Thursday, June 10, 2010
Home By Choice
The other day I sat with a group of classmates in class as we discussed completing a group assignment. It was the first day of this summer class, and we ended up talking about what we do, and what program we are completing. One of the ladies said that she was a stay-at-home mother . . . and that she hated it! She said it was the worst job in the world, and she wouldn't recommend any woman doing it. She has a five year old and a two year old, so she said that she won't return to the workforce until her son starts school, but she is literally counting the days until that happens.
Another young woman in the group chimed in, and said, "I know, it's the worst. When I had my son, I couldn't wait to go back to work after being home for 10 weeks." 10 weeks? She said that she hated being at home, and that it is much easier to work, and come home to the children in the evening. Then, you only have to deal with them for a few hours, instead of a whole day.
Sadly, I listened, and I couldn't help but feel a twinge of understanding for what they were saying. How many times have I muttered to myself, "If only I had a job, and had a break from these kids!" Of course, I don't really mean it. 10 minutes later, I am back to feeling blessed to be able to stay at home with them.
The other week I mentioned that I was reading a book, "Home by Choice" by Brenda Hunter, and it was a wonderful read! Wow, did it bring home the importance of staying home with my children.
The main nugget that I received from reading this book was that young children need a mother at home to feel truly secure and safe in their world. That the bonds that are created between a mother and child will affect their future relationships and outlook on life in years to come. Mothers, we have a very important job. Sometimes it can be so demanding that you momentarily feel that a job could blissfully take you away from the responsibilities and demands of parenting.
But, it won't. Tomorrow, I will give a more detailed review of the book, but one of the most thought-provoking chapters from the book deals with violent children.
"Children who feel loved and valued by their parents do not kill. Children who kill do not spring up on the cultural scene overnight. . . it starts in infancy. Whenever parents are neglectful, abusive, or nonresponsive, they will have troubled kids who are angry and out of control by two or three years of age. . . By age five they are often at war with the world." (Hunter 159)
Reading this chapter made me truly realize that investing in my children's lives now is worth the financial strain, worth every stretch of my patience, worth every minute that I nurture, teach, kiss, hug, guide, train, and love on my children.