Madeleine Van Haute
There are so many reasons why mothers should make the decision to stay home with their children. First, parents’ involvement in their children’s lives is so essential to the children’s psychological development.
From the ages of 15-19, I worked at an elementary school as an aftercare teacher. This job entailed watching the kids who stayed late after school because their parents were still at work. During the summers, I worked at the school’s summer day camp, which is the same thing as aftercare, but all day instead.
After working in childcare for four years, you start to figure stuff out and learn a lot. You begin to notice how certain kids act throughout the day and what their family dynamics are based on their reactions when the parent comes to pick them up.
Most of these kids are in school from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then stay for another one-to two-and-a-half hours. By the time they get home, they don’t have a lot of time left to spend with their parents before going to bed and waking up to the same routine the next day. This means that kids who don’t have a stay-at-home mom only spend about two to three hours with one or both of their parents every day.
Sometimes my coworkers and I felt as though we might know some of the kids better than their own parents. I know that’s a bold statement to make, but when a 4-year-old who you have absolutely no relation to starts calling you mom, there is an alarm that starts sounding in your head.
Then there is the theological standpoint. Women are more fully equipped to handle and provide the nourishment and care that children require. The gentleness and caring qualities of women that God instilled in them are incredibly beneficial and necessary to child development, and men do not express these qualities in the same way. It’s not ideal to have a stay-at-home dad.
The vocation of marriage revolves around family, and part of that means the mother staying home with her children. Your career should revolve around your vocation and not the other way around. If you are called to the vocation of marriage, then chances are you will have to sacrifice your career for your family.
Your life loses balance when you don’t place your vocation at the forefront. This is a balance that helps to guide not only your life but also your family members’ lives as well. By placing your will in God’s and not just accepting your vocation but truly living it out, you provide a healthy spiritual example for your children.
This is just my experience and the basic research I’ve done. If you are to take away anything from reading this, just know how important it is to be involved in your child’s life. Don’t be a helicopter parent, but make time for your kid.
I fully understand that every mom can’t stay at home. It isn’t practical. But I do believe that if you have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, you should go for it. Life is too short to put your career ahead of your relationships, especially when it comes to the relationship with your children.