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July 05, 2006



Congrats on choosing to delve into a career for yourself! You’ve already put in many selfless years of being a SAHM. You may find a career very rewarding, especially when your kids are grown and leaving the nest. Everyone says it happens so much faster than you can imagine.

About the guilt- I think ANY normal mother has guilt, weather you are a SAHM or not. I’m currently a working mom and have been since the beginning but, now I’m considering postponing my career until the kids are older. There are a number of factors pointing me in this direction. Mainly, I think my parenting outlook has changed due to my friend’s pending demise. She’s dying of breast cancer and has two small children, the same ages as my kids. She’s always been a terrific SAHM and cherished every moment with her kids. Maybe she’s got a point there. It may be time for me to shift my focus... As it’s time for you to shift yours. Good luck and congrats again!


Alone? Are you kidding? Come on in to the guilt swimming pool, the water's great!

I don't think any mom has the answers. There is no way to be the best at every facet of your life; we're simply trying too hard to be too many things to too many people. Either your job as a wife suffers, or your job as mother suffers or, most likely, your personal inner life suffers. In all the Mommy Wars Brouhaha, I have yet to read of a woman who says, "I did it! I figured it out! I am raising happy kids with no issues, and I am completely fulfilled as a mother, a wife, and a person."

Every woman has to figure this one out for herself, because there's no right answer. I lean towards encouraging being a SAHM until your kids are in school, because we've got one shot at this thing and might as well enjoy it and do it right. But if being a SAHM makes you miserable you're doing your kids a favor (truly)by going back to work. I think the women who do best at being SAHMs are the ones who keep a finger in the stream of their "old" life; a creative outlet, some contract work or freelancing, something that keeps the "other" part of their brain working.

Sorry - off on a soap box on the whole work conflict in general. For you, you've done a fantastic job with your three girls and I'm guessing have raised them to be self-sufficient and strong women. I'm guessing that short-term they'll freak out and feel a bit abandoned, a bit supplanted by mommy's new passion. Long term, though, I'm betting it will be harder for you than for them. They'll quickly adjust while you're still burning the candle at both ends and grieving the loss of so much great time with your girls. Ultimately, though, you're doing something you love and showing your girls how a woman can be a great mom and go beyond that. So hang in there. You'll make it.



Best of luck to what I'm sure will be an infinitely rewarding career. I'm sure the change will bring out nothing but the positive in your entire family.

I'm currently staying at home, but know that it's not going to be for the long term. Although I'm not struggling with the balance now, I will in the future, and look forward to hearing how you do it!

Laundry Woman

You are most assuredly one of thousands, if not more, mothers who struggle with this. Someone recently told me (after a suicidal bout) that 'good enough' really is 'good enough.' We need to accept that.


still struggling with just making the decision...


Not alone, Patti. DEFINITELY not alone. I struggle with balance every day.


Your girls are 14, 9 & 8, definitely old enough to handle mom starting her own life outside of motherhood. Please don't feel guilty. Although they may not be used to it, they will adapt and flourish.

I plan on going back to work once my daughter is in Kindergarden and am looking forward to it. And remember, there is no perfect there's just life, gritty & real.Best of luck.

Darci McGrath

Take it one day at a time and it will be fine. It sounds as if you have layed the ground work for some very strong girls. They are ready as are you to now do something with all that you have taught them. I recently retunred to work, teaching, after 21 years of school and before that, 7 years at home. Once we transition it was the best thing I could have done for my family. I have enabled them to be self-sufficent - one of the most important lessons of life.


d-uh -- sorry, I meant "great role model to your GIRLS (not goals)"


No, you're not alone! I have a 2 year old and am starting a business with my husband as well as teaching a few classes on the side. I felt so guilty about working that, for the first year, I used no childcare at all! My husband and I would just switch off. But it was AWFUL. I realized that just because I am around my child alot does not mean I am a good mother. Working p/t makes me feel fulfilled and balanced, and I think a better mom than I would be if I were with my son 24/7 only because I don't have the stamina. It is great you are pursuing a career! Actually, you will be a GREAT role model to your goals, teaching them that women can pursue whatever dreams they wish!

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