I’m still celebrating stay at home motherhood. I can’t tell you how much I love this way of life that Cliff and I chose all those years ago. I shared yesterday how we made the choice when we got married that I would be a stay at home mom. At the time our children were naught but a twinkle in our eyes and I had always wanted to be a wife and mother. I didn’t finish my college degree because I felt it was a waste of money since I wanted no other career. What drove me? I think in some way it was the blessing of not just having a stay at home mom of my own, but also a stay at home dad as well.
I am number six of seven children. There is a large gap between my older siblings and myself. I came along when my mom and dad were in their late 30’s and then my younger brother surprised us all a couple of years later. At one time my mom had three kids under the age of three . I didn’t clue into this not so small detail until just after Emma was born and Mac was not potty trained. I had two in diapers and complained to my mom. She told me that at one time she had three in diapers. “How did you ever change all those diapers?” I asked her. “I lined them up and did all three at the same time. I didn’t worry about having to do it, I didn’t complain, it just had to be done, so I did it.” She and dad had four kids about 15 months apart each and then my older brother was spaced a couple of years after the next oldest. My mom worked outside the home too. She wanted to stay at home, but my dad felt they needed her income. He felt this way until he had the job of dropping my older brother at day care after taking the others to school. My brother was a toddler at the time and stood at the door crying as my dad walked back to his car. My mom told me that my dad decided that day that she needed to be at home with the kids. She quit her job the next day and seven years later, when I was born, she was still at home.
My mom never worked outside the home when I was growing up. She was there every day when I came home from school for lunch and she was there when I got home from school at the end of the day and she was there when there was a snow day and she was there all summer long. I used to be jealous of the kids who got to stay at school for lunch when I had to walk home, but going home to chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese in the winter turned out to be a lot better than those school lunches I had to have when we moved too far from school to walk home.
I remember once walking home from school for lunch on a very rainy day. As I walked down the sidewalk a car drove through a water puddle on the road next to me. I was drenched in cold, muddy water. I stood sputtering and shivering (I think it was October) and crying as I waited at the cross walk to cross the busy street into our subdivision. I remember getting to our door and knocking for my mom to let me in. She opened the door and her eyes went wide as she took in my soaked, muddy coat and hair. She scooted me into a warm bath and called the school to tell them I’d be late coming back from lunch. I remember feeling so well taken care of.
When I was six, my dad had a massive heart attack. He almost died and his health was never the same afterward. He had to go on disability and was home everyday, also, after that. I was so blessed. I know Dad would have rather not been sick and wanted so much to continue working to provide for us, but he was home now too. It’s a blessing to have Mom at home, but to add Dad too, I grew up knowing my parents so well.
A few years ago, when Cliff was given the opportunity to work from home, we jumped at it. Our days are so much more relaxed and he is such a huge part of our kid’s lives this way. There are women out there who wonder that I can “stand having” my husband home all day, but they just don’t understand that I am Cliff’s helpmate and it’s so much better to help him at home than to have him gone ten to twelve hours a day and coming home just in time to have dinner and decompress only to go to bed and start it all over again.
Being at home for our kids seems to have given Mac and Emma so much security. Way back when Mac was a kindergartner at our local public school his teacher told me she could tell I was an at home mother. She said at home mothers’ kids have seem to have more confidence. I know that I always felt secure, going home to my mom and dad at the end of a school day, eating the snack my mom prepared for me and doing my homework at my own kitchen table. Home and family played such a huge part for me growing up and I know it does for my kids. The four of us are together nearly 24/7 these days. It’s changing now that Mac is graduating and off to community college.
I sincerely hope that one day my grandchildren will benefit from their moms and dads also being at home parents. I will support them in any way I can to do that. I hope also that they’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful, relaxed life of homeschooling as well. I hope that my kids look back at their childhood and feel the security that I look back on mine with, knowing Mom was always home for me.