Guilt

I left my job approximately 2 years ago to start a new career… the new, exciting and bewildering job of Mom. I was a professional in my past life, an event planner, working for a university and guaranteed, at least at that current salary, to never make enough money to cover the cost of daycare. And especially guaranteed to never make as much as my husband.

So I left, with no real intention of returning to the workforce anytime soon.

There are times however that the feeling of inequality overwhelms  me. The feeling that what I’m doing isn’t enough because it can’t be measured in monetary value. I look at my son, see how well he is growing and learning and KNOW that is my influence, my time spent exclusively at home with him. But that time, that influence can’t be measured, can’t be given a number in the bank account, a yearly salary. And when times get lean, it’s hard not to feel the strain, hard not to feel like you’re not a “contributing” member of the family.

To be honest, this is not my husbands doing. He is the epitome of support. He tries to convince me, to impress upon me everything that a mom does, how valuable I am to our family and to our household.

And I know. Or at least I think I do. But when the budgets are tight, when it starts raining and pouring and the bills start piling up, you feel the inadequacy of not bringing something to the table. When you just can’t explain where it’s all going, how it’s possible that it goes so quickly, you feel responsible. And you feel like you can’t help because you can’t contribute.

I truly think that staying home has been a gift. The ability to watch my child grow up and become the little person he is today is something I would never give back… but I struggle. I struggle with the need to contribute, in a way that can be measured, or quantified. With the ability to help, when times are tough, independent of just “moral support”.

I struggle.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, girl. I can't even begin to tell you how important the job is that you do everyday. My son is now 21, and I worked for most of his growing-up years. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I just didn't enjoy staying at home. I feel guilty admitting that now, but at the time, I convinced myself that my working outside the home was better for both of us.

    Now? I so, so regret all the time I missed with him. I regret that I wasn't around more to be a greater influence on him. You can't imagine what I'd give to be able to do it all over again and make a different choice.

    So you should rest assured that every single day, you ARE contributing. It might not be a paycheck, but molding and shaping little lives is so much more important than money. Be proud of what you're doing. I envy you because you made this choice and you get to do it every day! LUCKY you!

  2. says

    Oh, girl. I can't even begin to tell you how important the job is that you do everyday. My son is now 21, and I worked for most of his growing-up years. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I just didn't enjoy staying at home. I feel guilty admitting that now, but at the time, I convinced myself that my working outside the home was better for both of us.

    Now? I so, so regret all the time I missed with him. I regret that I wasn't around more to be a greater influence on him. You can't imagine what I'd give to be able to do it all over again and make a different choice.

    So you should rest assured that every single day, you ARE contributing. It might not be a paycheck, but molding and shaping little lives is so much more important than money. Be proud of what you're doing. I envy you because you made this choice and you get to do it every day! LUCKY you!

  3. says

    Been there … but taking care of the wee ones is the most important thing you will ever do … oh, and I am still laughting over the "Hangover Part Three" stopping in to follow you from the hop – hope you have time to visit and return the favor soon – oh, and read my shameless plug for my $0.99 book that is on sale :) <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”>www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com

  4. says

    Been there … but taking care of the wee ones is the most important thing you will ever do … oh, and I am still laughting over the "Hangover Part Three" stopping in to follow you from the hop – hope you have time to visit and return the favor soon – oh, and read my shameless plug for my $0.99 book that is on sale :) <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”>www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com

  5. says

    Been there … but taking care of the wee ones is the most important thing you will ever do … oh, and I am still laughting over the "Hangover Part Three" stopping in to follow you from the hop – hope you have time to visit and return the favor soon – oh, and read my shameless plug for my $0.99 book that is on sale :) <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”>www.shaunanosler.blogspot.com

  6. angi says

    It IS hard at times, Ash. I truly feel like what we do is beyond worth, and I know you do too. Hang in there…I feel ya!

  7. angi says

    It IS hard at times, Ash. I truly feel like what we do is beyond worth, and I know you do too. Hang in there…I feel ya!

  8. angi says

    It IS hard at times, Ash. I truly feel like what we do is beyond worth, and I know you do too. Hang in there…I feel ya!

  9. ItsaFitting says

    Christina – thanks. :-) I think it's so hard because I KNOW that being at home with him right now is the best, and 99% of the time I want to be here. But when the money gets tight, it's hard not to want to contribute somehow… and to feel guilty that you can't.

  10. ItsaFitting says

    Christina – thanks. :-) I think it's so hard because I KNOW that being at home with him right now is the best, and 99% of the time I want to be here. But when the money gets tight, it's hard not to want to contribute somehow… and to feel guilty that you can't.

  11. ItsaFitting says

    Thanks Shauna… glad you liked "The Hangover" :-) I did not like it so much while it was happening, but I can definitely chuckle about it now. :-) I will stop by your blog!!

  12. ItsaFitting says

    Thanks Shauna… glad you liked "The Hangover" :-) I did not like it so much while it was happening, but I can definitely chuckle about it now. :-) I will stop by your blog!!

  13. ItsaFitting says

    Thanks Angi – it's been one of those days that I just wanted to be able to contribute to the family finances and I'm frustrated that I can't. :-) I don't suppose I could loan the Kid out for hugs? Might be worth something.

  14. ItsaFitting says

    Thanks Angi – it's been one of those days that I just wanted to be able to contribute to the family finances and I'm frustrated that I can't. :-) I don't suppose I could loan the Kid out for hugs? Might be worth something.

  15. Di J. says

    really great post. it's so hard. thanks for writing about it. for what it's worth, i think you're doing a great job and wish i could be as fun and productive a mom with my kids!

  16. ItsaFitting says

    Thanks. It's always such a blessing in the flush times, and then when you really need the money you just feel so… helpless. Thanks for the vote of confidence… it really does mean a LOT!

  17. ItsaFitting says

    Thanks. It's always such a blessing in the flush times, and then when you really need the money you just feel so… helpless. Thanks for the vote of confidence… it really does mean a LOT!

  18. says

    Just think about how much you would be paying for childcare. I don't know what it costs out there, but I'm guessing enough to make you seriously reconsider your economic worth in the family. Add onto that the clothing, transportation, and food costs that would be associated with you returning to work.
    I stay home too, and I think it's impossible to put a price on the time I get to spend with the kids. But at those times when I'm feeling less valuable I think about what it would cost for me to work and it helps me remember that my value is not *just* intangible.

  19. says

    Just think about how much you would be paying for childcare. I don't know what it costs out there, but I'm guessing enough to make you seriously reconsider your economic worth in the family. Add onto that the clothing, transportation, and food costs that would be associated with you returning to work.
    I stay home too, and I think it's impossible to put a price on the time I get to spend with the kids. But at those times when I'm feeling less valuable I think about what it would cost for me to work and it helps me remember that my value is not *just* intangible.

  20. ItsaFitting says

    Claire, totally. It's outrageously expensive out here… and true… I could put a price tag on what i do… I think it's just more frustrating when I don't see that amount showing up in the bank account :-)

  21. ItsaFitting says

    Claire, totally. It's outrageously expensive out here… and true… I could put a price tag on what i do… I think it's just more frustrating when I don't see that amount showing up in the bank account :-)

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