Intelligent Ladies: Raising Stay-at-Home Mommies & Dads

One day, I will be proud of my children if they accomplish all sorts of worldly things, like graduate from a great college and cure cancer.  But, I will be even more proud of them if they are devoted mommies and dads.

Because family is way more important.  I believe it’s the very foundation of life.

BABY ISLAND on Goodreads

This was one of my favorite books as a child.

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I hear it all the time, people complaining that they can’t afford kids or can’t afford to stay home when they’re little.  Actually, you can (if you truly want to), but it requires a lot of brainstorming, asking for and accepting help, and personal sacrifice.  I realize it’s not for everyone.  Like I tell my children, please don’t become parents until and unless you’re absolutely sure you want to and you’re ready.  Of course, I also tell them I’m happy to help if they become parents unexpectedly too.  Sometimes, love can’t wait.

Brainstorming

Check out this book.

Disclaimer:   I have not read this book yet, although it is on my list to read.

This book looks full of great ideas, but it is geared towards moms.  I know dads can do great staying home too.  So I’ll try to find a recommendation for dads too.

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YOU CAN STAY HOME at Goodreads

This author also runs a blog full of useful ideas.  Check it out-   The Humbled Homemaker

Asking for and Accepting Help

Make no mistake, I understand that being a stay-at-home parent is not for everyone.  Some parents really do better as parents if they work outside the home, at least for a few hours a day.  Whether you work inside or outside the home, part-time, full-time, whatever, you’re going to need help anyway.  This is why, traditionally, extended families lived together or near each other.  If pride stands in your way, swallow it and accept the help you need for the sake of your children.  Some of us don’t have supportive extended families nearby, but there are friends and fellow church members.  Ask for help when you need it and show gratitude when you receive it.  The concept of a supermom is a load of poo-poo.  You cannot do it all.  You can only do your personal best.

It’s also true that a parent might be afraid to be a stay at home parent.  And not just for financial reasons.  If you’re used to one way of living and dealing only with adults, suddenly living another way and at the mercy of a colicky baby can be terrifying.  It can be devestating to your grown-up ego to have a terrible two-year-old shrieking on the grocery store floor after you’ve commanded a boardroom of powerful adults for years.

The root of true courage is love.  Be brave.  You can do it.  Yes, you’ll mess up.  We all do, no matter how well educated and experienced we are with children to begin with.  Because each child is a unique individual human being from the moment of conception.  There is no manual on how to perfectly parent your specific child.  That’s why I say, you are the best expert on your own child.  No one has the instinct or passion for your baby that you do.

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But, it’s not enough for one parent to be willing to stay home with the little ones.  The other parent, and/or extended family, needs to be supportive of that choice.  Yes, financially, but also emotionally.  Because it can be excruciatingly hard work.

And you won’t get paid one red cent for it either.  Also, the other people in your ‘office’ will literally poo on you.

Don’t date someone who isn’t okay with stay-at-home parenting.  Seriously.  Be friends first.  Make sure the other person has similar values before allowing yourself to fall in love and make lifetime vows.  If it’s not too late, more on that in the final paragraphs of this post.

It’s always heartbreaking when a marriage falls apart because one spouse was not encouraging to the other spouse who found it unbearable to be parted from his or her new baby to work outside the home.

Absolutely unbearable.  I used to hover over my babies while they slept just to make sure their little hearts kept on beating and also because they were so gosh-darn cute.  There was just no way I could leave them.

Thank God for my hardworking, personal sacrificing husband.

I remember when our firstborn was a baby she got really sick and could hardly breathe.  As I was calling the emergency nurse, I watched my husband cradling and weeping over our sick infant.  Then, he raced all over town in the middle of an Alaskan winter night to get her medicine from the one pharmacy that was open.

Another time, I was horribly and miserably sick, massive migraine and exhausted.  My mother-in-law left work about fifty miles away and rushed to take care of me and my children because my husband was traveling for work and was still airborne somewhere over the Arctic Ocean.

My son packed a doll around for a year after our youngest child was born and was told many times what a wonderful dad he would be one day.

Not bragging.  Just giving examples.  The point is parenting is hard work and doing it as well as you can means the whole family pulling together.

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Here’s the dad book I found-   STAY AT HOME DAD HANDBOOK at Goodreads

Disclaimer: I have not read this book yet, although it is on my list to read.

Personal Sacrifice

I didn’t leave the little valley we lived in for about two years after our fourth child was born, except when the two oldest were in school.  We couldn’t afford a vehicle which seated our entire family yet.  We walked everywhere, which was healthier anyway.  My only solo outing was to the grocery store.  But, I knew my time with my little ones was coming to an end.  At this point, I fully realized how quick a baby grows and I didn’t want to miss a second of it.

And that’s the question to ask yourself.

Once your children are grown, do you want to look back and regret not being with them when they were little?  It all goes by so fast, then they’re gone and you can’t get those days back.

Although, you can encourage your adult children to cherish those days.

How My Mommy Raised a Stay-at-Home Parent

I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a broken home.  I didn’t have a dad at home.  My mom stayed home as much as she could (she juggled college classes and work outside the home too) and received enormous help from her family.  I appreciate that a lot more now that I can look back on it.

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You see, I was raised by a single mom, so I understand the ideal doesn’t always work out.  I also learned the value of a hardworking dad who is fully involved with all of his children, because I didn’t have a dad like that.  I successfully breastfed four babies for almost a year each, because my mother supported me because no one supported her breastfeeding efforts.

My mother was very happy for me and my Alaskan man.  I miss her so much, but her lessons follow me every day.  She taught me that you can’t live happily ever after until and unless you have the faith that you actually can.  Thanks, Mom.

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