IT'S OK TO STAY HOME WITH YOUR KIDS
Yes, it’s ok. It’s ok to stay home and raise your babies. Babies: the humans you created. Yes. It’s ok to stay home with your kids. It’s also ok to work full time. It’s also ok to stay home with your babies and work part time. Or dream about working full time. It’s all ok. I’m not sure when it became the standard to judge a mother on her stance as to which dynamic she carries in the home. Whenever or whoever came up with the idea is clearly not a mother. And here’s why.
Motherhood is a conundrum. The most vividly beautiful puzzle. Ask one. She’ll tell you.
A friend of mine recently called the imbalance of motherhood something like this. “I feel like I’m a very lukewarm version of my two selves. Not killing it in either form.”
I quickly disagreed. I also quickly complied. Because it was partly true.
We both laughed and carried on conversing about the panic of ordering halloween costumes and additionally the valiant strut my toddler made after he made a poop on the potty this morning.
Mind blowing I know.
But truthfully, these are the souvenirs we get to keep with the legacy of staying home with the kids.
In a world that’s already knee deep in muck and indifference, it’s comforting to know that we are not alone. She went on to say “they are just so little.” And I went on to say “yeah, and in about 10 short years, our girls are off to college.”
This woman, like most women I know in this town and across the globe, are like minded women. Smart women. Strong women. Whether she lives here in Nashville, Sunny California, or that sweet little flat outside Notting Hill London, she’s your every woman. And she’s no ordinary human. She’s extraordinary.
She’s the backbone of the household, the soft touch, the firm hold, the lunch maker, the laundry folder, the bandaid sticker’r, she hires and fires the sitters, books the vacations and stays up till midnight playing Santa Claus. She sleeps when she’s dead, she worries about her kids’ well being, and she smacks on the red lipstick walking into date night like a million bucks. More times than not, she has a side hustle, and often wanders off into an unofficial state of daydreaming consciousness where she imagines her children in school, and her mind freed to create really cool stuff.
She doesn’t forget a family member’s birthday, she volunteers at the local hospital and makes a banana bread front door delivery for a new mom friend, all before 10 am. She’s tired and grateful.
There’s 500 more versions of this woman. I could list them all. And you’d be fascinated at all their accomplishments. Because they all have one thing in common. They are mothers. And they love their children with all they got.
It’s ok to stay home with your kids.
It’s also ok to choose a different path. Because life moves and so do we. Nothing remains the same ever and that’s the beauty of the journey. It’s also the beauty of choice.
Like the woman that’s worked full time through all her three kids’ first 9 years on earth who decides to go on sabbatical at 44 and stay at home through middle school and high school. And she’s thrilled about it. Having missed babies first steps, first haircuts and perhaps the first day of pre-school, she looks forward to being at every pick up and drop off and suggests she might even inhabit the classroom mom life. This is her story.
It’s ok to stay home with your kids.
If it’s your current situation and you’re feeling like you’re not doing enough for the world, let me remind you of what you are accomplishing and what you have to look forward to.
You’re raising a human being.
You’re teaching them to be good human beings.
To be kind. And to be Self thinkers.
You’re feeding them and nurturing them every single day.
You’re giving them a home.
A safe haven. A place where they can grow and learn.
You’re teaching love.
You’re creating a world in which they’ll apply to their lives one day when they become big.
They won’t look back one day and say “I wish you didn’t stay home with me Mom”.
So, yeah, it’s ok to stay home with your kids.
And one day when they are off to school and you’re not so exhausted that you can’t see straight, you’ll find the time to create. Or study. Go to law school. Work that dream job. To jump back on that train. And maybe you do. Maybe you go off into the big city. And you crush it. Or maybe you nurture that side hustle vigorously and that catapults you into a budding entrepreneur.
Or perhaps you readily keep the household straight, take your kids to and from school and create a simple life.
It’s all ok.
It’s all wonderful.
It’s all in how the dynamic works for you.
How extraordinary that we have these choices to make.
Here’s the thing. I’m not sure there is a standard. Or a normal. And I’m almost certain we’re all winging it. If this is your journey and it feels good to you (on most days), I hope you never feel the need to meet a standard set by whoever says the standard is. I hope you know how great a job you are doing and how wonderful you are, just the way God created you. And that your best, (although it may not be the version of “best” proclaimed on social media), might actually be the best for YOU. And if it makes you happy and your heart feels happy, then none of the rest really matters.
I’m currently finishing up this piece with one child on my back and another on my lap and one about to be home from school. And at the moment I feel bliss. A moment of peace and gratitude. I could also use a shower. Sometimes I have moments of doubt and sometimes I’m killing it. But mostly I’m thankful for the choices I’ve made while choosing to raise my kids at home. And when I leap into a different arena, I rest easy knowing that it’s my choice and my reason and ultimately, my family. And just so you know, your kids are going to be thankful either way. Because you are their mom. K? Love you bye.