Judy-isms #1: The Joy of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

I met an old friend for dinner last week whom I hadn’t seen in thirteen years. As we were catching up, she asked me why I wasn’t using the degrees I earned (BA in English and a Master’s in Secondary Education) to work outside the home. She asked me if it was my choice to stay at home, or if it was my husband’s idea. She said that I was so “into education” that she couldn’t believe I wasn’t using my degrees. For that matter, come to think of it, neither could I!

Motherhood was not something I initially embraced, nor was it an easy role for me to succumb to. In fact, having one child rocked my world so completely that I decided I wouldn’t have another. It took me some time and intense struggling to see its rewards. At first I stayed home because I couldn’t figure out how to manage working outside the home, being a mom and a wife, and maintaining a home all at once. These were tasks that I most certainly didn’t learn how to do in school. I soon realized, however, that I was the pivot upon which my family rested, and came to embrace parenting my ten-year-old son Max. I even bought a mini-van and volunteered to be classroom mom, surrendering to my fate! I love being Max’s mom now and am proud of it.

I am here for my boy when he wakes up and goes to bed. I am here for him when he comes home from school to hear about his day. I am here for him to drive him to baseball, and Hebrew school and to hear him practice piano. I am here to pack his lunch and walk him to school every morning. I am here to read Harry Potter books with him and watch the movies. I am his biggest advocate (and am here to cheer him on) and his harshest critic (and sternly discipline him when he does something wrong). I am here to teach him how to be a good person.

But he has taught me so much more. My son has taught me about responsibility and how to be a grown-up. He has taught me about trust and kindness and sharing, and not yelling (which I still do at times). He has taught me how to rediscover the joy in boogie boarding, sledding, roller-coaster riding and just plain silliness that only a ten-year-old can conjure. Mostly, he has taught me how to give and receive a type of unconditional love that I never knew or thought was possible. He has taught me the importance of keeping myself well so that I can be the kind of me and mother that he deserves. He has taught me how to be the best person I can be. For that, I am truly grateful and wouldn’t change a thing. The degrees will still be there when he is grown!

By Judy Kroll

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2 Responses to Judy-isms #1: The Joy of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

  1. Jill says:

    I’m a stay at home to my 2year old son and it’s hard. I went to college but I always knew I wanted to stay home and even though I worked as a pre-school teacher for 5years it never prepared me for what being a mom is all about. I remember when my son was 4weeks old and I called my husband at work and told him to come straight home after work I needed help. I had a migraine and my son just kept crying. When my husband got home he asked me why it was so hard for me to do it when I’ve taken care of infants in daycare before with out a problem. The answer was simple, when I worked with kids and babies I got to go home. No matter how bad the day was I knew soon it would be over. Being a stay at home mom I never get to leave. It’s constant 24/7 even at night when I’m asleep and even when I’m in the bathroom. I’m glad I get to be home for my son but it’s not a vacation like some people think it is.

  2. Elle says:

    I have been a stay at home mom to my son for since he was born, 2 1/2 years ago. It’s been a true journey, having worked in a pretty weighty office job before to the slower paced world of raising my boy. While I had a few sahm friends, almost all of my friends work and kept offering me Nannies and sitters and people to take care of him but I quote my late MIL, “no one could
    Do the job of raising my child better than me.” And it’s true. Yes. There are days it isolating and tiresome, but I see a calmness and a confidence in my son that I know he has because I’m consistently in his corner and much of his learning comes from me. At some point I may work again, but for now, he’s more fulfilling than any career could be at this point.