Our Children

As the mother of a 35 year old daughter, I am proud to admit that I devoted my attentions to the first eighteen years of her life. I did not go out to work, but gave time when she was at school, to charity volunteering. We had none of the modern gadgets that are considered compulsory in the world of today, yet she was helped to progress at every level. If research was needed for a project, we took her to the library. We fed her books, as did her teachers, she loved school and made plenty of friends. When my husband died following a six year illness, I went back to work, but often felt resentment from working mothers. Being a parent is a privilege, and we need to remember that time given to children is like paying forward to the future.

Where did that come from? It was a comment I made on an interesting blog post this morning. Well worth a read, I think:

Your AttentionΒ Matters


36 thoughts on “Our Children

    • Some seemed to think that ‘stay at home mothers’ were lazy. I certainly was not, I did all the chores, like painting, decorating, interior decorating as well as all the cooking (from scratch), while they earned money to pay for childcare, and all the other items on my list

  1. Very well said. We were fortunate that my wife could stay home with the kids until they were near high school age. It made a big difference. It’s hard for me to believe that people nowadays have to drop their child off at a daycare at 6 months old because they both have to work (or they are single parents).

  2. One day a man came home from work to find total chaos in the house. The kids were laying outside in the mud, still in their pajamas, and empty food boxes were on the kitchen counter.

    When he opened the door, he found an even bigger mess: dishes on the counter, dog food spilled on the floor, a broken glass under the table and a pile of sand by the back door. The family room was strewn with toys, and a lamp had been knocked over.

    He headed up the stairs, stepping over toys, to look for his wife.
    He was becoming worried that she might be ill or that something terrible had happened to her.

    He found her in the bedroom still in bed with her pajamas on, reading a book. She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day had gone. He looked at her, bewildered, and asked, “What happened here today?”

    She again smiled and answered, “You know, every day, you come home from work and ask me what I did today.”

    “Yes” was his reply.

    She answered, “Well, today, I didn’t do it!”

    And to lighten up the situation, here is an ad that made me all nostalgic for when Ranjan was a little tyke.

  3. Karen was also a stay-at-home mom, except for a couple of short stints in the work force. Both of our daughter have expressed their appreciation for her being there when the mom’s of so many of their friends were not.

    After both girls left home, Karen worked for a time as an administrative secretary for a local hospice. When the volunteer coordinator quit, they wanted Karen to take on that role as well. She told them that she would be willing to if they raised her salary to the level that the previous coordinator had been paid. But, no, they couldn’t do that — she didn’t have a degree. So she quit as she wasn’t willing to do both jobs without an increase in salary.

    Not long after that, her doctor told her that he had thought that the stress of the job had been affecting her health (she has been treated for 25 years for immune system and connective tissue disorders, fortunately in medicated remission) and that he was going to suggest cutting back or quitting. Fortunately, we did not need her income.

    • Sorry, Mike, I thought I answered your comment earlier.

      I have something else in common with Karen: Time as a volunteer followed by a stint in paid employment at the Hospice.Alas, a bout of illness brought it to an abrupt end.

  4. Those were the good days. Those were the days I remember growing up in. Like you, my mother was always there to teach me, to help and to feed me books. There were no little electronic devices around and I’m so very thankful for that.

    Also, I highly respect you staying home to raise your daughter. That makes a huge difference in their lives and also in who they become as adults. Staying home is work. There is no down time for mothers. It’s a 24/7 job.

    Your wonderful statement reminds me of this quote, β€œChildren are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”

    • Me, I enjoyed every minute of my daughter’s childhood and watching her develop in mind and body. Today she is a talented and caring young adult!

  5. Good for you, I wish I could have stayed home with my sons longer than I did. It is great for the kids, don’t let anyone’s sour attitude get to you.

    • Celia, I never did. It was our choice to bring a child into the world and our responsibility to bring her up to the best of our ability.

    • Dianne, I sometimes wonder if it is really as tough as some youngsters would have us believe. Go into many of their homes and they have TVs and music centres in several rooms, all mod cons to aid with housework while laptops, cell phones, XBoxes, iPods, tablets and kindles are scattered about the place if not abandoned to a corner. Brand names abound and it all costs money. In all honesty, is that the reason the second adult has to work? What ever happened to cutting one’s coat according to one’s cloth?

      • Each story is different, but all the mod cons may be part of the problem. My SIL died when my granddaughters were 7, 5, 3,and 1. My daughter stayed home with the kids until the last one graduated from high school. She had help from us, Medicaid from the government, Social security payments, and help from her landlady and church, as well as many others in her community to make ends meet. She also babysat and kept various dogs to earn extra. Dianne

  6. I have long deplored the feminist idea that equal rights mean that there should be no difference in career aspirations or specialities between the sexes..
    The most responsible job any parent can undertake is the preparation of their part of the next generation – and generally woman are better suited to doing a good full-time job of it while the man does the easy part of providing the means for food and shelter and stuff.
    Similarly, the most honoured profession, excellently remunerated and only entered into by the cream, against the fiercest competition, should be that of teacher.

  7. I have had the privilege of staying home with my children too. I know many women can’t do that, so I do appreciate that I have been blessed. But there are also women who work so that they can have all of the “things” they want in life. Some day their children will be grown, and they will realize what they missed. I think that staying home is hard in some ways. You dont’ have as much money. You dont’ get a pat on the back for a job well done. You don’t wear as nice of clothes usually when you are a stay at home mom. You may not come in contact with as many adults as you would if you were working. You may not have as nice of belongings as you would if you work. But what you get for your effort is the chance to be there when your children are being molded. You get to mold them the way you want, and teach them what you want. You get to be the one to hug and kiss them. You get to be the one to hear their thoughts. It is far worth whatever you lose by not leaving the home.

    • Delores, I always saw looking after Elly as a privilege, Mind you we did not have any relations within a 120 miles to fall back on, We quickly learned to share our time and talents to the best advantage for Elly. Thankfully, it worked. I never regret one moment of what I did.

  8. I was a stay at home mom when my children were little, and went back to work when they were in high school. I loved being there for them and would not have traded those times for anything. My priorities were my choices and I haven’t regretted them.

    • When Elly was in high school, I did think about going back to work. Alas, cancer raised its ugly head and I became a 24/7 non-stipendiary carer for my husband. Again, it was a privilege to care for him and we did manage to have some precious moments with laughter proving to be good medicine.

    • Gigi, in some countries, people have children in order to have someone to look after them in their old age. Others need two wages in order to be given a mortgage for a house. Then the cycle begins: Mortgage, a car or two, food on the table, childcare, soon to be followed by gadgets – for the home, then for entertainment……

  9. My daughter tuns 40 next week! Yikes! πŸ™‚ And I, too, stayed home with my children, only teaching some piano in their school when they were young. I really loved the time with my children, and wouldn’t change things at all. I do think that young families have a more difficult time today without two working parents. Even cutting back to just essentials, it’s hard today to do with less, I think.

    • Debra, ‘doing without’ can be difficult but not the end of the world. I can recall three stages in my lifetime when ‘extras’ were a no-no, yet it did not kill me. It certainly taught me to become inventive!

  10. I grew up with parents in their 50s, yep Mother was 48.1/2 years old when I was born; one of those special babies with my next sister up (15yrs up) away at boarding school in a city 8hours bus ride away – the rest had left home they were 10/12 years above the 15yr old! One got married when I was about 5!

    My parents were at home, Dad sold the farm when I was 4 and moved into town, Taumarunui and took odd jobs as did Mother (sold lollies at the picture theatre on Sat matinees).

    They were out of touch with children and anyway I was pretty disabled so I just did little things mostly at home. Asking any question was a waste of time – Dad, was often too busy with listening to rugby, cricket, parliament and later the TV. Mum just didn’t know or maybe she didn’t care – remember they were getting on…both developed health issues, and we lived in small-town NZ πŸ™‚ where the main conversation was about the local industry to do with timber and trains!

    Then I too went off to boarding school, we were living in Auckland, I went 8 hours south to New Plymouth. In those days really didn’t learn much at boarding school and no one much answered your questions…

    Sometime later, in married life I was expecting to have kids but that didn’t happen – long boring story which actually ended when I finally “left” and now I’m single…

    It has only been in the last few years I have been able to pay any attention to anyone…not that there is anyone living with me. I give my time to organisations and try to create some nice things etc…

    BTW – Mum and Dad died in my 20s. The eldest and me are the only one left and she is in her late 80s whereas I’m in my early 60s πŸ™‚

  11. Cathy, it is good to learn a little about your background and family. Iw was so different to mine. My siblings were like steps of stairs around me. Life was different back then So much of: “Children should be seen and not heard!”.

  12. I had to go back to work after my children were born. I had a steady job and i worked for a bank so our mortgage was subsidised because of this. If i had left work I would have lost the subsidy. My husband had intermittent temporary jobs and refused to give up work to be a stay at home dad. It took a few years but by the time my eldest was 6 i was a stay at home mum, much more fun for all of us, but the girls both lost out on basic housekeeping skills as they didn’t follow me round the house cleaning and cooking when they were little. It was so good to be around for all the school events and to be there after school. When they were in secondary school I was in uni, and i was a teacher for a while so was free for their holidays which helped. Now i can;t work much as i am too ill 😦

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