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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.

YellowWallpaper Thu 01-Sep-11 22:13:04

"did you make such bad choices that you earn a pittance now" - how unbelievably ignorant, condescending and downright nasty. There are many professions that do not pay well. That does not reflect on the workers' skills, and choices but simply on the economy. I may never have earned a great deal but at least I am smarter than this statement.

OP as the others have said most of us have been there especially at 6 weeks. And I repeat get out as much as possible, post natal exercise classes, baby classes, go to more mother and baby groups and it will get better.

noviceoftheday Thu 01-Sep-11 22:49:25

OP, don't worry many of us have been there. I hated first 3 months with dc1, and hadn't appreciated how much I hated it until I had dc2. I have gone out of my way to do things differently this time and am really enjoying the time at home- no mother and baby groups, plenty of projects and lots of mumsnetting while breastfeeding and box sets. Normally, I also run around at 110 mph so I am looking at it as a few months of living life in the slow lane. Btw the law says you have to take 2 weeks (was put there to protect workers with unreasonable bosses).

Xenia - when I was pregnant with dc1, I was told many times about several of my colleagues who were completing deals while in labour and participating in conf calls in between contractions. These colleagues were back on the deal as soon as they gave birth. The assumption by everyone was that I would be the same because I am super committed. I think I am a better role model for the more junior women by having refused a call while in labour and switching the blackberry off for 5 months. Women have told me that by my making it clear to all that my kids come first, they are more inspired to want to reach my level of seniority. I don't think I would have achieved this if I had only taken 2 weeks leave or kept talking about how short my mat leave was relative to my employees. I wonder if you actually inadvertently end up sending a negative message to your female employees.

SouthernFriedTofu Thu 01-Sep-11 23:02:52

Xenia - when I was pregnant with dc1, I was told many times about several of my colleagues who were completing deals while in labour and participating in conf calls in between contractions. These colleagues were back on the deal as soon as they gave birth. The assumption by everyone was that I would be the same because I am super committed. I think I am a better role model for the more junior women by having refused a call while in labour and switching the blackberry off for 5 months. Women have told me that by my making it clear to all that my kids come first, they are more inspired to want to reach my level of seniority. I don't think I would have achieved this if I had only taken 2 weeks leave or kept talking about how short my mat leave was relative to my employees. I wonder if you actually inadvertently end up sending a negative message to your female employees.

Lovely post novice and as you say, much more inspiring, I would think to women who do want a career and a family life balance

Xenia Fri 02-Sep-11 17:04:04

I think that's incredibly sexist. Do you criticse and publicly villify yourh usband for doing the very thing you didn't do then? If not why not? Were you brought up in a sexist home?
HOw is it fine for a man to want to return to work quickly and a woman not? If women want to go back to work quickly why shoudln't they? It's hardly a bundle of fun doing housework and childcare 24/7 without any thanks. Working all day and then having all that nice time with the baby in the evening and through the nice is a wonderful combination.

Ify ou think someone should be home who is blood related to the baby let it be the man.

In my case I never had maternity rights and I thank that system which ensured I didn't which meant my life is very good in a way it wouldnt' haveb een had I had them perhaps or had I married someone who earned more.

I am not against women taking 3 or even 6 months off if they can afford it and let's not forget that you only get 90% of pay for 6 weeks and only if you are employed. I've never been entitled even to that with 5 children, any of them. Most people can't afford even one week on the subsistence £110 a week maternity pay once week 6 is up. I am very against suggestions that Dati/Palni and all we others who choose to take 2 weeks are wrong and bad and not putting children first which is a really silly comment to make. What is putting a child first? Does that mean your husband always comes second or work? Does it mean because you happen to be a woman working is not p[utting a chidl first but if you have a penis then working is absoluytel fine? Why is returning at 6 months good but not 2 weeks and if 56 months why not take 18 yaers off to be there 100% and educate them at home> We all have different views and the more we can make it clear going back after 2 weeks is a good and workable option full time and can really benefits children and babies the better as it is very very rare that you see the press saying how great it is if you go back quickly. Instead people are appalled so sexist do they really all remain at heart.

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 02-Sep-11 17:10:58

The majority of women choose to BF their children at first xenia. Last time I checked it was pretty much impossible for men to BF. I think that's probably a big reason women stay home more than men. Even if they don't then continue bf once they have got on track and have a routine it makes sense that they may choose to stay home for the length of their maternity leave. You can't find it that odd to see that someone would choose to have a family member home looking after their newborn, and that due to biology alone it might very well end up being a woman? That isn't sexist.

GiraffesHaveMoreFun Fri 02-Sep-11 17:11:11

It's physically much easier for a man to go back to work after 2 weeks. Their fanjo or stomach won't be recovering from giving birth, they won't be feeding their baby from their boobs, won't be leaking lochia, will be able to sit down as won't be stitched from front to back, and won't be as exhausted from 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labour. Surely?

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 02-Sep-11 17:15:37

giraffes

Lochia, I forgot that I spent the first 4 weeks weeks wearing newborn nappies and then a further 2 weeks in pads because nothing else could contain the constant bleeding. That would have been lovley at work. I also needed a jug of water to help me wee for longer than I care to remember.

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 02-Sep-11 17:25:10

Xenia if most women go back to work after having their children eventually, I think they would be better informed to tell the OP what their expereinces were than you. You have no idea if you would have liked or even really enjoyed staying home with you babies if you had chosen to. You were happy you went back but you didn't know differently, women who have stayed at home and then went back know both sides

rookiemater Fri 02-Sep-11 17:28:35

Going back to work so early depends on the job really doesn't it? Fine perhaps if you are able to work from home and have a nanny to look after the child. Not so fine if you are on the tills at Asda with varying shifts and not a huge amount of job satisfaction

noviceoftheday Fri 02-Sep-11 17:32:00

Sorry Xenia, is your post to me?

Xenia Fri 02-Sep-11 17:37:33

I think anyone who has had a baby k nows what it is like looking after them whether you work or don't. You end up with masses of baby care particularl if you have the kind who breastfeed every 2 or 3 hours night and day. I don't feel I haven't done a mass of hours with babies and I love babies.

I agree it depends on the job too but I do want women to feel free to choose (and men too - let's not be sexist) and I think women feel villified for daring to suggest they might prefer to be at work and that it's best for everyone when men aren't. As for recovery if you're in an office job it is 100% much mucyh easier to sit there all day typing than have a 3 year old shouting at you whilst the 1 year old attempts to gauge out the head of the tiny new baby every time you sit down to breastfeed whilst trying to ensure you get the washer on. Life with a new baby is not some kind of weeks of relaxation. It is much harder at home than in m ost office jobs and your phsical recovery can be much easier if you have those breaks to sit on a tarin, think get a drink and have the variety of work and babies.

The law is if you are employed you are not allowed back in under 2 weeks. If you work in a facotry it's 4 weeks. If you work for yourself you can do what you like.

NoGoodAtHousework Fri 02-Sep-11 18:26:22

I never expected this to get so heated!

All the posts have made me feel a lot better. I have never felt guilty about wanting to return to work early (finances play a part too), just thought I was missing something pretty fundamental by not feeling the 'it's the best time, make the most of it'. I'm sure as you all say it'll be so much easier when he's more interactive.

Xenia Sat 03-Sep-11 08:14:45

It was my fault for daring to mention that some women (and men, lets not be sexist) like to get back to work. That doesn' t mean we don't like the children, I adore having had 5 and love babies but in smallish doses.

I think it's a shame when you first have a baby that it is so tiring that often you cannot enjoy it. We never had a baby who slept much and the first was worst.

In more general terms though women need to decide if they are clinically depressed and must get help or just a bit bored or too tired with it all. If it's just the latter then obviously it does get better. I think the biggest shock is baby number 1, nothing prepares you for that. Then in terms of hard work we found having 3 under 4 when we both worked full time was hard - 3 in nappies at night etc and much harder than later having twins. Hoever it woudl have been even harder if one of us were at home.

I am sure it will all get easier and we did find it a relief each day to get on the train to work to sit down without the baby wanting to be in and on you or screaming. Even that period of 30 minutes sitting down with a book seemed bliss compared to being home.

ssd Sat 03-Sep-11 08:22:23

op, nothing wrong at all in wanting to get back to work, can you visit HR and try to get back earlier?

thekidsmom Sat 03-Sep-11 08:27:10

Oh dear, housework you've stumbled into a full blown disagreement here and if you're new-ish you may not realise this is not about you! there's more here than you may know.

I'm glad you're getting some of the support you're looking for. Being a SAHM does not come easily to all of us. And sometimes it doesnt come at all. Whatever you are feeling is not unusual and 6 weeks is very early to be making life changing decisions.

With my DS, 20 years ago, I was sure I'd want to stay home but couldnt afford to (no real maternity pay in those days...). but I found the first 6 months were really difficutl for all the reasons you've mentioned - didnt know anyone, really hate cleaning! but with my DD 2 years later I loved being at home with DS then 2! so you can't predict.

At 6 weeks, you might now feel up to getting out and about and meeting people in the same position - NCT groups etc - and you might start to feel more in control if you look into a plan on how you want to get back to work in due course - but take each day at a time, its early days yet.

QuickLookBusy Sat 03-Sep-11 08:50:57

Xenia "It was my fault for suggesting that some women like to get back to work"

No Xenia, no one would object to you saying that. It was the ridiculous, rude questioning of her education choices and type of man she had married which made the thread become so heated.

Every poster before you had been very supportive, such a shame you caused yet another thread to become heated.

ledkr Spain Sat 03-Sep-11 08:53:02

xenia If you are posting from a feminist pov then good maternty rights are something that we have fought for for years and should use happily.
Who seriously can go back to work after 2 weeks? Must be the minority.I have had 5 children and was happy to take all my maternity leave as i was recovering,bonding,feeding and getting myself and the babies ready for a return to work/childcare.
You sound a little bitter tbh,maybe returning to work so early was not such apositive thing for you,and what kind of job did you have with no maternty leave.
I am in a supervisory role and would not want any of my workers returning to work so soon after birth,they would simply not be ready.

Op i am into my 7th month of mat leave and have felt the same as you,i am taking the full year as i will not get this time back with the children ever again,my other daughter is benefitting from having me around too.
Now i am just begining to be able to get out easier and the baby is in more of a routine i am going to try and enjoy it.
I am going to go the the baby groups and catch up with old friends and cook nice meals(trying to lose weight) and actually have abit of a break from work.
Its not the mat leave/sahm thing thats getting you down its the first few weeks/months of the babys life,its not as you imagine it will be,its hard work,tiring,overwhelming and lonely. That is normal.
Id defo aggree with taking time out for yourself even if its just to go to bed early and read or watch tv. This will pass,see it as a temporary situation and make the best of it.

SouthernFriedTofu Sat 03-Sep-11 17:39:14

No Xenia, no one would object to you saying that. It was the ridiculous, rude questioning of her education choices and type of man she had married which made the thread become so heated.

Exactly, I have seen Xenia do the same on several threads though, post something very inflammatory and then post a perfectly sane post afterwards and then look confused as to why people think she is being inflammatory confused

ledkr Spain Sat 03-Sep-11 17:42:20

Odd,i wonder why? Ive never noticed this before but i still find it hillarious to question the op's job/salary when she was herself in ajob with no maternity benefits! Good catch that job then eh?

ledkr Spain Sat 03-Sep-11 17:44:44

Or was it the man she married wasnt sexist but due to his education didnt earn enough to support his family so his wife had to go back to work early. grin

SouthernFriedTofu Sat 03-Sep-11 18:00:32

Might be!

I just hope the wisdom being spouted by people who think this way isn't something that takes a hold in the UK.

I have just moved back to the states and am on UK maternity leave (yes that's legal before anyone asks) and I consider myself very lucky as have met some women, including a waitress running around waiting to pop who have told me how they get 6 weeks maternity leave and bam have to be back to work.

Women should be valued in the work place for their contributions and should not have to risk their mental health by ripping them away from a baby they have been physically attached to for 9 months. It just seems like a really bad idea to me. I would hate to work for someone like xenia because I would be afraid that due to her returing after 2 weeks that the expectation would be for me to pop right back asap or work remotely during labour!

ledkr Spain Sat 03-Sep-11 19:01:09

I heard that about the states,6 weeks?eeek! I hadn't even stopped bleeding then!
I aggree,our good maternty conditions and time off are what set us apart from the usa. Other eu countries have it better.I would hate to live in a society where children and parents were apart from such a young age,we have enough problems with our youth now.

Xenia Sat 03-Sep-11 21:30:07

The absence of maternity rights or not very many of them tends to benefit women although they don't like it.

Also comments like women's mental health is at risk if they go back to work soon or t alking of rippig them away from a baby are comments no one ever applies to a man and make it much harder for women who love being back at 2 weeks to make that choice. Those comments limit women's choices and make them think there is somethign wrong if they go back to work in 2 weeks whereas no one criticises their husbands in doing go.

Why did I have few rights./ Simply because anyone my age wouldn't have. You had to have worked for an employer for 2 years to have the 6 weeks at 90% pay you had then and still have now. In the first 3 jobs I hadn't been there 2 years to have the rights andn then like many many many women by the time I had the twins I was self employed so then you don't get any maternity pay (except the weekly amount which is what you might earn in half an hour so not a feasible sum unless you are kept by a man or earn very little to start with(.

All good fun but let's not suggest it's wrong, or ripping away babies or appalling or going to make you go mad if you retuirn to work quickly. That sounds like the language of the Victorian age when they said women could never be doctors or our brains might explode.

hoovercraft Sat 03-Sep-11 21:36:15

I bloody hate working. Ive worked for <does sums on fingers> 25 years and am so tired of it. I earn a good salary (not in the hundreds but over 50K) and am well educated. I would give anything to stop. Ive struggled with work and work life balance since I had my child 7 years ago.

ledkr Spain Sat 03-Sep-11 21:45:09

xenia When you suggested that the op had a sexist husband or low educative value so as to not be a high earner you invited people to comment on your individual circumstances.
The reason it is different for a man to return to work soon after the birth is that they do not have the physical trauma of birth,breast feed or share the same maternal bond. It is great that you were able to return to work so quickly but the majority of women will still be in a period of recovery from the physical and emotional effects of pregnancy and birth. I aggree we do not want to return to victorian values but neither do we want woman to feel some sort of pressure to get off the birthing bed and carry on in the fields.
Re read your first 3 posts and then ask yourself if you responded appropriately.

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