Stay at home mum - lonely and need ideas!(28 Posts)
I just joined mumsnet today in hope that I can find help and advice about being a full time mum at home?. The site looks fantastic! What a relief to maybe find some help at last...
I am 30 and always wanted to be a full time mum - because I thought it would be really rewarding and creative...(I like doing crafts with children and going for walks in Autumn, picking up leaves etc and doing fun stuff like that) and it hasn't quite got to that bit yet as my son is still too young. The thing is - it is soooooo lonely being a stay at home mum and I can feel myself on the verge of becoming withdrawn and listless from not having a routine and friends / work colleagues to chat with etc during the long days...so I need to get some ideas about making a daily activities routine so that the days don?t blend into each other in one grey mass!! Also, I have avoided the coffee mornings and mums n tots classes etc so far because I didn't want to pigeon hole myself into defining myself as just a mum. I know that sounds horrid - 'just a mum'...Don't get me wrong - mums are great because we work so hard etc..I think it is my age - I think that everyone will be older than me etc... and I guess I don't want to be talking about how much babies weigh and what they are eating ALL the time. Or is it not like that at these classes and get togethers? Maybe that's where I am going wrong. Maybe I should accept that I AM a mum and I need other mums for help and support - hence me being here asking for help!
I DO thank my lucky stars that I have been given the oportunity to carry out my dream...so I am very grateful not to have to go back to work until I think he's ready...(we just about manage on one wage at the moment). Now that I have the opportunity to give my son a one on one start to life I want to make the most of it for the both of us...so does anyone have any ideas as to what stay at home mums do all day? How do you break up the day into meaningful chunks? How do you meet people they really get on with and not have babies as the only thing in common?
I hope I don't sound ungreatful for not embracing my time with him - I do LOVE being with him - it's just that he can't tick all my boxes, I need adults and tasks and interaction - I have tried to think of things to do - but in the end I still feel lonely and very sad...with so much time off work, my brain isn't as quick and sprightly as I'd like and I'm STUCK for real ideas to get myself back on track to ENJOYING these precious days with my son!!
Maybe classes are the answer, clubs.... I love being creative (arts and crafts etc) - so where can I make use of these skills where I can bring my son along too etc..? What are the mums and tots classes like and are they really valuable or are they just a fill in for a long week alone?
Hope to hear from you soon
Being a full time mum is like any job, you need interaction with other people in your line of work or you will go crazy! The mums and tots groups can be OK, not everyone is going to be your best friend, but it is something to do and provides some structure/focus to the day. That's also how you find out about classes etc. for kids in your area for when your son is older.
Of course if you're really bored you could always have another one
jigglejen - your post could have been written by me - scary!! Even down to the ages (almost big 30 coming up in a matter of weeks - really scary!!). I too am putting off mums/toddler groups - lots of hassle getting two little ones under age of 2 out the door, scared no-one will talk to me, scared someone I don't want to - WILL talk to me (yes I'm a cow!).
No actual constructive help - just don;t feel alone.
Don't worry; I avoid those groups because I HATE idle chitchat! (And Im a loner and I dont think other people like me (but that is my demon).
I get my fix from one friend I see for coffee once a week, my ds is 10 months and still needs to sleep in the morning and a/noon, so I try and stick to a routine for his benefit rather than mine. We go to the shops twice a week, I take him to a local "playhouse", its a community playgroup where parents take children under their supervision, they have a toy library to borrow toys from etc. No interaction with other mums really, but a chance for FunkyDude to see there are other "monkeys" like him out there, not that he is really interested. The rest of the time is spend at home, me watching something I recorded from the night before, FunkyDude exploring the house, learning to walk etc. and then there is Mumsnet! (And Im exhibition manager to the ceramic association I belong to, so that keeps me busy)
If you are feeling lonely it probably is because you are still adapting to your new life, belief me, you will get used to it. Find one or two things you always do every week and fill the rest of the time with playing at home with ds.
I too belief children should be at home until they are emotionally ready to go out.
Hi all, thanks so much for all your messages! After thinking this afternoon, I feel a bit bad about being dubious about the toddler groups.... I think I too feel like a bit of a loner..but I don't want it to be that way because I got on great with everyone at work - am really nice pleasant person! A bit shy - but really warm and generous when I get going!
So why can't I be as relaxed with other mums! I think I have 'being a new mum identity issues' and yes - it's scary getting to grips with finding new friends etc on your own..(I'm the 1st of my peers to have a baby, so I don't know anyone of my age group to visit during the day - they're all at work!) So really, I should get out to some play sessions and just get on with it.. 'Don't knock it till you try it' kinda thing...
I already go to Aqua Babies...but the mums there are all pretty much going back to work soon..so I feel like the only person who is going to be a stay at home mum!
PS - did anyone read something a certain TV presenter wrote entitled: 'A Pox on Stay at Home Mums??'..I came across it on the internet when I was looking for help etc...I just could not believe how she looked down her nose at mums with 'too much time on their hands'..and like stay at home mums are copping out of life and wasting their husbands money...How they stand around chatting to their mum friends at the school gates when she doesn't have time for such things!! I was outraged - because she was branding a group of people by her own hang ups.... Doesn't help the self esteem to think that maybe some working mums and working mums to be might think that about you! But I can't worry about that...but it is disconcerting!
But yet.... here I am wondering if I should go and hang out with 'other mums' like I am too cool for coffee mornings or something....I have done exactly the same thing that presenter did! I lack confidence - clearly...and have isolated myself because of it...So I shall try and open my mind and put my paranoia aside and go to a play morning or two...
But what about home routines...do any more of you out there have a great routine that works? What sort of activities do you do with your baby / child? Thanks again, jigglejen
jigglejen i feel like i could have written your post as well! ds is 5 months and i just turned 31. i love being at home with him and i want to stay at home with him but i've worked full-time since i was 18 and most of my friends are work-mates. they are also almost all childless! even when i was pregnant and now i sort of feel like i've lost a portion of my personality as the social side of my seems to be buried somewhere. when i do talk to mates i sometimes feel like i can't string together a complete sentence because i'm so used to babytalk!! my hv is always pressuring me to go to mum & baby groups but that is just not my thing.
i'm also creative and have studied photography and painting, and i can't wait until ds is old enough to teach him those things and do loads of crafts and baking, etc. in the meantime i've found a good creative outlet is knitting because i can do it while he's playing and there's nothing for him to get into!!!
how old is your son? what area do you live in? if you're in london maybe we could start a baby/mum fingerpainting class or something.
Hi dylansluckymum - great to hear that there are other people my age out there who are in the same boat! However, I don't want to sound age-ist or anything and I'd really like to hear from mums of ALL ages too - because experience goes a long way...
I love to get on with anyone of any age, but if there was a 'creative' connection there that would be great because this would be thing that we may have in common. I live in Hertfordshire...My ideal daily activity would be pottery or painting or drawing or craft classes where you can being along your child! Kids would love it and the mums are learning arty things are meeting people with something in common..! Back in the real world.........! Have looked into doing arty evening classes but all booked up and anyway - it's the day that I need ideas for, not the evenings....erk...!
I am 36 and a stay at home mum. My DD is now 4 and started full time school earlier this month.
I am a Sales leader for Avon and fill my days by signing up new reps.
If anyone would like any information on becoming a rep please feel free to email me jan.avon@yahoo. co. uk.
When ds1 was born we moved to a different country for dh's job and I didn't' know anyone or have a job. I went to every mum and tot thing I could find just to have someone to talk to, and found that many of the mums were just like me (for some reason I had thought that SAHMs must be brain dead and not clever educated professionals like me who had just happened to have a baby ).
Anyway, once I had some friends with babies of their own and the same sort of interests and needs as me then we started spending time together away from baby groups and I had a nice time.
(I've got 3 kids now and am going back to work tomorrow after most recent leave. Sort of pleased and sad at the same time).
Haven't read the whole thread, but I suggest you try some groups before deciding you won't like them!! sure a lot of the chat at first is baby centred (coz that's the obvious thing you all have in common) but it doesn't take long for you to get to know folk and have other stuff to discuss too.
personally I've loved taking ds to toddlers, gym class, music groups and there may be other options where you live - swimming lessons, massage or baby signing - that you might like to try.
Other things that friends have done include courses where childcare's provided and gyms that have creches.
I definately go to groups for my own sanity, to get out of the house etc, as much as for ds' benefit!
my message has vanished ....try again
Perhaps see if there's a www.messymonsters.co.uk near you, if not you could start your own up...keep you busy! They do a franchise but its a few grand!
I am chairperson at my local baby and toddler group and really enjoy being involved, i'd certainly give it a few gos before you make up your mind...i hated it first time.
I have 2 lo's 14m and 27m and i also work from home selling usborne books....perhaps working from home would be an option? It gives me structure to the week,gets me out with the girls, keeps me sane and earns a bit of money. There are loads of differnt options try...www.mumandworking.co.uk If you'd liek any more info on usborne i can send you info pack no problem...firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a childminder and the only small children now in my house belong to other people, and I am probably much older than most of the mums I mix with.
I do go to a toddler group, amongst other things, and obviously have no particular interest in how much babies weigh and how little sleep anyone has had! However, I think that you can find other like-minded mums, because there will be some out there.
I go because I need my sanity too, because it is hard work entertaining small children all day every day - there is only so much playdough, glitter and I'm A Little Teapot you can do!
Hi, I'm now past the stage your at but I would have been lost without some of the friends I made at some toddler groups. My eldest DD is now almost 15 and 3 of the people I first met at that time are still my closest friends. Of course a lot of the chit chat is child based but you then get beyond that and on to other things. Toddler groups vary tremendously and you need to try them out. Equally some people you won't like, but that goes for anything. I used to go to a toddler group almost every day of the week because I couldn't bear staying at home all day (much as I loved my DD).
With your crafty skills, you really should give consideration to setting up some sort of pre school group where the Mums stay to help. These sort of structured activities, even for very small children, are very popular.
Above all, find a way of enjoying the whole thing because you don't want to look back and think how miserable you were. Believe me (and it's corny but true) - they grow up much too quickly.
The bigger and more active your ds becomes, the harder it will be for you to do arts and crafts activities like pottery yourself. He will toddle over, upset things, smash his fist into your vase or whatever. If you're going to do a course, do it now is my advice!
I went to one toddler group regularly and enjoyed it. I live overseas and it was an English language group so what we had in common was being (mostly) foreigners, we had plenty to talk about beyond dc but I did get so much good advice there about feeding/sleeping/travelling with kids, what's on where and how to find schools etc. You will not like EVERYONE there but if you go 3x you'll see whether you enjoy it or not. First time doesn't really count if you ask me.
As to arty crafty type things. Are you making a lovely photo album with notes and anecdotes about ds and what he did when? (I was too lazy to do it at the time but it's a nice thing to give him when he's older) and to reread when you're an old lady. How about a patchwork quilt for his first real bed? If you're really keen with little appliques on it?
Make a little pottery plate and press his feetprints in the middle and his handprints around the sides. They grow so fast. A lot of places let you do this and they'll fire it for you, then you paint it a day or two later.
I think cooking and baking can be creative too. Get some nice CDs to sing along to. I got international children's songs for dd and I felt I was doing us both good, singing along in Swahili whilst cooking up her mush! They're a great audience at that age.
Feng Shui your house, room by room!
Hi jigglejen have you tried the local library?ours used to have story sessions for toddlers also when they are older they used to have craft sessions (I used to teach some myself as I was arts & crafts trained) you know card making, fabric painting etc. Also surestart have lots of events for kids in different area. Baby clinic usually have signs up for events and groups aswell. When I did my North west regional arts course it was a daytime course must be something similar in your area, we did woodwork, pottery, stained glass allsorts it was brill. Don't have too much time myself as I have six boys (the youngest is now 5) and a grandaughter who is 2 yrs in Nov (but I get to hand her back) Have also qualified 2 yrs ago as a childrens nurse. Is ther no one close to where you live on mumsnet with children? Good luck I bet you find loads to do
jj, interesting point you make about may be not wanting the average toddler group because you don't want to discuss toddlers all the time may be being similar to the person you mention who seemed to look down on parents at home. I don't know. I just don't think I could have stood to be at home. I absolutely love my work. I've really enjoyed the children too but I wouldn't have wanted them all day long. There must be lots of adults at home or working from home or not working or married but without children who do things in the day so I don't see why you just have to mix with other mothers even. I've always much preferred men to women for a start which is perhaps why I'd never have got on in any groups of women of any kind.
[ I suppose if I follow that to its logical conclusion I should be on a dadsnet not a mumsnet]
hey... desperate to hit the sack, but i have just relocated to (north) london, and i am really missing my friends, esp those with children. in bristol, we spent our time altogether hanging out doing fun things, juggling kids aged between 4 and new babies (my dd is 3, i'm 31) painting and so on, and cooking and eating together and almost always bathing all the kids at whosever house we were at, before heading home (or putting them to bed and having some grown up time/cheeky glass of wine). anyway - the point is, i would be really up for making some new friends and so on. not baby obsessed, just juggling everyones needs and having a good time. so - get in touch!
I did a few toddler groups but having met several other mums that I liked we just met at each others houses. It gave our DCs a more stable social life. The mums in question were all early-mid 30's and BC had worked as a lawyer; a swimming instructor; an IT consultant; an office clerk; a languages teacher; and an accountant. Our hobbies are all varied too so there's always a lot to discuss - and they've done classes together too (2 did photography which has been VERY useful!!).
I keep myself busy with dogs/ponies; preschool Chair of Committee & I'm still a director of the company I set up 10 years ago. But that fits around the time I spend with the DCs, I really like their company!
Days at home are usually like this: mornings are walking dogs & chores, mid-morning snack, free play and then lunch. Then it's naps for the under 3's whilst older children do something at kitchen table ie.playdoh, magnetic letters, drawing etc while I cook dinner, answer emails etc. Then we check ponies, ride or swim, maybe watch some TV or just play. Then it's dinner, bath, books & bed.
jj if you're ever in london and fancy meeting up - maybe we could take babies to the tate or something - send me an email. email@example.com.
I'm a 24 year old, stay at home mum of two babies. I do occasionally venture over to the local toddler group but with two babies under two to get out at that time in the morning (9oclock) is almost impossible some days 0.o I have struggled a lot with my health of late so am virtually housebound. I too get very lonely at times and I don't have any family or friends that live close. I have a great routine with the kids and we play together a lot but nothing beats a bit of adult company once in a while. I have my mum visit once a week but lately it's just been to drive me to my (seemingly never ending) doctors/hospital appointments. Some days all that keeps me going is my kids. So although you feel down at times just have fun with your children, they don't stay small forever xx
Hi Jencodyandwillow123, were the same age (well I'm nearly 25) and have the same amount of DC's! Where abouts are you?
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