Stay at Home Mom guilt, it’s real and it can break you down.
This coming August I’ll be approaching 2 years as a stay at home mom, a title I never really imagined I would have. My first child was born in 2012 and I went back to work after my maternity leave. Returning back to work as a new mom was difficult, scary, and nerve racking, but I always had the intention of having a career. When I got pregnant with my daughter in 2015, I had mixed feelings about returning to work. Specifically, I felt like I had missed out on so much with my son and was seeing first hand how quickly kids grow up. I was also travelling more for work, which was nice to visit other countries, but weeks away from my little guy was so difficult! I expressed my feelings to my husband, and we discussed our options moving forward with baby #2. Ultimately the pros outweighed the cons and we decided that I could take a leap and become a stay a home mom. Now that it’s almost been 2 years, I can say with confidence this was the best decision for our family. However, I’m also reasoning with certain ‘Guilt’s’ that I face on occasion.
- Not Contributing Financially To Our Family. This is definitely the biggest guilt I have as a stay at home mom. Since I was 15 years old, I’ve pretty much had a job and a drive to be a successful woman. All through college and graduate school, I focused on my career and financial independence. After becoming a mom, my feelings and focus shifted. While these are all still qualities of me, I realized that I wanted to be the one nurturing and taking care of my children. As a family we are fortunate to be able to live off my husband’s income, but I did feel a piece of me loose financial freedom. Goodbye random Monday morning online shopping…lol. My husband has never said or implied anything to make me feel guilty for not contributing financially, but my own ego brings this guilt upon me. Instead when I bring up the fact that I feel guilty for not working, he immediately assures me that taking care of our kids and household is a huge contribution. It can be difficult to see this when there’s no paycheck involved, but I know he’s right.
- Feeling like I’m not doing enough. I remember as a working mom, I had my perception of stay at home moms and remember feeling jealous that they didn’t have to go to work. Well that perception quickly became a much different reality and I realized how much ‘work’ it is to be a stay at home mom. There are good days and challenging days, and on these days I feel guilty that I’m not doing enough to nurture my kids. My son went to an awesome daycare for 3 years and he learned so much! Now when I see where my daughter is in comparison, I feel like I’m not doing enough to teach and enrich her mind. The days are long, but they are always busy with errands, cooking, cleaning, and tantrum management. When this guilt creeps in, I remind myself that my priorities are to keep the kids 1) Alive, 2) Fed, and 3) Rested. Everything else is a bonus and I can’t beat myself up for not doing more.
- Being Resentful. I don’t get this guilt often, but there are times were I feel overwhelmed, over tired, and begin to have resentment for my decision. I daydream what life would be like if I went back to work, excitement for adult interaction, utilizing my mind for problem solving instead of finding lost shoes, and eating lunch without pieces of food being flung around. Yes, it all sounds wonderful, but then I quickly realize how much I would miss my kids! Their sweet, sticky kisses make everything worth it and suddenly I don’t resent my decision to stay home.
Some days it might take a little wine when Daddy get’s home, but I truly love and appreciate my role as a stay at home mom. When these ‘Guilt’s’ kick in my mind, I’m forced to remind myself that this time with my kids is fleeting and in a blink of an eye they won’t ‘need’ me to be home with them.