Is this WAHM Guilt?

I am a Work At Home Mum. It’s a great job, the hours are crap, the pay could be better, but I can’t imagine doing anything else or loving what I do any more.

The thing is – I never feel like I do quite enough.

In the times of BC (before children), I enjoyed a very fulfilling (and demanding) career in Health & Social Care. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, I loved it and was fully prepared to return to work after Kieran was born. That is until Kieran was born. I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before so won’t bore you with the ins and outs of why our plans changed but they did, and I found myself at home, jobless (and income-less more to the point!). That had to change quickly and after testing the waters I started my own home-based business selling children’s books. For 3yrs I did very well with it. This was an income though and not a passion, so early last year I decided it was time to bite the bullet and shake things up a bit. And I did! Now I am building an income from blogging & writing and slowly but surely am getting there. The rest as they say, is history!

So that is how I got here. I’m now a Mum of two gorgeous boys, I work from home pretty much full-time now, am a full-time housewife, full-time mum…. I’m a busy lady! The thing is, because I’m not bringing in a full-time income, I seem to find myself pushing myself harder and harder. I work hard to bring in an income – damn hard, I don’t just make our meals, I research recipes and spend a lot of time finding new meals for everyone to enjoy. I don’t do the shopping, I shop around and I visit different shops in order to save a few pounds. I try and be the Mum who does the baking, the crafts, the walks, the activities, I make dens, sing song and do as many of the cool things as possible. I make sure Roy’s tea is ready when he gets home, that homework is done, that there are always clean clothes and shiny shoes and gawd I do a lot!  No-one asks me to constantly push and try and go the extra mile, in fact Roy regularly tells me to take a step back and that I don’t need to have tea ready, the dishes done and no-one will collapse if I serve omelette and chips instead of a flavoursome meaty dish!

Why do I do it? I call it my WAHM guilt, I sometimes feel like I have to be everything to everyone and do well… everything to “make up” for being at home. Don’t get me wrong, I am deliriously happy with my life and wouldn’t change it. In fact I’m not sure I could do less now.. I’d be bored lol!

Is this an isolated phenomenon? Do other WAHM’s feel like this? Please feel free to leave a message with your thoughts / experiences. I’d love to read them.

Written by


  1. Bless you hun, you are so definitely not alone, I’m sure many women can relate to how you’re feeling. I remember this really funny phase I went through right after Mr DCB and I got married, and I felt this ridiculous pressure to be Mrs Perfect. That I should hold down a full time job but at the same time make sure that he never had to lift a finger at home and that I would always look fantastic and have a 3 course meal on the table every night. Needless to say it didn’t last long. It’s certainly NOT easy being at home – I use work as an excuse to why the house does get messy, and if you were a fly on the wall you’d hear me say *often* that “oh these stay at home women have no idea how easy they have it” but that’s not meant to be a slight on you and others at all. It’s only because I am resentful that I have to spend my evenings or weekends cleaning and tidying when I could be doing it in the daytime. The grass is always greener, and I know that if I was at home like you are, I too would feel this immense pressure to try and do the best of everything. Try not to let it get to you, I think you do a bloody amazing job. So THERE! xxxx

    1. Well I know better than to argue with you :p
      I think it can be something many women (and men!) feel, be it as a Mum or Wife, SAHD (etc). I myself am perfectly happy with my lot and the fact that I choose to do so much, that’s not the issue – for me it’s why do I do it when my head knows very well that the “job” I do as a Mum is as important (and time-consuming!) as any other regardless of what else I do. Maybe subconsciously it’s having listened to the “It’s so easy being at home”, or “You are so lucky, I’d do anything to stay at home all day and play with kids”. (<Yes seriously) that puts us on the defensive slightly?

  2. You are so not alone. The pressure to try to keep on top of everything that us WAHMs pile on ourselves is huge. I definitely feel the same as you – we should have delicious homemade meals, the house should be clean (ha ha!) and tidy (even more ha ha), children should undertake improving activities and play, oh and, on the side, we should be bringing home a full time income equal to what we would have done if we’d gone back to work!! We have to remember that actually being a Mum is an important role, and building up a business is also pretty hard work. If we can do both of those things OK, then we are doing pretty well, even if we eat nuggets and chips some evenings, and the house is not suitable for inclusion in Yorkshire Life, and the kids spend some time watching TV!

    It’s definitely comments like those you mention that have an effect, but I’m learning to filter them out. There may be SAHMs who do have the sort of life people think we all do, but they are very much in the minority, and I have made it a rule never to judge how “easy” someone else’s life is unless I actually know something about them! Most of us are working pretty hard just keeping it all together.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t swap my life for the world. I’m so glad I made the decision to be at home for my children, and I love my business. But the easy life it certainly is not!!

  3. Wow, you could have been writing about me. I have only just started blogging and writing full time but am already suffering this guilt and feel like I could potentially work myself into the ground. I call it ‘over achieving’. I definitely suffer from a desire to over achieve and be perfect and like yours my husband tells me to relax.

    Not sure what the answer is and yes, I’d probably get bored if I slowed down too. Maybe that’s why we can be WAHMs? It’s not an easy route. Lottie -x-

    1. It seems it’s definitely not just me then but a widespread thing. Perhaps to a certain degree it just comes with the territory for some people who work at home while raising a family etc.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Really enjoyed reading this, and all the responses. No idea how Emma knew what we’d had for tea tonight though! I agree with so much that has been said, but do think it’s funny how our attitudes can change through experience.

    I used to be one of those people who thought that SAHMs had an easy life compared to the rest of us. That was before having children, and before trying it! How wrong I was! I’ve now experienced 5 years as a working Mum. Not easy by any means. And then made the difficult decision nearly 3 years ago to put my career on hold (?) and stay at home whilst the children are primary school age.

    The only way I can run a business from home is because I have a very supportive husband and stay up until crazy ‘o clock. Being a SAHM, let alone running your own business, is the hardest, most demanding job. And no. I didn’t do an easy job before. Far from it. It’s my choice to stay at home, and I wouldn’t change it for the World. I’ve seen with my oldest how fast they grow up, and I want, no need, to be involved and helping every step of the way (as far as I’m allowed!) I do not feel guilty about not going out to work. Nowhere near as guilty as I felt when the responsibilities that are my children were passed to others.

  5. I think all types of mum have guilt – part and parcel of being a mum. Yep, I too feel the need to have an orderly house, perfectly behaved, wonderfully stimulated and fantastically turned out children, food on the table etc etc.
    I think people will always pass judgement on others and what they have – the grass is always greener, after all. But you do what you do extremely well – from what I have seen, at least. You strike me as a very cool, calm and collected mum and wife, and if you are doing all that, and still coming across that way… well, can I have some of what you have please?
    But Roy is right, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a night off once in a while 🙂

    1. Thanks Claire, lovely comment. Cool calm and collected could be a stretch. My hair is a lot curlier since having the kids put it that way!
      And a night off? You know what- I might just do that one of these days!

Comments are closed.