68 answers

Feeling like an Inadequate SAHM.

Lately, I have been having some hard days where I feel like I am not being the mom that I should be. I don't feel like I am interacting enough with the children. I stay home with the kids during the week and I only work on weekends. But some days, I feel like they would learn more if they were in daycare. My husband does not really support me staying home, but tolerates it (it was an agreement when we got married that I would not work when we had kids).
My kids are 3 and 1 1/2 and some days it is all I can do to stay sane. I feel like I let the TV babysit the kids.
I do feel like I am a good mom most days. My kids are well behaved (except for normal toddler behavior), I feed them healthy food, we go out and socialize with other moms and children, they are loving towards each other and are overall wonderful children.
Plus, there is the whole fact that I was born genetically deficient of the housekeeping gene. I struggle with that issue also!!
Is these feelings of inadequacy normal? How do you deal with them? How do you cope with the daily monotony of being a SAHM?

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow, what a wonderful and heart warming response!! You guys are great. There were so many great ideas in those reponses.
I think that I am getting cabin fever from all of the snow!! We are going to an indoor water park today for a few days. I am really looking forward to that.
As far as the housework goes, I feel that I compare myself to to other moms when we go over to play at thier house. But who knows, maybe they cleaned for 8 hours so that we could come over!!
I did go to Hobby Lobby last week and bought some stuff for craft time with my son, and that has been great. We made sock puppets out of dads old socks. And he glued things onto paper with way too much glue!! :)

It is just easy to start doubting yourself, your life and your choices. But I know that I will never regret the staying home with the children. I look at them everyday and marvel at how wonderful and perfect they are (they they go and color on the walls or something!! LOL).
Thanks for all of the support and helping me to realize that I am not crazy, and that there are other not-perfect moms out there!!

Featured Answers

I can also relate. I think that all of us with very young kids struggle with the monotony. We all have days when the TV is the babysitter. We all have days where we feel like we don't know how much longer we can do this. The only things that help me are 1)concentrating on how much I love my husband & kids and looking at what I do for them as service rather than a chore and 2)scheduling time for a night out with my husband or girlfriends - just having some time away ocassionally to regroup & refocus. The other thing that has helped me out with the housekeeping (like you, I lack that gene) is that I hired a reliable teenager in my neighborhood to come clean my house once every week or two. You can pay them half of what you would pay even the least expensive of professional housecleaning services & it is still a great-paying job for a teenager. They come in and clean my floors, bathrooms & kitchedn. If you have just a little extra in the budget, I highly recommend it. It's just one less thing to drive myself crazy about!

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, L., I can relate! I'm in the process of finding a college girl to come to the house one morning a week to help me clean, or play with the kids while I do it. I think I'll feel better if the house isn't such a mess, plus it will free me up to spend quality time with the kids. Good luck - I really feel for you!
L.

Date night.

I try to accomplish ONE thing per day, and if I met that goal, I'm doing a good job. don't look at the list of stuff that didn't get done. Everything you clean as a SAHM will get messed up quickly. That list will never stop. So instead of looking at what's not done, only look at what you accomplished.

Sometimes it's just vacuuming or having dinner on time.

When I'm feeling down, I get hugs from my kids. They think I'm a good mom, and that makes me happy.

More Answers

L.,

I saw that another mom already mentioned this site, but www.flylady.net is a great place to learn how to take control of your house, routines, and yourself. We always put ourselves last and find that we run out of energy first. Also, if you decide to try FlyLady give her control journal a try too. It just may give your husband an idea of how much you really do at home. Right now he may just think you get to play with the kids all day and make dinner in the evenings. By seeing your control journal out and the lists of things you have checked off and how your routines are slowly coming together, he may have a better idea of how much work running a house and teaching the kids can be. Just remember to start slow with baby steps. Let us know how this works out for you!

Also, here are a few great sites for homeschooling:
Crayola Crafts: http://www.crayola.com/crafts/

DK Kids:
http://www.kiddk.com/static/html/parentteacher/parentstea...

AtoZ Teach School: http://store.atozteacherstuff.com/
(free printables)

Preschool print-ables: http://www.kinderprintables.com/dailyprintables.htm
(free printables)

2 moms found this helpful

Oh thank God for this post!!! I definitely feel like everyone else here!!! I've been thinking lately, what is wrong w/ me, I am not the mom or wife I imagined myself to be!!!!! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one struggling!! I know i definitely get the winter blues, so that does'nt help!! I think I need to start focusing on the most important things which are the relationships with my family!!! The kids definitely don't care if the house is messy, but they do care how much time i spend w/ them!!! I also have been doing flylady, although not to the T, but it has helped some!! I also know the summer will be better, but right now i need to find some fun winter activities!! I do attend a playgroup once a month and try to do a Mom's Night Out and also visit my sis-in-law & her kids a couple times a week. I think I realize that I'm not "perfect", but i'm determined to accomplish what matters!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I know this is a little late, and hope it is not too redundant (I have a 2 yr old & enough time to read only the first few responses you already got.)

Are your feelings of inadequacy normal? Absolutely. I'd be more worried if you thought you were perfect!

how do you deal w/ those feelings? Having a good support network is crucial for those days that you don't feel good enough. Family, friends, online pals, mamasource, MOPS groups, etc.

How to cope w/ daily monotony? Personally, I need to get out of the house at least every other day, even if it is just for a doctor's appointment. I go to MOPS group every 2 weeks. I have a special hobby or project that I work on whenever my son naps (at least on those days I don't need a nap myself!)

As for housecleaning, join the club- literally! I joined Flylady.net about a year ago, and it has made a huge difference. It is a free email service with tips and cleaning missions to get you motivated. You never have to buy anything ever. you can sign up for their emails or you can just visit their website often to get a lot of the same ideas w/o the millions of emails cluttering up your inbox. (They also have a Daily digest version of their email service).

If you are bored and your house is a mess, I can think of no better way to combat both issues than by visiting or joining flylady.net.

(I'm just a member of Flylady.net. I won't get any points or rewards or anything if you sign up, so please don't feel like this is a plug for a money-eating service - like I said, nobody is required to buy anything ever. I just know that joining flylady really did change my outlook on things, helped tremendously with my housekeeping problem, and even helped my self esteem and marriage! Sorry for sounding like an infomercial... I just love it that much!)

Good luck with everything. I know you already know that feeling inadequate is a temporary (if reoccurring) hazard of motherhood- but on down days, remember, everybody here at mamasource is here for you!
Jen

1 mom found this helpful

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels this way! I thought when I became a SAHM that my house would always be spotless (it isn't), I'd spend a lot of time teaching the kids to read, etc (neither can read yet) and that I'd make fabulous meals (sometimes it's frozen pizza). I've learned that I am not SuperMom, nor do I want to be. I ask myself these questions: Is my house liveable? Are my kids happy? Is my husband happy? Am I happy? If the answer is yes, and it definitely is a yes, then that's all that matters.

I think someone else said this, but I find that if I can accomplish at least one or two things a day, than that's good enough for me, whether it be cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming, make a great meal, or having a fun-filled day with the kids without worrying about the house. I had a friend who used to schedule a chore each day of the week: Mondays: vacuum and mop, Tuesday: laundry, Wed: bathrooms, etc. and she always had a clean house (not spotless) and never felt like she spent all day, every day cleaning.

I know you said you get out and socialize, but if you're not already a member of a mothers group, I would highly recommend it. There are two that I know of: Momsclub.com and mops.org
Also, since your son is almost three, have you looked into preschool? My son started at 3 and he loves it (plus I get a small break).

You're children will only be little for such a short time, and when you look back, you won't remember that your house was dirty or the laundry wasn't done, you'll just have wonderful memories of watching your children grow, and be thankful that you were able to be there and didn't miss a thing!

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Oh honey, you are not alone with the feelings you're having!

I believe every mom has feelings like this for some period of staying at home. Some for all, some for a hard period, and some for several periods throughout the entire time @ home. Thank you for stepping forward and admitting your feelings to all us moms out here reading your story.

Right now is a very tough time to be at home....it's cold outside, you aren't getting your daily intake of the sun, you're stuck for unreasonable amounts of time inside, you are at home without any type of help for the majority of the day, etc. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

You mentioned you get out with and interact with other people and socialize. Are you part of a structured group and making friends (or acquaintances), or are you just meeting to get out of the house for a little bit? Have you checked out your local MOPS (mothers of preschoolers ~ www.mops.org)? It's a non-denominational group that gets together 2X/mo as a structured group and the kids are in a wonderful program all by themselves so you get a break. While we are there, you are nutured as a mom, wife, and woman. MOPS has been my lifeline for the past 3 years. I made wonderful friends at a group in WI before moving to Fargo in April. I jumped right into another group here and have made some more awesome friends!

You are a fantastic mom and the TV does babysit the kids sometimes. It just happens! The housework? Do you expect to stay on top of things with a near 3 yr old and a 1 1/2 yr old? You don't feel you interact with the kids enough? Join the club! What you don't realize is what your children are taking in that you don't even realize. You are showing them it's ok to stay at home as they will meet kids that wish their mom would've done that for them. They are seeing your love, your attention, your kitchen skills all being passed down to both of them. AND you still get time out of the house on the weekends to take care of others! What a wonderful sacrifice you don't even realize you've taken.

I pray this boosts your spirits as you realize you are not the only out there feeling like you do right now.

If you are interested in MOPS or other mom groups, check their websites (if avail) or send me a private message and I can tell you more!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,

It gets better! As the kiddos get older, the housework becomes easier since they can clean up after themselves and help out with chores.

Several have suggested flylady, and I wholeheartedly agree. What Flylady does that is so awesome is encourage you to have a schedule, just as any working person does.

When my first son was young I remember having a conversation with a friend where I confessed my feelings of inadequecy to another mom. She laughed at me and I'll never forget her words, "M., you can be whatever kind of mom you want to be. If you want to be the mom that takes the your son for a walk and goes to the park and libraries and museums, then be that mom." It was like a lightbulb went off in my brain. Oh, you mean I have control over my own life and my kids education?! I sat down that evening and actually wrote down what I thought "good moms" did. It was something like this.

Good Moms:
1. Have kids with good manners
2. Take their kids to the library
3. Have playgroups
4. Play with playdough with their kids
5. Go to the park
6. Fingerpaint
7. Limit how much TV their kids watch
8. Are silly sometimes
.
.
.

Anyway you get the idea. It sounds like you're already doing a lot of those things. The healthy food and socializing is so important! Don't discount the things you're already doing that make you a good mom. Just visualize what type of mom you want to be, THEN BE THAT MOM. (Not screaming at you, I just really want to emphasize each word.)

Good luck! I'll be thinking about you.

M.

1 mom found this helpful

I can also relate. I think that all of us with very young kids struggle with the monotony. We all have days when the TV is the babysitter. We all have days where we feel like we don't know how much longer we can do this. The only things that help me are 1)concentrating on how much I love my husband & kids and looking at what I do for them as service rather than a chore and 2)scheduling time for a night out with my husband or girlfriends - just having some time away ocassionally to regroup & refocus. The other thing that has helped me out with the housekeeping (like you, I lack that gene) is that I hired a reliable teenager in my neighborhood to come clean my house once every week or two. You can pay them half of what you would pay even the least expensive of professional housecleaning services & it is still a great-paying job for a teenager. They come in and clean my floors, bathrooms & kitchedn. If you have just a little extra in the budget, I highly recommend it. It's just one less thing to drive myself crazy about!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear L.,

I think your situation is quite normal for most mothers that stay at home with their kids. I am a single mom and managed to pull through the toddler years with staying home with Taylor during the day. Trust me it is very challenging and there were many times I felt inadequate, frustrated and depressed. Not knowing if I was making the right decision or not. But, what I knew was that I was the only person in the world that would love and care for my child better than anybody else. That's would pulled me through the hard times. They need you as much as you need them, and if you put them in daycare your life would probably be more miserable. You would then feel guilty, and instead of having the tv babysit your kids you have a bunch of uneducated girls caring for them. You need to stay strong, get involved in a playgroup, set a schedule and plan activities everyday to create structure. I understand that you struggle with the upkeeping of your home. Well, as reading your message I thought to myself; Wow..I know exactly what this woman is going through. I can help you...ALOT! I help families like yours by providing professional cleaning services to them. I don't want this message to come off as a selling tool, but I needed tell you who I am and how I can help. I have lived in Oconomowoc for 28 years and am very active in my community. Maybe I can come to your home once a week for a couple of hours and help you with some of your chores or do full clean job on your home. That will free you up to constantly keep up with the pressures of all that. I have a family that I do the same for, and she tells me that I have saved her marriage. Sometimes; our pride takes over, and we need to learn to ask for help. I am here to help you if you interested. You can make a new friend, family helper, make your life a little more manageable, and less stressful, and free up more time to spend with your precious babies. Please call me if you are interested and we will take the next steps to transforming your life. You will be surprised how much this will help your family. God bless you and your family and if we never meet always find time for yourself, take deep breathes, and stay strong.

Sincerely,

C. Rossey
____@____.com
cell# ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful

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