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Is it possible to be fulfilled as a SAHM

(283 Posts)
Prufrock Tue 10-May-05 22:23:24

Without getting all "self-actualised" , is there anybody who does actively enjoy being a SAHM, and if so, how can I?

It's not that I'm unhappy. I recognise that I am very lucky to have been able to make the choice to stay at home with my kids, and wouldn't change that choice. Working would be horrendous given the pressures of the only type of job I would enjoy doing as I'm kind of an all or nothing type person. But I am finding it quite difficult to get any real pleasure from being with my children all day.

We have a fairly full routine - toddler groups, classes, play dates. And I have a good "mummy" friend locally whose company I like. But whilst our days are pleasant, I can't say I really enjoy them - more like endure them. It feels like every activity I do with the kids is just done to tick of another hour before bedtime, and every day is just got through so I can tick of another day until the weekend. Then the weekend arrives, and it's not actually that special, and soon enough it's the beginning of another week......

I feel like I am coping very well with life as a SAHM - but I don't want to be coping. I want to be waking up each morning looking forward to spending another day with my two wonderful children, who I do love to bits. But insteadI get woken up each morning and I think "Ok, 12 hours to go, lets start filling them".

Please tell me - well something. I'm not sure if I do want to hear that this is normal and tha all over the country there are other women feeling like me, counting down the hours until their children are grown. But I'm also not sure if I want to hear that there is something wrong with me....

flashingnose Tue 10-May-05 22:24:34

How old are your children?

hunkermunker Tue 10-May-05 22:25:25

What did you do before you had children?

JoolsToo Tue 10-May-05 22:27:10

it probably is very normal. Instead of waking of thinking - Ok 12 hours to got lets start filling them - wake up thinking - 'Boy am I lucky, I have my health and strength (not everyone can say that) I have a gorgeous family and a great life. Another day has dawned, its beautiful out there - let's go and make the most of it.

Now, shall I pass you a bucket?

Dior Tue 10-May-05 22:30:27

Message withdrawn

emkana Tue 10-May-05 22:31:56

Oh dear, what can I say?

I have been a SAHM for the last four years now, since dd1 was born. I absolutely love it. I get stressed, I shout at the children , I am bored sometimes, but I do love it passionately, to an extent that actually makes me a bit of a saddo I think. I dread the day when I'll have to think of returning to "real life" again.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, not at all. I just think some people like it, some people don't.

Prufrock Tue 10-May-05 22:35:14

But what is it that makesm you so passionate about it emkana? I think that's what missing from my life - a feeling of being passionate about anything. Everything feels like a chore. and I don't want this to be all there is to my life. And I really don't want to end up resenting my kids for existing and making my life unpassioante.

Thomcat Tue 10-May-05 22:37:03

A great post Prufrock. Not sure I'd be able to be a SAHM to be honest so can't help but wanted to acknowledge your post in some way. I'd say that you shouldn't worry and then when your kids are old enough and you are ready you'll proably welcome the return to working outside the home again.

Chandra Tue 10-May-05 22:37:47

Somebody said here that you don't need to entertain the children all the time. My mother used to work but we all came home at the same time after school, we used to play in the garden, do reading and do many activites on our own without the intervention of our parents. I have been talking to a friend about this need of entertaining the children all the time, and we got to the agreement that our childhood was great even when at that time parents were not playing all the time with their children. Having said that, I spend all the day doing or/and planning things to do with DS and I get stressed about it but I'm sure that the time will come when when he will aslo need to have his own space. Lets pray that we are still sane when that time comes

Dior Tue 10-May-05 22:38:55

Message withdrawn

emkana Tue 10-May-05 22:39:14

I love it that I know my children inside out.
I love all the laughs we have together.
I love it that I can spend time outdoors if I choose to, something that I missed when I was working.
I love it that it's up to me to structure my day.
I love it that I can socialise, chat, meet people during the day.
I love the moments when I'm sat reading the paper while my children are playing.
I love it when I'm sat down reading books with my children.

Those are some of the things I can think of.

Gobbledigook Tue 10-May-05 22:39:23

Erm, I don't love it every day, certainly not - but there are some days we do stuff and they are fab and I really enjoy them. Or even this afternoon - rather than running around trying to do stuff I sat with them all (they are 4, 2.5 and 8 months) and we did jigsaws, played games, read books and then they played out a bit while I had a brew and sang to the baby. I tell you I loved it but I must have just been in a good mood!!

Most afternoons we are out doing stuff so then I'm not 'killing time' but some days I seriously am and I actually perk up a bit in mood around 5pm when I realise I'm on the home straight with the next couple of hours filled with tea, washing up, baths etc and then they'll go to bed - hurrah!!

Like you I sometimes think 'I don't want to endure this, I want to enjoy it' but you know, that's life isn't it? Even when I worked full time and had a job I loved I sometimes felt in a rut and was just counting the days to the weekend.

JoolsToo Tue 10-May-05 22:40:31

thats a good post Chandra - I didn't play with my kids constantly either - they played together, inventing stuff - it was nice to watch.

emkana Tue 10-May-05 22:41:36

Before becoming a SAHM I was a secondary school teacher, a job I found rewarding, but very very stressful. SAHMdom seems a doddle in comparison

Dior Tue 10-May-05 22:41:55

Message withdrawn

flashingnose Tue 10-May-05 22:43:06

How old are your kids Prufrock?

EvaD Tue 10-May-05 22:45:27

Great post - that is exactly how I felt until about 6 months ago and now I really enjoy it, unless I'm too tired. My DD is almost 4 and DS is almost 2. DD is at nursery most mornings so I can spend time with DS and he has a babysitter two afternoons so I can hang out with DD on her own. I used to want other parents/children around alot to keep us all sane, but now don't even need that.

I'm not sure what changed - maybe that they now love playing with eachother so I don't feel so much pressure to provide entertainment all the time or maybe it was nursery giving me just enough headspace on my own when DS is asleep.

Thomcat Tue 10-May-05 22:46:03

Can you do a bit of volantury, or poss even paid work from home or something Prufrock? Soemthing to do other than think about waht to do with the kids? Would that help?

Tommy Tue 10-May-05 22:47:41

Dior - your first post sounds like me! I suppose I mostly enjoy it but do find it relentless and also get a bit cross when people (DH!) assume I may have time to do other things and then wonder why I don't get round to them ( housework etc) but I also recognise myself a bit in emkana's post about loving it. Maybe it's just like any job - sometimes it's great, sometimes dull etc.
I have always had something else going on in my life since I was a SAHM though - I was A Samaritan before had DS1 and carried on until DS2 was born. Now, I'm a school governor - I think it helpd to have something else to think about too.

Gobbledigook Tue 10-May-05 22:49:48

Oh no, I don't entertain them all the time either. Hardly ever get paints or play doh out or do structured things like that - I do, but rarely because they do it at pre-school in the mornings.

We tend to be out at others' houses, parks, soft play, swimming, visiting my Nan and Grandad etc so I'm not 'doing' structured stuff with them but we are together all the time so obviously we are talking and they are learning stuff just through living life.

If we are at home on an afternoon, they often entertain themselves with the train set, watch a bit of Cbeebies and now they are playing out a lot in the garden. What with nursery in the morning and activities most afternoons I think they need time to chill out at home and they don't need me trying to structure the few afternoons they do have free!

Tbh, it's the drudgery of housework that gets me down cos there's so bloody much of it - not the kids.

ScummyMummy Tue 10-May-05 22:49:55

Hard one. I really was passionate about staying home for the first couple of years- just found my boys endlessly enthralling and looking after them and watching them develop was my whole world. And then suddenly I wanted to do other things as well and felt just as you describe. Still find them enthralling and wonderful but find I need a life away from them too- a role that isn't contingent on being a mother or a partner. I'm not sure what changed, really but am glad I went with it and found work. Is part time work or college just not an option?

bubble99 Tue 10-May-05 22:53:12

A friend of mine, who was a previous city gal and now has three children under six, replies when asked if she works with- "Not paid work"

Dior Tue 10-May-05 22:53:57

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jumpingjackflash Tue 10-May-05 22:55:00

P. I felt just like you too! I had been at home with the kids for 10 years (I worked part-time initially and then went full time at home). I had loads of friends, threw myself into the NCT, playgroup committees etc and was always 'on the go' but I did find it hard. We had some great times parks in the summer, meet ups with friends etc, etc but I always seem to envy the mums out at lunch without kids who worked! I think the grass is always greener on the other side... However, time does go so fast and I am beginning to envy a few friends who have had their next baby ... (I have stopped at 3). Don't wish the time away..... it seems hard at the time but season are short even though it doesn't seem like it at the time (why do I always sound like an agony aunt on these threads!!). Did you have a fufilling career - is that what you miss? Make sure you have loads of outside stuff, friends to go out with in the evenings and not to talk about the price of nappies either!! Sorry if I am not much help other than to say I did find it hard being a SAHM but now I am back at work I sometimes dream of not getting up at 6:00 am and getting ready for work, and lazy days of picnics in the park whilst sitting in a boring meeting !!

Tommy Tue 10-May-05 22:58:21

actually Dior, I think you are me

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