You might say that is a selfish reason for wanting to stay home with your child. You’re right. And there are other selfish reasons. For one, I didn’t want to miss the first time my son giggled, his first step or any of the other big “firsts” that happen in those first years of life. I confess that one of my greatest pleasures in life is to cuddle with my baby, well, now he’s a toddler, as I rock him in the rocking chair to get him settled down for his nap. If I worked outside the home, my only chance to feel him snuggle up against me and lay his head on my shoulder as he fell asleep would be at night before bed. I just want more. By choosing to stay home with my son, I can share this special time with him a couple of times each day. Plus, since I’ve had those chances during the day, at night, it’s my husband’s turn to have that special bonding time as he puts our son to bed.
There are non-selfish reasons to stay home with the kids, though. One is your child’s welfare. When you stay home with your child, you are guaranteed that your child is being treated the way you want them to be treated. Who knows how to raise your kids better than you do? When you stay home with your children, you know that the basics are covered: that they are safe from harm or mistreatment, when they are fed and what exactly they ate, and that their diapers were changed on time.
But you also get to choose how they spend their time: reading books rather than watching TV or videos and playing outside rather than in a playroom all day. Plus, you can take to out into the world to explore. Even trips to the grocery store are learning experiences for your child, but when you stay home with the kids, your days are relatively free to go and do, so you can show your child so much more of the world than they would see inside a daycare. Don’t get me wrong; I think that daycare offers the advantages of socialization with so many other kids to play with. But you can take care of your child’s needs in this area by seeking out play dates or other opportunities to get your kids interacting with others. I like to take my son to our local library’s story time once each week. There, he gets to see kids his age, hear a story, sing some songs and learn how to behave in a group setting (taking turns, etc.).
Choosing to stay home with the kids has its advantages, for sure. That’s why so many parents are making the choice to do so. Children change so rapidly during their first years of life that there are so many phases and changes to witness, each one very special. I, for one, am glad I made the decision to give up work-for-pay, at least for now, to watch my little one grow and learn.