I want my cake and to eat it, too


After two and a half weeks of the SAHM gig, I’m having mixed feelings.

And, I should be savoring it because this SAHM thing is only temporary. I’ve only got 6 weeks and a day left until I have to go back to teaching.

I love that I get to stay at home with my girls. I really do. I get to see and hear all of the fun things they are doing. For instance, #2 started talking yesterday (“baba” and “dada”) and #1 said “I have an idea.” I would never hear that if they were in daycare and I got home at 5pm.

And, remember, I am a working mom just having a summer break, so I totally know what it’s like. I get home at 5pm, cook dinner with two fussy kids that just want attention, bathe them, get them to bed and start all over again the next morning.

At the same time, poor #1 is totally bored with me. We’ve done fun things (park, walk, play date, library, store, kiddy pool, etc), but she really wants interaction with more kids. She wants to play. She needs more structure. And, she is killing me wanting to watch tv.

But, in addition to wanting to stay home with my girls, I really feel like I need a little time off. Not just a couple hours at Bible Study, but an entire day, heck even a morning, to do what I want. I just need a break. I can totally see how mother’s morning out or other programs are such a success.

I don’t know if I have this SAHM gig down. Do you other SAHM have lots of breaks. An hour here, an hour there? Do you hire a sitter during the day just to get out? Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.

Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. And, don’t think that I don’t appreciate my kids and that I don’t love them. Because I do! Very much so, but I think we just need a little break from each other.

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  1. Hey Krystyn!
    As you have found out being a SAHM is taxing. Quite a few think we just sit around, but it's hard keeping the kiddos entertained, learning, not getting into stuff, cleaning, being a taxi, paying bills, cooking and everything else we do. What I do and have found out it works is when DH comes home I go and take a walk by myself with my mp3 player. I'm alone, enjoying fresh air and music and I can think. HTH and good luck! You get to spend time that you otherwise wouldn't.

  2. I get it….I already told my husband that if I get to stay home and not work then I would still have something to do for myself. I would love to volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center & then my kids would have to have child care. I feel like all I do is usher them from one activity to the next during the summer. We are more busy than the school year!!

  3. When Baby P was seven weeks old, I tried going back to work and just couldn't bear being away from him. I thought that the SAHM gig would be perfect for me, but now that he's fifteen weeks old, I'm really wishing I had a job again. I love him and I love seeing everything that he does, but not having any down time or time when I don't have to worry about what he needs has started to wear on me. Especially since I don't have a spouse on dry land to help out, it's just me, all day and all night.

    I found a fellow Navy wife, whose husband is also deployed, and we swap kids at least once a week. It may just be long enough to hit the grocery store alone, but even that little time apart makes a difference.

    So don't feel bad about getting a sitter or leaving your girls with a friend so you can have some alone time.


  4. You definitely have to develop systems to help you cope. I used do "moms morning out", drop off my son with another SAHM friend, or work out times when I went out and hubby stayed in. And of course, there's PRESCHOOL! Whew-hew!

    Maybe next summer, Izzy will be old enough for VBS or "summer school". There are a few preschools in our area that offer little sessions… an hour or two once a week for six weeks.

  5. I can totally relate to what you are saying! I have a training next week for school, and am actually looking forward to it, when we were told about it, I was upset that they were taking part of my summer to be home with my kids.

  6. It's honestly the hardest job I've ever had…seriously.

    I don't get breaks. My break? If I'm lucky to shower without Isabella wanting to come in and spend time with me!

    But I wouldn't change it for the world. I did go shopping and to lunch this past weekend with a friend. Amazing. It felt so good to be myself for a few hours and not in constant mommy mode 🙂

    I hope you find a way to get a few hours to yourself, honey!! Even if it's just to go get a coffee or pedi or something. Go and treat yourself to something special–you deserve it, momma!

  7. I joined a gym that has a great kids' program. They have a nursery, and the toddlers get to go do a gymnastics-type program while I'm working out. It's a win-win situation.

  8. I imagine that is a tough situation – a lot of change for all of you. And as soon as you guys get into a groove, it will be time for school to start. Such is life 🙂

  9. haha! I think I just get used to not having any actual time to myself! Let's schedule another playdate so Izzy can have some more kid time…you know, when she comes over and Melody won't share any toys? lol

  10. I can tell you right now that you're probably not the only mother feeling this way. My aunt is a SAHM of 1.5 year old twins (B&G;) and a 9 yr old G (during the summer). She takes her kids to MDO every other day so that they can interact with other kids and all of them love it – including her. She can get stuff done around the house, outside of the house, and she doesn't feel one bit of guilt. I think you should give it a try – maybe just on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  11. Nope. I really get no breaks. I'm not kidding. I think the last time I had an hour to myself is when I got my hair cut a few weeks ago. And I hadn't done that in three months. It is rare when I have more than just a few moments of me time.
    I think I am just used to it now or something, cuz it doesn't even bother me anymore. Hmmm. Weird.

    Can you get your girls to nap at all? I MAKE my boys nap at the same time. My oldest rarely sleeps more than a half an hour but I make him stay quietly in his room for at least an hour. That helps. ???
    Good luck! 🙂

  12. i have a whole post on this in my head…in fact i had a mental mommy break down today on this topic.

    so i get it. totally.

  13. While on paper you may have an ideal situation: a full time job, but summers off to be a SAHM, it's a lot more difficult to find that balance.

    I would say that you need to find that balance in YOU first. I know some women who get a sitter for a few hours one day a week and do something for themselves, even if it's just to go to the grocery store and take their time in doing so.

    For me, I can't save it up and get time alone once a week. It is not cumulative for me. I need a few moments every day. Sometimes if I just get in the yard and hand water plants for 15 minutes, or take a catnap in my room for 20… it works for me.

    If Izzy needs a bit of interaction with other kids, look to Parks N Rec and see if there is a little camp or class an hour or two each week. And breathe.

  14. While I'm not a SAHM, I can really relate to your desire to have some alone time. I used to feel guilty about wanting time to myself, but I found that if I didn't take care of myself first, I would become more and more grumpy with the kids. So not fair to anyone.

    If budgets permit, can you hire a sitter for the morning or make an arrangement for a long playdate so you can have at least a few hours to yourself?

  15. I have been at this stay at home mom gig for 3+ years now…no breaks. It's hard. Sometimes I feel like I lost who I am because I can't think straight anymore between all the demands.

  16. Hang in there!!! I promise it is worth it 🙂

    Structure blocks of time throughout the day. ie. quiet book time, independent play dough time; then you take this time to yourself & set a timer. That seems to work for Josiah.

    Also I do the babysitting swap, its nice for both moms. Something else that I have recently tried with a friend, is running errands together. So we can help each other with the kids.

    Be sure to share what works!

  17. No time at all to myself. The first night I had away from my daughter was giving birth to my son. My family finally came and visited when my son was one year old and my husband and I took a night off.

    No just me time.

  18. I hear you girl…I've always felt bad for saying I would not be a good SAHM. I need adult time as much as I think Landon needs kid interaction!
    I think it would be great for a few weeks, but Landon would be bored with me too!
    I know you love the girls and value every second with them, but I know what you mean!
    Find a groupe of moms to hang out with maybe!
    ps. "I have no idea" was one of his favoriite sayings! Now its " I have no idea what you are talking about!" Kids these days!!
    Enjoy your 6 weeks and 1 day left!!

  19. I can so relate to needing a break. My youngest recently gave up her nap (which was also forced quiet time for my oldest and computer time for me). I am finding that I really needed that break to get me through the day. Not to mention the fact that a real vacation is long over due. Finding the right balance is a struggle.

    But I guess my one piece of advice would be to find mommy friends to hang out with. It may not truly be a break from the kids, but it does take the pressure of entertaining your kids off you and give you another adult to chat with. Friends that you can really be yourself around and don't expect your house to be clean are best.

  20. Being a SAHM is difficult.
    There are days that I put both of them in the car, turn the music up really loud and just drive around. I'm not even kidding. Sometimes I need just one minute of peace. ha!
    I insist on one date night every weekend. Without it, I would go nuts. I also stay up until the wee hours of the morning doing things I love to do like watch my DVRed shows, read, blog, etc.
    We are lucky that my parents and Ryan parents live about 5 minutes away. We have more than enough free babysitters and we love it.
    Routine is key in our house. Caroline knows when she wakes up that we eat breakfast, watch a one or two shows on Noggin while I do my chores, get dressed, play/park/structured type activity, lunch, wash up, clean up kitchen while Caroline colors/plays, naptime, etc. I have found that a structured schedule is best.
    That's all I've got! Good luck! Only six more weeks. haha!

  21. I'm a SAHM.

    I rarely get out.

    I get breaks here and there but they are few and far between. The longest break I get is when they are in bed for the night. That's when I respond to comments and try to write my novel.

  22. i dont have any time for myself. with that said, this sahm, puts her kids to bed super duper early. for sanity. 🙂

  23. Some days are really tough … I try to unwind during naptime. But I only have one child (until next week or so!), so I know that's totally different! I'd love a "mom's day out" program near me.

  24. I know where you're coming from, but the other side. I'm a working, single mom so breaks from the kids are very few and far between. Now my kids are older, so it's a little bit easier, but to keep your sanity, you will have to find "me" time even if your only a SAHM for six weeks.

    Visiting from MomDot Linky

  25. good luck with this… i know SAHM is not in my DNA… in some ways i envy anyone who has it… and in others i'm glad i have what i have…
    that is hard to say in public 😛

  26. I think it's completely normal to need a break from the kids. And for them to get a break from home. Little day camps or church camps or something here and there this summer would give you a nice break, and DON'T FEEL GUILTY.

  27. The tv thing drives me crazy too! And I hate to admit that sometimes I turn it on just to get away for an hour! It is a constant struggle to try to keep them entertained. Especially with the age difference, EJ can't do all of the things Libby can. Honestly I don't get a day off very often. Usually an occasional Saturday morning to get my hair done or something. The SAHM's life really is a 24/7 job. Brad was talking about a family vacation the other night and I told him that really i don't want to do one because if the kids come, it isn't a vacation for me. I would rather take the kids to the beach for the day and come home to our own beds and call that a vacation.

  28. You need a vacation from you "vacation"! Get a day to yourself any way you can. We all need it. Massage? Facil? Mani pedi? Enjoy 🙂

  29. Do you have a friend or neighbor that could watch them for a couple of hours while you go to Target and Starbucks and well, just have a drive in the car by yourself? HA!

    Any breaks I get are over until school starts again in August, so I kinda feel ya…

  30. My only "breaks" are naptime and after they go to bed, and sometimes I get out by myself to go grocery shopping- but if I could do anything about this, I would! We just have no family nearby or babysitters, and my husband works 6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. But if you can get a babysitter here and there- do it, and don't feel guilty! Moms need time to get out and do normal things too!

  31. My mom was a SAHM for us 8 kids and I don't see how she did it. Or rather how she did it and didn't rip my dads head off and throw it in the sewer. 😉 Goodluck, I hope everyone else gives you good suggestions!!

  32. Please plan a mini-vacay while i am there! Hide the Vaseline and A&D; Ointments, of course, but do plans something. David offered last night to get me a car or truck while I am there so you can go do your thing for the day and I can take the girls places. I really will be ok with them over night! We would have a blast! Do they have a splash pad near you at a park? They are popping up all over around here. Izzy could interact with othe kiddos and you and Sampson could still enjoy the cool splashes from the water.

  33. Firefly@fireflyblog.org says:

    All I can tell you is hang in there and see when your hubby is home can you have some time just for you.
    For 4 years now I'm SAHM and one with no brakes ever. I'm lucky when hubby is home on weekends to take a shower at least without door wide open LOL
    Sometimes I get so lucky that my in-laws or my parents (but they live far from us) take Princess for a day (ok like 5 hours) on those days I want to scream how happy I am LOL but that only happens like once every month or two.
    I almost always take her in the store with me and everywhere I go some days are ugh…but most are fine.
    And you're right I do get to see and hear all those firsts :)which makes it all worth it!

  34. I think about being a SAHM often. I've been home with my kids for almost 10 years and have really never known anything different. I do feel the struggles of wanting 'grown up' time and conversation as well as the isolation of being home with your children all day. I have found that changing my attitude about being with my kids all day from a sacrifice or a chore and even sometimes {gasp} boring to one of looking for fun things to do together, teaching my kids something new, in essence just being together and watching them grow has helped me out tremendously. But I do oh so recommend a girls night out with friends and a date night at least once a week. Moms. Need. It. Trust me! I have five kids and I know

  35. It is tough. All mothering is. I didn't have any time off. It just took a while to kinda get the rhythm down.

  36. I don't even remember the last time I got to go to the toilet alone in daylight hours.

  37. Now I don't know from personal experience, but I do know that being a SAHM is a tough gig. It's work. The only difference? No personal or sick days.

    One mother I know sends her children to day care twice a week. That way, she can have some time off to do whatever she wants, in addition to keeping the house. Another mom we're friends with hires a sitter for a few hours during the day at least once a week for the same thing.

    The most important thing I'm told though, is not to feel guilty for wanting some alone time.

  38. I don't get regular breaks. I hardly get breaks at all! I usually only take a break when it's too late and I've already lost it and my family basically kicks me out of the house!

    Good luck and hang in there!

  39. I don't get a break but for me getting together with another mom and going to the park or pool or something is heaven. I get adult conversation and the kids have something to entertain themselves. Other than that at nap time I don't do house work I have me time. The older two that don't nap have quite time and are suppose to read books or play quietly. That is about 30 minutes a day for me.

  40. I'm a SAHM not be choice, but because Tristan came so early and requires alot of attention…

    I really can say I have enjoyed it, but we sure have struggled in the money area, to make ends meet.

    Since you have to go back to work I would just make the most of it, give and take, and give in a bit (let her watch tv) then maybe you would have some "you" time.

    I don't really get a break until Tristan takes a nap. I look forward to that. Do your girls nap?

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