“I’ve just been home with the kids all day. What good is that?” These are frequent thoughts of a stay-at-home mom. Let me share some stories that give value to the importance of our presence with our children. I will start by sharing Jana’s story in greater detail:
I was a stay-at-home wife before I was ever a stay-at-home mom. Homemaking was always appealing to me. Cooking, making gifts, volunteering—they were things my heart longed for. Maybe that’s because my mom had always been a stay-at-home mom for me.
When my kids were in 5th and 9th grade, I got the opportunity to make my hobby into a career, and I took it. For the first time ever, I was working full-time outside my home. My hours were from noon to 10pm six days a week. Initially, it was exciting to have a new identity and a highly visible job.
After a little less than a year, however, I started noticing the toll on my family. My peace and joy were compromised, my husband and kids were lonely, my son’s grades were slipping, and my daughter stopped playing. I never wanted my day-off to end. Unfortunately, my boss wanted even more and more of my time.
After a year-and-a-half, I resigned and came back home to my better job. The change in my kids was astounding: my son’s grades climbed back to A’s; my daughter started singing while she played and began reading again; my husband relaxed and was able to spend dad-time with the kids; my daughter started to understand her math; and my son started making friends at school. At one point, Garett said to me, “I just like knowing you’re here. It’s not that I need you to do stuff for me, I just like that you’re home.” Jana
I love that testimony! We so underestimate the power of our presence in our children’s lives even as they grow older. One of my favorite parts of being a stay-at-home mom is being present for special spontaneous moments with my children. I’m dedicated to being as fully present for my last child (James is 17) as I was for my older children. I love when he says, “Mom, come see this new video I just made.” I’m so glad I am here to share his world. I also loved my special moment with Maggie (20) last week as she shared with me the joy of her new job at church and some relational challenges she was experiencing. Those moments probably wouldn’t happen if I was gone all day and depended on “quality time” to connect with my children. I’ll choose “quantity time” any day.
I’ll close with a testimony from Carrie, pictured above with her husband Art and their six children. She shares two priceless moments—she calls them “Jesus-moments”— experienced in their first two weeks of homeschooling:
This morning everyone woke up early and was fighting. Even I was grouchy and short-tempered. As I begrudgingly did everyone’s hair, Katelynn began singing, “Bless the Lord, oh, my soul…” We all joined in. Within minutes our moods changed, and our day has been great. Another precious moment: Hannah literally had a panic attack while starting her math. She started crying about how she hated math. I first prayed for her and then had her stand up and shake off all the hurts and fears she had felt in pubic school. I communicated to her that we are going to learn together at her pace and that she will have time to finish her work. We laughed, and I told her my goal was for her to like math. It has only been a few days since that incident, but it is like I have a different child. She is now soaring!
Enjoy those precious “Jesus-moments” with your children, knowing that your presence makes a huge difference in their lives.