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I think at first and still a lot of times now, the hardest thing is being lonely. I've gotten used to it after all these years but it still gets to me sometimes. Especially since after 9 years of living here I still don't have any friends here. I don't have anyone to go out with or blow off steam with and if I want to talk to friends I have to do it online or via text messaging. It sucks for sure.
A very close second, and maybe even more-so if I think hard about it, would be financially, it's a beast. We're lucky in that we can still "afford" the "extras" that a lot of families give up like cable with special channels, Netflix, game time for WoW for both of us, we still eat out a few times a month, etc. BUT in doing so, it tends to assure we don't keep money in our savings. Yes, I know, we should really cut out all of the unnecessary things in order to maintain a decent safety net, but I have a really hard time letting go lol
Tasia, we are the same with the financial aspect. Although we have cut down in a big way in order to get some money put aside. We had a couple of big bills come up that we couldn't cover, and it snapped me out of it. I needed to prioritize better. We still have a lot of nice things, and we still do eat out, but instead of going to cheap places once or twice a week, we go somewhere nice once a month. We have also started doing pocket money for me and dh. So instead of buying whatever, we have a set amount for personal spending and when it's gone it's gone. It's freed up a bit every month that we can save.
It is hard financially, especially when two income families can't understand why we aren't doing x,y,z or look down their noses at our frugality.
For me the biggest challenge is isolation. I don't have any friends either, and it feels everyone else is having wonderful playdates and outings, but me and my son's are excluded. Everyone else has girls nights out or someone to get a break with. If I need a break from the house, I have to be alone. I hate that!
I have a lot of guilt too. I feel like I don't do enough with my kids. They don't have any playmates, I'm not creative enough, they would be more stimulated in childcare etc. I know most of that is rubbish, but doesn't stop me thinking it!
I used to be really, really good at saving money. The only catch was, I couldn't tell my husband I was saving it! lol That's AWFUL!! I know. But honest to god if he knew I had a dollar there was something worth a dollar he just had to spend it on. I finally ended up giving up trying to save money because it made me feel guilty for "hiding it" from him and I just suck so bad at trying to keep things from him anyway. Every time we decide together that we're going to start saving up again, same problem. He has that theory that money is just going to evaporate if he doesn't spend it right away. It's really, really frustrating!! The only things we've really been able to save money for are family vacations during Spring Break every year. Most of the money comes from our tax refund but I try to set aside a little something every month to add to it.
I was always the same way but also kind of enjoyed having them all to myself. Once they hit school full time it was a whole new ballgame and I kind of missed all the alone time we had together. Instead they started having birthday parties and school functions to attend and that's fine, it keeps us busy, but come weekends and school breaks it's just us again and I start feeling like I'm not doing enough to keep them stimulated. At least once they get older they start amusing themselves a lot better so I don't worry so much!
I tried going to some of the free events around town but I can't stand a lot of the moms I meet. We live in a very ritzy uppity area and all the moms act like they're better than everyone. It's more than a little annoying! So, I just try to steer clear whenever possible to avoid them lol
Tasia, your husband sounds just like me. I'm so terrible, I feel like if it's there I can spend it. Our savings account is in a credit union to make it harder for me to get at it and so it's out of sight!
My biggest personal challenge of being a SAHM is guilt. It's probably all self-imposed, but I feel guilty for not working when my husband works so hard. If it were absolutely necessary for me to work too, believe me I'd be working. But we make things work just fine financially on one income so I choose to stay home.
However he'll make little comments here and there about how stressed he is at work after I tell him about some fun activity I did with my daughter that day. I feel guilty for going out and having fun (cheap fun, like the petting zoo or something) while he is having a bad day at work.
I'm probably being too hard on myself, but please tell me I'm not the only one who feels guilt about stuff like that.
Honestly, I used to before I found this board of great ladies! Especially when he'd have a bad day.. that was a big one. Even if we didn't do anything fun, I'd feel bad because he was too hot or too cold or too overworked or too whatever it was that day. I'd feel guilty for getting to stay in a climate controlled house getting to relax (as much as a mom can) while he was out providing for our family financially. However, after talking to the ladies here and taking some advice and following some tips I came around to really realizing how much I do as well. Sure, I'm not doing as much physical work as my husband is and I'm not having to deal with dbag co-workers but life as a SAHM is soooo not a cake walk! I actually sat down with my husband and we made lists of everything we do during a typical day. Every single thing. Even bathroom breaks! By the time all was said and done we both had a much clearer idea of what the other did and both had a lot more respect for that and for ourselves.
I don't feel guilt about that. Not to say your feelings aren't valid, because I can totally appreciate why you feel like that. Society has convinced us that we are lazy to not work. But, pretend you had a nanny. She works 12 hour days. Would you say her job is less important than yours? Would you say that she doesn't have a right to say she has a stressful job just because she spends large portions of the day playing, because it's developmentally beneficial to your child? You would fire her butt if she didn't do those things! Your job is just as stressful and just as valid as any childcare workers! Even more so because are the parent. The Only difference is the salary.
I really hope this doesn't come across as mean or nasty! It's society's fault that this feeling is the norm, when there is no need for it imo! Have confidence in your roll and enjoy your fun times!
Society has convinced us that we are lazy to not work. But, pretend you had a nanny. She works 12 hour days. Would you say her job is less important than yours? Would you say that she doesn't have a right to say she has a stressful job just because she spends large portions of the day playing, because it's developmentally beneficial to your child? You would fire her butt if she didn't do those things! Your job is just as stressful and just as valid as any childcare workers! Even more so because are the parent. The Only difference is the salary. I really hope this doesn't come across as mean or nasty! It's society's fault that this feeling is the norm, when there is no need for it
So true - this is what I needed to hear. Thanks
Society does have a way of making stay-at-home moms feel unvalued, and I think that rubs off on my husband sometimes. At times I think he's all about money money money, when to me, it's so much more than that. It's about quality time, introducing my children to the world, not missing out on their lives, and just being there for them when they need me. Why would I want to exchange that for a paycheck?
You could bring it to his level and remind him how much it would cost to hire someone to do your job. In my case, because it's the summer holidays, it would cost €100 a day! And that's just day care. It's another €10 per hour for any cleaning, cooking, chores I do.