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Being a SAHM increasing social anxiety(5 Posts)
I am mostly making this post because I need to get it off my chest. I hope thats okay.
I have what I think is social anxiety. While I was a busy student and working at a local shop, it didnt affect me so much as at uni I was quite happily antisocial and somehow made it through the full four years without mking any friends - and I was completely happy. I am an introvert and I don't care if others think that's weird. I have a partner and a couple of close friends who I can be social with. Socializing with people I don't know well stresses me out, and as i have my circle, I have not bothered to try to expand it. I did try more as a teenager (I'm 25) but one day I stopped, just relaxed and embraced the introvert life - and I have been happier for it. My job also kept me functioning in a way. Working at a busy till forced small talk to become a bit easier and because I had to talk to strangers on a regular basis, it has kept me able to do so in everyday life. WITHOUT my cashier job, I was more likely to:
- use self checkouts at the supermarket in case the cashier at the manned ones tried to make conversation
- not answer the house phone in case it was someone I didn't know or someone I felt I needed time to 'prep' myself for talking to (ie walk through possible conversation scenarios in case I couldn't think of what to say)
- pretend I was not home if someone rang the doorbell when I was not expecting anyone.
However, like I said my job kept me in practice and the above situations were not a problem, though the thoughts sometimes still ran through my head.
Now that I'm at home with the baby though, the problem has come back. Socialising is no help. I do get out with my friends but when it comes to dealing with strangers I am so anxious. Meeting up with local mothers I barely know won't help. It'll just end in awkward conversation and it'll bring me down further. My mild stutter is slowly resurfacing.
I feel like I need my job back.
The thing is, I LOVE my SAHM life. My baby boy is a joy to care for, and after initial boredom I've thrown myself into housewife mode and actually weirdly enjoy keeping the house clean. I also have the golden opportunity of an excuse to get a degree home studying. As I like studying anyway, and need a new career, in a way I NEED this stay at home time. Leaving my baby at a childminder or nursery is just not an option I want to consider. I am relishing every moment of his childhood as he will probably be my only child, and I don't want to share him with other carers - at least, not yet (he's 7 months old).
This all just recently seemed worse to me when I found myself getting needlessly anxious over little things. I am feeling anxious over arguing with an ebay seller over email about a return. Theres about 6 giant bags of hay (my pet rabbit died) sitting in my living room because I want to donate them to the local SPCA but they don't reply to my emails and I am dreading the task of calling them on the phone. I still feel worked up because earlier today I got a card through the door saying the postman had left a parcel for me at a neighbour's who I don't know. I put off collecting it to the next day and instead the lady kindly brought it round but I felt anxious at the unexpected visitor.
What a mess I am!
Is there anyone else out there who has experienced this?
I would still like to hear from others, but so you know, just typing this out has helped me get my head straight. Although I wont return to work for my usual hours, my fiance will look after our son so I can get to work at least once a week. Everything social I find myself trying to put off or avoid, I will do asap. I WILL force myself to go to a mother and baby group even though I think it won't help. I dont want to become an old lady who dreams of travelling the world but stopped leaving the house years ago because there are too many people out there! And if I ever manage to get qualified for the career I want, I need to be able to attend job interviews without hyperventilating
I needed your post as much as you did! Feeling so anxious about little things, particularly the school run (DD in reception) and over analysing every conversation with every parent to conclude I'm always saying the wrong/worst thing, upsetting people, showing myself to be a crap parent and person in general.
Before Christmas I started to think I need to go back to work - I really don't want to, I just felt it would give me a normal adult life. I am at home with 18month DS all day and able to pick up DS - this is perfect, so why do I need to go to work? The type of work I could get wouldn't fulfil me and would take me away from my family.
I have a career in mind for when they are older but go through periods of thinking I'll be rubbish at it/should be doing it now/ shouldn't be even trying.
I get out to playgroups occasionally - sickness and travel/not always having car/DS not sleeping well seem to get in way. When we go, I love the adult company but feel again I always say the wrong thing, or I'm being seen as a rubbish parent for whatever reason.
I am not posting here for advice. I just needed to say me too.
Sounds like a little part time job would help you . You would still be at home most of the time but have that bit of normality back in your life . Is there anyone who could have your baby for a bit?
Yes, yes! I find exactly this to be true. The more I stay at home, the harder I find it to go out and interact. When I do go out, it is hard at first and gets easier and easier the more I do it. Despite this, I am always trying to work more from home / stay at home which I know is not actually good for me.
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