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Q:

How do you deal with feelings of guilt or inadequacy as a stay-at-home parent?

Hi everyone,

I have been a stay-at-home parent for a little over a year now and I have been struggling with feelings of guilt and inadequacy lately. Before becoming a parent, I had a successful career and was always busy with work. However, after having my child, I chose to stay at home and focus on raising my child.

Although I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my child and be there for all of their milestones, I can't help but feel guilty about not contributing financially to my household like I used to. I also feel inadequate because I'm not as busy or productive as I used to be and sometimes feel like I'm not doing enough for my child.

I would love to hear from other stay-at-home parents who have dealt with similar feelings. How do you cope with these feelings of guilt and inadequacy? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

All Replies

harris.fleta

Hello,

I understand those feelings of guilt and inadequacy that sometimes comes with the territory of being a stay-at-home parent. For myself, I found that creating a routine and sticking to it helped me feel more productive, and as though I was contributing more to the household.

A lot of times, parents who choose to stay at home with their children can feel like they’re not doing enough, and that their time is less valuable than their partner who is working outside of the home. However, I found that by setting aside specific times for activities with my children, household chores, time for myself, and even job hunting, I felt like my time was just as important.

It was also important for me to recognize that I was ultimately contributing to the success and happiness of my household in a different way than I had before. I was providing care for my children and reducing the pressures on my partner, which in turn contributed to a more harmonious family life.

Feeling guilty is natural, but it shouldn't define your sense of worth as a stay-at-home parent. Remember that taking care of your children and providing them with love and attention is a valuable and rewarding contribution to your family.

bradly.sporer

Hi there,

I completely understand where you're coming from. I also made the decision to stay at home with my children after having a successful career, and I struggled with feelings of guilt and inadequacy as well.

One thing that helped me was reframing my thoughts and realizing that being a stay-at-home parent is just as important as any career. I started to focus on the positive aspects of being at home with my children and the benefits they were receiving from having me present in their lives.

I also found it helpful to set small goals for myself each day, whether it was trying out a new recipe or taking my children to a new park. This helped me feel like I was accomplishing something each day and not just floating through my days.

Lastly, I found that reaching out to other stay-at-home parents and talking about my feelings helped me realize that I wasn't alone in how I was feeling. Having a support system can make all the difference in the world.

Remember that you are doing an amazing job and being there for your child is a priceless gift. Don't let society's expectations dictate how you should feel about being a stay-at-home parent. It's a challenging job and one that deserves recognition and respect.

weimann.jesus

Hey,

I know it can be tough to deal with feelings of guilt and inadequacy as a stay-at-home parent. I've been there too. For me, it was especially difficult because I felt like I wasn't making as much of a contribution to our household financially.

But something that really helped me was finding ways to contribute in other ways. Sure, I wasn't bringing in a paycheck, but I did volunteer work that was important to me during my child's nap time. I also found ways to help my partner with household chores and responsibilities, so that they could take a break and recharge as well.

Another thing that really helped me was staying connected to my passions and interests aside from parenting. I set time aside for hobbies and dedicated myself to learning new things. This gave me a sense of fulfillment that wasn't tied to my identity as a stay-at-home parent, and it helped me remember that I was more than just a caregiver.

It's important to remember that being a stay-at-home parent is a role that is undervalued in our society, but it's one that is crucially important. You're providing love, support, and care for your child, and that's something that can never be replaced or matched. So try not to be too hard on yourself and know that you're doing a great job, even on the days when it doesn't feel like it.

lorenza.kutch

Hey there,

I have had my fair share of guilt and inadequacy as a stay-at-home parent, and it can be a tough feeling to shake. Like many others, I had previously held down a successful career before making the decision to stay home with my children.

What helped me feel more productive and satisfied was participating in activities with other stay-at-home parents. I joined local mommy-and-me groups, which allowed me to socialize with other parents who were in the same boat as me. This made me feel less isolated and more supported in my decision to stay home.

Another thing that helped was volunteering at my child's preschool. I knew that my child's preschool needed volunteers for various tasks, so I made sure to sign up to help out whenever I could. This not only gave me a sense of purpose, but also allowed me to connect with my child's school and become more involved in their education.

Lastly, I really tried to communicate with my partner about my feelings of inadequacy. Having an open and honest conversation with them about how I was feeling helped me realize that we were a team, and that our family was depending on both of us to make things work. My partner was able to reassure me that my contribution as a stay-at-home parent was valuable, and that they recognized and appreciated all that I did.

Hang in there! Remember that your role as a stay-at-home parent is just as important as any other job out there.

ulices.breitenberg

Hello everyone,

I relate with all of you as I am also a stay-at-home parent. Initially, it was really hard for me to adjust because not having a career felt like I had lost a significant part of my identity. It affected my confidence and I felt really guilty for being a stay-at-home parent.

However, I have slowly come to terms with the fact that this is just a chapter in my life and things can change. So now, instead of beating myself up about not having a career, I focus on learning new things and acquiring new skills. I have created my own schedule that allows me to try new things and learn something new every week.

Moreover, I have explored the options of working from home. I started working as a freelance writer and was able to make a significant amount of money. Doing something that I love and getting paid for it, also gave me a sense of purpose and I did not feel like I was just a stay-at-home parent.

Lastly, I realized over time that there is no one right way to be a parent. We are all trying our best and all of us have different circumstances. So the idea that we are inadequate because we are not living up to someone else's standards is simply not true. The love, care and support we provide to our children is of immeasurable value and children will always remember that.

Be gentle with yourself, and take things one day at a time. You're doing great!

sedrick.dach

Hello there,

As a stay-at-home parent, I certainly go through feelings of inadequacy and guilt as well. However, one thing that has helped me in this regard is remembering my priorities - my family and our well-being. When I think about the role I play in the lives of my loved ones, it becomes easier to put less emphasis on how much money I am bringing in or whether or not I am successful by society's standards.

Another thing I found helpful was talking to other parents in similar situations, and taking suggestions for ways to make my days more fulfilling. I found that having a sense of purpose or accomplishment, no matter how small it might be, made a significant difference. It could be anything from finding a new recipe and cooking a great dinner, to trying a new exercise routine, or even starting a blog.

As much as we might want to deny it, comparison is a big issue for many of us in our day-to-day lives. However, as someone who has been a stay-at-home parent for several years, I can confidently say that comparing oneself to others is an exercise in futility. Instead, it's important to focus on our own journey and navigate it in the best way possible.

To sum up, while feelings of guilt and inadequacy may be uncomfortable, it's important for stay-at-home parents to take a step back and remember the invaluable role they play in the lives of their families. Accepting and embracing this can do wonders for one's state of mind.

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