1. Parenting
The Rewards of Parenthood
Special Moments

When the laundry is piled to the ceiling, the kids just won't stop bickering, and you are changing the third "poopy" diaper of the day, it's easy to forget the real reason we chose to become Stay-at-Home Parents: the big and small rewards of parenthood. Of course, working parents experience these rewards, too, but as Stay-at-Home Parents we sometimes get so caught-up in the 24 hour days of child rearing, we lose sight of these rewards.

It's the Little Things That Count...
Sometimes, the littlest things can bring the biggest rewards as a parent. The other night, my 8 year old son actually hung his towel back up after his bath without me nagging at him first. It might sound like a small accomplishment, but after my initial shock, I thought, "Hey, maybe he does listen to me now and then!" It was a pretty good feeling! And every now and then, my boys will sit quietly, arm-in-arm, and watch a movie together without fighting. And that makes me feel pretty good, too!

And the Big Things, Too...
There are certain milestones in every child's life: the first smile, learning to walk, the first day of school. These are the events that bring us the greatest pleasures and feelings of accomplishment as parents. And as Stay-at-Home Parents, we are fortunate enough to be home to witness all these special "firsts". Earlier this year, when my second son started Kindergarten, I was much more emotional than when my first son started. Why? I think it was because I knew what to expect this time. I realized that I would no longer be the "biggest" influence in his life, and we would never again go back to the time when he and I were truly "Stay-at-Homes". So with my third son, I am trying to enjoy the last 1 1/2 years we have left until he starts school. I won't yearn for his next big "first"; it will be here soon enough.

For a father's perspective on the small and large rewards of parenthood, Loving Kids is a beautifully written article about one's father's experiences with his children, both the joys and the pains.

Let Me Know
I would love to hear about your greatest rewards as a parent, big or small. Please email me to tell me about your favorite rewards as a Stay-at-Home Parent.

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