Stay at Home Mom Guilt

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I have touched on stay at home mom guilt briefly before, in my other posts, I think, though definitely on Facebook. But today, I want to touch on it more directly.

Because sometimes, honestly, I feel guilty being a stay at home mom.

Stay at home mom guilt

Honestly, sometimes it’s hard not to.

We live in a society where our value is frequently measured by what we can do. What job we hold. What promotions we gain. How much money we make.

So what then, does it mean, to spend my life with no job, with no promotions on the horizon, with no money to show for it?

Sometimes it can lead to this overwhelming sense of guilt, that I feel like I’m not contributing to the family.

But then, this gets back to the idea of money. The idea that my only value is the money I can provide. But this is not true. In fact, this runs counter to everything in my value system. I have never believed money is the most important thing, but yet, for some reason, I get caught up in this societal idea that without a paycheck attached to my name, my value to society is worthless.

I struggle with feeling like I’m contributing enough, which is where the stay at home mom guilt comes in. This is ridiculous though! I do not say this to brag on myself, but I do a lot and not all of what I do can be quantified with a price tag and that’s okay. It’s not all about the money.

But yet, someone I know once called me a freeloader. And despite knowing that I am not a freeloader, despite knowing that I work hard, it has always stuck with me. The negative words do always stick too easily to me. Is that what everyone thinks about me? Are the sometimes subtle or not so subtle hints from other people that I should get a job proof that they think I’m a freeloader too?

Even if I did nothing, wouldn’t I still have value? I believe yes, in the same way that I believe babies and the unborn and the elderly and so on have value because they are human beings. I believe our value as human beings comes from God and it’s not something that can be taken away just by your status or standing in life. All people are valuable.

But the struggle with stay at home mom guilt is real. The struggle to run counter to the messages all around me is real. There is no reason for me to feel this way and certainly, in the moment, when I’m with my children, I don’t feel this way. It’s only in the quiet moments alone that I start to wonder. Maybe the solution is to never leave my children 😉 Just kidding, like everyone, I need time and space for myself to exist as well.

Sometimes, I don’t have a good conclusion for these posts that are just thoughts, because sometimes, there is no neat bow to wrap it all up. There is no perfect solution to the guilt. I can’t tell you how to overcome this guilt because every time I think I have, I find it comes right back again. But I know Christ did not set me free to live in this guilt. So at the very least (or perhaps, very most), I can turn to him to free me from my guilt. He is enough. And He has made me enough.

It’s not about accomplishments. Or money. Or the job I work or anything else that might give status for a moment, but in the end all fades away. Most people do not become famous in their jobs – sure, a small percentage of people do something world changing that gets remembered forever – but most people, most average people, don’t become famous in their jobs. And you can’t take all the money and accomplishments in the world with you when you die. But we chase after these things sometimes as if they will give us meaning. But they are only temporary things. Money can be lost. Jobs can be lost. People forget your accomplishments. That’s why you have to rest secure in your identity apart from these things.

I am more. And you are too.

Do you struggle with this guilt? How do you combat it? Or is there another kind of guilt you struggle with? 

P. S. I am not even touching on the other kind of stay at home mom guilt I feel, because that’s too big for this post and I don’t even know where to begin. But the guilt of your kids not listening and then you not parenting the way you want to parent and the resulting guilt from that is also a struggle to deal with. But that’s a different post perhaps for a different day. 

P. P. S. If you are a young adult in SE Wisconsin, Awake and Alive is having Pastor Jeffrey Bonack speak on guilt and shame. This is an awesome event and they pick their speakers very well. If you struggle with guilt like I do, it’s definitely something to look into. 

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