A SAHM, have I made my life too small?

I want to talk about something that I’ve been mulling over for a while, something that I’m wondering if other mothers experience. It can be hard putting yourself out there when you’re not sure if you’re the only one who feels a certain way, but ultimately I’m hoping that by doing so, others will feel able to follow suit, and share their thoughts and fears.

How visible do you feel? To society I mean? I recently went shopping in the city. I don’t do this very often because I spend more than I should on eBay during nursing sessions and, adding coffee, cake and John Lewis (ok ok wilko) into the mix would leave us homeless; but on this occasion, H had some birthday money to spend, so we hit the shops (no one says that anymore do they?).

I was surrounded by people, busying about their lives, some out to work, some out for coffee, some young’uns shopping……and I realised. I’m beige… I’m the person you bump into and say sorry to, but don’t look twice at. The person you serve 20 of in one day….. the person who blends. I’m practical, if Beyoncé is a skin tight golden catsuit with diamonds, I’m a pair of black leggings (prob purchased online at 2am)

I’m in my 30s, without a career, a SAHM, married, with 4 kids . And I’m thinking…..that’s it! I’m invisible now.

It’s probably a feminist thing tbh (I know not everyone likes the f word). I’m not all riled up about it though, It’s just a general observation. Having children, not working, doing the school run and seeing the same people day to day, means you’ve stepped outside the real world…..but, I’m wondering, when do we rejoin it? Should we keep a foot in? A toe? Even if that means taking half our leg out of the family when really we don’t particularly want to lose that limb? (Is that over use of a metaphor?)

Is this it now? Will I always fade into the paintwork, should I be doing more to stand out as just me? So that I don’t wake up one day and realise life has moved on while I’m busy raising the next generation…. on returning to work after Ernie I reflected on my frivolous maternity leave and how planning parties or occasions made me a bit of a bore. The sadnesses of social media scrolling, school running, homework checking, house making monotony…. you get the jist… my friends accept me for who I am, I don’t have the pressure of society telling me I need to look a certain way or dress a certain way, I don’t hear new songs and want to download albums, I still listen to Britney on cd or kids nursery rhymes in the car. I don’t  really watch tv (save paw patrol and a handful of series)…I don’t hear in the office: ‘did you watch so and so last night? Have you seen the new restaurant in town?’ Etc and my Social media is funneled to mum bloggers, interiors accounts, and nostalgic gifs from mean girls or Buffy….

Thing is, despite this seemingly narrow existence…I’m happy, in fact I’m enjoying the day to day. I love my life right now village life and being at home, I dont want the children to grow up faster so I can ‘get on with my life’ or Gully to wean so I can have a break. Rather the opposite in fact. And to be honest! I’m a bit afraid, what happens when they do grow up. I have no desire right now to go out and get an outside hobby or to have more ‘me time’. I dont crave it, I’m perfectly content except for the niggling feeling that, if THIS mama life is bringing me satisfaction and contentment what happens when it ends? If I’ve not got my updated ducks in a row first?

Why do I feel ashamed about not having much going on outside of family life at the moment, even though I’m actually the most contented and calm I have been for ages? Me time is not a dirty word and I above all people know that if you need to find yourself go for it! If you need a break from the kids, have one…. but I personally don’t really feel the need to right now. Should I?

I know that I’m a bit fat and that I don’t always put myself first, I spend more money on the kids clothes than my own. My hair is my one and only self indulgence. I could make more time to look nicer. (In fact for my YouTube Ive been doing just that) but If I have an hour to spare, I’d rather be with the kids, or if I’m honest, google or drink tea. Do I have to get made up? Or find an outside interest? (blogging doesn’t count cos its mothering also).

Can we ever be too ‘mum’…. ? Will I look back and regret not making the most of me in my 30s? Will I wish I took more time to myself? Maybe I’ll change my mind next week and start job hunting (that’s what I’m like) but right now, in this moment, I have no desire to. Is it that I only ever see my life in black and white, that I worry I can’t be a good mother if I focus on myself even a tiny bit?

Do you judge mums who don’t leave their children? She’s making a rod for her own back, she needs to get a life. Those kids need time away. Poor husband!!

I’m sure there are people who think my marriage suffers because we co sleep. Because whether or not you share a few feet of mattress with your spouse is the ultimate sign of a good marriage (ha ha). Husband and I do look forward to more time together….but we don’t “need to get out more’ or indeed “stay in more’. We are sharing this beautiful family, and life is so lovely, we have so many moments of love: laughs in the car between errands; passing hugs; inside jokes and whatsapp conversation…. being a SAHM 24/7 doesn’t make me any less “wife” to my husband but somehow being “too mum” distances us from the rest of society.

Should we just embrace our invisibility, satisfied in the knowledge that those who matter can see us? Only worry about the empty nest if it comes to it? Or should we be forcing ourselves to step out of this comfortable role more? Even if it feels unnatural, and even if we have no desire to…just to ensure we don’t get left behind?

5 Responses to “A SAHM, have I made my life too small?”

  1. If you’re happy I say fuck everyone else! If you have the time (ha!) I recommend Sarah Knight’s books – You Do You and The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck for now and Get Your Shit Together if and when you wanna tackle the workplace again. They’ve worked wonders for me.

  2. I think you have to do whatever is right for you and your family. I would love to stay at home but I simply can’t not afford too. It just means I have to make the most of my mummy days.

  3. This is a really interesting post, it has really got me thinking! If you have no desire to do something and it doesn’t matter to you then I don’t think people should have to do it. It can be good to put ourselves out of our comfort zones but not to the detriment to our mental wellbeing.

  4. I used to be extremely happy being a s.a.h.m, I still believe it’s a precious thing. But now I feel like I have no life of my own. I don’t have coworkers or friends anymore. I don’t know anybody outside this family. And I used to be so glad and happy about it, but tonight I realized I’m not happy anymore. But I’m too lost and I don’t know where to go from here. I’ve tried applying for jobs, but no one would hire me after 5 years of not working. I tried to start a business but I’ve lost confidence in myself, and now I don’t believe I can achieve anything other than being a good mother.

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