Stay at home mom

A sacrifice of being a stay at home mom; grieving a past life

I have had so much mom guilt for feeling like I was not allowed to grieve my old life, but I have learned it is not only okay, but actually necessary to grieve the life I use to have. Going from being 100% independent to depending on someone else and changing your life is scary, confusing, and hard to swallow. When I got pregnant, I knew I was going to be fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, but I had no idea how hard it was going to be and how much I would miss my old life.

There is not a single regret I have about having my children and I think all moms can agree with me on that but I also do not feel bad about missing what I use to have. I have struggled with saying that for years but now that I have come to terms with it, I feel such a relief! It is okay. I am not saying I would rather have my old life, but I miss it so incredibly much.

When I met my now husband, I was 21 years old. I was going to school full time online, had two full time jobs, just bought my first house by myself, and was in the process of being certified to become a foster parent. I was an overachiever and incredibly independent. I did NOT need a man to make my dreams come true. When I met Dan, I knew he was the one after our first date. (Yes, I was crazy!)

Dan and I decided to try for a baby after I was told by multiple doctors that I could not have children. Well, on our first try I got pregnant…I swear that happens more times than not with people! Because we were not expecting this to happen so fast, our lives had to change dramatically. It had to change more for me than him though. In the span of 9 months, I had to put my house up for rent, move to a different city, leave my jobs, pause my schooling, leave my friends, and leave my life. Yes, this is what I signed up for but that does not mean I am not allowed to feel the way I felt.

Becoming a mom is a huge change no matter what. We all have no idea what we are in for until we are actually experiencing it. It is entertaining, messy, difficult, incredible, and demanding but we would not change it for the world! I did not realize that I was grieving my old life until my husband was the one who brought it to my attention. I kept comparing what I had to what I currently have. The thing is, there is no comparison! They are two very different lives. When I realized I was doing that, I had instant “mom guilt” because I should be having the time of my life! After all, this is what I have wanted since I was a little girl and I was just so lucky to be able to stay at home with my children. HA!

 “I kept comparing what I had to what I currently have.”

It really hit me that I was no longer independent when I had to sell my home. It was the last piece of me that I had that was linked to my “old life” and I had no idea how to process that. I cried for days after signing and handing my keys over. That house symbolized my independence before children and it was just ripped away from me. Shortly after that, my bank account was being drained and I knew I had to tell my husband that I was running low on funds so he could give me money since we do not have a joint account. I hid it for as long as I possibly could. I would sell my belongings just so I had money because I saw that as a sign of weakness.

Realizing that I had to be financially dependent on someone else was (and still is) the hardest thing for me to grasp and be okay with. Something I have always prided myself on was doing everything financially on my own since the second I moved out of my parents’ house. I did not care how much I had to work to make sure I was successful and that was an extraordinary feeling. Telling my husband that I needed money in my account made me feel weak, small, worthless, and like I had failed as an individual.
Here is the thing that my husband has to constantly remind me: stay at home moms have a job and we work hard. No, we do not have the money to show for it but we benefit our families by doing what we do!

I am constantly reminded of the life I use to have (thanks, social media) and I miss it so much. I miss going out, seeing friends whenever I wanted, working my jobs, going to school, and even peeing in peace! Now my life is full of baby giggles, toddler tantrums, and Finding Dory on repeat all day long. It is not worse and it is not better, it is just different and moms should not have any guilt for feeling like they miss a piece of them that they can never get back. Maybe this is similar to a midlife crisis and I am experiencing mine earlier than I thought I would be.

Admitting that I miss my old life has been the biggest relief to me. I can move forward knowing that it is okay and life changes. I can grieve everything that I have lost so I can continue. Being a stay at home mom is a huge sacrifice and we have to give up a lot more than people realize so we can better our family. We are happy to do it but we are human and allowed to feel and mourn what we have lost because ultimately, we have gained so much more.

20 Comments

  • Madalena Rowan

    As someone who was fortunate enough to have a stay at home mom my entire childhood, I am certain that your child will be so thankful for the time spent together. Stay at home moms don’t get enough credit, they are responsible for so much!

  • Nina Christy

    You’re not alone. Becoming a mother is a huge life change plus staying at home only adds to it.
    I think most mothers go through this. Being a mother of two I can relate. There will always be moments when you miss your freedom. but that’s normal. Everyone misses something at some point. It doesn’t mean you love your children any less. And know it does get easier. My kids are not little anymore and I have more freedom now. But then you miss when they were little! You just need to find a balance right now. Good luck.

  • Lambam

    This is a nice article and thank you for sharing upur experience with us . Having children is a huge blessing ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • April C

    For me becoming a mom was so life changing just like for everyone else and for me my life changed for the better. I’m so happy I can be a stay at home mom for my kids.

  • Lisa

    Thanks for writing this. Being a mom is no joke, and its so hard to NOT miss your old life and feel guilty. Many moms will benefit from this post.

  • Julie a Plagens

    I’m glad you put into words what so many moms are thinking. I had the exact same feelings. I was a teacher and completely supported myself before I got married. It was hard giving up my financial independence.

  • Karla

    Thank you for your post! I can totally relate on this one, when I became a mother I had to quit my job and but seeing your children everyday and being there in the most important time of their lives is truly a great blessing! 🙂

  • Jenna

    So true! I’m there with you girl! I feel ya on everything from the independence, to the now shared bank account so that I have access to money, to not peeing alone. I’m greatful that my husband understands how hard it is to be a SAHM, so that he gives me time during the day for me to just get away. So greatful for everything!

  • Amy Kennedy

    Great post! There are always the things we miss as we look back, you will find you miss other things too, as your kids grow… but at the same time you look back at the beauty of so many yesterdays, you are creating beautiful moments today and each day! And, you can plan an exciting future as well!

    You also are an excellent blogger, so that is in itself a “career” that allows you to use your gifts and helps others, and I think you have a great opportunity with the niche to reach out and encourage other stay at home momsl

  • selam ahmed

    wow!! You’re one hell of a super woman. I think it’s completely normal and encouraged to grieve your old life. i am not a mom , but my mom was a stay at home mom and i cannot even begin to explain the impact that had. the security, the love the constant guidance, and just the fact that i grew up with her around me all the time was something i was always grateful for, and as i grew older and understood what she sacrificed for my siblings and i taught me so much more than i thought possible.
    your post was absolutely lovely and a great read. i wish you all the best xx

  • Angela

    Great post! Becoming a mother is full of changes. Glad that you’re able to blog and make some time to do things that are personally fulfilling too! We need that. 🙂

  • Roxanne

    While the details differed, I went through the same thing – missing the “life I used to have.” I think it’s harder for our generations today that it was for our grandmothers and even mothers, because even just 30 years ago it was totally normal to just graduate high school, get married, and have babies (that you stayed home to raise). Working mothers were not the norm until kids were school age, whereas today I see the vast majority of my friends/high school classmates as working moms – you’re often almost ridiculed for wanting to stay home with kids, instead of “being a productive member of society.”

    Since when is it NOT productive to make sure that my kids have a stable environment as they learn about the world? Since when is that not going to help my kids be better adjusted and secure in change, and be able to truly take on the world as adults?

    Nowadays we are taught to graduate high school, then college, then work work work until we retire. It’s even harder to handle the change to motherhood when you’ve got grandparents like mine who ask “you’re still working?” after you get married, then say “good you always have to work.” Then you get pregnant and they ask “you’re going to stay home, right?” Um, what happened to the fact that you told me to always work?

    Thanks for being willing to share this so we all know we aren’t alone in how we feel as new/young moms!

  • Kayliegh

    I can relate to this so much. Being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me. But I have also had to go through a process of realizing that I had to sacrifice some things in my life for it.

  • Rebeka

    Great post!
    I don’t have kids yet, but it is really great seeing strong, independent women go through beautiful changes throughout their lives and seeing us all unite over similarities in life. Women are so powerful and capable of doing great things. I can’t wait to become a mom!

    Thanks for writing this- can’t wait for the next!

  • sterling smallwood

    yes, girl! This really rings true. I was very, very independent also. Learning how to be an at home mom, and still find new goals to tackle and new challenges to take on (hello blogging) has helped me to not feel so different from my old self. I have been a mom for 8 years, but not always a stay at home mom. I love supporting my family, but having something to work towards besides assisting in school projects and making delicious and healthy meals, has been very important to me too.

  • sterling

    yes, girl! This really rings true. I was very, very independent also. Learning how to be an at home mom, and still find new goals to tackle and new challenges to take on (hello blogging) has helped me to not feel so different from my old self. I have been a mom for 8 years, but not always a stay at home mom. I love supporting my family, but having something to work towards besides assisting in school projects and making delicious and healthy meals, has been very important to me too.

  • Deimile Soares

    I’m sure all moms feel this way! I had to even talk to my shrink about this! I find it so unfair at times how I have no freedom whatsoever. I have to check off with 100 people before I can make my hair appointment….

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