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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Why I Don't Regret Staying Home to Teach My Kids

Cooking with son

Written by Krista Smith.

There is an unspoken secret many homeschool moms keep, myself included. It’s a question we try to ignore but one which still finds its way into our thoughts more often than we care to admit.

Is homeschooling my children just as important as having a job? Am I missing out on some "pivotal" role in society by choosing to stay home with my children?

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Why I Don't Regret Staying Home to Teach My Kids #homeschool #homeschoolmom #homeschoollife #SAHM

For years, I, like so many other women, had been conditioned to believe that my worth could only be calculated in what I did or what I do. As early as middle school, I was given an annual aptitude test--an assessment that was designed to tell the examinee what career path he or she should choose someday. As I'm sure you can imagine, at that point in my life, I could barely decide what pair of socks to wear each day better yet select my vocational goals.

I took the last of these silly tests my senior year of high school and was told that I should hope for a career as a linebacker or a cocktail waitress. (Yes, you read that right. Linebacker. Cocktail waitress.)

I’ll admit, I don’t really know what a linebacker does but I’m confident that I don’t have the build to be one. And a cocktail waitress? Let's just say that I don't have the right build for that job either. 

These tests assured me that I would be a fabulous addition to either workforce and funny enough, I believed them. Funnier yet, I still do!

I've no doubt that I would be a good addition to any company I applied to...lack of build excluded, of course! But, I also know that I'm a great addition to the job I already have: a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.

I know not all home situations are the same. I know there are families in which Mama has to work for a paycheck. But I also know there are many women who have chosen to stay at home but who feel pressure to “contribute to society” in some way that is tangible and measurable.

If that is you, may I pass along some encouragement that the Lord in His kindness gave to me during a season of doubt? 

learning about finger prints

Parenthood is Short


I know it doesn’t feel like it on the days when I’ve been tantrumed at and snotted on until I barely resemble a person anymore--but while the days go by slowly, the years simply fly. I want to recognize the blessing it is to be able to soak in every bit of my children’s lives. Yes, even the bad days! I'm sure you can say the same.

Before I know it, they’ll be gone and I will have had this one shining span of time to introduce them to and help them to surrender to the One who made them, who knows them best, and who orchestrates inconceivable plans for them. I can do that while working a 9-5, but my interests will always be divided. And as much as I’d like to claim to be a multi-tasker, I can only give my whole heart fully to one thing at a time. Oh God, no matter what it costs, let that be my family!

Life Expectancy is Long


This might seem like a random thought, but hear me out: We’re living longer than our great grandparents did. We’re still nowhere near the life span of those amazing Okinawans, of course. But God willing, we have, on average, a solid 75-80 years of life-ing to live. So, why do we feel so guilty for spending a measly 18 years with our children? For the larger than average family, that total might climb to 25-30 years, but that's still less than half of a lifetime to do something so worthwhile. 

Like many Americans, I started working when I was quite young. I was busy counting coins at my uncle’s bank by the time I turned fourteen and I basically didn’t stop working in some capacity until my firstborn was 6 months old. I worked twelve years, stepped out of the workforce when I had kids, and yet still fully plan to labor and leverage my gifts and talents for the Lord in His work, in whatever way that looks like, until I can no longer physically do so. Retirement is not in my vocabulary. I’m hoping to still be working for Jesus (and some employer too, de facto) until someone threatens to take me out back and put me out of my misery. 

To do a little point proving, let's just say that I live and work into my early 80s. Well, that’s another 30+ years of working I'll do after my youngest leaves the house! That’s nearly 50 years--a half-century--of occupying a "pivotal" role in the workforce. I’m good with that number!

homeschool art project

History is Kind


Those of us who choose to stay at home during these mothering years are in great company. A quick look at the annals of history proves that mothers have been the primary home keepers since the dawn of time. And yet, societal collapse was averted and we somehow managed to perpetuate the species.

But it’s a different world these days, some will say. I’ll grant you that. And yet, childhood needs remain the same--kids still thrive best under the care of loving mothers.

And that’s the point, isn’t it?

Yes, the workforce and industry will always be changing and advancing. But the home is the one thing that hasn’t changed much since Adam. Family units may look slightly different from house to house, but the core components of love, care, time, and investment are the needs of every household, regardless of who lives there. 

Our children are worth whatever we will miss in status, “relevance”, and income. We don’t need to feel insecure about giving these years to them one moment longer. 

Homeschool Mama, when that worry rears its ugly head again and wants you to question whether you’re making “enough” of a difference in this world, you remind yourself that not only are you making a difference, you’re raising difference makers! That’s a cumulative effect that is unrivaled in our world today!

Even if you never work another day in your life, the mere fact that you sacrificed time, love, devotion, discipline, work-ethic, joys, sorrows, and made sure that the things of God were intricately woven throughout your child's first eighteen years, will pay amazing dividends.

Dividends, like children who are:


Imperfect and yet adored
Whole human beings whose minds and souls are nurtured
Saturated in the presence of God, the Word, prayer, and worship daily
Curious
Allowed to fail
Allowed to succeed
Encouraged to try
Celebrated for their uniqueness
Happy to spend time with their family
Aware of their own worth
Planted on a firm foundation in all areas of life

And the list goes on and on. When I stand before the Lord someday, I know I won't say, “I wish I’d worked at that bank a little longer." But I might just be wishing that I had had more time loving and learning with the lives He entrusted into my care. So, in the meantime, I'm going to stop worrying about having a job and continue finding joy in the work God has put right in front of me. How about you?

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Krista Smith is the adoring wife to an amazing man and together they have three beautiful children (two biological, one adopted from Japan). Krista is privileged to homeschool them using an eclectic variety of methods. She has a deep and abiding love for Coke, tan-colored coffee, Star Wars and all things Lord of the Rings (the family minivan’s license plate may even be in elvish. Nerd. Just sayin’). But above all of these things, Krista is, first and foremost, a lover and follower of Jesus Christ! So, may the Lord and His Gospel get every ounce of honor and glory and credit for anything she writes, says or does.


5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much Krista for such a beautiful post and valuable insights. Your words have truly encouraged me as I sometimes have the feelings of being just a stay at home mom and homeschooling my son. Thanks again and many blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! I will be sure to pass along the encouragement to Krista!

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  2. All of these struggles are real. We are new to all of these things this year, and these are encouraging words.

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    1. May God give you sweet peace in what He's called you to in the remaining months of your school year!

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