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#1 Old 11-16-2004, 02:03 PM
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I'm a stay-at-home mom of a one-year-old.



I love my son so much. He brightens my day constantly and I am so glad that I get to be home to watch him learn and grow each day.



That said, I sometimes (okay, often) find myself jealous of my husband as he leaves for work each morning. Jealous that he gets to immerse himself in something that interests him and stimulates him, jealous that he gets to chat with co-workers, jealous that he has, well, a life apart from baby.



And as much as I love hanging out with my son, sometimes I do get bored. And lonely. And isolated. I crave adult conversation. I go to a mom's and baby's group once a week for 2 hours, but that just doesn't feel like enough. Is there such a thing anymore as a neighborhood or community where parents visit their neighbors while their children play together, where you can stay at home with your children yet not feel so alone?



I've thought about going back to work, or going back to school (which I've been really wanting to do for a long time). But I really hate the thought of putting my child in day care, and we plan on having more kids so I don't want to start something that I'm going to have to put on hold once another baby is born.



Before I had my son, I used to be very involved in community theater, which I absolutely loved...yet it's such a time committment, and not one that I (or my husband) think is feasible with a child so young.



So...I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for in posting this. Support, advice, understanding from someone who has been there (or is there right now!). Thanks everyone for listening.
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#2 Old 11-16-2004, 02:09 PM
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Sorry I am not there..but I can relate to a degree.I am isolated,I live in the 'burbs and my FI takes the car everyday.It is an absolute ***** to get anywhere.I work nights.So I am stuck at home.



Advice:

-You need more interaction.Join the gym,they have baby-sitting for cheap.

-Join another Moms greoup.2 hours is not enough IMO.

-I take distance-learning for Interior decorating.If you research properly,you can find a reputable school,which will give you a career after raising kids..or just expand you base ect..

-PROJECTS!Of any kind,art,writing,sewing ect..I sing and write music and then people produce it and make cds ect..you can network to find local people interested in the same things.



I hope that helps a bit?
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#3 Old 11-16-2004, 02:10 PM
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I cannot say from any experience. I won't tell you that you should do this...or that.. No.. I will only offer this. If I was the husband, I would so want to know. I can't imagine how with my concience, i could bare the thought of knowing what you're going through. Tell him. Not in a pointing blame way, albiet he should probably be sensitive to the fact you're stressed out from this. He might simply not be so tuned to know. If he's a good man, he'll want to offer help in any way possible. If it's letting you network or vollunter with theatre groups one or two weekends a month, to trying to assist you in locating like-minded individuals to associate with. I, as many, would want to know if you were in the slightest bit unhappy..
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#4 Old 11-16-2004, 02:25 PM
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I'm also a stay-at-home mom of a toddler and 3 months pregnant, and I feel isolated much of the time too. Only my husband is away (coast guard) and will be for 6 months, so I don't really have much interaction with adults at all. We go to gymboree for one hour a week, but it seems like all the parents interact with their kids more than each other. I'm going to start college online in a few weeks. I don't want to put Em in daycare either, and I can't afford it. I still don't get out much or talk to many adults, but I feel better knowing that I'm working toward something and not just sitting around waiting for the time to pass, ya know?
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#5 Old 11-16-2004, 02:29 PM
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Can you work part-time at a minimum wage place, like a 7-11? you could take 2 weeknights and work a 5 hr shift to help out. Don't think about it concerning the money; think of it as you getting out and talking to adults.
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#6 Old 11-16-2004, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tash View Post

I cannot say from any experience. I won't tell you that you should do this...or that.. No.. I will only offer this. If I was the husband, I would so want to know. I can't imagine how with my concience, i could bare the thought of knowing what you're going through. Tell him. Not in a pointing blame way, albiet he should probably be sensitive to the fact you're stressed out from this. He might simply not be so tuned to know. If he's a good man, he'll want to offer help in any way possible. If it's letting you network or vollunter with theatre groups one or two weekends a month, to trying to assist you in locating like-minded individuals to associate with. I, as many, would want to know if you were in the slightest bit unhappy..



Tash, your post brought tears to my eyes. You sound like a really great guy. My husband is also a really wonderful guy, and we've had some conversations about this. Planning to have another one tonight, if we're not too tired or stressed.
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#7 Old 11-16-2004, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by beth View Post

I'm also a stay-at-home mom of a toddler and 3 months pregnant, and I feel isolated much of the time too. Only my husband is away (coast guard) and will be for 6 months, so I don't really have much interaction with adults at all. We go to gymboree for one hour a week, but it seems like all the parents interact with their kids more than each other. I'm going to start college online in a few weeks. I don't want to put Em in daycare either, and I can't afford it. I still don't get out much or talk to many adults, but I feel better knowing that I'm working toward something and not just sitting around waiting for the time to pass, ya know?



Beth, let's be friends!



I can't imagine how hard it must be for you. There are some days I count the minutes until my husband gets home, and when he walks in the door I talk his ear off! (and hand him the child). Wow...I don't know how you do it with your husband away...and while you are pregnant. I hope you have a few good support people in your life.



I'm seriously considering taking some classes at the community college. The mom's group I go to is at our local college, and they have a great day-care that I could put my boy in while I'm in class. Since it would be only for a few hours a day, I wouldn't feel so bad about it. But then there's the whole cost of school. We already are up to our ears in my husband's student loans...I need to think long and hard before adding to that debt.
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#8 Old 11-16-2004, 02:52 PM
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You can do it-!...... If it slips a little, just swerve from those "You" statements.. Fall back on the "I feel" statements. Rock on-! and best of luck. Hey, don't forget we're your friends too ya' know...*L*..albiet sortta silent...
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#9 Old 11-16-2004, 03:11 PM
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Take a class at night. That's what my mom always did and now she has a second degree.
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#10 Old 11-16-2004, 04:18 PM
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I'm a sahm too. I totally know what you're feeling. Sometimes I feel like throwing myself at dh's feet and hanging on as he leaves for work! And, I often think about going back to school too. Also, the ONE thing that is holding me back is putting my son in daycare. I just can't do it. And the thought of him needing me and me not being there... he's still just 20months... not yet. But, I totally feel it.



I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for doing the best for your son above your own needs. BUT you also need to get OUT! Can your dh watch him for longer periods of time on the weekends while you go window shopping, or while you sit at a coffee shop and read a book or go for a hike or WHATEVER? What about your pre-baby friends... can you do lunch with them a few times a week and leave your child for just an hour or two w/ a sitter? SOMETHING!



Good luck! Kimberley
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#11 Old 11-16-2004, 04:26 PM
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I will add that "putting your needs second" is not the best way. The last thing you want is to be one of those SAHM whose lives totally and completely revolve around their children.



The suggestions of a night class is also a good idea. You need to get out. There is more to you then being Mom.
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#12 Old 11-16-2004, 04:29 PM
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Some areas have play groups where a bunch of stay at home moms/dads ge together every day or several times a week. They let their children all play together, while actually having a real conversation! I'm not quite sure how you would check to see if there is one in your area, but if you know anyone with a child/children around the same age, you could get together and start one.
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#13 Old 11-16-2004, 04:33 PM
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I really dislike those groups. All the women want to talk about is their darling's last bowel movement and how their husband's "don't do anything." Oh yeah, and I'm "just" the step-mother, not a "real" mother



No thanks



We used to all work shifts. My bf and I worked days and the mother worked evenings. It worked out well.
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#14 Old 11-16-2004, 05:46 PM
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do you connect with any of the people in your parent/kid group? if you do, then perhaps you can invite them over for a play date in between meetings.



one of my clients has a 2 yr old adopted daughter. she takes yoga from my three to four times a week and has a personal trainer once a week. two of the three yoga times she has her husband care for her daughter at home; the other yoga class and the personal training session she uses the day care at the gym. in the yoga classes, she met a woman who also has a 2 yr old and a new baby. Because they had yoga in common, and 2 yr olds in common, they started to talk about their lives. Now, they hang out throughout the week and the girls play together. They also joined a play group, so sometimes there are small groups of moms who get together at each other's houses.



most of the SAHMs that i know work like this. If there are women in their parent groups who connect, they invite that one mom and baby over for coffee or whatever.



i hope this helps out. then you can get more than 2 times per week.
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#15 Old 11-16-2004, 09:53 PM
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Thanks everybody. You are all so great. Whenever I post about a problem I am having, and get such great replies, I feel like I have just been given a great big hug.



I had a really good talk with my husband about this over dinner. He was so sweet and agreed that I need something of my own. Before our talk, he had been so against me auditioning for a community theater production, because he knows what a time committment it can be. But after I explained to him how I felt, he is now encouraging me to go for it! I feel so wonderful about this. Plus, it will give him some extra time alone with our son on the evenings/weekends, which will not only enhance their relationship, but maybe give him a better understanding of how hard I work all week long!!



Zoebird, you're right, I should invite some of the other SAHM's in my playgroup to have playdates during the week. I'm kind of a shy person so I'll have to muster up some courage to do it, but I'm sure the other moms might be just as much in need of the company as I am.



I forgot to mention, one thing that makes it more tough is that I don't have a car during the week, so I can only travel as far as I can walk, weather permitting.



Anyway, thanks again everyone, you are all great and I am feeling a lot better after having that talk with my husband.
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#16 Old 11-16-2004, 11:46 PM
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that's really great. it's always important to have something that is your own. perhaps if the community theater seems to be too much of a commitment, you can take acting or improv classes at the local college or theater or whatever. then, perhaps you're only gone one or two evenings a week and you still get to do something that you enjoy.



also, let the other people in your play group know that you don't have a car. it'll be ok--it's likely that they'll be fine with coming to you, or perhaps they live close to you anyway and you can walk. if nothing else, it's great for getting in shape!
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#17 Old 11-17-2004, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kristadb View Post

I will add that "putting your needs second" is not the best way. The last thing you want is to be one of those SAHM whose lives totally and completely revolve around their children.



The suggestions of a night class is also a good idea. You need to get out. There is more to you then being Mom.



**Putting the needs of your INFANT IS best... for godssake woman have a bit of a heart and a head
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#18 Old 11-17-2004, 08:08 AM
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My dear, I have a heart AND a head.



And no, putting the needs of the baby isn't always best.
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#19 Old 11-17-2004, 08:26 AM
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**Putting the needs of your INFANT IS best... for godssake woman have a bit of a heart and a head

no no no silly--here we go AGAIN! if a mother is not taking care of herself and her mental health is sliding, so will her ability to appropriately care for her child. desperate, lonly feelings can certainly affect the quality of breastmilk and when that happens the baby can start to reject it. however, even if the mother is not breastfeeding, it is still a bad scene when the mother is not getting anything for herself out of life.
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#20 Old 11-17-2004, 08:43 AM
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no no no silly--here we go AGAIN! if a mother is not taking care of herself and her mental health is sliding, so will her ability to appropriately care for her child. desperate, lonly feelings can certainly affect the quality of breastmilk and when that happens the baby can start to reject it. however, even if the mother is not breastfeeding, it is still a bad scene when the mother is not getting anything for herself out of life.

In my humble, non estrogen-limited perception, it would seem that sometimes putting the mothers intrests first-would indeed also be putting the infant's first by default. The "Mental Health" of the mother is always in the best intrest of the infant, no ?
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#21 Old 11-17-2004, 09:10 AM
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no no no silly--here we go AGAIN! if a mother is not taking care of herself and her mental health is sliding, so will her ability to appropriately care for her child. desperate, lonly feelings can certainly affect the quality of breastmilk and when that happens the baby can start to reject it. however, even if the mother is not breastfeeding, it is still a bad scene when the mother is not getting anything for herself out of life.



I don't think the original poster is "losing her mind". Or becoming "mentally unstable"... she certainly didn't say that and she certainly DID say that she doesn't want to put her child in daycare and that her babies needs are coming first... she was asking for ideas "outside THAT box"!
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#22 Old 11-17-2004, 10:26 AM
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Colorful, I think it's great that you found something you like doing that will get you out of the house. I see my sister a lot and we're good friends, so that helps. But, yeah, it's hard without Ben around at all. I should be able to visit him a few times before I get too big, though.
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#23 Old 11-17-2004, 11:07 AM
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In my humble, non estrogen-limited perception, it would seem that sometimes putting the mothers intrests first-would indeed also be putting the infant's first by default. The "Mental Health" of the mother is always in the best intrest of the infant, no ?

EXACTLY!!!! it is just that certain members do not seem to get this.
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#24 Old 11-17-2004, 02:44 PM
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basicly, yes, Tash. if a mother takes good care of herself, she's able to take the best care of her baby.
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#25 Old 11-17-2004, 03:22 PM
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I'm a sahm too. I totally know what you're feeling. Sometimes I feel like throwing myself at dh's feet and hanging on as he leaves for work!



Oh my gosh, I was laughing about this post this morning as my husband left for work. My one-year-old is always clinging to him as he is trying to go, it's like he thinks if he holds on tight enough then Daddy can't go away! I thought to myself, that is EXACTLY how I am feeling right now, only I'm the grown-up so I can't get away with acting like that!



I've read all the posts back and forth about moms (and dads) needing to put themselves first, versus putting their babies first. While I agree that it is important to take care of your own needs as a parent, I do see Vegiemom's point. Being a parent involves a lot of sacrifice, there are just no two ways about it. Of course you should tend to your own needs as much as possible, but there are definitely times that your child's needs will come first, and that's just a fact of being a parent. To an extent, I think it is easier if you realize this from the get-go, that way you don't resent your kids for it, you just know that it is a phase of your life, and their lives, and that it will pass.
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#26 Old 11-17-2004, 03:37 PM
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colorful



i see what you're saying and i agree. becoming a parent is an aspect of sacrifice. you may not be able to travel as much as you did when you were just a couple because it's too stressful on the baby. you may not be able to work doing what you wanted to do for your career before you had the baby (particularly if you choose AP). you may have to give up "future dreams" of being something else and work a boring day job to support the family--not necessarily living the way that you want to. All of these things are sacrifices thta one may have to make.



but, i think it's ok for a mom to go--ok, i'm going crazy and i do need to do something other than being a mom for at least a few hours a day or week. That's not putting her desires over her child's needs; that's putting forth her needs that also make her baby healthier because she doesn't resent the child or just feel nuts. it's ok to take time for oneself, it can't be all about the baby or moms would never shower, never have time with husbands, never have sex again, and so on. my mom went to the gym every day when i was growing up. i didn't suffer for it--i was better for it. my mom had a hobby that was all hers and made my life better too.



so, i think that's what we're all dancing around.
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#27 Old 11-17-2004, 03:38 PM
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Your mental and physical health is first priority, just as you put your oxygen mask on first in an airplane.
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#28 Old 11-17-2004, 03:47 PM
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it's ok to take time for oneself, it can't be all about the baby or moms would never shower, never have time with husbands, never have sex again, and so on.



Let's hear it for early bedtimes!!



Getting my son on a sleep schedule is the best thing we ever did. My husband and I cherish our relaxing evenings together after our son is in bed, as much as I cherish his midday nap (which he is taking right now, by the way!)



I think we're all in agreement here about moms needing to take care of themselves, we're just approaching the argument from different angles.



krista - I like that analogy about the oxygen mask.
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#29 Old 11-17-2004, 03:52 PM
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Do you have a mom you can trade off? I have a trusted friend who has two daughters. Now when the girls are here, my house is just insane. Fun, but insane. But when my son goes over there for the day....



I get my manicure, my pedicure, take a long bath, browse the bookstore, all nice, quiet things.
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#30 Old 11-17-2004, 04:10 PM
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I think we're all in agreement here about moms needing to take care of themselves, we're just approaching the argument from different angles.



Sadly, I think there are some moms who make their children their life. I find that sad. There is more to being a mother then a baby factory and a poop-wiping machine.



Quote:
krista - I like that analogy about the oxygen mask.



Thanks. Again, sadly, this is something that in previous jobs we've had to threatened some women with. We would be in a room w/ a misc gas, would be choking, and the woman in charge (always a mother) would try to put the mask on the choking person instead of herself. I can't count the number of times that happened. And it was always the mothers who made children their lives. They just forgot that they were the most important first, then they could save the rest of us.
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