Sunday, June 7, 2015

Why I stay home

Can I say, "I don't go out to work, and that's why my home is always in top order"? No... not really. Actually, on the contrary - although I probably put more hours into housework than someone who works outside the home, our house is messier because we don't just walk out in the morning, lock the door behind us and disappear for a number of hours. Someone is always here to mess the place up, fill the sink with dishes and litter the table with paper, crayons and glue.

Can I say, "I'm a full-time Mom, and that's why my children are better behaved/more accomplished/better adjusted than the children of working mothers"? You've got to be kidding. I love my children with all my heart and genuinely appreciate them, but sibling fights can really escalate around here, and don't get me started on the number of social situations when my kids made me cringe. I'm definitely not raising little prodigies or perfectly bred specimens.

Can I say, "I stay home, so we always have really nice, perfectly nutritious meals"? That's a real good one. During the week, dinner around here is usually some variation of eggs (laid by our hens) - omelette, French toast, scrambled eggs, fritters, pancakes, a simple quiche - and some sliced veggies. So much for gourmet meals.

So what does it come to, at the end of the day? I stay home, doing full-time what others seemingly manage to do very well part-time, and I don't have much to show for it. Those around me who work? Their homes aren't falling apart, their marriages seem to be fine and it doesn't look like their kids are any worse off than mine. So why do I still do it?

Am I choosing the easy way? No, I don't think so, not really. I've heard too many women say, "I've stayed home for X months after my baby was born, and I eventually went to work because I felt I'm going crazy." It can get lonely, staying home when all your friends work. Nobody applauds you for doing the dishes and there's no paycheck at the end of the month.

Of course I could point at some practical/emotional/financial benefits we have, as a family, thanks to my staying home. We never had to pay for daycare. We never have to figure out who stays home with a sick child. There's always someone around to make sure a stray dog doesn't mess with our chickens. And of course right now there's the baby, taking care of whom is full-time work by itself. But most of all, I feel that my home is like a very, very strong magnet tugging at all the strings of my heart and soul.

I feel that what I do is important. Important enough to do it full-time; important enough to do it myself, rather than delegating it to others. And I think that's the key here. It's not like free daycare or free available transportation would induce me to go out to work. I'd still be here, because that's where I belong.


Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Anna, I have read your blog for many, many years and always enjoy it. I just wanted to say that this was a wonderfully written piece (as all your blog posts are!) and I was encouraged and inspired reading it. I have been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom for many years. There is nothing you will do that has more impact on the future than investing in your children's lives and doing what God has called you to do to raise them up in His ways. No matter what others think, stay true to your own heart and your own beliefs. Your children are blessed that you are their mama! Warmly, Karen ~smile~

Linda said...

I agree with you 100%. No one else can take care of my home and family like me.That is why God gave them to me.I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

maria smith said...

I agree with you. I go back and forth on the same decision. For sure hiring out for all the various services a stay at home mom provides; child care, a cleaning servcie, sick care, shopping, etc is certainly expensive. But, as you said, a lot of that can be done in a couple of hours a day. Still, I think having mom available, especially when kids are young, grounds the home. I don't boast that our home, or my kids, get so much better a deal than other families where the mom works. But, I'm here. I'm here if they need me. I can juggle my work around their needs. I know what's going on in their lives.

V Hill said...

Hello! I just wanted to say I love your past few posts. I started reading your blog shortly after I found out I was pregnant and then had to go on bed rest. Oh my goodness I was so sick! I had pre-eclampsea and HELP syndrome. My baby girl was born 2 months early at only 3 pounds and we both almost died.

This post spoke to me and consoled me so very much! My baby girl is now four months old and I haven't gone back to work yet. My husband doesn't make much money and we just get by, but I just can't leave my daughter. She needs me and I need to nurture her, especially right now. My husband always says that money will come and go, but building a foundation of character and health for our daughter is something that will always be the same; always a constant in our lives no matter what else is going on.

I don't drive and nobody in my neighborhood is overly friendly. It can be hard feeling like you are on your own Island. You sound like such a wonderful wife and mother. I wish that more like minded people lived in the same places. I mentioned homeschooling to a coworker I had and you would have thought I slapped her, her reaction was so intense.

I look forward to reading more of your blog and your future posts!

Valerie new mom to Felicity

Mrs. Anna T said...

Valerie, thanks so much for stopping by. It was lovely hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a married housewife without kids and I get all sorts of flack, it is nonsense. I worked many jobs, went to University and worked a little bit when my husband was unemployed. Yet these doctors and family members give me all sorts of nasty comments, it is frustrating to live this way. I am happy at home, period.