48 answers

Sahm's: How Do You Get a Break?

I'd like to do a little poll to see how (or even if) SAHM's get a little break for themselves during the week when your husbands are at work.

I've been a SAHM for just less than a year after leaving a full time job. I have a 3 year old and an 11 month old. My husband doesn't believe in Mother's Day Out and my family lives out of state. I do all of the nighttime parenting (always have), in addition to caring for the kids all day, and trying to do all of the laundry and keep up with the house and bills. His idea of giving me a break is watching the kids while I get a shower that lasts more than 3 minutes, or he lets me run errands by myself for a couple of hours on the weekend sometimes.

I am grateful that I get to stay home to raise my kids. I hated working full time once I became a mom. BUT, I've been going non-stop for nearly a year. Every other SAHM I meet uses family or Mother's Day Out so they can clean or run errands more easily. My husband says they're spoiled. My mother says she raised 5 kids without any help. She said that she put us in play pens a lot. I don't do that and now I'm paying the price...getting burned out. How do you get a break?

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So What Happened?™

Wow! Thanks for all of the advie! I appreciate hearing about your experiences and learning from what you do. Becoming active in a Mom's club is a great idea; and I plan to do that. Sometimes, it's comforting to know that there are other moms out there in the same situation. You are all so kind to share your advise and experiences. I'm going to keep working on my husband to get him to appreciate how hard SAHM's work. :)Thanks again!

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I understand. I don't have any family here either, but they do try & come to visit. When my mom is here, she will babysit for us in order for us to have a date.

I don't do MDO, & I'm only sending my son to preschool next fall 2 days a week in order for him to get used to kindergarten.

It will get better. :)

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I feel ya: my son is almost 13 months old and I have no family here. Fortunately, I do have a very supportive husband, but he works 60 hour weeks and takes 2 classes at TCC so I still try to do the bulk of the parenting b/c he needs to study. If he comes home in time, I fix his tea and my son's dinner while my husband takes off his shoes and winds down a little. Then he does the last feeding of the evening (it's an easy way to bond with his son)and spends about 30 minutes feeding, talking, and loving on him. (I've found if I make it as easy/smooth as possible, my husband will be more likely to do it).
Finding/making time for yourself is really important and just as difficult though. After 13 months, this is what I've come up with so far: My son is very easy to put to sleep: we have a routine that we do every time and he just goes to sleep. The little boy I babysit during the week is a lot harder to put down so I put mine down first in his room, then I sit with the other boy and talk/sing and rub his back til he goes to sleep. As soon as you get both kids used to sleeping at the same time (it takes work to set the routine for them but is SO worth it) life can be a lot easier, for at least 45 minutes! However long they sleep, that's free time for you to do something you need for yourself. My guys take 2 naps/day. Sometimes I just lay down and rest during part of their nap too!
Once a week I go to a lifegroup (basically, a Bible study/social outing) at Gateway church. The church provides free childcare for the lifegroups and we have a Bible study at someone's house, then go to lunch together, then pick my son up afterwards. It's amazing how much something as simple as uplifting conversation and a lunch with other adults can really pick you up! That, and every other day I go to my local fitness center and work out there. They provide childcare for $10/month so that's 1 hour every other day that I get to do something physical for myself, which not only makes my body feel good (I've noticed that doing strength training has worked out all the knots in my back! I'm less tense! I have more energy! I'm sleeping better!) but it also helps me emotionally and after doing strength training, I'm on the exercise bike or treadmill with a book. When that hour is over, it's time for everyone to go home and eat breakfast, then take a nap. That first children's nap obviously involves a shower on those days...
It kinda takes a lot of planning and preparing until you finally just get into the groove and have a routine that works for you. It also takes some imagination. Sometimes when I (or the boys) are feeling gripey or stifled, we go out in a double stroller (I bought one on Craigslist for $40!) and we go for a walk. Getting outdoors and the little ones enjoying the scenery and me enjoying their silence or cooing is a big break for me. Good luck!

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Before I share what we do, let me say that 1) I was about a year into being a stay at home mom when I "hit a wall" and became burnt out by the whole thing, and 2) there are always good days and bad days. Just because we do MDO, or because I can get away to Starbucks once in a while doesn't mean I'm living a blissfull existence as a stay at home mom. It's still hard for me and I entertain thoughts of returning to full time work about once every 3 or 4 months :)!!

We didn't do MDO/preschool until this year (my daughter is 4). However, I REALLY wanted to do it last year and my husband also didn't feel like it was a good idea (after all, he said, I'm staying home to be with them, not farm them out, right?). I would still try to make a case for MDO, as long as you can afford it.
It's too late to get a spot for this school year, but maybe your husband will come around if you find a one day a week program next year? Also, I put aside money last year that would cover most of this year's MDO tuition, so that my hubby couldn't use finances as a reason for not doing it. Also, he realized I was losing my mind being a SAHM and agreed that MDO/pre-K would be a good prep for kindergarten.

Another thought might be to work out a swap with a girlfriend. Maybe you just watch each other's kids once a week so you can grocery shop in peace. Also, you should make friends with neighborhood teenagers and get a handful of babysitters you can turn to.

I also take at least one night a week for "girlfriend time" and go to Starbucks or somewhere after the kids are in bed.

Another great thing I've found is a local bible study group. It's called Bible Study Fellowship. It's non-denominational and they have a FABULOUS children's program. I get to spend time with women, my two yr old gets to spend time in a structured environment with kids his age. And it's FREE. And, the bible study is very in depth. I'm learning so much!

And, last but not least, you and your husband might think about reading the book "His Needs, Her Needs" together. You simply can't sustain your marriage if you feel oppressed, put upon, and in general like your needs are not met. There are some great tools in the book to help begin discussions with your husband and work out some compromises. One thing that I learned from the book was that a lot of times we spend a lot of effort trying to meet needs that aren't even real "needs." For example, I was knocking myself out to have dinner on the table when my husband came home from work and to make sure the house was picked up before he walked through the door. In reality, he wouldn't notice if a tornado had hit the house, and he wasn't even hungry right at 5:00, but rather would prefer dinner around 6:00 or so. What was more important to him was that he came home to a peaceful home. So, not only was I meeting a need that didn't exist, but I was creating the OPPOSITE of what he really wanted -- because I was busy picking up and cooking, the kids were left begging for my attention and would be whiny and cranky when he got home.
I think this book will provide a format to help your husband understand that wanting a break from the kids doesn't mean that you're shirking on motherhood. It just means you need a break. And it doesn't matter what your mama or his mama did. You're not them.
From his point of view he can't understand that because his day is kid-free from morning til night. He doesn't have a concept of the life-sucking nature of small children.

So, I'd suggest finding out what each others needs are, rank them from highest to lowest importance, discuss what things will have to "give" a little (like vacuum less often, get a sitter more often...) then focus your energies where it counts.

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Hi, B.B.,

I'm actually a single mother and have worked 20-35 hours/week since my son was 7 weeks old. (He's 20 mos. now.) I have tried to work during his sleep, not wanting to miss any time with him. As he has gotten older, I've begun to use our local YMCA, which gives 2 hours of free drop-in childcare/day to family members (as long as I stay in the building). Until recently, I've used that to work on my laptop. However, I've recently been able to cut back on that job and have just started to use that time for a little working out and some other work.

All of this is to say that I can sympathize with your burn-out and the need you're feeling for some time to yourself. It's a human need - nothing spoiled about it. If you were resenting your children because they interrupted your weekly personal training, massages, getting your nails done and lunch with your agent, I'd say you were spoiled. What you're talking about is reasonable desire for nurturing, rest and the ability to get some work done.

There are a number of issues in your request, and one that pops out at me is that your husband and mother are pretty harsh in their assessment of what you should be doing. I would suggest not internalizing their harshness nor making it the standard by which you judge what you want and need. If possible, get some support from other moms (like here!), a support group, or a therapist who can help you work with that. I didn't think I had the time or money for therapy myself, but it has been an invaluable place for me t get feedback on some of the same issues. Also, moms who pretend that it's an easy job or one I should just "put up with" because they do or their mothers did - well, I don't make them my best friends. Life is difficult enough without other people telling me I should be doing it differently.

I have written a number of essays on my own mothering experience that were published on www.divinecaroline.com, search by L. Freeman. I hope, if you have the opportunity to read them, you find them helpful.

Peace and rest to you,


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I love how men won't do the job more than a couple hours at a time- yet we are "spoiled" when we need a break! My favorite is that "they LET us get a break for a few minutes, they HELP US out"- did it ever occur to them it is not LETTING us or HELPING us, that it is actually just as much their job as ours??!! Would it be possible to leave the kids with your husband for an entire day and don't come home until AFTER bedtime- just to give him a real little taste of your job? Getting a break now and then is NOT being spoiled- it is just keeping your sanity. Your husband gets a change of task and scenery when he goes to work and then comes home. You are doing your job 24/7- same thing, same little people, little to no adult interaction or deviation. It wears you down!

As for your mother- in our mother's days there were more SAHM's so in most neighborhoods you would have other women and children to socialize with and help you out if you needed a little break. Not so much the case anymore! Not only that- but I've noticed our mother's tend to exagerate their parenting a little bit! "My kids were potty trained at 18 months- we never gave our kids candy- my kids never talked back and didn't speak until spoken to at the table- blah,blah, blah!" I think they have "selective memories"!!!

Have you thought of joining a Mom's group and/or a babysitting coop? Playgroups are great for getting some adult conversation/ friendships and the kids have alot of fun playing so you get a bit of a break- change of scenery if nothing else! Babysitting coops are nice once you meet, know and trust the other women in it- you get a break and give breaks to other mom's! I don't have family here either and my mom's groups have saved my life and my sanity (maybe my kid's lives too a few times!!! Just kidding!) I'm not sure where you live, but here are two to check out (they are in elpaso):


You can google "mom's groups and your city name" and see what pops up- you may be surprised!

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It sounds like your husband has no idea how hard you work. Tell him. Be direct. I've learned that most men don't like to play guessing games. Schedule a little time for yourself as often as possible, maybe once a week. Join a moms group. Tell (don't ask) your husband when you'll be going out and that he is in charge when you are gone. He'll figure it out. I am fortunate that my husband and I are a team when it comes to parenting. If he didn't love his boys and want to spend time with them I would be miserable. I would not recommend letting it slide. You didn't get married & have children so that you could be a single parent!

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Wow!! I would sit your husband down and inform him that being a SAHM is a full time job and unlike him, you don't get earned vacation time! I am one who states how I feel, so I hope their is no offense when I say this. Your husband should not dictate what you would like to do on Mother's day! That day is for you and you only! It seems that he is the one that doesn't want to share the responsibilty when it comes time to tend the children so that the mother of his children and wife can take a break! I would put my foot down right away and tell him that it is not even up for discussion. I have always believed that a father and mother should share in parenting time when the both of you are at home! You work and he works! Do you know that if your husband had to hire someone to do all of the work that you do as a stay at home mom that he would be spending well over six digits a year! Stand your ground BB because if you don't, it will never change!!
Good Luck to you and I think you are amazing!!

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I am a SAHM of 3. Ages 5, 3, 1. I do not know how moms like you do it. My husband is so awesome about helping me and giving me a break. He gets how much I do and he know he could NOT do what I do. We still have our conflicts over it. But I really do feel for you. I attached a link about what a stay at home moms salary would be in the corporate world based on what she does. Your husband might find it interesting. I really hope you will be able to get him to understand for your sanity, your kids, and your marriage. I hope you can find friends who SAH like you. I have a group that gets the kids together to play during the day and then every other week we get together in the evening. It has been a life saver for me, even with my husband helping. I will be praying for you.

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Although it's temping I will not "dog" on your husband because I think by reading your request you already know who you are dealing with.
First let me say I'm sorry that you don't have some help/support from your family.
I too have a 3 year old and 1 year old and stay at home with both. I have no family to help me either other than my husband. I also am 43 years old and feel more and more like a women in her forties! :)
My husband helps me when He gets home by watching the boys while I cook. We trade duties after he gets home. After dinner I clean up and he cleans the boys from dinner and does the picking up. Then we take turns washing and doing book/bed time. It still gets hard when you feel like your trying to raise children around the clock and do the MANY duties that need to be done. Your the banker, housekeeper, cook, nanny etc... that needs to be done around the home to keep it up and running.
Sometimes a good cry helps me at the end of the day. And of course prayer time is a necessity! I could not love my children and husband if I did not know the Lord to help me through it all.
My advice? I don't really have much to offer. Sorry. I do think that you are very valid for being upset with your husband that does not offer much help to you and your kids.
It sounds like maybe you should seek good professional counsel regarding you relationship with your husband. Bitterness is a very ugly thing to have in a marriage and it's unforgiving on your children even with you best efforts of hiding it from them.
I'll be praying for you.

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Noggin and PBS Kids, seriously.

I send my kids to preschool one part-time, one full-time, and I still feel overwhelmed with my insane laundry pile and huge to do list.

Don't worry about your mom. Every one is different. Some people have five kids and make it look effortless. I think they are both well organized and easy-going. I am disorganized and tightly-wound so I was SO overwhelmed when my first child was born.

As your toddler gets older, the kids will entertain themselves and play together better giving you a little time to turn your attention away from them briefly to fold laundry or whatever. But between now and then, you have to tell your husband you are at your wits' end and that you need some help. Perhaps if he wheeled the kids around HEB on a Saturday afternoon he would understand. Also, try to do a date night once a month if you can leave the 11 month-old with a sitter. I often find that my husband and I have better communication about these issues when we are at a restaurant with out the kids. For some reason, if I'm we're in the house and I bring up the topic he doesn't get it. Maybe it's the wine, I don't know...

Hang in there. I also moved here from out of town with two young kids, knowing no one. It takes time, but you'll adjust. The kids will get easier, and hopefully your hubby will help out more eventually.

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Hi BB!

My heart goes out to you. I sure can relate to what you are going through on many levels. You can communicate with your husband, but you can't change him. So, focusing on a possible solution instead of cavetching about the problem, what do you do for youself?

I truly believe in the saying, "what you focus on, you give power to!" I also believe in the power of gratitude. Every night before I go to bed and every morning as soon as I wake up, I go through a list of all I am grateful for. Writing it down in a journal is even more powerful. It sets a tone for your day/life, and somehow the pieces that aren't quite fitting almost magically fall away as the puzzle comes together. I leave sticky notes around the house and on the dash of my car that say "breathe!" It only takes a second to close my eyes, really feel that breath and the peace that fills my body with it. I recenter myself and "fix" my attitude. I remember what I have to be grateful for instead of all the things out there that anger/scare/frustrate me. Yes it is challenging at times of extreme burnout to remember to breathe and turn to what you are grateful for. If you "lose it" as I often do, forgive yourself and move on. Don't succumb to mom guilt! The more consistent you are with doing gratitude lists, the more powerful they become because what you focus on you give power to. The more you focus on gratitude, the more you will have to be grateful for. Also, notice the seconds/minutes you have with your children where you get a break. I know it's literally seconds at times. Maybe the break is just that no one is crying. I believe the more you focus on those breaks the more you will get them. Sounds a bit crazy I know, but please try it. Notice when the good things happen and when someone you trust asks you if they can help you - say YES! Open yourself to receiving the good that is out there.

Your children are so blessed to have you as their mommy. I wish you and your family all the best!

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I got a good word of advice from a friend on this subject one time - stop asking permission! You shouldn't have to ask your husband to take responsibility for his kids. Just tell him you need to get something done and let him take responsibility for the kids-he may start to appreciate the effort if he has to care for them more often. My husband is supportive, but even he needed a wake up call. We came to the agreement that we both have jobs during the day, but on the nights and weekends we are PARENTS...together!

Also, I found a young girl in our neighborhood who could come over for a couple hours a week while I was home so I could just get some chores done. At $3/hr, it was well worth it!! And now she is old enough, and our kids are comfortable with her enough that she babysits for date nights too.

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Here's a new suggestion for you, go out at night after the kids are tucked into bed. I doubt your husband will complain too much about it, and you'll find that there are a few places that are open late enough so you can sit down and enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and relax a little (Books-a-Million is usually open pretty late and they have great coffee and teas). Tell him that if he isn't going to watch the kids, that is what you are going to do. And, if one of your kids happen to wake up in the middle of the night and he has to take care of them, maybe he'll start to realize how much of a 24/7 job mothering is. after moving to CO with my husband, he also had a hard time giving me free time, I went out at night occasionally, and after about 2x with the kids waking up at night sick or scared from the howling winds, he started to realize that I needed time away from the kids, and started to get me free time to myself during the day.
Another suggestion is to find a part-time job that are the shifts are when he's home, tell him you just want to get a little extra money, and you want to help. That way he can learn to appreciate you better, and also you will kinda get time for yourself. After I had the twins, and a daughter who was 1 yr old, I found my job as a place to talk to my friends, and a just somewhere where there were no kids around, just adults, I enjoyed it so much. I hope this helps.

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i'm sorry becky, but your husband needs a KICK IN THE PANTS!
A swift kick in the jewels on HIS DAY OFF, while you leave the house for a couple of hours just to regain some sanity..
We are not spoiled, not rich, not privlidged, just live in today's world..
Does he know how many obstacles are put in front of YOUNG children today in schools...HE is failing his children by not allowing them to learn outside the home!!
Socialization is SO important! Learning the BASICS is so important.. Let me ask you, now that your grown to you feel the consequences being put in 'a playpen alot'?

It doesn't have to be an EXPENSIVE full day 5 day a week mdo.
It can be a once a week event at a community center. A dance class, an art class, a gym class,,Or even joining a gym for yourself with daycare for your kids..

Please Please, join a MOMS GROUP in your area.....It doesn't cost a thing.. You will make great friends for yourself and your kids. You'll have something outside of the house to look forward to instead of "HIM" coming home and watching the kids while you perform the basic act of hygiene.

Raising 5 kids back then and raising any amount of kids TODAY is totally different!!! I'm sure your mom was a great mom, but your not her.

My life change for the better by joining a moms group.. It did wonders for my sanity and also socialized our only child.
We got to go to different places in dallas, meet new people, make lasting friendships, get out of the rut, and just LIVE!!!

If you are still unsure about what to do about being a sahm and want to make 2008 a better year for yourself and kids, email me and i'll happily get your moms group search rolling.

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First of all, I got furious reading that your husband thinks you're spoiled if you want a break. It seems clear you see this as unreasonable too. I hear you saying he "lets you" run errands without the kids. Is it with your consent that he is the boss of the house? If so, then you must work within that system. But here's the real crux: he goes to his job for 8 (or whatever) hours and comes home. You are working 24 hours a day. It is not possible for any person to work relentlessly without mental and physical rest. Even when you are not actively parenting or doing other duties, it sounds like you are "on call" and therefore cannot get relief. Does your husband really expect you to work more hours than a sweat shop worker in the third world? What does he do in the house? Yard work, etc.? Does he do things for fun/relaxation? Surf the web, read, watch TV, etc?

Play pens can be used, certainly, and I encourage you to bite the bullet and get the kids used to spending a little time in one, with books and toys that maybe are "special", ones that could be reserved for use in the pen. They're called play "yards" now so we don't feel guilty using them!

No matter how you slice it, having two kids that young and close to each other in age is a lot of mom time but if you don't get nurtured yourself you run the risk of depression, illness, angry outbursts at kids and husband, if not risk of abusing them, and God knows what else.

Here's a contrast for you: my husband is a surgeon and works like a demon all week, running from patient to patient all day, as well as running the business side of the practice, which is tremendously busy, managing our complicated family finances, and overseeing the building of a new house for us AND then when he comes home he watches our 14 month old, feeds her dinner often, plays with her, changes her diaper. Sometimes I come home from running errands and he's done the dishes or laundry. I, a SAHM, can leave her so I can go to the gym, run errands, get a massage or go shopping at a leisurely pace. Dad makes all the money and I do almost all the housework and most of the child care and that seems pretty fair. Neither of us is perfect, the house is not perfectly run, but our baby gets more than enough attention and love. I guess the point is we have to figure out ways to run our lives and that has to be done together. What has to be done? What do we want to do? What are we able to sacrifice to achieve both those ends? And one more point: your husband is the children's other parent, not just you.

Well, I could go on and on and on but I won't! I hope you're able to work out a more equable arrangement with your family so you get some time out. The kids need to see that you have a life too and are not just a servant to others' needs.


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HI Becky!I'm a stay at home mom as well. My husband works a lot and doesnt get home until about 7:30. My son will be 18 mos old this month AND I'm 7 mos pregnant. My family lives 4 hrs away, so its not like they can just come on over at a moments notice or anything. Like yours, my husband was against MDO as he felt that since I don't "work", spending money on an MDO would be frivolous. Well, being a first time young Mom who is surrounded by single friends without children, I was beginning to become stir crazy. I decided I needed a break. And since explaining this tomy husband was getting me nowhere, I tried a different tactic. I explained to him that I didn't want our child growing up to be a "sissy" or a "mama's boy" so I felt we needed to put him in an environment a few times a week where he could work on his social skills, independence,and of course become exposed to germs to strengthen his immune system. This tactic worked wonders on my hubby's male ego and now I take my son to an in home daycare twice a week. The break is WONDERFUL and a happy Mom has a happy child. Your child can sense your tension and frustration and in turn it makes them cranky and whiny.
Now, your husband may or may not go for this. If not, perhaps you can befriend another closeby Mom who may watch your children for you for a few hrs in exchange for you doing the same for her on occassion? Maybe make another post and title it "baby swap"??
Maybe a few moms can form a group called baby swap and everyone rotate "partners" for the week and watch each other's children? It would be free and helpful to everyone involved. :)

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BB, you are an awesome mom! But your sanity and well being is SO important. You can not raise children if you're exhausted or depressed. Take care of yourself first. What do they say when you're on an airplane? ...put your oxygen mask on first THEN assist someone with theirs. That is so the case for mothers. You have to make sure you're ok first, only then are you capable of taking care of someone else. And do me a favor- slap that husband of yours. If I'm reading your message correctly, I just want to say, who the heck is he talking to like that?! But more importantly, why are you letting him? Don't ask him for permission...I read where you say "he lets me". What's up with that?! Raising children is a partnership. Don't do his laundry- we'll see how long it takes for him to appreciate you?! I'm sure he takes for granted that his luandry is done and folded and put away just where he can find it. That's nice of you to do that for him. What about him doing something nice for you?!!? So what if he works outside of the home- does he go out for lunch during the day? He gets a break from his job, even if it's only 15 minutes. Does he commute everyday? Wouldn't you like to sit alone in a car or on the train reading the papaer or listening to music- even if it's only for 15 minutes?! When he comes home, you have dinner ready? Sit down, eat as a family, and then clear the table- leave the dishes, they're not going anywhere. Kiss your kids, grab your purse and say- "oh, you need anything while I'm out? I'll be back in a while." Don't feel guilty- just go. You know what? your kids will be fine- thye're with their father. If he makes a mistake, or if he doesn't make them brush their teeth before bed- guess what? They'll survive!! Good luck!

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I see a lot of Mom's chiming in on this topic including me! I am not a stay at home mom, I work full time in a demanding job and have a 7 and 4-year old. However, the expectation of me from my husband is all that a stay at home mom would do. I agree with the Mom that said stop asking permission. You are reducing your credibility and intelligence when you do this. Tell him what you plan on doing and do it. Just make sure you have everything in order so there is no reason for him to have a problem.

Over the Summer my best friend and maid of honor from college who I had not seen in 6 years asked me to go to Puerto Rico with her. She said all accomodations would be taken care of all I had to do was get there. She was worried about me and felt I need a break. I booked the flights and asked my husband for his blessing. Before I told him who I was going with, his response was "what's his name." We laughed but it shows he trusts and respects me and my time. It also helped that I was able to pay for the trip on my own - I did not have to ask him for anything.

Rise up and remember you were an intelligent woman before you became a Mom. Don't let anyone take that from you. Part-time job as suggested may not be a bad idea. Your 3-year old is old enough to be in a structured setting/daycare where he can develop those much needed social skills. All the advice is not easy but you will reap the benefits in the end. Take care of YOU.

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Everyone is different....your mother may have raised 5 all by herself, but is sounds like YOU need a break or at least some help! Your husband may not believe in Mother's day out, but that does not mean you can't!!! I have stayed at home and didn't get a break until I started GIVING MYSELF ONE! Your husband needs a break from the office when he gets home, but he is also the other parent and should do some of the parenting! I am sorry that your husband cannot see how being the "Mommy" wears on you. Do you have any neighbors that you are friends w/that you can trade days w/....maybe one day a week you watch after her kids for an afternoon, and one day a week she helps you out.....I know how it is and I do feel for you, but you have to stand up to your husband and let him know that you are paying the price and it's not fair! Good luck!

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OMG BECKY, the same thing started with my husband he would come in and it would be his time because he works, and I do nothing. Well after a good crying with him and just leaving them with him for almost a 12 hour period, he is way more understanding. My MIL tells me well you know I watched 4 kids at one time all the same age, and I was fine I cooked and cleaned and did everything because thats what a wife and mom does. Pfff I put her into place, I told her look this isn't back in the day, relationships are way different its 50/50. I look at my grandparents they were married 67 years, and she was a SAHM from the age of 17, with 9 kids, I asked her grandma how in the world did you do it. She said I couldn't have done it with out the wonderful, helpful, husband. Man I wish my relationship will last that long. Tell him look i will give you a couple hours of you time and you do the same for me. You are a person not a machine, it took me 3 years to figure that out. I know you also feel guilty cause when you try to leave the kids are all like I want mommy, but I tell them something fun they will do when I get back. Well hope that helps! Good luck

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Hello Becky boy you got some great responses. Well let me start off by saying that I have an at home preschool and I care for 4 or more children at a time. It's all about the schedule. You have to create a daily schedule, POST IT, and go over it with your 3 year old, and be consistant. It's going to take some planning but you can do it. In that schedule be sure to incorporate time for you and the children to spend together, and time for you to spend alone. Some quiet/naptime, outside time, etc. You can also schedule days that you normally run errands try to always make Tuesdays grocery shopping day or Fridays library day. The children just become acustomed to the schedule and then they know what to expect. While your washing dishes after breakfast bring out something for them to play with, finding old toys they forgot about will be good, just something different so they dont get bored or spend only 5 minutes with it. A schedule really works again you just have to be consistant and stick with it. Have your 3 year old help as well, laundry is great learning tool, she can sort them and in turn learn her colors, when your folding have her help. The 3 year olds I care for really like to match up colored socks, and fold washcloths. (let her practice by drawing lines on an old towel so she can see where the folds need to be, let her wash fruit or cut bread while you cook. Get creative involve the 3 3 yr old and make it fun and your day will go by so much faster.

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hey do what my mom did to my dad once,she went on strike she took care of us kids, but did not do anything for him not cooking for him or his laudry for 1 week. from then on she got mothers day and more help from him. i know this works i did it too. mom also got more vactions and her time for her self. just be sure to tell him you are on strike till he respects you more.

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Get them both on the same naptime schedule. If your 3 year old no longer naps, then institute "quiet time" when your 11 month old is sleeping so that you can lay down or just read a book by yourself. My children are 1 and 2 and we have a naptime for everyone. That way I can sit and do my bible study, read a book or take a nap myself. Also, if you need more help from your husband, you and he need to communicate better. When he is with the children it is not babysitting, he is their father after all. Maybe agree on a "night" for each of you to go out (or stay in) alone.

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First of all, you do work...it is 24/7...a very rewarding job, but exhausting and the pay stinks! I often threaten my husband that I will go back to work, because quite honestly he has it pretty darn good...I take care of the kids, the house, the errands and most of the time I am up until midnight getting things done without stopping. I have explained to him on MANY occasions when I feel unappreciated that if I go back to work, we will be sharing ALL of the responsibilities. The best thing I ever did to HELP my husband understand what it is like with the kids all day AND all night was to go out of town for three days. What an eye opener! At the time we only had one child who was 2 at the time, but I think he really appreciated what I do more after that. I left for about 3 hours last weekend and he had both kids and I definitely think he realizes what a challenge it is. Sometimes our husband's need a reminder that what we do is WORK! I do have my oldest in MDO two days a week and it is a blessing! Tell him that it will save you money on your future therapy bills if you do it! And as far as your mom is concerned - they put us in play pens or sent us outside to play by ourselves because back then it was safe to do that. Sounds to me like you need an excuse to stay overnight out of town for something - let him wlak a mile in your shoes.

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Hi B.B., I am a SAHM as well and I know that it's hard to not feel competely drained at the end of the day. My husband is gone a good deal of the time and both of our family's live too far away to realy on them to babysit. As a suggestion have you made friends with another mommy who you can trust and confide in? If so see if she would be willing to work out a scedule with you where you trade off a morning or afternoon a week watching one another's kids. I'm sure that your friend could use some time off to recharge as well. If you do not have such a friend I would start looking for one. Story time at the Library, or a church Sunday school, or pre school or mommy at the park that you meet might be a good place to find a good friend that you could get to know. It could take a while before you could feel confident to trust her with your child, but could also be a huge blessing in the end. all the best to you. K.

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I agree with April (D), your hubby needs a reality check! And, like she also said, who cares if your mom did it without help?!! As your kids start getting older, they do need an MDO or preschool to get ready for kindergarden...kinder isn't what it used to be and the kids are expected to be ready.

In order to stay sane, you have to find time for yourself! Sometimes a quick trip to the store alone is enough, sometimes you need a lot more than that! And, you need adult interaction! Call up some old friends,or some new mommy friends and get yourself a Mom's Night Out! You need it and you deserve it!

Obviously, your hubby has no idea what you do in a day! I would make plans to be away while both kids are awake, need lunch and will have to be put down for a nap. Let him get a SMALL taste of what you do. I'll bet the house isn't clean when you get home!

I have been very fortunate in getting help from my hubby when I need it, and he has always pitched in around the house...even before kids. But, a couple years ago I threw out my back and was in bed for 5 days...I could barely get up to use the bathroom, and I didn't come out of our room except to go to the Dr. once. He was completely on his own with the kids from morning till night for 5 days. He said the first day was great, couldn't uderstand what I ever complained about. Second day, a little rough, hard to find time for everything, plus he couldn't watch TV or do anything HE wanted to do. By the third day, there was more to do around the house and the laundry was backing up, plus it wasn't all fun and games with the kids anymore, etc., etc. By the end of the 5th day, he couldn't wait to go back to work so he could get a break! He said, OMG!! I don't know how you do it! He told me that he always new my job (as a mom) was hard, but he didn't fully understand how draining it was and how little time there is for you or when you are able to get everything done. And, he didn't even pay the bills or do the grocery shopping or a deep cleaning of the house, or more than one load of laundry, after I said I wasn't up to doing it!

I go out regularly for a Mom's Night Out, plus sometimes when he's off I go for coffee and shopping (even if it is grocery shopping! LOL!). I also have a home-based business that gets me out of the house during the evenings. And, we are part of a playgroup, which gets us all out of the house and gets me some adult interaction! Plus, my 4 y/o is in preschool a couple days a week. My 2 y/o will be going next year (at 3) becuase the 2's class was full this year.

You need to find a way for your hubby to understand all that you go through on a daily basis.

And, you need to get out for some ME time or time with friends, or both. And, DON'T feel guilty for it, either!

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first off, if you are bothered by your husband's lack of help, you need to communicate that to him and find a comprimise. maybe you should go to couple's counseling so maybe he will listen? anyway, about getting a break, i can totally relate. my hubby is in the army and has been gone 2 months now and i've literally been away from my kids 2 times. once when my mom was here for a long weekend and once when a friend babysat for free for a few hours. we've had an extremely tight budget lately or else i would have paid someone at least once a week to watch my kids. whether it's so i can run errands, take a nap, or just kick back and watch a movie. that's what i plan to do after xmas when we have money again =)
the only way i stay sane now is that i stay up at least 2 hours after my kids are both asleep and either do housework or do something just for me. usually a mix of both. i also take naps when my kids both take naps whenever i can. it helps to get me through the rest of the day with them.
i think the other important thing is to just get out of the house several times a week. whether or not you have money, just go walking around a store or take the kids to the park or something. and of course, get together with other SAHMs. it helps to be able to share the frustrations and joys of motherhood who knows exactly what you're talking about!
well i hope you and your husband can make some changes together because a stressed mom isn't the best thing you can give your kids. you need to take care of yourself too

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We do MDO, but I also work there so the kids get to go for free. We also belong to an active mom's group that always has activities, playdates, and things going on. We have zoo, arboretum, and museum memberships, so we can go just in the morning, see a few things and go home exhausted and ready for a nap. Women's Bible study at our church is offered in the daytime with free childcare, or at night without childcare so leave the kids with Dad. I also have set days for laundry and errands.

One of the other things I do is have a night out for myself every other week. I usually get together with my mom to go shopping, out to eat, or just go to her house and work on crafts. You could take a class at one of the community colleges, Michaels craft store has crafting classes, find a book club, or something where you can be with other adults. When I leave the kids with Dad on those days, I just give them all a big kiss and leave. Dad is responsible for dinner, baths, and bedtime routines. I don't feel guilty one bit, because Dad is getting so much more of a real relationship with his kids when he is in charge. It is always interesting to see what some of the things they have done while I was gone. They play Barbies together, board games, make art projects, or go to the park and play. It really has been wonderful for them to be able to have a close relationship, and the only way to get it is to spend time together.

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I didn't read all the responses, but I didn't see anything in the responses I did read that include what I thought of when I read your request. I guess it's old news now, but maybe I can still give you a suggestion that will help.

I took a class called "Love and Logic". It's a parenting class, but some of the principles can work with your spouse, too. My husband is really very helpfull with our kids and around the house. We have 3 kids(10, 4, & 18mo.). My Hubby helps a lot, but has still been pleasantly surprised when I give him a choice of how to help me. For example, if I am in the middle of making a bed and 18mo old needs a diaper change I will ask him, "would you like to change a diaper or finish making the bed while I change the diaper?" He says, "you mean, I get a choice?!" It was great! Of course, I changed the diaper, but at least the other job got done, too. It works great with kids, too. My favorite quote I got from "Love and Logic" is:"You have two choices, either of which will make me deleriously happy!" Whenever you would like your husband to help, just say you could use some help and give him a choice of what he would prefer to do (i.e. read the kids a bedtime story or clean up from dinner, stir the soup or set the table, hold the baby or make dinner, fold the laundry or put the kids to bed, feed the baby or play with the 3yr old, etc). I think men like it when we tell them what we want them to do. I also think giving them choices allows them to make decisions and not feel like they are being ordered around. Then be VERY grateful for anything/everything they do!

I think some of the women in this group are a little harsh. My husband doesn't always appreciate what I do, either, but he does help a lot. We had a big argument one time because one of my girlfriends (still single) invited me for a girls night out and my husband didn't think I should need one, "it's not like you work". OK, I was beyond LIVID! I stormed out of the house, no coat (it was pretty cold) and I just went for a walk. When I got back we had it out and I explained to him that even if I'm not the greatest house keeper, at least he gets time without a kid attached to his hip. It's not easy having to do EVERYTHING with a kid attached to you. Even when he is home I typically take at least one kid with me. He has been so much better. When possible he keeps the kids so I can go to the fitness center and have some alone time and to be honest, since he started offering to keep the kids so I can go alone, I don't mind taking them so much. It's just nice to know I don't HAVE to. The other thing I have done that has made him more willing to keep the kids while I go off alone is I have given HIM some "me time". He recently picked up Mountain Biking and has a few friends from church who like to Bike, too. I have encouraged him to go and have watched the kids of one of the other guys (Stay-at-home-Dad) so they can go together. Now I have TWO men who "owe" me. It's kind of nice. They definitely show their gratitude. The other guy doesn't even have to do anything for me, he is just always thanking me and asking what he can do to repay me. It just feels good to be appreciated.

So, I guess in a nutshell, my advice is:
1-Ask your husband to help you and give him choices for how to help (choices are the key)
2-Be VERY grateful for EVERYTHING he does (around the house and at work all day)
3-Give him some time for himself to do what he likes to do and then let him know you have something planned and let him repay the favor.

If you think he would be uncomfortable having the kids for a day, or the evening, ask, "would you like to keep the kids while I go out or would you like me to hire a babysitter?"
Good luck! I would love to hear if these tips work for you.

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Hi BB, I have been a stay at home mom for 9 1/2 years now. It has been very rewarding and I can't emagine working out of the house anymore. When my oldest was little over a year I joined a playgroup. It is where Mom's get together with their children once a week, so the Mom's can talk and give each other advice and the children can play with each other. That was the best thing I did! Now all our children are in school, but we still get together for a "Mommy Playgroup" once a month and go out for breakfast. During the summer we still get togehter with our kids. The kids still love to see each other during the summer, since they all go to different elementary schools. Another choice is you can join a Mom's group, I know my church has one for Mom's with pre-school children, they did not start that until my youngest was already in school or I would have joined that one also. Now that my children are in school I joined the PTO/PTA. That gets me out of the house once a month at night, after the meeting a bunch of us girls go out for a drink just to relax befor we go home (you could go out for coffee too). That way you get a night out and stay informed about what is going on at school. I think most husbands think we don't do anything, so the best thing you could do for him is to make him watch the kids by himself more often, he will soon get it. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I have four kids, one in kindergarten. The other three are with me every day. We did do an MDO for a year, but had to drop it to save money. I'm sorry your husband is not more supportive of your needs. I think finding a playgroup where your kids can play with other kids and you can get to know some other moms would help a lot. As you develop friendships, you will find that you can exchange babysitting to do things like grocery shopping and haircuts and stuff. Also, if you can find a sitter, make time to go out with your husband to remind both of you what it is like to be married--not just parents. This might give you both an opportunity to talk about what is going on and how you are feeling with things in your life. Church may not be your thing, but if you do attend a church, look into what they offer for moms. My church (a Catholic one in Denton) does not offer a lot, but I have still found some resources. I coordinate our playgroup, which has been a big help for my kids and me. Do you attend storytime at your library? That is another good way to meet other moms and again develop friendships. Unfortunately, it sounds like you will have to work at finding breaks more than some of us, but you can do it. I hope you are able to find some help soon!

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I am a SAHM also in the League City area. We have a Mom's Club here that I joined and have made some great friendships. I have found several moms that I click with and we are able to swap watching eachothers kiddos so that we can get a moment of sanity, or a pap smear-LOL! There are many different types of Moms clubs that you could join. Try googling Moms Clubs for your area and see what comes up. It has been a great help for me!

2 moms found this helpful

I'm curious to read responses to this question. It's a good one. I feel as though I am VERY MUCH in the same boat.

My one outlet is a daytime MOPS meeting on the second and fourth Friday of the month. I get 1 1/2 hours with other moms over brunch, while my 3-year-old is in childcare. I have a choice of bringing my 3 month old into the meeting with me or putting him in child care too. I can't go off-site and run errands like with a MDO program, but I get time with other adults. I know of a great group in Plano. The one I go to now is in Arlington. Both groups were about $35 a semester.

Anyway...getting to know some of the moms in this type of group could ultimately give you some contacts for play dates and babysitting contacts.

Mom's who get "a break" are not spoiled. PERIOD.

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Work on finding a mom's group that works for you. I've been part of a very small, but close, group of 5 moms that started out as a playgroup since my oldest was 1 1/2 years old. They have been my rock when things get difficult with a child or my husband. Start by enrolling your kid(s) in activities and try to start a friendship or two with the other moms. If that doesn't work, or you like a bigger group, look into your local MOPS group. A couple of my friends are part of that and they have activities for both the moms and the kids.

Good luck to you!!

P.S. I agree with what the other moms said about MDO. As your children get 3 to 4 years old they need the socialization and even the preparation for kindergarten. I know that our moms didn't send us to preschools, but it is different now. I hope that your husband understands that.

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Excuse me did you say "My husband doesn't believe in Mother's Day Out..." Did you tell him that you'd let him have an entire day to do what you do and expect him to get it all done? OH MY FREAKIN GAWD?! Did you tell him to jump in a lake? I'd have snapped my DH's head off so fast he'd have never known what hit him -- Moms that use it are spoiled? Spoiled? Hardly -- it's called helping my children be socialized... helping me not beat them to death and tell God they died on days when I'm ready to just snap from PMS? (ok, seriously, I wouldn't beat my children to death but you know what I mean -- when you're cleaning up one mess and they've already made 5 others). When he finds you hanging from your last shred of sanity... he'll be finding YOU a MDO. How selfish of him! How spoiled is HE?! I say... go on strike... don't DO housework, don't DO errands, do DO grocery shopping...and when he comes home from being around grown ups all day working and wants to know what you've done all day... just say... I decided NOT to do what I normally do... . Who CARES if your mom raised 5 kids on her own... MDO's and drop in playcares weren't as readily accessible then as they are now...

I say, go find one... or use a drop in playcare and get something done for YOURSELF and if he don't like it... good grief... tell him to mind his own business or you're going on STRIKE! Geez louise...

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Well, the 3 year old is old enough to go to "preschool" so technically it wouldn't be a MDO. If you can't afford to do anything like that, definitely join a "mommy" group of some sort.

Luckily, my kids are in school (3rd grade and Kindergarten) so I get a break while they are gone. But before that, they went to preschool and Pre-K.

You could get a break by...leaving the house the minute he walks in. You could even have dinner ready and the kids fed. Or leave the house after the kids are asleep. Walmart is open 24 hours, Target is open late, Barnes and Noble is open late also. I used to do that when the little one was a baby and all she did was nurse. Mama needed a break. I would just go and walk around the stores or go to the bookstore and read a book.

It sounds like you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with your hubby also. Let him know you are at wits end and that something needs to change. If he still doesn't see the light, maybe a little counseling may be in order.

P.S. I've learned not to tell my own mother what goes on, she has an old-fashioned way of thinking like your mother does.

Good luck and hope you get your break soon!

2 moms found this helpful

I understand. I don't have any family here either, but they do try & come to visit. When my mom is here, she will babysit for us in order for us to have a date.

I don't do MDO, & I'm only sending my son to preschool next fall 2 days a week in order for him to get used to kindergarten.

It will get better. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I have been a SAHM for about a year and a half. My husband works nights and sleeps during the day. So I have pretty much raised her on my own since she was born. I have had ONE girls night out and two times I have been able to go to see a movie during the day in the past year and a half. When I go to MY doctors apt's I have to take her with me, when I go shopping I have to take her with me. He rarely looks after her. He changes ONE diaper during the day and will look after her when I take a bath.

You are not alone! I do the cooking, the cleaning, the yard work, cleaning the garage, the laundry, feeding the baby, her baths, put her to bed and take care of her all day. My husbands contribution is he goes to work and brings home the paycheck.

I also care for a child during the week and out of the $120 that I make I only get $20 and that is IF she doesnt miss a day, if she does than I get nothing. I have to ask for money and he tells me there isnt any (a lie) or gives me greif over having to pay for toys or clothing for her.

I have made an agreement with my husband that if he gets a guys night out then I am entitled to a girls night out or alone time to myself as well! This seems to work out well. Also, I have him now watch the baby while I run errands before the foot ball games. Where he then can watch in peace...some times :-)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Fortunatly, my husband is really good about letting me get out in the evenings when I need to. Every Tuesday is 'knit night' I don't always make it, but the knitters are always there ;) And sometimes I just go to the bookstore, or the grocery store, and that is enough of a break (yes, the grocery store, an errand. depends on how bad a day it's been!)

We've never used MDO and even homeschool one of the boys, my kids (3 of the 4) are with me all day everyday, occasionally I do leave them with my sister if I have something I need or want to do. And the fourth is with me all day three days a week.

1 mom found this helpful

I can't believe the dads out there-how were they raised?? Parenting is a partnership. I would be super depressed if I was talking about my husband "letting" me do something-you are NOT in an equal relationship if that's the case. I don't care who stays at home-mom or dad (and I know about a dozen dads that stay home)-both of you play a key role and you are NOT less than him because he's earning the paycheck at the moment. I'm at home at the moment with our kids, and in the evenings on weekdays I run, do yoga or whatever-my spouse hangs out with the kids and puts them to bed. Sometimes I "help." On the weekends I take Saturday morning "off" to do errands or relax or whatever. He takes Sat. evening off. I put the kids to bed on weekend evenings. The rest of the time is family time. This seems equitable to both of us. Please-if you're not feeling like it's fair-it's not-renegotiate! If you need to work PT in order to have a more equitable balance in the family and get time "to yourself," do it.

1 mom found this helpful

Naptime is how I get my break! I just recently split from my husband and our twins are just now 4 months old. Put the baby down for plenty of nap time, tummy time, get a swing if you don't have one, a bouncy chair, whatever you have to do to keep your sanity. I'm the same way, my ex never used to let me do anything, if something needed to be picked up HE'D go get it, he'd come home late so he didn't have to help too much. Its frustrating. =( Sorry you have to go through this, it'll get easier, they'll start entertaining themselves. Definitely invest in a playpen so you know they're not going to hurt themselves while you take a full shower. Let them scream if you have to, that's the only way they'll learn to self-soothe anyway.

1 mom found this helpful

I used play pens too occasionally. there are times when you have to keep your child safe and they help with that. I also brought the kids to public play groups, where they got to play with other kids and I got to talk to other moms.
I think your husband needs to step up and help more. Try asking him how he would handle being on the job day and night with no break. Men don't realize how much work raising children is. Try extending your time out when he taking care of them a little each week. Hopefully he will learn that being with the kids can be fun for him and the relief you have will be good for both of you.

I go to the gym 5 days a week - free daycare and I get the opportunity to recharge.

I have found friends, other sahm's, we take turns watching the others child. For example one day i will go get nails done, do grocery shopping etc, and then another day that week my friend will bring me her child and she will do what she needs to do. I am in the same boat, minus 1 child. I was up until 1 1/2 years ago a full time employee and loved it. I also do not have any family near me and found it very crazy and honestly still do on occasion, my husband works long days (he is gone 14 hours a day) and I am the one who does everything morning..noon..and night. Without my friends i would go crazy. Try swapping kids once and awhile or having play dates, although you are still watching your child it makes it so much easier when you have others there to talk too, it makes the time go by too. Good Luck

i know you posted this a while ago but i just had to put in my 2 cents.... if i were in your shoes and my hubby said that to me i would be out the door...(and leave the kids there!!!) if i were you i would tell him you are taking a weekend off go stay at a friends house and let him see how "easy" it is. i have my 4 year old in a mothers day out program 2 days a week and its not just a break for me but it gives her a chance to interact with other children which is very important. i wouldn't want her getting to kindergarten and not knowing how to deal with other children her age... so you might throw that out to him. but shame on him for saying im spoiled b/c i let my kid out of the house to play with other kids and so i can catch my breath!! if you have any income of your own i would just go ahead and put the kiddos in!! good luck hun!!

I am a SAHM also and I figure when I get a break is when all of them are in school. Which will be this next fall. Will be bitter sweet for me. There are times I feel like the maid always cleaning up after everyone while they are doing what they like to do. Sometimes I am good with that and other times I am not. My husband works out of state 10 months out of the year, but in Nov, and Dec he is at home. I still do not get any relief. It is nuts. My husband does not see me up doing stuff all day cause he is either sleeping or watching the TV. Dr Phil said that a SAHM of 3 should earn well over 100,000.00 per year and that makes me feel better. Really does not bother me what my husband does or thinks I know I am doing a job that not everyone is cut out for and I am so grateful that I am one that is. Being a SAHM is a blessing not everyone can do and I take refuge in that. We don't get to see our hard work completed till they are 18 and all grown up. Work is never done. But just think the reward (we pray) will be a good one at that point in time.

Well, it seems like everyone is giving the same advice. It is so typical men think this, but every once and a while they surprise you. Start having him work with the kids, (tell him that it's part of being a parent) and he may see the fun in working with them. Have him take the three yr old to the park, to have one on one time. I have had to guilt my husband in the past, now he loves it and takes the initiative. Good luck! Jen

I'd give anything to be a stay at home mom, so just keep remembering how bad it was when you didn't see them for 50 hours a week! Tell your hubby you are taking a break and take one!! I've just gone part time and it's making it a lot better for me but I do see the need for a break here and there...especially on some very cranky days.

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