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Do Muffins Fulfill? A question for SAHMs-whose-children-are-out-of-the-home

(157 Posts)
morningpaper Fri 20-May-05 08:32:25

Dear SAHMs-whose-children-are-out-of-the-home; (including nusery education - I have some friends whose 2-3 yos are now starting nursery from 9-3):

I would be very interested to know what you do during your time at home and how that leads to you living a life that you feel is fulfilling.

(Words kindly provided by Soapbox! )

This is quite a serious question, which I don't think has been answered. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on this, as this is an option that lots of you have chosen, which is surprising to me in the light of the recent thread about how unfulfilling many people found staying at home.

(Suggestions for re-wording of the question will be given due consideration and I reserve the right to apologise at a later time if I find I have worded this offensively.)

(If you think this is none of my business to ask, then please move back to the cheese thread, rather than posting "It's none of your business!" which is obviously the case, but I am still genuinely curious.)

Caligula Fri 20-May-05 08:50:38

You're so norty!

Haven't got time to respond now (got a batch of muffins to put in but back later...

morningpaper Fri 20-May-05 08:51:34

mmm bring me one

compo Fri 20-May-05 08:56:12

Hi morningpaper. My ds is at nursery one day a week atm. Tgis is because I recently gave up work but decided to keep him there for just one day as he loves it so much. I occasionnally work whilst he is there as work can ring me up if they need me. If I'm not at work I do all the jobs that it is hard to get done while he is around - like cleaning outside windows for example so that at the weekend me and dh and ds have plenty of time for one another without having to do such chores. This I find is a very fulfilling way to spend my one day a week of me time. Obviously I also mumsnet occasionally and sit down with a cuppa and a muffin (which dh will most certainly do at work today!).

GeorginaA Fri 20-May-05 08:59:42

Well seeing as how you asked so nicely

Okay, well these are the things I do with my time now although only one child is in nursery (mornings) and the other is at home - but I plan to expand them extensively when both are in school.

- photography
- writing (I write a blog and have (not last year, year before) written a 50,000 novellette for "fun")
- reading (NEVER have enough time for this)
- want to buy more of my grocery shop from local shops which will be more feasible when the kids are in school, ditto more from-scratch cooking.
- exercise - would LOVE to do Tai Chi, but this is expensive so chances are I won't get to do this when they're at school but that's okay.
- want to do a druidry course.

Specifically, I want to expand on the writing. I want to write category romance and it takes about 8 years on average to "break in" to the industry. So once ds1 is in school and ds2 is in regular nursery that's my goal. I know I can churn out regular word counts from my 50k novel in a month experience, obviously the editing is the tricky bit. My cut off point is when ds1 goes to secondary school - if I haven't got anything published/on the way to having something publishable then I shall probably consider alternative employment. Really want to give this a good chance though.

Gawd, reading that through I'm not even going to have time for all that in just 9-3 am I? Of course, had you asked me at the school gates I'd probably have shrugged and said "nothing much" as it's all to convoluted to go into detail!

And quite frankly, if I have whole weeks when I can't be arsed to do much at all then all well and good. One of the hardest things I've had to learn to do as a SAHM is to take life slower, enjoy what I have around me and be less focussed on "stuff acquisition" - can't say I've fully achieved it yet, but neither do I want to lose the gains I've made along the way...

Forgetmenot Fri 20-May-05 09:03:59

I started a thread last nite,

"Being a SAHM doesn't mean I'm brain dead".

Thread died however, but I wanted to make a point about the positives of being out of the work place.

morningpaper Fri 20-May-05 09:07:53

Hi Forgetmenot; I read your thread with interest! However, it was only really you that posted on there (in terms of answering the question), and it sounded as though you hated being in the paid workforce.

Also most of the others seemed to think they were brain-dead...

SoupDragon Fri 20-May-05 09:15:14

Why would I make muffins when I can make lemon syrup loaf??

I also have my sanctuary of the Spare Room where all my craft stuff is.

emily05 Fri 20-May-05 09:16:26

When we decided that I would be a SAHM I was so glad. I hated leaving ds and going to work and due to the expense of childcare it wasnt worth it either.

Must say that I have off days when ds is being a monkey, but as a whole I am so glad that I am at home. I know that it is not for everybody, but it works out for us. When ds is at nursery I am going to resume my open university studies. If I ever start to feel unfulfilled then we will just rethink.

I think that this is one of those things that depends on the individual. My friend works 3 days a week and would never give up her job totally as she loves it. I never felt this way about work. I enjoy being at home so much more.

SoupDragon Fri 20-May-05 09:17:05

But, quite honestly, there is also a HUGE amount of enjoyment to be had from being able to do chuff all without interruption.

moondog Fri 20-May-05 09:18:15

I do household stuff,cook,learn Turkish (as this is where I live)mess about with my children (and home school the oldest)do my patchwork and quilting,read,walk and plan the MSc that i am supposed ot be starting this Autumn.

suzywong Fri 20-May-05 09:26:30

it seems to me that the women you are questioning are in fact simply setting their own agendas rather than having commerce and wages set them.


moondog Fri 20-May-05 09:30:57

I am amazed that this old chestnut caused such a rumpus (but as someone who loves an over-excitable breast/bottle debate,I should probably know better!)

Fwiw,I am home by necessity rather than choice (transient lifestyle overseas where dh works) and staying home is more difficult than my previous 'good' job.
Noone who is home most of the time looking after a family is having an easy time but there are lots of women (and men!) who would at least like the chance to try it out for a year or so. I'm glad I'm doing it as I am ashamed to admit that Ii used to feel rather sniffy about sahms.
Not any more!!

Forgetmenot Fri 20-May-05 09:34:41

I didn't hate my work, but i found that after studying for six years and working my butt off to achieve the career I'd so strived for, it just didn't give me the satisfaction I'd hoped for.

The thought of being a SAHM in my 20's would have horrified me!

So in my 30's I have discovered that being full time mum isn't so terrible and there are lots of good and positve things.

There is no right or wrong it's just how I feel.

My sister I know hates being at home with her kids and her job is everything to her.

Fran1 Fri 20-May-05 09:38:55

My dd is 2.5 and i have worked p/t from home since she was 3mths. But as i work from home everyone around me considers me a SAHM.

Since dd was born i have struggled to get my work done during her nap times and evenings. Granparents do help out and have her once a week when go out to meetings etc.

DD has recently started pre-school two mornings a week for 21/2 hrs, i literally race home bung on the kettle and leg it up the stairs with a cup of tea to the study where i try and squeeze five hrs work into two and a bit!

I would love to be able to come home and sit peacefully with a muffin and a newspaper but that never happens, so i don't think badly of other mums who are able to do that. I feel i am so very wound up a lot of the time that really i NEED that chilling out time even though i don't get it.

assumedname Fri 20-May-05 09:47:43

I'm a SAHM with kids at school. When I'm not busy doing all the household stuff I read; refresh my German; garden; work on my allotment; bake; read some more etc. Whatever takes my fancy.

Sometimes I just laze around.

moondog Fri 20-May-05 09:48:30

As a site that purports to exist to provide mutual support,I can only heartily applaud any mother who is indeed sitting on her arse and relaxing while her kids are at school/nursery. Isn't this what we ALL deserve?

assumedname Fri 20-May-05 09:49:11

WideWebWitch Fri 20-May-05 09:56:02

ha ha mp, no time now but will come back to this, dd wants me atm!

Potty1 Fri 20-May-05 09:57:03

I'm not stricly a SAHM as I work a few (usually 8) hours a week term-time only.

My children are at school - one primary, one secondary and one at college. I'm not dressed yet, watching 'People's Court' and having a coffee, currently feeling happy and fulfilled doing pretty much bugger all

moondog Fri 20-May-05 09:58:46

That's the spirit Potty!!!! When dh comes home,he spends 30 minutes doing housework (and does the shopping on the way home!)

knockin Fri 20-May-05 10:05:19

I have been a sahm for a good few years now. My children were spaced out (in age that is!) and returning to work always seemed to involve too many complications (child minding in the holidays, when they were ill, etc). I did put my heart and soul into being a mum. I filled my days with housework, baking, making jams, marmalade, chutney, and so on, and reading, gardening and knitting. At the time it was what I wanted to do, but looking back I wonder if I would have been more fulfilled if I had worked outside the home. Tbh, I think I should have gone back to work. But is that only woman guilt talking? Hard to say really. We've always been ok financially.

Caligula Fri 20-May-05 10:19:30

I've just started to make a note of all the things I do when I'm not doing paid work and it's too long and boring to inflict on you. The short answer is that while I'm doing all the long-winded tedious stuff, I'm generally listening to something interesting on the radio, like Start the Week, Woman's Hour or In Our Time. When I worked in an office, the standard of coversation was far below that of Radio 4. Sorry to sound like a Radio 4 junkie, but I guess I am one.

I also aspire to be organised enough to fit in running, but have yet to drag myself away from Mumsnet for long enough to free up the time.

On the odd occasion when I do actually have free time (house is tidy, computer is off, kids are out) I read. Books. For me, reading a book feels like the greatest luxury there is. That's quite shocking really - when I was a kid I always had at least 2 books on the go, I don't know when life got so hectic that it became a luxury.

Woman's Hour are going to have a discussion about housewives now, for anyone who's interested!

Mud Fri 20-May-05 10:20:52

I knit and stroke my pussy

Potty1 Fri 20-May-05 10:20:55

lol at 'spaced out' knockin - Keep 'em quiet and you can have more peace!

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