perjantai 22. maaliskuuta 2013

Why I chose to be and continue being a stay-at-home mother

I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for almost 10½ years. And I intend to be such for a few more. Luckily even after returning to work I’ll be home at the same time when the kids are home from school. A choice made partly because of the decision to be a stay-at-home mother.

I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mother if I ever had children early on. Maybe I was 7, starting school, or maybe it was when I was 12 and hating myself or maybe it was when I was 14 and making many important decisions in my life. I’m not quite sure. But I do know for surety why I made that decision. I made it, because my mother was home. I made it, because I felt I gained so much because of my mother being home. I enjoyed that she was home. It was important to me.

Now, I define someone being a stay-at-home mother if she is at home and available for the child every day. That the child doesn’t go 5 days a week to day care.  If the mother is able to work and earn money, while the child gets to be at home, great. My mother took care of other people’s children 5 days a week all my childhood at our home. I still consider her a stay-at-home mother, because she was home when I was home. I went to day care for 4 hours 5 times a week when I was 5. My best friend, whom my mother was taking care of at the time, went there. So I also wanted to.  And I was allowed to.

So I chose to be a stay-at-home mother because having one myself was important to me. I also chose it because I saw the kids my mother was taking care of. I saw some of them be attached to my mother more than to their mothers. Some of them were more attached to me. I – a girl – saw their first steps and heard their first words. I helped my mother to potty train them. I saw them learn new skills. I realized if I ever would be a mother, I would want to be the one to experience those moments.

I chose to be a stay-at-home mother because all the things I learned in university about education and child psychology told me it was the best for my children. I chose it because I heard so many professionals, those of psychology especially, to tell us students how if they could choose again, they would choose to be at home with their young children. I heard them exhort us to do so, if we would have/had children. Of course they also said that if it’s not possible, both the children and adults will survive, they can develop and have good relationships and all that. But with their knowledge, they recommended staying at home with the child.

I also chose to be a stay-at-home mother because I am lazy. I know how big investments I need to make to raise happy children. To raise children who know who they are, know how to dream and how to achieve those dreams. I know how relationships take time to grow to their full potential. And I know I’m not perfect. There’s just no way I could have all of that in a short time I have left after working outside home. I’m too lazy to work out how to fit it all. It is so much easier when you have all the 24 hours a day to use.

I chose to continue being a stay-at-home mother because I don’t see my kids being grown up and not needing me yet. I chose to continue it because my kids are so great I really enjoy being with them. Not always of course. But I cannot think of a work I’d always enjoy either. But I don’t want miss any more great moments with them than I really have to.

I can honestly say I have never had a moment of regret. I have never had a moment I wished I was working full time. Sure I have professional ambitions. But I know I can achieve them later. And I know I can work towards them now, staying at home. There is no need to prove anyone that I am “somebody” by doing something else than staying at home with children.  I know who I am and why I am doing what I am doing. That is enough.