On What I Do

Posted by on Feb 17, 2010 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

Yesterday someone related a story to me that went something like this (Kim’s Paraphrased Version):

Person 1: “This weather is so awful. All the snow and cold weather is horrid.  I am tired of being inside.”

Person 2: “Agreed.”

Person 1: “Wow.  Kim must be going out of her mind stuck in the house with those kids all the time.”

Person 2: “Not really. When the kids get wild she just goes somewhere with them.”

Person 1: “Okay.”

Obviously this conversation isn’t anything, right?  It’s completely innocuous.  So why did it get under my skin? Because it did.  It got under my skin like a song by Chumba Wumba, which is to say, a lot.  I know why, of course.  I completely know why. It’s because of the assumption behind this kind of thinking. The assumption that so many people have about people who stay at home with their children, namely, that we are victims, trapped, isolated, suppressed, depressed and dying to get out.  It might be true about some people who stay at home, but it is absolutely not true about my life.

I realize that the thing I’ve chosen to do is counter cultural now. I realize that it isn’t glamorous or valued by the world at large.  I realize it is filled with things that appear to have no glory, no pay day, no way to measure accomplishment.  I realize all of it but I reject these ideas without merit.

I stay home and sacrifice myself, pour myself out day after day because in many ways, I am the soul of this family. Three people’s lives depend on me getting it right.  I have a happy, successful husband that loves coming home to me every day.  I work hard to make sure he’s happy to come home.  I make his lunches. I make his suppers. I, sometimes, make his bed. I do a whole lot more than that too but I do all of it because I love him, because he loves me and because I don’t ever want him to leave here and be glad that he’s left.

The two small people who are currently napping require loads of patience, plenty of repetitive correction and even more hugs. We spend our days playing with trains and trucks and tea cups and drums; making cookies and banana bread and art; reading books; making up stories and laughing, lots and lots of laughing. I do a whole lot more than that too but I do all of it because I love them, because they love me and because no one, let me say it again, NO ONE, can do the job I do for them. There is no day care center, no nanny, not even a grandparent that can fill in the role of a parent.  It’s a wholly different thing to be a parent; to be consumed with the well being of someone who desires your love and attention beyond everything else in the world; to be on vacation and unable to stop taking pictures of fire stations because your little guy loves them so much or to keep yourself from buying that hat because your little girl looks so good in green; to be all-in when it comes to somebody’s every day.

I know that there are situations that necessitate parents leaving their children in the care of others. I am not intending to hurt them (or you) in any way.  I’m just sold out on the idea that mommies and daddies should raise their children. Why does that statement sound so obnoxious?  Why is it that holding this view makes me seem so very very out of touch? It’s out of vogue and maybe I am a part of a bizarre counter-culture, but maybe you should meet my kids and talk with my husband and see what kind of difference it’s making in their lives.

Bring on the snow.

6 Comments

  1. dear kim,
    thank you.

    love,
    summer

  2. Dear Kim; Thank you for taking such good care of the our son and those beautiful grandkids we love you all so very much and appreciate all you do for everyone. We are PROUD of you and Jud and the way you are raising your family. Love Mom M

  3. I really did feel like I was going out of my mind staying at home with the kids when we lived at Redcloud. Winters are way longer there and there is seriously nowhere to go. But in a normal town, where you have friends/church/stores, etc. being a stay at home mom is never boring.

  4. everything i want to say and WILL want to say someday!

  5. I came across your blog quite by accident while searching for information about tamarisk trees (doing a Bible study of Genesis) & am so impressed with what you’ve written about the value of being a stay at home wife & mom. Don’t ever let the world tell you that what you’re doing isn’t important! Some day when your kids have become fine, responsible adults that you have every reason to be proud of, people will tell you how lucky you are that they turned out so well but you will know that it wasn’t luck at all. It will be the result of the hard work & dedication that you’re putting into being their mom right now. I wish you well!

  6. Late to the show on this, but this is a GREAT post so I had to comment. It doesn’t matter if your decision to stay at home is counter culture, or unpopular. You are doing what is best for YOUR family. Anyone who wants to past judgment or make snide remarks has absolutely no right to, because it is not their business. Anyway, I think you are awesome. Love ya – Ronke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.