Also, I gave up ob being a SAHM. I loved it, but in the end it just wasn't enough. I needed to find me again. My kids have such a different lifestyle to what I had growing up, but it keeps me sane.
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16-07-2015 11:13 #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2014
16-07-2015 11:35 #12
My children have taught me things about myself. They have taught me not to judge others. They have taught me about the virtue of patience even when it's tested to the brink. They have taught me about unconditional love. They have taught me the wonderful feeling of a child's cuddle and love. They have taught me that it is possible to survive off no sleep for almost 4 years.
I don't know what I would do or have done differently. Perhaps have bought a house before having kids, but then I wanted to have them young and who knows when we would have had it if we had waited. I was 25 with my first and 28 with our second. As for parenting them, I only wish I could be more consistent with disciplining and interacting DD as I feel that that is the crux of my parenting woes at the moment.
16-07-2015 11:35 #13
I'm am definitely NOT a chilled out or relaxed person, or I wasn't. Stress head would be much closer to the truth. It made for an unpleasant pregnancy, but the positive from that is I had to learn to relax. I had high BP during pregnancy so had to finish up work very early on. I used that time to get my fill of "me time" - I read, I soaked in long baths, I learned to meditate, I did the things that I knew I wouldn't be able to do very frequently once bub came along. I guess in many ways I changed my approach to life.
There are some great resources out there for mums (and mums-to-be) to help with the parenting journey. Maybe you could take a look. While pregnant I read Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Naphtali. And one of my favourite blogs is the Abundant Mama. Both advocate mindfulness and slowing life down. I can honestly say these practices have changed my life for the better.
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16-07-2015 11:42 #14
We had our first just before I turned 23 (DP was 25). We had been together since we were teenagers. We owned a house; DP had his business(es); I had a couple of degrees and the ability to find work. I desperately wanted a baby, and DP wanted to get the baby stage 'over and done with' if we were going to have kids.
In hindsight, it may have been better to wait a few years so that we were more financially established and I had something more of a career. I found it very difficult finding work that fitted with the lifestyle I wanted when returning to work after DD. The added stress of children also had a significant effect on DP's mental health. Not directly - but due to the fact that he couldn't attend to his business in the way that he wanted to.
Having said that, I don't regret our timing at all. I love the family that we have, and have no clue what would have been if we had waited longer to have children. Whatever the downsides, we make it work, and there are some definite benefits too. For one, will be in our early to mid fourties when our kids are grown, and (health permitting) able to pursue other interests and dreams more fully. Our kids also get to grow up knowing my parents- something that they may not have been able to do had we waited.
16-07-2015 11:59 #15
@Cat74 I agree with learning to slow down and relax - I was always a huge stress head and I found it so hard to relax. But then my health went down the sh!tter and 3 months later I was preg. Those 2 things combined meant that I had to learn to relax and take things in my stride more - learn to just let things be, have more quiet time, and do things I enjoyed more. I still have my moments of course but having DS has really helped me to find a bit more peace and calm in my life.
Actually if there's one thing I regret it's not taking time to myself before he arrived. I had planned to work til 38 weeks but he arrived at 37. I was busting my gut getting stuff done before I went on leave and I regret not having time to relax myself and connect with him/enjoy the last of my pregnancy in the last weeks.
16-07-2015 12:00 #16
You ladies are the best. Thank you for being so open & honest with me. It is a huge help!
16-07-2015 12:20 #17
Having a baby is hard work. Harder than you can even imagine and in ways you don't expect. But I couldn't imagine life without my ds or without children. It has changed my values and my lifestyle - for the better. We get out more on weekends, we go for more walks, eat family meals together, dh got a more family friendly job.
I love my role as a Mum and I don't have a problem having little to no "hobbies". That said I am also studying so I really don't have time for hobbies...I feel like I should have them but its not something I really want.
Retrospectively, the timing of ds was probably perfect even though at the time I thought it wasn't. It is much easier organising study around motherhood than it would be organising a job or career. My study is reasonably flexible so now I think having a baby while doing a PhD was actually a great idea contrary to popular belief!
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16-07-2015 13:30 #18
If I could wave a magic wand I would wish I met DH 5 years earlier and he was 5 years older ! I met him when I was 35 ( he was 25) and we had DS when I was 38, I had trouble conceiving after that , miscarriages and now at 43 I'm too old for more kids, I never in a million years thought I'd be so maternal and it wasn't until I had DS that I realised this! We much prefer our lives now to before DS and regret not trying harder to have kids sooner
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16-07-2015 15:09 #19
I love my kids and I would definitely do it all again. Only thing I would change was the timing but there are pros and cons to everything.
I like motherhood when it's balanced with part time work. I don't cope well being a SAHM FT for more than 6-12mths. I need the external stimulation that working outside the house gives me. It also allows for that bit more flexibility in the finances. I don't like living week to week and struggling. I have a great social circle and get out of the house everyday for something whether it's just work or a gym session with friends, or library time with mothers group.
What I found is that I enjoy parenthood because I have a life/interests outside parenting. I still have kid free friends that want to go out to dinners, the theatre, dancing till 3am or boozy nights. I also have mummy friends that commiserate with me when my kids are feral or not sleeping and are free for lunch on Wednesdays. I also get sufficient "me" time so my identity as a woman is not superseded by being 'a mum'. Some ppl are happy with that but I am not.
BUT I have healthy normal kids and whilst my DH is away ALOT we have a great marriage. I'm under no financial stress, I have no underlying health conditions and both DH and I don't have mental health problems. These are the things that can often tip ppl over.
16-07-2015 15:17 #20Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I do wish I'd prepared more for DD's arrival - I was so naive in so many ways!
The positives though for me have been so numerous and far outweigh the tough times. Mothering has given me confidence and strength and taught me patience and gratitude.
I've been a SAHM for the last ten years and next year my youngest starts kindy and I'm going to go back to work part time and I'm really excited about that - it's a new chapter in all our lives.
I have really loved being a SAHM - the first few years were tough but the last seven or so have been really lovely and I feel really blessed to have experienced it.
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