Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Stay @ home mom struggles

Anyone else having an internal war with themselves over being a stay at home mom vs working?

I absolutely LOVE staying home with my 5 month old daughter, but at the same time I feel like I am not contributing enough to our family. Even more so, I feel like those around me think that too. With that said though, the thought of going back to work full time makes my stomach turn.

Ideally, I would love a part time position, but unfortunately in my field of work part time is very slow to come by. I've thought about volunteering my time to feel a sense of "worth", but what do I do with the baby? I can't afford to send her to a babysitter for a volunteer position.

If you are a stay at home mom, do you ever feel this sense that you are not doing all that you should be doing? How do you overcome it? 

Re: Stay @ home mom struggles

  • I know that the job, and oh yes...it's a full time job, that I do at home caring for my children, my house, and my husband is worth so much.  Just staying at home, I am taking on the occupations of half a dozen people!  I am a cook, a maid, a childcare provider, an organizer, a laundress, just to name a few.  I honestly don't know how working moms do all they do outside the house AND take care of a family. :-)  I sincerely tip my hat to you.  

    I also know that I couldn't bear sending my kids off every day.  Watching them as they grow and blossom into little people with amazing minds and personalities is what makes everything that I do worth while.  They grow up so fast...reaching new milestones every day! 

    I do try to do extra things for the house in my spare time.  I love decorating, and crafting new little things for my kids/house.  I also am in the process of creating a picture book for little ones to occupy themselves at church.  My other passion is garage saling.  Yeah, I know, buying other people's "junk".  I just love scoring awesome deals on amazing stuff (I think my husband was most proud when I found a flat screen HDTV new in the box for $15...some guy had just bought the wrong one!) 

    Sorry this got so long.  It's a really great question and you just made me contemplate how much I love being home with my kiddos.  Good luck with your little one!  I'm sure she loves being with you more than you know!

  • Curious what people say as I feel the same way.  I was planning on going back to work after DS was born, but thats not happening now, partially by choice.  I am thrilled to be home with my kids, but some days want to pull my hair out and I have guilt that I'm home and my husband is working like a maniac so we are able to do this.  I also feel like people tend to look down on me for it.  But same here, the thought of going back is terrible!  I love being home with them!
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  • I've had a few moments like that, but not so much anymore. I've been keeping myself busy with finding hobbies, learning to cook better, and going to activities like a library playgroup. I've been reading more and trying to expand my horizons that way.

    I understand what you mean by having a sense of worth, but consider the fact that you're there with your DD. You're raising a person. You're there for all of the "firsts" and all of the teaching moments. It is really rough sometimes, but it's really rewarding too. 

    If you're truly struggling with it, is working full time not an option? I understand about the weighing of day care costs vs availability of part time work, but what about full time? If you're really leaning this way, maybe it's worth exploring your options.

     If you're just looking for someone to tell you that they have hard moments with it too, then hi. :) It's pretty common. There's a SAHM board on here and we're some pretty cool ladies if you need people to talk to. ;) 

  • I am a stay at home mom for two and a half years now.....my eldest it two and a half and my last one is 4months. It was easy with one but now two is a little harder to get things done. But I love teaching my baby girls, going on playdates, planning meals. making sure they have a healthy life style. I was able to see the first step, first crawling, first of everything. My husband and I decided that it would be best for me to be with the girls for as long as we can. We have down graded from a house to an apartment, just to live comfortably. Its worth it... and yes there are days that I want to pull some hair out or wish that I was at work. But  I love being a stay at home mom, wouldn't trade it for anything....
  • I'm a SAHM and I feel the same way sometimes. (Btw, I didn't know there was a SAHM board on here, that's good to know!)

    I was a nurse before I had LO, now I will only be working a few days a week in the summers when my mom (who's a teacher) is off and can watch her. I spend most of my time taking care of her, but also laundry, cooking, and housework keep me busy also. I know I'm not bringing home a paycheck, but I also know that I am saving us lots more money by not having daycare expenses, breastfeeding (I probably wouldn't be able to pump enough during the day if I worked to bf full time), cooking (we ate out much more when I was working), etc.

    I'm also SO glad I get to see her grow and change every day and I wouldn't miss it for the world. It gets lonely sometimes but the days I feel like that I try to get out of the house, whether it's to run a few errands or just go on a walk. In a month or so I am going to try to start going to a library "baby storytime" with her, just to have something fun to do.

    Just know you're not alone, but that you have one of the most important jobs in the world! 

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  • I really love being able to stay home with my baby & I am lucky to be able to do it & have the support of both sides of our family.  But I also struggle with not being able to contribute financially. DH's birthday is coming up in a few weeks, what do I do, buy him a gift with his own money?? What about Christmas? I'm kinda tripping out about it since I'm new to this staying at home.  I've never not worked, been working since I was 14. I've always prided myself on my independence and having my own money and being able to buy what I want when I want.  MIL and DH are adament that it's "our" money but like I said, I'm new to this so I have a hard time with it too.

    pp, I heart garage sales!

  • I sell hair feathers and tinsel as a side job... kinda like mary kay but not with an organization... I know another SAHM who does mums (I think this is primarily a Texas thing) around homecoming football season.... pic just for reference in case you've never seen these before :) They can get pretty extravagent---this one would cost $100+

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  • I'm a working mom, but my take on it is this: you shouldn't feel guilty if it's a decision you and your husband made together and if you're not putting your family in the poor house to do it. I'm like you...working part time would be ideal, but part time jobs in my field are impossible to come by. I told my boss this week that I may want to go part time someday, so we will see what happens.
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  • image lysetterae:

    I really love being able to stay home with my baby & I am lucky to be able to do it & have the support of both sides of our family.  But I also struggle with not being able to contribute financially. DH's birthday is coming up in a few weeks, what do I do, buy him a gift with his own money?? What about Christmas? I'm kinda tripping out about it since I'm new to this staying at home.  I've never not worked, been working since I was 14. I've always prided myself on my independence and having my own money and being able to buy what I want when I want.  MIL and DH are adament that it's "our" money but like I said, I'm new to this so I have a hard time with it too.

    pp, I heart garage sales!

    uh- yeah.  I totally had a "moment" the other day.  DH is turning 30 and I really want to plan a surprise trip, but I was sort of freaking out about the same stuff.  

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  • I relate to all of this, I feel such guilt at not working and furthering my career and not contributing financially.  I have my phd and worked my a** off to get it, and I can't stop comparing myself to my colleagues.  At the same time, I can't imagine working and leaving my LO so I know it's my decision.  
  • I think that it totally depends on your situation. If you guys are struggling financially, I could see feeling bad. In my case, we are doing okay right now so I don't need to work at all, so there is no guilt but if we were pinched I would feel so. Also my dh isn't one of those dads who is all about the baby (I hope it gets better as she gets a bit older) but while he loves her, he isn't obsessed with her as I am. So, if we were pinched he wouldn't be as understanding with me staying home, where as some dads are naturals and would gladly make any sacrifice to have their wife home.
  • I have a different sort of SAH issue- I am at home temporarily because we cannot afford for it to be a permanent thing. I planned to keep my old job, which was PT, or we would have planned for this financially! Well, what's done is done.

    Anyway, I just accepted a position teaching Community Ed this winter. It is only a few hours a week. I have family that can watch her, but the pay would more than cover a babysitter for the evening. I don't know what your field is, but would it lend itself to teaching or tutoring?

    I think volunteering is a great idea. You might be able to bring her with for some jobs. Otherwise, do you have family/friends/a neighbor who could watch her every once in awhile? You could join a parents group and trade childcare with them. Depending on YH's schedule, could you plan your time out around when he'll be home?

     

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  • I quit my job to be a SAHM after my baby was born. My husband and I made this decision together. We are very poor, but we have found ways to afford this lifestyle.

     I do feel an internal conflict because I've always wanted a career, and I sometimes feel like I'm wasting away at home. However, those feelings pale in comparison to the feelings of guilt/fear when I think about sending my baby to a daycare. Being a SAHM is a huge sacrifice for my career and for our family's finances. But, it is undoubtedly the most fulfilling sacrifice I've been called to make. Nothing compares to knowing that I have spent each and every hour of every day raising my baby. Still, I have my days where I feel stagnant and helpless. FYI, I plan to return to work as soon as my kids are in school.

    daughter born June 2011 via C-Section, son born November 2012 via VBAC
  • Im a SAHM also...I love it more than anything.  Sure, there are a lot of financial sacrifices but we are learning to adapt.  I do feel bad sometimes that we dont have all of the "extras" we had before I stopped working.  That along with some peoples attitudes towards me not working, or "just" being a sahm. ( I've heard the comment, "why did you bother going to college if you arent going to work")  But, as long as my DH, DS, and myself (any future LOs) are happy, then I am happy.  I am so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be the one that is with my child every moment.  Not everyone has the opportunity, so I feel truly blessed.

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