Feeling guilty being a SAHM

Diana - posted on 04/27/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Im the mother of three children. They are 3, 2 and 1. I worked full-time (teacher) with my first. I worked part-time for my second and would have continued working part-time with my third, however my husband wanted me to stay home. He watched them while I worked. My husband is a police officer and works shift work. He also will work overtime here and there. Recently, I have been feeling guilty for staying home. Its not like I sit on the couch and eat bon bons. Morning until the kids bedtime, I am going non stop. I also clean two houses for extra money. My husband is actually fine with me staying home and doesn't pressure me to get a job. I'm stressing out feeling like I need to return to a "real" job. We are also thinking about having another child. Ideally, I really don't want to go back to work until all my children are older. I really would like to stay home even while they are in school. I was thinking of maybe subbing here and there while they are eventually all in school. Financially, me staying home is okay. We basically live paycheck to paycheck, but we live comfortably.
I think my biggest issue is that I don't want my husband to one day resent me for staying home and not returning to work. I don't want him to feel too "over worked." He says he isn't any of these things, but what if one day he is? Also, I just feel like society doesn't justify staying at home as a job. I feel like people are okay with it while your kids are babies, but there is absolutely no reason that you should stay home while they are in school. I'm just so overwhelmed by all this! When did wanting to be a SAHM become such a bad thing? My career, if that's what you want to call it, is to be a mom/housewife. I'm just hoping I'm not alone in my thoughts and I'm not being selfish for what I want.

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Gina - posted on 04/27/2013

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Hi there I can totally relate I feel guilty even though my husband says it's best I stay home for some time (my kid is 3yrs old), I think society/the media does put a lot of emphasis in how women should strive to "have it all" in life but in the end it's simply not realistic and we need to remind ourselves of this on a daily basis. Try not to worry about your friends and family's opinions and don't let that determine whatever path you take, only you and your spose know what works in your situation.

I do think that subbing or any part time job is a great idea, put your skills to use even if the pay isn't great, the real gain will be that you'll be keeping professional contacts and your skills and curriculum vitae won't become obsolete. If you don't like the uncertanty of subbing schedules, you can also get a job as a tutor/after school program instructor/Teacher's assistant/school office clerk (some schools hire part-time help and allow you to choose the days and hours to work etc) maybe you can find a job that only requires you to work a few hours (two days a week etc). You have a lot of options so consider yourself very fortunate, start looking for someone who can babysit in case you get a job offer, don't wait till the last minute to make childcare arrangements (maybe a friend/relative/neighbor/affordable daycare center). When you feel productive you feel happier, when you are happy your family benefits more than you can imagine.

Alesia - posted on 05/04/2013

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Hi Diana,

I also just became a sahm. I was feeling very stressed about my decision because I was almost half of our family's income, but when my husband and I took a look at everything we realized we were sending our 2.5 yr old and 6 month old to daycare for 10.5 hours a day due because we were also commuting almost an hour each way. That being said, when we took a step back and discussed what we really wanted for our children and our family, me staying at home was our best option. We absolutely have to live frugally and nearly paycheck to paycheck but our family balance is so much better. You are giving your children (and your husband) the greatest gift of being with them, taking part of their daily lives and raising them to be responsible and respectful individuals. There is nothing to feel bad about. You are doing a selfless thing by sacrificing your job and extra spending money to be their for their firsts, kiss their boo boos and also might I add it certainly sounds like it's the best thing for your marriage as well. I applaud you. Not every day will be easy and yes it is a 24/7 job. That's great if you can do something outside of the house to earn some extra money especially like subbing where it is in your line of work and what you went to school for. Networking and keeping connections are a great idea so that when you are able to return to work that transition can hopefully be easier.

I had a hard time leaving my professional HR position of which I earned a Bachelor's degree for and am still paying off my student loans...but I just had to keep remembering how much my children needed me and especially my 2.5 year old son wanted me to be with him more. Yeah, you're going to have those people that look down on sahms or think we're lazy or privileged, but at the end of the day we are by far none of those things. We are fulfilling what our most important role is in life which is to be a Mother. The most beautiful blessing there is. Regarding staying at home when the kids get older, I've thought about that myself and am just planning to play it by ear. If I could find a job that could be flexible where I could still be home with them in the morning and take them to school and pick them up, then I would most certainly love to work during the day, but that may not be possible. I think you should just see what happens but in the meantime find peace in your decision and knowing you are doing the absolute best thing for your children and family as a whole.

p.s. Might I also recommend reading a book by Dr. Laura Schlessinger: In Praise of Stay at Home Moms. It is excellent and was what actually pushed me over the edge of making the decision that I did.

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Yolanda - posted on 04/27/2013

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Hi there Diana,
Here's from another stay at home mom. I just recently became one and I love it. I really don't care what anyone thinks. My child is the only thing in life that I will leave behind when my time is up, so I intend to be the one raising him.
I have found that I love being mommy to my little man. My husband supports me and yes, the money is much tighter than when I worked. We budget, I garden and do as much around the place as I can. We postpone lots of fun and eating out is now a treat :-)
I find it rather amusing when people ask what I do with all my time, I don't really know but I stay busy and it flies. I sure don't sit around all day.
So do what makes you and your family happiest and apologize to no one :-) If we raise strong families we've done our job well.

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