new stay at home mom with guilt

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-2011
new stay at home mom with guilt
6
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 1:07pm

Okay bare with me, I'm a fairly new stay at home mom and new to message boards too, so I hope this makes sense

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2008
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 3:40pm

Hey, I'm going through the same thing. My daughter is 3 years old and I've been home with her the whole time, just about. I worry that I don't socialize her enough, but she's still so polite and good with other kids when she is around them. I suppose I've been less worried about it lately because I've found that it's healthy for her to be weary of strangers. I don't want her to be socialized and comfortable around just everyone. Also, I think a kid needs to be content playing alone. I feel like that helps develop an imagination. I think a lot of our kids socializing is picked up from how they see us socialize with other people, not necessarily them doing it on their own. I've found that we don't have much down time. She's on the go ALL the time. When I need a moment to relax, I take her outside and she will play contently by herself. It gives me a break, and her too. I imagine she doesn't like me being stuck up her butt just as much as I don't like her up mine. I feel guilty about being at home too, only because my fiance is taking on the workload and supporting our family, but I also hope that he appreciates what I do at home each day. I don't think he realizes exactly how much I do, and sometimes I don't feel appreciated enough. My daughter, despite not being socialized as much as would probably be recommended, is completely content, happy, healthy and well adjusted. Maybe I'm a control freak, but at this young age, I like to be the one having the most influence over her behavior.

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 4:23pm
I'm also new to being a SAHM with my 11 month old. I have friends with babies about the same age (we all met in a birth class) and they are taking their babies everywhere. Library reading groups, swimming lessons, baby yoga... I have considered doing the library thing because its free, but the other stuff is just more than I'm willing to pay and more time that I am willing to commit. In my opinion kids (babies too) are over-scheduled and often lack the down-time needed to exercise those creative little imaginations. I think its ok to stay home some days or just go play in the park. There is a whole exciting world of leaves and dirt and bugs to discover that is more valuable (in my opinion) than any scheduled, organized class. However, socialization is also important! So what I do is try to get with my mom friends once or twice a week. On the weeks when we meet twice, for one meeting, we come up with an activity (which at this age, it ain't much!) like ball rolling, water scooping/pouring, stacking blocks, etc. This way the babies do get some skill building and the rest of the time its just playtime. I do know that if I had my boy at long, scheduled activities every day of the week, he'd be pretty unhappy with me. He'll survive quick errands or quick trips to the store on a daily basis but for more strenuous things like organized activities or grocery shopping, he can't handle those more than a couple of times each week. Our world revolves around his nursing and napping and he'd fall apart if I messed with that by keeping him out all day every day.

Now, as a former teacher, I think its great that you want to get your kid out and teach him social skills along with enriching his learning with classes and activities. Kids who have parents with high expectations like that make better students. BUT kids who are over-scheduled end up suffering at school because they may not have time to do their homework and are often tired at school because they are so busy. There's a balance. I'd say that its good to have an activity or two but its also good to have lazy days at home to encourage that little mind to think for itself and you'll have a kid who is stimulated to learn new things but can also entertain himself. :) That's what the teacher in me thinks.

Don't feel guilty for giving your little one a little bit of both worlds. Also, don't feel guilty for NOT going out every day. You have to do what's right for you and your baby, regardless of what other people are doing. As for us, we can't afford lots of things plus like I said before, he wouldn't be happy if I kept him out for a long time every day anyway, so we just don't do it. I like to look for free (or super cheap) activities. Our city has an indoor pool that costs $6 for us both so I'm trying to take him there about once a month. We go see friends once or twice a week (free!). Also, babycenter.com has activities for babies based on their age that we try to do on our own at home every day. I also keep an ear out for free classes. We got in on a baby massage class once for free because the massage school needed "models" for their class, so we got to go participate so the students would see how a real baby would react to massage (and I learned how to do it myself!). :)

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 5:18pm
Wow, I guess since I'm a homebody I never considered going out places and socializing my kids. We hang out at home 90% of the time. We play together, he plays by himself, he helps me clean or watches me cook... We do a lot of running around on the weekend and evenings for the older kids so it is nice to not be going some where. Once a week to library hour or a class is nice but that's about it for me.

But that is now that I have 4... with my oldest I was home the first 8 months and going stir crazy and if we had the money I'd have been doing things just to get me out of the house. I decided to go back to work instead and my second DS was 11 months when I started staying home again and by then I was too busy with the 2 kids to be bored. So I guess for me, just having one it was more that I needed to get out, I really don't feel kids need to be running around all the time. The need to learn to entertain themselves and that life isn't always something going on.
Photobucket
Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 11:26pm

Home is good!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-2011
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 10:42am

thanks for all the great advice, I think I need to calm down :) My husband is always telling me to relax and stop trying to control every aspect of the day and our lives.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 2:09am

It's definitely nice to know that we're not alone.