If you remember, I’m that girl. The girl who quit her job on her first day back from maternity leave.
Yep. That’s me.
I, like so many other mommas, walked out of my office last October with every intention of returning post-baby. And then I, like so many other mommas intoxicated by the smell of their newborn and practically dripping in postpartum hormones, go and call my boss ten weeks later to quit on the spot.
So typical, so naive. If there was an office pool betting on the probability of my butt showing up at my desk after two months away, it’s safe to say that more than a few of my co-workers hit the jackpot.
It’s been one year since I last set foot in the working world… and I struggle with that fact on a daily basis.
Of course I am so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with my daughter. What momma wouldn’t be? Raising D, and seeing her grow as a little human every day, is the most difficult and most rewarding thing I could ever do. But aside from all of the cliche sunshine and rainbows you would expect, I wrestle daily with the issue of my own self worth.
I have a college degree and a decent amount of work experience, yet I don’t contribute financially to my family. In fact, I don’t use my skill set at all outside of this little (not profitable) blog. I’m a terrible housewife, a lousy cook and I would rather poke my eyeball out than go to the grocery store with a toddler. I feel like I’m failing at something every single day, and it isn’t a great feeling.
I always wanted to be a SAHM, but I was completely unprepared for the way being “unemployed” would make me feel. It’s been shocking, to be quite honest. If my husband tries to be the head of our household (how dare he!), I automatically feel like I’m being attacked for not working. Sometimes I feel as if I’m less of a person, or that others look down on me, all because I’m not logging billable hours. I have actually regretted my decision on countless occasions, and I never, ever expected to.
I know how ridiculous it all sounds. I could simply go back to work, right? Oh, but here’s the kicker…
I don’t want to.
You know how the first year of marriage is always the hardest? Be honest. It totally is. Well, I’m beginning to think that the first year of being a SAHM is also the hardest. I’ve made it this far, and I’ve convinced myself that it will only get better from here. I may not be the best mom, but I’m the only mom my daughter has. I have this amazing opportunity to be with her every day, and I want to take advantage of it while I can.
But, how do I shake this feeling of worthlessness?
So that’s why I’m throwing it out to you, mommas. Did you struggle with your own self worth after making the decision to stay home? How did you know you made the right decision, either way? What do you do to feel like you contribute?
Dana Hunt says
As I sit here and read this post I can’t help but tear up a little. I too struggle with not “working” outside the home. I do watch kiddos at home Monday-Friday from 5:00 am-6:00 pm. I love to cook so on days when I really start to feel down and out about my descion to be a stay at home mom….I cook something delicious and challenging. Autumn is now a little over one and I have now been at home for a year and a half. I absolutely love the opportunity of getting to be her, however I do miss the “working” me at times. Please know you are not alone with this…I truly understand where you are coming from. Gahhh love your blog <3
Cheryl jones says
Everything you said in this blog is truly my exact feelings and experiences with my second little guy. ( I have two boys 21 months and 7months) I felt like I was loosing a little of myself and missed the feeling I felt when i brought home a paycheck. So I started searching for something I could do from home to help fulfill these feelings. After searching a while I tried a direct sales company that interested me. Though this did not incorporate my degrees it has helped me fulfill my feelings and even more! I am now surround with amazingly positive people that help you stay positive in other areas of my life as well! Working from home (whatever that may be for some) is the way for me!! Getting to be home with my kiddos is that much more fun for me bc I feel whole! Good luck with your journey and I hope you find soothing that works for you!! 🙂
Whew girl…..it so much more complicated than you ever think it will be right??? I was very fulfilled in my career and had many moments of reaching my dreams and goals in my career so in that sense it was very easy for me to walk about happy, proud, and ready for a new adventure, with very little regret to this very day. The first year was def. the hardest. For me, coming from a LOUD, busy, crazy, upbeat, social environment of the salon– I didn’t know what to do with the silence. I started to hear my own thoughts! GASP! HAHAHHAHAHAHA It was a wakeup call but sad all at the same time. Something that needed to happen but still didn’t come easy. I don’t necessarily have issues with the fact that I don’t make actual income but sometimes it has been a struggle with ego…just coming from a successful career to “this”…where no one knows me.. talks to me..I have no reason to dress up fancy like I used to etc etc…
What ALWAYS makes me feel better is when I remind myself this is my JOB now. Not just a luxury to cuddle and snuggles my babes. I do this with pride. I don’t love running errands or cooking every single day but I’m determined to be successful. I will try my hardest because I take it as seriously as when I was working in the salon. I certainly don’t want to get fired. LOL 😉 Even when I don’t “want” to have a playdate, I have to remind myself that its my JOB to schedule playdates, and so on.
I hope that helps some. It has for me. It took me a long time to have the “ah-ha” moment of realizing I had to treat this like a real job and have tasks that were NOT optional. It has helped me feel satisfaction of knowing I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. It gives me an agenda. (I keep a very structured agenda for cleaning, cooking, errands, and play date openings.) All that. I go to bed at night feeling accomplished. (I still have really bad days…who doesn’t, right?)
If you ever want or NEED to get together and talk I would love to. I don’t claim to have this all figured out but I feel like 3 years at home has given me SOME clarity…for now 😉
I love your honesty. I am not a mom yet however when that day comes I hope to be a stay at home mom. When I tell women that I get the side eye. I know it won’t be easy but it’ll be totally worth it, and you confirmed that with this wonderful post. You’re doing a great job.