Burnt Out Working Mom. Should I Become a SAHM?

posted 6 months ago in Home
Post # 2
5573 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

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cblank181 :  I think you need to seek treatment for your post partum depression and anxiety. Things get magnified and feel so completely hopeless when you’re depressed and anxious. It makes it hard to think straight and problem solve.

Those depression and anxieties will most likely still be there even if you stay at home. If I resolve one area that’s making me anxious, my anxiety clings to another area

Can you take a leave of absence from your job to focus on yourself?

I have a rule in my life (I have diagnosed anxiety disorders) where I don’t make any major life decisions if I’m having anxiety. I wait until I can get back on track and feeling more normal because anxiety just magnifies everything and finding a solution just seems impossible.

Post # 3
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Las Vegas, Nevada

What made you decide to go from part time to full time? Were you feeling this way working part time? 

Post # 5
794 posts
Busy bee

“I no longer care about anything except my son.”  This is extremely unhealthy and does not benefit you or your child in any way. This attitude would be to the detriment of you, your baby, your loved ones, etc. 

Would strongly recommend therapy. I speculate that leaving the workforce entirely and being a Stay-At-Home Mom would only exacerbate your current state of being. 

EtA: I’m so sorry. Your pain is palpable. Take care of YOU and be gentle with yourself. 

Post # 6
5917 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I was sort of understanding you up until you admitting you can’t even take a yoga class because you wouldn’t be with your son.  That sort of thinking is actually the opposite of what your son needs. You might think you’re doing the best for him by devoting all your time, energy and thoughts to him but moms need a life of their own otherwise you’ll get burned out.

You don’t necessarily need to work to be a good mom but you need to have other things in your life that bring you joy and also your son need to have some bonding time with dad!

I wouldn’t rush to quit your job yet, but maybe make a conscious effort to accept more help and try to do something every week for yourself. Leave the baby with dad and go to the yoga class!

As a side note are you refusing help from your husband because you want to be with baby so much or is he not hands on?

Have you talked to your husband about how you’re feeling?

Post # 7
1524 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I think your problem extends way beyond your job, full time versus part time schedule, and being a working mom versus stay at home mom. Even for a stay at home mom, it’s quite unhealthy to not be able to leave your son for 2 hours to go do yoga, or whatever. 

” I live across the country from all my friends and family and just feel so isolated and burnt out.”

I think this is the main issue. That you feel isolated and are burnt out. I don’t think quitting your job will make you feel better the way that you hope/think it will. You should share with your OB and/or pediatrician that you may be experiencing symptoms of post partum anxiety/depression. 

Post # 9
1089 posts
Bumble bee

Mama, you have placed all your identity and security in your son and being with him.  That is not healthy. You need to take care of you and do the things that make you feel fulfilled – whether it’s working part-time, full-time, doing yoga, etc. It’s ok if your priorities have changed since becoming a mom but you still need to figure out what your priorities are as an individual person. I recommend a therapist to help navigate this time of transition in your life. If you don’t get a handle on it now, you’re going to be a wreck when he starts pre-school in a few years and he finds joy in things outside of mama & home.  I’ve seen friends go through what you’re in and it’s ugly. You also need to remember you have a spouse and a marital relationship (not just talking about sex here) – if he feels all you care about is your son, it’s going to get really ugly. Especially if your income is needed AND he feels emotionally neglected.


And I also agree with the rec to see your doctor about post-Partum depression. Some of the language you used in your post “I no longer care about anything expect my son” sounds like depression talking.

Post # 10
678 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It definitely sounds like you should be seeking help for the separation anxiety. I know many people don’t like to leave their babies, but to be unable to be away for a couple hours for some you time sounds a bit extreme. Additionally, not having this you time (even if you don’t feel you want it/don’t enjoy it when you do) can contribute to the feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. 
Im with you on the longer leave, I’m in Canada where 12 months is standard and now 18 is an option. I personally took 9 with my son and then went back to do a school work term before returning to actual work at 12 months. My husband took the remaining 3 months of our year. 
I agree with other posters who think that being a stay at home mom might not help, and in fact might make the separation anxiety worse if you go back to being with your son full time. There is nothing wrong with you deciding to be a stay at home mom, if that is what you ultimately want, but you should do so from a point of health and not a place of fear and guilt about leaving your son (with trusted carers) for even a couple hours, as that may just get worse.

Good luck! I do hope you can reach an arrangement that works better for you. I happen to prefer being a working mom because being home brings out the small anxieties of dealing with feeding and naps etc and I get all wrapped up in that. But it may be that you would rather be home, once you have worked on your mental health, and that’s fine!

Post # 11
3485 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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cblank181 :  I’m in the UK so I got to take 14 months off when I had my son. 
I went back to a demanding career full time and I hated it! I didn’t mind being away from my son as such, but I hated not feeling like I could give enough to work or my son.


i basically went back in order to get maternity leave again. I stuck it out while pregnant and am currently on leave again. I’m nearing the end of this leave (baby is 10 months) and I’ve just resigned.

i can’t tell you how happy I am to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. There is so little stress in our house now. My son goes to preschool and he and baby will go to nursery for 2 days so that I can focus on housework / me so I think that is a good balance 

Post # 14
234 posts
Helper bee

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cblank181 :  2 questions come to mind:

1- can you afford to be a SAHM?

2- if not, are you willing to modify your lifestyle to be a SAHM? (So that your partner doesn’t have to work 70 hours per week and grow resentful of this situation?)

I’d say that the “you can have it all” narrative is the worst myth that was ever uttered to mothers. We can have some of it. We can be in the work force AND mothers, but we can’t be performing excellence at both at the same time –especially when the children are infants.

Sometimes circumstances demand that you do the best you can with that hand. Cost of living isn’t cheap, you love your job, etc. There’s good reasons to have to just “do your best.”

I’ll say that now that my oldest is 2, I think there’s great benefit in center preschool for her. She gets to play with a group of children, gets peer pressured into eating diverse foods, and has learned to respect other adults. Mine does 3 days per week while I work. My littlest is 7 months, and I’ve worked 3 mornings per week since he was 9 weeks. I find this to be a fantastic balance for myself. (I’m the owner of my own business, and have a babysitter sitting in my office with him while I’m with patients.)

If you can afford it and want to dedicate yourself to raising your little(s), I think it’s a laudable goal. You don’t need to go against the biological instinct you describe in search for the utopian feminist ideology.

Post # 15
1592 posts
Bumble bee

I typed up a long response but WB ate it. But as a fellow WFH (part time in my case, which obv makes it easier)/SAHM I relate to a lot of what you wrote, esp living life in 3 hr increments. I think it’s hard to compartmentalize work time vs  mom time when you work out of your home where your child is and you can hear them all the time, even if someone else is watching them. For me it just puts me on edge when I can hear my kid fussing downstairs, or even working during her naps never knowing if she’ll be down for two hours or 20 min. I sometimes feel like I’m failing at both work and momming cause I’m not fully present for either? 

I don’t have the answer for you about whether quitting your job to be a FT Stay-At-Home Mom is the right decision. But it’s clear that what you’re doing now isn’t working. I almost wonder if you’d feel better if you were working outside the house more …maybe if you got into that routine it’s make it easier to focus on work and not be so concerned about your baby all the time? You could always try that for a few months and see how it goes before making your decision?

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