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Why I’m Still A Stay Home Mom

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As you know, my last baby went to Kindergarten this year. And immediately the comments and questions started from friends, family, strangers….

“So when are you going back to work?” 

“I bet you’re so happy that you can go back to work now.”

“Have you found a job yet?”

Sigh. I thought about it. Matt and I talked about it. We gave it some serious consideration. The extra money from my income would be nice and really help out. We weighed the pros and cons of what it would mean for me to go back to work full time. And in the end we decided that I would continue to be a stay home mom for the foreseeable future, for several reasons that are important to us. 

1. Life is busier now than ever before. Seriously, I thought life was busy when the kids were little. Life is crazy busy now. With 4 kids in 3 different school systems this year with 3 different school schedules and calendars I don’t know how I could hold down a full time job. 

2. We don’t want latch key kids. I like being here when my kids get home from school. I like helping them with their homework and talking with them about their day. I like knowing what they are doing afterschool. We have so few years left with them at home and I don’t want to miss any of it.

3. It makes our marriage easier. We don’t have to fight over who has to stay home when a kid is sick, or whose turn it is to make dinner, or who forgot to drop off the dry cleaning. We have very clear roles in the household. And everything runs smoothly.

4. I am always available. Even when Matt is not available to attend every school function, I am. I’ve never missed an award ceremony, honor roll celebration, school play, school party, football game, basketball game, soccer game, volleyball game….I volunteer at the schools, I take my turn as room mom, I chaperone field trips. I do all these things to be involved in my kids lives and to take some of the burden off of Matt. 

5. It teaches a valuable lesson. We’re teaching our kids that everyone in the house plays a role and every role is important. Without Matt going to work every day we would be homeless. Without me staying home and taking care of everything else this whole house would literally fall apart. 

I don’t know how many more years I’ll be at home but I would love to stay home until Zoey is at least in high school. I’m enjoying this time in our life and I don’t want to be stressed or rushed or feel guilty for missing out on stuff. On the flip side, that means we make sacrifices. We don’t take the big expensive vacations, we don’t spend $500 on new clothes every other month, we don’t eat out several times a week, we don’t buy big ticket items that we don’t need. We shop frugally, I cook 7 nights a week, and we stick to a strict budget. We make sacrifices so I can stay home and we’ll continue to do so. But people don’t see that. They see that all my kids are at school during the day and assume I must be sitting at home watching Dr. Phil and eating ice cream. I wish! I love me some Dr. Phil and mint chocolate chip is my favorite! 

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  • Charbelle4

    My aunt said something that has stayed with me. She worked when her girls were little but by the time they went to middle school she was staying home. She looks back and knows that they needed her more in middle school and high school and she was the mom that all of their friends came to when things were going on because the friend’s parents were sometimes too busy with work. My mom stayed home and then worked in the school where we attended and I know that her being able to do that required sacrifices but I can look back and say I’m thankful for the sacrifices my parents made!

  • Jessica

    Oh my goodness, I could have written this post. I thought that when my daughter started school I’d have so much free time that getting a job would be a natural choice. Ha. Like you say, as they get older life gets busier. In addition to school stuff, I have three special needs kids now (ADHD, autism, Aspergers) and there’s always an appointment for somebody. Kids get sick. Kids have days off of school. The kids and my husband expect to eat, and none of them have the time during the day to buy food. That’s on me.

    Also, I remember what life was like when my husband and I were both working full time before we had kids. Even when it was just the two of us, it always seemed like most of the housework and cooking fell to me. My husband would try, but we were both young and he’d never had to do any housework or cooking before, so he really had no idea what he was doing. I don’t want to resent my husband and kids because I still have to do all the SAHM stuff while working all my free hours.

    Even with all that, though, I’ve felt guilty for not contributing financially. But your #5 is making me see that a different way. I do have my role in the house, and most days I enjoy it. (Some days I want to tear my hair out, but everyone has those days.) I need to remind myself more often that I’m playing an important role even if it doesn’t bring in a paycheck.