to be feeling this way?(20 Posts)
Feeling really down today. Have two DD's, aged 2.5 and 10 months. Gave up work when DD1 arrived. Love them and love being with them, but am feeling increasingly isolated and lonely being a SAHM. Have met a few other mums but not made the sort of friends who I feel I can ring up and say 'having a crap day, can we meet up'. Finding playing with the children tedious and look forward to them going to bed at night. I feel like I have completely lost my identity since having children. DH works long hours, not back till 10pm, so look after the girls full time myself. Anyone else feel like this? Aren't I meant to love being with them? How does everyone else do it? Think I am just crap at making new friends, I make a terrible first impression. Can't even go to a book group or do an exercise class because DH is not home till late and no family to babysit. Was a lawyer before, is it time to just admit that I am not cut out to be a SAHM? Think I am going to go nuts eventually. Any advice anyone?
Is there any way you could pay childcare and do some contract/PT work? It keeps me sane. I do a few hours a week and means I use my professional skills and talk to adults.
Aww didn't want to read & run.
Firstly...dear god no, you are allowed to not want to spend every minute of your waking day being a mum. Men often don't spend the whole day being dads & no one berates them for it. So give yourself a break on that front. You're only human
If you believe that hanging around toddler groups, feeling awkward & spending all day playing tea-parties, dealing with tantrums, the constant cylce of feeding & changing isn't for you then there is no shame in admitting you'd rather be working. You'd still get your weekends and evenings with them and may be happier for it...and at the end of the day you're much better use to them happy than you are fed up
Having a job alongside the early years of parenting can really help you rebuild your identity again too so it is worth considering that too.
(you could always work PT if you don't want to feel you're missing out too)
Hi, I love the idea of doing something to keep me sane, but am really not sure how possible it would be as a lawyer. Does anyone know?
Frankly, the way I feel now, I'd do pretty much anything. I so wanted this to work, the SAHM thing, but maybe I'm just not cut out for it. Has everyone else found it easy to make mum friends when they stopped work? I have a lovely NCT class who I still see once a week, but I feel like the needy one, they always seem to have places to go and other people to see.
YY to working PT if you can. I really relate to how you feel and being a SAHM is a non-stop repetitive cycle which isn't fun.
BTW I am a SAHM and have no friends to call upon and no family in 80miles (my closest relative is 250miles away), being at home from working FT can be crippling emotionally.
It's not everyone's cuppa & that's ok. it doesn't mean you don't enjoy your kids generally or love them any less. It's not an easy job!
I used to feel like you at baby groups etc...I'm not socially awkward or anything but I just seemed to find it hard to be 'busy' or make more than one or two friends with kids. It's taken me 2 years to build an okayish base of mum-friends! So I wouldn't worry, as long as you're getting out there
Yes it is hard isnt it? i dont me to be all 'woe is me', I know we are fortunate to afford for one of us to stay at home, but I have gone from working FT, in a job I loved, long hours, good salary, promoted on maternity leave, to being a full time SAHM. I thought that if i kept busy and made new friends it would work out, and I have tried over the last two and a bit years, but the reality is that I'm not happy. I snap at my toddler, I am not always patient with her, I feel like I have completely lost myself. Don't make any effort with my appearance so I never see anyone and other than a few words at the playschool gates don;t talk to anyone over the age of 3. I am the crazy lady at the babygroup or supermarket desperate for friends.
I'm not a lawyer but I know some who do things like work on legal websites and such. Surely there are lots of people who need a piece of legal advice but only a piece. If you can afford childcare for voluntary work, what about the CAB?
FWIW I think just having a DC is tough. I have worked FT, SAHM, PT/contract. I always feel that something or someone is suffering.
I, myself work p/t, I love the idea of being a SAHM, but the reality of it, as you know, is very isolating.
I was lucky to find a small group of like minded mums, who I'm close friends with now and I credit them for helping me through my maternity leave of 10 months for DD1.
It's such a change for new mum's from working FT to suddenly being at home all day, I found it, and can still find it lonely.
It doesn't make you a bad mum, in fact, as already metnioned, I think that if you are happier working then it makes you a better parent, also a good role model for your DC.
I feel guilty for wanting to work but I feel worse (down) when stuck in the house, if that makes sense??
I guess it's trying to get a balance which I find p/t allows me to do.
Aww its bloody hard being at home ...its why I work! I love my girls to distraction but I did not love being with them 24/7
Where are you op? I am sure there are lots of mn's who would love to have a cuppa and a moan with you x
Sleeplesssister - I'm a lawyer. What kind of law did you practice? As you know, some areas are more amenable to working from home/part time roles than others. I'm a corporate lawyer but moved to more limited hours (in office for particular hours, work from home in evening if need be, weekends generally free unless completing a deal) after having DS1 nearly 7 years ago - wasnt sure I'd be able to do the SAHM thing. But it is hard, childcare is expensive, DH works v long hours in the city and I miss my kids (2 now and a third on the way) alot of the day - so it may be a case of the grass being greener.
It sounds like you need some intellectual mental stimulation, considering your previous career. Go for it - nothing wrong with needing that! Being a SAHM can be mind numbing for people who have had successful careers previously where your opinion and expertise mattered. It's not about being lucky to be a SAHM for some ladies - for them, lucky is being able to have children and also use their education for 'working', albeit out of the home. Good luck!
i dont me to be all 'woe is me' You're not - don't ever think that. You are a human with needs too. Your offspring aren't the only ones with a need to be stimulated. x
Yanbu, when I had DS I ended up volunteering in a charity shop when he was about 9 or 10 months as I needed to do something other than play peekaboo and mash up baby food. I'm pregnant now and will be at home with new dd while DP works and DS is at school but I've applied for postgraduate study once a week and will be volunteering as a support worker for a charity once a week too to keep me sane and to get some intellectual stimulation.
Could you do the same?
I think I know exactly how you feel OP. (And I had a husband home by 6pm and babysitters etc.)
Many yrs ago, I had 3 under 3, which was a handful. I felt at times really lonely and terribly bored. Was not able to relax, read a book or anything fun like that! Seemed like I had to find a way to just get through each day, with the house in tact and everyone alive and clean/fed! (A real grind!)
It's quite hard to suddenly find yourself as a sort of personal "slave" to your kids, especially after you had a career. There's no "me time" for you at the moment, and we all miss that.
Could you afford a teenager to help you out?
I found a lovely 16 yr old who was happy to help me out for a few hours each weekday morning, (in her school hols), for a while ... and it was honestly great just to have someone else/new to talk to! (As well as some physical help.)
Going back to work would solve some problems, (ie your lost sense of identity/lost financial independence/lack of adult contact etc), but would create others, (cost of good childcare, what happens when kids are ill or childcare falls through, finding the pressure at work more than you can cope with on top of worrying about the kids/cooking etc), so there's no magic solution.
Could you try instead to look at your position as a sabatical to build up your core skills? Then just praise yourself for managing to be the best mum you CAN be, in spite of the fact you are actually trained as a lawyer?
Let's face it, if you were brilliant as a childminder/kindergarten teacher, you would have trained for that and not done law? So you are probably out of your comfort zone? Just as a childcare specialist wouldn't necessarily find being a lawyer easy or fun?
Bringing up your own children is part of the reason you had them, otherwise you would have had them adopted ASAP? So try to not beat yourself up about not finding it easy at the moment ... & just push on? (You are not alone!)
I'm sure you will find it easier once they are older and at school/reading etc.
For now, keep trying to get out & about, to meet more people if you can, just in case you spot another mum in same position who you could identify with/share some of your time with? (It DOES help to find a good friend or two!) It might happen or it might not. But there's always hope. And mumsnet!
Eventually, you can think of going back to work, but make sure you are truly ready, before jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?!
In the meantime, agree with other posters that you need to try to find some time to do your own (leisure/intellectual) stuff?
Hope the empathy helps a bit! (My kids are grown up now and I don't regret any of the time I spent with them!)
You guys are the best! Thanks so much to everyone who read and responded, it has been a real pep talk for me and so nice to know that I am not the only one who has ever felt like this. I really needed a sanity check as I have been feeling so down lately. Dinkystinky, I was a banking lawyer, both in house and magic circle, also done lots of commercial contracts. I think RiceBurner has a good point about going back to work solving some probs but also creating others, I know that working mums have their own stresses and strains. I will try and keep as busy as I can, I know these days are precious which is why I hate myself some times for wishing the days or hours away. I'm near St Albans fwiw. My DH said to me the other night that being a mother did not come naturally to me (what a lovely thing to say, cried over that), guess I just need to work at it a bit more and realise that I am not alone. Will keep trying with the charm offensive at baby groups!
Sleeplesssister - may be worth having a chat with recruiters and seeing what part time/contract options there may be out there. I know people who gave up practicing law to become part time law lecturers at college of law and other places - might that be of interest? Whatever you do end up doing, you would need to make sure that your new income covered your outgoings.
Ignore your DH's insensitive comments - being a mother is bloody hard work. Its not like your previous career prepared you for it in any way (though being at the beck and call of clients twenty four hours a day is pretty good training for being at the beck and call of a child 24/7 I guess)!
Get in there girl! All the best. x
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