1. Parenting

The Benefits of Staying Home

Why We Stay Home

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Baby girl (15-18 months) catching bubbles blown through wand by mother
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I received an email from a stay-at-home mom, named Michelle, who wrote:

    "Nobody will talk about the benefits of being a stay at home parent. I would like to hear this issue addressed. Many professionals are leaving careers because they feel it is better than alternative care. I would love to see you comment on this. I have several friends who are full time working moms. I keep hearing, "Oh I would love to stay home with my 1 year old but they wouldn't get all of that wonderful socialization they get in daycare". I think that if moms can't or don't want to stay home than home is not an optimal environment for children. But every article I have read talks about how children raised in daycare or by alternative care providers are doing just great. I just don't buy it. If a mom or dad wants to be home and can be home than I think we need to start saying that this is beneficial to our children. I don't want a stay at home vs working parent article either. But we can't be afraid to talk about the benefits of making this kind of commitment to our children. Hope to see something in the future!"
    Michelle - mom of Dylan age 3 and Jason age 6 months

So, thanks to Michelle's excellent suggestion, I asked other stay-at-home parents what they feel are the benefits of staying home with their children. Here are some excerpts from the many wonderful emails I received.

Bonding
One benefit many of you wrote about was the special bonding that takes place between you and your children when you are able to stay home.

    Monica wrote:
    "There are so many benefits to staying at home with your child I cannot begin to list them all. The first thing is it builds a feeling of security for your child. I think security brings and breeds trust. My daughter went to day care for a month or so and went to work with me for 2-3 months. I stayed home with her until she was 5 months old and quit when she was 9 months old. She turns 2 next month. I think because she is secure in our bond with each other it allows her to interact and learn more.....The biggest benefit is the bond. I have to live on a budget now, no Macy's only Walmart, still it is worth every minute. "

    And from another stay-at-home mom:
    "The best part, of course, is setting my own schedule for the most part and getting to do fun things with my kids. Whenever we do something new, I think of it as one more memory they'll have of their childhood - whether it's going to the zoo, the library, playing in the backyard, working in the garden, or picking apples at a local orchard. Those are the memories I hope will last a lifetime, and I'm thrilled I'm able to be a part of them."

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