I guess it's the fact that they have their own personality shining through now which makes it really hard. I know once I'm back at work it will all be fine plus I know I'm not cut out to be a SAHM even if that was an option financially.

It seems tough now but take the reassurance from those who have been there that it does get so much better.

blueshoes Wed 31-Aug-11 23:37:00

It is a bit shit, I agree.

I got into a rhythm after a while, with P&T groups and activities. But once I was back at work, I never missed any of that brain rotting stuff. With dc2, I cut short my maternity leave.

NoGoodAtHousework Thu 01-Sep-11 16:59:41

Having a good day today been busy - if sitting chatting in morrrisons cafe for 3 hrs can be counted as busy?!

Also, had a very smiley boy today which has lifted my spirits.

Zimm Thu 01-Sep-11 18:20:32

Xenia - perhaps you disliked being at home so much because you live under a bridge? OP for god's sake ignore this person. Glad you had a better day OP - sitting chatting sounds like an excellent idea.

Tortu Thu 01-Sep-11 18:38:02

Yeah, I really struggled initially. All those feelings of isolation/ stagnation/ 'busy yet mundane tasks'. Have to say I also disliked the mother and baby groups- just felt that it was organised time-wasting.

So I came up with loads of projects and now feel loads better. I found:

1. Work that I could do from home during naps
2. DVD boxsets to work through during naps. I am halfway through Lost and The West Wing
3. Museum exhibitions to work through (I live in London, which probably helps). Have just officially seen everything at the V and A (took about 15 visits) and have worked my way through 'A History of the world in a 100 objects' at The British Museum, which meant around 25 hours of listening to the radio and about 6 different visits to see the objects.
4. Mumsnet
5. Letter-writing to friends who don't have internet (one is in a convent another in remote part of Africa)
6. Listening to 'This Sceptred Isle' on the radio- I favour radio, because you can listen whilst playing with the baby.
7. Have become a member of the National Trust and now go to loads of different places-mainly with mums I met from the mother and baby groups. We like long picnics.

Now I am due to go back to work and am dreading it!

KAZAMM Thu 01-Sep-11 18:38:51

If you've had a good day that's all that matters and you will have many more.

When I had bad days with DD I gave myself something to look forward to later in the day even if it was just a cup of tea and some chocolate. Just a small good thing in an otherwise long horrible day.

HairyGrotter Thu 01-Sep-11 19:08:34

Lordy, I hated being a SAHM, I went back into education as soon as possible. Not my scene at all!

Glad you had a good day, some days are alright, others are fucking brain rottingly boring

coraltoes Thu 01-Sep-11 19:23:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Xenia Thu 01-Sep-11 20:04:01

I am just saying that a lot of women (and men) do find a balance that is returning to full time work at 2 weeks whlst still breastfeeding and that not everyone does show women that is a lovely option for many. Instead they villify women but never men of course who return to work. It's nice for people to know there are a lot of options and that a return to full time work is one even if you adore babies as I do.

jeckadeck Thu 01-Sep-11 20:19:41

just to totally reinforce what others are saying. I found the first 3 months pretty hellish, to be honest and not really representative of motherhood or even of maternity leave. It changes everything for the worse, life is full of drudgery, you don't sleep, the baby is strange and alien, relationship with hubby is not at peak. Its shit, basically, and made worse by the taboo about discussing it. I'd get through it before you make any decisions about going back to work. Having said that if you do want to go back to work there's nowt wrong with that. I'd just say that the way you feel now probably isn't representative.

GiraffesHaveMoreFun Thu 01-Sep-11 21:10:27

Second kazamm's treat idea.
Also, take each day (or morning/afternoon) one by one. Just aim to get through until baby goes to bed. This helps me on hard days - don't even let yourself think 'shit, this will be repeated ad nauseum for the next X months'. Just look forward to bedtime, then start afresh the next day.

iliketeabutprefercoffeetoday Thu 01-Sep-11 21:28:35

Yanbu op. Another message of support.

I hated being at home for the first 6 months or so. There were days when dh (working from home one day per week) used to drive me to the weekly baby group and force me to go because I needed adult company. I made some good friends at one group and now see them regularly when we can fit it in with working.

When dc was that little, on the days she was really unsettled, I used to put her in the pram and go for a walk, with my ipod in so I couldn't hear her grizzling - I got some cats bum faces from other people who judged that I let my baby cry, but it kept me sane (and I only did it when I knew she was crying because she was so tired).

Try to find other groups - I did baby singing and swimming with my dc, mainly because it gave me something to do most days, and made me leave the house. I didn't make friends I still see every where I went, but I did talk to other mums who were facing the same daily challenge.

It will get better.

SouthernFriedTofu Thu 01-Sep-11 21:38:23

No you said nothing like that xenia, you implied the op was either married to a sexist or had no other prospects due to being a fuck up in school

SouthernFriedTofu Thu 01-Sep-11 21:41:09

excuse me fucked up in her earlier teenage career choices not education

traceybeaker Thu 01-Sep-11 21:54:30

Xenia = weird.

harecare Thu 01-Sep-11 21:59:23

I agree with Tortu - find projects to keep you busy. I do remember feeling glad that I had a business to run when DD1 was born as it gave me something to think about other than my DD1 - between naps by the way, I still looked after her myself, but also still considered myself to be a SAHM and housewife. I sold my company when DD1 was about 1 as I couldn't entertain her while running the company anymore.
Newborn babies are a bit dull. Lovely, but dull. What are you interested in? You're not dull, so use your imagination and you can have a great maternity.
Do you enjoy exercise? It'll make you feel a lot better and you should be OK after 6 weeks.
Baby groups for newborns are about meeting other mums and chatting/moaning about your life/problems. So don't worry about your DS not doing anything. 6 weeks is very early to be giving up on them. Find one that does good coffee and biscuits and stop worrying about getting DS to do anything and just cuddle him while having a relaxing time chatting to the other Mums.

NoGoodAtHousework Thu 01-Sep-11 22:00:20

I think even if I had a huge group of friends to spend time with I'd still look at going back to work early as I actually like working (often met by raised eyebrows) and always have done.

Saying that, I couldn't go back to work as early as 2 weeks, even if I didn't feel I had been hut by a train, I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving LO with anyone (possibly not even OHblush) full time.

I also thought it was a law type thing that women had to have a minimum 6 weeks off at the beginning of ML hence the 90% pay for the first 6 weeks?

traceybeaker Thu 01-Sep-11 22:03:22

Xenia makes up her own laws ..................wink

Actually she is the law.

peekmum Thu 01-Sep-11 22:09:17

It's a horrid feeling and one that will go away. Get a date booked for going back to work, if you think that will help and then make lots and lots of plans for the weeks in between. Visit friends, family, mid week breaks, go to the zoo, farms, find a play group to go to most days, shopping and a coffee with a friend. Consider a friend/relative/childminder for a couple of mornings a week on a regula basis where you can go and get your hair done, go for a coffee, do the things that are for you, get your nails done - I think get planning, get busy and try not to go stir crazy. Even lovely walks with your dog, put baby in a carrier and go for a walk in the woods/seaside etc.

But also have a DVD day/ a pjama day where you say we're going to watch all your favourite films/progs and not get dressed and eat popcorn and order pizza!

You'll get there :-)

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