Monday, November 28, 2011

Dear Dana...Unfulfilled SAHM

Dear Dana, 

In the last year in a half I have bought a house, gotten married, had a baby and now I'm across the country away from my family and friends.  My husband is in the military so I thought you could help me with my dilemma.   Also, what made me ask this is I think your advice in your ask Dana segment is awesome.   

Outside of being mother and wife, how can I find fulfillment?  I love taking care of my family, but at the end of the day I feel so unfulfilled.  I feel like I give so much to my husband and daughter that I often feel like "what about me"? 

I hope this question makes sense.

Feel free to post this on  your blog.  Thanks in advance for your advice.  

Unfulfilled Stay at Home Mom


Hey Unfulfilled SAHM,

Firstly, I want to thank you for writing me. I appreciate your time and effort and even the opportunity to talk to you about this. Also, we thank the military members for their service but I like to thank the families, as well. I have been a military brat, a military sister, wife. I believe that the military life is in my blood. I ooze camouflage. LOL!! When you are new to the military life it takes a bit of adjusting and I thank you for sharing your spouse with us for a brave and heroic cause. 

Secondly, Do not feel bad about not feeling that you're being fulfilled as a person outside of being a new mother and wife. It is perfectly normal. I have been there. So have many women all over the world. 

Being a new mother in itself is a shocking new experience. To be a  new wife, well that is just as shocking. The new life that you have to balance can be different (for lack of a better word). 

When becoming a military wife. You realize that you have to pack up and move away from a life that you are very comfortable with. Moving to a life that is filled with ACRONYMS and a lot of hurry up and wait. Most times adjusting to this life is hard. Sometimes you give up your career to support the efforts of your spouse. All that you knew in the past is just that...the past. I believe that being active in the military community can be very positive. You can meet some great friends and find a great support system. You can even do volunteer work on post that will earn you free daycare hours to use for those times that you just need some "me" time. 

As a new SAHM, you will find yourself spending all your time taking care of your precious baby. Not that you are complaining but it can be a bit shocking. Then you find that you have forgotten about YOU. Sometimes, people feel regretful of the life they chose. Again, its all natural. Mothers tend to feel bad when they seek some sort of escape.
Its nothing wrong wanting a life outside of the house. I believe that its healthy. When I have "me" time away from my family, I come back home missing my family and I am ready to get back to my full time job of being a mother and wife. 

I believe that mothers need time to themselves once in a while. I am hey mom. I am hey Baby. I am also Dana. Hence the name of my blog....

I went through this. I even got depressed about it. I mean dang...what about me.? Not saying that my family didn't allow me to feel fulfilled. Actually they encouraged me. It was me that felt bad that I wanted a life outside of cleaning diapers, cleaning house, and all those things that come with being a SAHM. 

At first, I went back to work a few hours a day. That was wonderful. I was able to talk to adults. Then I moved. So I had to figure out what was next. I also made friends with ladies that had children the same age as my child. The children could interact and then I was able to have more adult time. I have a few good friends to this day by going on play dates. Ha! Then I moved again. Got pregnant with twins. WHAT!!! Talk about overwhelming. It was about that time for my oldest to start preschool. I signed him up and me and the twins went walking in the mall for mommy to get exercise and window shop. Then I moved again. Life of a military wife. Ok, whats next?? Me time. I needed time to get out and get a way. So once a week, I would just sit in Starbucks and veg. I went back to school and I volunteered. 

Before kids, I worked full time. I worked 50-60 hours per week in retail management to not working at all. I found that volunteering helped my resume and got me out the house. I realized that sitting in the house was draining. I felt that the world was moving on but I was stuck in place doing the same thing over and over...Like that movie Groundhog's Day. 

I started sewing, exercising, and going out once night a week with friends. Since we were boring, the bookstore was big time for us. 

So see, the best thing I could tell you is, if your husband is home and working normal hours, get bottles and diapers together and let daddy and baby have some alone time for an hour or two. Its healthy for you and the bond between daddy and baby is beautiful.

The key is channeling in things that you like to do and create the opportunity for it. I know someone that started her one personal assistance company from home. She performed Administrative operations, did shopping, and anything that she could do with her child. Be creative...The world is yours. 

I believe the way to find fulfillment is not filling bad that you need something outside of your duties of being a mother and wife.  You didn't mention what branch of service your husband was in but most are consistent across the board and if you want some information that I have learned and found for the Army, MWR, and many other sources ,let me know. 

School!! Go back to school. There are a lot of opportunities out there for you to go back to school for free. So if you wouldn't mind going back to school, now if the perfect opportunity to do so from home. 

Figure out what makes you happy outside of being a mom and wife and see how you can incorporate it in your life. 

I hope I helped a little. There is so much I can say but I didnt want to keep going on and on. 

Feel free to contact me anytime. Follow me on Twitter  at @disfordana or email me at Shoot me a line. I would love to talk about it. You are not alone! 

Thank you again!!!!

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