I'll just come out and admit it.
My kids are 11 and 13 and I'm still a stay at home mom.
I know, I know. I hear it all the time.
"What in the world do you DO with all your free time?"
It always gives me pause when people ask what I do and in an effort to soften the blow I start out with the "Well, I write for some publications" diatribe and then blow out the rest under my breath, "And I'm a stay at home mom."
I really shouldn't be ashamed.
The term, 'stay at home' doesn't accurately describe the career of motherhood, in my opinion. It gets a bad rap. I prefer 'work from home'. Because really, most moms are busy from sun up to bedtime. I honestly don't know any that sit around and Netflix binge. Present company excluded, of course.
We don't earn a paycheck and we sure as heck don't get overtime. Or vacation. Or personal days. Or sick leave. We feel the financial burden from a single income family and we budget accordingly.
Despite it all, I have a quiet certainty that this is where I am meant to be. For now, anyway.
My kids love that I'm home, as crazy as that sounds. I am immensely grateful I can drop them off and pick them up from school. I am immensely grateful I can be home with them after school. I'm immensely grateful I'm here when they want to talk about issues or concerns in their lives. I'm immensely grateful that when they are off from school or sick, I'm available.
In these years, my kids need me even more albeit in different ways. I know we have moved on past the whole diapering and teaching them their shapes and colors. Now, we are in a new season. A critical one. My kids are discovering who they are becoming, what they believe in and what they stand for.
Now more than ever they need support to navigate these unfamiliar waters of puberty, peer pressure, relationships, second year Spanish, the nice looking boy that smells like Christmas fir trees and yes, even trombone lessons.
I want our home to be their safe place, their refuge from our ever increasing tumultuous world.
To the working outside of the home moms. You have my complete and utmost respect. I see you and I know I couldn't do what you do. You're amazing and I love the example you are teaching your kids.
All over the world mothers are working tirelessly in order to provide and care for their children. Whether you work outside the home or not, the dedication doesn't waver. We are all in the journey together and rather than judging one from the other, how about we support each other in what works for us individually?
But if I'm really being honest, being a work from home mom gives me time to bake a lot of cookies and find all the crumbs underneath the kid's beds.
That's worth it all right there.