When Adam was in the first grade I went to a parent teacher conference at the beginning of the school year to meet his teacher and find out what her expectations were for the year. We talked for a few minutes and then she looked me deep in the eyes and said, “You're a stay at home mom aren't you?” I said yes and asked her how she knew. She said that in the first two weeks of school she could guess with a 99% accuracy which children had stay at home moms and which ones didn't. She said that the children raised in day cares were always needy for attention where children with stay at home moms seemed very content with their world and did not need extra attention. This has always stuck with me.
|Adam in the 1st grade. I'm glad his teacher |
could tell he was well loved and content.
I grew up in a home where my mother was home most of the time when I was little but worked full time once we got into school. My mother was an excellent mother. I always felt loved and even when she worked an 8 hour shift and she had to come home to take care of laundry and meals she would still read to us every night. She made sure we knew we were loved and we were her number one priority. I wanted to be a mom like her. She had no choice but to work with eleven children. I knew it was stressful for her to work and be such a good mother. I didn't think I could do both as well as she could. I will talk more about her amazing example in a future chapter. I wanted to be able to be a stay at home mom full time. I knew being a mother was the most important thing I would ever do and I wanted to do it perfect.
|My mother holding me and my twin sister.|
|My mother was an amazing mother, the best|
I got my prayers answered and I got to stay home with my children. I married a man who saw how important it was to me and who knew children thrived better with a mother at home. I wanted to be able to go to every game, to see every program, be there for every achievement, first word, first step, first date, take care of them when they were sick, etc. I didn't want to miss anything. There were times when it was hard, very hard. There were times I wished I could run away and get some sleep and some time to myself. Several experiences showed me staying home was the best thing I could do for my children.
|I loved cuddling up and reading books. I would start to read to my smaller |
children and soon the older ones would join us.
|Life doesn't get any better than this|
|Children even need you when they get older|
I watched an interview with a woman on TV. She had married a very wealthy man. She lived in a mansion, had fresh flowers in every room of her house and she had nannies taking care of her children every day so that she could shop in the finest stores and buy all the prettiest fashions. Overnight it all changed for her. Her husband left her and she was penniless because of a prenuptial agreement. She was even homeless for a while. She went from great wealth to nothing. She later married a man who was a garbage collector, a very humble man. They lived in a small house with no fresh flowers and no designer furniture or clothes and she took care of her own children. As long as I live I will remember her tearfully telling how happy she was for the first time in her life. She knew what deep down love was and she grew to know and love her children. She said that being kicked out of the mansion she lived in was the best thing that ever happened to her.
|Money doesn't buy happiness.|
I often would take my children to parks and on other outings. Often while we were on our outings there would be a day care group that would be there, whether it was a museum, a park or the zoo, etc. Often the adults would be together talking while the children ran around doing whatever they wanted. I observed more than once a child crying in a corner or out in the sand with no one around. These adult didn't seem to even notice a lot of what was happening. I wanted to hug these lonely sad children and take them home. I knew these workers, even the good loving ones, would never love a child like their own parents should. I felt bad for these children not having a mom there to hug them and tell them everything would be OK.
|We loved going places together|
|My children drew me sweet pictures and gave me |
handfuls of dandelions.
|Look how beautiful I am. I look younger here|
|I am all dressed up for a night on the |
town in this one
|A graham cracker train we made at home for fun. They are pointing |
to the car they each made.
|I got a lot of sweet notes from my children|
My husband had a big work party at one of his co-worker's homes. The house was a huge fancy house decorated with the finest of everything and the biggest and best in entertainment. They had rented an inflated jumpy castle for the kids to play in and most of us adults talked while we ate a lot of delicious catered food. This house was very fancy and I knew both parents worked to be able to afford it all. The women all ended up in one room talking while the men were looking at a fancy car outside. The woman who lived in the house where we had the party had very little patience with her children and she joked about how she was happy they would be back in day-care on Monday. She said she was anxious to get back to her own adult world at work. From there the conversation turned to which day-care was the best one. All these women discussed day-cares for quite a while, the cost, which ones were better etc. I looked around at all the fancy things in this house and I felt so sad. I wished these women knew, like the garbage collectors wife, that happiness could not be found in a big screen TV and the corporate world but in these little children who could fill ever hole in their parent's soul with their smiles and hugs if they let them. I looked around at the great number of their possessions and felt sorry for this woman to the very depth of my soul. I went home to my humble home with so much less materially and felt like the wealthiest woman alive. I had 6 children who gave me tight hugs all day every day, children to read stories to, who wrote me notes about how I was the best mom in the world. I have not traveled to foreign lands, I have never been on a cruise or on a fancy vacation. I have never had expensive cars or huge TVs but my children have been raised to know I will be there cheering them on in everything they do. The walls of my well-worn home are filled with laughter and love and children who know they are the most important thing there is in my life.
|What more could I want than this. Motherhood is the best job on earth.|