Stay at Home Mom Guilt

Tagged Under :

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. 

5 Things I Have Learned in 5 Years as a Stay at Home Mom

Tagged Under :

As Dominic’s 5th birthday approaches, it occurred to me today that that means I have been a stay at home mom for almost five years. That’s longer than it took me to finish college, longer than any job I held, longer than I’ve known some people. It’s a long time. And so, in honor of Dominic’s 5th birthday, here are five things I have learned in my five years (rounded up) as a stay at home mom.

Dominic reading to me and Allen - what I've learned as a Stay at Home Mom

Structure helps us all.

This may sound silly, but I have alarms on my phone for lunch time and dinner time and bedtime. This allows us to keep things at roughly the same time every day without watching the clock, plus the kids understand what’s coming next. I also use an app that keeps track of my housework and this results in us doing certain things on certain days of the week. The kids have picked up on this and they know what to expect. It helps me a great deal to have some kind of structure otherwise the day blurs together because there’s no start and end time to my day. The kids knowing what to expect also helps them to roll with the day – they know when they can expect to be fed and they generally go to bed fine because we have a routine in place before bed.

Everyone is going to have opinions.

I have to start off by saying this is true of all parenting – not just being a stay at home mom. Everyone – and I mean everyone, including random strangers – has opinions on the “right” way to parent kids. Somewhere, someone out there thinks you are ruining your kids for something you do/don’t do. Guarantee. And every kind of mom faces their own kind of stigma and naysayers. For me, as a stay at home mom, this has included pressure from others to get a job and someone I knew called me a freeloader once. All of these things though are just opinions and frequently, not very helpful ones. You and your spouse are the ones who get to make the decisions about your unique and amazing kids – period. Check the outside opinions at the door to your house. This is way easier said than done, but it will make a world of difference.

You need a tribe.

Being a stay at home mom can be lonely and isolating. You don’t always see a whole lot of adults and being around your kids all the time can be hard. You need to find the people who are going to support you in this journey, the people who are going to lift you up when you feel like quitting or when you feel like you’re not good enough. I’m fortunate to have a strong tribe of people supporting me and I truly believe their support is invaluable.

My tribe is a diverse tribe and includes wonderful ladies nearby and far away, some who have kids, some who don’t, some who are the same age as me, some who are older, some who share my faith, some who don’t. However, what they all have in common is that they love me and want to see me succeed. They’re not seeking to tear me down but to encourage me. They’re not seeking to force their opinions on me, but to give advice when asked. They’re not seeking to tell me to quit, but to tell me I made this decision for a reason and to keep going. I am grateful to each and every one of them. I hope that you are lucky enough to find a tribe like I have. Because I can tell you when I didn’t have a very big tribe, it was hard.

There is more to you than being a stay at home mom.

When I first had my kids, I fell into attachment parenting (more about that another day). This made me feel like I could never leave my kids. Like I had to be with them 24/7 or I was a bad mom. I let myself be completely absorbed by parenting and let my other hobbies and interests fall by the wayside. But do you know what I’ve learned this leads to? A stressed out me.Over time, I’ve been able to slowly add in more things that are just for me. I sing in my church’s choir and attend Bible study regularly (with some of the moms from my tribe – thus accomplishing two things 😉 ). I blog and I read books and I write. I try and get out with friends and with Nick when I can.

Being a stay at home mom is a lot of pressure. If you let that be the only thing you have going for you, it’s easy to let the failures crush you. But the reality is, you can not measure your self-worth or success by the behavior of your kids. I still struggle with this because unlike other jobs, there’s no paychecks or promotions or recognitions. But for me, having things I can enjoy outside of parenting helps remind me on the bad days that there is more to life than parenting and I have not failed as a human being even if my kids are little terrors.

It’s normal that it is simultaneously so hard and so rewarding.

I feel like when your kids are little and it’s hard, you tell yourself that later on, it will be easier. When they don’t need you to do so much for them, it will be easier. But the reality is, it doesn’t get easier in a linear fashion. Some things get easier, but then there are other new problems that crop up. And sometimes, if you’re like me, you think if you just work a little bit harder, you will get there, to a point where it’s easier. But life – and parenting – don’t work like that. Parenting has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

But! On the flipside of that, I’ve also never done something this rewarding. There are awesome moments where you see them do a new skill for the first time. Or get a big hug from them with an I love you. Or they finally remember to do something you’ve been working on with them for ages. These moments make your heart like 3000 times bigger. It is frequently both of these things in the same day and sometimes even in the same moment. That’s normal. That’s life.

So I suppose, on reflecting on this list at the end, this isn’t just about being a stay at home mom. It’s also/mostly about being a parent. This is what I’ve learned and really, what I’m still learning. I’m still a work in progress, just like my kids.

What have you learned from parenting? 

Employment Differences

Tagged Under : , ,

Hello all! Sorry I had no new post for you yesterday. I had planned to, but then I got caught up in celebrating my birthday and getting ready for school to start (which it does this morning). I had even planned to video blog, but I’ll try that next week.

So today I want to show you a graph I found and talk about some possible explanations.

It’s pretty interesting that men have higher unemployment rates than women. One possible explanation I think is that perhaps less women are looking for work – i.e. there are more stay at home moms, who I would hope don’t count into the unemployment rate because they have a perfectly valid job, even if they’re not paid. Another explanation could be that women are more likely to work in fields that are considered more “isolated” like healthcare and teachers. It is harder to get rid of positions like those, because there will always be children to teach and there will always be sick or injured people. Whereas, it can be very easy to shut down a car factory, for example, when people stop buying cars and they’re not as profitable.

However, in this you have to remember that women still don’t quite get paid truly equal wages, so while they may be more sheltered, they still might not have the means as their male counterparts who are still employed.

So I hope this gives you all something to think about – just some food for thought.

I will try to be consistent and faithful doing the school year, but you’ll have to forgive me in advance if I get busy and drop off for a few days.

Source: Variation in U.S. Unemployment >> Sociological Images

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...