39 answers

More of a Vent Then Anything Else... Why Is It So Hard to Be a Mom?

Why is it so hard to be a Mom? Has it always been like this? Was I so ignorant? I knew it was going to be hard and definitely something that would take getting used to. But Wow!!!
I love my boys more than anything in this world. I wouldn't change it at all. I look at my mom and she made it seem so easy when I was growing up. She worked in the house, outside the house. Took too much care of my dad, while balancing it all. How? Even, she says she doesn't know how anymore. She says that I do well. Of course I do.. Not as well as I would like but I do well. My boys are thriving and happy. Discipline, depends on the moment. I hate to see my 3yr old cry but I do place him in the corner when needed.
I think my frustration is that I can't seem to find some balance. I am a SAHM not exactly by choice. Can't find a job that would pay enough that it would make sense to put the boys in daycare. I have always worked. Now I have become exactly what I said I wouldn't. My husband works 2 jobs and I work none. I know I contribute but not financially.
Since, I am SAHM. It's very easy to become isolated. So I made sure I started going out more with the boys. I go to the gym (daycare) and shopping. I don't got to the park alone because my 3yr old doesn't listen so well. It scares me that he'll take off and here I have to go running after him with an 11mo old. Not my idea of I good time. Now, I feel like I have ignored my home.
Err.. It's a venting type of day.. I feel like I don't win. To pay attention to one thing I feel like something else suffers.
Does anyone else feel like this? I feel like I am being penalized. I love to be a mom but I would also like to be able to work and actually bring cash home while having an occasional "hang out" time with out feeling guilt. I'll figure it out eventually.
As I write this and re-read it..it sounds so dumb. Almost like I am ungrateful for my life... I AM NOT! I love it most of the days..It's the of balance and these superimposed ideas of what I should be able to accomplish on any given day.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

THANK YOU! You ladies are all 100% correct. I know, if I was working I would probably be typing about how sad I am that I don't see my boys. It feels like so much are on our plates. Almost, like we are penalized for wanting to be a Mom. With that said, I would still do it all over again. I have to find a way to be more satisfied with what I do accomplish on a daily basis. It's kind of difficult cause I always have my mom in my ear. She lives with us so it can be overwhelming at times. I can see what she is thinking even without her opening her mouth. She thinks that I dilly-dally a lot and therefore don't accomplish more. Sometimes, I do.. like today. But, whatever...
Thank you for your suggestions and just reminding me that I am not alone. It is easy to think that you are the only one that thinks a certain way when you are constantly behind 4 walls or only have conversations with babies. I fell better already. Thank you again.

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I will never forget the conversation I had with my Mom about 3 years ago. I was holding my newborn son and trying to feed my 15 month old daughter...and demanded, "Why didn't you TELL ME how hard this was going to be????" She gave me the warmest, most understanding smile and calmly responded, "Sweetie...you wouldn't have believed me." After taking a moment to think about this, I realized she was right. I would have *never* believed her -- you just don't know how hard this is until you actually are living it.

You are not definitely not dumb or ungrateful. So much of this job is not fun. You are a GREAT Mom!! Hang in there.

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Yeah, I could have written practically have written you post a lot of days. My kids are 4 and 17 months. Getting out, even just to the park or grocery store, helps a lot. I was given the advice by an older parent to get out every day with little kids and when I try and do that I feel in a better mood and the kids are less crabby.

BTW my older child is a boy and full of energy. I had a leash for him as a younger toddler. Between the ages of 2.5 and 3 he learned that if he wanted more freedom he had to stay with me or be on the leash or in the stroller. I was pregnant at the time and spent the whole 9 months teaching him this lesson to save my sanity later (he learned this but the potty training didn't take until later).

I wish I had some answers for you, but I feel the same way you do. Sometimes I feel like I am going to lose it. Sometimes I yell at my kids, and then feel guilty. Part of it is that they push my buttons, and part of it is just that I'm exhausted and grumpy. I can't catch up--I feel like everything suffers. Probably the worst is my self-esteem and sense of self. Sorry, I'm just venting. Just know that you are not alone. I look forward to reading the responses.

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I can't speak for all moms in general, but I can speak for myself and my girlfriends who are moms - WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE!

There are days where I am at my wits end. There are days where I literally watch the clock for nap/bed time. There are days where I go in the bathroom and cry and ask for the strength to get through that day. Then at the end of those days when I lay in bed, I feel so guilty for feeling that way. And I thank God for giving me 2 healthy, beautiful boys!

I do the same thing you do. How the heck did my mom do it? Working 3 jobs, still having a hot healthy meal on the table, getting us to all of our activities, keeping a clean house! I have been trying to clean the floors for 3 weeks - just haven't gotten there. And you know what I decided...screw it, I'm getting the house keeper back (I had one when I was preggo, but stopped it after the baby...BIG mistake).

I think we have to choose our battles with the kids, and choose which things we really need to stress about. I WILL not stress about the house anymore - I'm hiring the cleaning lady back. I WILL not stress about my almost 2 year old not wanting to get dressed. I don't care if he walks around in his diaper all day...we aren't going anywhere!

Keep you head up mama and know that you are not alone in how you are feeling right now.

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M., It is OK to feel the way you feel. Nobody said that being a mom would be easy. It is not. Every mom goes through this phase and not just once, several times. Being a mom is a wonderful "job", but the most difficult in the world. Your feelings and worries will pass.
We, moms, always want to be "super" moms, balancing everything in the house, husband, kids, chores, "me" time (if there is any...lol!), friends, neighbors, appointments, and so forth. But the reality is that we are NOT super, we are human beings ...and great human beings who have the responsibility to raise another human beings. Wow.., that takes a lot of our energy!
Don't let these feelings and concerns ruin your happiness and peace, just be strong, take a walk with someone, go to the cinema, to the pool by yourself or best friend....do something to recover energy and rest..this helps a lot.
You are doing a great job and it is normal to feel this way. It seems that it will never pass, but believe me..it will. I was there, I have been there, and there will be always something that will make your day better.

"Peace doesn't mean to be in a place where there isn't noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (Unknown)
Take care

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As you say, you are just venting out your frustrations. It is very clear to me you come from a working woman to a SAHM ( not by a choice) one. Take it easy, It is hard to be a full time mom and I am with two boys exactly you kids ages. However, do not pressure yourself to much about daily task to be accomplished. Try to organized your week, like you did at work. Assign few task to do every day without having to do thousands at a time. Now, my husband works at home and he helps a lot. He just found out yesterday with my 3 1/2 boy who does not like to leave any place by "motu proprio" that a fenced park at the local church is great. Just very few kids that occasionally show up and very clean and and safe. You are right about the isolated part of SAHM moms. However, don't you have friends you can call to visit or hang out with? My personal case is that I have very few friends and I am not crazy about others. My old boy is very social and he likes to interact with others easily and he is good playing by himself, too. If you want to socialize with other moms, check up a local Meetup, or the local parks in your area. Meanwhile, keep applying for jobs until you find something you like. I thinks that although moms that work at home do not get formally pay, but have their allowances, are having more to do than those who work in a formal job from 8 to 5. I have no schedule, I normally go to bed around 11:00 p.m and do like a lot my responsibilities as a full time mom, but understand you perfectly. It is not easy to be a full time mom, it is very hard and challenging, but overall is very rewarding.

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You are not being ungrateful. Balance is hard for many, myself included. Being a SAHM is a dream for some, for others we do it because we have to and try and make the best of it. You don't have to love every second of it, just appreciate the special moments. A lot of the time I feel like I have lost my identity, or that I'm not doing enough with my life. I know caring for my daughter is important and later I am sure I will not regret these years but right now it is hard to have perspective sometimes.
I have been trying to cut down on isolation by going to meetup groups (go to meetup.com) where I can talk with other moms, let my daughter play, and get out of the house. Sometimes we all discuss a book, or go see a movie, or go for a walk with strollers. It helps sometimes. Other times I just miss being a part of a work environment, having coworkers to commiserate, celebrate, and cooperate with. At home with my daughter, I am the one to commend myself on my success and appreciate all my work. My husband and family do too, but in the moment, like when my daughter took her first 1.5 hr nap, it was me patting myself on the back.
I never thought I would be doing what I am doing, I even spoke out against it, but things change and I can change with them.
I benefit a lot from volunteer projects I work on. Making a few calls here, or attending an event every once in a while helps me feel connected to the outside world. And I am able to bring baby with.
But in the end I am constantly having to remind myself to measure how I am doing by the health and happiness of my daughter instead of how my house looks, how in-shape I am, or how much my husband liked dinner last night.

Oh and just an idea- maybe you could get a back pack carrier thing for the 11 month old so you could go to the park? A friend of mine has 3 kids- 3.5, 2, and 10 mos (yowzer) and she puts the youngest in an ergo carrier on her back so she can push the other two in the swings, or watch them on the slide.

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No advice from me, simply as one over-stressed mom to another, hang in there and know that you are going to make mistakes and feel overwhelmed. We all do. Don't beat yourself up over it. I once heard Michelle Pfieffer, the actress, tell a story about how when her children were little she would put $1 in a jar everytime she made a mistake with them as a parent. She said when they turn 21 she plans on giving them the jar and saying "This is for therapy - I did the best I could". A joke I am sure, but the point is well taken.

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I know exactly how you feel! I get frustrated that I can't give 100% to everything. I have to chose and that's frustrating. I love all my kids and couldn't do without any one of them, but I sometimes think I should have stopped at 2 kids because I could give more of myseslf and be a better mom, wife, daughter, person, housekeeper...The guilt and the feeling of being stretched too thin never ends. I get bored and isolated at home and I even feel guilty for feeling that way because I should be thankful for the opportunity to be home with my kids. I worked steadily since I was 15 and got married at 27, so I was really used to bringing in money and to not bring in money makes me feel really insecure.
I think the world has changed and it makes us feel like we are up against so much more than our parents where up against. We have worries about keeping our kids safe that our parents never worried about. It's overwhelming.

I'm rambling. LOL. But, yeah, I feel the same as you!

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Dear M.,

Relax and take a deep breath. I am older now, back in the workplace, and my kids are 21, 18 and 16. And I felt EXACTLY like you when I had to quit work because it didn't make sense for me to continue working. I had always had high praise for the SAHMs because I wasn't sure I could do it, but then found that I had to.

So many days I was frustrated and overwhelmed. But eventually I made it through. For people like us, we get our self-esteem from our jobs, and from getting a pay check that validates our hard work. We get performance reviews that validates our hard work. We get results from the work we did to also validate. It is so hard to stay home and do the hardest job in the world, do it well, and get no validation. That is, except when you reach out to other people who notice, or let us tell you here that..

... you are doing a wonderful job! Keep it up!! I promise to double your pay in your next paycheck!!

Keep looking in the mirror and reminding yourself what a great job you are doing, keep your chin up, and know that time goes on. Please keep remembering who you are, so you can be you, just in a different job for now.

With lots of love and admiration for you,

K.

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Wow - you really struck a cord here! I feel the same way. I am amazed, SHOCKED really at how hard being a mother is. I expected it to change my life, but in the back of my mind maybe I thought it would sort of go back to normal after a little while. So wrong! But it is a dream come true for me. You've gotten some great answers so I won't reiterate, but just wanted to pose one question:

How about part-time work that just covers day-care costs? I know it sounds crazy to work just to pay for daycare, but sanity is worth it. Therapy is way more expensive! And, staying employed even just on a very part-time basis might ease your eventual transition back to work if that is what you want. People might think it's crazy, but that's one thing motherhood has taught me - to finally not care what others think.

I guess it boils down to how we each want to live, what our circumstances allow, what we feel we need personally and what is best for our families. I'm right there with you trying to make sense of this new extremely full life.

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It's not dumb. We have ALL been there. My kids are 18 months apart and I can remember not leaving the house for days at a time because of the exact reason you listed. It IS isolating. It IS boring. But.
It will pass. Your children will get older. You will have more time to relax.
As far as other people being able to do it better.....I bet if you asked them they would say that they were thinking the same thing.

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it's not dumb. it's how a lot of us feel.
aprk though, don't take that out of your plans. parks exhaust kids so you can come home and put both down for a nap while you do some housework or put feet up and get a much deserved rest.
work...i miss it too but had to make a hard choice. i miss ambitious me but kids come first.
house cleaning: lady, can't do it all. do what you can and then try to ignore what's left undone.
good luck

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No, you are not alone, but reading through your post and feeling your frustration---one HUGE thing stands out. "Discipline, depends on the moment." Whoa, Momma! Kids need structure and routine, and yours aren't getting it. Kids need to know that every single time they do A, B will happen. Their whole sense of security is based on that from day one. "If I cry, that wonderful lady will see what I want and take care of it." "If I hit my baby brother, I have to go to time out, then apologize." "If I run from Mommy, I can't play at the park anymore today." "If I throw my toys all over my room, I have to pick them up when I'm done."
(Think about it for a second. If you had a job, how would you feel if you were doing a great job last week and your boss told you so. This week, you're doing the same thing and he says it's all wrong. Confusing, huh. What's right?) They push the limits because they don't know what will happen. If they know absolutely what will happen every time, then they can make decisions based on consequences. Your kids don't know what the consequences will be every time, so they challenge you. When you establish rules and boundaries, everyone knows what to expect, and the anxiety levels go down for everyone.

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I will never forget the conversation I had with my Mom about 3 years ago. I was holding my newborn son and trying to feed my 15 month old daughter...and demanded, "Why didn't you TELL ME how hard this was going to be????" She gave me the warmest, most understanding smile and calmly responded, "Sweetie...you wouldn't have believed me." After taking a moment to think about this, I realized she was right. I would have *never* believed her -- you just don't know how hard this is until you actually are living it.

You are not definitely not dumb or ungrateful. So much of this job is not fun. You are a GREAT Mom!! Hang in there.

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Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side!

I work full time and technically make more money than my husband. He thinks this is great and my SAHM friends are jealous that I get to dress up and talk with adults all day and in-turn I regret that my son spends more waking time with his daycare provider than with me on most days!

There have been days when I would love to sell our house, downsize and stay home after we have our next child. The reality is that on the other days, I love that I contribute financially and would miss doing something that I love!

You're not dumb- actually you are very normal. The job market stinks right now and daycare is very expensive. When your boys are a little older, the cost will go down and you may be able to find something part-time and have the "best of both worlds".

In the meantime, don't beat yourself up. I promise you that your mom wasn't always happy with the way she was running the show- I know my mom will admit to that now. However, with distance things seem much better than they were at the time... like childbirth, right!

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Why is it so hard? Because so much advertising goes into it!

Read the book: Free Range Kids. I can't remember the author off the top of my head. It's put together well - so you can read a little bit each night, or all at once if you have a monster nap on your hands. ; )

SAHM is not by your choice - but maybe it's what you and your boys need most. : )

Go to the park. DS will learn to listen. He'll get there! But he needs PRACTICE. So give him some. Try a park that has a fence first, if you can, but even at that, just try it. My son is still learning, and he's just past 2.5.

RE: ignoring your home. you know what? you're NOT ignoring your kids. The laundry and dusting and toys can go on hold for a bit. You're busy with your boys!

I did feel like this. DH did a lot to help that along too. He works one job with OT when he feels like it, but the job I had before would NOT cover preschool/day care costs and he wouldn't watch DS while I was available to work. He still won't. I had to get over it because I can't LIVE that way - feeling like I don't contribute when I know I do.

It is NOT dumb! Everything you see on TV and is reinforced by other mothers who are out working and defending their choice to NOT be with their child sends a lot of Moms over the edge on this subject. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Support a Mom who is defending going back to work. She is probably hurting so much more than anyone really knows.

You are enjoying your babies firsts! ALWAYS remember that!

Try keeping a list of everything you do accomplish in one day, and that includes showering and dressing. Because there are days when even THAT will go south! go back to keeping the list when you feel you aren't getting anything accomplished.

You're DOING it. You're being a MOM. It's not for wimps! : )

(and just read your post-script: TOTALLY understand about your Mom. I have my Dad who, while not here every day, supports DH in his opinion that I should get a dumpster and put most of my stuff out to the garbage. Thanks, I'm not DEAD yet!)

Good luck,
M.

PS: Seriously, keep a small notebook. Keep fun things your children say in it. keep track of what you do in a day - date it, maybe a half or a page for a day. make sure you COUNT the trips you make to the fish hatchery or the park or anything. THOSE are the accomplishments that count the most. Laundry will ALWAYS be there! You can look back and say - wow - we DID stuff!

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Being a mom is like other jobs - it has its good parts and not so good parts, good days and not so good days. Balance is so hard, no matter what your situation. I have very similar days. I am taking a stress management course right now, because there are so many things going on all the time! You do need to find some time to take care of yourself. The gym is a good start, but also schedule some time each week for a specific pleasurable activitiy. Doesn't have to be big, but plan it and do it. I called my best friend yesterday as mine. Sometimes it's just sitting and enjoying my tea. Invite some friends over (even if the house is crazy) for tea. Try to relax when you can.

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I feel you and I can tell you what I do to bring the best of both worlds out.

I work 3 days a week. M, W, F. My husband is off on W so he keeps our daughte rthat day. She goes to an in home daycare on M and F at $20 a day which equals $40 a week. I don't make amazing amounts of money working three days a week but I make enough to pay the daycare, my cell bill, internet bill, and have spending money for me left over...plus I get 4 full days off with my girl a week as well as the compansionship and mental stimulation that a job requires (being with my 7 month old is great but let's face it, she doesn't keep my mind sharp lol)

So that has solved our problem, I would like the stability of a full time job but I'm not ready to leave my girl 5 days a week.

I always tell ppl I have it better than full time SAHM and full time mom workers. I'm a part-time SAHM and a part-time money earner, the perfect situation!!

So maybe look for a job that works on the days your husband is off and that would cut down on daycare costs....yes, yo lose time off with your husband, but really-who had you rather be with =)
Good Luck!!

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You need to relax and enjoy your babies. Before you know it they will both be in school and then you can get a job and be away from them for 6 hours a day!!! Yikes!!! That will a hard time for you. Every where you turn, you will hear mommy mommy and look for your child. LOL
Meanwhile you can have conversation with us at Mamapedia and also one sided ones with your babies. Talk to them all the time and use adult words. Tell them what you are doing, what is on the news, even about your soaps if you watch. The more you talk the more they will and their vocabulary will increase also. My 2 y/o's used to say 4 and 5 syllable words and amaze strangers. But they didnt know the words were difficult, they just mimicked me.

First of all, I completely understand and relate. I do have some advice. Find a local park that is fenced in, so your three year old can run and you won't have to sweat him running out of the park. Secondly, get thee into a mother's group! Mom's group have made being a SAHM so much more fun, and taken the isolation out of my life. In my mom's groups, we get together at each other's homes for teh kids to play, have mom's night out, etc. And we make friends while our kids make friends, and we create a support network for each other.

Here's some links for your area:

http://www.meetup.com/liltotsplaygroup/

http://www.momsclub.org/links.html#New Jersey

http://totclasses.com/MOMS-Club-of-Coastal-Monmouth-NJ.html

http://www.childavenue.com/pages/playgroups_pages/playgro...

http://www.raisingthem.com/groups/view/104472/NJ/Keansbur...

You can also search www.meetup.com and yahoo.com for groups.

I am right there with you! There are days when I can't believe how difficult it can be and then there are days I am amazed I can get so much done - whether it's cleaning or just enjoying the day with my son. Trying to prioritize is difficult some days...feels like everything is important and I can't let any of it slide. I totally understand...it's nice to know others feel the same way sometimes!

I'm looking forward to reading the other responses you received - I love your follow up post! :)

I just read your post and then started off reading your "what happened" statment and laughed out loud a little b/c I was going to reassure that you are not alone and that even ME, a full time working moms feels EXACTLY like you do everyday! Today was a particularly rought morning - as been the last two weeks (terrible 3's, my son is sick, our calendars are packed) I feel so out of control and unhappy at times and think its just me...but I know its not. Yet a lot of times I feel like, NO ONE ELSE CAN POSSIBLY understand how BAD I feel - like today...I only have one child too - LOL - I guess we just need to hang in there on our bad days and do whatever it takes to remember our good days. Theres days when I feel like a superomom, super employees, super woman and then theres days that I can barely function and it all seems to just be WRONG. I can't find the balance either, but like I guess I will eventually - or not. More likely we'll probably just keep working through it like we are and one day look bad and say, hey - we did pretty damn good, I wish we weren't so hard on ourselves - hopefully we can say that soooner rather than later so we can just sit back and chill! : )

I know you already got a lot of responses, and I didn't read them, sorry! I am tired;) But I just wanted to say that I am soooooo with you. Like seriously, I could have almost written that. I have an almost three year old and an almost 5month old. I also don't go to the park for the same reason unless some other grown up can go with me which doesn't happen often. My house gets so crazy and I am still in the throws of nursing so I am home a lot bc I need to feed my little dude. Sometimes I feel so bad for my three year old bc he needs the same of amount of attention as before, but I have to split it and my new baby needs to be cuddled and held a lot too. I LOVE my boys but some days I feel so overwhelmed. My mom just retired and so she is here almost all the time and helps me so much but she has her areas she thinks should change and I can tell when it comes up. But crazy as it is, this is still my home to run, so imperfect or not I get to call the shots;) Sometimes when I talk to my hubby about how tired I feel or how I need some relief and he actually tells me to go back to work!! But ultimately I am really happy raising my boys and running my home. My husband tells me I am way too hard on myself and that I am doing a great job and that gives me what I need to keep going, even though it is so hard to believe some days. I know that when they grow up a little it will be easier, but now when I see baby pics of my three year old I get all misty and when I look at my chubby little chunk I am so aware of how the time is flying by. Anyway, as to why it is so much harder to be a mom than we expected, I have no idea. Maybe because we never esteemed being a mom as much of a job until we had to do it!! Just wanted to write because you are sooooooooooooooo not alone! I am with you, I just had a meltdown last weekend and today is only Monday:) LOL I think we moms at home are some tough cookies and deserve some serious recognition and we get it in the form of giggles, bubbles, funky looking pics on the fridge and drooly grins. So, ok, I'll take that:) Congrats on being a super great mom!

Before I even read all of the other responses, I will chime in say, "Amen!" I feel similarly. I rarely ever feel like I have balance in my life. And I *do* go to work everyday and bring home a decent check HOWEVER, I'm always on someone else's clock. In the morning, gotta get up and help the hubby get the girls ready to go. Gotta race to work and just barely make it (most of the time, I'm late, honestly). Right at 5pm, gotta race to day care to get there by 6. Race home, get the girls fed, work on homework (yes, homework for my 3 year old), have story time, clean up from dinner.

Just as I am heading upstairs with them to start the bedtime routine, the hubby comes home and wants to talk. Not that I don't want to talk to him, it's just that it's now nearly 8p.m. and time to get them in bed. I'll stop here and just say that I know how you feel.

But I think we all have to try to appreciate as best we can what we have. I envy stay at home moms who can teach and raise their own children rather than doing what I do which is ship them off to virtual strangers to raise my children. All that money saved on day care/preschool! And if you don't feel like getting dressed one day, you don't have to. If you don't want to do your hair, then don't.

I envy you all!!

Oh honey I can totally relate. I got married young (am now going through a divorce) and my soon to be ex was just awful about making me feel as if I wasn't contributing to the household expenses. It sounds as if your husband is supportive (at least I hope he is!) It sounds as if you are having your own internal struggle with this. Have you considered a work from home opportunity? That way you can have the best of both worlds, being home for your kids and also making some cash on the side. It is very hard to find jobs that will pay enough to cover daycare. Being a mom in itself is a job, despite the lack of pay! ;) And you are right, paying attention to one thing something else will suffer. We moms always do that to ourselves - we want to give 100% to everything and then feel guilty when we can't. It's just how we are wired. I share your feelings and currently am blessed to be able to work from home. I refuse to go back to what I call "cubicle land", because I have grown to love being home for my kids. I was in the corporate world outside the home for many years. As the kids get older your feelings may change, but until then do not let this get you down. Have you talked to your husband about your feelings? How does he feel? Hang in there! Venting is ok, but if your feelings continue you might want to consider talking to someone to help you get through this ...

Oh yes Mamas I really feel the same..Its bedtime in my house and here I am on the computer looking for some peace and quiet and possibly some sanity..not helping my husband put the kids to bed. What should be the sweetest part of the day I look upon as another dragged out chore! I am a SAHM of three all under five and its hard! I wish I could work too, but not worth the daycare $. Sometimes I clean, sometimes not, same with dinner, (tuna sandwiches tonight) laundry..oh God laundry!! I did shower..YES!! Just enough time to throw my hair back, grab a tank and shorts (no bra...a luxury reserved for another day) and pray no one knocks at the door! I know I am a good mom and so are all of you!! So may you find peace in having no peace at all!!

First of all M., you need to BREATHE. Take a deep breath and just calm down for a moment. You are not the first and you won't be the last mom to feel the way you are feeling. My son is 4.5 and my daughter is 3; I can't afford daycare for them so they only go when I'm in classes (struggling my way through college due to dropping out previously). Luckily, my son starts Kindergarten in the fall and my daughter will be going to head start ... both programs are free.

Here's a few things that I have found that work for me:
When we go to the park, before we get out of the car, I turn around, make them both look at me and tell them that they will stay where I tell them to play or we will go home. They each get two strikes. The first time I have to tell them to come back, they get to sit out and not play for two minutes, the second time, we go back to the car. If you're worried you'll have to chase after your three year old, put the 11 month old child in a stroller. One thing I've noticed if the kids don't want to come, is I start walking with one, turn partially back and say, "Nayomi and I are going home, bye." My son yells for me to wait and runs after us, and vice versa. It sounds cruel but it isn't, almost every parent says it at some point.

Also, check and see if there is a head start in your area; they can take a child as long as they will be three by December 1; but it'll be part time only until he's four.

Make sure you are consistent with your discipline; his time out should be 3 minutes (1 minute/year old) and if he cries, moves, talks, screams, the alarm (make sure you use an alarm) gets reset; his time out does NOT begin until he sits where he's told to sit quietly.

My son's behavior improved when I started having him feed the cat. Good luck!

Sure it's hard. And the hardest part is, kids don't come with an instructional manual. There is no where to look up what to do when something happens. Sure there are books and even other moms to give advice. But even that is not always right for your situation. So you do what you feel is right for each situation and hope you are right. And any mother (working or SAHM) that tells you it's not a hard job, is lying! Plain and simple! But somehow we get thru it. And someday your daughters and sons will have children and remember when they were little and they had the perfect mother and wonder how you did it!

Dear M. G.

You are expressing the sentiments of many women. What you are feeling is perfectly normal. I am going to bet that you are a closet perfectionist and pays attention to detail. You are probably structured and organized as well. If these categories don't fit you than you are probably overwhelmed with disorganization and an unstructured life that takes a life of its own. Despite the personality type, we all have a rose colored picture of mother hood. Thanks to June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver. It is difficult to work a full time job, managed the home full time, and take care of the children full time. When your children get older you will also become the taxi driver mom running from one activity to the next. Tutoring, sports, birthday parties, church and other community events. The bottom line is at some point in time, we have to realize that we are parents and make sacrifices according to our morals, values, and life styles. I decided that I would be instrumental in my children's growth and development as well as the shaping of their moral fiber. There are so many children who are being raised by nannies/babysitters/siblings and they rarely get to see their parents. There is a price that is paid for those moments lost. Many children grow away from their parents and establish their emotional relationships with their friends. Despite all of this the adult in you wants to talk to another adult from time to time and to get out with your peers instead of Barney, Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid, and Curious George. Our lives seemed so wrapped up in our children that it can make us feel that we have very little time for ourselves. This is a reality that sends a shock wave through our motherhood concepts. Don't beat yourself up. Take inventory. What do you really want to do at this point in time in your life? Do you want to be there on a full time basis for your children? Whatever you decide, you must carve out some time for yourself. Get your children and husband to respect your "me" time. Treat yourself and spend time with family members and friends if it meets your needs.

God Bless

It was very hard for me to become a stay at home mom. It took several years to get use to the fact I did not financially contribute to my home, and that what I did at home was actually important. When you are home, you rarely get the verbal appreciation of a "job well done," like you would at work, or the occasional "pat on the back." I have 3 children ages 20, 9 and 5. I worked full time until my 20 year old was 11, since then I have been a SAHM. Now I love it. I love the freedom to come and go as I please. I am definately not as organized as I used to be. If I spend the day out, yes, my house, laundry, sometimes dinner, suffers. I have begun to feel, that my well being as well as the children's is just as important. I need to be happy too. So if going for a bike ride, a trip to the store, lunch, the park, whatever, comes in the way of vaccumming or cleaning the bathroom, so be it. We are not perfect. I have found that many mother's that seem to "do it all" , stress just as much as we do. They try to keep it together all the time, but they have their moments too. Remember the old saying, the grass is never greener on the other side, and it is true. As your children get older, you will become friends with mother's in their classes, such as preschool etc. Get involved in the school associations, class mother, and volunteer at school, but I suggest staying out of the political side, clicks still exist at this age. By doing this your children will love that you are involved, and you will meet people and know what is going on in your school and community. I had a hard time with the age difference too. Running after one, and taking care of another. Once you have a friend or two to spend time with it gets easier keeping up with them all. I did not do much alone either, because it was too frustrating. I once went to a water park with friends, and to be honest it was tough. I spent the whole time in the kiddy pool with my daughter, while everyone else were on the waterslides. I also felt guilty because my friends had to look after my son the whole time, although I know they did not mind, and bad because I could not be with my son while he was having so much fun. You just have to resign to the fact, we can not do it all. Once you accept that, it gets easier. Be happy for your health and your family, and remember, as time goes on, children become more independent, and in some ways it gets easier. Oh, but at that point they start talking back, and begin to know everything! :-)
Hang in there. most mom's are right were you are, with love our kids and our life, but damn, it can be hard at times!

What you have said here is exactly how i've been feeling a good part of the time since I've been a mom. My oldest is 12 & her sister is 6. There are times that i really question "is this really it". My husband took offense to that when i mentioned it to him, but it can be very draining. I give u a lot of credit for letting it out - if i had at any point this week the cops would've been at my door for sure b/c u know someone would've blown the duct tape them & put them in the closet comment out of context!!!!
When i get really ready to boil over sometimes it helps for me to realize that even if i were working a great job where i got to get dressed up in nice clothes (wow, what are they) i would be obsessing over what whoever it is that was watching my girls was doing so i truly don't even think i'd enjoy that! My husband has had 2 and even 3 jobs just to keep up afloat & yes i do feel guilty, but we are in it together. Maybe the best advice i can give u is to give urself a pat on the back & realize that u r doing the best u can right now. My youngest will be in school a full-day next year so i do have something lined up for then, but then at that time the worries will be what do i do when one of them are sick, or if there's a snow day - i think that motherhood involves a lot of worrying if we allow it, but somewhere in between we need to realize that we are doing what we can w/what we are given. Good luck!

I just got this message and you're not alone and felt that way and felt that needed time for myself. So, I got to MOMs group which finished for the summer and will resume in September but I do playdates, there is one library I heard that they have different things going on in East Greenbush Library for children so I will do that and I am involved in LEAH because I homeschool and I got e-mails that there are free movies out there and fun activities going on and free bowling, two free bowlings for children and I also do Pampered Chef because its gives me time to being with other adults and get income and still be home to do the business. I tell my husband dates I do cooking shows and I tell him days I need the vehicle because we only have one van. So we work it out for me to have time for myself. We all need that and I kind of felt like that I didn't contribute financially and wanted to because I wanted to buy things for my husband for his birthday or father's day and it was his money I was using but then I realized after he talked with me on that topic and made it clear that yes he works to get paid but it's ours. We are "one" but I still understand where you're coming from and understand the need for balance and etc. Let me know if you ever want to talk and I don't know where you live, but check playdates and etc. for things for you to get to talk to other mothers and your children will play and they need to be taught to listen and your child may be strong willed but you have to be stronger willed ;) Have a great day and weekend and I will be praying or you and your family.

I have a home daycare and I must say that I feel the same way!!!! It is had to be a mom. We can not compare ourselfs to our mothers. Times were so different then. I'm sure that you are doing a wonderful job! You should NOT feel guilty about getting time for yourself. You need a break. Raising kids on your own is very hard work!!!! Just because you do not bring in the money doesn't mean that you don't deserve to be sane. :) Believe me your kids need a break from you too. Take a deep breath and believe in yourself you are a wonderful person and a wonderful mom!!!! :)

M.,
Instead of feeling guilty, you should feel blessed. Being a good mom, which it sounds like you are, is hard work. You take good care of your children which is first priority, love your husband, and keep the house reasonably neat, clean and safe.Thats a lot!! I'm glad you go to the gym, you need to take care of you too. When my kids were little I went to a group called MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) The kids go to supervised play groups and the moms go into groups to talk about how they can be better moms and they did crafts and drank coffee,etc. You should ask around, check the papers, schools or churches to see if something like this is near you.Money is probably tight but you still need a date with your husband now and then at least once a month away from the kids. ( and dont talk about the kids at that time). Try to enjoy this time, believe me they grow so fast. Take lots of pictures! You have been blessed with a great hard-working husband and two beautiful children. Accept and enjoy this blessing while they are little.
From a SAHM of six,(youngest is 5 now, can't believe it!)
S.

Yeah, I could have written practically have written you post a lot of days. My kids are 4 and 17 months. Getting out, even just to the park or grocery store, helps a lot. I was given the advice by an older parent to get out every day with little kids and when I try and do that I feel in a better mood and the kids are less crabby.

BTW my older child is a boy and full of energy. I had a leash for him as a younger toddler. Between the ages of 2.5 and 3 he learned that if he wanted more freedom he had to stay with me or be on the leash or in the stroller. I was pregnant at the time and spent the whole 9 months teaching him this lesson to save my sanity later (he learned this but the potty training didn't take until later).

M.,
Why don't you find another SAHM who feels the same way and work out a way to swap child care while you volunteer for a local non-profit? There are so many organizations in need of assistance and it would be a great way for you to get some "me" time with other adults! You could volunteer at a library, museum, hospital, homeless shelter, environmental center etc. The possibilities are endless!! Do something that you really love and who knows, it may lead you in a different direction when you are able to start working agian. You also will have something to put on your resume (although as someone who hires people, I can say that when I see a resume with SAHM listed, it says "totally competent & can do anything" to me!!) and have references to boot.

I work full time but juggle my schedule so my little one is only in daycare 3 days per week. Sometimes I think that I would love to be a SAHM and on other days I am glad that I am not. I don't think there is any easy answer or perfect solution. Just do your best and vent when you need to. You are not alone!! Kudos to you for all the hard work that you do and the important tasks you accomplish every day :)

Hi! I know you've gotten some feedback, but I wanted to put in my two cents by telling you that it literally took me 2 years to really embrace being a SAHM. Now, it definitely doesn't have to take that long, but with me, I wasn't expecting motherhood, it was a surprise, and then when my first child was 6 months old, I found out I was pregnant with my second. Before I became a mom, I was head bartender at a huge nightclub, and had quite the social life. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, and I really struggled with dealing with the frustrations of having two babies, 15 months apart. It was hard also because I wasn't making any money for the home, so therefore I didn't feel comfortable with spending any. I had always been extremely independent, had my own apartment for years before I met my husband. Then, all of a sudden, I wasn't working, wasn't making my own money, and was completely reliant on another person. It made me feel very unimportant, on top of the fact that my husband was working 12 hour days and I was alone with 2 babies from the time they woke up until right before their bedtime when my husband got home. I had gone from having literally hundreds of people that came into the bar every night I worked to see me, and having my phone ring all the time with invites to parties, to having NO calls because my "friends" assumed that I was busy with the babies. First hard lesson for me was that all those "friends" were just bar buddies, even though we'd been hanging out for years. Second hard lesson was that I was completely isolated. It wasn't worth all the work and stress to just pack up and go places because my kids were so young and so close in age. Even just a trip to the grocery store was a massive amount of stress, since I had to push one cart and pull the other. My mom lived about 15 minutes away, but by the end of the day when she got home from work, I was usually so exhausted from taking care of the kids, that I didn't have the motivation to pack them up and go for a visit.

I ended up going into, looking back, a minor depression. I felt alone, stressed out, and kinda like a loser because I didn't work and I was so used to working. I'd been working since I turned 15, and at the time I was 26. The couple friends who did keep in touch with me, I found myself not answering the phone and also making up excuses why they couldn't stop by because honestly, I felt like "what the heck do I have to talk about? My life is all about babies" I felt like I was boring, and not myself anymore.

What helped me turn my life around was I joined a play group and met some other moms. It was weird at first, because I had always hung out with really fun, partying type girls, and all of a sudden, I was hanging out with moms who didn't really have anything going on besides motherhood, they didn't work or anything. But, after letting go of the stereotype of my friends that I had always been drawn to, and realizing that I really DID have a lot in common with those other mothers, I was able to really make some great friends. I know it sounds very snobbish, what I just explained, but seriously, I wasn't used to being surrounded by any friends other than my friends who liked to get all dressed up and go out for a good time. All of a sudden, my friends were ones who wore comfortable clothes, rarely wore makeup, and didn't go out except on special occassions or periodic girls' nights out, which ended by midnight. It was just a transition for me. Thank God for those ladies though, because they taught me without knowing it, that I was much more than a girl who was fun to get dressed up with and go out for some drinks. They taught me that I was still myself, just at a different stage of my life now. I started attending events, instead of making up excuses why I couldn't go. I went to story times at libraries with them, zoo days, and play dates. One of the girls would come over to my house with her kids a few times a week, even though for the first couple of weeks of meeting her, I was making excuses why it wasn't a good time to get together. At first, I thought it was too much of an effort to entertain people, too much trouble to get out of the house, but those girls really involved me and kept asking me to do things, and eventually, I actually ENJOYED being able to be at home and take my kids to special things with them. It was at that time that I realized that me being able to stay at home with the kids was about THEM, my children, not ME. It was about being able to raise them with the morals I wanted them to live by, and not having to rely on a babysitter to make sure they're being taught proper behavior. It was about me having the ability to keep the house clean, laundry done, dinner on the table every night, which in turn, I learned actually made my husband's life easier because he could go to work and not have to worry about any responsibilities waiting on him when he got home. All in all, it really made our family life more enjoyable and much more manageable with my being home to take care of the things around the house. Since I had made friends, the isolation was gone. I picked up the phone whenever they called, and actually enjoyed talking to them and getting together, instead of feeling lazy or not answering the phone. Now, my kids are 6 and 7, and I am STILL a SAHM. I love it!! I love that I can pick my kids up from school, that I can volunteer in their classroom and have lunch with them at school sometimes. I love that I can help my husband with his company. I love that I have the time to do not only the inside work at home, but all the outside work too, so that my husband can enjoy relaxing weekends instead of having to mow the yard. I love that I can leisurely make dinner, instead of getting home from work and having my kids immediately ask what's for dinner, and not being able to sit and relax until I've made dinner, helped with homework, and given baths. It's just a very happy life being a SAHM, and although it is a HUGE transition, if you give yourself time, and try to shift your mind from how you feel now, to how you CAN feel about it, you'll feel the same way too!!!

I personally don't want to work and am a sahm by choice, and I still feel like that. I think we all do at some point, except the moms in denial or on really good happy pills :) Just kidding. Sort of.

I never feel like I am balancing well. And I lack motivation for housework. Ugh, I hate it, hate it, hate it. I am so lucky my husband is not nit-picky because I always joke that I am the worst housewife ever. But it isn't really a joke. But what I try to do is not feel guilty about my kid. Dirty laundry isn't a disaster, and it is easy for me to put off. I try to make sure my son is first. That is my priority. But I make myself a priority sometimes too. And I don't feel guilty about it. I get to go out with girlfriends once every week or two, and no one suffers because I am not here. And I am a much happier mommy for it.

I joined MOMs Club and love it. It has made such a difference to be able to interact with other adults. My mom doesn't live with me, but does live close. For a while she was my only friend. I love her dearly, but that just wasn't enough! You should see if there is some kind of moms group in your area.

I am sure it is difficult watching your husband work 2 jobs while you work none. My husband travels for work and is gone 75% of the time. If he quit that job we would both be working more than one job most likely. So that is both our sacrifice. I do feel bad for him too, but I know that this is the right decision for us, and we make it work. I contribute by being able to deal with that job and make it as easy on him as possible, aside from the whole raising the kiddo thing. Don't underestimate your worth. No, it is not a career, but it still deserves respect.

And finally, I've pretty much given up on those superimposed ideas of what I should accomplish. I don't measure up to that, and I am much happier just admitting it. :) Oh, and I can also admit that I hate the park. I think it is torture for parents, almost up there with Chuck E Cheese. At least for me it is torture. I don't do well in the sun and heat, and even though I only have one kid, he is still at that age where I have to follow him on all the equipment. I can't wait until we can go to the park and I can sit back and watch or just throw balls for him from the shade!

I wish I had some answers for you, but I feel the same way you do. Sometimes I feel like I am going to lose it. Sometimes I yell at my kids, and then feel guilty. Part of it is that they push my buttons, and part of it is just that I'm exhausted and grumpy. I can't catch up--I feel like everything suffers. Probably the worst is my self-esteem and sense of self. Sorry, I'm just venting. Just know that you are not alone. I look forward to reading the responses.

Not in a mean way...LOL...but in a I got ya way. I have been a stay at home mom for the last six years (also not by original choice). I tell my husband this is the most ungrateful, least paying, stressful job I have ever had!
I think the thing that really get's me through is my husband. He treats me like I have a job because I do! If he comes home and the house is a mess he doesn't ask me what did you do all day?? He helps with any and everything, laundry dishes ect. I have found I hate housework! It is the same thing day after day after day! I will take on other projects like painting or laying a floor and he will pick up the housework while I'm doing it. Or he'll make the kids do it, they are way more afraid of him than me...lol. I get a new look to the same old "four walls" and he has a much more relaxed wife. I come from a single hard working mother so it is a hard adjustment when the bills are due and there isn't enough money! But it is worth it in the end! My kids are older now 18-12 so the whole waiting on them night and day has slowed way down. You've got little one's so they aren't in sports or a ton of school activities. When they start doing all of this you will have plenty of friends "parent's of other kids". You aren't alone anytime you feel like this get on here and say so! I wish this site was available when my kids were little it would have been a huge help!! Enjoy the rest of your day!

Trust me, it's even harder when you do work outside the home, which I do. The money helps, but the house is a mess, there's never enough time for everything, and things are worse than usual lately b/c I'm pregnant and have a 4 1/2 yr old girl! :o) You obviously got it that you are not alone, but I would just like to add one thing:

www.manicmommies.com

This is both a website and a free podcast (search for "Manic Mommies" on iTunes) started by two moms in Boston for "moms trying to do it all...and then some!" and it has become an international phenomenon. They also organize the Manic Mommies Escape every year, which is an opportunity for moms to get away from it all for one weekend-no kids, no husbands-and celebrate ourselves! I went last year, it was in Napa Valley, CA, it was AWESOME. Check it out, join the group under the Big Tent (details on manicmommies.com on how to join) and vent away! :oD

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