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Dear Edith

Dear Edith Response 1 – Amy

Finding Meaning as a SAHM: FemCatholic.com

Read the original question here.

Dear Annemarie,

I totally understand how you feel.

I always saw myself as the “working woman” and figured I’d follow in my mom’s footsteps. She worked full time my whole life, attended all the school things, and was/is a great mother. I never felt as if she didn’t love me or my siblings.

When my first baby came along, I was fresh out of college and I felt my talents and gifts were wasting away. I struggled so much with staying home, yet I felt guilty for feeling that way.

After my baby’s first birthday, I worked and then I felt guilty for working and being away from her. I was an emotional mess.

The truth is, I envy men. They don’t have this war in their hearts like women do.

One thing is that our culture tells women that you aren’t valuable or doing anything productive if you aren’t working outside the home. This is simply not true and destructive to a woman’s self-esteem. Paid work, volunteer work, and unpaid work in the home are ALL valuable and important.

You must realize that you are starting on a new chapter in your life and it’s going to take some time to feel comfortable in it. For me, the decision was to stay home with my babies their first year and then evaluate whether I wanted to work or not.

Thankfully, I have that option. I realize that some families need a two parent income.

Something else to consider, is that we pay people to watch our children, so there is value in taking care of kids. We don’t see daycare workers are not doing anything with their time. They are and it takes a lot of patience, skill, and talent to do that kind of work.

we pay people to watch our children, so there is value in taking care of kids. We don’t see daycare workers are not doing anything with their time. They are and it takes a lot of patience, skill, and talent to do that kind of work.

I would sit down one day and write out your goals. Write out your fears, too.

What are you afraid of happening if you stay home? Boredom? Being unimportant? What are your goals? I wrote a book while my kids were little and home with me. It was something I always wanted to do. I also got into learning how to cook and cook well.

Here are some suggestions for you: Write out your goals. Write out your fears. Get up every morning and get ready. You don’t have to look like a million bucks, but take a shower (babies love to be in the shower with you) and get dressed, put on a little make-up if you wear it, and do your hair nicely. You’ll feel better. Take a walk. Join a gym. Make some fitness goals.

Realize that all the work you do in the home during the week frees you up to enjoy the weekend with your husband when he is home. When I was working, our weekends were packed with errands. They aren’t anymore and we can get out and enjoy.

Commit yourself to reading something news worthy or interesting each day. It doesn’t have to be pages long, but it will keep your mind fresh and give you something to talk about with your husband when he comes home.

Look to volunteer. I know that many pregnancy resource centers don’t mind if baby is in tow. You can sort donations and do all kinds of things there.

Get into a hobby such as cooking, reading, etc.

But, most importantly, relish in this time with your baby. It will go by so fast. I know everyone says that, but you don’t have to be working to do something important. Being their for your baby is just what she/he needs. Give yourself time to adjust to this new role and in time evaluate whether you’d like to work again. Either way, you are doing something important.


Amy Thomas is the founder of Passionate Purpose. She is an Air force wife, married almost 16 years, with three kiddos. She has homeschooled her children for eight years. In 2009, she converted to Catholicism and considers it one of the greatest blessings of her life. You can check her out at www.passionatepurpose.org.

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