How much help do you get?

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  1. And how stressed out are you?

    I guess this question is directed more to stay-at-home moms or those who work part-time. How much help do you get? Do you often rely on other people (such as the grandparents or your own siblings) to help you with your children?

    I'm curious because I will be a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom. My sister is mostly a SAHM, but works occasionally (she can get called in for back up, but it's usually only once or twice a week, sometimes she'll go a couple weeks without anything). It seems like she is always stressed out and exhausted, needs a break, etc. so my parents watch the kids a lot.

    I don't want to rely on my parents to help out as much as she does. My husband will be working weekdays and occasionally has to be out of town for a few days here and there, but he will be around most nights and weekends and we plan on sharing childcare and household duties at that time. I accept that my job during the day will be to raise our children. My husband and I agree that we don't want my parents to help us out the way they help out my sister and her husband; we want them in our child's life, of course, but we are different types of people (I'd rather not go into detail about that). Of course they will babysit from time to time, but I don't want to go overboard.

    But please be honest with me... do you call in a lot of help? Do you feel stressed out all the time? Do you feel like you need a break often? What about those of you that don't live near family? I know that raising children is hard work, and I am not naive enough to think that it will be a cakewalk and I'll be a perfect mother, never stressed, and never need time to myself. I guess I'd just like to hear some individual stories from the mothers out there that are already doing this. Thank you! Sorry if I'm not making any sense.
  2. I am a stay-at-home mom and have a 4 1/2 & 5 1/2 year-old. We also own a small business, so I do payroll for the company. We don't live near any family, so to answer your question, I get no help. My daughter started kindergarten this year, so she is in school from 8-2:30. My son is in preschool from 9-1. My "help" is the breaks I get when they are in school. We try to bring in a babysitter for a few hours on Friday or Saturday nights so that DH and I can have a "date night."
  3. How about when they were younger? Have you always been home with them?
  4. I am a sahm / small business owner. My oldest is 3 and my youngest is due in 9 days! When we had our DS, my husband worked full time and we had just opened up our business. We lived nowhere near family and had no help. It was hard emotionally and financially at first, until we figured something out. I had to make time for myself, my DH would help out whenever possible, but we had no alone time together.

    Now we live near his family, but they don't babysit or anything. (We don't ask and they don't offer, his family is much different than mine) So, the only help we do get is when my family comes to visit (from four thousand miles away) about two or three times a year.

    It's also been very stressful at times, but we have done it all on our own. And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. We now own two businesses and I am interested to see how it works out with our three year old and our newborn. Backups may need to be called in...
  5. I have always been home with them. I did have some part-time day help from a nanny right after my second child was born. I think that she worked for us for about a year or so. Her help allowed me to get payroll done and have some free time mostly to exercise.
  6. i have been a sahm for the past 5-6 yrs [i did work part time in there a few mths, but not for long and dh was home to take care of the kiddos]. i have had no daily help besides the help my dh gives when he gets home from work. so i have the children all on my own day in and day out 8-9hrs a day. my oldest is in school so he is gone from 7:50am - 3:15pm. my youngest son is in pre-k so he is gone 7:50am - 12pm. and of course k-kay is with me all the time.

    i don't even remember the last time dh and i had a date's been months and months and months. *sigh*
  7. My baby isn't due till mid april.....I teach and right now hubby has afternoon/night shifts. We're lucky in that both sets of grandparents live on the same island and are retired.

    When the baby comes DH is expecting to watch till he has to go to work, and then hopefully either a grandparent will be willing to come to our house to sit or have teh baby dropped off until I get done with the school day.

    When the baby comes in mid-april I'm taking leave till summer and plan to move back in with my parents for the first month or so, so we'll have time to iron out the "help" details. I think DH is more worried about this than i am.
  8. I have been a sahm for 9 years, since my oldest was born. I have three children, 9, 7 and 5 and my 5 year old started school full-time this year. But I didn't expect or ask for much help even when they were younger. In fact, it is usually my mom who calls us and tells us that dh and I need to go out so she can spend an afternoon with the kids! So we go out for dinner once every few weeks and my mom watches the kids. It works out just right for us.

    We made the decision for me to be a sahm so we would NOT be frazzled all the time. It is a lot of work, but it is the system that works best for us. I just can't imagine being a sahm and still having someone else watch the kids a lot of the time, but then every family does what is right for them and every family is different.
  9. My SIL had the hardest time asking for help when my nephew was first born. She works full time, nephew goes to daycare during the week. She felt like when not working she needs to spend all her time with him to make up for him being in daycare. I offered for years to watch my nephew for short periods so she could have time for herself. My nephew is now five and the past year or two she has gotten better at asking for help. I often watch my nephew for a few hours so that she can run errands. I love watching my nephew and he loves coming over to play with his aunt and uncle. I'm due in Aug with my first and hope to have great family around me to help me to not lose my mind when I am stressed out.
  10. #10 Feb 16, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
    Our families don't live near us so it's basically DH and I caring for Sophie ... she's 5 months old now. DH works full time while I'm self employed and work from home on project basis with my little company.

    DH works long hours and until a month ago had to work out of town 2-3 days a week so I was alone with the baby A LOT. It kind of drove me nuts as I had difficulties with the transition from my active life to all of a sudden caring for the baby full time. I was also only able to work on small projects that I could do when DH was home (evenings and weekends). Lately, I have major projects so my parents came from Asia for a month and my aunt came from the US for a couple of weeks to help out. I was afraid of losing the projects that's why I asked them to come.

    Starting March, Sophie will be in daycare once a week and I'll see how it goes with taking future projects. She grows up so fast that I don't want to lose out on seeing her grow.
  11. I am a SAHM. I have a 5 1/2 year old and a 2 year old. Parents work and so do my sisters. Aside from the occasional baby sitting, I get no help. DH works from home, but he needs to work during the day and sometimes at night as well since he works with people from all over the world in all time zones. My oldest is in Kindergarten so she is in school from 8:15-2pm every day so I suppose you can call that a break for me. When my youngest naps, that is another break for me. It is not easy to be a SAHM. There are no days weekends or are on the go 24 hours a day!!!

    I feel that it was better for DH and I to do things on our own as well and not to rely heavily on others for help. There is a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that we did it on our own!
  12. #12 Feb 16, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
    Thanks for all the input!

    HauteMama, I'd like to be in a similar situation, having my parents babysit so DH and I can have a date night. I want them involved but don't want to rely on them to keep me going, if that makes sense.

    everything posh, my husband and I feel the same way. :smile:
  13. To add to my post, regarding stress, what worked for me was actually to take walks/go to town/meet friends with Sophie instead of just staying at home alone. I also asked friends with babies to come over our place.
  14. Thanks for the tip!

    We live close to a beautiful park and to our downtown, which will be nice when the weather is good. There are lots of places that are easy to drive to, too (library, children's museum, beach, etc).
  15. I am a sahm with a daughter under 1 and get very little help. I have friends who offer to babysit, however, but I just haven't taken them up on it. If I want to run quick errands- i.e. get a manicure- my dad will babysit.

    I was very stressed out in the beginning bc it was an adjustment and bc I didn't know what to expect. I've been told by others that I'm lucky my baby is low maintenance, which I suppose she is, because I pretty much take her everywhere with me without any trouble.

    I am stressed sometimes because being a mom takes work, but she also creates a lot of joy in my life which relieves the stress... so i guess it's kind of cyclical :smile:
    To me, the most challenging part is complete dependence. I know she depends on me for everything- so I always have to be prepared, especially before leaving the house (do i have her food, diapers, blankets, etc?). Also, she is a good baby but loves attention and being occupied. She's okay as long as she's watching videos, playing with toys, or doing something else. But from what I've read, it's common for babies to have short attention spans since they're very inquisitive. So right now it's not necessarily hard work as opposed to busy work. I feel very busy even though i'm a stay at home mom and not working outside the house.