The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

SAHM Depression vs. SAHM Burnout August 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 6:56 pm
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Over my 5 years as a SAHM, Hubby and I have both wondered if I suffer from depression, and if being a SAHM is the right thing for me and for our family.  A few different times, Hubby has had the courage to suggest that perhaps I should go back to work, just for the sake of my mental health.

Something about these discussions has never really sat right with me. For one thing, I never wondered about whether I had depression before I became a mother. Then and now, some anxiety, yes, but not depression – not the kind that interferes with everyday life and doesn’t respond to “cheering up” sorts of efforts. For another, I do truly want to be a SAHM and I do truly think it is the best thing for our children.

Enter the term: SAHM Burnout. This makes a lot of sense to me, and I think that understanding what burnout is and how it comes about will be very helpful to me and to my family.

I think that burnout involves symptoms of depression, but it is not necessarily the same thing as true clinical depression. I think that burnout, left unaddressed, can be detrimental and even dangerous. It can certainly leave a SAHM feeling isolated and inadequate. I do think that when burnout is properly addressed, its symptoms can be turned around in a relatively short period of time. However, burnout symptoms can rear their ugly head again if things slide back to the way they used to be.

What factors make burnout more likely to be a big issue for me?

  1. When the weather does not allow us to easily spend time outdoors, this can put me in a “danger zone” pretty quickly. Where I live, the winters are long and cold, and it can take 15 minutes of concerted effort to get both of my kiddos (and myself) ready for the great outdoors. And once we’re out there, we may or may not be able to stay there very long. Summer comes with its own set of joys and challenges. Yesterday, for example, was so hot and humid that we spent a little time outdoors in the morning, and that was it for the day.
  2. When the kids or myself are sick.
  3. When I’m not getting enough sleep (this can have a variety of causes).
  4. When we don’t have “enough” things going on, such as preschool, Mommy & Me class, and so on.
  5. When we have TOO MUCH going on, and/or one particular thing starts to become a drain. A sign of this phenomenon is when you start to feel love/hate for a particular thing; for me, going to the pool has fallen into this category. On the one hand, yay! fun! water and smiles! when we go to the pool. On the other hand, all the time spent getting ready (applying sunscreen, packing food); all of the energy expended once we are there (Mark, who is 21 months old, has his own agenda at the pool, and it mainly involves wandering around every square inch of the pool complex — every DRY square inch, that is); and all of the work once we get home (baths, dinner, then bedtime, all at breakneck speed). All of these things can take their toll on me after awhile.
  6. Any time when I feel powerless to Get Things Done — whether those things are of a cooking and cleaning nature, or a rest & relaxation nature — because of so many interruptions and so many people (big and small) needing my time and attention. (For an interesting take on this issue, check out this Dad’s description of his week from hell.)
  7. When I feel like a failure at being a “good mom” (whatever that means) in spite of my efforts to not let anything slide. Today, for example, I spent the morning dashing around the house, doing some laundry and some basic cleaning; also spent a good amount of time preparing/serving/cleaning up after snacks for the kiddos and for myself. I kept glancing outside and thinking how I really “should” get the kids outside. Before I knew it, it was 11 a.m., and both kids were starving (AGAIN), so I hit the ground running in the kitchen (AGAIN) and got some lunch ready. Immediately after lunch, Mark was ready for his nap, so no more chance of a family outing in the morning; the afternoon brings its own set of opportunities (pool? park?) and challenges (me being worn out, figuring out dinner, being prepared for Mark’s post-nap demonic state). The bottom line? It is tough when, day after day, competing goals make you feel torn and unsuccessful; in this case, one goal is to Get The Kids Outside and Have Fun as a Family, while another goal is Keeping My House From Looking and Smelling Like a Pigsty, a Pigsty in Which Healthy Meals and Snacks Are Nowhere to Be Found.
  8. Feeling like “no one” would understand my feelings and frustrations. Over the years, I have realized that my mother, while she is a very dear and wonderful person, is not a good sounding board for me. As a result, I try not to appear too worn out or burnt when she is “watching.” With my husband, we have gone through a long process of figuring out how to make things work between us. On the one hand, it’s not fair for him to constantly listen to complaining and negativity; on the other hand, I can’t realistically put on a happy face for him day after day while I am falling apart on the inside. (I have talked with a number of other SAHMs who struggle with this very same issue.) When it comes to fellow SAHMs, it would seem that they would be perfect soulmates, but over the years I have discovered that this is not always, or even often, the case. Some SAHMs, God bless them, seem to sail through the challenges of SAHM-hood, and adding another kid or two to the brood is no big deal, not to mention the minor issues of getting dinner on the table or heading up yet another fundraiser at church or school. I have developed quite a nose to sniff out other SAHMs who love their families dearly but some days are just holding on by their teeth, and (this is key) aren’t afraid to admit it.

For me, it is therapeutic to simply list the things that contribute to burnout. What about you? What factors contribute to a state of burnout for you?

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84 Responses to “SAHM Depression vs. SAHM Burnout”

  1. Melissa Everett Says:

    I found your post tonight after sending myself to my room to cry because of a severe and sudden attack of SAHM burnout. Your list of things that lead to burnout could have been written by me, and for the last two weeks we have had 7 of them going at once. I have 3 little ones under 5, and am now currently 4 months prego, hubby works lots of hours, been waaayy to hot to go outside, we’ve all had colds, house is a disaster, no activities to get us out of the house right now, etc, etc.
    I love what you said about having no sounding board for your frustrations. I have the same situation with my mom. She was a single working mother, so any complaints I have seem so trivial to her. You just have to be a SAHM to know. The closest SAHM friend I have is one of the “perfect” ones too. I just can’t relate to that, so it’s sometimes hard to be around.
    Just needed to say that I understand what you’ve written completely, and just reading that someone else out there feels that way too helps immensely!

  2. lotsofopinions Says:

    Melissa, God bless you and your family. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I am glad that my post was helpful to you.

    I truly believe that moms, including SAHMs, don’t get enough credit or understanding for what they “do all day.” I believe that a lot of strong, intelligent, capable adults would fall apart at the seams after just 24 hours in a SAHM’s shoes.

    Hang in there. You are not alone, and you are not the only one who thinks this journey is ridiculously difficult a ridiculous amount of time! Not to sound too negative, but some days (weeks, months) are just like that.

    P.S. Have you ever thought of starting a blog? I started this blog in part so it could be a sounding board for me. Only hubby knows about it; otherwise, no family or friends do. God bless the internet!

  3. vintagemother Says:

    Hi Honest Mommy, I just wrote a blog post on a very similar issue. I’m also a stay at home mom, though my kids are older – littlest started kindergarten yesterday and thinking of having no kids at home made me feel a little crazy which eventually led me to feeling a little more than burned out, I think a Doctor would’ve called me depressed.

    BUT I do think that, far too often, motherhood is associated with depression, when kids don’t make (healthy) people feel depressed, but all of the things that mother have to do with little support combines with society’s lack of respect for what we do that can lead to depressed feelings.

    It’s a catch 22, SAHM’s don’t have a “to do” list with items an outsider would check off and say – “Done!” but we have so much stuff to do as at home moms! Sometimes, this dynamic causes me to over-schedule our kids lives-which causes stress and sometimes I feel I don’t have enough structured activities, which also causes me stress and feelings of inadequacy!

    Thanks for writing on such a relevant topic!

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hi Vintagemother,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I can relate to everything you said, including the feeling that I personally don’t have enough structured activities (the kind that fill ME up and don’t have anything to do with the kids, etc.).
      Reminds me of John Rosemond’s admonition to a mother who stopped to talk with him after one of his talks. She mentioned something about taking her daughter to dance class, and Rosemond asked her, “M’am, why aren’t YOU the one in dance class?”
      Talk about going against the grain of our current parenting culture!

  4. Sabrina Says:

    I am a SAHM and have been for the past 3 years.

    I feel so completely alone and lost. I have been just down right crabby lately and the truth of it is, I don’t feel that I have the right to complain. It feels like I do it all to much to be honest.

    I didn’t have a “career” when I met my husband. I worked random office jobs and what have you. When I had my son it was the smart thing to do to be a stay home.

    The worst part is this was our plan… I WANTED THIS!!?!??! lol And now I just want to run from it… screaming most of the time lol.

    My house is in a consent state of disarray and I never get out of my pj’s.
    I have started putting on weight and my husband NEVER takes me anywhere. I cant get out of the house for more than 3 or 4 hours or I feel guilty for leaving him with the kids and the house. It is TRULY a mess. There has been a pile of laundry at the bottom of the stairs for almost a year. It gets smaller, it gets bigger but it never goes away it seems.

    I love my children but right now I just feel so beaten up and alone. I dont feel like I have the right to complain to my husband. And what you said about that is exactly how I feel. I cant be perky happy all the time but dont want to nag or complain everytime he and I have a moment together. I dont want to be the woman who lives in her pj’s sitting on the sofa zoning out and neglecting her family but I am becoming that person.

    My husband and I dont sleep in the same bed because I have been sleeping with my son since he was born. (my husband has sleep disorders and has a great deal of trouble sleeping)

    Sometimes it all just feels so hopeless.

    When I read this it all sounds so nuts. How did it get this far? I am so glad to find other women who have struggles with this SAHM gig.

    I tried joining a mommy group but those women just werent for me. They were all so happy and their homes were so clean!!??! HOW IN THE WORLD DO THEY MANAGE THAT!!?!?

    I wanted to take a trip to get out of town and not look at this place for a while… you know clear my head and refresh myself… my husband wasnt all that happy about the idea, mostly because the house is a mess and I haven’t been staying on top of it since I was 5 months pregnant. Basically he is a little upset by my lack of house work and rightfully so.

    I’m sorry I have just unloaded all this on your blog. I really am, I guess I just need something and your blog is the closest thing I have found to fit what I am feeling.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Sabrina,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comment. You are definitely NOT alone.

      I don’t have time to respond fully/properly to your post, but I do want to share a few things —

      1- Check out this post and the hundred or so comments, if you haven’t already, to prove to yourself that you are NOT the only one

      http://stayathomeparents.suite101.com/article.cfm/depression_and_stayathome_moms

      2 – Look into FlyLady http://www.flylady.net if you haven’t already. FlyLady can be a little “much” sometimes, for some people, but the bottom line is that she understands household chaos and depression, and how to get to the other side.

      3 – Consider finding a therapist in your town who can help you sort through this stuff. It has been immensely helpful to me to have a therapist who understands how hard it is to be a SAHM and who tells me all the time that being a SAHM is the equivalent of doing three full-time jobs!!!!

    • shannon Says:

      Sabrina-I know this was written years ago but I just found your post! Please please please email me. S.hayes.landy@gmail.com

  5. Hi. I totally second what Honest Mommy said about FlyLady. She has a website or you can buy her book in order to learn her systems.

    As far as the “Perfect Moms”, I think they’re pretending. BUT, I also think that faking can help. You know, the power of positive thinking.

    I’ve been trying to do some things for myself. I did a homemade pedicure with some stickers-and some other stuff.

    I used to make myself read books on the importance of what we do as SAHM’s, they made me feel better when I didn’t feel so good about the job I was doing as a SAHM. I could find books @ the Christian Book store and thrift stores. One boo that was good was Darla Shine’s Happy Housewives. Any good book will tell you not to feel bad if your house isn’t immaculate and will remind you why just being there for your kids is the most important part of what you do. Tkae Care and Stay strong.

  6. Haley Says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for writing this! I don’t have many SAHM friends who seem to struggle with things like I do. Lately, I was really starting to think something was wrong with me. I wasn’t a major career woman before I had kids (now ages 3 and 2), but nevertheless it is a daily battle for me to keep my sanity. This week we got a new puppy and now I feel like I must have REALLY lost my mind to agree to this!

    Do you plan on working outside the home when your kids are all in school?

    P.S. Just for the record, I am also SO sick of the pool!

  7. [...] SAHM Depression vs. SAHM Burnout August 2010 9 comments 3 [...]

  8. neicy Says:

    i had a melt down today and sobbed to my husband. sahm mom for 7yrs now and am burned out. i am away from family and have no friends. i feel alone with no outside help. i’d like to have alone time with my husband but their is no one to watch our kids whom i trust. i agree with everything that has been said. today was hard for me because i did not want to break down to my husband. but like many of you my mother is does not give me positive feedback when i try and tell her how i’m feeling. sometimes i think she forgets what it was like to have young children, husband and a bunch of other responsibilities. i wish i had seen this blog earlier and maybe i could have spared my husband. lol thanks for listening!

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hi Neicy, Thanks for stopping by. You are definitely NOT alone. Every day, every week I wonder if I am going to have an easy time of this or a hard time where I wonder when things will get easier.

  9. Emily Says:

    Thank you for this. The whole article resonated deeply and made me feel a little less alone – certainly less guilty for feeling this way.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hi Emily, Glad the article helped you feel better. There is nothing like another SAHM to understand how you’re feeling!

  10. Lisa Says:

    Thank you for this post. I found it by googling SAHM depression which just goes to show where I am right now. I really like this burn out concept. I’ve been home for 7 years and I’m away from family too. I second everything that was said on this post. I only have one 4 year old left who needs much more structure. Sometimes it seems like things would go more soothly if there was another baby to care for. My daughter doesn’t really need all of my attention and I feel useless a lot of the time(but my house looks like a tornado hit it since I barely got my older one to school) I think 4 year old is more demanding because I am so available and sometimes I just can’t stand her. We can’t really afford to have another kid at least more kids keeps me busy and I feel better about myself for having such a demanding job. It was hard when they were little and I was stretched to the limit but I miss the days where I knew they weren’t really remembering things and would just eat babyfood and crawl all over me as I zoned out. Now I have to be so coherent and available all the time and to start realizing all of my issues I am passing on to my kids.

    It is tough when, day after day, competing goals make you feel torn and unsuccessful

    I love that line. That is my life. For instance right now my house is a disaster and my daughter keeps asking me to make her a list for things we’re going to do today ( she got it from frog and toad) we can’t do anything until the house is clean but I feel like all we do is clean together

    I’m sure you understand this is the worst of the worst and yesterday was a sunny day and pretty good. Today it is raining.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Lisa, I am right there with you!

      “we can’t do anything until the house is clean but I feel like all we do is clean together”
      Wow, that says a lot. For me, I would throw in “trying to clean around and in spite of the 2yo who is fussy, gets into everything, wants attention”

      With summer coming, I know there will be the pressure to be outside, go to the pool, etc., while I’m looking at the disaster of a house and wondering how to get even the minimum done, much less carve out any time for myself to just be.

  11. Goingcrazy Says:

    Everything on all of these posts I can relate to, I am so glad it’s not just me and I am not alone. I have a 16 month old and have been a sahm since she was born. I constantly think about going back to work, but I feel like that is “giving up” and I know I would feel so guilty about putting her in daycare. I feel beat down when I hear comments from working moms who feel that daycare is so much better for kids than a parent who stays home. It’s such an incredibly hard job to be a sahm and I think I have slipped into depression. I live in Seattle where it’s only sunny 2 months out of the year, so I feel like I am failing at structured artivities too because there is only so much you can do inside. I feel like such a drag to my husband bc I am always complaining, short tempered, and of course tired. I wish I was one of the perfect moms…but I’m not. I wish I there was a sahm burnout group where I could vent, but for now I will keep checking this site for validation of being a sahm, and for not feeling so alone.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hi Goingcrazy,
      You are definitely not alone! Sometimes the sheer boredom of being a SAHM is almost too much to handle, not to mention the loneliness and the lack of adult interaction on a daily basis. Hang in there.

    • Sabrina Says:

      Goingcrazy… You are absolutely not alone here. I dont know about the rest of you, but I dont think my husband gets it. My son is almost three and has only been at a sitters 5 times his whole life… 4 of those times was my mom. My husband doesnt trust anyone but wants to have another baby… I do as well but I cant do this “like this” again. I am not against day care at least for a day or two a week but my husband is… anything I feel I really need to help get out of the funk he doesnt see it as a need… its just me being a defeatist. I have been following this blog for a while now, and just to hear other women who love there kids but have as hard a time as I do being at home has really helped.

      • Goingcrazy Says:

        Thanks ‘lots of opinions’, I will hang in there. Sabrina, hope you hang in there too. My husband and I don’t let anyone watch her except for my parents either. His parents live out of state. I know the feeling of not trusting. But, I think there comes a time where you have to trust, for your own mental well being. Everyone needs breaks from ANY job, and being a mother should be no exception. That’s what my problem has been. No time for me. I strait up have told my husband that I will not have another baby unless I get more help from him and understanding. He has started to help more and be more hands on. I would keep talking to your hubby about what you need, don’t stop communicating about it as it’s so important to your fam and marriage. I reflect often on the saying, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. It’s so sadly true. So, Mama’s gotta get happy! Best of luck to all.

  12. Hi Ladies,
    Just want to tell you that I’m following this thread, still. Some ideas for “getting out” and not placing your baby in daycare are: McDonalds Playareas, Gym Daycare, Mom n Me groups on MeetUps.com, Long walks with the stroller, Farmers Market, Strolling thru the srip malls- my son and I used to vsit the bookstore and the petstore when we went to the bank.

    I never did mom n me groups, but I did everything else.

    Lisa, I can so relate to your wanting another baby to give you purpose and direction!

    Soon enough your kids will be in school, like mine all are, now. I felt even more lost with all that “free time.”

  13. lotsofopinions Says:

    Hi Vintagemother,

    Thanks for sharing the ideas about getting out and about! I’ve often wondered if I’m the “only one” who looks for those opportunities just to be around other people or possibly even strike up a conversation with another mom or whatever.

    Lots of times when I take my boys to a park, and it’s just us (not meeting up with a friend or whatever), I’ll actually feel a pang of deep loneliness or sadness or whatever, because I see the whole day/week/etc. stretching before me and it all looks so boring — and I wonder, do other moms feel this way? Do they wish they had a friend they could just make plans with on the spur of the moment?

  14. Sabrina Says:

    @lotsofopinions

    ABSOLUTELY! I have lost friends because they dont understand the sacrifice and just think I am being a grump or they disagree with my choice of being a sahm. I would love to have a friend that would come over for coffee. We dont have to go anywhere… kids playing in the back yard while we drink coffee or something would be GREAT! The loneliness will get you if you arent careful. I know it gets me sometimes.

    Oh GREAT update! MY KITCHEN IS CLEAN!!! It hasnt been clean or stayed clean in almost 3 years… some one always came a long to mess it up 2 min after I would finish. 2 weeks ago me and my husband had a LONG talk over the phone about how I am worried about our marriage and how things have been. I told him I needed more help with the kids… that I DONT WANT HIM TO CLEAN THE BATHROOM… I want him to watch the kids so I can clean the bathroom, or kitchen or anything else I would like to clean. He did and its STAYED CLEAN!!! For 2 whole weeks my kitchen has been clean… Its a little thing but after this whole time of feeling defeated and crying over food being dropped on the floor (I really did- on hands and knees picking up the food my son tossed on the floor -yet again- CRYING my eyes out!) I finally feel like I have SOME control.

    Just something funny that happened to me the other day, though at the time it wasnt all that funny…

    I make these ribs for my husband that I buy ready made (just heat from Kroger) My husband LOVES them and though I never told him that I myself made them he assumed and kept talking about how great they were. I never did anything to correct him though… it was sort of a guilty little pleasure and it made me feel good because of all the other struggles I have been facing with being a SAHM. He finally caught me the other day and was all ready to be offended because How dare I deceive him! LOL I was in the bathroom CRYING (again)… After he realized what it really was about he apologized for being so pushing and offended. Its amazing the things that start to upset or bother you once this becomes your life. Its funny now, though I was devastated at the time.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Sabrina, this brought tears to my eyes. Just knowing there is another SAHM out there who would jump at the chance to hang out, drink coffee, and let the kids play. I almost always take advantage of the chance to chat with that or that neighbor – 60-year-old man or no – because I think it’s important to know your neighbors but also because I’m just so bored much of the time.

      There are a few other SAHMS whom I am acquainted or friends with in my neighborhood, and I wish I could see them more often. It is surprisingly difficult to get together when there are nap schedules, outside activities, etc., to work around. Plus I don’t always want to be pestering them to get together (I do have SOME pride, not a lot, but some) if they are already content in their own little worlds.

      I can relate to everything you said, especially crying while picking food off of the floor. It is just so depressing sometimes, doing that same stuff every single day

      • mj Says:

        I have done the same exact thing…on my hands and knees cleaning up a mess…again…so tired of it and discouraged that this is seemingly all I do! I know, I know! I have a 3 year old son and he makes constant messes. His favorite program is curious george…I know why…because he can relate sooo well. I also do not understand the seemingly perfect mommies who have it all together…somedays I feel as though I am hanging by a thread. And why oh why is it that our moms seemingly forget just how hard and frustrating our jobs as sah mommies can be? I get hardly any help w/the exception of maybe a yearly anniversary trip w/my husband when someone in the family will watch the kiddos for a couple of nights which is nice but once a year doesn’t seem like enough of a break! I also have alot of problems w/fatigue, maybe it is depression rearing its ugly head again. I would love to give all of you some advice and make it all better but I myself am trying to figure all of this out. I do know this: you must take care of yourself. When you get to that breaking point…swallow your pride and be bold and ask for some help, no better yet…before you get to that breaking point! What good are you to anyone if you are merely a shell of a person operating on nothing??

  15. Sabrina Says:

    The thing that brings me down the most is feeling trapped and not having ACTUAL alone time. It has gotten so bad that I have started planing a weekend trip with a friend… those commercials to fly to Las Vegas (you know the ones- what to get away? for some ridiculously cheap price of 99$ one way) are looking GREAT right now. I feel like I have lost myself. My husband is SLOWLY starting to understand that this is not just some little minor thing that I keep complaining about… it wont go away until there is real change in our lives… its difficult but were trying.

    I have started personal hobbies that are mine and mine alone… keeping aquariums and photography. Both can be done around the house and both bring a great amount of joy.

    I will start seeing a counselor this Thursday because it really is needed. I cant complain to my husband all the time. He starts to feel like things will never get any better, like he has failed me and our family. This of course makes me feel worse and so I keep it to myself which isnt healthy.

    It seems like its so easy for people to say I am depressed… but the truth is, I’m not… I am just REALLY burnt out! Thank you so much for posting all of this. You have no idea how you sharing your experiences has helped give me the courage to take care of myself and move towards a more fulfilling SAHM experience.

    I have no doubt that this blog will help many people just because were know there are others out there and that it will be ok.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Sabrina, wow, I totally get everything you’re saying. Oh, and I do photography, too. It is a wonderful diversion (though when my ‘puter crashes for the umpteenth time because it can’t handle a lot, grrrr!).

      I, too, am wary of the label “depressed.” Not that depression awareness isn’t a good and important thing, but I think people sometimes use that term and don’t really pay attention to the person who is struggling. Sometimes I want to say, well, wouldn’t YOU be feeling down if you did the same stuff day after day, weekday and weekend, with no real break, no real vacation, no end in sight, seemingly no real appreciation from others, hardly enough money for necessities like groceries and clothing, much less luxuries?

      I hope you have a wonderful visit to the counselor. I, too, have discovered that my husband can only listen to so much “complaining” (how I hate that term) before it starts affecting him in a bad way. Even with other moms, well, I don’t want to overwhelm them with “complaining” or sounding overly negative.

      So glad that you found my blog, so glad that you’re starting counseling. You are NOT weak, you are not “less than” other moms who seemingly have no difficulties with SAHM-hood. You are YOU, period.

  16. jodisamantha Says:

    I could have written your post myself. Thank you. :)

  17. Melissa Says:

    Oh my goodness…I never even knew SAHM burnout existed! I related to pretty much all of your points and sit here with tears in my eyes feeling relieved that someone else feels the way I do. I had a very difficult week and can’t seem to get the energy to get back on track. As I sit here with my door locked listening to kids screaming outside of it with their dad, I was searching for something to alleviate what I was feeling. And here it was…thank you for being so vulnerable and candid with your blog.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hi Melissa, Thank you for sharing. I do wish more moms would be more honest about what they’re going through! Then again, it’s hard for me to be totally candid unless it’s here at my anonymous blog.

    • Sabrina Says:

      Most of us feel that if we admit that we are miserable that means we are bad Mom’s. The truth is, there is no real understand available for most of us. Our husbands think we live up the high life (most of the time anyway). Our friends think we need to suck it up (cause after all they do both, right), and our Mom’s… the people you would think would be the MOST understanding… aren’t. I don’t know about you, but I wasnt raised to be a SAHM. My mother was a single working mother of 3 children thus the reason I wanted to be a stay at home for my kids. I had no idea what that really meant when I signed up for it and neither did my husband.

      • lotsofopinions Says:

        “I had no idea what that really meant when I signed up for it and neither did my husband.”
        Well put, Sabrina!
        My husband and I have had many hours of conversations about what being a SAHM has… well…. “done” to me and whether it is the best thing for our family.

      • mj Says:

        I too had no idea what being a sahm would mean. I used to really think it would be the life. Now I know that it is work, work, and more work. It’s just constant. I am a real introvert and need quite time regularly so being a sahm is especially challenging for me in that way. I used to work at a bank. Maybe I’ll go back to that. At least at a bank you can do your job in peace and quite for the most part. People do not come to you and tug on you constantly asking for a snack or saying “mom, I pooped my diaper again!” You also do not have to repeatedly ask customers to please not touch this or that. lol.

      • lotsofopinions Says:

        Hi, mj. I can really relate to wanting to “do your job in peace and quiet.” Sometimes I feel bad for wanting peace and quiet without interruptions from my kids. In the afternoons, when my 2yo naps, is the best time to spend time with my 5yo, but many days I just don’t have it in me to hang out with him.

      • Sabrina Says:

        I understand this completely. My daughter is 8 and just wants to have a little time with me, but when my son is napping its down time for me or time to clean up the messes. The guilt is overwhelming at times. Her world has changed so dramatically since my son was born and it seems like she lost her mom, the fun woman who would go places and take her to do things. I have been struggling to get back to the person I used to be. Its not easy, and I often dream of the day my son starts school so that maybe the real time to myself will promote real change in all of my families lives.

  18. Molly Says:

    Thank you so, so much for putting into words what I (and it seems like everyone else) is feeling. Seriously, thank you.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Molly, you’re welcome!
      Incidentally, it seems like I got many comments here on the blog on weekends. Do you think weekends tend to be more difficult than weekdays for SAHMs?

      • Sabrina Says:

        I think its possible… during the week normally husbands are at work and we are left alone to our own what have yous… but on the weekends everyones home, no school no work nothing but a whole house full of people who need and want something from you… also it could be that is when we have the time.

      • christina Says:

        I agree, weekends are not the days off for me either.

  19. This post is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you thank you thank you. Your words could have been my own (though you write much more eloquently than I do).
    I have been living in Palestine under occupation for the last 5 months, having moved from Texas, with my 1.5 year old and 3.5 year old. There are no other stay at home moms. There are no kids for my kids to play with during the day (all in daycare or school). I don’t have other moms to call and commiserate with. I am alone all day with my 2 kids and I realize now I have hit my breaking point with burnout. We didn’t know it would be this isolating to be here as we thought surely there would be a few other kids at home with moms. We even tried to start our own weekly meet-up playgroup but after 8 weeks it was obvious that it wasn’t going to work. SAHM-hood is isolating enough without the lack of community of other moms and a culture that doesn’t support or understand my choice not to put my children in daycare.
    SO…more to the point it helped just to read your honest post while locked away in my room crying over the loss of my “perfect mommy-ness” after yet another difficult and lonely week here wherein I didn’t keep my cool every time my kids needed me to.
    Thank you so much for writing about burnout, and thank you especially for helping make the distinction between burnout and depression.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Ravyn, Thank you for sharing your experience. What a situation you’re in! For what it’s worth, I’m proud of you for each and every day that you persevere through. It is tough to wake up in the morning and face yet another day of sibling rivalry, dirty dishes, fatigue, and lack of social support.

    • Sabrina Says:

      Oh Ravyn how difficult this must be for you. I actually have a friend who had a (funny now) story about when they were in Germany. Her husband came home everyday and would just read… she was alone isolated and had reached her boiling point. One day he came home and did the same thing, sat down and started to read. She took a lighter and caught the book on fire! That got his attention. LOL I love this story and while its not exactly the same as yours I hope it can make you laugh a little.

      I hope things get a little better for you. Its got to be rough not just being alone but being overseas. Good luck to you, you will be in my prayers.

  20. K. C. Says:

    I feel like I’m surrounded by little people all day with their needs and wants, but essentially, I have never felt so alone in my life. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. :)

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Alone? Definitely not alone, K.C.! This is the most challenging portion of my life, without a doubt.

  21. [...] least I know I’m not alone. I actually Googled “SAHM Depression” and found this blog post. She talks about SAHM depression vs. burnout and really hits on all the feelings I’ve been [...]

  22. kelliump Says:

    Hi! Thank you for writing this post. It’s exactly how I’ve been feeling and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I agree that there MUST be more moms that feel this way but don’t actually admit it. I, too, started a secondary blog to vent the things that my friends and family don’t want to hear about on our regular blog. I referenced your post in my latest blog entry. Things that get me burned out:
    – Having a really messy house: I’m the furthest thing from being a clean freak, but if my house gets really messy I feel more depressed.
    – My husband taking MBA classes: The time he’s away at class plus the time he has to put in to do homework makes it so I don’t get many breaks .
    – My overbearing MIL: The passive aggressiveness, intrusiveness, bad mouthing, and constant demand for our time makes me crazy
    – No accomplishments: When I’m not pregnant I like to do half marathons and other things like that, without having things that I am working towards I find I get bummed out faster.
    – Minnesota winters: Enough said.
    – Not having events to get us out of the house

    Again, thank you for taking the time to write this post. I showed it to my husband and he said that it sounded exactly like what I’ve been going through lately.

  23. Eva Says:

    I’ve been feeling the same way. My husband just doesn’t get it. He actually told me that none of the things that are bothering me are “stressful” especially compared to his stress at work. He travels a lot for work, and works 10 hour days when he’s home, so I know he’s stressed. What he doesn’t understand is that his being gone so much is also stressful for me, especially with 3 kids under 6, including one with aspergers. I have no friends in town, and the only time I leave the house is to go to the grocery store. I spend too much time online, mostly because I’m so desperate for adult interaction. My husband and I haven’t been on a date since before my 18 mth old son was born. We can’t get a babysitter because of my oldest son’s special needs. I feel so alone because I have no o.e to talk to. I love my kids, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be home for them, but I just wish I had someone who could listen to me when I say I’m stressed without dismissing it.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Eva, wow, you have a lot on your plate! I sure hope your husband figures out, and soon, that your job is very stressful in its OWN way. I think a lot of people, husbands included, don’t realize how difficult it is to have the SAME stresses and responsibilities EVERY day, ALL day, from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, and even then there’s no guarantee of sleeping through the night without interruption. It’s not as if you work as a home aide to someone and then you get to go home to your own life at the end of the day, and then have weekends off.

      • Sabrina Says:

        I am so sorry that you are feeling so down Eva. I know exactly how you feel. I have been through the exact same thing with my husband being the exact same way. After a while I told him that I wanted to go see a therapist. He told me that scared him because thats for people with problems or who are in trouble. I flat out told him we are in trouble. If I didn’t get a break on a more regular basis we were going to end up getting a divorce. Mind you this wasn’t our first conversation about it. In fact I had talked to him 4 or 5 times before I implied that no change would eventually lead to divorce.

        I found that the change they are being asked to make had to be less painful for them then staying the way they are. At least this was true for my husband. Once he realized/understood that it was always going to be “this way” he changed his tone pretty quick.

        For me, once I started getting 4 hours a week to myself, everything changed. I go shopping (for myself-not the kids), I go to the gun range, have adult time coffee with friends, whatever. My husband and I are happier than we have ever been and our “stolen moments” are more precious and intimate. Its amazing since its not that much time really but it really was enough. So much so that I have changed my tune about my 3 year old going to preschool (I was desperate for him to start before).

        I wish there were some magic words that makes it easier for all of us. I wish we were all closer to each other so we could just hug and cry our way through together.

        Good luck Eva, it can get better I promise, just don’t forget to take care of yourself. With out you and your husband, you don’t have a family so you really have to be a priority.

  24. [...] The Honest Mommy (I could nominate her just on the basis of her post about SAHM burnout alone) [...]

  25. Elizabeth Says:

    All of these comments and feelings resonate so clearly for me. It is confusing to know what is going to be the best for you and/or your family. I have found that sometimes those two things don’t happen at the same time and have chosen to look at my life as a series of ‘chapters’. It helps me anyway, to not think that this sadness/boredom/guilt even though I have what I thought I wanted/confusion/etc will last forever. I know that when my children were very young and going through the tough toddler times or any challenging developmental stage, I reminded myself that each stage usually lasted no longer than 6 months then things would be better. Many years later I am trying to apply this to myself, though not so successfully (we are our own harshest critics I think). I settle for being a work in progress who certainly does not have all the answers. I feel I did it all backwards. Had the career with all the attendant intellectual stimulation PLUS stress, while my kids were young. They were in daycare for the first 10 years. Then I hit the burnout wall and became a SAHM when the kids were in grade 5 and 1. No kids during the day, me trying to transition from intense physical/mental activity to basically nothing, left me a very depressed lady. It has been four years now and while I would not trade this time with the kids for anything I do feel that I am just enabling everyone else’s life to move smoothly. I suppose that is an achievement in itself, but trying to transition away from actual measurements of one’s productivity (ie paycheque) is difficult. The dreaded question….so what did you do today? I know I was busy, but…..tough to answer that and make it interesting. Bottom line, I have done it both ways and each way has its drawbacks and blessings. Trying to expect that you can be superwoman in both is unrealistic. It helps if you can alleviate the loneliness which I find is the hardest part. A daily yoga class is essential – it is something that is good for me, provides some social contact, gets me out and is a routine. I am so grateful to be home with my boys after school, I know them so much better and can be more relaxed and share more of their life. The bonus of not juggling work demands when kids are sick or off school is also a blessing. The family just works better with me at home. The loneliness part, well, not sure about that. I find all the women I know who are my age (46) are now at work because they stayed home when their kids were babies. The ones who are not working are usually retired, which I don’t consider myself. So the demographics is an issue. Anyway, thank you for this blog, it is so helpful to read other’s stories and know that no matter what stage we are at we kind of all feel the same.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Elizabeth, Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I myself don’t know too many women who have “done it both ways” *and* are willing to be candid about the pros and cons of each way!

  26. Susanna Says:

    I just came across this blog post today and wish I had come across it a LONG TIME AGO!:) I googled SAHMS with depression today because that is what I am right now, a tired, burned out SAHM of 3 kids all at home with me (trying to homeschool the oldest) and I am feeling like I am hanging on with the skin of my teeth. I have never felt closer to falling apart. And you hit the nail on the head when you said that so few moms are truly willing to admit it if they are feeling the same way and seem to look down on someone such as myself who has always been very raw and unedited in my feelings. This can be good on the rare occasion when talking with someone who truly gets it but more than not, no one does get it.

    Thanks again for this…it truly blessed me/encouraged me today!

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Susanna, Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you have found some comfort here! As you know, I am no stranger to days where every task feels like fingernails on the chalkboard. Hugs to you.

  27. christina Says:

    I’m so glad I found this post. I was wondering if I was just choosing not to be happy. I do feel trapped, not by a snowstorm but by obligation and all the many little tasks that sahm moms have to do. I told my husband once that the house has some magnetic force on me and it want let me get out,lol. If I were to do this job completly, that is, house cleaned the way it should be, perfect meals, perfect parenting I would easily be working from the time I get up untill the time I went to bed. The truth is I cut corners.Sometimes supper is late but we have a cooked meal every evening. My house is clean but there are some areas I just close the door on and hope no one sees. If I didn’t do that I would be like a little ant just working, working, working. The times dh sees me sitting and relaxing, he don’t understand I had to fight for that time. I had to let some things go for that time.I will pay for that with having too much to do later. I have to have that time though to keep my sanity. It gives me the balance in my life needed to keep going. It allows me to go outside and feel the sunshine for a change. I do get down if I’m in the house too long. I get down if I work too long and hard.I tend to love my house super clean but I never quite make it there all the way. Housework is not hard work but is time consuming and it sucks the life right out of me,lol. (But at the same time I enjoy the satisfaction of a clean home for my family and I so I do it) Kids are a little tougher but its the toughest job you’ll ever love. I just wish I could keep myself out of that rut I get in once in a while. I find that I am so much happier when I am outside the home. I don’t think it would make things better to get an outside job. That just means more work on top of the stuff I do at home and with the kids. I’ll just be happy to spend a day at the park with the kids or go to dinner with an understanding friend who also has kids. Recharge my batteries then back to the daily grind. I’m trying to do one day on and one day off. The kids might not ever let me completly have a day off but at least I want be cramming all that extra in with it. I have found that just being out of the house makes a world of difference. I also remind myself that this won’t be forever. I have a 15 year old and a six year old so I realize just how fast that time flys. Then we wish they were little again. I do get down but I’m starting to realize that I need that free time, that outside the house time. When they are babies its hard but they are only babies for a short time. When they start going to school I feel it gets easier to work in the much needed out of the house time.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Christina,
      I’ve found that out-of-the-house time is very important for me as well. At times I feel guilty about this, because I don’t have any inkling that my own mother felt that way. But if I can get out of the house, and of course it’s even better if I don’t have the kids with me, I start to get re-charged. Something about being within these four walls makes me crazy sometimes! Wish I had more time to write, but I’ve gotta run. Hugs to you.

  28. christina Says:

    I’m so glad I found this post. I was wondering if I was just choosing not to be happy. I do feel trapped, not by a snowstorm but by obligation and all the many little tasks that sahm moms have to do. I told my husband once that the house has some magnetic force on me and it want let me get out,lol. If I were to do this job completly, that is, house cleaned the way it should be, perfect meals, perfect parenting I would easily be working from the time I get up untill the time I went to bed. The truth is I cut corners.Sometimes supper is late but we have a cooked meal every evening. My house is clean but there are some areas I just close the door on and hope no one sees. If I didn’t do that I would be like a little ant just working, working, working. The times dh sees me sitting and relaxing, he don’t understand I had to fight for that time. I had to let some things go for that time.I will pay for that with having too much to do later. I have to have that time though to keep my sanity. It gives me the balance in my life needed to keep going. It allows me to go outside and feel the sunshine for a change. I do get down if I’m in the house too long. I get down if I work too long and hard.I tend to love my house super clean but I never quite make it there all the way. Housework is not hard work but is time consuming and it sucks the life right out of me,lol. (But at the same time I enjoy the satisfaction of a clean home for my family and I so I do it) Kids are a little tougher but its the toughest job you’ll ever love. I just wish I could keep myself out of that rut I get in once in a while. I find that I am so much happier when I am outside the home. I don’t think it would make things better to get an outside job. That just means more work on top of the stuff I do at home and with the kids. I’ll just be happy to spend a day at the park with the kids or go to dinner with an understanding friend who also has kids. Recharge my batteries then back to the daily grind. I’m trying to do one day on and one day off. The kids might not ever let me completly have a day off but at least I want be cramming all that extra in with it. I have found that just being out of the house makes a world of difference. I also remind myself that this won’t be forever. I have a 15 year old and a six year old so I realize just how fast that time flys. Then we wish they were little again. I do get down but I’m starting to realize that I need that free time, that outside the house time. When they are babies its hard but they are only babies for a short time. When they start going to school I feel it gets easier to work in the much needed out of the house time. I can so relate to the part about thinking about getting out of the house and everything but that will come up needing to be done. It happens to me time and time again. I wonder do I just manage my time badly but I have come to realize that somethings are easier just to go with instead of fight against. I’ll try again tomorrow to get to that park and tell my friends I need an off day in my house in order to get out of the house so don’t look at it. lol.

  29. Jess Says:

    Thank you all so much for helping me to realize that I am NOT crazy! ;) I have 3 kids at home with me…the oldest will be 6 in June, and the youngest is 7 months old. I’ve been a SAHM since kiddo #1 and I feel like I am a perfect example of a SAHM burnout! I’ve done EVERY SINGLE Mommy group, class, event, etc… out there…and find that maybe I don’t like being forced to choose my friends based on how well our kids play together at the park or not. :) My family all lives across the country from us, so not having Grandparents near (nd a husband who works 6 days a week and rolls his eyes at me whenever he comes home from work and I am beyond frustrated with LIFE…lol). I’m currently looking for a PT job…even if it means I see DH less….I really think I need it for my sanity! I’ve NEVER been a recluse before…LOVE people! Just am about over storytime, playgroups, and forcing akward converstions with other moms just so my children can be socialized ;) THANK YOU for letting me vent, also :)

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Jess, Thanks for stopping by and venting! I love everything you said! Very few people who aren’t SAHMS, even and especially husbands of SAHMS, realize what it’s truly like to feel trapped day after day after day.

    • Your comment about being done with awkward conversations with other moms resonated with me. I’ve suddenly started dealing with social anxiety. I dread picking the kids up from school because of having to make conversations with the ladies in the schoolyard. I don’t dislike any of them, but I can’t stand talking about our kids or school issues anymore.

      • lotsofopinions Says:

        That reminds me! A few days ago I ran into a mom-acquaintance in the children’s section of the library. My gut reaction was that I did not want to talk with her! I just wanted to get my pile of books and get out. Of course, I acted sweet and happy to see her. Given all of the friendship trouble I’ve had over the past year, I can’t afford to be (nor would I want to be) snotty towards another mom.

  30. Kathleen Says:

    Amen! I have two amazingly energetic boys that are 15 mo apart. My oldest will be 3 at the end of July . Being a SAHM is what I wanted to do. I was a early childhood teacher for 6 years & would babysit after hours and also nannied to 2 years. Little did I know the one thing I was really good at with everyone else’s children I suck with mine. (my feeling) or I can be a homemaker or a mom but not both at the same time . Thank you for your post. It’s very isolating when friends are not at the same phase of life or the fact my mom didn’t stay home so not a good reference. Before I ramble more , thanks!!!

  31. Cindy Says:

    I just want to run from my house sometimems, but then I feel horrible because I love my kids. My husband does NOT get it at all. I don’t have a minute to myself from 5AM till I’m asleep. In the evenings I have to get the kids bathed, brush their teeth etc. Hubby can’t help do anything cause he is in school (difficult nursing clinicals) and working. When they finally go to sleep after an hour of putting them back in bed, I just want to drop. I’m so drained. But there is hubby wanting his time from me. As much as I love him it makes me want to cry & it makes me hate him. I have to give to him just like I do my children. We don’t even have time to talk or interact anymore. I just have to play happy horny housewife to make him happy, but I’m so depressed I CANT!!! THAT is ruining our marriage. When we lay in bed at night there is this tension because he wants to f___. I love him, but I hate it……would rather sleep on the couch.

  32. Dee Says:

    Thanks for expressing what I’ve been trying to say! Sharing this post. :)

    • Staphany Says:

      Im si glad i found this post!!!. I have been a SAHM for just over a year now and let me say it is driving me insane. I used to be the one to always bring in the money and provide. Now with having 4 kids 7 and under i am finding myself getting upset about the littlest things. My husband says he understands but he doesnt. He gets upset because the house looks like a tornado and that im tired by the time he gets home. He works from 2pm-10pm 5 days a weeks. I have one child who has a severe case of ADHD a newborn and the other two dnt always help with the mix. I just am glad that there are ithers who feel the same. My husband has gone as far as supporting me in finding a job but its not that easy. But he seems to think so. Sometimes i just want to run away and not come back but then i feel horrible about it. My mother is the same way about not being very helpful with any advice and most of my friends are in another city and are “PERFECT “….. IDK but i definitely feel burned out and need some me time but i cant leave for more than 4 hours with out the hubby freaking out…. thanks for listening to me rant

      • lotsofopinions Says:

        Staphany, Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I’m sure we can all relate to what you shared!
        For myself, the battle against SAHM Burnout is ongoing. Currently it’s summertime, and having both kids all day, every day can really wear on me at times. More than ever, I *need* time away so that I have a chance to remember who I am.

  33. Heather Says:

    I have been a sahm for 10 months now. I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 4 month old boy. I have a graphic design degree and ran my own sign business for 6 years before deciding to sell and stay home.
    Who knew it would be this difficult? I always felt guilty about the little time I spent with my son, now he drives me nuts many days. He is still adjusting to sharing his mommy. We are very short on money so I shop wisely and stress about it. I also have to reign in that stress since I know hubby is doing his best at work.
    Long story short, hubs thinks I overreact and have depression and should be loving every minute of it. All the sahm’s I know act like step ford wives like life is perfect.
    Thanks for your story, it helps!

  34. Thank you for this post! So many times it feels like no one understands me and I just bottle it all up. The older generation tell you that you have it so easy now. Even other SAHMs, as you mentioned, seem quite content. It’s difficult to explain so I’m glad you did it for me.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      You bet I understand! And lots of other moms do, too, as you can see from all the comments here.

  35. Kaytee Says:

    Wow, you hit the naii on the head for me! And i thank you for that. i havent had the time to read all these comments yet (lol), but i will soon. Im dealing with burnout and alot of mommy/wife guilt. This has made me very unhappy. I do my best, but feel its not quite enough …its never enough. My home feels a mess and when i clean, i can only do the basic “tidy-up”. The “tidy-up” only lasts till 6pm (while i make dinner) then by 8pm its in disarray again, then i have dinner mess to add to it all. All of this as well as playing with my 28mo DS all day, trying to teach him and dealing with tantrums make it difficult to do much else. I try to clean as i go but i feel like it doesnt make a dent. i try to cook super healthy meals as well as keep the fam looking clean. i feel like im on a treadmill — sweating but not going anywhere! i feel sad and very disappointed in myself. I had a back injury whilst pregnant and have had problems ever since. i dont drive, and freinds are non-existent since i got married and had my son. i hate complaining, but i have no one to talk to. I just stay inside my home with the exception of grocery shopping and my once a week visit to playschool with DS.I truly love my family, and enjoy watching them grow, but i feel like im just getting older and dying on the inside. Does anyone else experience these things? ..is it just me?

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hi Kaytee, Wow, I am right there with you in so many regards. Cleaning – seriously – seems so pointless much of the time. Dying on the inside – yes, I have definitely been there. I feel guilty for not wanting to spend more time cooking, cleaning, and generally being domestic… but when my 4yo goes off to preschool three mornings per week, all I want to do is be out and about (mainly working on my photography biz). I get home at noon, and the dishes and laundry and messes are still there, but at least I got to go out and feel like an adult for a few hours.
      I don’t have any magic words of wisdom for you, except to hang in there and try to figure out what, if anything makes life more bearable for you.

  36. Mother Of Twins in the City Says:

    This is just what I needed to see. Thank you. I have been a stay at home mom of twins who will be four this summer. It’s an amazing job, but also the hardest job I’ve ever undertaken. In the last two months I have really started to feel the burnout. It’s been tough. It’s hard to be the happy housewife after a day of struggling with two very willfull children but also trying to accomplish whatever is needed on any given day. It’s hard to explain to others how difficult it can be because it comes across as whining or as though you really don’t want to be with your children. It doesn’t help when you think that so many other people go through the same thing, so should I feel sorry for myself? I was finally able to explain to my husband that I was struggling. My husband is a great father and mate, but I still think it’s difficult for him to understand the toll that this takes day in and day out. I have worked since I was able to get my first work permit at 16, but never had I had a job where the hours start at approximately 6:45am and don’t end until about 9:30-10:00pm, with no sick time and pretty much zero time off. Yes, after close to four years it’s wearing on me.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      MotherOfTwins, I apologize it took me so long to process your comment! You have 4yo twins — you go, girl! I surely hope any mother, SAHM or not, would give you a high five (and a latte) for doing what you do every single day. You are right, though, it can be so hard for our partners to understand how draining this job is. Sometimes I just dread weekends, and it’s hard for me to be cheerful and productive, but I keep it to myself because I don’t want to drag my husband down…. but the truth is, I’m just dying inside because weekends can be worse than weekdays.

  37. Monica Says:

    Stay at home mom of 11years! I’m so burned out, past depression. Love my kids so much but its always been about the them & no time or rewards for me. I’m waiting for my 4 year old to go to PreK for 2013-2014, haven’t got a notice yet but hopefully she goes then I’ll be kid free for 6hrs, WOW!, haven’t experienced that and I think what am I gonna do with myself, what kind of little job to get cuz I’ve been shut off from the social adult world cuz I need to be inside cooking, cleaning, preparing for family. And I do NOT want a job that has anything to do with the chores I have to do at home and getting paid minimum wage for it cuz im worth more than that but I’m horrible with communication and words. Whats a mama to do.

    • Monica Says:

      I forgot to mention 3 kids I raised with the occasional help of my husband when he’s not busy working providing us financially but it still not enough to get us to enjoy family activities like movies, shopping, water parks, etc. you know family stuff, but my point is I didn’t have my mother, my father, or grandparents, or aunts or uncles, or cousins to help out. It was just me. I had a dysfunctional family like “George Lopez” but it wasn’t funny so they pushed me off cuz I wanted something better on how to raise my family, you know lots of love, respect, rules, manners, family fun too but it was better off like that so there wouldn’t be no drama but its just the fact of no help for me really let myself go and feel alone in all this.

  38. Colleen Says:

    Hey I googled.. I’m a stay at home mom with no friends or family after a crying fit all day and I found this page. I’ve read and was able to identify with just about everyone :) So thank you!!! I have 3 boys now aged 13, 9 and 8. I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years now (I’m 34). I’ve done the MOPS bit and ladies Bible studies and have never felt more rejected or outcasted in my life!! Growing up I ALWAYS had lots of friends. Guys and girls. I’ve been trying SO SO hard to find work ANY WORK just to get me out of the house a bit and help out financially. It so hard some days. I come from a large family (11 kids) I’m the middle child and I only talk to 1 sister who is 7 years younger than me and just started dating her 1st boyfriend so she can’t really identify with the things I go through. I don’t want to go into family details but let me just say I’m not quite sure why my family refuses to associate with me and hubby and boys. Anyway all I really wanted to say was thank you. I’m not insane LOL My husband isn’t much help. He actually stays away when I’m sad and depressed and cry. I don’t blame him for not understanding I just wish that he’d give me that hug/kiss sometimes. I’ve told him before that when I’m like “THAT” it’s what I need. And maybe to get out a bit. Hoping there is a rainbow at the end of this storm

    • Colleen Says:

      I just was thinking after I wrote my bit…..Do men have a blog post about living with stay at home wives?? LOL Sorry but I have to say apart from loving my kids and husband the only thing that keeps me going is a good sense of humor :}

  39. Bridget Erickson Says:

    Feeling this completely.

  40. Beans Says:

    I have seriously been feeling the burnout lately as well. I bawled almost all day about a week ago. My husband was so concerned and I didn’t really know why I was crying. I feel inadequate and some days I feel like a failure. My mom was a single mom who always worked. My mother-in-law has 9 children and has always been a stay at home mom. But I feel like if I talk to her she will just think-wow, you’re burnt out and you only have two children??? I don’t know how to make myself feel better and this depressed feeling isn’t quite going away. I want to be honest with myself and true to my feelings but I don’t know how to make myself feel better. I feel like people will just judge me and think I’m a big whiner and I should be so thankful and grateful for my life, which I am, but I cannot help feeling this way. I love my kids so much and don’t want to let them down but I feel like I am.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Hang in there! I really understand what you’re saying. It’s not easy to “feel better” when all efforts to do so seem to run into a dead end. On a side note, I’m not convinced that antidepressants are much of an answer for someone like you or me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing antidepressants; just saying that they can raise their own issues and problems once they’re used. Personally, I have found some help and solace in the books Diet Cure (or Mood Cure, might suggest Mood Cure over Diet Cure) by Julia Ross. It’s not an easy fix, but then, what is?
      Anyway, hang in there and keep looking for what makes you feel better.

  41. mommamal Says:

    I know this is an old post but I’m so glad I found it. I am mother of 2 year old twins with a history of depression. I have not had to battle depression since my kids have been born and I have been very worried that it has been creeping up on me lately. Reading this makes me feel more normal and a little more in control. Like this is a phase and it can be short lives rather than a huge deal with no light at the end of the tunnel, at least not in the near future. I also appreciate that I know you understand I can say all that and that I still love my sons dearly. I just want to be the best mom I can be and I feel like I’m failing. No one can make you understand how hard this truly is without living it. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Sending my love to you! This is a very difficult phase of life, especially considering you have twins. Don’t let anyone else make you feel inferior; don’t compare yourself to other moms who seem to have it all together. There are days when cutting up a banana for my kid just drives me crazy and I don’t know if I am the only one who feels that way….

  42. Jackie Says:

    The thing that our mothers forget is that they did not constantly supervise their children. Kids can go outside freely, ride bikes and play with kids in the neighborhood. If my kids stepped outside of the house, there is no one out there. Kids are in daycare/aftercare, structured activities or watching TV/playing video games. Mothers are now responsible for not only cooking, cleaning, laundry but being playmates to our children. This is the most difficult task for me as a SAHM.


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