Your Top Reasons Why You're a Stay at Home Parent

Why We Stay Home

Baby girl (15-18 months) catching bubbles blown through wand by mother
Bigshots/Photodisc/Getty Images

I received an email from a stay-at-home mom, named Michelle, who wrote:

  • "Nobody will talk about the benefits of being a stay at home parent. I would like to hear this issue addressed. Many professionals are leaving careers because they feel it is better than alternative care. I would love to see you comment on this. I have several friends who are full time working moms. I keep hearing, "Oh I would love to stay home with my 1 year old but they wouldn't get all of that wonderful socialization they get in daycare". I think that if moms can't or don't want to stay home than home is not an optimal environment for children. But every article I have read talks about how children raised in daycare or by alternative care providers are doing just great. I just don't buy it. If a mom or dad wants to be home and can be home than I think we need to start saying that this is beneficial to our children. I don't want a stay at home vs working parent article either. But we can't be afraid to talk about the benefits of making this kind of commitment to our children. Hope to see something in the future!"
    Michelle - mom of Dylan age 3 and Jason age 6 months

    So, thanks to Michelle's excellent suggestion, I asked other stay-at-home parents what they feel are the benefits of staying home with their children. Here are some excerpts from the many wonderful emails I received.

    Bonding

    One benefit many of you wrote about was the special bonding that takes place between you and your children when you are able to stay home.

    • Monica wrote:
      "There are so many benefits to staying at home with your child I cannot begin to list them all. The first thing is it builds a feeling of security for your child. I think security brings and breeds trust. My daughter went to day care for a month or so and went to work with me for 2-3 months. I stayed home with her until she was 5 months old and quit when she was 9 months old. She turns 2 next month. I think because she is secure in our bond with each other it allows her to interact and learn more.....The biggest benefit is the bond. I have to live on a budget now, no Macy's only Walmart, still it is worth every minute. "
    • And from another stay-at-home mom:
      "The best part, of course, is setting my own schedule for the most part and getting to do fun things with my kids. Whenever we do something new, I think of it as one more memory they'll have of their childhood - whether it's going to the zoo, the library, playing in the backyard, working in the garden, or picking apples at a local orchard. Those are the memories I hope will last a lifetime, and I'm thrilled I'm able to be a part of them."

      Development

      Many stay-at-home parents who responded felt that, by staying home with their children, their kids were benefiting by developing faster.

      • Sheila wrote:
        "The benefits were the reassurance that comes with knowing my son received all the love and attention he needed. To know that he was learning at a maximum rate because I had the time to devote to his developing intellect. To have the time to photograph every wonderful event, and some ordinary times too, to treasure forever. To share every minute of every day with the only child I'd be able to have was extremely important for me personally. To nurse him through every illness, and to breastfeed him as long as I wanted without pressure from anyone, or from a demanding job. The list goes on and on."
      • And from Laura:
        "I am a stay home mom of a very active 10 month old girl. Many times I have been told that she would not be doing half of what she is doing, or as early as she is doing if I did not stay home".
      • Finally, from Monica again:
        "I am not rushed all the time and I am not tired all the time from working. I can give her the time she deserves instead of cramming in time here and there. I can take time with her to take her to actually teach her things. She did everything early from eating, talking to walking. Children are an investment. It is up to the individual as to what they want to do with their children. We only have them for a short while. It is worth the extra work! I am more tired now staying home because the job is 24 hours instead of 10 but it is really worth it. My daughter goes to Parents Day out Once a week. The teachers all remark on how well-adjusted she is and mannerly. They constantly remark, "You must be a stay at home Mom"".

        Miscellaneous

        I wish I could just copy all the emails I received for this article. But I'm afraid the article would get too long. So, instead, I will just print some excerpts from the emails that I thought were particularly touching.

        • Joy wrote:
          "Being a stay-at-home mom now for 11 years, .... I love being an at home mom. I think it is the most important job in the world. I never had my children so that another person could raise them or see their first step or hear their first words!! I could never imagine not being there for that. I want my values instilled in my children. I want them to know it was me who raised them-that their mom was there when she was needed."
        • Finally, another stay-at-home mom wrote:
          " To me the best part of staying home is that I've blossomed as a person. Before, I worked 8-5, hurried to fix supper, do household stuff and collapse to rest for the next day. Now life is busy, but I get to do things I want to do, be with my kids, and participate more actively in my community. I volunteer with the Red Cross, participate in more activities with my church, and meet lots of new people with my children."

          Development
          Many stay-at-home parents who responded felt that, by staying home with their children, their kids were benefiting by developing faster.

          • Sheila wrote:
            "The benefits were the reassurance that comes with knowing my son received all the love and attention he needed. To know that he was learning at a maximum rate because I had the time to devote to his developing intellect. To have the time to photograph every wonderful event, and some ordinary times too, to treasure forever. To share every minute of every day with the only child I'd be able to have was extremely important for me personally. To nurse him through every illness, and to breastfeed him as long as I wanted without pressure from anyone, or from a demanding job. The list goes on and on."

             

            • And from Laura:
              "I am a stay home mom of a very active 10 month old girl. Many times I have been told that she would not be doing half of what she is doing, or as early as she is doing if I did not stay home".
            • Finally, from Monica again:
              "I am not rushed all the time and I am not tired all the time from working. I can give her the time she deserves instead of cramming in time here and there. I can take time with her to take her to actually teach her things. She did everything early from eating, talking to walking. Children are an investment. It is up to the individual as to what they want to do with their children. We only have them for a short while. It is worth the extra work! I am more tired now staying home because the job is 24 hours instead of 10 but it is really worth it. My daughter goes to Parents Day out Once a week. The teachers all remark on how well-adjusted she is and mannerly. They constantly remark, "You must be a stay at home Mom"".

              Miscellaneous
              I wish I could just copy all the emails I received for this article. But I'm afraid the article would get too long. So, instead, I will just print some excerpts from the emails that I thought were particularly touching.

              • Joy wrote:
                "Being a stay-at-home mom now for 11 years, .... I love being an at home mom. I think it is the most important job in the world. I never had my children so that another person could raise them or see their first step or hear their first words!! I could never imagine not being there for that. I want my values instilled in my children. I want them to know it was me who raised them-that their mom was there when she was needed."

                 

                • Finally, another stay-at-home mom wrote:
                  " To me the best part of staying home is that I've blossomed as a person. Before, I worked 8-5, hurried to fix supper, do household stuff and collapse to rest for the next day. Now life is busy, but I get to do things I want to do, be with my kids, and participate more actively in my community. I volunteer with the Red Cross, participate in more activities with my church, and meet lots of new people with my children."