5 reasons why I chose to be a stay at home mom. Did you make the same choices?

I chose to be a stay-home-mom based on experiences that I could not ignore. Before my husband and I were even married, we discussed how we would best care for our children if/when we had them. There is only so much preparation you can do to get ready for parenthood, but how we were going to care for our children was important.

Maybe you had similar experiences that shaped your choice.

Here are 5 reasons why I am a stay at home mom: 

1) My Mom was Home

My young years required me to be very independent from an early age. I was the oldest of two children, my dad worked more than full-time hours in the business world, and my mom was a part-time nurse. She worked (for pay) on the night shift and worked at home as a full-time mom during the day.

(No, she did not sleep much, and no, I do not know how she did it!)

My mom was tired a lot since she would have to sleep some mornings while we watched (probably) too much television. No super-crafty projects.

But, she was there. It is a huge reason why I chose to be a stay-at-home mom.

She was there to take me to many doctor appointments when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 10 years old. She was there to sit at the clinic while I had procedures after she had been up all night working. She made every parent-teacher conference, and every sporting event.

I knew that my dad working allowed her to be home with my brother and me.

My mom always wanted to stay home. She wanted to JUST be a mom and wife. She and my dad also had life experiences that shaped their choices. They wanted my brother and me to be able to go to college without having to take on debt. It was their main reason for wanting two incomes, other than wanting to afford to live in a good school district. I ended up with student loans anyway.

I am not saying this was not a worthy sacrifice of my parents, but it was one that did not exactly work as they had envisioned. I value most, the time that my mom was with us and the supervision she provided.
Now that I have children, I know how much time and attention children require! In a way, I am doing what she only wished she could do. I feel that I am honoring her and what she taught me.
2) I was a Teacher and Caregiver
My degree program taught me about best practices for teaching and caring for children from birth on up. I cared for children in daycare centers around the US in infant rooms, toddler rooms and preschool rooms.
Having taught preschool, my experiences shaped my view of center-based child care and the misconceptions about preschool.
The kids in the full-time care rooms were very different when compared to those kids in my preschool classes who had SAHMs. Income level did not matter; hours per day in child care did.

I wanted to be sure that I was providing my children with a home environment that fostered a love of learning and self-confidence as well as personal responsibility and discipline.
Much of the time, in daycare, during a full day (and most kids were there from 7am to 5:30pm or later), different caregivers come in to each room to give the regular staff their breaks-one in the morning. One at lunch and one in the afternoon. That equals 3-8 different staff members having close contact with the children in a 10 hour day!

I wanted to be sure my children had one consistent caregiver-me-starting from when they were babies. 

I know from my child development training (and common sense) that one consistent caregiver is what is best for children under 5 years old. It supports their developing self esteem and empathy.

Even though I did not want my children growing up in daycare, I know that some parents have to choose that route. I pray that they can find the best care possible for their children.

Caregivers in good centers love the children they care for. There are also caregivers who do not engage or maintain their best behavior when working with small children. I did not want my children dealing with a conflict of values that early on in their lives.

We establish our values in our home. There is discussion as my children grow and are able to understand how we do things in our home and how others choose to do things in their homes. Babies and toddlers need consistent values. Things get confusing with the rules at daycare and the rules at home not always being the same.

I wanted to be sure I provided consistent values education to my children.

3) Sibling Interaction is Important
Sibling interaction is an important reason I chose to be a stay at home mom. The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide
Daycare rooms are separated by age. This fact means that my children would not have seen each other for 8-10 hours a day. Because I stay home, my oldest son was able to attend my prenatal appointments with me. He heard his little sister’s heartbeat before my husband! He referred to his baby sister as “our baby” for the whole family. 
My children are each other’s best friends-I love that!
They play and interact together and have established a bond that will hopefully last a while even if it will be tested during their teens and twenties. I know my sibling bond was tested during that tumultuous time.
The experiences they have together will never be lost. No matter what, we are helping them learn the definition of family.

My kids still all play together even though my older two are in the teen and pre-teen years now!

4) Caring for Family is Important
Every day that I am home with my children, I am setting an example that they are worth my time and attention. I teach them that I am always here. I am always willing to hear their opinions. I am always willing to consider their needs.  I am always aware of what is going on as they grow.
That is what my mom showed me. 
5) Living My Faith and Values
For me, faith in God is essential to being able to get out of bed each morning. (You may not believe, and I do not fault you for that. This is just one of the ways that I stay motivated to be a stay-at-home mom.)
Living from a young age with a disease, I could have lost hope and strayed from a positive outlook on life. God worked to reach me in my challenges and He won.

I owe it to the people I love to actively love them. To be present and care for them.

Even when I feel lost in motherhood, I can love others. I do not always work through the challenges in the prettiest way. I teach my children that God is perfect-even when I show them I am not perfect. He never gives up on me, so I will not give up on my family. 

I chose to be a stay-at-home mom because I am teaching my children the definition of love and sacrifice. They are learning the definition of family and commitment.
We need to remember how powerful our impact and how important our presence when it comes to raising our children. That is why I chose to be a stay-at-home mom and am still home.
What experiences led you to make your choice of how to care for your children? 
This post is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: When You Need to Connect with SAHMs Who Get It! Read more SAHM experiences HERE.