Friday, April 13, 2012

It's Not a Luxury

I try not to get all caught up in political arguments. Rarely do they stay civil or is anyone influenced to change by them. But there has been a lot of talk recently that has gotten me "worked up." I'm referring to the talk about stay-at-home moms (SAHMs). I don't want to get into all the gory details of who said what and my party is better than your party. There are two things I want to address.
1. Being a SAHM is work.
2. It's not a luxury, it's a choice.

People who think being a SAHM is not work have obviously never tried it. Sure it's fun to be home with your kids on your days off work. Sure it's fun to be together on vacations. Try being home with them every single day of every single week of every single month of the year. I'm not saying it's not fun. On the contrary it can be the most precious moments of your life. But it is not ALL fun and games. When you are the one home with your child all day you are the one who deals with every request, whine, fit, grumpy moment, dirty diaper, attempting to potty train, cleaning up the accidents, cleaning bubbles off the floor, fighting with them to eat their lunch, on and on it goes. Of course, you do get the flip side of that as well. My point is, though, you are the one there for every single thing. After a while it can wear you out. You also play, draw, color, teach, snuggle, etc. while also trying to keep a house, cook dinner, shop for groceries, study for Bible class, oh, and be a wife as well. I know women who work outside the home do many of these things also. But think about it this way, if taking care of children is not work, why do people get paid to keep other people's kids?

Staying home with my child is not a luxury, it is a choice. In fact, it is sometimes a sacrifice. My husband makes much less than $162,000 a year, but we make it just fine on one salary. How? We have one nice car instead of two. We have a house that is nice, but not more than we can afford. It is not new. It is not perfect. But it had enough rooms for us to sleep in our own rooms (plus one for future growth) and spend time together, which is the point of all this anyhow. Right? We don't go on lots of vacations (some years we don't go anywhere unless it's to stay with friends). We don't go to the movies every weekend or out to eat every night. We don't have all the gadgets and toys that we'd like to have. We don't get new clothes as often as we'd like. We don't eat steak every night (or every week for that matter). We don't belong to any country club. We don't have fancy jewelry. Reagan doesn't have every toy under the sun (just half of them it seems. :) ) At Christmas we spend less than we'd like. But you know what? We have everything we NEED and more. All of that extra stuff is not worth me not spending the precious time I have with my daughter. We give up the extras for what we feel is more important. Me being home with our child.

Here are a couple of quotes from Dr. Laura Schlessinger's "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms."

"SAHMs are not SAHMs because they're lucky, stupid, lazy, weak, scared, useless, spoiled, frightened, or any other condescending description. SAHMs are SAHMs because they realize the blessing of the opportunity to make a profound difference in their own lives, their families, their communtiy, and ultimately the world as they coordinate the lives of their family members so that no one feels neglected, unimportant, or unloved because of the limited commitment of their parents."

"Frankly, one of the greatest blessings in life is to learn to be content with and fulfilled by the small, simple things in life; after all, these make up the majority of the human experience."

I don't stay home because I'm too dumb to do anything else. I had a 9.975 gpa in high school. I graduated in the top 10 percent of my class. I made a 28 on my ACT. I have a BS in Family and Consumer Science with an emphasis in Interior Design. I graduated college Cum Laude. Like I said, I'm not too dumb, maybe I'm just too smart. :)

I'm not trying to give myself or my child every thing this life has to offer. I don't want her to think the big house and expensive things are what are important.

I stay home because I want to be there for every important moment in my child's life. I want to be the one who teaches her what's right and what's wrong. I'm trying to raise my daughter in the "nuture and admontion of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4) One day I want it to be said that my children "rise up and call her blessed."(Proverbs 31:28) One day I want to be one of the older women that can "admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God my not be blasphemed." (Titus 2:4,5)

To me, being a stay at home mom isn't a luxury. In truth, it's not even a choice. It's a necessity.