Did anyone ever feel like a failure as a SAHM or the inability to be a good one?
wonderful pear / 26210 posts
I did, my anxiety was at its peak when I was staying at home. At one point, my husband came home and was like "umm, you need to go back to work."
I took a total of 2 years off and and now in my third year back. Everyone is much happier. It's got nothing to do with the money and everything to do with my sense of self.
pomegranate / 3904 posts
I work, so I can't say for sure, but I don't think I'd be great at staying home. The days I do stay home (Fri-Sun) all I want to do is play with her and hold her, and I get no cleaning or cooking done. At least if I'm working no one expects me to cook or clean!
pomelo / 5524 posts
I also don't think I'd be a great stay at home mom. I'm not at all creative, so LO is getting far more from being in day care than he is if I were to stay at home with him.
pomegranate / 3565 posts
I WOH, but I know I would suck at it!
coconut / 8472 posts
Don't feel bad if being a SAHM isn't for you. It's an insanely tough job and not everyone is suited for it. There's a reason why I work and don't SAH .
Last night I got my hair done and DH was alone with DS for most of the evening. He was fried by the time I came home - dinner and bath time with a toddler on your own is pretty exhausting. I had the thought that around 3 hours alone with DS is pretty much the max for both of us. I don't think we're bad parents, and DS is a pretty good kid. But solo parenting takes exponential amounts of energy and patience than doing with your parents needs.
@2PeasinaPod: this exactly. He learns at school - things I couldn't teach him. When I see some of the blog posts about lesson plans, it makes me shudder. I could never do those!
pineapple / 12053 posts
i PT WAH, but i was a terrible employee for myself and a terrible SAHM the other part of the time last year when i didn't have child care. now that i have 2 days set aside, i feel like a much better mom and worker. sometimes i think i would like to go back to a more regular schedule, but my DH's schedule isn't a 9-5 at all, so i need a flexible schedule as well. we'll keep doing this until it doesn't work anymore. but i also agree, i was a terrible SAHM and i don't think i'm cut out for it FT for the long term!
clementine / 903 posts
I don't plan to stay at home. It is partially about the money, but if money were not a factor, I'm pretty sure I would not be best suited to stay at home full time. I would need to work part time to maintain my sense of self. I feel guilty about it sometimes, but not everyone is cut from the same cloth, and I think I'll be the best mom as a working mom.
wonderful pomelo / 30692 posts
I think I'd be a terrible SAHM, especially for a toddler. I'm just not creative enough and we'd get stuck in a rut doing the same things over and over again. I don't think my kids would learn nearly as much from me as they do in daycare. Plus I enjoy not having to deal with tantrums or blowouts all day.
pomelo / 5720 posts
I really struggled with it...I stayed home with DS for 9 mos and then returned to work part time 2 days/week. I'm still doing that now, two years and one more child later, and it's really been a good balance for me.
watermelon / 14467 posts
I think I could enjoy it, but I wouldn't be someone who stayed at home even when my kids were in school. I was a SAHW for nine months and that was awful, but I was in nowhere Kentucky. With a child, I think it would be okay.
I do enjoy working and bringing in a paycheck, but I think I'd enjoy SAH life too.
clementine / 812 posts
I could not SAH. I would have a constant internal struggle balancing housework with child care/playing. When I was home on maternity leave, DH had to do bedtime because DD could sense I was stressed out and worn out.
I am a better mom than I could be by WOH.
squash / 13208 posts
@avivoca: I always tell DH that I want to be a SAHW - send the kids to DCP and then I come home ... alone
@LAZB: this exactly!! I feel like expectations of myself and perceived expectations of DH in regards to "homemaking" would be entirely too much if I SAH
squash / 13764 posts
I think as with anything else, there are days when I struggle with it, and days when I feel like I have it totally under control. I doubt anyone feels 100% like a rockstar every day, regardless of what they are doing, whether it be SAH or working outside the home. If anything, I think parenting lends itself to that "oh shit, I actually don't know what I'm doing/don't know if I'm doing this right!" mentality, and when you're a SAHM, you deal with that every day. So feeling/wondering if you are inadequate is just part of the gig.
I also think that there is a huge sense of pressure to be a certain "kind" of SAHM--one who does crafts daily, teaches their kid another language, does flash cards and projects, etc. That is all great, but not really necessary IMO.
eggplant / 11287 posts
Staying at home with the kids is stressful for me, which is why we are generally out of the house 90% of the day. It's the only way I can stay sane. I WAH PT, and the days we have a nanny and I can just work are so, so restful for me.
pineapple / 12234 posts
Yes. I have days where I really, really struggle...I'm either not cleaning enough, not taking care of myself/my body or not entertaining LO's as much as I should. And I'm always burnt out. I often dream about working and finding "me" again.
I was actually going to start a thread about this...reading some of these responses makes me feel better!
@Rainbow Sprinkles: that is interesting, because it's the being out of the house/dating other moms that heightened my anxiety!
@looch: ooh interesting. I can't stand staying in, the kids trashing the house, following them around cleaning up, and fielding the meltdowns and tantrums. They seem much better behaved (mainly my 19 month old) when we are out, they are stimulated, and have social interaction.
nectarine / 2521 posts
Some days I think I'm killing it and we have a great time, and then some days I want to scream because I'm bored and just can't parent anymore. It's getting easier as LO gets older (18 months now) and we get out more and he is starting to interact with other kids more. Summer is an easier time too overall.
I say to myself that it's all a season. I look at how much my life changed in the 8 years I've been with DH and realize in another 8 years I could be anywhere or doing anything, so to rest in this current phase. And I think it's important to try to not back yourself into any corners - if it's not for you, then go back and no guilt!
And I like what a PP stated, don't feel pressured to be a certain kind of SAHM too. Pinterest can suck it as far as I'm concerned
grapefruit / 4418 posts
Being a full time SAHM is not for me. I'm happier and a better mom when i work, but I do feel guilty for it sometimes. Part time is definitely ideal for me and our family!
@Rainbow Sprinkles: I felt like I couldn't find enough to do, and then when I did something, I was a wallflower. And I had so much anxiety actually leading up to going to wherever the event was. It was challenging. I often think if I had been in my home state my experience would have been totally different and I might not have returned to work.
My son was and is very neat, he's not a trasher and we lived in a smallish apartment, so there wasn't a lot to pick up after.
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
I usually feel like I'm doing a decent job of it, but I cut myself a lot of slack, too (too much slack maybe? My house is a mess...)
There are times when I feel like I'm doing a terrible job though, like when I'm yelling at my toddler for being a toddler, pretty much. But those days are fewer than the good ones overall.
@Rainbow Sprinkles: I am the same way, we need to get out. The days we stay in more you can totally tell, all the toys are out, dishes everywhere... Summer is so much better because we can just walk down the street to the playground, usually there are other kids and adults there, and no mess to clean up besides her hands.
I did have a babysitter come for a day while I went to a wedding and I realized how much better of a mom I was when I got home. I had more patience and I missed her and she was fine. I think going to work for something like one day a week would be really good for me, but I like the flexibility we have now.
pomegranate / 3411 posts
i think i did okay for the first year which i had off for mat leave as i was there basically to meet his needs and provide some sort of stimulation. As a toddler, i feel like i would not be as successful. But who knows, if i had every day at home, i hope i would find us things to do!
hostess / cantaloupe / 6486 posts
@HLK208: this. It's like my brain is too overwhelmed to delve into anything more than the basics...especially now that I have more than one kid. DH can keep them both for a couple of hours and get more done than I can in a whole day. I work ALL. DAY. LONG. and I still can't seem to stay on top of it!
nectarine / 2834 posts
@hilsy85: I agree with everything you see. I especially wouldn't call myself creative in the least, and I love the SAHM thing. I arrange things to do (even a routine trip to Target can be a fun outing for a 2 yr old), and I think DD is totally thriving. I also agree with you that there's this insane pressure on SAHMs to have art projects, creative things, etc lined up all day (and I know a lot of SAHMs who do) but I also believe 2 yr olds just need some unstructured free play and interaction, and they can get that at daycare and at home.
papaya / 10343 posts
Sometimes I feel like I'm doing a bad job, but mostly then I realize I need to adjust my expectations. Mostly for me it happens around the house being a mess or me not cooking dinner. I keep my kid alive and fed, get myself showered, and am (mostly) happy doing it. I think thats all I really HAVE to do. Generally I keep the house clean and get the shopping done and make us food. If we have a rough day (or week) and the house is a mess and dinner doesn't get made... I try not to beat myself up about it.
@Tanjowen: for what it's worth, I thought being a SAHM when DD was 16-22 months was the worst time. I was sooo bored. DD is now 2 1/2 and our days FLY, and she's so much more fun. I wish someone had warned me at how bored I would have been back then because I thought she could do so much then.
GOLD / wonderful pea / 17697 posts
I SAH for 19 months, and I really wasn't cut out for it. And D works second shift, so some nights he doesn't get home until midnight or later, and rarely before 9. It was just me and E, all the time, and I think we both suffered for it. I felt like I never got a break, and I was resentful of D (and to an extent, E) for it.
I am significantly happier WOH, and I think E is thriving so much more in his daycare than he was with me. I love my child to pieces, and I think I'm a good mom, but I think the best thing I've ever done for him is go back to work and send him to daycare. He's happy and thriving. I'm happy and thriving.
pomegranate / 3113 posts
This winter, my DD came down with roseola the day after my DH left for a ten-day business trip. She couldn't go to daycare until she was over it (which happened on a weekend) so I was with her 24/7 for six days straight. By the end, I thought I was going to lose. my. mind. She was over feeling sick and being cranky pretty fast, so it wasn't because of that -- I'm just not cut out to SAH. And to be honest, I think DD was pretty much over being home with me by that time, too. She's really active and social, and gets cabin fever if we're home. Going to the playground or children's museum or wherever helps but isn't quite enough; she seems happiest when she's with a big but consistent group of kids all day. So I feel pretty thankful that what's best for her and best for me aligns!
eggplant / 11716 posts
I think I would like being a SAHM and would be decent at it, but with some major caveats--I would want a house cleaner and the $$ to take LO to a couple of classes or maybe preschool twice a week. And DHs idea of a SAHM is the 50's ideal of the mom sewing, home baking/cooking everything, doing all the child care, doing all the cleaning--basically his mom growing up.
Our expectations of the SAHM role are so different, I think it's better for my marriage that I work--because when I work, he automatically does 50% of everything at home and we just don't have stress or resentment in that area.
GOLD / papaya / 10166 posts
I admire all of you women for SAH. I know I couldn't do it and I feel so guilty about it. I'm sure you are all doing a better job than you give yourself credit for.
@Mrs. Sunshine: I have this same problem! I ask DH all the time how he gets so much done so fast and I can't even get *one* thing cleaned in the same time he cleans up the whole house.
cantaloupe / 6730 posts
I was at home until LO was 10 mo old and it was hard! I was so much happier, which made me a better more engaged mom when I came back.
cantaloupe / 6630 posts
Right now I feel like a terrible SAHM! But I'm heavily pregnant and still struggling with nausea so it's hard for me to do a lot of stuff she wants me to do with her, like playing on the floor.
In general I am constantly flitting between what is best for us and whether me being at home is really the best, or whether I am screwing myself over professionally. That conflict stops me being as present as I would like to be.
But, my daughter is thriving. She's such a fun, smart kid and is very socialised because I take her out daily and we have a really nice circle of friends we hang out with. Some of her friends are like siblings up her. We hit up museums and playgrounds all the time and go to a free drop-in playgroup... I'm very lucky in where I live though as we don't have the extra money for classes, yet she gets access to free classes at the drop-in.
Granted, right now she is watching Treehouse and I'm on my iPad but I think it's all about balance. She had a great morning, no she's not sat doing crafts etc right now but that's okay.
So I guess my answer is I sometimes feel like a terrible SAHM, sometimes I feel great, but mostly I have found peace with balance.
@looch: @Rainbow Sprinkles: I get out of the house as much as I can for everyone's sanity! What I find so helpful in the toddler stage though is having trusted, down-to-earth mum friends with kids the same age who I can blurt out to that my kid has been a nightmare that morning and they won't judge. And vice versa. I could not stay home without that support circle!
pomelo / 5678 posts
SAHP is really hard. Not sure what else to say!
papaya / 10570 posts
I stayed home until E was 7 months old and I hated it. I dont have the patience..... and I find it really stressful. And - here's a confession - I find it pretty boring. I love my daughter and I enjoy taking her to fun places but you cant be at the farm or swimming all day every day and, while you're home, there's only so many times you can give dolly a cup of tea or read the same darn book before you want to tear your own limbs off and beat yourself with them!
persimmon / 1355 posts
Well I generally think I do a fairly good job, but we all have our days. We spend most of our time out of the house. We do music class, library story time, gymnastics, swimming, museums, parks, play dates, etc. She wouldn't be able to do all of this if she was in daycare (at least not to the same extent). I sometimes think I should be doing more structured activities, but she will start preschool at 2 yrs, 9 mo. She's happy and has lots of social interactions, so I try to give myself a break.
@travelgirl1: exactly! I feel the same way.
grape / 75 posts
Just popped online to look for jobs in my new city because staying at home is making me a little crazy. My baby is still pretty young, so I'd like to stay home with him a little longer, but doing two kids by myself all day every day is taking its toll. Before I had my second and we moved to a new state, I had a great setup where I worked 2 days/week. It was awesome--I felt energized on the days I was home with my son, and he got the interaction and instruction aspect of daycare two days a week. I'd really like to get back to that setup, but with two kids and in a whole new city it is going to be tough.
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