Thursday, May 24, 2007

SAHM Guilt

This is an unofficial poll: Do any of you other SAHMs experience this non-income-bringing-in guilt that I am constantly plagued with? Does it go away?

I can theorise the reasons for it in all different ways. Maybe I feel guilt because I'm used to being independent and don't like having others take care of me. Maybe it's because I feel bad that Scott has to work twice as hard in boring jobs while I get to enjoy our daughter all day long. Maybe it's because the house isn't always spotless and the dishes often get piled up in the sink and some nights I make tuna sandwiches for dinner because I can't be bothered cooking a proper meal. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten my business up and running already, and I feel I'm not contributing anything, and yet I spend money on things we don't need like chocolate sauce for the ice cream - heck, even the ice cream.

But for all these reasons, I can't help but feel guilty for staying at home while Scott goes off to work.

I know, I know, mothering IS a full-time job. Trust me, I believe this whole-heartedly. Believe me, I know how hard it is to even get to the toilet some days for a nice, relaxing pee break. Fifi is literally a 24-hour job.

I know that when I take Fifi out for walks, it's good for us. It's also planting good seeds for life, you know, like the importance of excercise and fresh air and not becoming a couch potato. I know when we go swimming or out for coffee with a friend, these are good for her, getting her out, seeing new things, becoming social. Yet I still feel like it's all mostly for me. I get to enjoy life, while Scott has to work his socks off in a job that doesn't acknowledge hard work.

So I try to make up for all the fun time by trying to keep the housework up and making nutritious meals. So when I get half an hour while Fifi naps, I try to spend it throwing clothes in the wash or tidying up the living room. And when she's awake, I try to run all our errands - getting groceries, taking the car in for its MOT, running by the bank or post office. And if there are no errands to do, or I really want a break from housework, I might spend a couple hours watching box sets with Fifi attached to my breast. The whole while, of course, feeling guilty that the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a week (or two) and there are still clothes in the wash that need to be hung up to dry.

Tell me, am I alone in this? Am I supposed to feel this way? Is this how God intended me to feel? I believe God would have me stay home and raise my children. I believe that entails spending quality time with them from infancy. I believe that means raising them to adopt healthy lifestyles and healthy relationships. I believe that Scott and I are a team in this family thing, and his job and my job are different. Scott believes all this too. And he doesn't put the guilt on me. I put it on myself. I assume things about how Scott feels and let that build my guilt further. When I see him stressed out, I believe it's because I'm not doing my share. I believe I need to somehow bring in more money, somehow get my business started NOW, somehow earn my keep.

Even after writing all this, I don't feel like what I'm saying is stupid. Usually writing things out puts it all in perspective for me... but I still feel as lousy as I did before I started. Why do I feel this way? And why am I still typing when there really ARE clothes in the wash that need to be hung up?

Feeling this way sucks.

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