Ever heard of mom guilt but you don’t really know what it really means? Mom guilt is a pervasive feeling and thought of not doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making decisions that may “mess up” your kids in the long run.
Now the term “financial” mom guilt is something I came up with. It defines exactly what mom guilt means but adding the financials into the equation.
Let me share my story so you can better understand what it really means.
When I became a mom, I used to always feel guilty because I thought I wasn’t providing financially for our family. I felt bad because I was spending on so much baby and postpartum items. There was no other income than my husband’s and I felt responsible. I felt like I needed to contribute financially in order for me to feel at peace with the idea of continuing to buy these items. Sadly, I thought that my worth in some way had to do with how much money I brought to the table.
When I got pregnant, I contemplated the idea about going back to work, but my heart would not let me, especially when I knew I had the option of staying at home.
I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Being born and raised in Mexico, the little girl in me grew up seeing moms (including mine) staying at home. Naturally, that’s what I thought I would do too. I have even had this conversation with my husband before having kids, and everything looked great in my mind and how I envisioned myself as a SAHM, but I never expected the guilt and shame that came with it. I did not expect for me to feel like a bad wife and mother. Yet sadly, I did.
After a few days into postpartum, financial guilt accompanied me every single day, as if motherhood itself wasn’t hard enough already. At times I would tell my husband how I felt but he insisted that he already knew this day would come; that he had already anticipated it and that I should not worry; that everything was going to be okay. That I was doing amazing. Still…. I would feel guilt and I knew there was something that needed to be done about it.
After almost two years, I had a conversation with myself about this whole idea in my mind. I needed to eliminate this limited belief that lived in my mind and I did. I killed that financial stay at home mom guilt and I’m sharing this in hopes of you killing it too!
Here’s how to do it:
1. “I AM CONTRIBUTING FINANCIALLY”
Repeating this affirmation will really shift your mindset. It sure did for me. Your limited belief that you are not contributing financially must disappear in order for you to feel at peace with the idea of staying home. So, grab a sticky note and paste this affirmation in your mirror and repeat it daily as many times as you would like. It’s important to remember that you are doing much more than just contributing financially. If you can’t think of anything here’s two for you: personally and physically caring for your baby.
2. NO DAY CARE EXPENSES
However long you have cared for your baby, babies and/or kids, that’s how much you have saved on day care. Oh, and if you have more than one, then multiply that! Not to mention the money you have saved your family on pediatrician’s visits. We all know babies and kids get sick once they are exposed to other kids and babies. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is. So yes, you are also saving on medical bills is what I’m saying.
3. YOU ARE THE HOUSEKEEPER
By staying home you are also constantly cleaning your home, cooking, doing the laundry, the list goes on, right? So, heck yes, you have saved much more than just on ______ years of day care for the “x” amount of children you have.
Still think you are not contributing financially?
Why not think about this….
It might not be money coming in but it is money that never left your bank account and that, that is called financial contribution.
If you’re a stay at home mom, even though you’re not specifically earning an income, you are still ultimately contributing to the financial well-being of your family; And frankly, that’s more than enough.
Being a stay at home mom is a struggle, but it can be a blessing if you consider it to be that way. This means that you don’t have to worry about leaving your children with strangers or people you barely know for almost half a day or sometimes even more.
Yes, it is hard staying at home but if you were not able to stay at home you would probably feel guilty about leaving your children. There are pros and cons to both situations but I’m writing this to support specifically stay at home moms. Why? Because I have lived through that guilt. I’m still a stay at home mom and I know how hard it can be thinking you don’t contribute financially. I wish there was a magic wand that could make it disappear but the reality is that we need to learn how to live with the idea that we do contribute in our own unique way.
Throw away that financial mom guilt. You don’t need it, and it surely does not belong! Have a conversation with yourself so that you can be at peace with the idea of staying home. Have a talk with your partner too and tell them how you are contributing because they might not see it at the beginning.
And remember that whenever you need support, ask for it. Whenever you feel like you need help, ask for it. We cannot be supermoms all the time.
So next time someone asks you what you do you can proudly say “I am a stay at home mom” without guilt or shame.