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I have so much respect now for SAHMs.

(75 Posts)
ArtichokeAardvark Fri 12-Jun-20 12:52:14

I am not a good enough mother to be a SAHM.

I have so much new-found respect for those who do stay home full time to raise children. I don't know how you cope. I'm on mat leave with a toddler and a 4 month old. The toddler would usually be at nursery but with Covid he's obviously now at home. I'm on solo childcare duty all day Mon-Fri as although DH is wfh, I wouldn't be working anyway so it makes sense for me to watch the children while he gets on with his job.

I'm on my knees. I start the day tired and frustrated, and end it angry, tired and frustrated. I don't recognise who I am anymore, I miss my job so much and I've turned into a monster around my toddler (who admittedly is being a complete pain in the arse, but he's as bored and frustrated as I am). It's breaking my heart and I feel like the worst mother in the world.

How do permanent SAHMs do it? How do you stay sane? How do you get to the end of every day without losing it completely? I think you must all have the patience of saints. This is so much harder than being a working mother. I'm longing to go back.

OP’s posts: |
PineappleUpsideDownCake Fri 12-Jun-20 12:53:45

In non covid times there'd be pkaygroups and farm parks and meet ups with friends and all sorts of fun that fills the day and keeps them avtive in a way its just not possible now. It isnt the same thing at all.

ArtichokeAardvark Fri 12-Jun-20 12:54:26

Also, before anyone starts man-bashing, DH helps out whenever he isn't working. This isn't a poor me thread, it's meant to be sheer admiration for those who do this day in day out!

OP’s posts: |
PineappleUpsideDownCake Fri 12-Jun-20 12:54:59

But yes it is also really hard. Many people choose to do it for their childs benefit, others are forced into it through childcare costs etc which will all make a difference to perspective.

RedskyAtnight Fri 12-Jun-20 12:56:00

But you've never been a working parent with a baby and a toddler so you don't actually know what that's like?

In my experience, pretty much everyone with children of the ages that yours are is run ragged and exhausted.

TheLightGetsIn Fri 12-Jun-20 12:56:50

But it's not normally like this. Usually there are baby/toddler groups or classes, libraries, cafes, parks, playgrounds, supermarkets, bookshops, soft play centres, National Trust attractions or botanical gardens, museums, even just the ability to go for an ordinary local walk without having to constantly drag your children away from strangers...etc etc. This isn't normal SAHM life. Everyone is finding it hard, whether or not they were SAHMs before Covid.

Napqueen1234 Fri 12-Jun-20 12:57:17

I agree 100%. Exact same situation and can’t wait to get back to work part time in a few months. SAHMs are hero’s (or insane) 😂🥴

allfalldown47 Fri 12-Jun-20 12:57:57

I can only offer my own personal experience. I was a sahm for almost a decade and if I'm honest loved it BUT I'm an early years teacher, have worked with small children all my working life so obviously entered motherhood with a good grasp of how stressful caring for children can be.

You are not a terrible parent! Terrible parents don't worry about their parenting, you are clearly struggling and trying to cope with a very very different world to the one you are used to.
Do you get lots of support? A break just to have a bath or a cuppa in peace?

TheLightGetsIn Fri 12-Jun-20 12:58:11

Not to mention being able to meet up with friends with children, grandparents, aunts and uncles with cousins....it's terribly isolating at the moment.

formerbabe Fri 12-Jun-20 12:59:19

It's interesting. I'm a sahm of school age children. I find the long summer holiday absolutely exhausting...I have no family support. Every time I've said I find it tough, I get told how lucky I am by working mums and how they'd love to be home all day with their kids. Not laughing now eh?!

BabyLlamaZen Fri 12-Jun-20 12:59:27

I feel the same. I'm considering doing it, but I don't think I'll cope and it'll make me a worse mother.

BeeB29 Fri 12-Jun-20 13:00:54

I’m a stay at home parent, my two have additional needs too and it isn’t easy but I feel the same as you about working mums. How do you do it? I’m already exhausted enough being at home both before covid and now. I would be too exhausted for a job at the minute. Admittedly I have one that doesn’t sleep well. Times are tough for everyone! 🌸

PumpkinP Fri 12-Jun-20 13:01:21

Well makes a change from my sisters opinion that SAHMs are lazy and asks me what I do all day hmm

LynnThese4reSEXPEOPLE Fri 12-Jun-20 13:01:38

Yes @ArtichokeAardvark I have a 7 month old and a 4 year old and I long for bedtime some days! It's very hard not being able to take them to do a "thing" -before lockdown, the big one had Rugby tots and Tumble tots, and I did baby yoga and swimming with the baby. We saw other people and went for cups of coffee, and I wasn't CONSTANTLY cleaning. I have thought exactly the same as you on multiple occasions - I am not good enough at it to be a SAHM or homeschool. Those who do have skills beyond my ken and I salute them!

Pantheon Fri 12-Jun-20 13:01:57

Please don't think you're not 'good enough'. It's just hard for everyone right now and with a young baby you're probably sleep deprived on top of it! I'm a sahm and this isn't what it's usually like as like PPs have said, it's usually much more sociable and varied. I think having little kids can be challenging whether you work or are at home just different challenges

WhenSheWasBad Fri 12-Jun-20 13:02:03

I've said I find it tough, I get told how lucky I am by working mums and how they'd love to be home all day with their kids. Not laughing now eh

grin I’m a working mum. For me the idea that work is easier than looking after small children is baffling. Toddlers are a total pain in the arse (luckily they are exceptionally cute).

Dinosauratemydaffodils Fri 12-Jun-20 13:03:52

I think lockdown is harder going than "normal" sahming. I'm usually a sahm to a just turned 2 year old and a 5 year old. Ds went to preschool and dd and I went to lots of groups, had playdates and breakfasts in cafes. We did loads of soft play, forest walks and went to museums. Essentially stay at home in name only.

I've found being stuck at home all the time apart from a walk around the village/climb on the rocks really hard.

raspberryk Fri 12-Jun-20 13:08:22

For those of you saying being a sahm isn't like this normally, that depends on your socio economic circumstances. It is very much like my experience, where the only thing I could do was visit the supermarket weekly and take a daily walk. I had a long period where I couldn't afford petrol to go anywhere never mind a day out and I always disliked the baby groups.
It's a different kind of tiredness when you work but I've always found working a lot easier than looking after young children. Juggling various childcare drops and commuting and keeping up with the school admin and fancy dress etc can be the tricking when you would full time hours.

KickingItSince1966 Fri 12-Jun-20 13:11:11

I was a terrible mother when mine were that age. And probably for a long while after. I don’t deal with tiredness or the lack of personal space well.
Age 4 and 6, I reverted back to that same angry, frustrated bitch when lock down started.
I am an introvert and crave time alone.

The last month though, I’ve felt more mellow. Not sure if I feel defeated, or that I have adjusted to our new life.

Breaks my heart though when one of them drops or spills something. They immediately say sorry and sort of flinch- they’re expecting a disproportionate reaction from me. I yelled a lot.
I feel really ashamed of myself, but hoping I can undo some of that.

This is a tough time, and I’m not sure how well I would have coped if mine were as young as yours. Be kind to yourself. It’sa tough time.

dontdisturbmenow Fri 12-Jun-20 13:11:30

But it only last until the eldest is 3 and they then get to go to nursery, 2 for some. Many have their kids 3 years apart. So it's not totally comparable.

dontdisturbmenow Fri 12-Jun-20 13:11:53

Saying that it if you have twins!

ArtichokeAardvark Fri 12-Jun-20 13:14:48

So many really kind replies. I genuinely wasn't trying to start a 'woe is me' thread but actually they are making me feel a lot better. I agree being trapped at home is compounding the situation, I hadn't thought of it that way. Still don't think I could do it though!

OP’s posts: |
FrugiFan Fri 12-Jun-20 13:14:57

I am a SAHM most of the week - I work about 6hrs a week self employed. I have found lockdown much harder than usual be cause normally I would be able to go to the playground for 3yo to run off steam, or to toddler groups where I can socialise with other parents. I personally find being a SAHM much easier than being a working Mum - I worked 3 days a week when DD was younger (teacher) - but it's certainly not an easy option.

ivfgottostaypositive Fri 12-Jun-20 13:17:08

I've been a working parent and a stay at home one and I can tell you with 100% certainty that being a STAHM is much much much easier than being a working mum - with or without a pandemic

Bbang Fri 12-Jun-20 13:17:38

I find it easier to be a stay at home mum, usually there’s playgroups, swimming, dance, cubs etc. Not to mention parks, museums, the local farm etc. Like others have said this isn’t normally SAHM life, normally there’s a lot of things to do that break up the day and give you some purpose so to speak.

I’m currently on my absolute knees, I’m with the three kids all days from 5am then I have to go out and work the twilight shift until 1am. I’m barely getting 4 hours of sleep, I really need childcare to reopen I’m not sure how much longer I can go on.

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