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Aug 11, 2013

Stay At Home Motherhood in the Rearview Mirror

The Number One Danger of Being a Stay at Home Mom was the name of the blog post. All I could think was "Is there only one?" Really, being a stay at home mom is a choice that has so many ramifications I cannot even wrap my mind around it. I was a stay at home mom in the 1960's. But nothing has really changed accept the hairdos and the clothes.

No matter the time or the place, a parent really needs to think about the choices they will have. Face the facts before the train leaves the station and the baby is conceived or at the very latest born. Once you become a parent your choices are there but you may not like them. On the other hand, making the choice and then doing a wonderful job is a reward all and of itself. There is no right or wrong way.

He said, She said
I am looking at this from the vantage point of my 71+ years. Having lived the life of a stay at home mom I know how it feels.  I know the isolation that comes from not having a career to discuss with friends. I understand the need for the the positive strokes that come from accomplishing work related goals. Given the era I raised my children in and the place we lived, I would not change one thing. No, not at all. I think we did what parents do today. We chose what was best for our family given our situation. 

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However, from my husbands point of view it could be seen differently.  He did carry the full load of earning our income and providing a retirement income as we grew older. He gets a glimpse of my life with small children when our grandchildren stay for the day each week. I pointed out to him that the mess, noise, running children are all what I experienced as a young stay at home mother. I was feeling very smug. His response hit at the core of the matter. Well, I guess I could have not worked he said then I would know all about that.

He did more than his fair share and actually my choice to stay at home was a selfish one in a lot of ways. I was a certified teacher that could have retired at 52 if I had stayed at the job. Our financial situation would have been better all of our married lives. If I were raising children in this day and age I might do it all differently because there is so much support for working families today. But maybe not.

There is a quote from The Little Prince that I have always loved. It goes like this:
“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox.  “But you must not forget it.  You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” -the fox, ch.21.

And so it goes. There is danger all around. Be brave and don't worry about the dangers you will face when you decide how to tame your child. Worry about doing what you have chosen in a way that will make you proud all of your life.

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