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AIBU to think being a SAHP to a six-month-old baby and under five is harder than most jobs?

(501 Posts)
TheOddity Thu 25-Aug-16 09:35:40

I don't know many people in jobs with a schedule or level of stress like that of a woman on mat leave in school holidays.
My morning, just from 7am to 10am:
Get up by being jumped on, immediately change sodden nappy.
Nappy in nappy bucket
Get four breakfasts ready while entertaining baby and answering questions/4yo stream of consciousness.
Try to find safe place for crawling baby while I wash up. Make den for 4yo.
Wash up, clean high chair, dustpan floor (weaning), wipe floor (crawling).
Hear a cry, sort out teddy stand off.
Put washing on. Spill powder, clean floor
Clean toilet and floor (baby crawls everywhere in a flat).
Baby grumpy and crying and falling all over fighting sleep. Put to sleep while trying to mentally plan lunch.
Finish washing up, have five second shower. Baby wakes distraught (teething). Feed baby while still wet and naked. Won't go back asleep after tiny nap.
Take nappy off again as soaked through and messy from breakfast. Give her some nappy free time.
Encourage toddler to take clothes off to get dressed.
Toddler needs a poo. Juggle wiping bum while baby tries to crawl closer from other room (can't put in cot as she just breaks down. separation anxiety?!)
Baby crying as after two days the nappy free trick has worked and they have done a massive poo on the floor and are now squirming in it. Leave toddler playing in sink while I sort out 'poonami'
'Poonami' sorted, baby back with nappy. Find toddler has flooded floor with water. Wipe up water while listening to baby crying in other room.
Baby dying to finish nap, put in sling while I encourage 4yo to dress. Go downstairs to throw poo and rubbish out. Baby finally asleep in sling.
Share woes with mumsnet while 4yo watches god knows what on TV.
That is three hours. It is totally relentless. And that is just me keeping things how they were before we woke up, no extra cleaning, no shopping, no trips. We go out lots but those bits you have to do at home and getting ready are soooo much harder than my paid job before. Dh then comes home to tell me he is so tired. I breastfeed and do all night feeds. hmm

AGruffaloCrumble Thu 25-Aug-16 09:39:54

Personally I don't think it is. I have a 3yo and a five month old and I find it pretty easy. DP definitely works harder than I do and he still helps out when he gets home. There are small bursts of stress in my day but DP has a very important job which is much more stressful.

Pteranodon Thu 25-Aug-16 09:41:24


Jizzomelette Thu 25-Aug-16 09:41:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SomedayBaby Thu 25-Aug-16 09:42:06

I don't know many people in jobs with a schedule or level of stress like that of a woman on mat leave in school holidays

Really? I know plenty, dh and me included.

Being at home all day to two young ones is hard, I know that - I did it for 16 months when ds2 was born and ds1 was 2 (extended mat leave). But it's not the same type or level of stress as having a job where you have targets and deadlines and all the rest. You get to plan your day as you like, sit and have a cuppa in the afternoon, walk to the park for an hour...would love my boss to introduce these into my role!

Cakescakescakes Thu 25-Aug-16 09:42:41

I don't think most paid work (depends on the job obviously) is harder than when I was home with baby and 3yr old. My DH agreed. He found it crazy on his days off and that's when there were two of us to do it all.

Cakescakescakes Thu 25-Aug-16 09:43:37

I think it also depends on your kids. I had a poorly baby who didn't sleep and a 3 yr old with SN. I guess that colours things for me a bit.

HeyNannyNanny Thu 25-Aug-16 09:43:41

It's actually my job to do all of the above. Yeah, it's hard (I'd argue harder because the not my kids so I don't have the love hormones etc to balance out the screaming) but I know people who work equally hard if not more so in their jobs. I also know a lot of people with easier jobs.
I wouldn't say it's the "hardest" job

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Thu 25-Aug-16 09:43:53

I do feel your pain. I've got an almost 9 month old and a 5 year old and it can be pretty relentless. My 5 year old niece is staying this week as well. Sometimes that makes it easier as they go off and play, but obviously they get a bit sick of each other after a while.

DS2 doesn't sleep well and starts the day at 5. After an hour of forcing him on the boob and willing him to sleep, either DH or I get up with him, or argue about who should get up. (Tbf he usually does as he's pretty respectful of me being up all night).

He's been really grumpy this morning (probably because he's fucking tired) and I'm feeding him now , and he will usually have a good nap in his cot for an hour or 2, and then we'll go out somewhere and he'll usually have another nap while out

The lack of sleep has made me particularly unpleasant.

Pteranodon Thu 25-Aug-16 09:44:12

I used to have a high pressure job and it was very stressful but also interesting, and I could often take a few minutes' or moments' break to clear my head. Young children at home with just one adult is relentless and the reason why exhausted parents bother with the hassle of getting everyone dressed and Out so often.

Also ymmv with kids more than with anything - they vary so much.

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 25-Aug-16 09:44:19

No of course it isn't. I've been a sahp to 3 under 4 and it's tiring, soul destroying occasionally, hard work. But in no way is it as hard as going out to work. Even for a job you love.

scarednoob Thu 25-Aug-16 09:44:23

Urgh, wine for you. We only have one lively but placid 11 month old and it's still fucking hard work.

It does kick off regular "debates" between me and DP though. I work very long hours and he is the SAHD. When I get home at 7-8pm, I then have to entertain the baby, feed her, get her ready for bed and to sleep. If she wakes at night I usually do that too. Then I get up at 6 ready for another long day in the city. I feel I never get a break; he feels he has no life and I don't do enough to help around the flat...

I think we just have to suck it up as soon we will look back on these days and wish our kids were tiny again!

myownprivateidaho Thu 25-Aug-16 09:45:13

Oh dear op, poor you, you sound very stressed. Can you shift things so your dp takes care of more home things if the split of labour is uneven? Or get more outside help? I guess just think of what would make your life easier. Fwiw I agree it's not a competition and your dh probably is tired when he gets in. But that doesn't get him out of an equal division of labour.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Thu 25-Aug-16 09:45:14

Desk job managing ten primadonnas (all lovely but a bit highly strung) vs SAHM with 3yo.

You can hide from your colleagues for twenty minutes. You can't stick them all in a paddling pool and MN for twenty minutes mind you.

I found work easier!

Bobochic Thu 25-Aug-16 09:45:39

A dishwasher, an automatically dispensing washing machine and disposable nappies would make a world of difference, OP.

Jackiebrambles Thu 25-Aug-16 09:45:39


This is why I am back at work after having my second child, and my 3.5 yo and 14 month old are at pre-school/nursery right now whilst I am at my desk.

I hope you get a hot drink and something to eat/a rest soon! It's SO hard!

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 25-Aug-16 09:45:54

I don't know many people in jobs with a schedule or level of stress like that of a woman on mat leave in school holidays
And comments like this make you seem out of touch with reality.

Libitina Thu 25-Aug-16 09:46:03

Whilst yanbu that your role is challenging, yabu in saying that it is harder than most jobs.

Make your DH pull his weight at home.

YelloDraw Thu 25-Aug-16 09:46:43

I don't know many people in jobs with a schedule or level of stress like that of a woman on mat leave in school holidays

Unless you have a particularly difficult baby or under 5 - ha ha ha. Or a particularly easy work job.

It's sunny, get out the the park with them. Go meet some friends there. Have a picnic. Go for a little walk. Go to a local art gallery or museam that the 4 yer old likes - probably be nice and cool there.

you don't have to sit at home and martyr yourself in household drudgery.

MrsJayy Thu 25-Aug-16 09:46:58

Parenting is hard but its not a work project or anything yabu even though what parents do can be relentless and exhausting

Pteranodon Thu 25-Aug-16 09:48:57

The compounding factor I didn't expect before becoming a SAHM - bc my work didn't define me - was the loss of status. It sounds really wanky to say so but it affected me a lot for quite a while, made life feel harder. Might not be a factor when on mat leave though.

Bobochic Thu 25-Aug-16 09:49:11

While I never found young DC as stressful as work, I disagree, strongly, that DC are not a project with deadlines.

Ledkr Thu 25-Aug-16 09:49:37

<hollow laughter>

Well I'm a child SW with 5 kids and if I listed my work day here it would fill the thread.
So no, I think although it's tough looking after kids somr jobs are definitely more stressful sorry.

SpookyPotato Thu 25-Aug-16 09:50:21

It depends on a lot. My DP is a web designer and I'm a SAHM to a toddler and he says he wouldn't swap it for a minute, he says my job is far harder. But I know people with really demanding jobs too who would like to not work to deadlines.

WiIdfire Thu 25-Aug-16 09:50:26


Maternity leave was a delight. A lovely year. An absolute piece of cake compared to my job. Now I'm back at work I'm getting a lot less sleep than before.

What job did you have that was easier than being a SAHP?

I'm a surgeon.

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