New mother worries


#1

hi everyone, i am new here.
i guess i am just looking for some advice.
i recently had my first baby, a boy named Gabriel. he was an unplanned baby, resulting from premarital sex. i have married the father, and we are very happy together…he even married me in the church and has agreed to raise gabriel catholic, even though is a non-denominational christian.
when i was pregnant, all i could think about was how i was going to go back to school as soon as i popped him out, try to have a career, continue being “me” and not turn into a “boring” mom.
well, its a whole different ballgame now that i have held my precious baby and looked into his eyes…he is 6 months old and i still havent been able to bring myself to put him in daycare and go to work. my husband is very supportive, and happy to live on one income as long as i am comfortable making the sacrifices.
i love being a mother! i love cooking dinner for my husband, having a clean house, being the one to feed, play with, and care for my baby. i love not being stressed from working all day and then having to come home and take are of everything else too.
is something wrong with me? i only ask, because in this day and age, i cant find anyone else who shares my view! all my mom friends work full time and have careers…they make me feel like nothing next to their accomplishments.
i have always been independent, and wanted to do so much in my life. motherhood has really thrown me for a loop. i am so confused about my purpose in life. people are pressuring me to go back to school , but i do not know what to go for! i dont want any career to come between me and watching my little one grow up.
i am torn between wanting to further myself as a person, and wanting to be there for my family.
the worst part is, i have been feeling in my heart like i want more children! i thought i didnt even want gabriel! i was even considering abortion at first…this pregnancy led me back to the church, and i even named gabriel after the story of the Annunciation because i could identify with mary. i am changing as a person, and i dont know if its for the better or worse.
i am on birth control right now, because i thought i didnt want any more children. are there any other women out there who feel second best when talking with career moms? i feel like a failure, and then feel guilty because i am happy staying at home with my baby!
any advice?


#2

Being a housewife is a nobel profession, the feminist movement has tried to eradicate that. There is nothing wrong with being “different” than everyone else that is trying to keep up with the Jones’.

One other note: Please consider Natural Family Planning (NFP)
Contraception by any means is offensive to God-- many Catholics and Christians do not realize this. There is moral culpibility when one does.


#3

I’m a stay at home mom and I absolutely love it! There is nothing I’d rather do than take care of my husband and children and our home.

Motherhood is a noble profession, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. You’re telling your child that he’s more important to you than your career. You’re willing to make sacrifices to take care of him. You’re raising your own child, instead of sending him off and having someone else do it for you. This is a wonderful gift to him, and God has given you the wonderful gift of motherhood and you’re not wasting it. God will bless you for it.

Scout :tiphat:


#4

There is nothing wrong with liking to be home, taking care of your child and husband!!! I have done both–worked full time with 2 young children and then been able to stay home–it’s wonderful to be home full time and it’s stressful trying to work and take care of your family–that’s TWO full time jobs! Anyone who tells you being home 24/7 isn’t work, hasn’t ever done it!!

There will be time, later, when you can go to school or work or whatever. For now, you seem to be called to stay at home! How lucky you are :slight_smile:

Jennifer


#5

I was pretty much surprised when I read the words about being a “boring” stay-at-home Mom – I am a cradle Catholic and a Grandma – in my day, very few Moms went to work but did stay at home to raise their babies. In fact, recently one of my neighbors went to work about 3 months after she had her baby – believe me, when I say this --I felt sorry for her and feel that if you or any other Mom decide to do this, you are losing out on the best part of your baby’s young life. I feel strongly that if I was young I could go back and do it all again – those early days of my 3 children were the happiest of my life – “stick” with it – and you’ll never be sorry!!!


#6

Welcome to the forums, Rachel! :wave:

This really stood out to me. You ARE furthering yourself as a person by staying home with your little one, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! :wink: If you and your hubby can manage on one income, do it. Oh, and nothing wrong with wanting more children, Hon. :thumbsup:

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I wanted to gently inform you that artificial contraception is against Church teaching. Go see your priest, and see if your parish offers Natural Family Planning classes if you want to use it to space births. Of course, there’s always just not using anything, and letting the blessings come as they may! Decide with your hubby which way is best for you two.

I wouldn’t say I feel second-best, but sometimes I do feel “out of the loop” when everyone’s talking about work. But it usually doesn’t last too long, because many moms I know are heartbroken that they can’t stay home. I know it’s super hard sometimes, but try not to compare yourself with others; do what is best for YOUR family.

You are not a failure; enjoy that sweet baby!!! :love:


#7

Hi and welcome!

I have to tell you that I felt the exact same way as you described… a little guilty at enjoying the concept of being a wife and mom, housewife, homemaker, etc. My husband and I are expecting our first child in about a month and I’ve been preparing for this time in my life, for all my life. I’m 35, and although I never felt called to be a career person, I still feel kind of guilty about the concept of being “solely” a wife and mom and doing all the things that come with that. I love all those things! I love hanging clothes up on the line, keeping a nice house, doing the things that support our life together, as a couple and soon as a family, and I’ve felt like it’s what I’m called to do.

Don’t feel bad or guilty about what you are feeling. What a blessing you have! Look at how your life has changed since you’ve had your baby and where you have been led. I’ve been told by good priests/spiritual advisors to trust that deep down feeling you have… God speaks to you when you are feeling a peace about your life, deep down. Regardless of what the world is telling you, if you have that deep down peaceful feeling about you, and you know you are following a well-informed conscience, you are doing what God intends for you to do.

There is nothing wrong with you - everything in fact is right with you, for you!

I second the comment about looking into NFP rather than using contraception… Here is a great link: ccli.org/

And another great resource is a book called the Good News about Sex & Marriage. christopherwest.com/item.asp?CategoryID=8

Both of those resources will support that deep down good feeling you have about being a woman, wife and mom, where you may not find it out in “the world.”

Congratulations to you and your husband for making the sacrifices needed to help give your baby the best bonding opportunities and a great start to your family together. Not everyone is that blessed or lucky to be able to be in the situation you are in. Be strong, feel blessed, keep praying!

JM


#8

I worked a Fulltime job for 4 years of beign a mommy. It was H-E-double hockey sticks! I loved working, but I ached to be home with my children.

Now I’ve been a SAHM for the last 10 months. It’s the best thing in the world. It’s a very hard job, but well worth it. It gets very lonely, especially since all my friends (with or without children) have jobs. So I joined MOPS, the one here is very friendly. I love it.

Do not worry what your “friends” say. Just pray and ask God what he wants you to do. Your child(ren) will only be small for a short period of time. You have plenty of time later to worry about a “career” outside of the home.


#9

thank you for all the responses!
i guess if i had planned my whole life to be a mom, this wouldnt be an issue…i am the oldest of five children, and my mother was a stay at home mom our whole lives.
i always told myself i would never “turn out like her” and would be independent …i would never depend on any man.
so, it is sure a turnaround for me to be staying at home!
now though, i look back at how lucky we were, to have such a stable family.
still. there are hard days…like when someone asks me…“what do you DO all day?” eeeek!!!


#10

You sound perfectly normal to me! I told my then-fiance (now husband) that, even though I did have a Bachelor’s degree and that my earning potential was twice what his was, I felt so strongly about being a stay at home mom that I really felt that if we couldn’t agree to protecting my ability to stay home, we shouldn’t be married. Luckily, he feels almost as strongly about it as I do! :wink:

We make lots of sacrifices, but my staying home is a non-issue, as long as my husband is capable to work.

You are doing the BEST thing you can for you son! Study after study has shown that the best childcare available is care provided by a parent, and specifically the child’s mother! Good for you for being counter-cultural. Being a stay at home mom is a very hard, dignified profession that is too often overlooked.

Enjoy this special time with your baby!

PS. I agree with the previous posters that have encouraged you to look into Natural Family Planning. Not only is contraception offensive to your marriage, but when you were married in the Church you promised to “accept children lovingly from God.” Any form of artifical contraception is a violation of your vows.


#11

:smiley: My Mom, a SAH mother of 5, all grown up now, had a standard response to THAT ridiculous question:
“Why, I sit with my feet up, watching Soaps and eating bon-bons, of course.”
:whistle: :rotfl:

I know it can be hard being torn between what you know you’re called to do, and what the “world” says you should be doing… but I think you have it right!! and it sounds like you’re changing for the BETTER!! You’re not the first person (I’m one of them, too!) to whom God has chosen to communicate His unconditional love through the eyes of a tiny, round-cheeked, sweet-smelling baby.:love:


#12

I really hate that whole “never depend on a man” thing. Well, why the heck not?! You are the mother of his child, and that status used to be respected as worthy of protection and a source of obligation for a man. It used to define manhood to be a provider, and it was shameful and scandalous for him to fail at it, or refuse to do it and expect his wife to.

The other side of that is that he is “dependent” on you too. He depends on you to take good care of his child. He depends on you to keep his house and life running while he is working to provide. He depends on you to be loving and supportive. It’s not like this is a one-way street.

Perhaps it’s time to apologize to your mother for your arrogant disdain of the choice she made to dedicate her life to caring for her children, her man, and her home. As for friends who denigrate your choice, so what if you are in the minority? Revolutionaries and leaders always are! By choosing to throw off the shackles of the feminist movement’s brainwashing, you are the true champion of a woman’s right to design her life on her own terms. Be proud of that.


#13

I have degrees in math and mechanical engineering, and I definitely felt pride in “making it” in those male-dominated fields. When I became pregnant (surprise!) with my first child, it was definitely a struggle to let go of career plans. By deciding to quit work and become a stay-at-home mom, I felt I was “letting down” women everywhere by hurting other women’s career prospects, “wasting” my mind and education, etc.

I am now the homeschooling mother of five, and I love it! People ask me how I do it (like I have it all together? me? HA!), and the short answer is (1) one day at a time, and (2) firmly believing that motherhood is THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD. I even feel sorry for my husband that he can’t spend the time with the kids that I can and form these precious little people. I don’t know how working moms do it: a full-time job plus “second shift” at home? How exhausting, and how frustrating to not BE THERE and give all of yourself to this huge task of raising little people.

And I do have time to “develop” myself: reading, attending conferences, a little public speaking, etc. albeit in different directions than I traveled before. My interests and priorities have changed. With all the difficulties and frustrations of “at-home” life, I am growing and learning to be more patient and more generous, so motherhood is good for me as well as for the children, too. :slight_smile: I think God knew what he was doing making parents into better people, by making sacrifices and working to make the world a better place for their children.

So don’t listen to all those women’s libbers who poo-poo women’s contributions in the home, and ENJOY!


#14

:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:


#15

I always get a chuckle out of first time moms, those who realize what they now have, and want to protect that little bundle.

You will be just fine! You are not second best by any nature, you are first best by nurture!:thumbsup: You just need to find more SAHMs, which you will right here.


#16

I’m with you about feeling second best around career moms! I quit a lucrative engineering career last year just before our DS was born. We were just at a Halloween party yesterday with some of the people I used to work with, and that feeling came flooding back. I can’t tell you what to do about it - someone remarked about the fact that I had brought homemade snacks - and for a moment I wasn’t sure what to say. Was it a compliment, or was it a “well, she doesn’t do much else all day so of course she should cook”. I lightheartedly answered that since I was the only one there not gainfully employed, I felt like I should at least cook. Don’t know why it sort of rattled me - probably the crazy pregnancy hormones.

Fact of the matter is, I love staying home and being the one who has a chance to put dinner on the table and keep cookies in the jar for DH. Not to mention that all of the other women there pay for a nanny and cleaning lady and still have to pick up takeout or figure out how to put dinner on the table for a sleepy toddler at 6PM. I wouldn’t want that even for a little extra money in the bank.

I don’t think I’m much help, but know that you’re not alone in your feelings :slight_smile:


#17

I understand how you feel, although I’ve never been in your shoes. I’ve been considering marriage and motherhood, and wondering.

These days I’m working on a Master’s degree in education. It’s costing me a lot of money, and I’m struggling to pay for it. The thought that keeps me going is that it will really help me when I want to work later. However, I’m also considering what to say when my boyfriend asks me to marry him (I’m leaning toward YES YES YES), and the thought keeps crossing my mind that I’d like to stay home with the children for a while. In that case, it could be years until I use the degree, or never.

I’ve mentioned this to my boyfriend, and he says he’d love it if I was a SAHM, but he’d support me working, too, if that’s what I really wanted. Since he never finished college and works in a factory, my earning potential will be two or three times what he makes, once I have this Master’s degree.

The little voice in my head says that I could work about 10 hours a week, and be earning almost what he earns, and still be “almost” a SAHM, but I suspect when the time comes, I won’t even do that. I think it’ll be at least 5 or 10 years until I use this degree. Already I’m mentally defending myself from the comments of friends from work. My best friend is vocally against anyone being a SAHM, and also keeps informing me that I don’t want children. (I react to this with amusement. I wonder how she knows what I want?)

I say ignore what others think, and do what is obviously right for you, since it’s making you so happy. You have so many years of your life to work, if that’s what you choose. But how many years do you have to take care of your baby? He’ll only be a baby for a short time. Enjoy it while you can. There’ll be plenty of work to do later. As long as you’re actually raising and taking care of and loving the baby, you’re doing the greatest job in the world. However, if you were sitting around on your butt watching the TV and ignoring the baby, I’d have something different to say! :smiley:


#18

Being a stay at home mom is great! My mother stayed at home with me and I loved it and so did she. She was able to take me to story time at the library, to daytime movies, etc. It was really fantastic.

Personally, as a single mom, I don’t have the luxury of staying at home with my daughter. Believe me, if I could, I would. If staying at home with your son is what you want to do, then go for it!


#19

wow i didnt think i would get so many responses!
i guess i need to find a church around here (ihave just moved) and maybe i would find some others in my situation.

i cant help but think how every little thing that gabe does rght now, from gurgling “mama” to his funny faces and splashing in the tub, will soon pass away and be gone forever. it fills me with a bittersweet sadness but also with the joy that i didnt have to miss out on all these memories!
thanks so much for the kind words.


#20

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