Stay-at-home Guilt

by doodaddy on April 16, 2007

After Self-Pity-Alooza yesterday I was trying to figure out why I don’t just push for what I need.

  • Why don’t I tell Working Mom how to get Boobaby to sleep?
  • Why don’t I ask for a little help with the housework?
  • Why don’t I take a freakin’ day off once in a while?

I asked for a reason, and the universe provided. That very day in his S.F. Chronicle blog (“The Poop”), Mike Adamick* wrote about enjoying a beautiful day in a perfect park with little Emme and feeling… guilty. “Stay-at-home guilt” he coined it, and I bet it’s been coined before, because it captures exactly what I feel.

Don’t get me wrong: my job is hard. There are days when I have to think harder, plan better, and labor more than in any other job I’ve ever had.

But there are also moments of those days, hanging out in the park, walking the beach, or playing in the woods when I think to myself that I’m just a lucky bastard and I’d better not let on how much fun this is or else someone will take it away from me.

It’s at those times that my internal regulator says, “Well, sure, you’ve got to put up with a lot of crap, you have no time to yourself not taken up with chores, and only rarely do people over the age of two appreciate your efforts. But you get to be here.”

And you know what? Maybe that little voice is right.

I’d ponder more, but I’ve got to go fix the washing machine and scrape dried avocado off the dining room rug. And not complain about it.

*Mike, by the way, has his own fantastic blog at

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in stay-at-home guilt ·

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

megan April 17, 2007 at 10:36 am

It’s really refreshing to hear this message coming from a dad!


doodaddy April 17, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Thanks! Today was more of a non-guilty day: pretty challenging temperament, weather not-so-good, and a little fussy about sleep. It feels good that I earn my pay some days!



aimee/greeblemonkey April 17, 2007 at 1:40 pm

That’s the beauty of blogs. They capture all the shades of grays in life.


doodaddy April 17, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Yeah. Like today has been cold, Boo’s fussy, and I’m getting the house put back together after the painters have left (no guilt). But then the baby took a 2.5-hour nap so I got to make more coffee and write for an hour (much guilt).

Nice work, if you can get it!


Annie April 18, 2007 at 10:47 am

I just found your blog today via moodswingingmommy! Just have to say I TOTALLY get the stay at home guilt thing! Sometimes I ask myself how much do I really miss working outside the home? Not all that much! Maybe I’m just lazy, who knows? Topic for a blog post of my own someday maybe lol! If you haven’t already, you should check out some posts on ‘sandbagging’ – they cover this kind of issue too 🙂 has a post on it.


doodaddy April 18, 2007 at 2:08 pm

I’d never heard the term sandbagging! Apparently, it comes from gambling, although I don’t honestly understand where it would come from.

I should mention, though, that I’m definitely not being deceptive. There are some days as a SAHD that are just tremendously fun and feel easy, and then there are others that are terrifically hard, and I call ’em like I see ’em. (I do sometimes downplay the easy days to my wife — is that sandbagging?)

Anyway, thanks for the link!


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