As a stay-at-home Mum it’s ridiculously easy to fall in to the mind trap of believing you’re not earning your place in society when you don’t earn any moolah.
As someone who has worked since she was 14 years and 9 months, I’ve always been proud of my ability to earn a buck and create the life I desire – whether it be via travel, where I live, how I choose to spend my time and finances and also how I raise my children.
So it came as a huge surprise to me – but perhaps NOT my ego – when a few times this year, I’ve struggled to connect with my value as a Mother because I wasn’t contributing to the family finances.
I couldn’t make decisions. I asked permission to do the smallest things and I even questioned how I was perceived in the family among other people – think: “do they think I bludge all day?”
These judgemental and purely self-sabotaging questions were slowly sucking all the power out of my heart and soul and placing it firmly in the hands of my partner, children and others – even those outside my immediate family.
In my head, it felt like I couldn’t respect my role as a Mum of two, because I wasn’t contributing financially like I once was with a corporate salary. And because I wasn’t adding anything to our savings, only taking from it, my sense of self and value as a member of the family was getting eaten up like our rapidly diminishing bank balance.
How did I turn this sense of powerlessness around?
I changed my perspective. Here’s how:
- I wrote a job description
OK, so it wasn’t a formal job description with specific duties, but I created a list of EVERYTHING I did for the family. Not myself; just my family. From the moment I woke to the moment I fell asleep I considered all the things I did/can do during the day that helped support my partner and my kids. This brought to life all the seemingly meaningless tasks I do each day that only us Mamas know won’t get down unless we do them ourselves.
- I could see the value I added
This list allowed me to see how much value I bring to my ‘company’ (family). If I sat down in a performance review with a HR person, I knew I could confidently tell her all the ways I added value to the company. I was a valued commodity and I deserved to work/be/live there.
- I couldn’t be replaced
This was the table-turner! When I stopped, stepped back and got out of my head, I realised my beautiful family needed me as much as I needed them and I couldn’t be replaced. Only a Mama knows just how little Jimmy likes his carrots separate from his sausages and that darling Kimmy’s favourite doll is still under her bed from yesterday’s game of Hide-n-Seek. Know what I mean?
Despite not contributing the tangible and much-needed funds as I’d done before, I know my position as Mama and Head Queen in this family is more valuable to my children. It’s the presence I offer them, not presents, that make the difference.
Yes it could all change again in a few months or even years, but for now, I will hold myself and my role as Mama Bear in high-regard, with grace and virtue – and not the limited perspective I was holding on to, because I have the hardest, toughest, most valued job in the world and no salary could ever match it…though it wouldn’t hurt, right?
Taking care of your self worth as a Mama is extremely important. That’s why we’re working with Mindful Mama Coach and best-selling Author Amy Taylor-Kabbaz to bring you the exclusive online workshop Self Care & Self Worth As a Busy Mama. Amy inspires her audience by sharing her personal stories and practical real-world advice for struggling Mums in this compelling online class.