If you type in, "Stay at Home Mom", one of the first articles that pops up is this one. In this article, the mom lists nine reasons that she regrets being a stay at home mom. I clicked on the article, interested to see if it had a spin to it, or if she did indeed, regret being a stay at home mom. Once I read it, I was not uplifted, but instead, I felt depressed. The author did indeed regret being a stay at home mom. I knew then that I wanted to write an article that was the polar opposite of the one she had written. I wanted to list ten reasons why I am glad that I am a stay at home mom!
From the time that I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a mom. Baby dolls were my favorite things to play with. I was smart, I loved school, and I was talented at music, but I didn't want a career or fame- I just wanted to be a mom. I had parents that wanted the same thing for me, so in that regards, I was lucky. I didn't have the pressure from them to 'have a career', or to continue on to college after I finished high school. Society didn't approve though.
I remember when I was 17 and getting ready to graduate. "So, what are your plans?" was the question I often got from family and friends. When I told them my plans were to get married, (even though there was no guy in sight yet) and raise a family, I was met with raised eyebrows and scoffing looks. "What? Are you waiting for your 'pimp daddy?' " one family member even asked me. It bothered me, but I tried to let the comments roll off my back. Even after I met my future husband, got married, and started having the family that I always dreamed of, I remembered the sneering looks of unbelief and shock, and allowed it to take root in my heart. As a young mom I often struggled with thoughts of discontent and worry. Did I choose the right path? Should I have gone after "higher education"? Should I have studied for a career, just in case something didn't "pan out" with this whole motherhood/wife thing?
Well, 18 years into this journey, I can tell you without a doubt that I chose the correct path. Now that I am older and have seen a little bit of life, I am glad I chose the path that I did. And here are some reasons why.
1. It's Biblical. I am unashamedly a Christian. Although the world changes, God and his Word do not.
1 Timothy 5:14 says, I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
God set up a family structure way back at the beginning of time. He put the man as the authority, gave him a wife as a helpmeet, and told them to be fruitful and multiply. The family structure was put into place, and down through the ages, human kind has done everything it can to undermine this family structure. God knew what he was doing back then, and the family structure still works. After the fall, God gave the hard labor to Adam. It was his responsibility to care for his family. God told the woman that he would increase her sorrow when it came to bearing children. When we, as women, are bearing children, keeping the home, and working as many hours as our man in the secular field, we are actually carrying two burdens- ours, and the man's burden that God gave him at the Fall. No wonder so many women feel like they are losing their minds! God never intended for us women to carry so many burdens. It's mentally and physically challenging enough raising children and keeping the home. Add working a job in there, and it's more than most women can bear.
2. Our children are our legacy.
Psalm 127:4-54 says, As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Do you want to make a difference in this world, and be remembered forever? Well, have children.
But don't just have children, and let everyone else raise them. Have children, and raise them well. If you are going to raise them well, you can't neglect their child rearing. Do you know when moms work and stick their kids in daycare or a school, that they are missing out on hours and hours of training throughout the day? If you figure up how many hours they are spending in day care or school versus how many hours they are with you when they aren't sleeping, the day care or school wins out. They are shaping your "arrows". They are deciding what training, if any, the child gets. They are shaping their minds, and their thought patterns. I decided I was going to have a large family, so I will be the one to raise them, train them, and mold them. No one else. Because my children are my legacy. And I want to leave a good one.
3. No one knows their kid better than Mama does. Daddy doesn't, Grandma doesn't, the teacher at school doesn't. I know my children better than anyone. I am the one that carried them in my womb for nine months, I gave birth, I saw them take their first breath, and heard their first cry. I nursed them their first year and learned what each and every cry meant. I know when they are sleepy, and sad, and happy. I know their dislikes and their loves. I know their favorite food, their favorite drinks, their favorite snacks. I know what makes them happy with joy, and what makes them cry. I do. No one else. And every kid knows this, and that is why usually, they prefer Mama over anyone when they are sick, tired, or grumpy. Mom knows exactly how to make everything better. Children are more secure, confident, and happy, when they know that Mom is always available for their needs.
4. The eighteen years that you have them in your home flies by. Trust me, I am just now finding this out. My oldest is 17, and I can't believe how fast those 17 years went by. I see him on the cusp of being a man, and it makes me happy to see how well adjusted and great he has turned out, but it also makes my Mama heart sad. I won't have him in my home much longer, and it makes me wistful. Sometimes I wish I could feel his little boy arms around my neck just one more time. If you are working and gone for 8-10 hours a day, you will miss out on so much. The time is short, and you need to embrace and relish those short eighteen years or so that you have your children around your home.
5. In the world that we live in, it's going to take more than a few hours here and there to turn out good kids. It's a wicked world. Perverts lurk around every corner- even in Christian schools and churches. As a parent, you have to be more vigilant than ever. Guard your kids. Oversee what they have access to. Instill Biblical principles and lessons in their heart at an early age. Train them, and nurture them, and bring them up in the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 says, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Obviously this principle goes for mothers as well as fathers. Nurture means, to care for and encourage the growth or development of. If we are never around our children, we are going to have a hard time doing what that verse commands!
We can't throw our kids to the wolves and expect for them to turn out lambs. It's our job to train and raise our children, not anyone else's.
6. It's hard work, but it's the most rewarding. The author in the article I linked to made it sound like staying home was drudgery, and no one even cared. She made no money doing it, and it was a thankless job. Well, yes, sometimes. It's true. We don't make money doing this, and sometimes it is thankless, or appears to be. But what is your mission in life? To make money? To move up the corporate ladder, where fake people will give you fake praise, and fake compliments, when they really hate you and wish you would fail? Your children will not always thank you. They will not always appreciate you. But they will always love you, and they will one day raise up and call you blessed.
Proverbs 31:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
I can't go anywhere in my house without my kids seeking me out. Lana, (my five year old) especially. Even if I am reading, or working on the computer, she wants to be at my feet. She loves being by my side, and I can tell she is more relaxed and happy when I am in the same room as her. It seems as if it doesn't matter what room of the house I am in, that my children end up finding me and wanting to be there with me. Sometimes this is overwhelming, as I never have a moment to myself, but it makes me happy, too. They like me, and I like them. It's the way it should be.
7. Your home will be more peaceful. It will run more smoothly, and it will have a natural flow. When you are at work all day, and you pick up your kids from school or daycare and finally walk in the front door, the last thing you want to do is chores, cleaning, or cooking. Things will pile up and it will evoke a sense of chaos, not calm. Be the calm your kids need. Things will still be messy at times, and chaotic, (especially with lots of kids living in a small space, and homeschooling) but with you at the helm, it will overall be a more peaceful place to live. Kids and husbands need a shelter in today's day and age. They need a calm in the storm. You can provide this like no other.
8. You will learn life skills, and pass them on to your children. Think I am joking? I'm not. I have learned so much in the last 17 years of being a stay at home mom. I have learned how to be a menu planner, and how to live simply and on a budget. I have learned how to be a chef, and come up with recipes on my own. I have learned how to be a counselor, and how to address different needs that come with 7 different personalities. I have learned how to be a coach, and a motivational speaker. I have learned how to fix broken things around the house. I have learned how to manage my time, and my kids' time. I have learned about medical things, and how to treat them naturally. I have learned about holistic living, and natural remedies. I also homeschool, so I am constantly re-learning math, and english, and science and history. I have learned how to be a teacher, even though I don't hold a degree in elementary education. I am constantly, constantly learning. I have more time to research topics that interest me now. I have learned more having children and raising them, than any degree would've taught me. Just because I didn't go to college doesn't mean that I am "dumb", or "inferior", or "uneducated." I would stack my knowledge of the human body and how it works, against that of someone in the medical field. Sometimes the best learning comes from day to day living, not that in a classroom.
9. There is a community of women and stay at home moms. The author of said article made it sound like she became a stay at home mom, and lost all her friends. I have no idea what she is talking about, unless she was a mom before the days of internet and social media. There is such a support group for Moms now. I know most of them won't be friends you can hang out with, or have coffee with, but believe me, there are moms in your area. If you are having a hard time, reach out to them, and set up a coffee date. I have met so many moms since I became one. I have a support system in place. I know if I am having a hard time, I can vent on a Facebook group, or write an article, and other moms will be there to encourage me, and tell me to keep going. Being a mom is only lonely if you want it to be. Most of the time, we all have each other's back. I am here to encourage you, Mom, when you are down. I am here to boost your morale, and tell you to keep going! I am here to sing your praises and tell you that you are enough! I am here to let you know that you are doing a great job. And I know you all would be here for me, too.
10. At the end of the day, it is enough. When I kiss the last child and put them to bed, climb into bed with my ruggedly handsome husband, and nurse my baby to sleep, it is enough. When I get a sweet hug from a daughter, or a one-armed hug from a son, it is enough. When I exchange a grin with my kids, or wink at my nine year old, it is enough. When I hear them say, "Best mom ever!" it is enough. When they say, "I love you, Mom!" it is enough. When my day is chaos, the house is a mess, and supper is burnt, but my seven children are around me, my husband is by my side, and we are all happy and fed- it is enough. When my daughters write me a sweet note, it is enough.
I pity the woman who wrote that article. It is filled with regret, remorse, and bitterness. You see, I don't need a career to make me feel fulfilled. I don't need money, or fame, or notoriety. I don't need the praises of CEO's or bosses.
All I need is God, my husband, and my kids.
And at the end of each day, it is enough.