Bored SAHM Not Being the Kind of Mom I Want to Be

Updated on May 22, 2008
H.D. asks from Dodgeville, WI
17 answers

I am feeling so frustrated lately. Actually, it's been kind of ongoing. I have a funny, imaginative 4 year old son and a fiesty, loveable 2 1/2 year old daughter. What do other SAHM's do every day? I don't know if I should have a schedule every day or what. I work two days/week, but am home with the kids the other 5. Dad is home one of the days and the other day the kids stay with a friend.

I just feel like I am always yelling at my kids and being very unfair to them. I have been on medication for depression for about a year and that has been enormous help. Still, I just feel at a loss for what to do with my kids. With the price of gas we don't really go anywhere anymore so I know being stuck in the same area all the time gets kind of old.

I just feel like I'm always making excuses to myself. I'm not interacting with them the way I should. I get busy doing something else and am always telling them "in a minute" then I get angry when they do something they shouldn't when I should have been supervising them better in the first place.

I love my kids so much, but I also wonder if they wouldn't be better off if I worked full time. Maybe I just need some structure to our days, I don't know.

I want to be a fun mom. Obviously setting limits (that are fair), but I also really want to feel more connected to my kids. I don't think the depression is a major factor here since things are 99% better than they were a year ago as far as my feelings of disconnect, anxiety and short fuse.

What do other SAHM's do every day?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all of your support and suggestions! I love this board! You have all given me some great ideas and I really think working out a schedule will benefit both me and the kids. If I think about it, there are already things we do every Monday, Wed, etc. I just need to build on that.

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Milwaukee on

H., thanks for posting this. I'm in the same boat as you right now and I really appreciate this post. Thanks!

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

H.,

I am a SAHM for my sons Charlie (3) and Joey (17 months), and am expecting #3 in Nov. My husband travels for work a lot (he's going to be gone 8 of 9 weeks in May and June) and I need a schedule.

Our schedule is not set, but every night we know pretty much what we are doing the next day. I take ECFE classes with each of my boys and we have set play dates with their classes set up for the summer... that's 2 mornings out of the yard at local parks and we all enjoy that. I especially like the time we spend with my 3 year olds class since those kids can all play independently and enjoy themselves at the park.

I try to hit the library once every other week, usually on Wed., sometimes we make story time.

We grocery shop on Monday mornings... and then try to schedule some yard time the remaining day of the week. After nap every day we go outside.

For me, having a schedule helps me keep my sanity. Meeting with other mom's for a walk or park time also helps me cope when my husband is gone so much.

I also REALLY enjoy my gardens, so I have been getting outside during naptime and after bedtime, and that improves my mood as well.

I'd work on getting yourself some set things to do outside the home at least 2 days a week... these can be free outings, just get out. Many times kids are bored and getting out for a change of scenery can improve everyones mood.

You are a great mom, keep up the good work and remember to enjoy the small things... that's something I am working on myself.

J.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.Z.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H. -

It can be a challenge being a SAHM - I would check into a local MOMS Club - even if there isn't one listed on the web-sire for your area, contact the national chapter and see if there are any (some aren't listed). The organization supports stay at home moms by allowing you to bring your children with you to all events during the day - it's a great way to connect with other moms, make new friends for your kids, and come up with some fun ideas of things to do with your kids. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Sioux Falls on

Not being a SAHM, but wishing I was, I can only answer hypothetically. The fact that you are aware of there being a bit of a problem is half the battle. And to be honest, you wouldn't be normal if you weren't experiencing some discontent with your life!! We ALL do at times, and I always find that I do a lot less with my kids when the weather is crappy, (which I use as an excuse to stay at home on my butt somedays!!) but I have recently found that if when I get up in the morning and open my curtains to the sunlight, I feel much better! I have a nice cup of tea and a few pieces of toast and just sit looking out the window for a bit before I get started. Its actually a proven fact that the sun provides seratonin which is supposed to make you feel happy. Sounds hokey but try it a few times and I guarantee you will notice a difference. And I have found that letting my husband take some responsibility for a few household chores makes me less stressed and angry...for instance, he does a few loads of laundry after the kids are in bed and I get to go to the gym and I dont feel guilty about it. I bet you feel that because you are home more that you should have to do EVERYTHING! Well, you dont! Let him give the kids a bath or do the dishes and you will probably feel more relaxed. You just have to let go a bit. Trust me, I know (sorta!) how you are feeling...if you are more relaxed, you will be able to have more fun with your kids, and dont think they would be better off without you at home, they are lucky they have you, no matter how you are with them.. The fact you wrote what you did proves that you are a wonderful caring mother, youve just lost yourself a bit... Instead of doing the dishes, sit on the floor (NO TV!!), read kids books and play with their toys and have them make YOU laugh, its an amazing feeling, laughing with your kids...I absolutely live for those moments sitting with my 2 yr old son, and giggling for no apparent reason, or having my 9 yr old daughter offer me a pedicure or give me a makeover which is good for some hysterical pictures!! Good luck to you H., and if youd like someone to sound off too or just to chat you can write me anytime at [email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.. I totally understand what you are all saying. I'm in the same exact boat as you are. I'm trying to find a friend that isn't so darn busy and has time for a friend. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, let me tell ya! I belong to an MSN group. I've been there over a year. We're like a big family of sisters, but it's not the same as having a true real life friend. I have a friend in real life but she doesn't seem to have much time for a social life. Anywayz. What I'm trying to say is do you have any friends that you can count on? Having friends means a lot! I'm 25 going to be 26 in July so I'm probably at least 10 years younger than you but if you ever need someone to talk to I'm here for ya. Age is just a number. Most of the girls in my MSN group are in the 40's and 50's. Another suggestion I have for ya is MAKE SURE you have some time set aside to do something you love! Whether it be everyday or once a week. You need to be something else besides a mom for a little while every week. I know it's easy to just let it all out and snap at the child but you got to remember that they are 4 and 2. Yesterday my husband said to my almost 2 1/2 year old son, why in the heck did you do that?! He had put his hand in the crack between the door and the wall when hubby opened the basement door and he didn't get his hand completely out in time so the door hurt him. And it's like Ernest(hubby) he's ONLY 2!!! It reads as though you love them. And you wouldn't be writing us asking for help if you didn't love them. So you love them and you got something in ya, you are just stuck in a rut right now...like me. It doesn't have to continue being this way! I assume the 4 year old is in preschool. The 2 1/2 year old can start preschool when she's 3. So if you have them in preschool then that's when you can your "you" time. Like I said before if you want to talk just send me a line.

Hugs, L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

what helped me was just keeping it simple. i felt all this pressure to join every class and group but found we had way more fun just going to the park, cooking, eating, doing art, sandbox, playdough, bubbles etc. if things get boring, a cookie or a muffin out someplace (even the YARD) is a win for all.

B.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

What town are you in? I'm in Becker, and we have a GREAT MOMS group that meets twice a month in the winter, and every weds for walks in the summer, and once a month in the summer at a park. We have moms that come from Monticello, Big Lake, all over!

But I know how you feel. There are some days that I just want to run away! I get so tired of whining and arguing. My boys are almost 6 and 2 1/2, and my oldest is in Kindergarten 3 days a week, so that helps. You'd be amazed at how compliant and easy going my youngest is when my oldest is in school!

We don't really have a set schedule for the days, but if its nice out I boot thier butts outside. We live out in the country, and have 3 fenced acres. So even if I'm at the kitchen table working (I have a small work at home job), I can still see and hear them outside, and they are safe in the fenced in yard. We go for bike rides, walks through the forest, four wheeler rides, they play on the wooden play thing in the back yard, or run through the trees. We visit the park at least once a week, our library has tons of free kids programs, or we go swimming at the community center (family swim is only $5!).

I think you just sound like you are stuck in a rut, and the yucky weather hasn't helped any of us out! Now that its nicer out and we can actually get outside, I have felt my moods lifting and I've become more 'me' than I have been in teh last couple months. Nothing like snow and freezing temps in May to bring everyone down, right?!

anyway, send me a msg if you are in the area! My boys are 6 and 2 1/2!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

I know you've already responded to everyone for their suggestions and ideas but I want to say that Tina is right on. Go to the MOMS Club website and click on "how to join". There is a registration form if you want to start a club. I have been in the club for 8 years. I didn't start the club but I know the moms that did. I think I would have been overwhelmed to start a club on my own but I can tell you that it would be worth it. Sure, there are ups and downs but I have made so many great friends and there is something to do every day if I want to.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I just want to say that I'm so glad you posted this. I work full-time and feel this exact way you do. I'll be at home with them come June 1st due to a job relocation and me choosing to not move. I'm eager to learn from what others say so I can be the Mama I feel they deserve when I'm home seeing that I think they're better off in daycare. Thanks again for posting!:)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.D.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

H., I think Nicole S is right on.

I am now looking back on my days of being a SAHM and have had time to think about it and see the results of my time with my 5 kids under 7 1/2.... I am able now to see what they have become. It puts a little different perspective on the issue. Try to connect with other SAHM's from neighborhood, community or church groups. That will help. Your greatest job is molding your children's self-esteem. Prize them. They are going to become what you teach them they are. Help them love the world, each other, you and themselves and their talents. Help them develop themselves. I'll give you an example... I enjoyed sewing and had a pile of scraps for my daughter to sew when she was 4. She created with these scraps all sorts of bibs for her dolls. The main rule was - she had to use them in one area so pins, etc weren't strewn all over the house, and that area was right next to me where I could see exactly what she was doing. Today, she is artistic and creative, has made all her own curtains, drapes, etc; she has recovered furniture and made & fixed clothing for her children. Another example is my daughter helped me cook dinner beginning at age two & do dishes. It took longer and there were spills- I would put towels down around her before letting her start, but she loved it & learned lots of skills. There were somethings she couldn't do- obviously, but she could measure and stir and loved doing it. As a teenager she made cookies regularly and volunteered to cook dinner and do dishes because she liked it. We had lots of days working together in the kitchen- it was great talk time. Today, she is an excellent cook and great at coming up with variations of recipes.

Cherish each minute with your children & getting to know these unique personalities. This stage goes much quicker than you realize... Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.E.

answers from Minneapolis on

I felt the EXACT same way when I had my son and started working only 2 days a week. Went through the depression as well. I was miserable and finally realised that I was miserable because I hated being a SAHM. No offense to SAHM's but it was just not for me. It is not for everyone. I felt as if I had lost my entire identity and was just a mom now. I felt like everyone else went on living their lives like they always had, except me. And I hated it. So I went back to work FT and have never been happier. Some people just are not cut out to be SAHM's and I am not ashamed to say that I am one of them. I am happy with what I am doing and that makes me a better mom.

K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.
you said your husband stays with the kids one day a week is this the only day your husband is home? When I get frustrated with the kids if we can go to the park or even just a walk that makes it a liitle more tolerable. If we are unable to get out of the house I will take which ever child is driving me nuts most and just sit and cuddle on the couch for a few minutes it calms me down and usually the reason they are driving me crazy is because they want my attention. I highly recommend you do have some sort of schedule for the kids so they know that at some point on the day they will get to play with you. It is not easy but hand in there. If you would like to talk more just send a message. :)T.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

That is part of the reason I decided to go back to work full time. I felt like I needed to make a difference in the world, other than being a mom...and if I could do that, something that would be just for me...I'd be a better mom for my kids. I also gained alot of respect for those SAHM's because I feel like going to work everyday for my job is alot easier than working at home and being a parent, so my caree is my escape in a way, and...I feel like, even though I have less time with my kids, I feel like it's more quality time, vs. quantity time like it was when I was at home. I've been told that having a scheduled routine is a good thing in keeping SAH parents sane...and good for the kids. I'd work day-to-day and once you have a schedule for that day, make that your Monday schedule, Tuesday schedule, etc...that's probably where I'd start.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I think it's wonderful of you to post how you feel. You are not alone. All of us have felt this way at one time or another or at various times of the day.

Here are my suggestions:
1)Join a mom's group
2)Make sure you take ECFE classes
3)Sign up for any classes which interest you and the kids (i.e. art classes perhaps)
4)Take the outing that is very important to you and make sure you do it each week (for us, it's library time)
5)YOu'll find that you'll naturally fall into a schedule and cherish the times when you are "free".
We end up doing most of our outings in the a.m. Since my child is now 3.5 yrs old, we usually end up staying at whichever friend's house we are visiting and eat lunch there. If the kids are interacting well, then we stay until the kids need a break.

If we're out and about, we'll have lunch at a park. (I always pack fruit, cheese, crackers, drinks, cereal, etc) It's rare that we have a day when we don't look forward to some type of event/outing.

Figure out what it would take to make you happy each day. For me, I need some adult interaction. It doesn't seem to matter if it's physical or simply via phone. It's the communication aspect that's important so I make sure I talk to at least 1 friend each day. With some experimentation, I also discovered that I need at least 1 evening and part of one weekend day free. I'm actually best if I have 3 outings per week without the kids (either to see friends or by myself). It also doesn't seem to matter how short or long they are, just getting out is the difference.

Remember, you've just made a huge change in your life. It's going to take some time to figure out how to work it all out. One of the things I did is pick 2 or 3 SAHM and "work" on becoming deeper friends with them. Just like dating, this one takes time and patience. Then, you don't feel so alone. By the way, most of my moms friends I met through ECFE and then mom's club of bloomington.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

I sont nessarily think you need an exact schedule. I think you need some constructive things to do. I by no means have a set schedule and my two kids are 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 like you. We play outside when we can and if the weather doesnt allow than they play on the porch. I do allow two trips to town a week and we either go to the mall and play if the weather is bad or we go to a really big park and play. Other times we go to the library to check out books and they get play time on the computers. My 2 and 1/2 year old has no clue what he is doing on one but no on there cares. They can check out movies or DVDs and or computer games, they arent all games but some are on plants, animals, bugs, sharks, ect. They have fun and it lets them get out with other kids and I get to see REAL people!! And that makes me feel good. We also go on walks at home, we live out in the country, so I dont have to worry about much traffic if they want to ride a bike or walk, but I try to keep them busy. Now this summer they have helped me plant flowers and all of our vegetables and the help water them two to three times a day.
Last year was my stuck in a rut year and this summer even being already 5 months pregnant with number 3 I was determined to keep myself busy and to stop making excuses about why they couldnt go outside. They both still take naps, especially after a long morning outside.
I am enjoying my kids more now than I ever did before!!
I too am still looking for another SAHM to get to know, and have a good friendship with out side of me and my husband. I am actually starting a friendship with a woman that belongs to this website, she emailed me and was interested in a friendship!! So I am very excited she contacted me threw this. You never know what life will bring you.
So you have any girlfriends that you can go to a movie with or that can come over and have play time with your kids?? That would help you out a lot. I wish you the best of luck I know what a struggle it is sometimes to be a sane SAHM. Your doing a great job !!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Sioux Falls on

I had a similar problem when I stopped working full-time. I felt like I was always yelling or nagging my girls. Why could they be so good for daycare and now that they were home with me-such terrors? I thought it thought and realized they needed structure. They didn't know what to do any more than I did. I created a routine. They knew pretty much what to expect, and so did I. I sat down and wrote it out. I'll show you below what we did, just so you can see. Of course things change, but for the most part stuck to it. It got easier and easier, and we modified it for summer vs winter as my kids like the outdoors. I also was more thoughtful in setting up play dates - I always find it easier to get through the afternoon with another mom/child than alone. Hope you find this helpful...and sorry it is so long, but I thought it might be nice to see what someone elses routine is.

- We did "free play" from wake up until breakfast, usually at about 8:00
- After breakfast, they help clean up...carry dishes to kitchen, put things in fridge, I gave the older one (4 at the time) a dish cloth and she had great fun cleaning the table
- We brushed teeth, got changed and made sure the bedrooms were picked up
- At about 9:00, which was when we finished with the ablve, we started the rest of the day off with books
- 9:30 After books, we did "craft time". That is a fancy word for coloring, playdough, painting, etc.
- 10:15 I then had 15 minutes of free time, where they had to play by themselves. If they did great, I left them on free play until they got bored. Usually, with my girls, they lasted about 15 minutes
- 10:30 We then went outside for about 30 minutes, depending on weather. When it was bad, sometimes we played in the garage
- 11:00 They get to watch PBS while I make lunch
- 11:30 lunch
- They help clean up from lunch, same as breakfast
- 12:30 books
- 1:00 Quiet time for older child, nap time for younger child
- 2:30 Snack time
- 3:00 Special activities - either library, park, games outside the house, dress up time etc. We did what I felt like, but it was always something different. I tried to make it special, as by this time in the day I needed a nap, but the girls always look forward to this. On lazy days, we played doctor, so they would let me lay down and they would operate on me...be creative!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like you might need to connect with other moms of young kids for activity ideas, friendship and support. Try looking into ECFE or local community ed programs in your area as a way to connect with other moms with young kids like yourself. These are usually low cost, and offer a wide variety of interactive classes you can participate in with your kids (everything from art and music to physical ed. and little tots sports)

You might also want to see if there are any MOMS groups, or playgroups in your neighborhood. Just check on craigslist, or your local city/community calendars for meeting times and locations.

Also explore free activities in your area. Many zoos, museums, craft stores, bookstore chains and public libraries offer "free" days at least once a month or more. While the cost of gas may be going up, these free activities would certainly take the edge off things, and allow for fun activities for you and your children.

Other ideas you could explore include making a daily visit to a nearby park so your children to burn off a little steam, you can maybe read, and you all can get some fresh air. With the warm weather coming, a simple sprinkler set up, a box of popsicles, and a large rubber ball could mean hours of fun in the backyard.

As for the feeling that you're yelling at your children all the time... if you catch yourself raising your voice, or losing patience, stop and count to 10 before saying anything. If you can manage to take a moment to assess the situation, decide whether you are about to raise your voice to constructively reprimand them for an activity that is harmful or needs correction. If this is the case, by all means this is an appropriate response, and not unfair if your reaction isn't excessively harsh. Children will not learn if we're too afraid to correct them when necessary. We just have to do it in a fair, and constructive way. Check out books by Dr. Sears, and Dr. Ray Guerendi on discipline and young children. Both authors are very good. I haven't read a book from either that I haven't benefited from.

If on the other hand, you find yourself raising your voice because what the children are doing is "annoying" you, this in my opinion is "unfair" and a redirection of your actions is necessary.

Kids are very sensitive to this, and with time will learn not only impatience, they'll also learn to get their way in life through either yelling, or worse, by doing things they know is irritating to others. If you find in the future, this is what's going on with you, try redirecting your children's behavior by turning their activites toward something more constructive. Don't yell, don't even reprimand. You don't want to draw attention to their negative behavior because this will reinforce in their mind that it will get a response from you. If kids are hungry for attention, they won't care if it's positive or negative. They just know they're pushing buttons and its getting a response...thus starting a negative cycle.

MOst of the time kids do things that seems annoying to us is because they are bored, and seeking guidance from us to provide them with something to do. So if Junior is poking his sister so she'll scream, or Suzy is whiny, and keeps whacking the wall with her ez-bake cake pan, perhaps suggest a game of hide n' seek, or pullout the construction paper, crayons and glue and tell them to make something. You might be pleasantly surprised by their quick and positive response. For more ideas on constructive, self directed ideas for kids, check out the Gymboree book of toddler games, or invest in craft materials, puppets, molding clay, finger paints, anything creative, and set up an area where you don't mind a little mess and let them have fun on their own. Or, if they're more physical, get them a junior croquet set, some big rubber balls, hopscotch, jumpropes, and let em have fun in the yard while you sit close by, reading a book or just relaxing.

If you're feeling you can't control these feelings, or you are having trouble caring for your children in a safe, and healty way, or you just do not have any support from family or friends, consider seeking help from a social service program in your area aimed at helping moms in crisis. It is not anything to be ashamed of, if things do get too bad for you, these programs are there to help you. Sometimes it is truly the best thing for both mom, and especially the kids.

I hope some of these ideas hope. Let us know how things go. Keep in touch. You always have the moms here on "Mamasource"! :)

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches