Regrets of a SAHM

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Registered: 11-13-2008
Regrets of a SAHM
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Wed, 06-19-2013 - 1:49pm

While the mom in the following Huffington Post article was glad she got the chance to be a SAHM mom, now that she is facing an empty nest she is having some regrets about that decision, especially in the area of employment.  She discusses several of them in the article; one being that she felt she lowered her sights and lost her confidence:

But far and away my biggest regret about my years at home was that I lowered my sights for myself as I dimmed in my own mind what I thought I was capable of. I let go of the burning ambition I once held because I didn't feel as though I could hold it and three babies at the same time. My husband did not do this, my children did not do this, I did this. In the years that I was home, I lulled myself into thinking that I was accomplishing enough because I was. I was raising my children and as any parent who had spent a day with a child knows, that can fill all of the hours in a day. What I hadn't realized was how my constant focus on my family would result in my aspirations for myself slipping away. And despite it being obvious, I did not focus on the inevitable obsolescence that my job as mom held.

If you are a SAHM mom, can you relate to that feeling of losing yourself?  How do you give yourself the same focus on your own identity and accomplishments while focusing on raising a family?

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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 06-19-2013 - 3:46pm

Cmmelissa wrote:
<p>While the mom in the following Huffington Post article was glad she got the chance to be a SAHM mom, now that she is facing an empty nest she is having some regrets about that decision, especially in the area of employment.  She discusses several of them in the article; one being that she felt she lowered her sights and lost her confidence:</p><p><em>But far and away my biggest regret about my years at home was that I lowered my sights for myself as I dimmed in my own mind what I thought I was capable of. I let go of the burning ambition I once held because I didn't feel as though I could hold it and three babies at the same time. My husband did not do this, my children did not do this, I did this. In the years that I was home, I lulled myself into thinking that I was accomplishing enough because I was. I was raising my children and as any parent who had spent a day with a child knows, that can fill all of the hours in a day. What I hadn't realized was how my constant focus on my family would result in my aspirations for myself slipping away. And despite it being obvious, I did not focus on the inevitable obsolescence that my job as mom held.</em></p><div><span>Read more: </span><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/why-i-regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom_b_3402691.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&amp;ir=Parents" rel="nofollow">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/why-i-regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom_b_3402691.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&amp;ir=Parents</a></div><div></div><div>If you are a SAHM mom, can you relate to that feeling of losing yourself?  How do you give yourself the same focus on your own identity and accomplishments while focusing on raising a family?</div>

I always wanted to be a mom and a mom that stayed at home, I got that opportunity many times over and I have no regrets.  What's sometimes hard to accept now are the ages my  kids are and the less needy they are of my presense at home, I know SAHMs with little ones and remember in awe those times too.  I don't plan to SAH forever but I haven't lost myself there/here. 

 

 


 


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Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 06-19-2013 - 4:09pm

I read sensational articles like that and think, these writers are posturing to get published or they have simply forgotten what their job was really like.  This writer makes her job sound so incredible, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were actual things about the job which made her quitting that much easier.  Well-paying, fulfilling jobs are sometimes exhausting, they have bosses who want people to work hard for their substantial paycheck, co-workers who aren't always the nicest, even this writer may've been a dinosaur, underqualified if the MIT educated analysts had to teach her.   I read blogs like that and think no one with real "burning ambition" could have walked away from a job that good.

I also question her not being aware how much damage quitting would do to her future career ambitions.  I vividly remember friends with similar career paths who knew, if you don't return to work within about 2 years, you were probably never going to seamlessly pick up where you left off.

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 06-19-2013 - 4:16pm

jamblessedthree wrote:
  I always wanted to be a mom and a mom that stayed at home, I got that opportunity many times over and I have no regrets.  What's sometimes hard to accept now are the ages my  kids are and the less needy they are of my presense at home, I know SAHMs with little ones and remember in awe those times too.  I don't plan to SAH forever but I haven't lost myself there/here. </p><p> </p>

That's lovely, Jamblessed.  I honestly don't remember my exact thought processes back then!  I probably thought I would have to support myself, that getting married and having children weren't a given.  I was a very picky "dater" and I know my mom really worried I might never get married, lol!  She really wanted all of her children "settled," she said.  That's really old-fashioned, but that's what she said.

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 06-19-2013 - 5:49pm

One of the comments in Huff Post ~

<<I will openly volunteer MY situation, as all these posters (hello: newshound!) are staying silent re: their reasons for their views....I am a stay at home DAD, because my wife made more than I did when we had kids, and we agreed it didn't matter which one stayed at home. I can only say that it has been THE most difficult, but also THE most rewarding job I have EVER had. I had to be chef, police officer, social worker, psychiatrist, nurse, maid, teacher, butler and fire fighter (kitchen incident). Yet I had NO commute, no crappy boss, no office politics, no worry about office wardrobe and its assorted costs, did not have to fight for July & August vacations, or have to worry about layoffs or downsizing. And even my wife admits, if its power one is seeking, there is NOTHING more powerful than the influence over ones children by being there for them, with them, amongst them, for all those pivotal moments from birth to at least 13-14 yrs old. So to all you women who say its not fulfilling, I've "been there & done that", and sorry, it is fulfilling !!!>>

Surprised

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Registered: 03-22-2013
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 4:23am

thardy2001 wrote:
<p>One of the comments in Huff Post ~</p><p>[blah, blah, blah, snip] So to all you women who say its not fulfilling, I've "been there &amp; done that", and sorry, it is fulfilling !!!&gt;&gt;</p><p><img src="/forums/sites/all/libraries/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-surprised.gif" alt="Surprised" title="Surprised" border="0" /></p>

I'm glad he finds his choices to be fulfilling.  I've found my choices to be fulfilling, too, and they didn't include being a SAHM.  The world isn't going to end if every mother and father in the world doesn't consider SAH parenting to be the only way to find fulfillment in life.  And again, this isn't to say his choice isn't fulfilling, nor even to suggest that it shouldn't be fulfilling.  What I find rather surprising is his denial of the experiences of others.

But you denied the author's experience, too, Hardy, so maybe you can explain to the rest of us why you get to redefine her experience and remake it in your own image.

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 4:49am
"And despite it being obvious, I did not focus on the inevitable obsolescence that my job as mom held." --------- I think that right there is her problem more than the SAH/WOH thing. Because my kid is in that fledgling stage of leaving home, I know many other parents in the same stage of life. Some, regardless of work status, have a really hard time letting go and adjusting, and others do not. Personally, I always saw parenting, as in day-to-day parenting and care, as a finite thing, and as something it was my job to end. In the sense that you will only be that kind of hands on parent forever if you fail at parenting (assuming nature made independence possible for your kid).
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 5:57am

By settled did you mom mean that she wanted you married? I don't know what my mom's goal was for us, My siblings and I are all married except for one and I sometimes see her as more settled as any of us, Obligation free lifestyle, In a dream job and living in a big city. I will say my mom modeled a lot of the lifestyle I wanted for myself and my own family and while times were certainly different then there is a lot that hasn't changed and I see that not only in how I chose to raise my own but other traditional homes that make this work.

 


 


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Registered: 08-22-2009
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 6:44am

rollmops2009 wrote:
"And despite it being obvious, I did not focus on the inevitable obsolescence that my job as mom held." --------- I think that right there is her problem more than the SAH/WOH thing. Because my kid is in that fledgling stage of leaving home, I know many other parents in the same stage of life. Some, regardless of work status, have a really hard time letting go and adjusting, and others do not. Personally, I always saw parenting, as in day-to-day parenting and care, as a finite thing, and as something it was my job to end. In the sense that you will only be that kind of hands on parent forever if you fail at parenting (assuming nature made independence possible for your kid).

That is very true.  I used to post on an empty nester forum.  Every couple of week we would get a poster post about "my kids are grown, what I am going to do with my life".  While it was more SAHM's than WOHM's it was not by a large margin,  only about 60/40.  If the job  becomes obsolete then you did the job right.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 7:09am

 

If the job becomes obsolete then you did the job right.

 

 What does this mean? 

If parenting is supposed to end IYO please tell me when.  I believe once a child is born you are always that child's parent first, And while that does not always mean holding your child's hand, coddling and hands on it does mean being there for your kid if the need arises, forming a bond with your child.  I know some people who don't have good relationships with thier mothers and that take a whole lot for granted.  That's sad to me.  If I raise my kids to only take me for granted I've failed as a mother, So far I've been pretty lucky. 

 


 


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Registered: 09-01-2002
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 7:28am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>By settled did you mom mean that she wanted you married? I don't know what my mom's goal was for us, My siblings and I are all married except for one and I sometimes see her as more settled as any of us, Obligation free lifestyle, In a dream job and living in a big city. I will say my mom modeled a lot of the lifestyle I wanted for myself and my own family and while times were certainly different then there is a lot that hasn't changed and I see that not only in how I chose to raise my own but other traditional homes that make this work.</p>

Yes, by settled, she meant married.  She's from another time when few got divorced.  So if her children were settled, I guess she felt we would have happy futures?  None of us siblings got divorced.  My folks stayed together and I know dh wanted to marry someone whose parents took marriage seriously like that.  His father even said that!  But, I'm with you on the whole "traditional" thing and hope the divorce rates go down.

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