One of the reasons I hear many moms say that they chose to stay at home was because their kids needed them, especially in the newborn/infant year. Some moms even go back to work after the first couple of years. When our pastor talked about staying Christ-centered as mothers, his wife came up to answer questions at the end. Her response to Christian mothers deciding to stay home for those early years is that she felt the later years were even more important. While I am envious of any extra time at home, I truly feel that each year my kids need more of me. While it would have been great to be home all day for those gummy, slobbery 6 month old kisses, I think I would get way more out of staying home now.
What about when your kids are struggling? What if there are health issues? My daughter is mildly speech-delayed. What if I had been home with her to coach, practice, encourage? Would we even be facing speech therapy? What about when your child is going through severe separation anxiety? What if your child’s love language is quality time? What if they need tutoring or a different education style than provided by their teachers?
Tricky. Guilty. Hard. Sad.
While I am convinced that all of those can be overwhelming feelings…I know them all too well, I am also certain that we can still be there for our children. Our children will always need us…yes, sometimes more than others. I don’t know if there is ever a “better” time to return to work if you have the privilege of staying home. (Not considering financial needs or happiness of mom/family if working is your calling). Here are some things that get me through those dark days when I feel like my kids need me to be at home more:
- My “idea” or “plan” is not always best…just because I want to be at home may not be the answer
- Sometimes others (specialists, teachers) really are better-trained to offer help
- My kids are well-balanced and learning that I am always there for them even if not physically present
- It can even be fun to find creative ways to spend time with them…often better quality than when I am there all day
- God has used my job to bless my family
- Usually my kids are perfectly find…and it is my perspective or frame of mind that needs to be changed
- When I am truly, truly unhappy about my situation, I promise myself to reassess in 3 months and see if I feel the same way
- I remind myself that I can’t be in all places at once, and even if I were home, I would still feel torn about something else 😉
- It used to take a village to raise a child. It is okay to let others help and even rely on others. It does not have to be done only by mom all the time.