We had just gotten into the car to drive down the street to the library, when I heard from the backseat of the car, daughter number one and daughter number two carrying on a conversation about bees. My eldest daughter had been stung by a bee several years ago, and although she was quite young, she still remembers the incident quite vividly.
My middle daughter was quite curious about the whole process and was asking lots of questions about bees; why do they sting, does it hurt when they sting you, do they get mad if you take their honey? She was telling me that her big sister had been stung by a bee before and reiterated another life event that had occurred to her sister as well. She was casually commenting on both events as if it was brand new information to me.
Then, quite abruptly, my oldest pipes up and says, “B, mom knows I was stung by a bee and mom knows (whatever the second event was that was being discussed, I’ve already forgotten) had happened as well. She was there, B, she’s always there.”
I felt a little funny at first when I heard her make that comment. I wasn’t quite sure what to think, to be honest. Then, I started to agree (in my head of course). Yes, I am always there. I am there for my kids, I thought to myself.
This simple thought took me on a quick sprint of reflection of all the choices my husband and I have made along the way, which has brought us to this very point in life that we are living today. It hasn’t always been easy choosing to be a stay at home mom, just as I’m sure it’s not always easy choosing to be a working mom either.
However, in that split second of a moment, my heart filled with gratitude. My daughter knows that I will always be there for her. And it wasn’t just that, I could tell that she appreciated knowing that mom was always there. It was if she had this sense of security because of it.
All of those hard choices, mental debates and hard conversations that happened years ago before we had kids and even to this day with 3 children, deciding if I should work or stay home; comparing and contrasting the cost of each and weighing our options has never been an easy choice to make. But in that moment, that probably flippant comment made by my 7 year old, made me feel like I had made the right choice for us.
All of the sacrifices and mental gymnastics routines that go on in my brain were all made worth it just for that one moment. I’ll take it.
So if you are a stay at home mom like me, know that your kids sense your presence (always)! Even if they don’t verbalize it, they know. And if you’re reading this and you’re not a stay at home mom, this is not to give you a guilt trip or make you feel bad about the choices you have made. I know that you have made the choice that is right for you just as I have.
Career minded mothers can be fully present and always there for their children just as much as a stay at home mom can be absent from their child’s life. I realize that whether you choose to be a SAHM or a career woman, we all have to work at being fully present with our children in the time that we are given with them. We all have to make a conscience effort to be there, always. And soak it up when our kids let us know when we have succeeded!