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#1 of 11 Old 09-12-2005, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I'm a SAHM (for the most part, I've worked in a friends garden maybe 20-30 hours this whole year, and sold a couple hundred dollars of stuff from my garden, but that all accounts for probably 5% or less of our income) to one ds, 17 months.

I have so much guilt about not working. I really don't want to work. I enjoy staying home. Maybe that's why I feel guilty, like it should be more of a sacrifice (not to say that it's easy, or I haven't made sacrifices, but for the most part I'm satisfied). In any case, I just can't get around this feeling. I know what I'm doing is important, I just always have this nagging thing in the back of my head that I should be doing more.

We live a good life, and aren't wanting for anything, but are basically poor, and I know that the pressure on dh to provide financially for us is huge. I keep coming up with reasons why I CAN'T work (and of course it would be difficult with a toddler/no child-care except dh/not many options in our rural area), but the truth is that I just don't want to. I felt like that before I got pregnant, I was just DONE with working for other people.

Anyway, does anyone else have guilt about being a SAHM? I really don't want to feel this way because I feel like I'm devaluing what I do, which intellectually I know is so important.

Just wanted to get this off my chest, anyone else?
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#2 of 11 Old 09-16-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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[typing one-handed - sleeping baby - so this may be short]

i used to, not anymore. as ds gets older this job gets harder and harder, not to mention i keep adding house stuff, errands, favors, charity, etc to my do list. i put in way more hours then dh (at his work, and when he is home) and feel i am entitled to some of the $$ he brings home. we live on a budget, i wish there was more $$ of course, but feel it is so much less important then me being home with ds.

we all contribute and what we do is important! try to see that what u are doing is building your family's future and there shouldn't be any guilt assoc. w/ that!

kris
owen, 10.5 months
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#3 of 11 Old 09-16-2005, 02:42 PM
 
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With 3 kids 5 and under, nope no guilt :LOL I don't really think I'd feel guilt no matter how long I stay home though. As long as we are doing okay financially and I don't feel like me staying home is screwing my kids up for college or anything, I doubt I'd feel guilty. Dh isn't the type who'd put the pressure on to go to work just to be able to buy more "stuff" and I think the only way I'd feel guilty is if someone was trying to make me feel that way. Internally I feel fine about sah.
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#4 of 11 Old 09-16-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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The only thing I really have to say here is: Don't feel guilty.

Guilt is an appropriate emotion for when you're doing something wrong. It's supposed to be there to get you on track (the way I see it). As you're not doing anything wrong, it doesn't make sense for you to feel guilty.

Take hold of your satisfied feeling that you have being home with your son and own it. Say "I finally have a job that I want to do." Don't feel bad or weird about it.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#5 of 11 Old 09-16-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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I'm not sure I'd call it "guilt" per se but I do sometimes feel like I should be bringing home a real paycheck too. The feminist in me feels a little weirded out by discussing my "fun" money with DH. I'm so used to just getting whatever I want with MY money. Using "his" money for my stuff makes me feel a little odd. But I know this is the best thing for MY kids. So we just keep discussing it ad naseum. :LOL

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#6 of 11 Old 09-16-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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Talk about feeling a bit guilty...dh and I were looking at our finances and he said he might have to get a second job. Ugh. I'm thinking about doing some tutoring a few times a week so he doesn't have to get another job, but I really just want to focus on my dd (9 months). I also feel like I have a job and a half already, seeing as how I'm on call at all hours of the day and night. dh doesn't seem to want to cut anything out of our budget, even though there are things we could do without. I don't know. We're still working through it.

Sheri
Reese (12-22-04)
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#7 of 11 Old 09-17-2005, 12:37 PM
 
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You know, I don't feel guilty. Our bills are paid and yes, our budget is tight... but dh and I both agree that investing in our kids these early years are worth the sacrifices. I wouldn't trade anything for this feeling!! I feel so grateful to be able to stay home!
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#8 of 11 Old 09-19-2005, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hadn't checked on this thread in a while ... thanks for the responses. I'll try to work on the guilt thing .

We're coming up on winter when Dh's work hours get cut in half so we're facing a situation where either he gets a second job or I get a part-time job when he can be home with DS. He's gently pushing for me to work, he's tired of working so much. I really would rather not but it doesn't seem fair for me to say that he has to be the one to do all the outside work when ds is older now and perfectly capable of being away from mom for half a day or so. We'll see ...

I guess a lot of my guilt comes from doing stuff that is personally enjoyable for me while at home with ds (read:MDC , reading a magazine, napping with ds instead of cleaning ...) anyway just my issues I need to deal with .. thanks for listening.
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#9 of 11 Old 09-19-2005, 10:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahverlinda
I guess a lot of my guilt comes from doing stuff that is personally enjoyable for me while at home with ds (read:MDC , reading a magazine, napping with ds instead of cleaning ...) anyway just my issues I need to deal with .. thanks for listening.
I feel this way too, sometimes! Me, sitting here online while DH is off working hard so I can be here with DS (who is fast asleep right now) while there are dishes in the sink, etc.
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#10 of 11 Old 09-19-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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Oh man, I know what you mean. It's taken me this long to finally start feeling comfortable with being a SAHM. (And even at that, I'm still working a couple afternoons a week at a friend's store for the money to pay my parents back for my one and only school loan and to save for Qualia's b-day and holiday gifts.) I was just so used to having a certain measure of financial independence. After all, I started earning my own pocket money when I was 11 and worked constantly ever since, barring the one year I was abroad and legally constrained from working. My husband's been wonderful about supporting my feelings and not making me feel dependent on him, but money's been tight and I know he'd love to spend more time with our daughter, too, so there are some guilty feelings there as well. Even though I know, intellectually, that I'm doing more work than ever before.

Maybe it's the Puritan culture/New England upbringing? I think I feel bad about *enjoying* what I'm doing.

That said, I've been slowly coming to realize that that's . . . well . . . stupid. It's wonderful to enjoy what you do. It's a gift to not have to rush through the day or to accomplish certain tasks at specific times and in a specific way. I've been coming to embrace the variety of our days and trying very hard to learn to enjoy being laid-back.

Infancy is such a brief period in family life . . . don't feel guilty! Enjoy it!!
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#11 of 11 Old 09-20-2005, 12:30 AM
 
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Sarah, you've made some good points! SAH is wonderful while our tots are small, & I feel so lucky that I am able to give this gift to DS!

I feel guilt (raised in New England too!) about not bringing home a paycheck -- making us all sacrifice, etc.. What can be accomplished while with my babe is a crumb to the giant chocolate fudge cake of work I used to get done daily at the library!

Doing "traditionally female" work (babycare, cooking, laundry, etc...) has been quite an adjustment because I used to look down on women who did this instead of a career. :

But back to guilt ----- although I feel bad that lots of my day is "fun," DH also agrees that it's benefiting our DS to have one of us at home, and right now he can earn more $$! Plus he gets his clothes washed, lots of meals cooked, errands run, etc...

And don't forget that even though we're lucky, SAH is really hard work sometimes. Not every woman could cut it!

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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