28 answers

I Feel like a Horrible Mother

I feel like such a bad mom. My son and I spend all day every day together. My husband works about 55-60 hours a week and we only have one car, so it's really just me and my son. We have no family or friends close to us. We can't join a mommy group because we don't have access to another car, so my son doesn't play with other kids too often. Taking my husband to work won't work either. His shifts are always either start or end when my son is sleeping. Buying another car isn't feasible either. We can't afford another car payment or the insurance on it. So, my question is........is it normal for me to get bored with my son? I don't really want to play with him, but he likes almost constant attention. I feel bad if I try to read a magazine or something that I want to do. He's constantly wanting me to play with him. I feel like I'm ignoring him if I don't play with him. Does anyone else feel this way?

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of the help so far. My son is 2 by the way. We do get out for walks every day that it's not raining. While we go on our walks, we usually stop at the park and play for a little while. There's usually no one else at the park, so it's hard to meet other SAHM. We've tried going at different times during the day. It's almost always the same. I've also tried watching the neighbors to see if anyone is a SAHM, but it looks like all of them go to work everyday. I haven't tried a mommy group because of the car situation and also because my husband usually gets transferred once a year and it could be at any minute now. I didn't want to get involved in a group and then have to move. I appreciate all the advice though.

Featured Answers

I have a car but really there isn't too many places I like to take my 2 yo. We stay home a lot and it is hard to fill the day. When make an effort to with art, education, and exercise. When we have those I feel much better mother. I let her play by herself.

How about a bike with a kid trailer? That way you could go a little farther, maybe a park with a little more action? It is tough - you're not alone, and you're not a horrible mom. You just need some adult time.

I know EXACTLY how you feel. The only difference between you and I are that I'm a single mom without a car that I can take my infant in, and my friends live close, but all have moved on. They are now married or moving. It's normal I think. Often times I have to just put my son in a safe spot and and walk away because I'm just so bored and tired of his whining that I'm not holding him (he's a VERY clingy baby)
If you need to just walk into another room, do it. It's not a big deal. I think we all would prefer ignoring for a couple minutes than you snapping.

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It's very normal to get bored with your kids. If I were you, I would call up your local city and ask if they have a community transportation system available to pick up and drop off. My mom was an immigrant and never learned to drive. We lived in the city and we would walk 2 miles to the main road to get to the bus stop. We traveled twice a week somewhere. If we didn't take the bus, we walked. Sometimes we'd walk five miles, summer or winter. I have many fond memories of the times my mom and I spent together walking places. It's great exercise and it strengthens the bond. As I got older, I learned how to entertain myself and never got bored. Children need to learn to keep themselves occupied sometimes.

M

4 moms found this helpful

Read a magazine, do what feels good to you--it's important. When you're doing something with your son, only do what you WANT to do with him, so it feels pure and loving. I know this sounds weird to some people, but just think how much more loved he will feel when you really get into having fun with him. And it's important for him to learn to entertain himself too. You can be nearby to make sure he's safe, and at the same time be getting your own stuff done. Find a way to let him know when it's his do-it-yourself time and when it's his Mommy-time.

2 moms found this helpful

I didn't read the other responses, so sorry if I repeat any advice

I lived for well over a year with one car. I had an infant, and a toddler who got car sick often. Still, AT LEAST once a week (usually more often), I would put the half asleep kids in the car at 5AM and take my husband to work so I could have the car for the day. We lived too far away from where he worked for him to get a ride home, so we'd go back and get him at whatever time he'd call and say he was ready. Sometimes, in early morning traffic on the highway after I'd drop off my husband, my toddler would get car sick-- I'd freak out/he'd freak out, I'd pull over and clean him up.... But all of that nightmare was wayyyyyy better than being trapped in the house alone all day every day with no adult interaction. On the days when I'd have the car, one of the things I'd go to was story time at the library. It's free, the kids LOVED it, and some of the same families go every week so you can "meet" people for both you and your son to talk with. Some of the moms and kids would stay after story time and hang out (they had puzzles and a coloring table at our local library), and if you become friendly enough with a mom or 2, you can ask if they want to go play at McDonalds, where you can have lunch or get ice cream and you and your son could extend your play time/adult interaction. I personally don't think it's healthy for either one of you to be so isolated. That same year that I had no car, I joined a mommy group and seriously had moms who would pick us up-- that's me AND two car seats we'd have to shove into their cars-- none of these awesome women had a minivan back then and they were more than happy to squeeze in our car seats because they know how awful it is to be home alone all day. I see in your update that you don't want to join a mommy group, but I think that's silly. Join one! Find out which day of the week they meet the most and get the car that day!! No excuses!! (Also, you can see about taking the city bus to the local library)

2 moms found this helpful

omg you are SO not a bad mom! any mom (i believe) would get sick of their kiddos, no matter how much she loves them (and we all do!), if she never got a break. don't let anyone tell you otherwise! my suggestion is do what you have to (hubby working all those hours has to be for something) to get a cheap car, or get to a place where dad is home more so you can have some "me" time. both you AND your son will get bored. and it's really not good for him to be alone with only you for company so much, either. you are SO not a bad mom! i feel that way sometimes after a weekend (and i work full time!) lol! hang in there mom. you sound like a great mama. (not to mention, if there was ever an emergency what would you do without a car?)

1 mom found this helpful

You two definitely need to get out of the house. Can you walk to a park with him? If not, plan a play date and on that day, you rough it. You take your husband to work and keep the car, then pick him up. It doesn't matter that your child sleeps in the car. Find a way.

1 mom found this helpful

You should not feel bad because you don't want to play with your son 24/7 or when he isn't sleeping. You didn't say how old your son was but a certain amount of time playing with a parent is great, but he should learn how to entertain himself. Try to get involved with other parents in your neighborhood and set up play dates where he can socialize with children his own age. Going for a walk in the afternoon may give you both the opportunity to meet other individuals who may be in your own situtation. To adjust your child to play on his own I used the timer method. I would set a time for 45 minutes and it would be "our" time to play together but once the timer went off then it was time for him/her to play by themselves. You may have to encourage this and show him things he can do by himself to start but he should catch on leaving you to have some time to yourself. I would definitley encourage this so that you don't have a clinging vine for a lot of years to come.

1 mom found this helpful

Can you get a babysitter just for a few hours a week so you could take a walk? Or even a 12 year old could play with him after school for a few hours so you could read a book or take a nap?

Also, maybe it would be worth disrupting his sleep schedule one day per week so you could have the car. He'd probably fall asleep in the car again.

I also have a 2 year old so can relate! You're not a bad mom....just totally normal.

1 mom found this helpful

Can your Husband take the bus?
We have only 1 vehicle (which I use)... and my Husband car-pools to work and catches the bus home.

Otherwise, we would be stranded. There is no bus-stop near where we live. And then I would not be able to take my daughter to school or pick her up, nor take my kids to their appointments nor mine.

Or, put your son in a stroller and walk around... and go places that way.

Sure, its normal for a SAHM to get 'bored' being home and with her child. We are not an 'entertainment center' and we need stimulation too, socially. And boys are active.. they need to run around and you are his play-mate.

have a daily routine with him... go outside, play with a ball, jump around, play hide and seek, play in the tub, finger paint etc.
Having a DAILY routine, helps. Then that way you are not just hanging. ALSO have a daily nap time... then that way you get a break. And babies/kids STILL DO NEED naps. Or they get fussy/needier/ and not happy.

And, incorporate him INTO YOUR daily chores/routines. That's what I do. My son, who I am home with, KNOWS "my" routines and necessary things I need to do everyday just in the household. He will play while I do that or he 'helps' me... and I teach him that way. I also tell my son "Mommy needs to do some things, you can play by yourself for now, okay?" And he understands.
Its okay to not be CONSTANTLY playing with your child.
My son knows that Mommy does chores and 'work' too... and that I always tell him, what "we" will do next.

I have even on occasion, just told my kids that "Mommy doesn't feel like doing anything right now... I'm tired. Give me a moment. Then we'll do something..." Its okay. My kids understand... my daughter will even tell me "Mommy its okay, you played with us a lot today..."

Or invite people to YOUR home.

all the best,
Susan

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