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Seven Reasons I'm Thankful To Be an At-Home Parent

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Guest blogger Diana Landen: I was taught that being a housewife was a deadly disease. Bored and lonely, you would end up on drugs, ironing the sheets twice a week and miserably obsessing over stains on your husband's shirt.

mom with her kids
I was surprised to find that taking care of my children all day was a good job -- a job, not a vacation or a happily ever after, but a better job than any I've ever had. What are the things I'm thankful for about my job as an at-home parent? 

1) I get to be with my children. I didn't have to go through the pain of separating from my babies -- in fact, by the time I got away from them, I was ready to be alone. I didn't have to adjust to missing them. Instead, I get to spend time with two amazing people who I love more than any other children in the world. 

2) I like being my own boss. I've always preferred to work independently. As an at-home mom, I get to decide what my job description will be (for some reason, it never seems to include cleaning). I can set goals like teaching my children to love books or spending more time listening to them. 

3) I know my children are well cared for. I am quality care: warm, loving and consistent. When my children are sick, they can stay home without a problem. If school closes early because of snow, I don't have to worry about who will take care of my children. 

4) I enjoy the freedom. When I had my first baby, I threw away my watch. We got up when we wanted to and built a schedule to suit the two of us. We went places I wanted to go and spent time with people I liked spending time with. 

5) I am constantly learning new things. How do you amuse a baby? Wait, they're walking. How do you childproof your home? No, wait, they're talking. What are you supposed to say when they say only men drive trucks? What is the name of that strange-looking machine? What should I do when my child lies? 

6) I can raise my children my way. If I don't want them to watch TV, they don't. If I think it's OK for them to wear a Spider-Man suit all day, it is. If I don't want them to see grownups behaving badly, all I have to do is behave myself (actually, that isn't always easy). 

7) I get to play outside during the day. Taking the children to the park is part of my job. So are visits to the museum, the zoo, the library, or just the bank.

next: Diary of a 50-Year-Old Bride, Part 2
37 comments so far | Post a comment now
???? November 26, 2010, 12:07 PM

How about #8 where you think you’re better than WOH moms.

Anonymous November 26, 2010, 1:05 PM

I’ve been a working mom and a sahm and the sahm job is a lot better.

Christina November 27, 2010, 9:34 AM

I don’t see anything here about the writer thinking she’s better than working parents. She’s describing the aspects of having been a SAHP for which she is thankful. I’m quite sure that, in a different article, she could describe the not so fun parts of being a SAHP - but that was not the point of THIS article.

Jilly November 27, 2010, 12:37 PM

Dear ???,

Jealous much?

BillyT November 27, 2010, 12:46 PM

Good stuff. Every job has its downside but it great to hear of the good bits for a change. My wife is a stay at home Mum; she always wanted to be there (at home)when the kids came home from school. She didn’t like being a latch-key kid. BillyT

Renee November 28, 2010, 8:38 AM

I have to agree. Nowhere here does she insinuate she’s better than WOH parents. She’s just saying she likes not being one. Personally, I’ve been a stay at home parent and a WOH parent, and what I’ve found is that working part time from home is the right choice for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment for myself while still giving me time with my children, and if there are days I’m busy with a project that I let them veg out in front of a Sid the Science Kid marathon there are just as many days I get to look at work, say “I’ll get to it later” and take them out to do stuff.

Everyone has their own thoughts when it comes to being a parent. Some women are blessed to be happy as stay at home moms. Their children benefit greatly from it. Not everyone has a choice, and that’s not wrong either. Thumbs up to her for finding the bright spots in a career that really, truly isn’t for everyone!

Mom November 28, 2010, 8:56 AM

Not everyone can afford to stay home. I also know it severely hurts your chances of being gainfully employed outside the home. I don’t think the “Jealous much” comment was helpful…

Anonymous November 28, 2010, 6:06 PM

Like, like, like! Refreshing point of view.

Julia November 28, 2010, 6:17 PM

I am a stay home mom and my children are now teenagers. I would not trade one second. I have found that they need you when they are older as well as when they are younger. It is a full time job, but a good one. If someone is financially able to do so, it is the best thing for your children.

Alison November 29, 2010, 10:39 AM

This article is refreshing. I have had to defend my choice to stay home many times and have noticed many people perceive SAHMs to be unintelligent or lazy. It is wonderful to see someone thankful and content in her decision.

Mom, I was a sahm for 8 years before I thought I wanted to go back to work (after 3 years I missed my children and came back home). I found a job quickly and worked hard to catch up on what I had missed in the workplace. SAHM’s (like ALL moms) have much to offer a work environment…excellent time management and organizational skills, extensive experience with persuasion, and the ability to keep things in perspective.

It is so frustrating to see that women can’t just support each other. We all have different circumstances, choices, and lifestyles. There is no reason we have to be the same and that doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else.

Saralzie November 30, 2010, 2:30 AM

How wonderful!! I’m so tired of listening to people who put down stay at home Moms. I worked full time the entire time my kids were growing up and was always so jealous of those Moms who got to spend all day with their kids. After work I only had three hours with my kids before they had to go to bed. I missed out on so much with them and I will never, ever get that time back.

Kimberly November 30, 2010, 4:36 AM

She forgot #8. It’s easier.

Kara December 2, 2010, 5:22 AM

No different than a WORKING mom.
Agree with first commentor - just bcause you aren’t working doesn’t mean those who are are experiencing anything different.

Anonymous December 2, 2010, 5:23 AM

#8 No real work involved

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