The days are long, but the years are short…
It’s said time and time again, but it’s hard to find the truth in that when one’s living in the heat of parenthood. I’m not above hiding out in the bathroom with the stash of chocolate I keep hidden away for tough moments, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’m so thankful that I took the leap ten years ago to leave teaching full time to work from home and be here for my kiddos. And, while I know that it’s not for everyone, here are 11 reasons that I’m glad I stay home with my kids. (And, my reasons for loving the fact that I AM at home, might be your reasons for loving the fact that you work out of the house. Isn’t it awesome that we can do what works best for us individually, and love our choices with our whole hearts?)
I get to be there for all of the firsts.
First steps… First words… The first time my little actors take the stage… The first broken arm… The first book read… I get to be there for all of that. I love celebrating triumphs and kissing the boo-boos, or cuddling the hurts away. They’re young for such a short period of time and I get to soak it all in.
I get to learn alongside of them every day.
It was never the plan to homeschool, but it’s so amazing to be the one learning and exploring alongside my kiddos each and every day. I’m discovering more about our world than I ever knew before — and it’s all because I get to spend my days with them.
I get to be their confidants.
Building relationships with your kiddos is SO much easier when you’re WITH them. My kids and I have great conversations — all the time. Logan is an early riser so she chatters away before everyone else is up. Trevor is a night owl and will tell me all he’s thinking late, late into the night. Isaac and I have weekly “dates” when the big kids are taking music and theater lessons and we chat over fries or pancakes. And Molly loves to tell me all she’sgrappling with while we make meals together. I love that they want to tell me all they’re thinking. And that I’m here to hear it.
I get to comfort them when they’re hurting.
Skinned knees, bruised bones, broken wrists, sore teeth from expanders… I get all that. I get to nurse them back to health, pull out the popsicles, and dole out cuddles. Misunderstandings with friends, fights with their siblings, and disappointments… I get to soothe those too. It’s such a huge blessing to be the one my tiniest one comes to when he has nightmares, but also the one the fourteen year old seeks out when he wants to talk something out.
I get to relax with them.
I just got back from speaking at the Great Homeschool Convention in Texas, and dove right back into running kids to classes and rehearsals on Monday morning. On Tuesday, we declared it a pajama day, scrapped the formal lessons, put in a movie and watched and read our way through the day, curled up on the couch.
I get to read with them.
I have always been a reader and now I have a daily (hourly, sometimes) opportunity to influence another generation of readers. And, since I was one of those kids who had her books taken away as a punishment, I swore I’d nurture that love of story and learning from the get-go, and never use books as leverage. Books are treasured here, and we love spending time curled up reading alongside one another or outloud.
I get to play with them.
Now, to be completely transparent, I do all that I can to encourage my kids to be independent in their play and to take advantage of the fact they have siblings and time to use their imaginations. I don’t want them to depend on me or anyone else to have to entertain them. But, I love that I can play with them. We play games every day. We imagine and dream and create together, too. It’s so amazing to watch how their play changes as they grow.
I get to watch them grow and change.
Because I’m the one home with them, I get to see them grow and change in every way. And I grow and change along with them. We adapt and learn what’s important and how to get along with what really matters. With each kiddo, I’ve gotten more relaxed as I’ve embraced my experience and knowledge that childhood goes by so quickly. With my oldest, 14 years ago, I made sure everything was brand specific and trendy. Now, like most experienced moms I know, I realize that high cost doesn’t always mean better. If you’re an experienced mama like me, and have a little guy or gal still in diapers, you can print a $1-off coupon for one diaper pack of Luvs to use in any store that carries these soft and absorbent diapers with large stretch tabs for easy fastening, ultra-leakage protection and a money-back guarantee. You can’t go wrong!
I get to make my house their home.
From baking cookies to doing crafts or completing subsscription boxes around the kitchen table, I am an integral part of what makes our house home for the kids. If I were still working outside the home, I’d have trouble getting all the extra things done. I remember feeling exhausted after working all day and caring for my little one all evening long. The last thing I wanted to do was bake from-scratch treats and mess up the kitchen with crafts.
I get to make our schedule.
Thhis was perhaps one of the greatest things about staying home and homeschooling I discovered after we made the crazy fast decision to pull Trevor out in first grade. It felt like I could breathe again. I didn’t have to fight to get us all up and ready super early. I didn’t have to be anywhere we didn’t want to be. And, I could build lots of white space into our calendar without anyone telling me differently.
I get to be the center of their world — they’re already mine.
My kids are already the center of my world, and now I don’t have to share that center with work. I can focus on them and our family’s needs. That’s not to say I don’t work, or do anything for myself. I write here at RLL, I write books, I speak, I manage a vibrant parent support group in Facebook, and I enjoy my friends and family. But I’m here for the kids when they need me, and because they know that, I’m the one they want to share with first. Because they’re my world, I’m theirs.
It’s a beautiful thing.
What do you love most about being with your kids?
This post was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.