Feeling OK about being "just a SAHM"?

Amy - posted on 05/19/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have been a SAHM since I was 3 months pregnant with my 2nd child (I get very sick while pregnant and decided to finish study during my pregnancy instead). He is now 18months old and I feel increasing guilt that am not at least working part-time. My eldest started school in February and my youngest goes to daycare 1 a week. I have put myself under a lot of (personal) pressure to work out what I want to do but can't find anything that would be worth doing (financially and for me personally) that I can do without increasing my existing childcare arrangements. I think it comes down to me not wanting to go back to work. My hubby is ok with me staying home (even though I'm a crap housekeeper) - I think it is more about me feeling justified in my decision. How do others stop feeling guilty about being a SAHM?

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[deleted account]

One of the things that helped me was doing a ton of research on the benefits of children having a SAHM. I don't know, it just gave me scientific, concrete reasons for my decision and led me from "I'm not working b/c I don't want to leave my kid" to "I'm not working b/c It is the BEST thing for our family." Might not help everyone, but I like having those real reasons.

Also, I treat being a SAHM like a career. I'm involved in my son's school, PTA, and sports. I schedule time to clean my house everyday (yep, glorified janitor, but I get that job done in about 30 minutes), I hold "preschool" at our kitchen table everyday, and I participate in story times and organize play group so my son can socialize. I also give myself "Breaks" and "Days Off" so don't feel guilty about the little one spending a day at daycare. My break is an hour in the evening when my hubby watches our son so I can go to the gym, book club, or just hang out in the bath and read for a while--we equate this to his lunch break at work :) (He doesn't have to do anything but watch/play with our son, this give him a chance for some quality Daddy & Son time, so both guys love it!)

Alina - posted on 05/20/2010

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You must get rid of the phrase "just a SAHM." Here's a small list of what SAHMs do/are: teacher, banker, administrative assistant, manager, housekeeper, taxi service, chef, nurse, counselor . . . I could go on and on! We wear many different hats, work the longest hours and have the greatest investment: our family! I don't think there's one woman who is currently a SAHM who thought at one time we weren't contributing financially to the family. However, after doing the budget and counting the costs (literally) you will find it saves money. Daycare costs so much, and even with a good reference, you don't know if you can really trust the person. Is it in your budget to spend money on increased transportation, office parties/luncheons, office wardrobes, daycare costs, nanny cams, late fees when you're running behind schedule (to name a few costs)? There are more than enough reasons to feel justified in your decision, even though you will always have someone on the outside looking in, telling you your choice was wrong. If you and your husband are confident in your decision, relax and enjoy it!

Tanya - posted on 05/20/2010

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You know when I first started to be this "stay at home mom" it was strange for everyone else around me and they asked lots of questions, I felt like I had to justify why I was home and what my plans were as my children grew even after having my 2nd baby I still felt a little like this like I should be doing something else other then "just" saying home. I've was even asked a couple of times "so you just stay home all day"? I felt like what I did wasn't enough even though in my heart I knew this was the best thing that ever happened to me and that this is where I should be right now. When I got pregnant with my 3rd this light must have went on in my head or I just finally felt comfterble in my skin and my life that I relized that this is exactly where I want and need to be, I am not just a "stay at home mom" I am a stay at home mom/wife or a more technical term a homemaker.. I am so important to everyone in this house I am not replaceble in anyway if I went to work my house would fall apart and possibly my faimly and my kids would have a harder time. I am here for everything every fall every acheviment. No one know my children better than me. I am able to provide them the attention they need and deserve I am so much more then I could be anywhere else. I am just sad I spent all that time explaining my desicision I would recommend everyone who can stay home with there children should now I have nothing against working moms I know lots (my mom was one) and if that is what they have to do for there families then they are doing the best they can. I hope I can stay home forever I want to be here for my children all through there school years I know I needed my mom sometimes after a hard day in high school I just pray that I can be there for my kids. Dont spend this time feeling guilty about what you do you are in the most important position you can ever be in you are everything to your family just look around at everything you do and everything you get to witness. A babysitter seeing there first steps (I have been that babysitter) it cannot be fun hearing about your baby's first steps you don't hold that memory for them I saw all my childrens first steps/words/fall/booboo everything and I wouldn't trade that for anything in this world!!!! Enjoy what you do it don't matter if your not a great cook or your house isn't spotless your kids arent going to remember that they are only going to remember who was there for them always..

CARRIE - posted on 05/20/2010

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I love being a sahm! In my opinion there isn't a more important job on the entire planet. And I wouldn't trade this time with my son for anything in the world. However I don't look down on women who choose to work. I think every woman should embrace her choice and do everything possible to make that decision work for her family.

I always knew that when I had kids I would be a sahm. Of course everyone I know had an bad opinion about it. When my husband and I looked at the situation we realized I would basically be working to pay someone else to take care of my son. 90% of my pay would go to child care. In my opinion since it wouldn't help us financially it wasn't an issue. It is more important to us that my son gets raised in a safe loving environment where we don't have to worry every time we leave him in someone's care. I'm just glad that I got to choose and wish that every women could make the choice based on what they wanted instead of what they have to do. I think that there would be a lot more sahm's if they had the support they needed to make it work.

Susan - posted on 05/20/2010

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My last day of work was my due date more than 20 months ago. It was a tough adjustment because I was what you could call a work-a-holic. I was a news paper editor and I got to interview a lot of famous people and meet people everyday and go to meetings and be creative and then all of a sudden I was home with a baby by myself day after day. It was a tough adjustment but one I would make again in a heartbeat, there's no way I could have put her in daycare and let someone else raise my precious gift. Check out Meetup.com that place gave me a lot of different options and groups to join so that it wasn't just us all of the time. Good luck!!

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[deleted account]

Don't worry.I am a crap housekeeper and my youngest is 2 1/2 and I am still a happy SHAM. Mostly for me it took looking at how it would effect us financially and how it would feel to be back to work and I was able to realize that with the cost of daycare it wouldn't be worth it for the jobs that I could get. We also are thinking about having another kid in the next year or two and my hubby pointed out that I really should just stay out of the work force until we are sure that we are done having kids so that I don't have to go through the struggle of trying to decide between being a stay at home or working mother.

Yamira - posted on 05/21/2010

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I feel guilty when we are stapped for cash but then when my daughter tells me that she does not want me to go to work the guilt vanishes!...you will feel the same way when your children tell you the same!

Mandy - posted on 05/21/2010

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I love to stay at home and take care of the kids and duties of home. I feel as if I accomplish so much more, and there is no worry of clocking in or out at certain times either. Some women are just born to be stay at home moms!

[deleted account]

The honest truth is that NOBODY will take the time and care with your children that you do. No matter how good their intentions, they simply do not have a vested interest in seeing that your children get all their needs met in the best possible way. (And that includes even the most loving grandparents who love nothing more, for example, than to spoil dinner with a sweet treat!)



Whenever I feel guilty for not contributing financially, I tell myself that I'm doing the most important work there is: I'm helping to shape the future in the most hands-on way possible - by making sure that the future generation has smart, kind and thoughtful people at the ready when it's time to make the world a better place.

Rebecca - posted on 05/21/2010

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While pregnant with our first child my husband and I decided it would be best for me to stay home with our son then putting him in daycare. It wasn't only that it is better for our expenses to keep him home then put him in daycare but because we also felt that we didn't want someone else raising our child. It is more of a personal decision. If you and husband feel its best for you to stay home then there is nothing to feel guilty about. Because I am pretty sure your husband already knew that you are a "crap housekeeper" (your words-lol). I also believe that all SAHM all go through this feeling that they are not contipulating enough to the household...but most of us finally come to realize that staying home is a lot harder then going out there and working.

Jane - posted on 05/21/2010

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Being a SAHM is a tough adjustment. I had to go back to work after having my first two children. (My ex is not what you could call dependable) Life has changed, I remarried, had a third child and ended up with a step-daughter. I realize being at home now how much I really missed with my first two. This is our last and I am trying to enjoy every minute of being home with him and the other children. Some days being at home with four children is more difficult than a full-time job. With the cost of childcare for four children my paycheck would have only covered childcare expenses so it just didn't make sense for me to return to work. We have had to make many sacrifices and our kids may not get all the newest toys and such that comes out, but our children are in a stable environment and not being raised by someone else. So at the end of the day I try not to feel guilty about not being able to contribute financially to the household and realize that I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband and great children.

[deleted account]

I have been a sahm for 6 almost 7 years and I get tired of it from time to time and Want to do something outside of the home but I feel like My kids are better off with me at home. I didnt plan on being a sahm but I had my first kid and about the time I was comfortable with leaving him with someone I got baby #2 and the same with baby #3 now I have I in school and I get to attend everything. So I more help to my kids then anybody else could ever be. I love it.

Kc - posted on 05/20/2010

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I love being a sahm, I have three kids and untill 9 months ago I worked in a pharmacy for 10 hours a day, and missed out on alot.I'm catching uo with my kids, this is the first year I got to go to any of the older kids school functions, wouldn't change it for anything! There is no harder job than being a sahm.

Angela - posted on 05/20/2010

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I love being able to see all the fun things my son does daily! I'm a bit jealous and don't want to share my time with him with another caregiver anymore than I have to. Don't feel bad about wanting more I think we all do! I'd love to finish my education too. I may wait until my son gets into school. Stick with it, it's worth it!!!

Kaela - posted on 05/20/2010

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I am also a stay at home mom with my 11 month old daughter. She stays with me all day (no daycare) and I love to watch her grow and improve. I do work for a nanny service as the administrative assistant but for very minimal hours and am taking online classes part time(college). I am going to be looking into medical billing and start doing that from home. I am not the best house keeper but I do the best I can. I dont think that there is any reason to feel like you arnt doing a good enough job. You are raising your children and being a teacher, cook, doctor, librarian, ect and loving on them. If you can stay with your children than do it. Maybe upkeep the house a little better and take some classes or do medical billing, but dont feel guilty.

Erika - posted on 05/20/2010

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You shouldn't feel guilty, as long as it's possible for you to stay home. If you and your Hubby are on the same page, then that's all that matters. It's a blessing to be a SAHM. Best Wishes!

Hope this helps a bit.

Erika
http://www.ErikaCarrillo.com

Carina - posted on 05/20/2010

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Here's the deal... I have done both and while I worked I made decent $$, so it was hard to leave that because I could give my kids so much more stuff. BUT, I wasn't there as much for them. I noticed if I focused more on one area, the other suffered. So, if I worked harder, then the kids were getting in trouble at school. I love being a SAHM and running the household. I think being there for the kids is much more important than earning a paycheck and these days seems to be more of an honor than something to feel guilty about!! If you can afford to stay home with the kids, then do it and wear it proud. Not many families can do that. When the kids get older, then think about part time stuff, but even then, I am still running back and forth from sporting stuff, parent teacher conferences, dances, field trips and everything else. Good for you moms for doing what is best for you and your family. Not an easy job to do!!!

Nicole - posted on 05/20/2010

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Wow...I am a horrible housekeeper! I have felt guilty for not working at least part time. The whole reason I stopped working in the first place was because I was basically just spending my entire paycheck to have someone else keep my child and it just got to the point where that was just silly. I really thought I woud be ok when I first started staying home but over the years I have found that it wasn't so much the money as it was "getting out of the house" and doing something that wasn't necessarily MOM related, or wife related for that matter. My husband has started working at home the majority of the time recently and I am looking forward to hopefully be able to pick up something part time soon...though I will feel guilty about going back to work too, as I have been with my son from day 1 lol. Eh...I can't win!
I think if you feel that you are where you need and want to be then you have nothing to feel guilty about at all. Also being a SAHM isn't about how clean your house is or how many loads of clothes you can do in a day...all that stuff will still be there the next day, or the next few if it's anything like my house, but your kids will only be little once.

Kristi - posted on 05/20/2010

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Being a SAHM is the most rewarding experience I've ever had. When my son was young, I worked, waiting tables... really long hours and really hard work. I missed out on so much. If I wasn't gone to work, I was getting ready for work or too tired from being at work to play with him. I realized I was missing a lot of his life. Unfortunately, at the time, I had no choice but to work. But now, my husband works and I stay home and I really wouldn't have it any other way. Behavioral issues I was having with my son are now completely gone. Not to mention I'm actually spending time with him now, and a lot of it! I'm like the other mom's on here, I've just totally turned it into a career, having set times for certain activities, i.e. teaching him, cleaning the house, and even game time. I don't think you should feel guilty about being a SAHM at all; instead, you should be proud of yourself.

[deleted account]

For my husband and I, we've worked it out that it would cost more to send our son to daycare when we deem him old enough than I would make in a job! I only have highschool, I went travelling after that, worked in Europe in pubs and then hands on chef training before I met my guy. I haven't worked since I met him!

I know that we might try for another baby when our son is 3 or 4 (and when my body is back in shape!) so I don't think I'll be working for a while! We've discussed it and we both agree that it's more important to spend time with our son than to break even with daycare costs!

Kim - posted on 05/19/2010

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It sounds like you can afford to stay at home, so you shouldn't be feeling guilty at all! There are probably lots of moms that wish they could do what we do. I really don't think there is a job out there as fulfilling as being a SAHM. ( P.S. I'm not the best housekeeper, either...ha ha!)

Jessica - posted on 05/19/2010

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i dont feel guilty cuz if i didnt stay home we would be spending would would be my entire check on childcare. not to mention my child keeps me busy 24/7 and sometimes it does feel like work. plus i get to be there for everything and neither me or her father worry about whats going on when shes with someone else. it makes things easier, and makes all three of us feel more secure.

Kristin - posted on 05/19/2010

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Think about all the wonderful things you are getting to see your children accomplish in this very short time before they start school. You get to be there for the first time the sit up on their own, walk, talk, play in the snow, play in a mud puddle, grow a garden, eat cherry tomatoes right off the plant, first day of preschool, first day of kindergarten. It isn't someone else seeing this and telling you about it. You get to be there.

You don't have to giant expense of childcare. You also have time to figure out what you might like to do when you do have both in school. There is going back yourself, working, volunteering, another child? If your husband is okay with you being home, then take your time and just be in the moment with your kids.

Hope that helps. I do understand where you are coming from.

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