First, let me say that being an at-home mom isn’t for everyone.  If you are the type who relies heavily upon your social circle outside the home, it may not be a good fit for you.  If, on the otherhand, you are an introvert and have no problem doing your own thing 24/7, then you’ll have no problem being the at-home parent.  I have a lot of friends who fit into the “not for them” category as they are very social people.  I also have friends who are like me – have no problem being at home.   Neither is too terribly bad.  On one hand, the social mom loves to do her own thing outside the family regulary and it feeds the human need to be a social person.  On the other hand, a more social mom will also miss out on a lot of the little milestones that the at-home mom sees–the first few steps, the first time dancing, the first words, the first sentences, the first of a lot of different things.

So, which is better?  Whichever suits your personality is better.  What’s better for your child?  That also depends upon what kind of parent you want to be.  Do you enjoy being the “soccer mom” type who spends her day in “mom’s taxi” truckin’ kids to sports, birthday parties, school events, etc, all while fitting in grocery shopping and running errands between runs?  These are the moms that are very involved in their children’s lives from day one.  Personally, I think this is great for the child and builds a great relationship between child and parent.  However, unfortunately, not a lot of families can afford to have one parent stay at home.  This is society’s fault for making adults choose between money and their children’s well-being.   We all want what is best for our children, but not all of us can afford to what is best for our children. 

If you’re the mom who’d rather be out working and enjoying the adult interactions day-to-day, don’t feel guilty about it.  Yes, you’ll miss out on a lot of “little” things, but as long as you are spending QUALITY time with your children, then that is nourishing as well.  By QUALITY time, I mean this:  Don’t hold a conversation with your 8yr old while doing a load of dishes, throwing a load of laundry in the wash, or sweeping the floors.  Sit down, make time to converse about the child’s day at school, talk about things going on in their life.  You have to learn to just sit back, let the housework wait until the child (children) are in bed, and then work your magic.  That child needs your attention and if you don’t give quality attention, you’ll have a child who feels like they aren’t as important as your favorite TV show, or that playoff game, or that load of dishes.   You can’t let yourself continually say “Give me 5 minutes,” because 5 minutes turns into a load of dishes, turns into a load of laundry that needs to be folded, turns into that favorite TV show you’ve been dying to see all week.   The social mom/dad needs to make QUALITY time with that child. 

We are all tired by the end of the day, just different kinds of tired.  We still need to make sure we spend quality time with our children, regardless of parenting styles (which, btw, is a whole other blog *L*).  It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend, but the amount of QUALITY time you spend with that child/children.  The housework can wait.  I once read somewhere that a messy house is a house that children live in.   Kids will make a mess, they will not want to clean it up, we will get very frustrated with this, BUT… try to let it go.  Sometimes you just have to sit down and let the mess happen, and let it stay that way.  You have guests coming in an hour?  Well, they know you have kids… and if they expect your house to be spotless, then maybe they should hire you a maid.