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To ask what SAHM,s with kids at school do with their days?

(454 Posts)
totallyfrazzled Tue 29-Jan-13 22:53:34

I am mainly a SAHM but both my children are now school age. I do work PT, but as I work freelance my work days are erratics so I often find myself being a SAHM for a full week. Despite the fact that I do work, albeit slightly randomly, I find that I cannot give myself credit for the multiple tasks that I perform in anyone day at home....getting the DC's dressed and ready for school, driving them to school, clearing up the breakfast chaos, making the beds, doing the shopping, blah blah blah, preparing the evening meal, collecting the DC's, getting thru the homework, etc etc etc. i seem to be able to fill a whole day with domestic drudgery and still I am treading water, i.e. I am keeping everything at a status quo rather than actually achieving anything. I feel duty bound to keep on with domestic duties whilst not actually in renumerative employ. I feel guilty doing otherwise.Wondering if any one anyone else is in the same boat?

JugglingFromHereToThere Tue 05-Feb-13 13:26:15

Thanks for that last line analogue - you made me smile smile

analogue Tue 05-Feb-13 13:03:48

Wow what an interesting thread. It has taken me days to get through it, even though I am a stay at home mum, I also do lots of freelance work and am always busy. Bored just isn't in my vocabulary - I don't have enough hours in the day as it is and I don't work full time! We are also doing up a house and as it is a dump, it is never clean! I actually hold off cleaning now because I found I could do it all day every day and nobody ever noticed. We all notice the money from freelancing instead of cleaning, so I focus on that.

The reason I stay at home and run my own business (apart from the fact that I want to and love it) is that after childcare, I would be working for free or a few quid a month. I would much rather we lived a little more frugally than put my son in full time care for £150 per month net. I can make a full time wage from part time work by staying at home and many families with one high earner and one mediocre earner are in that position. Some of us can't afford to go to work - the price is too high in many ways.

Everyone is doing the best they can in their own circumstances and I think others look down on us and make us feel guilty no matter what choices we make. The answer is just to not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks and enjoy living your life.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 22:14:54


Really sorry to hear about your employment predicament. It may seem harder for you because being a sahm isn't by choice but you never know you may thrive.
Firstly it doesn't cost any money to get out and about with your dc, and making sure you get out is important. If you are not the mother and baby group type it doesn't matter, I wasn't either. I think it is important to have a break from kids and also to make sure you have time for you. I don't mean a bath, I mean personal to you, something you enjoy doing. I hope it works well for you, or that you find suitable work if this is possible.

Rowgtfc72 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:05:46

I went back to work six years ago when dd was six months old. I have always worked. DHs shifts have now changed and in four weeks I will have to leave work as we cant both have a six o clock starts and as Im already part time my employer is no way going to be flexible to work round this. Weve looked into anything that fits round his shifts and no/minimal childcare with no luck. Im dreading being a SAHM and a skint one at that. I was climbing the wall after six weeks with baby DD !

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 12:42:23

Today so far I have supervised dds music practice, bit of housework whilst she had a lesson. English and maths lesson with dd. prepped dinner for tonight as taking dd to dance lessons later. Made lunch for me, dd, dh. This afternoon bit of shopping, maybe reading with dd, bit more domestic stuff, prep some work for dd tomorrow and then free time for myself.

JugglingFromHereToThere Mon 04-Feb-13 09:57:46

Thanks potatoprints - what a lovely encouraging post to read on a Monday morning ! thanks

morethanpotatoprints Sun 03-Feb-13 20:47:45


Music to my ears. The word bored has always been considered as bad as a swear word as far as I'm concerned, its how I was brought up too.

There is a whole world of fascination out there, and no time to be bored as lifes too short.
I think your idea for starting up music again is brilliant, I play clarinet sometimes. I would like to do more but the music room either has dd practising, dh practising or teaching and I'm quite often last, smile.

Good luck with the piano and theory, hope it goes well. smile

JugglingFromHereToThere Sun 03-Feb-13 16:17:58

One golden rule/ zero tolerance style thing DH has with the children is that he has no truck (in quite a nice, reasonable but firm, way) with the DC's saying they're "bored" The most sympathetic response they'd get from him for that would be "well, go and find something to do then !"
I'm sure the same applies to grown-ups - there is plenty to explore in the world, even between 9 and 3 !

morethanpotatoprints Sun 03-Feb-13 14:11:36


grin. Its amazing how H.ed can fill your day, I too enjoy it so much. My dd used to go to school and now she is at home we have lots of fun and I get to see her grow up and mature, through learning. Dh works mostly from home and is lucky to be able to choose the work he does, so we share domestic and education responsibilities, have lots of time out and about, certainly no time to be bored for any of us. I think being bored just lacks imagination grin

AmberSocks Sun 03-Feb-13 13:22:46

i am a sahm and i also home ed my kids,not with any curriculum though,they just learn as they go along.

I dont know what i would do if they were all at schoo,i dont think i would be bored as i would find something to do and maybe concentrate more on my own interests but i would miss the noise!

We go on nature walks,go to the beach,the farm,the park,the library,go to visit friends,do lots of messy play,bake,nap whenever we want,watch films and go on lots of holidays(in term time its so much cheaper)

One day they wiil all be grown up and i will look back on this time with great fondness!

I cant imagine a job i wouldenjoy as much as i do being at home.

CorrieDale Sun 03-Feb-13 08:01:19

I am a sahm and I love it but I realised that if I didn't have something to do that could be finished I would go bonkers. Because housework is never-ending and the children constantly need fixing. It's just Groundhog Day. So I started making clothes that I sell online and at a country market. It can be tricky coz nobody really thinks I work do my friends think I can always meet up for coffee and my mum and my sister think I should be able to do the 1 hour round trip to visit my mum 3rimes a week. But at least I get a sense of achievement every time I send out a garment.

princessnumber2 Sun 03-Feb-13 07:44:36

Haven't read whole thread but I'm SAHM looking to return to work soonish (within 6-12 months). Was recently offered a full time role but turned it down as couldn't face both parents working full time with 2 young kids. (partner works away a lot and his job is beyond full time, v unpredictable hours etc). I do some chores - washing, shopping, cooking etc. but also study for another degree, volunteer (in professional capacity but also bit of PTA type stuff too) and network, organise training etc to keep my hand in/find work. I miss working but for the first time in my life I don't need to work for financial reasons. I'm enjoying the chance to cherry pick the work and training I enjoy the most and feel more positive about returning to a job I really enjoy. It's also nice to pick up from school every day and get all their news and worries without feeling rushed.

CheerfulYank Sun 03-Feb-13 03:15:22

We should all just do what works best for us and our families.

I do SAH during the day and work "for pin money" hmm in the evenings. And I'm happy. I like being the one to drop off and pick up DS at preschool, etc. I like tidying my house and reading and walking the dog or whatever else I decide to do during the day.

A good friend of mine works a lot at a radio station; she's very high up in her career and loves it. Her DH sah part time and then they have a nanny. (They have 2 girls) She is very happy.

Both of us are doing what is best for us. Both of us are loving parents to children who will turn out just fine.

Comments about SAHMs = unhappy martyrs and WOHMs = career-obsessed women who farm out their kids are untrue and unhelpful.

bringmeroses Sat 02-Feb-13 23:55:48

Scottish I got ya!!

Reach into your heart, you know you love all of humankind despite your obvious enjoyment of a healthy debate. Many cliches are true grin

Sulawesi Sat 02-Feb-13 23:52:39

Juggling that sounds great! Brilliant to have a project on the go whether you work or not.

I have horses and dogs that give me great pleasure and a luxury to be able to attend to them in daylight it has to be said.

I'm naturally a bit of a layabout and the corporate world would finish me off by lunchtime so I'm best off out of the rat race tbh!

scottishmummy Sat 02-Feb-13 23:47:38

individuals as well as mothers whod have thunk it...clintons cards?
i mean really,what does that even mean
v woo hoo us muthas are goddesses, and individuals

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 02-Feb-13 23:44:54

Talking of courses Sula - I've just (this morning) signed up for a course on Music theory and I also enjoyed the first of the new series "Howard Goodall's Guide to Music" tonight.
So that's my new project - to learn about music and then maybe take up playing the piano again. But first of all just to understand and learn more about it.

bringmeroses Sat 02-Feb-13 23:43:58

Xenia you haven't read this thread properly have you! I like the posters who've said do what is right for you. We all have such different circumstances and there are times when parenting is hard for all of us. Working of stay at home. So let's be more supportive and understanding of one another. We are individuals as well as mothers.

Permanentlyexhausted Sat 02-Feb-13 23:42:51

I find the way threads like this turn out quite bizarre (and the OP seemed quite a reasonable question).

The vast majority of SAHMs seem quite happy with the life they are leading so I don't get why some posters are so adamant they must be bored, wasting their lives, or setting their children a bad example.

Equally, it is clear that the vast majority of WOHMs are doing their absolute level best for their children and that those children are happy and well-looked after even when it isn't by mum, so I don't really understand why some posters are so adamant that WOHMs are 'farming out' their children and putting their careers first.

I am a WOHM with a full-time job. My 3 best real life 'mum' friends, who all have children the same age as mine, are a WOHM with a part time job, a self-employed lady who completely dictates her own hours, and a SAHM. All our children have their strengths and weaknesses, all are, for the most part, happy, and we all find we are dealing with the same behavioural issues.

Seriously, all this in-fighting isn't necessary and doesn't achieve anything.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 02-Feb-13 23:29:55

ssd, you what?! The clue is in the name, plus the odd "aye" and "wee", plus the comment another poster made about her posting style reading well in Scotland, or something along those lines. Is that ok with you?

Ps what exactly is wrong with "IMHO"?

Mumsnet is like a strange parallel universe....

Sulawesi Sat 02-Feb-13 23:10:36

i love my life too but totally accept that being at home isn't for everyone. I don't ever criticise anybody who chooses to work ft though, so just don't get all the sneering and animosity towards SAHM's. That we must all be miserable housewives makes me laugh.

I've never watched daytime tv, done a crossword, signed up for a course or learnt a language either though it has to be said.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 02-Feb-13 23:05:08

"The housewifes sound miserable".

I don't wohm and don't have a specific role which is great for me as I am a person not a machine that has a general purpose, lol.
I don't particularly watch tv at any time of day really, unless there is something specific that interests me or dd. I will occassionally watch the news.
My life is also fulfilling, fun and interesting. I think people who don't have this in life are miserable however they define themselves, whether they work or not.

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 02-Feb-13 23:02:56

And I just don't agree with the assessment that the "housewives" on this thread do sound miserable - I think in the main they sound gently content - quite peaceful and relaxed.

If I don't sound 100% contented myself (and who is really ?) then that could be that I'm not a settled SAHM but looking to return to P/T work mainly (but not entirely) for financial reasons - to balance family budget and afford to do more interesting things with my pre-teens.

I think for those whose family finances are not stretched the SAHP's seem very content smile

impty Sat 02-Feb-13 22:50:39

The housewife's sound miserable? Not me! I love my life. It's interesting, fun and fulfilling.
What we should ALL aim for!

inthewildernessbuild Sat 02-Feb-13 22:31:41

And I still have never watched any daytime tv, which is a pity. Or had my hair done. Or my nails. Or used my sewng machine or done any courses. Ridiculous!

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