5 unexpected realities of becoming a stay at home mum.
I figured that I better start with a little background information. I have always worked and if it wasn’t for me being made redundant, I would probably still be working in the same job now. I only had small amounts of time off for maternity leave with my children, 7 months with my son and 4 months with my daughter, so to not be working at all has taken a lot of adjustment. I am incredibly lucky to be able to slow down and enjoy this next phase of my life and for anyone who is thinking of doing the same I thought I would share the biggest surprises I’ve encountered from this change so far.
Guilt – SO much guilt!! I honestly never expected to feel so guilty about so much so often! I know that it is something internal that I need to “get over” but I do feel consumed by guilt more often than not. Here are a couple of examples. Financial guilt because I no longer contribute financially towards the family. Personal guilt for being able to be at every school pick up and drop off while others struggle. Guilt for feeling happy, guilt for feeling tired, guilt for having fun, guilt for skipping a chore.
Loss of identity – When I used to get asked, what do you do? I would reply “I’m a store manager” and the conversation would take off from there. Now if someone asks, what do you do? I feel stumped! What do I do? I feel embarrassed that I don’t have a title to reply with. I mean who am I now? A housewife? A homemaker? A stay at home mum? How about this for a business card with my title?
Judged – *Confession* When people would say “I’m a stay at home mum” I would eye roll. Sometimes while judging, assuming they were either rich or too lazy to work but mainly out of jealousy. So here I am “A sort of stay at home mum” and it KILLS me to say it. I can feel the judgement that I used to give to others being given to myself and I never thought I would be on the receiving end of it. I know that my husband and I have worked incredibly hard to get to where we are today, but others don’t know our struggles. *Insert huge life lesson here**
Less of an equal – I expected to feel this towards my husband in regard to our financial situation, but I actually feel it more with others, especially random people I don’t realty know. Like I mentioned in my point about the loss of identity I sort of feel like I am now no longer equal to others who work. I’ve experienced this even in short conversations like when people ask me how I am, and I reply “good” rather than “tired” or “over it” I feel like the connection is immediately lost. Its like I had more in common with others when I was stressed, busy and miserable because being happy is not the norm.
The positives – With every negative there is a positive and apart from the above I didn’t expect that I would enjoy my new role quite as much as I do. Here are some of the best changes I am enjoying so far.
- Having time to help others has been a huge blessing
- I know my children’s teachers for the first time in 4 years!
- I now enjoy cooking dinner (NEVER thought I would write such a thing)
- My husband and I are back to being husband and wife rather than housemates we occasionally see.
- My mind is clear and I feel more emotionally available to everyone in my family which has been a dream come true.
So what do you think? Regardless of whether you’re a full time working mum, single stay at home mum, housewife, part time worker or the breadwinner of your family, we are all humans who go through similar struggles.
Thanks for reading and make sure you share your smile with the world today ☮