Mom guilt. Why? Why is this a thing? More specifically, mom guilt about our contributions to the household and resuming a professional career. I am positive that I am not the only stay at home mom out there that lives in a constant cycle of guilt each month when the bills are due. When I am home with my son, I ride a roller coaster of emotions. I feel elated to be home and seeing those two adorable, loving eyes look up at me, those chubby little arms reaching for me, and that brain just exploring the world around. Then, in the same hour, I manage to feel guilty about not contributing financially to our household. When I do consider pursuing an avenue to earn money outside of the house, I feel guilty about choosing work over being at home with my child. Anyone else?
Here’s the thing, I do this to myself, 100%. My husband doesn’t put any pressure on me to get back to work, in fact, he is fully aware of the contributions I make to our household by staying home. His hours are crazy at his job and they’re always changing. In a financial sense, we are both on the same page that my returning to work would help with bills, yes, but it would also create a new expense in daycare, which would cut my salary significantly, all while everything at home would be neglected. From the time I wake up, I take care of our son (who is breastfed and that in itself is a full time job), our two dogs, tend to a bunch of crazy chickens and ducks, do household chores, run errands, cook, and maintain a clean house. My days are busy and I’m usually ready for lunch before it’s even 12 o’clock.
Yet, in the midst of being busy, productive, and valuable each day, I still find the time to beat myself up.
So lets just add one more layer to the guilt sandwich- feeling guilty about making myself feel guilty- rather than savoring every moment to its fullest potential.
Money is cruel thing in this world, am I right? This whole roller coaster of guilt is fueled by money. We all want it, need it, and never have enough of it. The saying “Money doesn’t buy happiness” may very well be true at it’s core, however, it can sure alleviate problems, stress, hardship, etc. you may be experiencing. No, I do not think that money itself will make you happy, of course not, but I do think it can make your life easier, less stressful, and therefore help create an opportunity to live your life in a way that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, which could promote happiness… to a reasonable extent.
For me, the craziest part in all of this, is that being a stay at home mom has been my dream in life for years and years. How backwards, right? Now that I am living that dream, I’m almost trying to run away from it just so we can earn more, have more, and save more. So I can have my own money to spend, so we can take vacations, and so that I can buy my son whatever I want to. How superficial is that?
My goal from here out is to be content and to learn to let go of the guilt. I want to be home with my son and I choose to be. I have always wanted children and I have not only been blessed with an amazing and joyful baby boy, but I am blessed to have the luxury of spending each day with him, and I realize many mothers don’t. I get to see his “firsts” and witness his growth. Sure, we won’t take a vacation this year because we’re a one income family, but I get to look back on this time knowing that I didn’t miss a thing in my son’s first year. Time passes too fast and I know in my heart that I am very valuable right where I am, and that I am learning to be the best mom I can possibly be.