Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I Stay at Home

I got a question from a friend on Facebook about my experience staying home full time and thought I would post my answer here.

I got married right after graduating from UCSD with an engineering degree but instead of pursuing that, went and got my teaching credential and taught math for a few years. From there, I followed my boss who I adored to a new church in San Diego called The Rock and helped start the church and then the school. I figured out along the way that my gifts are really in the areas of admin and that is what I loved doing at the church.

Then we decided it was time to have kids and I read a lot about development and stay at home moms and all that stuff. I decided that to be the best mother that I could be, I couldn't do both. I wanted to be the one to raise them, not a day care.... lots of that has to do with being totally committed to my Christian faith and wanting my kids to grow up with a godly world view and perspective before they start exploring the world on their own.

Anyway, I digress (a friend asked me why I am homeschooling and I am still trying to articulate that in a way that makes sense..) anyway, the first year or so of being home full time was INCREDIBLY difficult- it was a very hard transition- I had a job that I loved with people that I loved. But, I really wanted to give my kids the best start possible and I believe that is with me.

It is definitely difficult to be with them all day every day but I have built some things into my life to make it a bit more balanced. First of all, I have an incredible husband that is more involved with our kids than practically any other father I know- that makes a huge difference. He usually kind of runs the show when he is home in the evenings and on the weekends so I can get a break from the constancy of it all.

Also, I adore our church and we lead and attend small groups without the kids- adult interaction and friends! Lastly, I've really been getting back into art (which is probably what I "should" have pursued in college) and am devoted to spending time on that each week.

My 3 year old still naps for a couple hours each day and my 5 year old has "quiet room time" at the same time. So, I have a certain 2 hour break in the middle of the day. Helps a lot.

So, yes, it was a very hard transition (though not a hard decision) and is still a very difficult "job" but I wouldn't trade this time. They are only little once and I figure if I really want to go back to work, I will have more freedom to do that when they're older. But I don't know that I will even want to. I am not a high energy person and the lower key, slower paced, life that I am leading now is much more healthy for me than the alternative.


InkDropDesign said...

Thank you for sharing those thoughts Jennie! It sure has been a hard transition for me too. On thing I have realized is that the career world has left me with only a small return after all that I invested in it, but not so with kids. It is the best investment of time I could ever imagine. The return on investment has no comparison. I too and now considering homeschooling.... so looking forward to more of your blog when your life allows for such things. :)