Stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). It seems like such a vague term for such an involved role. No, I’m not that frazzle-haired woman with spit-up and peanut butter stains on her mismatched pj’s, balancing a runny-nosed baby and a tantrum-throwing toddler while desperately praying for 6 more hands to magically sprout from her body. Well, there are those moments…but truthfully, why have I chosen to assume this nondescript role after having spent 5 enjoyable years in the career world? My husband has been working longer hours this week and there are moments when I feel like that frazzle-haired woman above. But not for long! His time away from home has given me more time to ponder why I am so thankful that he is doing all he can to ensure that I can stay at home with our children.
There are a myriad of reasons that I could list but here are my top 3 “Just Because I’m Their Mommy” reasons why I stay at home and plan to homeschool our children:
- I DON’T WANT TO MISS ANYTHING I have waited all of my life to be a mommy. I have cared for and invested in other people’s kids for nearly 20 years. I often cried when the time came to say good-bye to my young charges because I wanted to know the rest of their stories; I wanted to see if my efforts in their lives ever bore any fruit. Now I have my own children and I can pour into them without dreading the end of the year or the upcoming move. I don’t have to wonder if they’ll remember me or recall the lessons I taught them. It warms my heart when my little ones pick up on the nuances of our routines or respond to me in different ways if they know that I am happy or sad or frustrated. I haven’t just been there for their first smiles, laughs, words, and steps. I am also here when they make connections between letters and sounds and words; I share tiny memories and big milestones with them; I understand their reactions when no one else does because I have spent their days and nights with them. I don’t want to just spend mornings and evenings with them. I want to spend 11:00am with them, and noon, and 2:30….Someone needs to be their daily caregiver. Why not me?
- I LIKE FRESH STARTS I don’t know about you, but I mess up a lot. I overreact; I stress; I waste opportunities. My children know how to rile me up and I often look back and regret how I responded to the situation. At the end of the day when the kids are snug in their beds, I usually reflect on how the day was spent. I am thankful that the new day brings fresh opportunities to improve and that I have a chance to start over with my children. I don’t just have the morning to make it up to my kids; I can spend the entire day with them and make it the best day we have ever spent together. Often the best memories are made in the most mundane moments – perhaps it’s reading stories at 10:00 in the morning or making silly faces at the lunch table or blowing gigantic bubbles at 4:00pm. You never know and you need time to experience the unexpected. Just in case I miss something today, I’m so glad that I have tomorrow to try again. Would someone who is not their mommy care so much about a missed memory?
- SIMPLY PUT, THEY ARE SOME MY MOST FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD so why wouldn’t I want to spend as much as time with them as possible? It is a thrill to see the world through their eyes, to discover anew the experiences that I take for granted, to share their emotional highs and lows with them, to know where they’ve been so that I can point them in the direction they should go. I love them and what better way to assure them of that than by giving them the most valuable commodity I have – my time? I don’t know about you, but I like spending my time with my favorite people.
I know that I could list reasons such as worldview, health and safety, teacher-student ratio, quality of education, peer pressure, bullying, etc. for why I am choosing to stay home with my kids now and in the future, and they are all valid points with which I agree, but deep, deep down in my heart these 3 simple reasons are what resonate the most. They are what keep me going during the challenging days and what help me stand firm when societal pressure tries to shame me for what I do.
Yes, there are days when you’ll find me wearing spit-up stained shirts and pee-splatter shorts; I probably wear my hair in a ponytail most of the time; and you’ll most likely find yogurt in the carpet and cheerios in the couch. But that’s not a big deal to me like it once may have been; more often than not these days, I’m begging Time to slow down so I can hold these little ones in my lap just a bit longer, savor their baby voices for a few more minutes, hold their hands one more time. I know that Time gives no heed to my pleas, but I also know that I am making the most of the precious time that I have with them.