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Occupying your time as a SAHM

 I absolutely love that I am able to stay at home with my children, but I get depressed sometimes. I dont live near my family or my friends, money is tight so I cant really go anywhere, and I am starting to get depressed. I am getting lonely and I am not really sure how to handle this? Are there any SAHM who go through this? How do you handle it?

Re: Occupying your time as a SAHM

  • Do you have a mom's group that you can get together with? When I first moved into a new city I was able to join a mom's group and I have been able to go out and spend little to no money. We also host playgroups at each other's homes.

    Another suggestion that would cost nothing is utilizing your library and depending on the type of weather you have taking your LO to a park. Since it is so hot here in the summer I'm forced to take my kids to the mall play area. Since money is tight, I often pack lunches for them to eat at the food court. I also bought a couple of memberships (children's museum, zoo) to give us something to do and I ALWAYS pack a lunch there as well. In 3 visits the membership pays itself off for the entire year. These are just some ideas for you. I'd also like to add that our libraries offer what they call "culture passes" that will get you into the zoo or museum free for the day.

  • Sometimes I realise that I have been starved of adult conversation and fresh air.

    I try and get out of the house a few times a week even if it's just taking baby for a walk in her pram. 

    I belong to a parents group. We meet once a week and discuss relevant topics, do games with the babies and just generally gossip. That has lead to a coffee group where a bunch of us get together about once a fortnight.

    I also go to the library once a month to find books for me and LO. Have a chat to the librarian, see what's happening on the community noticeboard etc.It's a nice walk for me and LO and it's free entertainment.

    Does your husband work with people whose wives are also SAHMs? Could you have a BBQ at your house or something? So that you have an opportunity to meet people?

    Could you have DH look after LO one night a week so that you can take a class or join a club in something that interests you? 

    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old
  • 1) There has to be at least ONE library in your town.  They all have kids programs.  With kids programs, there will be moms/dads to meet and talk too. 

    There is nothing wrong with going to a neighboring Library for their programs either.  Some may check that you are a member, but most don't for the programs

    2) Go to  I found 5 different mom's groups (one as specific to military moms with kids under one) to join. 

    3) Check your local Y for kids programs. 

    4) If you are religious, join a church/temple/etc.  Find one that meets ALL of your spiritual needs, to include community.

    I am a SAHM right now (stationed overseas - no jobs) too.  My Days are filled - not just for me, but for Monkey.

    I have 2 base sponsored playdates, TEU and TH. 

    A group of us women, made up of the the sanctioned playdates, meet two Wed a month.  We rotate hosting at our houses (yummy food is always involved).  And on the other two Wed, we go to a Creative Critters class through the community center.  The kids make crafts.

    Three Mon a month are travel days with anyone who wants to join me (soo many countries so little time).  And one Mon is MOPS. 

    And these are all mornings.  My afternoons (post nap time) are filled with shopping, cleaning and letting Monkey play with her one BFF from down the street.

    As for Fridays - that is my day of rest (by then I need time at home).

    The thing is, I HAD TO GET OUT AND DO THIS.  These groups/people did not knock on my door.  Your day is what You make it.

  • image Ilumine:

    Three Mon a month are travel days with anyone who wants to join me (soo many countries so little time).  And one Mon is MOPS. 

    As someone who lives in New Zealand, the idea of just being able to hop to other countries is VERY exciting. When I first read, "travel day" I thought oh maybe they go to the beach or across town to some activity.

    I am super jealous! 

    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old
  • image KateLouise:
    image Ilumine:

    Three Mon a month are travel days with anyone who wants to join me (soo many countries so little time).  And one Mon is MOPS. 

    As someone who lives in New Zealand, the idea of just being able to hop to other countries is VERY exciting. When I first read, "travel day" I thought oh maybe they go to the beach or across town to some activity.

    I am super jealous! 

    Tell me about it.  We are in northeastern Germany, only 20 min from Luxembourg, 30 from Belguim and 50 from France (give or take a stau). 

    I have fallen in love with Cathedrals.  The architecture of these old churches are STUNNING.  And even some of the small churches in the little burgs are just amazing. And the Castles!!!!!!!!!! 

    Not to mention the food.  I love going to Lux or France for crepes or croissants.  My thighs......not so much.

    But I CAN say this. I have to PUSH myself to go (DH works 10-12 hour days depending).  I could very well be a boring slug if I let myself be.  But that would be a waste of the opportunities for me and Monkey.  While she may not have specific memories, she sure will have a general feeling of it all.

  • I have similar isn't nearby, we're on a tight budget.

    I definitely try to get out with my kids every day.  There are plenty of free or inexpensive things to do if you get creative.  We go to the library, window shop at the mall (my kids actually love that and if they are well behaved they get to end the visit in the mall play area), visit various parks and playgrounds in the area, go to the pool, hit the free summer movies at local theaters, look for free or low cost programs (there's a kids performer who does two local shows a week and they're free, a club does daily shows at $5/kid, some groups do kids club activities ever week or every other week at various locations...yesterday was an outdoor puppet show).  And we always, always pack a lunch to bring so that we can stop along the way and have a fun picnic.  I keep beach mats, blankets and sun screen in the trunk so that we're prepared for wherever we want to eat.

    When we're at home, I let them run through the sprinkler or go in our wading pool.  We'll plan themed days; our last was a Pool Party where we started in the morning by making invitations.  Then we set up the pool and a bunch of games.  We finished with ice pops for snack.  We've done tie dying, painting, and other craft projects.  There's at least 30 minutes of quiet time in the afternoon where everyone goes to their rooms to wind down (my kids need that or they're obnoxious by dinner!).

    I also do have friends we can get together with for playdates and the occasional ladies night out.  It also helps that my neighborhood is really friendly...the kids get together monthly for a movie night, the ladies often go out on the last Tuesday night, and I have a girl my kids love that I can call to be my Mother's Helper if I need a break for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  I used to belong to the local chapter of Mom's Club, as well, which helped a lot.  I met some great women and there were always activities happening.  We've since moved and I haven't joined the one here, but I'm still thinking about it.

    And when things get really bad, I put on a video for the girls, have a time out in my room, and occasionally call my sister or DH just to talk to a grown up!  A few minutes of that really helps my mental health! 

  • in addition to everything 'mom' why not do some things in the evenings (when DH is home). take a cooking or language class at the high school (they're pretty cheap for residents-$20 or so for 10 week classes. also join your library's book club that meet in the evenings. you need some adult interaction AND it will broaden your horizon for making friends. the most important thing is to be open and approachable. start a convo with the person next to you about anything-ask them their fave local restaurant, mechanic anyhing! (explain you just moved and need recs). people are generally very receptive to stuff like that.
    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    When I was first laid off and a SAHM, it was very depressing - like you say!  I had been a working mom so the transition was hard.  My kids were in pre-K, but their pre-K was their daycare, so all of the other moms worked.

    Then I joined a mom's group, and I really didn't fit in.  They were nice women, but the type who had never had a FT job - they were clerks or non-professionals and knew right away they wanted to be home full time, so they never invested in their career.  We had different interests.  Like I said, LOVELY women, but I just couldn't connect with them.  Plus, even though they were recruiting, they had established friendships and while they were nice and welcoming, I never felt I fit in.

    It REALLY helped when DD started Kindergarten.  It was 1/2 day, and I could socialize with the other moms.  Also, some of our playdates were mom plus kids.  Then I moved DS to a pre-K that wasn't daycare - again, I met other moms with kids the same age as mine.  Even sitting and watching my kids during a swimming or gymnastics lesson or soccer was entertaining b/c there were other moms I could chat with.

    I also joined Newcomers.  I'm not sure if there are newcomers where you are, or something similar (welcome wagon, etc.), but everyone who joins wants to meet new people.  They also have playgroups where the moms and kids get together (not a dropoff, it's like playtime for kids and playtime for moms). 

    Through these ways, I FINALLY met people who were like me.  Former professionals that chose to take time off, had similar interets, etc.  Even if you don't have a group like that, then I would suggest you join a church group or book club.  Even once a month will help you out.  And sign the kids up for story time at the library, age-appropriate activities that are free during the week.  You'll meet other women there, and sooner or later you'll see the same faces.

    I would also suggest going OUT with your kids.  You may not meet a new mommy friend at the park, but you SURE AS HECK won't meet one in your own living room! 

    Give it time! 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • image KateLouise:
    image Ilumine:

    Three Mon a month are travel days with anyone who wants to join me (soo many countries so little time).  And one Mon is MOPS. 

    As someone who lives in New Zealand, the idea of just being able to hop to other countries is VERY exciting. When I first read, "travel day" I thought oh maybe they go to the beach or across town to some activity.

    I am super jealous! 

    I'm a kiwi too - and now live in the US.  I get SO excited about crossing the border to Mexico (we are in Arizona - it's not that far).  I'm just bummed I don't get a stamp in my passport.  

    Super jealous of travel day too! 

    "The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you're in the bathroom"

    <a href="">My food blog - "Kylee Cooks"</a>

    <a href=""><img src=""></a>
    [url=""][img] [/img][/url]
    <a href=""><img src=""></a>
  • How old are your children?  You mentioned that money is tight.  Are you able to get a part time job?  Even just something 1 to 2 nights a week when DH comes home from work and he can watch the kids (to avoid getting a sitter) ?

    Do you live near your IL's?  If so, is it possible they could watch the kids 1 night while you & DH have a date night?  How is your relationship with them? 

    Do you have any neighbors that you're friendly with to socialize with, or possibly coordinate a "play date" with?

    Could you take your children to the park and meet other mom's there or maybe a "play center" in a nearby mall (some malls have these and some of course don't) ?

    If your children are old enough for school, could you befriend other mom's who have children in their class/es?

  • I am not trying to brag but here is what we do:

    Monday:  at home, do grocery shopping and a little cleaning.

    Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri:  playgroups.  Seriously.

    They are all completely free, and the kids play while I gab with my mom friends.  We meet at parks in the summer and nature centers, rec centers, libraries, etc in the winter. 

    Finding mom friends will make a world of difference, but you have to put in the effort.  Check meetup, etc.  Figure out where the kids are in your neighborhood, and ask their parents if they would like to meet you at the park to have a playdate, etc.  You have to put yourself out there which is hard, especially if you are depressed. 

  • It's easy to get down when you're home all alone with small children all day, all week, all month. What was helpful for me in that situation was to schedule my days. Up, showered, dressed nicely, have some breakfast for all, all by 9. Put on a bit of makeup and do hair daily, even if you're going no where; it's depressing to look in the mirror and look like shitt all the time; and when you're dressed and look nice, you're more interested in getting out.

    Set daily tasks for each day; laundry on Mon am between 9-12; change all beds and do linens every Tuesday am; dust and vacuum living/family area on Weds; clean kitchen on Thurs; clean bathrooms on Fri. At noon, have lunch with the kids; have them help you fix it if they're big enough. So by 1, everyone is fed twice, and the house is picked up and dishes done. Naps from 1-ish on; or if no one naps, then this is when you pack a few snacks and go to the zoo, the museum, the pool, the play group, the park, a long walk, whatever. Spend one afternoon a week out in the yard with the kids, say Thursdays, planting flowers, weeding, etc; getting them to help out takes longer but you end up raising helpful children with useful skills.

    Check out with your city and county services and see if they have free or low cost classes on photography, ceramics, painting, whatever; so you can take an evening craft class once a week and get out and away from the kids. Make a set schedule where you know you have alone time to do what you want with out the kids at least one other time a week; Saturday afternoon, whatever day/time works best in you and dh's schedule. And STICK to the schedule; do not let him whine his way out of it.

    Of course you'll fall off the schedule; but having one in print on the fridge is an enormous help when you're frazzled and don't knwo what to do next because a bunch of things need to get done. You can look there and say OK, it's noon, time to slap some lunch on the table kids! and make them help set, or load the dishwasher, etc. Best thing I ever did was give my 2-4 year old boys each a real dustbuster; they LOVED going around sucking up stuff with them and would beat each other up to dustbust some dog food on the floor, or some hair on the steps or whatever. They liked Swiffers too; and you can cut down the length and give your kids swiffers and a spray bottle of vinegar water and tell them they get to swiffer the floors and they WILL, and give a prize to the best Swifferer.


  • Oh, and most museums, zoos, and book stores have special kids stuff that's free or low cost; story times at the book stores (B and N is good for this); special 'meet the baby animal' days at the zoo; 'make a puppet day' at the art museum. Also, investigate fee breaks based on your income for local places; the zoo here gives low cost passes, has free days etc; our local movie theater shows one free kid's movie a week in summer.


  • I have most of the same suggestions as everyone else...

    1)  Join a parenting group.  Check online, or see if your hospital/ped's office can help.

    2)  Take advantage of parks/playgrounds and free storytimes at your library, bookstores, and some childrens' stores (like Pottery Barn Kids).  Be friendly and try to find other moms you can connect with.

    3)  Take walks or do errands.  Depending on your child's age, you can go to places like the grocery store or farmer's market and talk about the different shapes, colors, and smells of fruits and veggies.

    4)  Buy a pass to the zoo, children's museum, or pool/beach.  After a few visits, the cost takes care of itself.

    5)  Check you local newspapers or webpages for local events, like free concerts, festivals, or open house events at places like a Firehouse.

    <a href=""><img src="" width="400" height="80" border="0" alt="Lilypie Second Birthday tickers" /></a>

    <a href=""><img src="" width="400" height="80" border="0" alt="Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers" /></a>
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