It has been popular for years for people to minimize the value of staying home, but there are many reasons why staying home might benefit your family!
Staying at Home is Important
Jill, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you posting the story, When Queens Ride By. I have been in school part time, and that has been very stressful. That very morning I received a letter that my unemployment benefits have run out. My first thought was to worry, but something told me to get on-line and read my favorite blogs and I came across this story. It really helped to put my mind at ease. I could go back to work, but my husband works some overtime and the evening, we never know when, and I think it is important that when he does make it home he has a hot meal, and clean clothes for the next day.
Our teenager sometimes relies on me to get him to his evening part time job and karate classes. He also needs a hot meal, clean clothes for school. Unless it gets to the point that I have to go back, I am staying home to take care of them. I’ve learned so much reading your website, and I try more than anything to follow what God wants me to do. Keep up all the good work!
Jill writes: Rachael, thank you for taking the time to e mail me with those kind words. Isn’t it amazing God’s timing on things at times? I am glad you liked the “Queens” story. I read it for the first time years ago and it really changed my life and the way I look at things concerning my home. It helped me to put so much into perspective with my home, family and work.
When I feel my wheels turning in top gear I will pull out that story and it has a way of helping me slow down and get things in order. You sound like you have your hands full with school, a teenager and a husband so I think you know what I mean.
Here’s one thing that happened to me years ago that revealed the truth in this story. My kids had to ride the school bus and they would arrive home hot and tired. The minute they stepped off of the bus they were fighting and fussing. I was at my wits end with them.
Then one day I was watching the dust from the school bus and I knew I had about 5 minutes before they would arrive home fighting and fussing again. To help brace myself before the onslaught, I stopped to get a cold glass of lemonade. Then it dawned on me (or more likely God answered my prayer)– my kids were hungry and tired, too, and maybe they would like some lemonade.
I hurried around and set out a tall glass of icy lemonade with a small plate of cookies. I set a plate and napkin for each of them and had it ready when they walked in the door.
The looks on their faces were amazing. They ran to the table and I sat down with them as they ate. They told me all about their day and then trotted off to play.
Just that little break with the lemonade and cookies had helped them rest and being able to talk with me helped them get rid of the stresses of the day. After that, there was no more fighting when the kids arrived home each day. Most of the time when kids are fussy and fighting they are usually tired and hungry.
A few weeks later, I realized that I was not going to be home when they arrived from school. My son said, “That’s OK, Mom, but don’t forget to have our snack on the table.” –so much for missing mom. HA! HA!
Up to that point I had not fully realized just how important those things were and what a difference they made in my family’s life and their emotions.
Sorry to be so long winded but, as you can see, the subject is something close to my heart. You sound like you really are on target with good common sense and balance in your life.
If you wonder how to determine whether or not you can afford to stay at home or you’d like tips to help make staying at home easier, check out our Should I Be A Stay At Home Mom e-book today!
This is just what I needed this morning. Things have a habit of spiraling out of control and the story and other message helped to put everything back into perspective. Thank you so much!
Thank you for When a queen passes by. You have no idea how many times over the last couple of years I have thought of that story and for me that is the true essence of a gift. I enjoyed reading it all over again and have passed it on to all of my loved ones and friends. Jill I like your style and you have a presence of mind that is unparalled. I am truly grateful for your wise words.
I was what my girls called a Koolaid Mom. I owned a home daycare and was home when they came home from school. What a Blessing to be able to have snacks with them and my other charges. Each of my girls are now moms and at home. They say that being home has enabled them to help their kids and others in this difficult world. Blessings and Hugs! Judy
I understand what you are saying about providing your kids with a little “down” time when they come home from school. A snack may be helpful if there is a long break before dinner. My children exit the bus at 4:10 and we eat at 5:00, so I really don’t want them eating sweets after school. If they are hungry, I put out raw veggies for them. We DO have cookies from time to time–I am currently baking some right now, in fact–but we save this for an evening snack to ensure they have eaten a good, healthy meal first. I am not writing this to be critical, but I think we parents need to think through what we are feeding our children, and when. I was talking with a mom early last summer whose daughters are overweight (she is trying to encourage them to lose weight)–and no wonder. They eat chips and drink soda constantly and the ONLY fruit they like is oranges. I agree, we all (not just children) handle our emotions better when we are rested and well-fed–I would just encourage other parents out there to teach healthy eating habits overall and moderation for treats. You are setting up adult eating habits NOW.
Hello Jill and Tawra – as a regular reader and sometimes contributor this wonderful, amazing website I am asking for your thoughts on an issue I have. Two years ago my husband and I lost our business, the banks calling in our business loans – don’t need to tell you how stressful and distressing this time was. Through lots of hard work and adopting a new way of life we are coming through the worst of times and things are not as desperate as they once looked. Before our “crash” we had a good life style, nice cars, meals out, and frequent holidays – most in the USA which we enjoyed the most! I was always conscious of being fortunate to have a nice life – gained through many many years of tremendously hard work. I never took it for granted and was especially aware not to “show off” or brag about my situation – especially with my two friends who were not, at that time, particularly well off. However, times have changed and my friends are now retired and are able to enjoy lots of holidays, fine new clothes, having their houses re-modelled, the list seems endless. They talk about all the things they are planning and how many holidays they take a year (seven so far!) the spa treatments they have, the expensive trips to the hair salon etc. I sit there with a brave smile on my face, paying attention and trying not to feel as poor as a church mouse (which I am not!) One friend even said “I know this is rubbing salt into your wounds but we are having a fabulous family reunion (she knows we are going through some awful family stresses right now). I always put on a happy cheerful face and hardly EVER let anyone know how sad and deflated I have felt at times as I would hate anyone to “feel sorry” for me but this behaviour of my friends is hard for me to deal with at times. I can’t believe I am the only one to be in this situation and wonder how I can best deal with the feelings of being made to feel sad and disadvantaged when I have worked so hard to pull myself together during the past two years.
Jenny it is so hard to give a perfect answer to a question like this without knowing more about you or your situation but I will try to answer on my own experience and give you a few options to maybe pick from. First of all what you are feeling isn’t really unusual and I think most people have felt something similar at some point. The important thing is honestly looking at your feelings and then deal with them. What is wrong is to dwell on those feels, bury them or refuse to really look at what is really going on. That goes for anything we feel.
I have now lived long enough to realize that life changes on a regular basis. I am one of those people who is a loyal friend to a fault. There is very little my friends can do to make me not want to be friends with them but I have found in some situations they change and circumstances change and I have to accept the fact that maybe our lives are such that we need to separate. Friendships aren’t very strong or true if you can not confide in your friends or when you and they have to be so careful about what you say all the time for fear of hurting each other. True friends encourage and enrich our lives and when that changes then maybe the relationship needs to change or end.
Now that is one thing to think about. Another to think about is – well it might be easiest to explain by telling a story. I once knew a group of women who had all been friends for a long time. One woman’s husband was verbally abusive to her, another’s husband had left her, one had lost a child, one had lost her income etc. One of the younger gals of the group was asking those with older kids questions about potty training because she was having trouble so they all started discussing what she should do and laughing over funny stories they had experienced while potty training.
All at once one of the gals jumped up, slapped her hand on the table and screamed at them “How dare you talk about potty training in front of me! You know I have been trying and trying to have a baby and for you to talk about your kids is rubbing my nose in it!” She then stomped out. The thing was no one there was trying to purposely hurt her. They had just been talking about their every day lives and sharing with their friends. The woman who had gotten mad had talked about her husband bringing her flowers and what a good husband he was. She also was talking about what she had bought shopping the week before which was quite a bit of expensive stuff. In spite of that the woman with the abusive husband didn’t call her on it or get offended and neither did the woman whose husband had left her or the one who had no money.
They had a different attitude. We all have something we have to deal with. A few days ago I was with several women and they were talking about going to a quilting retreat, how much fun it was going to be, what they would do etc. and asked why didn’t I come too. I had to say no. I don’t even have enough money to buy material for something like that let alone pay for the retreat, hotel and other things. Plus I have a double wammy. I am to sick to do something like. Did it make me feel bad? Maybe for a moment I thought how fun it would be to do that but it didn’t last long because this is my life and sure I can’t do things but there are so many things I can physically do and afford to do and am so grateful I can do as much as I can.
The secret I think is learning to be content with what you do have and where you are this moment in your life. When you are content you don’t even notice it when people talk about going on vacations or to a spa and if you do give it a second thought it is only because you are happy for them. How do you get to that place. It does take a bit of working at but one thing is to get to the point of realizing going on vacations, to spa and having the money to do that is not that important. Your joy, happiness, self worth etc. should not ride on those things.Ask yourself, ” Have you really dealt with losing my money or am I still defensive, embarrassed, angry, envious, think it is unfair….” I can’t answer that for you but you might dig down deep and make sure none of those things are what you are dealing with. If you can honestly say those things aren’t a problem then maybe you just have some not so nice friends which means you may have to break off with them because if you are biting your tongue, hurt and angry every time you are with them what is the purpose of being with them because I don’t call that friendship. You may have to move in a different circle. Things do change and often for the better.
I know there are many other things that could be the problem and things to cover but I’m afraid I don’t have the room to write more at the moment but hopes this helps at least to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Oh, Jill, you are so right. I had to “divest” myself of a friend of 50 yrs this yr and it broke my heart. I just couldn’t listen to one more, “I wish I could retire” like you, (she forgets I retired early because my only daughter has cancer) and frankly, if she stopped spending money like a drunken sailor, she could retire. I can’t stand these comparisons at our age (we both turn 64 in 2016). Everybody has some issue in life to deal with. we should all support each other the best we can.
The way I look at it is if your “friends” are always bragging and showing off what they have in conversations with you, then they are somewhat insensitive, but if it’s just an occasional mention of something going on in their lives, then they are only sharing and aren’t being insensitive. Sometimes people’s values are different, and you don’t have much in common, so you have to decide if you really are benefiting from their friendship.
I stayed home with my children most of their school years. Would not have it any other way. Just being there for them felt so special. Now they are grown but we all remember the joy of being together. So nice to see that people still value the family time.
I was a stay at home mom. I wanted to be but I also wanted to have a career outside the home.
Being ASAHM is a lonely career unless you make friends of others in your situation.
I didn’t because where we live everyone had a job.
I would volunteer and also supply teach at the schools so that was good.
My boys when they were teens used my stay at home position to get out of things they didn’t want to do. Like skipping school, they always had the excuse that “mom, went out during the day and she would see them.”
It worked for them and also kept some of their friends on the straight and narrow as they knew I would have a chat with them if I saw them.
I still have some of the boys who were friends of my sons come and visit us when they are home at holidays.
I tell them it is nice of them to visit their parents but most of them say the parents don’t really care but they come to see me to get the feeling of family.
I guess what I am saying is be a stay at home mom for your family but also include a few others in your love. You may change their lives for the better.
As my sons both head off to college, I’m glad I was able to make the sacrific to be around when they came home from school. I worked, but was able to do that around their schedule. It meant a lower income compared to the pre-baby days for us but I think it was worth it.
Do what you can ladies and don’t feel guilty either way. We have it hard enough…
“The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” ~Jane Sellman
I am a SAHM and a homeschooler. That is one of the reasons that we decided to homeschool is the fact I would be home. At this time, my Rooster is off work and hurt. So I am working part time at a Home Depot to keep things together.
I can also feel for the woman who is feeling like getting slapped in the face by her friends. I am keeping our home together while my Rooster is getting better. I can’t go to eat with the ladies or go to a movie or whatever. Some days I can’t even buy a 75 cent can of pop at work. It is a really tough place to be. People can be really insensitive about bragging. You feel bad always being the one that can’t go or can’t do. People sooner or later leave you out.
I worked in the medical field before deciding to stay home with the kids. Daycare was too expensive and having a parent home to raise the kids was best, in our opinion. When I decided to go back to work, my field would not employ me since I was out so long. My sister kept telling me how I had a degree but didn’t use it and it made me feel bad. I decided to try to get back into my field now that the kids were older and decided to work for free for experience and take the boards again to regain licensure. It took me 2 years to do it, but I did. I finally found a job in my field again and juggle the kid’s schedule now but it keeps me busy and the kids are still well adjusted.
I so identify with your position. After waiting until my daughter was school age, i decided to use my gi bill and go back to school, after one year became pregnant with our 2nd child. It was a surprise to say the least as we were told we couldn’t have anymore and lo and behold when she was barely a year i became pregnant with out third. I literally had to nip that it the bud but i eventually finished my radiography program but now find myself in the position that makes me feel like all that effort was for nothing. I hope in a couple years when mine get to be school age, i will find the nerve to sit for my boards and make an attempt at my career again. You give me hope, i can always say well she did it.
Lisa- it is encouraging to read your story! I recently resigned my teaching job at fall break to stay home with my three-year-old. My husband and I debated for years and talked about it often. I felt torn- here I was, paying someone else to raise my children while I drove to work to help raise everyone else’s. Daycare costs, fuel, dinners out when I was too tired to cook; not to mention the drained ‘Mommy-Zombie’ I was to both my kiddos. It was too much. We finally sat down and penciled it all out… after paying for fuel, daycare, and dinners out, I was bringing home mayyybe $120 a week!!!! Plus with a 1st-grader needing help with her schoolwork at home, and learning to read, etc., it seemed like I was a failure.
Staying at home isn’t for everyone, and I have utmost reverence for those of us who are still in the workforce and doing double duty as mom and breadwinner, but I saw my chance and took it. Now, we haven’t eaten out in two months, we paid off a credit card, and everyone has stayed surprisingly well for that amount of time! (Less germs from school, perhaps.)
It is my firm belief in scripture that God has a plan for good for each of us- we just have to step out in faith and allow Him to lead. I had to really swallow my pride to do that, but He is providing and making our family come together in ways I would never have imagined. I hope to return to working in education after both of my children are in school full-time, but that would be God-willing. :) Kudos to you, Lisa, for wokring through to the end you wanted! Gives hope to us others.
I am grandma now and I had to chuckle a little because I always said this myself and now I am hearing young moms saying the same thing – when the kids are in school, teens or leave home- I will go back to work and many women do and there is nothing wrong with that if that is what is best for the family but there is something I rarely hear women my age mention and that is I am busier now with my kids and grand kids then I was when they were smaller. To top it off there are even way more of them so it is multiplied by about 10.
To give you an example today alone I had one grand child here visiting from 11-4 and even while he was here I had 2 other grand kids skyping with us for about 1 1/2 hours. After he left I then spent a total of 3 more hours on the phone with adult kids or grand kids dealing with different things and the evening isn’t over yet. This was a slower day. They need advice, help with things, questions on how to do things, fix things, picked up when their cars break down,take care of them when they are sick. The grand kids I was with today were 12, 18 and 21 and they still need you. My mom is 86 and she is more busy with kids, grand kids and great grand kids than anyone I know. I am just giving everyone a heads up because after an exceptionally hectic day the other day I laughingly called my mom and said why didn’t you warn me about this part of being a grandma and how busy I was going to be being one. :)
Dear Jill, I am so glad I ran across this again today. My husband left me in August and it has been a huge struggle to make ends meet. I make about $600 a month online and am raising my 12 year old daughter. Due to some seroius medical issues she has I am working from home. I often consider going back to work elsewhere but know how important it is to be here for her. God is providing miraculously for us but sometimes I still find myself feeling at odds like I can make more money and give her a better life. The child support is late (and usually will be) and I am stressed about the rent, he cancelled my car insurance after telling me he’d pay it and I am stressed about that, but I still have a roof over my head an understanding landlord and food for my table. God is good all the time and I know he won’t leave me abandoned and alone. Thank you so much for this posting! Blessings to you and yours! Linda
Linda I can totally understand what you are going through. It is so hard but you know I am now on the other side and I made it. Not only did I make it but I look back and would not change a thing I did even though it was hard at the time. I knew so many women personally at the time who was in a similar situation as I and they decided to either go to work full time for no other reason then to make more money to give their kids better things and others went to school and worked full time to show their kids how to become successes by getting an education. I was the only one who felt my kids needed me more especially at a time when their world was turned upside down with their dad leaving. They ended up with a mess as far as their kids go. I know that doesn’t always happened but that is what I have seen in those I know. I am so glad I made the decision I did even though I was looked down on and considered crazy at the time.
Years ago we had a young, very gifted pastor who was a man of great integrity. He was married with a young family. He told us that he and his younger brother were raised by his widowed mother from a very early age. His mother had “career” training and could, even in that day get a job to support her family, but chose not to. After her husband died, she carefully weighed up the prospects of raising two boys without their father, and decided to live on a widow’s pension and a bit of life insurance until the boys left home. Their income was equivalent to social assistance. She got a lot of flack for that. But her pastor son said she was right all along, as he and his brother both agreed that they would have been wild and out of control, had it not been for Mom’s steady presence at home.
You know Mary Jane, Tawra and I were just talking about this, how that so many moms who are very famous and successful in their careers but have lost their families along the way. I know there are a few exceptions to this but they are very few. So often the question is asked how do you balance both. People keep searching for and asking this question because everyone is afraid to give them the honest answer because the real answer is not politically correct and it is you can’t balance both. Something will always have to take second place.
Part of it too is in the attitude. Even though I did have to work away from home a couple of times for a short period my kids knew they came first even if it meant quitting my job to be there for them. I did too. I quit a couple of jobs so I could do what was best for them and be there for them. I didn’t even hesitate in doing it. The important thing was my kids knew they were first above my job and because of that on the rare occasions I had to work away from home for a few hours they still felt secure because they knew if they called I would be there in a heart beat. They were never equal (balanced equally) with my job they were always way above.
Just don’t fall into the temptation of tying your children to your apron-strings too long…Encourage them to practice gaining life skills under your supervision while they can.
EG, in 4th-5th grade, they can fix their own after-school snacks from the groceries that you bought. By middle school, they can start the simpler family weeknight dinners… By 9th grade, they can start to learn how to fix weekend & company meals…So by 11th grade, they can learn how to fix holiday dinners, plan meals for the week, develop grocery lists, etc…
When I went away to college, I was asked to serve as a student waitress at the fancy dinners where the big donors to the school were wined & dined by the Board of Regents, because I was comfortable with how to handle such upscale entertainments…It paid better & was less work than dishing out student meals in the cafeteria!!
I never told them that I had only extended my experience with my mother’s entertaining of her middle class friends to these upper classes. It really is true that the guests didn’t notice much about the servants, as long as the job got done well!!
Grizzly Bear Mom
I am a successful career woman, with no husband or children. I don’t see the point of having children if you are going to put them out to be raised by the lowest bidder.
Hooray for you! I retired early and moved from Florida to Austin to help out so my daughter could be a stay-at-home Mom for my two grandsons. I know some Moms have to work but soooooo many could cut corners, deny themselves some luxuries and give their children the priceless gift of their time and attention.
To be blunt, raising children is HARD WORK! I believe some Moms return to work to just get away from that pressure. If you trust God and ask Him for help, He will give it!
So true. I have been both a stay at home mom and a working mom and even with my worse jobs they were still easier then when I stayed at home but that being said I still preferred staying at home and found it to be better for my kids.
The books state they are no available for purchase. Is this because I am in Australia?
Julie will check into this for you and have them e mail you about it.