My day today was enjoyable, albeit a little nuts. I have two children myself, a toddler and a newborn,
but today, I had over two nieces, one nephew, and two neighbor kids (for a grand total of seven kids ages ranging from 2 weeks to 9 years). We swam and played in the water outside, had baths, cleaned up, watched a movie, sang, danced, had lunch, and read/acted out a story. Then, I sent everyone but my two on their merry way and had a moment to ponder my afternoon.
Background. My hubby is a little nutty and wants ten children. No joke, no exaggeration. Sometimes I want two. Sometimes three. Sometimes five. It changes day to day, usually based on how much sleep I got the night before. But, really and truly, he wants ten children, so having seven all at once was a great chance for me to think about whether or not it is possible/probable/desirable.
Here’s my conclusion.
I will have more children, but take it one at a time and not commit myself to one particular number.
I will not neglect any of my children regardless of how many I have.
But, most importantly, I will continue to be a stay-at-home-mom.
Why? Several reasons.
|I can take my babies hiking|
*I am interested in building their character, not just watching them. Any day care center or sitter, no matter how wonderful and amazing, will ever replace me. Personally, I am a great sitter. I take wonderful care of other people’s children, yet even I am not a better option for most children than their actual parents. Why? Because when I make choices about what I do with my children, (like what they eat, how often, where we play, what we do, what movies, what discipline, etc.) I make these choices based upon their entire life. I do my best to teach my children so that they have the opportunity to become honest, hardworking members of their community. No one, aside from their daddy, cares about their future and who they become in the way that I do, so regardless of how great of care they might give my babies, a daycare center or sitter will not be able to do what I do.
|I can take her to the park!|
*I KNOW that I will regret it if I do not. This is only because I CAN stay home (again, with some budgeting). If I couldn’t, then tough luck, life is what it is, and I would feel no regrets about working, but because I CAN stay home, I know that someday, were I to choose to not stay home, I would regret it. In twenty or thirty years, I will look back on how I raised my babies and ask myself if I really did all that I could do for them. If I had the ability to stay home with them but didn’t, I know that I would feel regret at missing that time with them. The money comes and goes and means nothing to me as time goes by- but the memories that I make with my babies as they grow up will stay with me for eternity.
*It makes me a better person. Any mama that stays home knows that being a SAHM has its own specific and difficult challenges. It involves many sacrifices and concessions of my wants and desires. Giving up what I want for myself (to be better dressed, drive a fancier car, get time for myself, etc.) to improve my babies lives helps me to curb my own selfishness and become a more charitable, selfless person.
|Like being a SAHM gives
me time to make sushi…
*It makes me a better mom. Being a working mama takes a lot out of you. I am not a perfect person and cannot perfectly control my impulses (unfortunately) and coming home from a long day of work to a clingy, whiny, or sick child is far more likely to put me into an angry, frustrated mood than if I have had all day with my babies to take care of them. Working doesn’t take away your mom duties: it gives you double duty, work and mom-ing. I want to be able to give my all to my kids, and if I work, I would want to give my all to my work, too. I know my limitations. I cannot give my all to both.
*It makes me a better wife. If my babies need me and my hubby needs me, my hubby will be put on hold until my babies’ needs are met. And that is fine. Unless my time with hubby and babies is limited and all my energy goes into taking care of my babies and my husband gets neglected. Like I said earlier, I only have so much to give, and splitting my time between hubby and babies gives me much more time and energy to give to my husband and our relationship than if I had to split my time between work, babies, and hubby.
Are you a bad person if you are not a stay-at-home-mom? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I don’t believe there needs to be strict division between working moms and SAHMs, especially since we are working towards the same goal: loving and caring for our children. But these five reasons are why I choose to stay home with my babies, even when it seems like it takes too much out of me.