SAHM/Always having to make the effort to organise things(13 Posts)
Not sure where to post this as it is about lots of things all rolled into one and could feature on both the relationships and mental health section.
I have 2 dcs, one who is at school and one under 2. I do feel grateful every day to have my dcs as I battled with fertility issues and against all odds have discovered I am expecting dc 3 (only 9 weeks so early days).
I think I have struggled since becoming a sahm a year ago and now find myself expecting another dc next summer. I am delighted and would no way be without dcs but sometimes I feel isolated, low and feel that basically a lot of the people I know are wrapped up in their own lives and have little time for me mainly due to their own work/family commitments.
I know nothing will come to my door and I make an effort every day to get out - go to toddler groups, school run, meet for coffee but still I get this emptiness feeling which really doesn't make sense? I have little family support, my husband works all day, my mother is wrapped up with work and I find it is often me who contacts people (not always though) but in the main it is me to organise meet ups. Now I am pregnant and feeling sick things have become even more of a struggle. Even if the people around me knew how I was feeling (early days so haven't told) I doubt they would come knocking. I live in a village and drive out most days. I miss the camaraderie and structure that work brought to my week (worked 14 hours per week) but my hours of work changed and management demanded more working hours etc. I managed to work around the dcs but this is now nigh on impossible and my dcs are only young for a limited time and they come first. It seems work/life balance would be out the window. Still this feels very hard made harder still by my unexpected but very welcome pregnancy.
I keep dwelling on the future which I know I shouldn't but project the lonely feelings to the future as dh is 15 years older than me and I could be facing old age alone whilst others will gave their dh's around, I am likely to be looking to fill my days in much the same way as I do now but without dcs to focus on and this scares me. I know I should be concentrating on the here and now but this sense of loneliness and isolation doesn't help and leads me to think and dwell about the future alone and the effort involved in going out and finding like minded individuals.
I have so much to be grateful for no money worries, nice home, dh, dcs and feel guilty for feeling this way.
Should it be this difficult? Sorry rambling but it helps to get things out on paper.
Oh here is a great hug for you monkey tree! you are being so brave and doing so much. Two children and one on the way: that is tough by any standards. It's great that you know you're lucky materially but loneliness is a pre and post partum killer, it really is a lonely business..
I used to be an NCT coffee morning organiser and I saw a woman once standing in the middle of the park with a tiny baby in a sling and she was just staring at the sky and I went over and said something about the baby and she just looked at me with the saddest eyes and I've never forgotten that look. She had it all materially but was so so so lonely and isolated. I gave her the NCT numbers after we chatted for a bit and she promised to call and get involved in a group.
There are some things I want to say because there is so much going on and I hope I don't sound at all patronising but I am extremely empathetic with your feelings as you describe them.
- I think what you are going through is massively common and I think it's very important to remember that.
- A woman with two young children and one on the way who has no family nearby and a partner who is usually not there is statistically a good bet for some kind of depression. Honestly the days are so long with young kids and the service is so total that depression is a moderate response in my book.
- You may have made friends that go with your external life but not with your real internal self. I think that can happen when you're in affluent areas, there is a pressure for appearances and you can end up believing in your false self and then not knowing who your potential friends should be. Therefore investing maybe in people who are convenient but not deeply close or able to meet your needs, either because they're wrong for you or because you maybe not showing your true self?
Any way please just give yourself a massive break. You are making a human being, that is the greatest miracle of all, Leonardo couldn't do that. You are working hard and being a genius with your feet up on the sofa. Give yourself some massive kudos for creating a nest for these three people to start out. They need you to believe in yourself and find strategies to get the support you need so you can support them.
I salute you! You are making a person, it is quite a draining act. Do everything you can to rest rest rest rest, even if it's only a small rest, or a slightly earlier night. I think an earlier night is more deeply health giving than power cleaning the patio (as my v pg friend once did).
Take care of you, be aware of the strangeness of having a child, it's a huge abnegation of yourself and it is a massive gain and also quite a loss of who you were once. Usually that feels a fine sacrifice but it can leave us saying 'who/what am I? Am i the lowest servant in the universe, arse wiper, cook, washer upper, climber of the laundry mountain, she who dreams of the ironing done!'
I wouldn't worry about organising people. Think of the sweetest woman you know with the fewest children and get her to come just for coffee. Tell the nicest person you know that you feel a little low. Let someone see how you feel in the flesh. Come on Mumsnet. Keep reaching out even if tired.
I think we are as a species meant to breed in massive commune like communities, never alone, perpetually talking and laughing and comforting our womenfolk. It's too hard alone. Do what it takes to have contact when you have enough energy.
the best to you.
There's always people worse off than you - that doesn't invalidate your feelings one jot. I think a lot of people feel like you do - I know I did - but you do come through it and adjust to the new routine. Noelle put it all so eloquently and beautifully.
How much me time do u get? I suspect not much. Can you afford a morning at nursery? Just a few hours to yourself (no housework!) made all the difference to me.
Lots of people are rubbish at organising get togethers/meet ups. Don't resent them - celebrate your ability to do this. It's a gift!
Look after yourself. NCT have a good helpline if you need to talk.
Noel what a lovely post x thank you. I do live in an affluent area but make an effort to travel up to a 20 mile radius. I am not materialistic. I care more about relationships, helping others and the environment/natural beauty. I meet lots of different people along the way and I am quite an open person and will admit to others about feeling low still I struggle to find others on a day to day basis who are on the same wave length and people do seem wrapped up in their own lives to be able to give enough of what I need. I don't like feeling needy but I wish some people who I do get on with would just give me a bit more of their time instead of slotting me in to their busy schedule, it doesn't make me feel cared for. Can anyone else identify?
I feel that when people aren't giving what I feel I need I need to call other people. Sometimes we need to push on the doors that will open. I never bother any more with the doors that don't open easily... but it has taken time!
Is there any other context that might be good for meeting new people that's close by which you haven't tried yet? Have you got an nct group yet for this baby? A friend said to me keep on throwing out the nets, keep on, keep on, give life a chance to whoosh some fish into a ready net!
Hope you are having a good day!
Probably not what you want to hear - but maybe get back to work as soon as possible.
Noelle what a beautiful and warm post. You must be a councellor or similar. Just lovely.
Op can't add much but I honestly believe all mums feel like you do at some point. It can be so draining and so hard but I guarantee you won't always feel like this.
Zee not really able to get back into work as dc3 on the way. I am thinking about doing some voluntary work later on so at least have some kind of plan.
Noel. Yes went yo my local NCT group and it was a very tight knit group - a lot of ladies knew each other it seemed from antenatal classes etc. Have found a lovely NCT group about 15 miles away from where I live but difficult to maintain any friendships due to distance.
Will keep throwing out the nets, it can be a bit demoralising though but will keep going.
Invited one friend around yesterday, she couldn't come because she works ad hoc hours, another friend had to get her car mot'd and a third friend had ten minutes to spare because she had to do a supermarket shop before going to work! This is what I mean by it can take effort unless I go to an organised group where there are other mums but not all toddler groups are uplifting I find. Will try some new ones. Also I am an older mum/not a first time mum and find I am better able to relate to mums in a similar position. Can't always meet up with a group of first time mums I know as I have the school run to do as well!
Thank you ladies.
Monkey - keep at it. If you find one toddler group is no good try another one. Some are more cliquey than others.
I met one friend when I was in hospital having my DD19 and another friend when I started keep fit classes where the sports centre had a creche in the mornings. So friends might occur when/where you least expect.
Are any of the mums at school in the same situation?
I would give the nct group a second chance as this time you won't be coming in after everyone has had time to bond
I think you'll be fine in time. Has your eldest only just started school? If so it is early days for friendships etc. I made some good friends in the playground But it does take time. In a few years I reckon you'll have loads of friends and acquaintances and be running round like a blue arsed fly meeting people all the time!
When my DS16 started reception one boy often came for tea and DS would go there for tea. It took a while but eventually one of us suggested meeting up in the holidays and things started from there.
Once the boys started secondary they started to move in separate circles but me and her stayed friends. We meet for coffee and me and DH go out with her and her DH.
As in my earlier post wasn't setting out to make a friend of her it just happened. If a child comes for tea offer the mum a coffee when they come to pick their child up.
Another mum I am still friends with our sons were at nursery together. Her DS came to my DS's party. She worked and I had never met her during pick ups at nursery but she when she collected her DS from party suggested we met up during the summer.
I know I sound like 'look how many friends I've got' (I hope no one is thinking that) but what I am trying to show is the different ways to made friends. To be honest any friends made at toddler group didn't last long once they all started school
I have made a few friends via my elder dd and really grateful for this. I suppose I miss the structure and people around me at work. Although I had no real friends at work we all seemed to get along so well and it was so much less effort some how. The couple of days I had off from work I never seemed to struggle filling. However now I may only see certain individuals on a weekly basis at toddler groups. I think I am becoming more accepting of this now and trying to look at what I have got, still this whole business seems somewhat isolating. I am still in touch with one lady I went to toddler group with dd1 but I have moved a few miles away from her now so not in daily contact, I guess I've just got to roll with it.
I can't add much to Noelle's lovely post, but just wanted to add another voice of support. I think so many people (myself included) have low periods when they feel lonely, or like they're not living a life as full or as fun as others', no matter what their circumstances.
I think you should continue meeting people as you are and friendships will build naturally, as someone says, you'll meet a kindred spirit at a time you're least expecting it. But also do you have any skills or interests you could focus on? Even if that's not something you have time to consider until well after the baby's born! You could learn another language (Rosetta Stone is brilliant and you can just do ten minutes at a time), or write, or paint, or anything that you will enjoy that will also give you a sense of purpose and achievement. Just a thought. Your idea of volunteering is great too.
Looking at anything from any distance is frightening; I'm thinking of what you say about the future. But thinking about a LIFETIME when you're contemplating marriage, or seriously considering the weight of responsibility for another life, and another lifetime, when you're pregnant - it's terrifying. Not that one should enter into these things lightly, but if you're already feeling sad, too much introspection isn't helpful. I don't mean to sound critical, because I certainly do it myself but, day to day, it doesn't help (necessarily) to live in the shadow of our own mortality and insignificance in the universe! The massive thing is to remember that you'll never be lonely in the way you fear, because at this very moment you're nurturing relationships with three children who will always love and cherish you in return. It might take a while, but the clouds will clear and one day you won't be able to remember feeling as low as you do today.
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