I am entering my 9th month as a stay-at-home Mom, and I have learned SO much in that time that it boggles my mind how delusional I was about what this role really entails.
I've detailed in a previous post about some of the revelations I've had since becoming a SAHM (you can find that post here), but something I hadn't really touched on is the guilt that sometimes comes with being at home with your kids all day.
I want to dive into this subject because it is both something I have experienced as well as something I've heard other SAHM's voice, so I think it deserves some discussion.
If you are thinking about becoming a SAHM, are newly in that role, or have been doing this for years, I think you'll find some insights here that you can relate to and equip yourself with in order to be the best stay-at-home Mom you can be.
SAHM Guilt: WherE It Comes From
These are the common sources of guilt that I have both personally felt and heard voiced from other mothers. They come from a place of feeling unworthy, lazy, and/or insignificant in the role of a SAHM.
As you read them, keep in mind that NONE of them have any bearing on who we are as mothers and contributors to our families, but they are nonetheless real fears and notions that we sometimes have.
Well, to put it simply, all of these are difficult to live with because guilt eats at you like a cancer. It takes your energy, focus, and self-worth, and leaves you feeling tired, unbalanced, and unworthy.
If you have felt some of these before or are wondering how someone could feasibly combat these notions, keep reading to see how guilt CAN be conquered in the SAHM's life.
SAHM Guilt: How To Combat It
1. Pray about it.
This verse echoes what I have heard so often from some some incredibly wise mothers and friends of mine: Guilt is not of the Lord.
Whatever we may be feeling as far as our role as SAHMs and wives, know that it comes from our own persecution, not God's. This 'guilt' we sometimes put on ourselves to do more, be more, give more, is not from our Father, but rather from a place within us that feels inadequate. So all of the sources of 'guilt' I mentioned above are simply manifestations of our beliefs about who we are.
To combat this, we need to seek out the One who took our sin away so that we may live in the light and not in the dark. If you are feeling desperately bogged down with guilt, pray for clarity, for a renewed sense of purpose, and/or for forgiveness of yourself.
Prayer looks and feels different to everyone, but I know personally that when I come to God with a genuine heart and my full attention, I always feel immensely better afterwards. On more than one occasion, I've asked Him to take away my guilt and show me my purpose, and then later seen something in my daughter that I had never seen before. I truly feel that was God showing me: this is my purpose and there is no shame in it at all!
2. Know your worth.
This is so vital to maintaining a healthy outlook on our roles as SAHMs.
I've read this quote many times before becoming a SAHM, but now it resonates with me more than ever:
As parents, we are entrusted with the responsibility of raising our kids to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Whether you stay at home or not, this is our God-given duty. But when you take on the SAHM role, you commit so much more time and effort into that endeavor, and that is not something to be taken lightly.
Teaching manners, right from wrong, communication, coping skills, the foundations of education, and so many other vital lessons is what we do as stay at home parents. On top of that, you are most likely in charge of keeping your home orderly and functioning. You probably take care of your family's nutritional needs and social activities as well.
So as stay-at-home Moms, we are essentially teachers, counselors, cooks, housekeepers, bookkeepers, event planners, spiritual leaders, mediators, and the list goes on. Any job that entails ALL of that is one of immense worth to those who receive the fruits of its labor. Remind yourself of all the roles you play instead of just focusing on the 'stay-at-home' part of your job title.
3. Be open and honest with your spouse.
This is one that I am trying to do more effectively in my own life without feeling like I am simply complaining or overreacting to my day-to-day feelings.
Let your spouse know when you are feeling overwhelmed, unappreciated, like you aren't contributing, or whatever else you may be feeling. I've had many of these conversations with my own husband and two things happen as a result:
4. Take time for yourself.
Self-care is HUGE when it comes to being the best we can for our families. Guilt creeps in when we aren't at our best - spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
So here is a list of small things you can do to make sure you are operating at a healthy level so that you can pour your energy, peace, and love into the little people you are tasked with raising:
Stay-at-home Mom guilt is a real thing, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming and ever-present if you commit to believing in your purpose and seeing the evidence of your contribution right in front of you: your kids, your spouse, and your home.
If you take nothing else away from this post, please remember this: you are doing a very important job and no one can do it better than YOU!
Do you struggle with SAHM guilt on occasion? I'd love to hear your experiences and perspectives, so please feel free to comment below!