You’re still at home and your children are in school? (and announcing another online study!)

This article was first published in 2002 when my youngest entered kindergarten (and before we adopted child #5!). But it’s still pertinent today for many moms. I was reminded of that after receiving two emails from readers this past week who were struggling with this decision. May this encourage those of you who have kids in school but are still choosing to be a stay-at-home mom.  

yhst-18818556963698_2045_10472007I’m also happy to announce that I will be doing another online book study this fall on the Hearts at Home Professionalizing Motherhood book!  The is a book I originally wrote for at-home moms, however I’ve had many moms who work outside the home read it and tell me that it has helped them be more intentional and focused at home. 

If you are not already a part of my book study group on Facebook, you can join here!

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You’re Still At Home and Your Children Are In School?

I can hardly believe the day is here. In fact, I’m not quite sure what to think of the prospect of this new season of life. Because of the spacing of our children, we have had a preschooler at home for 17 years. For the first time in my career as a mom, I now have all of my children in full-day school. What will I do with myself?

The question was posed to me the other day, “Now that all of your children are in school what will you do?” When I responded that I would remain committed to full-time motherhood, the second question followed: “Why?” While there are less moms home full-time when their children enter school, most who remain home do so with the same convictions I have. In our case, this continues to be a financial sacrifice for our family, but one we feel is worth making. Let me share with you why I think the profession of motherhood is still a valid career choice for me:

Maintaining The Energy To Parent—It is so difficult for me to put in a full days work outside of the home and come home feeling ready to handle the challenges of parenting children. Keeping a strong marriage takes energy as well. With homemaking as my profession, it is the activity to which I give my primary energy.

After School Hours—A recent study was conducted with sexually active teenagers.When asked when and where they most often had sex, the most common reply was in their own homes between the hours of 3pm-5pm! My children need my presence for accountability, for encouragement, and for communication. Those hours after school are also when they talk most about their day, their struggles, their hopes, and their fears. An after school snack and a listening ear are important parts of my long-term career goal of helping my children mature and learn about the world in which they live. I don’t want to miss that.

Parenting Responsibilities—I don’t believe it’s my oldest child’s responsibility to parent her siblings. While she is certainly capable of caring for her brothers and sister on occasion, and even being an occasional taxi driver for extracurricular activities, she doesn’t need that responsibility every day after school, on school holidays, or during the summer.

Sick Days, Field Trips, Volunteer Opportunities—Being available to care for a sick child at home without concern of how many personal days I’ve used up at the office is emotionally freeing to me. Accompanying field trips or helping out at the school are valuable ways for me to stay involved in my children’s education. The school, the church, and the community need volunteers who have time and energy to help with worthwhile endeavors. I believe that’s a good use of my education and my skills.

Laundry, Meals, and the Fine Art of Homemaking—Just because everyone is in school, there’s still the same amount of laundry, the same meals to prepare, and the same house to manage. There are appointments to make, bills to pay, and groceries to buy. I don’t believe I’ll want for something to do.

Many moms use this season to return to school themselves or pursue part-time employment just during the school year, while keeping family the priority. It’s a good season to explore some of those opportunities. I’ll probably do that as well, with some writing and speaking opportunities. However, with one child in full-day kindergarten, one in sixth grade, one enjoying his sophomore year, and one entering her senior year in high school, there’s plenty of work to be done at home and in the lives of my children with motherhood as my full-time profession.

How about you? Are you at home and your children are in school?  Do you have any other thoughts you’d add to those here? 

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6 Responses to You’re still at home and your children are in school? (and announcing another online study!)

  1. jk says:

    Chief Financial Officer – I did the math and found out I can have more take home $ at the end of the month by managing better @ home now than I did working (work clothes, meals out, equipment work wouldn’t buy). Equaled out to more family time & less stress overall. There’s just plain lots of stuff we didn’t need when it came down to it…..

  2. C says:

    “yeah, what do you DO all day?” “Plenty.” I respond. And I love having the flexibility and availability to talk when THEY need to talk. High school and middle school can be very challenging emotionally, socially and academically. I am blessed to be here for my children.

  3. Margie Sims says:

    Good for you, Jill! I agree. Why stay home when they are all in school? I have ten kids that span 25 years and on that day (in 2017) when I get them all in school and I am home alone for hours every day, maybe, just maybe, I will be able to run my home properly.

  4. So, now that you have that realization, the next thing you need to do is decide what you want to put on that schedule. It could be that you want to get your house organized, shop without children weighing you down, or have lunch with your girlfriends. It could be that you want to be a school volunteer or help at the local nursing home. Maybe you have been wanting to take an art class or write that book that has been formulating in your mind. You need to have a plan, one that might change each day but that will give you structure for your day.

  5. Kay D. says:

    Thank you for this, SO timely for me since I have an 8th grader and a high school senior, and I have YET to return to a job outside the home. Every year I struggle with “Should I get a job?” and after much prayer, I still remain at home. I know that if I was meant to be anywhere else, God would lead me there! I have to trust His leading and not let others’ opinions affect my decisions. (Because I know that people, especially some family members, are wondering why I don’t have a job, and what on earth I do all day!)

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