The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

SAHM Burnout: Not sure if my own mother “gets it” December 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 8:37 pm
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My 5yo, Adam, really likes to do arts and crafts. I can see that he has a knack for these things, and I love that about him, really I do.

Enter the 2yo brother, Mark. This is where things get interesting, and tricky. Mark will get into (read: grab, throw, ruin) practically anything he can get his hands on. This means that Adam has almost no choice but to do art projects in his room, with the gate up to keep Adam out.

At that point, if he needs help with something, I have to step over the gate into his room, leaving Mark to his own devices in the rest of the house. If I’m lucky, nothing disastrous will happen in those 1-2 minutes. If I’m not lucky — well — let’s just say I’ve come into the living room to find $700 worth of camera being dragged around like a pull-toy — and NOT because I’ve neglected to safeguard my valuables. There is only so much you can do when your toddler likes to push chairs around the house so he can climb up and get things from high places.

Another dilemma occurs during those precious few hours when Mark is napping. That is the perfect time to do arts and crafts with Adam, right? Well….not always. Many days, by the time Mark goes down for a nap, I am either exhausted, cranky, or ridiculously behind on house work (or any combination of those things).

This is a dilemma that I very often face, but I am wary of trying to explain this to my own mother. At times, especially when a holiday is coming up, she likes to send “craft kits” to Adam. While I appreciate this very, very much, I also know – the moment she brings up the topic – that I will soon find myself in the naptime dilemma once again.

Even though she raised three kids of her own, often I don’t feel comfortable sharing my exhaustion or even my logistical dilemmas with her.  I don’t want to sound like I’m just whining or complaining, or like I just “can’t handle” being a mom. I don’t want it to sound like I don’t want her to send craft kits to Adam. But in the past, when I have put myself out on a limb and have shared things with her, it has often not gone as I wished it to go. As a result, I keep a lot of my struggles and feelings of burn-out to myself.

How about you? Does your mom “get” your exhaustion, frustration, and burn-out? Or do you try to keep it under wraps?

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6 Responses to “SAHM Burnout: Not sure if my own mother “gets it””

  1. Rose Says:

    both! mom does get it but not completely b/c she wasn’t a sahm and also she claims she just enjoyed playing w/us. so although she understands i don’t think it’s completely, so I don’t tell her to what extent I’m going crazy and NEED a break.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Rose, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I just spent an extended weekend staying at my parents’ house (no Hubby) and I certainly tried to put on a happy face even when I was dying inside. My mom does get it sometimes, but doesn’t get it other times (or I’m afraid she won’t get it) and I just don’t want to put myself out there for judgement. On the plus side, my 2yo got up super early almost every day, so that made it easy for both of my parents to understand why I was worn out.

  2. wendy Says:

    My mother was a SAHM for 12 years and has freely admitted that she did not enjoy it much when my sister and I were “little”. I can’t say that makes me feel better, though!

    By the way, great post. I face the same challenges with my art-loving 4 year old and his busy, busy 1-year old brother.

    • lotsofopinions Says:

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad I’m not the only one who just does not want to do project-y artsy craftsy things much!

      • wendy Says:

        I didn’t mind so much when I only had one kid…now the older one constantly demands “help” with that kind of thing and it’s basically impossible to ever get anything done! I am so tired of helping all the time, and I feel like I am always telling him I can’t because I am watching the little one. Ugh.

      • lotsofopinions Says:

        Wendy, I’m with you! Some days I feel like I’m pulled in so many different directions (keeping the little one safe, helping the older one with things, trying to get cooking & laundry done) and I’m not sure how to pull off the cool, calm, & collected demeanor that I want to model for my kids. Especially with the older one, I want him to respect me and my time, but of course I don’t want to just leave him to fend for himself 100% of the time, either.


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