Battling Self-Doubt :: When Being a SAHM Doesn’t Feel Like Enough

Battling Self-Doubt :: When Being a SAHM Doesn't Feel Like Enough

Since becoming a stay at home mom there have been questions I’ve had to answer along the way that I find myself dreading and doubts that I’ve put into my mind about the work that I’m currently doing. Taking on this new career path has led me to a place where I feel like I’m having to defend my job; not only from others, but from myself. Am I doing enough? Am I enough?

I feel safe in the community I’m raising my kids in. It’s family friendly with lots of resources for moms who are trying to stay connected. I have plenty of other moms to relate to, but the moment I step out of my community I find myself feeling guarded. I’m generally a confident person but when I know I’m going to have to explain what I do as my full-time job to someone who may not understand me, it makes me feel anxious. 

The Dreadful Question

I’m not sure what it is, but every time I get asked the question Do you think you’ll go back to work when your kids go to school full-time? it reminds me of that dreadful interview question we all hate- Where do you see yourself in five years? I’ll just be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure what I’m cooking for dinner later, so it’s difficult for me to tell you what I’m going to be doing several years from now, and whether or not it will be enough.

I’m sure the intention of this question isn’t to make me feel like the work I’m currently doing is not enough, but it’s hard for me to internalize that question without feeling some type of insecurity. I have a hard time understanding why this question is even asked in the first place. Even when my kids are in school full-time it’s not like I’ll be sitting at home eating bonbons all day {assuming that’s what the questioner believes}. But that’s neither here nor there, and a topic for another time.

Performance Review & Smaller Dreams

When I worked in commercial real estate I had annual reviews where I would be told what I’m doing well, what I needed to improve on and whether or not I was getting a bonus based on my performance. I relied on those interactions to help me grow personally and professionally.

However, in this season of my life, there are no awards or accolades for a job well done. The best way you can judge on how well I’m doing at my job is by the smiles on my kids’ faces, whether or not they feel loved, and if they’ve been fed. There’s no organizational chart or advancement in the career path of being a stay at home mom. Other than the reassurance from my husband, a friend or my parents, there’s nobody really guiding me on this journey to help ensure that I’m doing enough or am on the path for success.

My dreams are definitely smaller these days. I dream about a time where I can shop in Target alone, take a shower without little fingers banging on the door, or be able to eat a meal without shoveling it into my mouth. My biggest accomplishments in a day can often involve being able to leave the house, getting dressed or brushing my teeth.

I Am Enough

For the time being I know that I’ll never win a Pulitzer Prize or be recognized as the outstanding employee of the month. It’s okay because I have to remind myself to be confident in the work that I am doing and remind myself that I AM ENOUGH.

I put a lot of pressure on myself that I should be doing “more,” but when I look at my babies, I realize that being with them and raising them firsthand makes me so incredibly happy; and that’s enough for ME right now. I know there will come a time when shopping alone in Target will be possible, when I’ll miss those little fingers banging on the shower door or when taking my time to eat a meal will feel satisfying.

In the end, maybe I’ll go back to work when my kids go to school full-time, maybe I’ll pursue a dream that I put on the back burner while my kids were little, or maybe I’ll just live in the moment and enjoy every one of them I’ve got while my little sweethearts love and need me the most.


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