Over the weekend I had someone ask me if I have ever worked outside of my home. I had previously listed all I do and used to do during our conversation: hair bow business, Usborne consultant, blogger, homeschooling mom, I babysit my nieces. I also added that I used to babysit inside my home and had done that since before I was married. I wasn’t thrown by her question. I knew she didn’t mean it in a judgy way. (At least I hope not!) I answered her with of course I have. When I was in college and a teenager. I worked several different places. But I didn’t quite understand why whether I ever had mattered. As if all I do now on top of raising my children was not enough.
This statement got me thinking how normal it is for people to assume that both parents need to work outside of the home and the child needs to be in some sort of daycare/childcare or school. It is the “norm” and if you aren’t in the norm or don’t fit that mold then here come the side glances and the questioning of “what do you do all day” or “are you sure you made the right decision for your family.”
Here’s the thing. I have never had any desire to work outside my home. I have never felt like I needed a career or an outside job. Yes we have financial needs. Yes my husband works hard to provide for us and meet our financial needs. I also help where I can by taking opportunities that allow me to stay home with my children while also providing a bit of income. But even if I didn’t have those opportunities, I would still just stay home with my children and my husband and we would make do with what God has blessed us with. We would (and do) sacrifice what we don’t necessarily need in order for me to stay home with our children.
You see, when my son was 6 days old he passed away. Then my daughter was born early. 5 weeks I was on hospital bed rest. 5 weeks she was in the NICU. The stark reality that we could have lost her too was and still is ever-present in my mind. God gave me my three blessings. While he took one home earlier than I wanted, I still have two amazing blessings with me every single day. I want that time. I want those moments with them. I couldn’t imagine giving that time up to a stranger every day or even a loved family member. We never know when my last day on earth will be.
I also chose to stay-home with my children because time flies. They say the days are long but the years are short. That statement is so true. My oldest daughter is almost 5. My preemie. The one that was only 4 pounds when I brought her home. Before I know it she will be loading up her car to head to college or wherever her dreams and aspirations take her. I don’t want to look back on her and her sister’s childhood and have memories of being stuck in an office or factory working for money that I no longer have. I don’t want my children to have memories of being stuck in a daycare all day long. I want memories of me and them. Being together. Learning together. I want happy well-adjusted kids who grow up to be happy well-adjusted adults.
Please understand that this is MINE and MY HUSBAND”S desire for our children. I understand not everyone has the same desires. Not everyone can afford to stay home. Not everyone wants to. I respect that and I understand it. Nor do I pass judgment on anyone who makes different choices for their families than I do. I know I am in the minority. I know that children can be happy and well-adjusted when they have both parents who work. But not always. it’s not worth the risk for me.
I’m simply stating why I, and I’m sure most stay-at-home mom’s, decide to stay home and invest their time into their children and family instead of a job or making money. I say this because like most stay-at-home mom’s I hate being judged for the decision I made for my family to be ever-present. I hate the stigma that we do nothing all day and that in order to be a contributing member of society I need to work outside my home and make tons of money. When in fact the most important job anyone can do is what I am doing right now. Raising children who are decent, wonderful, well-rounded and will grow up to be contributing members of society. No amount of money or luxuries can replace that.
That is why I stay home.
Until Next Time,