I am a stay-at-home mom. I know there's always been a big debate over staying home with the kids and going to work out in the world. Quite frankly, none of those discussions ever really reached me because I was too busy basking in the fact that I got to stay home and raise my kids. I consider this one of the greatest privileges of my life.
Let me tell you a few things that being a stay-at-home mom has allowed me to do and learn:
- First of all, being home with my kids has given me freedom to think. Yes, even while raising eight kids, I had time to think. Thinking is highly important.
- Having time to think gave me motivation to write. I'm a free-lance writer and find that writing gives me a voice even when circumstances might not. Thinking and writing go hand in hand, so each is essential to the other.
- Being home with my kids allowed me to home school them. We are now in year 25 of our home school and I'm still loving it as much as I did at first. I've always loved it; it suits our family.
- Being home with my kids allows me to diversify my interests. I work best with many irons in the fire and being at home has allowed me to do that. I've done a few things over the years, from direct sales to running an ebay business; from real estate investing to running a grief counseling organization, all from home. Being at home has allowed all these things to materialize because I had the freedom and time to put these things together.
- Being a stay-at-home mom has allowed me to become a great cook and baker. Out of necessity, I had to learn how to cook and cook well to feed this massive family. I did not learn to cook growing up. As a matter of fact, I don't recall cooking even one single thing before I set out on my own. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. But, now, I have become a great cook and have even developed my own recipes that I return to again and again. My kids prefer my home-made pizza to take-out! And, I love to bake, which is something I never thought I could do.
- Being a stay-at-home mom did not hinder my earning potential. I have always been able to earn money from home. Between my free-lance writing, real estate investing and other home-based businesses, I've always been able to contribute to the household budget. Plus, I became a savvy shopper and a bargain hunter, took advantage of yard sales and thrift shops and baked only from scratch, which saved a bundle. A person's earning potential is only limited by their imagination. If I can pick up a thrift-store item for 99 cents, then turn around and sell it on ebay for $300, anyone can!
- Being home with my kids has allowed me to minister more to them than any other people, anywhere. They were my evangelistic focus and I was always very conscience of their spiritual needs as I attempted to live out my faith in Christ before them. All eight of my kids know Christ as Savior.
- Being home with my kids taught me the importance of wearing a necklace or bracelet. To me, getting ready for the day meant that I would get a shower and put on jewelry of some sort so that not only would I feel put-together, thus giving myself initiative to do something, I would be an example to the kids. I never had much initiative unless I was dressed and ready for the day. I guess this taught me the power of initiative.
I could go on and on about this. Looking back, I can honestly say that not only would I not change these circumstances, I would do it again. I would stay home with my kids if I had to do this all over again.
And, the main reason I was able to stay home with my kids is because my husband always worked so very hard to insure that I could. He worked two and three jobs when necessary throughout the years so that I could stay home. For that, I am very deeply grateful.