I have been a stay at home mother for almost 11 years and I can tell you it is one of the best jobs I have ever had..THE HARDEST but also the most rewarding. I started a photography business in 2013 when my middle child was only a few months old and it was awesome! I was able to get out of the house and talk to real life grown ups while taking photos and capturing forever memories. But when I was done with a shoot I would go sit in my car and wait for another client or I would drive to my next destination and the FIRST thing I would think about the second I sat down were my kids. Then the guilt would set in.
Am I a bad mother because I left my children with their dad or a close friend so I could go work for a few hours? Am I a bad mother because I ENJOYED leaving the home without children to go work and spend time with people while making a side income? Am I a bad mother because I would LOOK FORWARD to going to work the day before? No. But I felt like it.
The guilt would set in because I was enjoying myself when my children were at home without me and it ate me up inside. Sure as they got older I started working a lot more on the weekends and I would just tell them how we work for multiple reasons.
WE WORK TO FEEL SANE: Sometimes we are SO COOPED UP IN THE HOUSE that we want to lose our minds. If we have to watch one more episode of paw patrol we might just ask to join the cast as an extra on the show. So getting out of the house for an hour or EVEN 8 HOURS is OKAY and to be honest it is SO good for your sanity to get out and talk to real life grown ups and breathe a little bit.
WE WORK TO MAKE AN INCOME: This one is obvious as most of us do work to bring in some sort of income. My income isn't as much as my spouses since I only work part time and tend to charge on the lower side for photography HOWEVER, it makes me feel REALLY REALLY good knowing that I made a couple hundred bucks in a few hours to buy groceries, maybe get some things for the kids or just set aside in our rainy day fund. But knowing that I was able to get out for a few hours and contribute to the house makes me feel good!
WE WORK TO SET AN EXAMPLE: Obviously we don't go to work each day and bust our butts just to set an example but you are DOING JUST THAT every time you leave without even knowing it! Your family and children are watching you leave and they know that you are going to work to provide for them. That is amazing for them to witness. I always tell my children "We need to be respectful of our belongings because dad and I work VERY hard to provide them that is why we work" As well as telling them that we work so we can pay for the IMPORTANT THINGS like water, heat, a roof over our head, food and clothing. It is important in my opinion to set that example of working hard and providing no matter how wealthy you are or how little you are because YOU are doing a damn good job and you should feel proud, not guilty for leaving them.
I have three kiddos now and trust me it hurts when I leave for a few hours but when I walk in that door and my kids are overjoyed to see me?! that takes the guilt away and I know that it is okay to enjoy going to work because there are three tiny people at home waiting for me every time!
my husband is grumpy so much of the time. trying to not let it get me down.
i don't think i'm cut out for this world. everything hurts my heart too much.
I wish the holidays could be more about spending time with the people we love than feeling like we have to put on a show. There's always so much pressure.