I read the best article this morning. One that I really, really needed to read. I struggle, now that the kids are older, in school all day, and don’t need supervision 24/7, with feeling like I need to justify the fact that I am still a SAHM. I may not get as much done during the week as I would like, as my Homemaker/Mom guilt tells me I need to do, but it allows Big Daddy to not have to worry about the home front, the kids, or the critters. If you remember, my hubby travels for work. Even when he was home every day, my being home allowed him to focus on work, and not worry about the running of our household. I had never looked at it like that, before today. I knew that my kids behavior, and school work benefited when I first started staying home (once they were in school.) Had I known the difference it would make, I would have never gone back to work….I worked on and off until the girls were in the 3rd and 5th grade (I think that’s right, anyway). I went back to work after Bug was born, after using up my maternity leave and all my vacation time, left work when I found out I was expecting Pally, mostly because I knew how horribly sick I would be for the first 3-5 months. Then, when Pally was 2-3, I reentered the workforce, and remained in the workforce until she was 8(?). In the years we lived in MI, the girls mostly stayed with family for daycare, in the South Carolina years, I worked second shift, and they stayed with Bug’s kindergarten teacher – I watched her daughter during the day. Then, in the Illinois years, they had to go to daycare, which they both HATED with a passion. We were almost always late, they dragged their feet every morning, there were often tears at drop off. It was horrible. I worked, mostly days at a local hospital, and all four of us were miserable. I was a mean, hateful heifer by Sunday night, and NOTHING ever got done. When I finally had enough, and told my Horrible Boss to take my job and shove it, the improvement in our family was amazing. We were all more relaxed, the girls grades started an immediate upswing, our weekends and family time became much more relaxed and enjoyable. I still don’t feel like I get enough done, it never feels like enough, but my kids are happy, healthy, our household runs pretty smoothly, and weekends are for family. We are closer, we do more fun things.. Most weekends aren’t just for errands & chores, anymore! I wouldn’t change the way things are now, for the world, with the exception of having Big Daddy home every night. So, if you are blessed to be a SAHP(arent), know that it’s good for your spouse/partner, too, not just you and the kids. (Yes, I purposefully, didn’t discuss the sacrifices that are made with a one income household, although, the financial benefits often off-set the sacrifices: the savings in wear and tear on a vehicle, savings on work wardrobe, the inevitable savings by having the time to prepare from-scratch meals instead of convenience foods due to work & extracurricular schedules.)
So, in conclusion, I am in no way passing judgement on those who choose to work, or must work, I’m just telling you about my perspective on our choice for my staying home, and being Susie Homemaker.