Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Overcoming the Stay-At-Home-Mom Blues

Being a stay at home one is probably one of the most rewarding jobs that a mother can have. I mean, what better way to spend your time than being able to nurture, teach and take care of your children, rather than paying someone else to do it, right?

I do my best to take pride in the fact that I can stay home with my children, be here when they get home from school, help them with their homework and take care of their every need. And I KNOW that this is a privileged and rewarding experience. Yet, I still have trouble overcoming the blues from feeling like I should be doing more for my family. There is a feeling of being inferior to the women that seem to have it all. The ones that are successful at juggling a career and raising well-rounded children. The ones who seem to have all the answers, juggling conferences calls and ledgers as well as bottles and doctor's appointments.

I know this is a taboo thing to discuss, but I'm just going to throw it out there. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on my own life while I'm waiting on my children to grow up. I'm sometimes resentful to the fact that I've chosen this path. While I'm staying at home, being a mom, where is mom's fulfillment come in? I almost feel like I've taken women's lib 10 steps back by not taking on the responsibilities that we have fought for throughout the years. The right for women to work and be considered as equal. I feel like I am hindering my family financially, even though I know that we've agreed that my not working is better for us because of the cost of childcare and for our children's development. I want to look back in my old days and think that my life was a success somehow, that I have done the things that I was put here to do, and I don't want that to be JUST BEING A MOM!

Are my children are going to think less of me because I don't work? How can I explain to them the importance of going to college and being all that you can be in life if I am not a good example?

I mean, it seems that society somehow looks down on women that stay home. Am I the only onw that gets asked questions like

"You're STILL saying at home?"

"When are you planning on going to work?"

"You don't do anything during the day, so can you...?"

Please don't get it twisted. I'm not trying to bash women that stay home and enjoy being stay-at-home-moms. Not by any means. Nor am I saying that working moms lives have more meaning. I feel each kind of mom makes sacrifices necessary for them to make it work for their families. These are personal feelings of mine of how I sometimes get the blues living as stay at home mom.

Of course, I've come to the conclusion that as a stay at home mom, I am giving my children what is best by my standards. By being at home with them, I am able to spend more time with them and take care of things that need to be taken care of without hiring someone, which I surely can't afford right now. I can be here to see all their firsts and readily availble to praise them for their accomplishments. I take gratification in knowing that when they are older, which will be all too soon, I can take the opportunity to fulfill some of those selfish desires of obtaining a career. Right now, I'm needed here, to be the best mom I can be, by my own standards.


T.Allen-Mercado said...

Interesting. I used to be the corporate mom, juggling the well-balanced checkbook and children and then I thought, surely my 60 hour week could be best spent elsewhere. I thought I was better suited at managing my home and investing in my children rather than stocks. The feminist in me struggled with leaving a career to be a stay at home mom, but then I realized that having even had the opportunity to obtain the education and accolades that preceded my place in the boardroom was an accomplishment. I pass that on to my children son/daughter every day when I remind them from our homeschool classroom that you can be anything you WANT to be. Right now, for me that want is a stay at home mom and educator. Who knows where I'll go next-the choice is mine, and yours. Good luck!

Kristin said...

I'm feeling ya all the way on this one! I used to work full time and now I stay home. Sometimes I feel like I lost my identity by not working. It was nice to have that professional accomplishment. But, when I worked I always envied those who got to stay home.

I think it is because there's this stereotype that moms who stay home have so much fun and don't do anything productive. It's hard to do so much work and then have everyone just think you lay around all day. And then, sometimes I do lay around all day and I feel guilty! LOL

You're like me....by the time you would pay afterschool care for 3 kids, there wouldn't be any use in collecting a paycheck, plus you'd miss out on all those activities/homework/etc.

I think we need to go back to the idea of having our own professional something that we can do from home. Something that is our very own and makes us feel fulfilled, outside of taking care of our kids.

I know personally, the person I most admired was my Mom, and she stayed at home. She wasn't a professional, corporate lady who wore fancy clothes and had it all together. She was just a normal, everyday girl and I've never admired anyone else more than her! When your kids look back on their lives, I bet they will feel the same way about you!

HeatherY said...

Honestly, staying at home has been the hardest job I have ever had in my life. It was something that I knew I wanted to do and am so thankful we have been able to do it for the past couple of years. I know I have days where I wonder what the *bleep* happened to me. I used to have my stuff together and now I'm lucky if I know which way is up. It's tough. ((Hugs))

Thanks for stopping by my blog too. Glad I came over to catch this post. It's nice to know that you aren't alone. :-)

Jenni Jiggety said...

I have to tell you...I have done both and I MUCH prefer the SAHM thing! It is hard to have a career AND be the Mommy!

Tess Jones said...

I feel your post! I have been at home for the past 6 years, but I have only been a mom for the past 4months. It was hard going from being at work to taking care of the home and now being a mom. I sometimes wish I was doing something more, but my husband and I both thought it would be best for me to remain at home.

I was going to school, but when the baby came I had to put it on hold until a later time. I miss the interaction with people and I get a little on the down side because I miss it, but I would not change it for anything in the world.

I must say, it is much tougher being a mom, than just being at home and going to school, so I give people two thumbs up when they do it and feel great all the time about it. It was the choice I made, so I am willing to live with it.

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Mommyof2 said...

I understand and as someone who has been on both sides at least twice each I can tell you this: it is hard being a mom period whether you're working or staying home or working from home...We struggle either way because we care and we're always concerned that we're not doing enough or we're not enough. For me the thing that makes me feel great about staying home is that I take advantage of it to follow my passions; of course this is easier to do when the kids start going to school...Look up on the internet "escaping the cubicle" and see how many people dream of not having to work a 9 to 5 job and follow their hobbies and dreams. Don't let the staying at home thing be just about the kids; go ahead and make it about you too!! Grow a vegetable garden, take up sewing, learn how to cook like a big chef, learn a new language or a handful of them, blogging is awesome too!!! Just think of all the things that you wish you knew how to do and look them up online and learn.