I spent a lot of time outside the house when my older four kids were younger; I was either in school or working part-time, full-time, graveyards, whatever. I’ve worked customer service, hotel front desk, classified school sub, and more. When my 4th child was just 3yo, I went back to school full-time to finish my Bachelor’s. I feel sometimes like I’ve done it all, been through some incredibly rough situations to try to help make ends meet and help secure my education. I know I can weather any of it, and my family, too.
Just about two years ago, when I was pregnant with my 5th, I quit my job as a school secretary and decided that if we could weather the stress of not having either parent at home full-time, then we could certainly try to weather the stress of living off one income. It has NOT been easy. Even with my husband’s promotion that brought us to Houston, it has NOT been easy. We have a large family, and everyone knows the economy is not what it was even two years ago when I stopped working. But for us, the decision has meant everything, and I know I’m where *I* (emphasis on *I*…I am not speaking for anyone else) am supposed to be.
I’ve had people tell me, “I wish I could afford to stay home.” Yeah, me too.
I’ve had people wonder what I do all day, since I’ve only got one child at home. Well, even though the other four children aren’t here, there are still needs to be met (groceries, laundry, keeping everything straight!). I find it almost funny that people think you only have responsibilities when the kids are home. When my kids are home, we’re doing homework, talking over their day, meeting church and/or extracurricular obligations, spending family time together. Which means it’s a good thing I got the other stuff done while they were at school!
I’ve had people wonder at my restricted interaction with other adults. Or the lack of outside validation. I guess I would say that’s why I blog (*wink*).
There are challenges to deciding to be a stay-at-hom mom, and I don’t suppose it’s for everyone. But there are four words I get to say every morning that I haven’t always been able to say, and my gratitude for saying them is immense. Every single morning, to each of my four school-aged kids, I get to say, “See you after school!” And then I watch them smile, because they know it’s true.