I am by no means a helicopter mom. I love my children, but there is such a thing as letting them play, fall, get hurt, and move on. I don’t climb on climbing structures. I don’t have gates at the bottom of stairs. I don’t have a railing on the twin bed my son sleeps in. We don’t have oven locks, or drawer locks, or door locks. The kids have free reign over the house. Yes, toys are every where. And yes, there have been a few bumps and bruises. But kids are tougher than we think, and honestly, not as dumb. And lets be clear, my sons are almost 4, 2.5 and 8 months.
I am a stay at home mom. It is an honor, a privilege, and I am so happy to do it. Yes it is hard, but I don’t think it is harder than working. I don’t think I stand on my soapbox and justify how awesome it is stay home, or scream my own accolades for doing it. If you can, and want to, great. If you love your career, or need to work than go, and don’t feel bad. For us, me staying at home was the right thing. Game over.
Here is what staying at home did help with. I know my children. I know their good days, bad days, worse moments, awesome moments, poopy moments, sad moments. I know their behavior issues. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I don’t just spend time with them. I don’t just take them to activities. I really know them. We run errands together, go to playdates, library, museums, the gym. I know how they act in social situations. I know when they need a hug, or just to go home. For me at least, me staying at home with them allowed me to know them in a deeper way I think I would have if I had been working.
I also think that staying at home allowed them to know each other. We had our children one after another. The oldest two are 17.5 months apart, and the middle and youngest, 21 months apart. My husband and I thought that having kids was like a bad band aid, rip it off and get it over with. No, that isn’t true…well mostly. My sister and I are 6 years apart. My husband and his brother are 18 months. I wanted for my children the relationship like my husband and his brother have. They are different as night and day, but they are close. They understand each other and forgive and love each other. Outside of me, his brother is the closest family he has. I would want that kind of love and understanding for my sons. And so, we had them close. At times, I thought maybe it was too close…but now, I am so happy we did.
Anyway, staying at home has allowed them time to play and be together. They share so many experiences the three of them. My oldest two have learned to play together. Sure they fight. MAN, do they fight! But they also play. They tackle and wrestle, attack dragons, and are pirates together. And now that the baby is more sturdy they are “including” him. I love watching them play. I love that me staying home is providing them an opportunity to play together.