I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since my son was born eight years ago. I always imagined I would work part time when my daughter started kindergarten. But once she started school, I couldn’t imagine what kind of job would work for my family.
I didn’t want to put my kids into daycare, figuring it was hard enough for my daughter to transition to full-day school. That didn’t leave me a lot of employment options. So I decided to stay home for now.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom to school-aged children, you may feel like the world is judging you. Here are eight reasons it’s okay to keep staying at home after your kids start school.
Kids’ school schedules aren’t regular
I would need a position that doesn’t start until at least 8:30 and that gets out by 2:30. On Fridays, my kids’ school is over an hour early, so I’d have to leave by 1:30. I would need days off when my kids’ school was closed, including holidays, spring break, summer break, teacher in-service days, conference days, snow days, and other random days. I would also need the flexibility to stay home with them on sick days and take them to appointments.
Not many positions offer the hours and flexibility parents need. That means families with parents who both work must do a lot of scrambling for childcare. As a stay-at-home parent, that’s not something you have to worry about.
Stay-at-home moms are worth a lot
Even though you aren’t paid for it, the work you do has value. According to salary.com, the average stay-at-home mom works 92 hours per week and is worth $143,102. Stay-at-home moms hold their family’s lives together. All together now, because it’s worth reiterating – the work stay-at-home moms do is valuable.
You need a breather
If you’ve stayed at home with your kids since they were born, you’ve devoted years of life to them, and have probably not taken many breaks. Use the time your children are in school to take a well-deserved breather. Think about yourself for once. What are your goals and aspirations? Take some time for hobbies you’ve set aside, like hiking or reading, without interruptions.
You have time for projects around the house
When you’re home with small children, household projects just don’t get done. Since my kids started school, I’ve cleaned out the garage, cleaned and painted the basement, and painted both my kids’ rooms. These projects have greatly improved our lives.
Your community needs your volunteer hours
Someone has to be the room mom, the Girl Scout leader, and the field trip chaperone. It’s so much easier to volunteer if you don’t have to work around another schedule. Many stay-at-home moms also volunteer at their churches or for charitable organizations. This is valuable, necessary work that benefits the community, your children, and other families as well.
You can wait for the delivery person
This may seem insignificant, but have you ever tried to get a mattress delivered? Just like the cable guy, they give you a small window of time and expect you to be home. Since I’m home during the day, this is not a problem. If I worked, I’d have to take unreasonable amounts of time off to wait for deliveries and services. Or just not have a mattress.
You improve quality of life for your family
It’s so much easier to run errands without kids in tow! Because I can do errands on weekdays, I can get everything done quickly and efficiently. That means we have more time as a family on the weekend.
You save money by in-sourcing
When you’re at home, it’s hard to justify spending money on things you could do yourself. I recently re-caulked our shower to fix a leak. If I worked, I probably would have paid a plumber at least 100 dollars for this simple repair.
I also repair all our clothes and make a lot of our food from scratch. Staying home means not paying for things out of convenience. It also creates a level of self-sufficiency that benefits my family.
Only you know what’s right for your family. Don’t let anyone guilt you into thinking you’re not an asset just because you’re not working. You work a lot, and the work you do is invaluable.