Why You’re Feeling Trapped As A Mom

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As a recent mom of two I have to say there are two emotions that I wish I could say goodbye to. My son will be 4 at the end of the month and my daughter is almost 2 months old. Of course I feel love and joy and complete, all the things I am supposed to feel. However I also feel trapped and guilty. A lot.

feeling trapped as a mom - The Everyday Mom Life

As I have been talking with some of my other mom friends I am finding that a lot of us feel these emotions. If you haven’t had them please comment, write me and share what you are doing right. If you too suffer from the annoying cycle of trapped and guilt, welcome to the club.

I have been trying to figure out what I can do to alleviate some of this. I started to question why trapped? The guilt is not new to me so it seemed easier to understand. Let’s take a look at this trapped feeling.

I am a stay at home mom. This is where I want to be and I am with the people I want to be with. I am not in a job I hate or dealing with annoying co-workers. However, my day is often filled with annoying things.




I am pumping almost exclusively. Which means I spend about 20-30 minutes attached to a machine six times a day. This means that overnight I lost about three hours of my day. Now my point is not the work or the discomfort or to complain. It is simply to say I feel trapped in my attachment to this machine.

I try to stay on top of the cleaning, laundry and groceries and I am finding it to be increasingly difficult. One of my children seems to need my attention or help every second of the day. My son has recently stopped napping. I know I should be grateful it lasted this long. I am. Today I do not feel grateful for what was, I am tired because of what is. I want to clean or cook or do the laundry all by myself. It’s hard to keep them occupied while accomplishing the chores I need to. It makes me feel incapable and trapped.

Getting out of the house with multiple children, timing it between naps and pumping and meal times…It’s really hard. I am struggling to get it right. It makes simple things like the post office or dry cleaning take four times as long as they should. It is depressing to me to look at my day and realize it took hours to accomplish what I could do on my own in 45 minutes. Again, trapped.

I read an article recently about a study on mice published in the journal of Brain, Structure and Function. It tested the effects of different sounds on the brains of the mice. The control group was exposed to silence. The study found, “when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.”

The article went onto say that silence relieves stress and tension. It said that “noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones.” Somehow this gave me comfort.




I wasn’t crazy or ungrateful that I get to stay home. I was actually having a scientifically explained hormonal reaction to the CONSTANT noise in my life. The constant need of a toddler and an infant.

It is stressful and tiring. Feeling “trapped” is the way I lumped together a lot of the emotions I am feeling. I explained this to my husband and told him I needed to run a few errands alone that weekend. It felt amazing. I grocery shopped and bought the decorations for my son’s birthday. My parents watched our children so we could have a date. It was wonderful.

I gave myself the gift of understanding why I feel trapped sometimes and it helped me let go of some of the guilt I felt too. I don’t need to feel bad for taking a break from all of the noise in my life. It is good for my brain, good for my emotions, and, as it turns out, good for my family too.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. It is definitely not easy being a stay at home mom, but I would never want to do anything else. It’s worth everything to me.

  2. I remember feeling this same way! I hated it when people would say, “this too shall pass,” but of course, they were right! Hang in there – being a stay at home mom is great, but it’s not for the faint at heart! You can do it mama!

  3. I am not a Mom but recently all my friends had babies and I have slowly watched them all become so overwhelmed. It’s hard having kids and there’s so much pressure to be pinterest worthy every second of the day. But what’s really important is those kids and your mental health.

  4. That’s so interesting about growing more brain cells with a few hours of silence. I have a 3.5yo and 9mo and our days are so loud and my brain is constantly processing the noises. I find that on the rare occasions where I’m driving by myself, I usually choose silence instead of music.

  5. this is a very interesting topic. while i am not a mom and would not understand this i will say that i hear my friends with kids saying this all the time and they have told me that music and also some treats here and there anything from a good chocolate box or watching a movie.

  6. It isn’t easy being a stay at home Mom, but I love it. Summer is the hardest since the kids are home. I do feel anxious at times.

  7. This is something that many mothers go through. I know I did! I can say it will pass, but it felt like forever for me. (In fact, it has just now started to slow down for me.)
    I think this took a lot of guts to post this for the whole world to read. Yet, I also think MANY women need to hear they are not alone with this problem.

  8. I’m not yet a mother but I know how busy stay at home mums are and I admire them!! I’m glad you found a way to centre yourself if you are having feelings of being trapped and also losing the guilt – too much pressure on ourselves sometimes and all that matters is that everyones happy and healthy. The rest can wait!

  9. I admire a person who can do the work of a stay at home mom. I did it for about six months and I wasn’t cut out for it. I do believe it is a wonderful option for both mom and baby!

  10. It’s not easy being a mom, especially one that stays at home. You are constantly needed and don’t really get to enjoy time to yourself, which is something we all need.

  11. Such a good read! Thank you for opening up and sharing your feelings. Pumping is the worst and I completely understand how you feel. I had similar feelings when I was on maternity leave and sometimes throughout my summer break. It is so important to make quiet alone time for yourself to refuel! Keep rocking it momma!

  12. I don’t think Ive ever really felt trapped. I am so happy being home with my kids, working on my career from home, making my family money and having family time anytime I want it! – Jeanine

  13. I enjoy being home with my kids. I think it’s important for those that are at home to plan ME time and also get out of the house by yourself every once in a while.

  14. This is a wonderful article that I am going to pass on to some of my mom friends. This is a frequent conversation that we have. As I have no children, I can only imagine and dichotomy of these feelings.

  15. You are amazing to keep up the pumping! I had to exclusively pump with my son who was a premie – he was losing too many calories while eating and pumping was the best option. It was exhausting! I only lasted about 8 weeks and told the husband I was done – it was either breast milk or my sanity – I guess I should have tried to get out of the house alone to see if that helped. That study was interesting! Good job mama on making sure you get some time for yourself! WE NEED IT!!

  16. So spot on! Oh man. Do I ever relate to this more often than sometimes. ? especially right Now, my husband has been away for 2.5 weeks for work and it’s been chaos. He was gone in March too..and august – December. The constant annoyance of feeling trap but feeling guilty. Disciplining your children with only one man to stand in the rain when you viewed as the worst mom ever.. Oh boy! I mean just now I had to kick out my son out of my bed (he’s been keeping his dad’s side warm since he’s gone) because his little sister and him are just constantly fighting and he ended up pushing her off him and she got hurt. Well the little one stays in my bed she’s two. So one of them had to go and they had to be separated but the minute he walked out my room the guilt came over and I instantly felt bad. I’ve had a super hard day and I spent 5 mins crying while I put on a purifying mask because no damn mask is going to change my haggard look from the struggles of motherhood. Thanks for sharing!
    xo Maria | https://imommy.co

  17. I hope my mom and wife are doing well with this “Trapped” feeling. Thank you for sharing this, at least now, I have an idea on what the women in my life actually feels.

  18. I can totally relate to this, and it’s amazing how hearing noise constantly can literally drive you nuts! Being a stay at home mom is so much harder than going to work each day honestly! Hang in there mama

  19. I’m so glad I saw your post, I have a blogpost in my draft about why my kids are in kindergarten and not at home with me, I was struggling of the choice if I was going post it or not because I don’t want people to think that I hate my child

  20. Honestly I thought it was just me. I never knew other moms who felt the same way until the started posting like you did right now. It’s really important to squeeze in some me time to keep us from feeling trapped.

  21. I have definitely felt that trapped feeling that you are describing here. As a work at home mom, it is difficult to get away from the “office” sometimes. Between work, family, the home, and life itself – it can get very NOISY! I need to take more time to just enjoy silence.

  22. I work from home for two years already and I feel trapped so often! I don’t have children yet, but I think I can feel a little of what you feel!

  23. I am so happy to know that I am not the worst mother in the world for feeling this “trapped” feeling I have been having lately. I just turned 23 and I am a mother of 4. I have a 1 month old, a 2 year old, a 3 year old and a 6 year old. I got pregnant in highschool and graduated with an 8 month old. No one thought I would be able to graduate while having a child, so I did everything I possibly could to graduate, to prove everyone who doubted me wrong, to show myself that I can do anything and that just because I became a mother so young, that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to. I wanted to show my child one day, that you can overcome the hardest of times and to not ever doubt yourself, even if so many others do. Then I graduated highschool at the age of 17 and went into college to become an LVN. During that time, I got pregnant with my second child, and dropped out of college to stay home with my kids. When my child was 4 months old I got pregnant with my third child. I was happy to be a young, stay at home mother. I got to enjoy being home with my children. Watching them do all the “firsts” watching them play, and figure out how things work. I never wanted to put them in a childcare and have someone else teach them. I know there are other wonderful moms who bust their butt at work and have their children in daycare, I just didn’t want to have to do that. Recently I just gave birth to my 4th child. I am so in love with each one of my children, but lately my 3 year old is in between potty training and needs me for literally everything. I am trying to raise these children to be independent and try. Just TRY to do it and if you cant right now I will help you. But I seem to not catch a break. I am totally all about my children playing, and using their fine motor skills, and me teaching them things from home, but what about the house? Clean when they are taking a nap? Clean at night when they are in bed for the night? I do all of that! I play with them all day, then at night time I cook them dinner, give them a warm bath, brush their teeth, read them some books, and let them go to sleep. Then that is MY TIME. My time consists of cleaning the house. Although it is peaceful, and can be relaxing, depending on if I’m tired or not, I clean but the whole time I am thinking of how soon it is going to all get messed up again. It was fine for awhile, thinking “they are just children, they make messes, but they are only children once. No one will care if the house is a mess, people understand”… but then I sit down at the end of the day and even though most people would think, “they played hard, they had fun” all I see is another mess for mom to clean.. I don’t get out much because I was in a car accident when my oldest was only 4 months old and I was with a very abusive guy, and from all the constant screaming he did to me, and the trauma I went through from the accident, the drs diagnosed me with panic disorder. I wasn’t able to leave the house without having a full blown panic attack, but I am finally realizing that I can have these attacks anywhere, I get them in the shower, or cooking dinner, so why not go out and try to just have fun, and if I have an attack then just face it as it comes like I do when I’m in the comfort of my own home. I think stress brings them on since so much is going on in my life. But writing and talking helps. I have been feeling lately that I want to get a job. I just want to have something I have to do, and I also GET PAID! I don’t get paid cash being a stay at home mom, but I get paid with the love my children give me. I know my children love me, and that they don’t purposely make a mess so that mom can clean it up. They are enjoying their time playing, and having fun with mommy. So I beat myself down and cry, wondering why I want to go get a job. But reading these responses I am happy to know that I am not alone.

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