I’m thankful to be able to stay at home with our children and beyond that to be able to homeschool our kids. It doesn’t come without sacrifices, but most things worth doing do come with sacrifices. I do find though that sometimes people that have a desire to stay home with their children (or even ones that have no desire to be at home with them) are sometimes deceived in their thinking about what it looks like to be a full time stay-at-home parent. No doubt this works the other way around also. Possibly people that do stay home with their children have a unrealistic view of what it looks like to be a parent who works outside of the home. The grass is always greener, I often tell me kids, and I think that definitely applies here. So today I thought we could bury at least a few of those preconceived notions that often come up concerning staying at home with ones children as opposed to working outside of the home.
Staying At Home With Your Children Doesn’t Mean:
1. Your schedule will be less busy – More than likely if you keep your schedule and/or your children’s schedules jam packed as a working parent, you will do the same if you stay at home. Working parent or not, you are the only one that has control over your schedule and your children’s schedules. If you like to be busy outside of things at home, you will be busy, it’s a choice.
2. Your children will be better behaved – While I do believe that if you are at home with your children all day long you will require better behavior from them, just being home with them in itself does not cause them to behave better. If behavior is a problem in your home (and really who’s home is it not a problem) I would encourage you to pray about it and read your Bible. He will guide you in this area if you just ask.
3. You will gain more patience – This is really laughable. Do not be deceived into thinking that the more time you spend with your children, the more patience you will have or that only people that an excessive amount of patience should stay at home with their children. Again, pray, read your Bible, pray for patience whether you work or not!
4. You will have more free time – My disclaimer here is * In the off chance that all of your children are schooled outside of the home for 6+ hours a day you may possibly have more free time during the day.* That’s not our situation so there isn’t much free time to be had, but free time can be a little overrated if you really think about it. Lots of time free time = money, like going out to lunch with a friend, getting your nails/hair done, shopping, etc. Let’s be honest when we do have free time grabbing a book and sitting down to read isn’t really the first thing that we think about doing, at least not without a Starbucks cup in our hand :).
5. Your marriage will be better – Marriages take so much care. But, I don’t see any correlation between good marriages and having a stay-at-home parent in the home. Like so many other things on this list they take prayer and reading God’s word daily.
6. You can afford it – The fact that I stay at home with my children is not related to the amount of money that my husband makes. I’m not going to dwell on this because I’ve already mentioned that most things worth doing are worth the sacrifices it takes to accomplish them. There is no doubt that sometimes staying at home full time with one’s children is simply not an option at all, for others it is simply a choice. If you choose to work that’s fine, be okay with that, don’t try and hide behind the “we just can’t afford it” line.
So if you stay at home or work outside of the home and would also like to bury some preconceived notions about either, please let us know what they are.