7 Reasons I Loved Being a Stay at Home Mom
There is an ongoing debate about whether or not moms should stay at home with their kids, or if we should take full advantage of women’s liberation and opt to go into the workforce. We each make our decisions based on the needs of our families, so I am not out to judge anyone’s choice, but from the vantage point of a working mom who has had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home in the past, I’d much rather stay home.
Unfortunately, staying home is not an option for me. You see, the way my family is set up, we need two full-time incomes in order to make it. But, that doesn’t stop a girl from wishing. Apart from the financial strain, here are 7 reasons why I loved being a stay-at-home mom.
I had more time to spend with my kids.
I loved the easygoing mornings. I had more time to prepare them for the day instead of rushing to get us all ready and then making a mad dash for the door. It was nice to pick them up from school myself. We had time to get a snack, do homework and then go outdoors for a little while. Since I am now a working mom, I get home in enough time to get dinner on the table, talk about their day and then before we know it, it’s time for bed. Sure, we have the weekends, but I’d like to spend more quality time during the week, too.
I was more present at my child’s school.
I communicate with my children’s teachers on a regular basis, but I miss being able to volunteer in the classroom a few days a week, help with fundraisers and serve as a chaperone on field trips. Now, I have to use paid-time off to attend parent-teacher conferences or check on my kid at school. I believe in being a partner in my child’s education and thanks to technology, I can still be an involved, but there is nothing better than being able to maintain a strong physical presence at the school.
I had more time and energy to spend at home.
I don’t want to romanticize the notion of being a stay-at-home parent, because it is not an easy job. For those who are doing it correctly, it is hard work. My kids were in school part of the day when I was laid-off and I liked having time to get the house cleaned, the laundry done and dinner on the table before anyone came home. Now, after working all day, I’ll try to put a few loads of laundry and get the place presentable enough for us to live in until the weekends.
I could play nurse to a sick kid.
Kids are prone to all types of random illnesses such as coughs, belly aches and ear infections. There is nothing more frustrating than having a sick kid and feeling the pressure to report to work. I call off because my kids come first, but it would be nice to care for my sick child without the corporate backlash for doing what a mother has to do from time to time–nurse her sick baby back to health. I enjoyed the days of not feeling panicked about how much paid time off I had left or what the boss might say this time.
I was more active in my community
One of the things I liked most about being a stay-at-home mom was in addition to being more present in my home, I was also more present in my community. Whether it meant volunteering at the local Boys and Girls Club, cleaning up the neighborhood playground or canvassing for a local politician, I had the bandwidth to better serve my community and help make it the kind of place I wanted my children to grown up in.
I could take care of my elderly family members
As our children get older, so do the senior members in our family. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I could run errands for older family members or sit with them for a few hours so they wouldn’t feel lonely. These are the people who made me who I am today. So, in addition to taking care of my kids, it is also important to take care of them, too. I try to make time for phone calls or monthly visits, but I relish the time when I could visit more frequently. There are not enough hours in a day to get it all done.
I had more time for myself
When I was a stay-at-home mom, I put my daughter in pre-school for a few hours to allow her to socialize with other kids and get prepared for Kindergarten. I did a lot with her at home, but during our time apart I had a few hours to just do me. I maintained a good work-out regimen, planned my meals, read a books and found time to experiment with a few yoga poses. Now that I am a working mom, each moment of my day is accounted for. I barely have time to gather my thoughts. When we have a little time for ourselves, we have more to give to others.
I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom. How about you?