so...I have guilt. I think every woman does. You hear a lot about "mom guilt"--how mothers seem to feel guilty for everything that they do or don't do: if they stay home to be with their kids they have guilt over not providing financially, if they work outside the home they feel guilt over not being home with the kids, guilt over doing anything for themselves, etc...
Well right now I'm dealing with a case of what I will call "childless and jobless guilt." I have two more days of training my replacement at my job before I start my "semi-retirment." (that reminds me--i haven't yet really gone into what I will be doing after I quit other than the health stuff--will update that soon hopefully). As I'm preparing for this transition I'm just really struggling with the things that I think I should be doing. I guess my main reason for this guilt is that I feel that if I do not have children, I have no right to be staying at home. In this time I could continue working (though it would probably negatively impact my health) and saving up more money so that if/when we have children we would not have so many financial strains. I have plans for things to do--cleaning, organizing, making our house really a home, tackling the mountains of piles that are going on, catching up on my scrapbooks, knitting, crafting, reading, having dinner for my husband when he gets home at night--so many things, but I just don't feel like it's enough. Do you ever feel like that? Like there is always more that you should be doing?
I know that this is the right choice for us. I know that it will help our future, and hubs is even starting to really enjoy it now that the house is cleaner and he gets a good meal when he gets home every night instead of waiting another hour for me to get off work, and then waiting for me to finish dinner (which all too often meant a cold-cut sandwich). Butch is thrilled to have mommy at home w/her too. I think everyone is ultimately happy with the decision (minus the little aspect of tighter purse-strings) but it is still gnawing at me. I think every woman would love to have this opportunity, so why is it fair that I get it? Yeah, it is ultimately due to my health issues, but I just don't feel like that is enough of a reason.
Plus, I have always worked outside the home. Since I was 16 I was working (at the same office that I am leaving now!). When other kids were on summer or winter breaks from school, I was picking up extra hours at the office. I have never just had a break. And honestly I didn't need to work that much, but I just did b/c I like to work hard. I think that is where so much of this guilt comes from. I always see things that need to be done and that I can do and I always have multiple things going on at once. It wasn't enough just to manage an office. I had to do that plus college ministry, plus taking care of the house, plus weekly baking for my co-workers, plus a few little direct-selling businesses. But I don't think there are any women on earth who don't have some "plus" things. Don't we all try to do it all?
Then there is the pressure on hubs. How is it fair for me to not be working while he is practially working 2 jobs? He has a freelance videography business that is growing by leaps and bounds, as well as his 40 hour/week computer consulting job. I can try to talk myself into believing that before I basically had the two full-time jobs of maintaining our home (I've always done pretty much everything housework-wise) and working at my office, so now I'm just going to have one "job"....but it doesn't seem to be validated when I am not earning a paycheck. I don't think that anyone would argue against the fact that homemakers work extremely hard--and it's not like you can leave that work at the office and go home--there is always something to clean, someone to feed, things to get rid of...but our culture defines people so much by salaries that it is hard to get an adequate value for that kind of work. I feel like it is unfair--at my age & without children--to have him solely responsible for our finances. That is a lot of pressure on him-- though we have no debt and have honestly had a basically stress-free marriage when it comes to money, I'm just afraid that I'm throwing that away without enough cause.
It's just a weird situation. I almost feel like I have to have a baby just to justify this move in my mind! eep! What about you? Do you have guilt that you are struggling with? Is this mostly a "woman-thing" or do men struggle with it constantly too?