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How Much Do You Value Being a Stay at Home Mom?

Jan 9, 2008
There have been a variety of reports through the years on how much a stay at home mom's work is worth. I don't pay too much attention to those because, frankly, moms who work outside the home do much of the same work. How much of it they do may vary, especially if the kids are in daycare. But any good parent works very hard for their family.

What matters to me most is how much I value being a stay at home mom.

This is something that will be different for every family. For mine, it's a blessing that I can work from home, being there for my kids as I earn an income. Without that, I'd have to work outside the home. My husband and I early on decided that one of us should be a stay at home parent whenever financially possible.

For others, it is much a matter of tradition. They have the image of the mother as the one who stays at home and cares for home and family.

It's also easier for some families than for others. One picture some people have of stay at home moms is that they sit around all day, watching television, perhaps even ignoring her kids in favor of a favorite show or three. That's not often the case, but the image persists.

And of course, many figure that stay at home moms have husbands who earn enough to make it easy. That the SAHM is perhaps lazy and doesn't care to make the most of her education.

You have to value being a stay at home mom beyond all the negative stereotypes. You have to value your time with your family so much that you make the financial sacrifices, the sacrifices of your time and even of career. Because it's not so easy to jump back into a career in many cases.

There can be an insecurity to being a stay at home mom. There's a reason why so many say they are "just" a stay at home mom. Even as they feel it is the best choice for their family, there's a sense that others won't see it, won't value it.

Where do you find that value?

The value is in knowing what your children are doing, learning and experiencing. In being able to help out more easily in and out of school. In having an easier time helping your kids to explore their interests.

Certainly a working mother can do all that. It's much, much harder, but not impossible. I just have to look back at how my own mother raised 4 of us on her own to know that.

The security in knowing that the environment your child is being raised in is exactly what you choose to make it is a true delight. You aren't sacrificing much of your income to pay for daycare... or perhaps you're sacrificing all of it, since as a stay at home mom you are the daycare, and you aren't getting paid for it. The hug and kisses make great bonuses, though.

No matter how hard being a stay at home mom gets, you can hold your head up high, knowing that you're putting forth the effort to be a wonderful parent. The more you value your own efforts, the more your family will value you.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster is a stay at home mom who runs http://www.homewiththekids.com/ and enjoys helping other SAHMs. For more tips on being a stay at home mom , visit her site.
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