Get rid of the guilt – Think Positive and Be Happy

Welcome to the first post of the new series The Organised Housewife’s Guide to Helping Mum’s Thrive at Home.  Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to those that left comments on the post where I announced the series, I read each of them and I truly hope that you find the tips helpful that I will share and you can start Thriving at Home!  I just wanted to knock on each of your doors and give you a big hug and I know being a mum, running a household and keeping a smile on your face can be so hard. For those that are new, please leave your a comment about your struggles in this post here and I can answer them throughout the series for you.

I would really love you to leave your comments about this post below, to share your ideas and tips as we all run our families and household differently and your tip may make a difference to another mum.

Remember, every family is different so adapt the ideas you find to suit your family. Be sure to read the comments as well, as there can be some great advice in there from other mums going through the same struggles.

helping mums thrive at home

Think Positive and Be Happy

According to the Urban Dictionary a stay at home mum is a mother that stays at her home during the day. Unemployed, usually with the husband supporting the family.

I received quite a few emails from readers saying that a struggle they are having is that they are at home with the kids and feel guilty for not working and contributing financially to the family and at the end of the day the kids are driving them crazy.

Being at home with young children can be hard.  At times your mind can wander, feeling guilty for staying at home and not working.  Being with the kids all day is hard work, can drive us a little crazy and can lead to depression, lonliness and sleep deprivation. 

Know you are doing an amazing job looking after your child/children, despite it being monotonous being there to watch your child grow, guiding them to make the right decisions and laughing together makes all those long weary days worth it.

Get rid of the guilt

I stayed at home with my kids up until they started school, I felt guilty not returning to the workforce sooner for few reasons:

  • not helping towards our bills
  • despite being home all day I didn’t keep the house perfectly clean
  • that I got to experience wonderful times with my kids while hubby was working
  • that I get to stay home while other friends of mine had to work

The guilt had to stop, as the ultimate reason of why I wanted to be at home had nothing to do with a clean house or comparing myself to others.  It was all about my kids, my babies are only babies once and I wanted to be with them as they grew.

Both my husband and I worked full time since we were 18, our wedding was so much fun but didn’t cost a fortune (if I remember right it was under $8000) at 20 we purchased our first home and both had safe cars.  Between then and having our children we saved our money knowing that one day in our late 20s we will start a family and lose one income. During that time we didn’t go on expensive holidays, spend on extravegant items, shopped for only what we needed and rarely dined out.  We were very frugal with the furniture in our first home, it was all 2nd hand from op shops or furniture our family no longer wanted, it was mismatched but it got us by.  It wasn’t until the twins were 3 and youngest 1 that I began to slowly replace it all.  

When we budgeted we did so with our future in mind.  (I will go into budget in more detail later in this series).  I had to remind myself that this was always the plan I could not continue feeling guilty for being at home full time with the kids as that was our goal all along.

If you find yourself feeling guilty remember why you made this choice.

Think positive

Don’t listen to any negativity around you from either people giving it or the thoughts in your head. Remember why you wanted to be at home with the kids and be proud that you are able to follow through with it.

  • Be happy
  • Think positively
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Laugh often
  • Stay strong
  • Dream big
  • Be proud of who you are
  • Eat healthy
  • Be thankful
  • Believe in yourself
  • Make memories
  • Love unconditionally

We will discuss some of the other issues that can affect your positivity during the series.

I created this print below which you can frame and look at daily and help you through the hard times.  Get 50% off print using this coupon code: behappy –
DOWNLOAD PRINT HERE.

Be Happy & Think Positively PRINT - Design 2

Do you feel guilty for being at home with the kids? How did you overcome it?

Read all posts from ‘Helping mum’s thrive at home’ series.

 

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15 comments

Sarah codling June 4, 2015 - 7:50 AM

I feel just as guilty working part time that I either don’t spend enough time with my kids, or that maybe I should work more to make things easier. It is a hard road for all mums, no matter their work status! It took me finally talking to a psychologist to realise that everyone has the same struggles! I was trying to be the prefect mum- work, spend time with the kids and keep my house immaculate- in reality it’s not possible, and I realised that my real friends don’t care if my toilet is clean as they realise I have 3 boys under the age of 7!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 5, 2015 - 9:03 AM

Absolutely Sarah, you are so right x

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Danielle Rego June 7, 2015 - 8:57 AM

As another part time working mum Sarah I felt the same and I too went to see someone before I realised that it is ok if there are days things just don’t get done. We all do the best we can and all mums have struggles of their own – we just don’t always feel like that

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Julia K June 4, 2015 - 8:38 AM

The idea of having a series devoted to “Helping Mums Thrive at Home” is a great one and I applaud you Katrina for devoting the time and effort to it.
I have been married for over 28 years and this time has included us both working, me working F/T and studying part-time – then we had our first son. Having just completed my studies I wanted to gain the fruits of my hard work and so made the difficult decision to return to work when the baby was only 10 weeks of age. It was hard yakka and I felt SO guilty and missed my son dreadfully. I tried to assuage that guilt by rationalising that this was the best decision for OUR FAMILY at that point in time. I wanted more children but CRAVED to be a SAHM and realised that dream when my first son was 10.5 years old and I gave up my job to be a SAHM to him and my new baby daughter. We now have 4 children aged from 24 down to 7 and I consider myself to be lucky to be a SAHM. Our situation has changed again and my husband now lives and works interstate (even though we are still very happily married). There is still guilt – maybe he could move back home into an admittedly lower paying job if I went out and worked also ? But we have made this decision for OUR FAMILY at THIS POINT IN TIME. Even though my children are at school during the day – I am busy looking after the home as DH rarely gets home and when he is here – I want him relaxing – not racing around fixing things. I also love the fact that I am here for the kids after school – I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE at all times and with teenagers – this is a very important thing. So – once again – I remind myself of WHY we have made this decision and that does help with the guilt.
Another thing I did was to write a card to my husband explaining just how grateful I am for all that he does. It must be so hard for him being away from his family and working long hours. I detailed exactly what and why I am so grateful. It is so important to communicate with your spouse about your feelings (good and bad) and gain reassurance from one another so that you remain on the same page. I encourage other mums to talk to their husbands about how they are feeling. Men don’t always “get it” and they have feelings too. Keep the lines of communication open – so very important.
I look forward to reading other people’s comments and enjoying the rest of the series.

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Karen June 4, 2015 - 10:45 AM

There is “mother guilt” regardless of the decision you make and it is no different for those of us who work be it full time or part time. Working mothers feelings of guilt for not spending enough time with their child, trying to be the best mother and role model you can and also trying to do the best by your employer – motherhood pulls you in all different directions. The best remedy for those days that get you down is to talk to someone. I have found that only another mother can relate to what you are going through, the dumb stuff that you do to cope sometimes and a good laugh can make things seem much better. You aren’t alone we have all been there.

I don’t wish to hijack this discussion as I do understand that it is specifically targeting SAHM however, as a full time working mother, I have found some of the harshest judgements I have received for my decision to work comes from SAHMs. Believe me, it is no easier being a working mother. We are all mothers and as women we are our own harshest critics. There are challenges for all of us regardless of where we spend our days so how about we support each other instead of trying to pull each other down.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 5, 2015 - 9:28 AM

I totally hear what you are saying Karen, it is so hard finding the happy balance with work and being a mum x

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Amanda Morris June 4, 2015 - 3:34 PM

I am a working mum of 3 little treasures. My eldest two are now at school (7 & 6) and our youngest will be 1 next week. What a refreshing read Kat. I am a working Mum riddled with guilt but for different reasons, the usual working mum guilt that working Mums feel that we should be at home with our kids, when we take them to child care and OSCH when it is freezing cold and raining when we should be snuggled up on the sofa having cuddles, being rushed constantly, the slapped together dinners some nights, I could go on and on. Then of course there is the work guilt, the late starts, the large number of sick days, unable to give 100% to your colleagues, etc etc. Sadly we are not in a position for me to stay at home. That being said we don’t live in a lavish home, drive an expensive car or have expensive holidays. We are just a family of 5 trying to make ends meet. People can be so judgemental when it comes to working Mums as they make you feel guilty for putting your children in care to make a living and make you feel like you want it all. Yes I have a career but my family comes first always!. I am not one for regrets but I do wish that I had set myself up financially a bit better prior to having children I would be home with them every day in a heart beat. The idea of staying home, looking after our home and being there for my children for every step and precious moment would be a dream come true.

But it is refreshing to read that what may sound like a dream to me also comes with it’s own set of problems and issues that you have mentioned Kat. Just goes to prove that us mothers do not give ourselves enough credit. As the saying goes damned if you do and damned if you don’t …… I think we all need to stop being so hard on ourselves. They are little for such a short time. It’s sad to think we need to feel guilty and like we are stuffing it up for that time…….

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kristy June 4, 2015 - 10:35 PM

There is nothing quite like mothers guilt. Starts from pregnancy i believe. ..did i eat something wrong or when you’re breastfeeding or not or on routine or when they are toddlers are they eating healthy foods and it goes on. I am lucky i stay at home with my beautiful daughters (4 & 2 1/2) but i work from home and have done continually since before they were born. . My work is seasonal so there are quiet times but when its on its flat out. Busy time coincided with the birth of baby no. 1. Crazy busy and i look back and think i should have taken some time but…. We are graziers as.well and my husband is a contractor so we are both self employed with no guaranteed weekly income. My guilt as the girls are getting older is that they are bored and I am constantly saying mummy just needs.to finish this work then we can play or i just put on a dvd. Then the guilt comes in about not doing.lots of things and being busy and impatient. … i also donr think we value what we do when we are home with kids. You cant measure your productivity or your achievements like you can in an office or somewhere. And it id so repetitive it can really feel like groundhog day….
Working from home is really hard. It is so hard to find the.balance between work and kids and the everyday chores our partners and timeout for ourselves.
I take my hat off to mums. We are all doing our best. Thanks Kat for ypur great blog…

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 5, 2015 - 9:26 AM

Ooh thank you Kristy!.:) I agree with you x

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Maudy June 5, 2015 - 11:06 AM

I sometimes joke that I have two full time jobs. (The joke part is that I’m not actually joking. I have two full time jobs. I work and I am a mother.)

Sometimes, I feel a tiny bit guilty that I work full time – particularly when I can’t go to school events during the day. But I do my best to go to things, my son knows I’m doing my best and that if I can only come for an hour, the main thing is that I came.

But most of the time, I accept that I’m not cut out to be a stay at home mum and that working is such an intrinsic part of my ‘self’ that I can’t see ever stopping work in some form. I stayed home for 15 months with my oldest, and the best thing for me and by extension my family was going back to work a couple of days a week. Then work drives me mad with expectations that I participate in night time activities, and while I am within my rights to say no (and I do say no – regularly) the sighs that ensue when I do…

On the whole though, I’ve made the right decision for me and for my family, and that’s the main thing for us.

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Sarah @theroutinequeen June 6, 2015 - 9:20 AM

i work part time and intend to continue doing so even when my son goes to school. Over the past three years I’ve been presented with a few big opportunities at work that I’ve knocked back because I don’t want to work full time. Being a people pleaser, it’s been hard to say no (especially to the extra income!) but I just remind myself that there will always be job opportunities but my son will never be this young again. I don’t want to miss out on his childhood and I don’t want him to miss out on being with his mum. Part time work is the perfect balance for us.

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Caley June 7, 2015 - 6:32 PM

This is a great post! I’ve just written a blog post on all Mommy Guilt and how dangerous it can be… x

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Leanne June 11, 2015 - 9:39 AM

I am a sahm with a 5 yo boy 3yo and 8 month old girls. We are on a farm. I sometimes feel guilty when asking for help or time out from my mother in law and husband. “This is my job i should be able to do it” but then i end up having no ‘me time’ as it’s not a 9to 5 job its 247.
Then as my kids are my everything atm when someone does take them for a while i for guilty for not looking after then …. and i have nothing else (other than clean the house) to do ! Hard to think about/care for myself! Just keeping reminding myself that they will grow quickly and all too soon i will have to get a real job !

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Melissa June 14, 2015 - 7:57 AM

My kids are 16 and 14 and I have been a SAHM and worked part time and full time over the years and for most of that time my hubby has been an interstate truck driver so is away alot. No matter what choice you make it is never easy. I found when my kids were little that being at home with them all the time was very socially isolating. We lived in a small country town and there wasn’t much to do for young families. If I am completely honest I went back to work because I was lonely. Now I would love to be able to stay home again and enjoy the last couple of years with the kids before they move into adulthood.

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Kathy May 31, 2016 - 11:20 AM

It’s been interesting reading these thoughtful comments. It seems that working mums feel guilty, stay-at-home mums feel guilty, the stay-at-home-and-working mums feel guilty. The question is why? Why do all these people in different situations feel the same thing? I think it’s because we all subconsciously feel like other people have expectations of us and standards we need to reach. “I need to be doing what the next person is doing, so they don’t judge me.” “I need to have it together like the other school mums, so I don’t look like a failure.” “I need to be able to be everything and do everything for everyone, all the time or I’m not doing my job properly.” Every family is different, with different needs, different things they like to do, different amounts of people, different life circumstances etc. So it makes sense to think that mums need to do what works for their family and not what works for other people. Mums, you are doing a fabulous job! You have the hardest job in the world, whether you have outside work or not, and I’m sure you do it with all your heart. You have instincts about your family, insights and understanding about your family that no one else has. You know what works for your family, what needs to be done to keep your family doing life well. You know the realities of your family and that life is not always simple, clean, easy, fair or lovely. Compare what you do with and for your family to your family only, not someone else’s. Ask yourself, is what you are doing working for your family? If so, well done! Keep doing it! If not, don’t be harsh on yourself. Just think about how can you tweak it to make it work better. Aim for progress, not perfection. And lets support and encourage each other as mums! It’s a hard (but amazing) role that we have, and a timely word of encouragement or helping hand with something can sometimes mean the difference between losing your sanity and patting yourself on the back!

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