I was a stay at home mom until my daughter (the youngest) was 12. I have never regretted one minute of that time. I have regretted some of the times that I was at work and my kids were home by themselves.
My thoughts are:
1. No one will ever love your children as much as you love your children.
2. You are the one who can instill in them, during the most
impressionable years, the values that are important to you.
3. Whether you stay at home, or go to work, you are making sacrifices.
I really believe that children benefit from having their moms at home with them. I think it builds confidence and a sense of security in them. I also understand that that is not an option for everyone. My daughter works days and her husband keeps Lily. When she gets home, he goes to work while she stays with Lily. She has the benefit of having a parent with her at all times. I am thankful for that.
Being a stay at home mom isn't just about taking care of your children. As women, we must remember that their father is more important. The relationship you build with him has to be strong enough that when the children are out on their own the relationship between the 2 of you will be there. Many people let their children come first and when they are gone there is no relationship between mother and father.
You must look at your marriage as a partnership. Both parents have equally important jobs. The working spouse has the job that provides financially for the family. He/She is out in the world all day, a world where no one really appreciates them the way they should be appreciated. So as a stay at home parent, it is up to you to make sure that when they come home, they feel as if all the hard work they do is appreciated.
But the stay at home parent has the hardest job of all. It should be that parent's job to keep the house clean, prepare meals, do laundry, run errands, shop, and take care of the children. And there is no way you could ever be paid financially for what you do.
There are other ways of being paid that are even more priceless. A husband/wife who is happy to be home, because you have made a sanctuary for them away from the troubles of the outside world. A spouse who is contented to be home with his family.and children who grow up to adults that you can be proud of.
I don't think that every room in the house should be spotless, but which ever room the at work parent walks into first should be clean. No toys lying about, an ideal spot to relax in for a few minutes before dinner. The children should be excited to see that parent. Make a big deal about that parent coming home. Run a comb through your hair, brush your teeth, freshen up a bit before they come home. If you are excited to see your spouse the children will be, too. If you are a stay at home mom, make sure your husband comes home to a woman, not just the mother of his children. Remember that he works with women all day who are dressed, have on makeup, and look nice. We all know what that can lead to. You should look nice when he gets home.
Sure the parent that works outside the home should pitch in. Everyone needs a break and in our home some jobs were my husband's responsibility (When he wasn't on deployment.) He usually took out the garbage, mowed the lawn, and still does most of the painting and repairs around the house.
I know this sounds pretty old fashioned, but isn't it old fashioned to stay at home with the children. Isn't that the point. Our mothers stayed home for decades and seemed to live a happy fulfilling life. Your life can be very fulfilling as a stay at home mom. Don't get discouraged while you are being a stay at home mom. You have one of the most important jobs there is. You are raising our future, being a constant in a world of uncertainty for your spouse and children. There are so many benefits to being a stay at home mom. Don't let anyone make you feel like a second class citizen. Just make sure you do your job well and you will be appreciated more than you can ever imagine. You may not realize it for several years, but one day you'll look back with no regrets if you've done your best.