A directÂ consequenceÂ of major life changes, the good ones and the bad ones, is how much I over analyze everything. It’s exhausting to be quite frank. I’ve had two major changes this year, one is a beautiful new daughter. The other was the loss of my grandmother.Â Â At her funeral, I was able to get up and tell some stories about her and I’ve been thinking a lot about that wonderful opportunity I had to stand up there and talk about such an amazing woman.
My train of thought went like this, “I really enjoyed getting speak to all those people about Grandma. I was good at that…I had forgotten until then how much I love that. Wow, what would it be like if I were actually working and doing that every day?” And then it led into thinking about the career paths I could be on right now instead of wiping noses, changing diapers, playing in sand boxes, teaching the alphabet, etc etc etc.
Sometimes I think that stay-at-home mothers like to think that because we have given up (what feels like) everything that our children will turn out better, will be smarter, will be more successful, will be healthier, more loved, more, more, more….and the truth is, that’s not true.
My husband was in daycare. His mother was a teacher, she loved her job, she didn’t want to stay home. My husband is amazing. He loves God, he goes to church, he’s never done drugs, he’s healthy, he made straight A’s all through school, he has a master’s, he has a great job…..and while I think he’s exceptional :), he isn’t the only kid who turned out great even though his parents sent him to daycare.
I have a friend who is raising two amazing little girls (with another baby on the way.) Her kids are great. She’s a great mom. And she works. And guess what? She’s pouringÂ everything into her children in the same way I do. And I would bet a small fortune she feels as though she has had to make some pretty big sacrifices for her kids too.
Or what about my cousin in Peru?Â She has an eight year old who is one of the smartest, most well adjusted kids I know.
So sometimes I start asking myself (and Todd, and my mom, and anyone who will let me whine to them) why did I give up graduate school & a future as a counselor to stay home with my kids?
And I’m not really sure that I have the right answer. Except, today my son asked me to dig holes in his sand box. And I could. My daughter had shots last week & her legs are really sore because of them, and it’s me that gets to stay home with her & rock her while she cries. I taught my son how to mail a letter to his great-great aunt, we made home made cookies, we played tag in the back yard and we might even make it to the local lake today to feed the ducks. I’m so happy that it was me here doing those things, instead of someone else.
Then again, the very best answer may be a very simple one, “I stay home because this is what I want.”Â I get to be here and I get to know that I’m doing my very best for what is right forÂ me and my family.
A stay-at-home parent might not be possible for someone else’s family or maybe it’s a dad that chooses to stay home or a grandparent chooses to take care of their grandchildren during the day. There are so many formulas and what it boils down to is “What is best for me? What is best for my husband? What is best for my children?” And today, on October 1st, that choice is staying home with my kids.
Do I wish it was different sometimes? Sure. I’m sure some working mothers want to trade places with me every now again too.
But, I firmly believe in the choice to stay home. I believe in the choice to work outside of the home. I believe, that when a woman has that choice then feminism has come full circle. And the beauty of being a woman, is that often times in our lives we are called to fulfill different roles. Ten years from now? I might have been able to finish my masters. Twenty years from now? I may be head of a non-profit, giving speeches. But today, I am CEO of my own non-profit, giving speeches on the importance of brushing your teeth and I get to listen to my three year old’s speech on why digging holes in sandboxes is so much fun.
â€œHow can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.â€Â â€• G.K. Chesterton
I ADORE this post so very much. We beat ourselves so much over our choices and decisions. Parenting is hard. There is no right or wrong, black or white way to do it. You do what you do and make the decision that’s best for your family.
Natalie Most Recent Post…Dating My Son:: Motherhood Monday
Kate! I’m just now seeing this. You give words to so many of my thoughts. It’s all about choice. I wish I had more choices, actually. Some days I wish I could be home with him and make more babies and other days I am glad I work. You do what you can with what you have.
And thanks for the shout out and encouraging words. I too think Davis is a great example of a kid who has had a working mom. 🙂
Jessica Most Recent Post…You’re My Blue Sky, You’re My Sunny Day
We do the best for our families as parents, and no one can fault our choices when we have everyone’s best interest at heart. I am blessed to be able to work from home, and I believe it is the second best thing to being a stay at home mom and also to one who works out of the home. STILL, there are days when I wish I could just exclusively take care of my daughter. 🙂
I think it’s fantastic you are a SAHM!! If I were married with kiddos, I hope I would be able to do the exact same thing! The world needs more traditional parenting these days, if you ask me. 🙂 You have to remember that nowadays, people are so used to those 2 incomes and decide that they just can’t possibly live on one, even if it’s just for a few years. I think you are like me, you wouldn’t feel personally fulfilled unless you were doing something you loved. Children definitely count as that job for right now, and when they get into elementary school, you’ll have more time to focus on your personal development. You could even go to class while they are in school during the day to finish your Master’s! I think you’ll be a great counselor one day, and your time with your family will give you an even better perspective. I used to be super independent and could have cared less about having kids, but now I know it’s definitely (hopefully) in my future. 🙂
Kate P. says
I never in a million years would have thought that I’d be 28 & have two kids. But I love the way it worked out (my kids are awesome!)
I’ve definitely thought about going back for the masters when all my kids are in school & then when I graduate trying to do some contract work. Or, I may just stay home & be the home room mom, president of PTA. Who knows?!
We sold my dream car, gave up our smartphones (thank goodness I have it back now though lol), didn’t do a lot of stuff that would have cost money, all so I could stay home. I understand when a woman wants a career, but I didn’t. I wanted to be home with my kids, so I didn’t think I could choose a dream car over my kids. Bye, bye dream car! We shall meet again someday I hope! 😉
amber gibson says
I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I’m contemplating being a stay at home mom. I have a 2 .5 year old and a 5 month old. I just was about to apply to a masters progran but feel I’m missing out on my kids lives I’ll never get back. Thanks for sharing.
Kate P. says
You’re welcome! It’s definitely a hard decision, one the hardest ones I’ve ever had to decide. The beauty in being a woman is that we can live out so many different roles. Right now, I’m a stay at home mother. In 20 years? I may be running my own business. But right now there are a million graduate students & my children only have 1 mother. Since I can stay home with them that’s where I want to be. But it’s definitely not an easy choice!
Good luck on discerning what you want to do. I really believe that any choice can be a good one!
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