Why it’s Important for Stay-at-Home Moms to Stay Home

On the assumption that a mother wants to stay home with her children because she thinks it’s the best thing for them, the “at home” part can’t be overlooked.  (I don’t mean to state the obvious, but….)

And there are practical reasons why.

I’ve been thinking about those reasons, per a conversation I had with a woman recently who admitted that too many outside activities were having adverse effects on her children.

My top reasons to stay home as much as possible:

  • There is no order in absence.  Again, seems obvious, but until we grasp the importance of this simple, one-of-our-many job descriptions, we may not see the problem with too many outside activities.  Keeping even a minimal amount of order and structure to a lived-in home is an on-going job in need of a physical presence.

  • Outside activities means deadlines. Deadlines with children means “grumpy Mom”.  ’Nough said.

  • Meal planning gets the oust.  The planning of meals, frugality in the kitchen and a thought to nutrition requires a significant amount of time.  Without it, we resort to carry-outs, fast food and convenience food.

  • It’s cheaper.  Gas money for outings, snacks and lunches bought while finding yourself out and hungry, and the temptation to shop are all tangible reasons to cut back on going out.  Don’t believe me?  Dare yourself to keep a detailed tally of small expenses during your outings.  You may be shocked!

  • Children need steady routine. If there were no other reasons, I believe this one is enough.  There is just a universal truth, though I can’t point to statistics, that children thrive in a steady environment.  They need a regular rhythm to their day.  There is safety in the expected, and though life certainly throws us surprises, we can do what we can to provide a safe, flourishing place for them to grow.

  • Mom gets distracted.  Only when a mother understands the weight of her job does she fully understand the need to be focused, ready and available for the task.  Being at home better equips her for it.

Of course there are outings and activities we can’t avoid, and there are good things to do outside the home.  But I am constantly challenged to take a hard look at our daily happenings, try to balance our time and rule out activities that are causing us to be stifled instead of helping our growth.

I had met a mom once at a homeschooling fair who was very exuberant and yet expressed her feeling of always being behind, unable to keep the house in order and mentioned several discipline issues with her children that she “just didn’t understand.”  I was astonished (tempted to be jealous) of all the exciting field trips and educational opportunities she gave to her  kids.  They had been to some event every day of that week–concerts, museums, demonstrations, music lessons, etc.

And while I felt a bit inept that we weren’t able to participate in so many activities, it soon became apparent that what she was losing in the harried process was not worth the gain.

There are  plenty of distractions right here in our homes to keep us from staying the course.  May you be encouraged to make your home a constant, well-running incubator.

17 Responses to “Why it’s Important for Stay-at-Home Moms to Stay Home”

  1. Kellye says:

    WOW!! That summed up everything I truly believe deep in my heart. It is so difficult though because this deceptive world makes us feel that our kids need all of those things and that we “need time for ourselves” and all of those LIES. This is a great post that i will definitely be suggesting to many of my friends.

  2. Trisha says:

    Wonderful! This is so true. I’ve learned more and more as each blessing comes along that I can’t do everything. I do have friends who run, run, run, and you’re right, the gain isn’t worth the price they pay in other areas of their lives. I love Susan Bradrick’s CD “24 Hours is All You Get” because she shares similar ideas….the key being learning to say “No.” I especially relate to your point about Mom getting distracted. To remember this awesome duty to our husband and children is truly sobering, and we can’t afford to waste what little time we have.

  3. Civilla says:

    Yes, we can be so caught up in outside activities going from one to the other that we might as well have a job!

  4. Kim M says:

    I agree! And I’m enjoying the snow we are having here because I have an additional excuse to say “no”. =)

  5. Andrea says:

    Well said, Kelly!

  6. Melissa says:

    Just say “no-thank you”, I love it! My neighbor says…” Gee, I would just love to!-But I don’t want to!” =)

  7. Missy says:

    Amen! Great post. I completely agree with you! We only head out a couple of times a week but I have many friends who are out running around ALL the time. It sometimes makes me question if I’m missing something. But Titus teaches us to be busy at home! I truly believe that’s better for so many reasons.

    Thanks for the reminder today!

  8. Laura Mouro says:

    You are absoultely right! This has been my conviction for some time now. We are not missing out on anything by being at home. This is where my heart is and I want to teach my children the same through my example.

  9. Margaret says:

    Good thoughts. I’ve often found myself “chasing my tail” because I am out doing something or other every day of the week. Even running short errands really cuts into the day, because there’s the preparation for them, getting everyone in and out of carseats multiple times, traffic, putting away what we bought, ect. I do a lot better if I keep errands to 1-2x per week, and stay home-centered the rest of the week, and for all the reasons you listed.

  10. Charity says:

    Very well put Kelly. I truly am a stay-at-home, stay-at-home mommy…due to my husband driving our one vehicle back and forth to work, and working loooong hours each day. So, I can’t even be tempted to keep the roads hot with my wee ones in tow, unless I’m up for some exercise! :) We haven’t seen having a second vehicle as a need since I am home with the children. Family members often tell me how I “need a break”, and that I am “crazy” for always being home. Guess I just don’t see what I’m missing when I do go out :) You are right, it definitely helps you to stay focused on what you should be. And I just wander how I would have the time to go, go, go? Another bonus to being home that I have found, at least with small children, is that everyone is sick a lot less! And that’s always a plus :)

  11. Brenda says:

    I think that there might be a little gray here personally. I’ve read and thoughtfully considered all of this and how it applies to my family for a couple of years now. I’ve WANTED to accept this staying home exculsively, but there’s just something that doesn’t ring true scripturally for me. With my first child I was home 24/7. With my second I was home 24/7 until she was three months old. At this time my husband quit his job and opened his own business. I’ve been helping him run the business for over 10 years now. I mind the office and take care of the books, clean, do ads, etc. My kids have never had a babysitter, except for Grandma.

    So now our third baby has arrived and although my workload has been lifted a good deal by us hiring an accountant, I can never be totally free from work at the shop. And the more I’ve thought and prayed about it I’m not so sure I should be. We would have to hire a janitor, an advertising firm, a receptionist, and a “gopher” to do what I and my older kids do, which is just not in our business budget.

    A wife is a “help meet” to her husband and since this is what he is asking me to help him with, I would be wrong to fight him on it.

    Our kids have learned many valuable lessons by being in business with us. The older ones are 15 and 11, so they have their share of responsibilities at home and at work.

    The important thing is not whether we’re at home or at the shop but that we’re together.
    There are many references to women working outside of the home in the bible. The women either had their children with them or they stayed with a family member. Although I TOTALLY value a clean house and a homecooked meal, I don’t think that our righteousness depends on it.

    What God has prioritized in my heart is that we are together as a family AND that my husband and I are not neglecting to teach our children all things about the Lord.

    I’m glad that there are still women who feel strongly about staying in the home, but I’m equally glad there are women like me who are willing to have their children with them working together and being a help meet to husband or dad. It is HARD. It is not for the faint of heart! It would be so much easier to drop the kids at a babysitter everyday, but this is where the fruits of the spirit can be practiced!

  12. Dana says:

    Kelly–
    I whole-heartedly. My husband is disabled and I may be forced back into the workplace though. I’m not happy about this AT ALL! However, helping my husband may mean me going back to school then work.
    Dana

  13. Amanda says:

    LOVE this post!

    *Brenda* – For what it’s worth, I think what you’re describing fits in with Kelly’s post. You’re working together as a family. That’s totally different than constantly running around doing activities.

  14. Joanna says:

    (((Dana))) That sounds like a very difficult situation. One thing that’s really encouraged me is knowing that God makes each of us a suitable helper for our individual husbands. My path happened to be along academia, and then I married a scholar-library for a husband, and it just is lovely to see how God had prepared me–without even knowing it at the time–for the particular man I married.

    I would just really encourage you that if school and work is the best way that you can serve your husband in your particular situation (which does sound difficult), then do it with all your heart, knowing that you were called into this situation for a particular purpose.

    In some ways it’s an opposite situation, but one of my best friends who is disabled had her first child last year (now that’s an amazing story, both from the positive choices her parents made when they found out about her disabilities as well as a pregnancy and birth that she didn’t know was possible). But God gave her a husband who is incredibly nurturing, both to her and to their child. He is also more physically able to handle some of the childcare than she is, so they’ve navigated work choices so at times they have both worked part-time, but have prioritized time with each other and time raising their beautiful child. It’s just been lovely to see God’s provision in their lives, and how He provided a husband to my friend who met her particular needs in very particular ways.

    Also, many schools, even traditional programs, now offer online courses for at least some of the classes, and depending on what you choose to study, there may be opportunities for you to work at least part of the time out of the home.

  15. Carmen says:

    Your post was an encouragement at just the right time! Thank you! (I posted about it!)

  16. I don’t know BigE. Personally, I’m hoping someone takes him to the Yellow Rose prior to departure.

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