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to feel despondent about my relationships with those around me?

(7 Posts)
firstimeforeverything Mon 12-Sep-11 23:34:28

11 month old, quit work. I thought the point of staying at home was to have more time with your baby, but I feel like I always ask too much of him because I'm busy trying to live up to the expectations of those around me. DP expects me to largely arrange house move; friends and family expect me to pack up baby and head off to another part of the world for a two day break without missing a beat because I'm perceived not to be doing anything more pressing.

I feel like I can't achieve anything at all. I feel like I'm in a constant loop of making excuses or that people are short tempered with me for not being able to keep up.

Underlying this, my mother needs a lot of emotional support atm since she's going through chemo. I don't see her as often as I should, and those times that are available can be curtailed by any hint of illness on our end, since this would be dangerous to her.

Relationships are becoming fractious with friends who seem to think I'm daft; my DP keeps telling me not to behave like I'm on my own in all of this.

The reaction I'm generally getting for broaching the subject seems to be one of being given short shrift. Am I, in fact, a spolt, whiny cow...? Or is this the onset of maternal under-appreciation and should I just suck it up?

aldiwhore Mon 12-Sep-11 23:55:02

Welcome to the world of being a SAHM and others reading it differently... you are not mobile entertainment, you are not a housewife, a domestic goddess, or anythingbloody else. You are your child's childminder, you're unpaid and happen to be the parent.... you wouldn't expect a full time childminder to bog off away for xdays because they have nowt better to do would you???

You need to define yourself, your role, and lay the law down with what you will and won't accept from your DH in terms of his level of understanding... he's probably a fantastic guy (I hope!) but he doesn't KNOW what you do all day... seriously, sit down and talk, both of you, about what you both NEED when 'worktime' is done - that's when he gets home, until baby is asleep... you both have to muck in, then you decide what you need to do to relax and feel appreciated, both of you. I want a bath, that's all I want, and I do not do housework after 9pm, and neither does DH. For example. We both do long hours.

Your mum's problem is I'm afraid something you can do little about, but I also understand its yet another emotional drain.

You need to TELL friends and family how busy you are, but then you risk becoming a 'mum bore'... its a fine line! If they carry on badgering you, hang up.

Some of my friends manage by becoming old nags, whining matrons, always saying 'wor is me my life as a SAHM is soooo hard' but that just makes everyone want to stab them with blunt pencils (metaphorically speaking), what I do is I don't SAH. I'm out, and my mobile is often out of credit because I can't be arsed afford to top it up. If my friends and family cannot reach me at home (you can also be at home but ignore the phone) then strangely seem to think I'm ever so busy (which I am even if I answer!).

LOVE YOUR JOB, don't make excuses, don't be someone else's idea of a mother. I have more time 'to myself' now, 3 hrs a day in total, no more or less than many full time working people, some days are easy peasy, some fucking hard. However, my friends and family can never phone me and hear Jeremy Kyle in the background a) because its a crock of shit and I'm usually up to my elbows in home made bloody play doh and b) I don't answer the phone.

Long winded... chin up. Don't try and keep up with anyone but your child.

issey6cats Mon 12-Sep-11 23:56:43

its probably your moms illness that is making everything else seem more difficult i hated been at home by the time my first son was 11 months old, he was not exactly sparkling conversationalist at that age, missed my friends from work and the new friends i had made only talked babies, go on the two day trip you will probably enjoy it and i hope all goes well for your mom

Feminine Tue 13-Sep-11 02:51:12

aldiwhore what a great and helpful post.

I hope lots of struggling SAHM mums read it smile

Cereal Tue 13-Sep-11 07:57:45

YANBU. Looking after a baby is very hard work, even if you love every minute! Don't feel you are not "achieving" anything. Being a SAHM you are looking after your home and family and this is enough of an "achievement" to take up anyone's time and energy.

You don't have to accept everyone else's expectations. Did your friends/family go on two-day-breaks in other parts of the world when they had young children? No, thought not.

The house move is definitely a joint responsibility. Your DP may be busy at work but you are busy at home.

You have the right to decide what you do with your own time. Have you read any books on assertiveness for women? You are perfectly entitled to say no to things such as travelling round the world, without giving a reason.

plupervert Tue 13-Sep-11 10:20:35

There was a really good thread a while ago about someone else struggling with this problem of competing expectations... and she didn't even have the tie of a small child to make it impossible for her to do everything people wanted her to do.

Very instructive thread title, too! It reveals a lot about the way women's time is viewed! wink

Don't post on it, as it's old, but the role-playing about how she would respond to people could be really helpful. It ended up being quite a laugh and a positive, fun discussion, which you could probably do with, as you sound very down.

firstimeforeverything Tue 13-Sep-11 22:28:31

Thanks all - wow :D. I was sure I was going to be shot down in flames...a fistful of supportive and positive replies was so good for me to read. I'll be taking all your advice on board, thank you so much for reassuring me that I'm not going mad. Actually writing down what was bothering made me reign up when I read it - why on god's green earth am I sweating over weekends away anyway? I'm putting a stop to unnecessary trials for the time being and focussing on my mother and my son, who are my absolute priorities.

aldiwhore - the laugh you inspired nearly cracked my face, but it was greatly appreciated.

plupervert - I've started reading that thread, thanks for providing the link.

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