What are you willing to Sacrifice to Stay Home

Can you put a price on the time you spend with your children? Nothing in this world would be worth having if it meant not being home with my son. When I made the choice to become a parent, lifestyle changes were inevitable. It required being more responsible and caring for another person who is dependent on me. The changes I have made are not sacrifices. They are simply choices to help me achieve a goal: staying home to raise my son. The decision to stay home was the most important and yet the easiest decision I have ever made.

One of the biggest changes that occurred when I became a stay at home mom was my spending habits. Making the adjustment to living on one income means having to make choices about how we spend money. It means fewer dinners out and fewer spontaneous purchases. Some people consider this a sacrifice worthy of high praise and pats on the back; I don’t. I consider it being a parent. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to give my son what he needs, to spend less money on myself or to go out less often. I buy generic instead of insisting on the name brands. I shop at discount stores. These, too are choices rather than sacrifices. I don’t feel like I’m settling for second best; I am simply doing what needs to be done in order to stick to a budget that allows me to stay home with my son.

My social life and sense of responsibility has also changed. Gone are the days of going out on a Friday night when a friend calls at the last minute. Gone are the days of taking off for a weekend just because we want to. Now our lives revolve around schedules, plans and activities that are family friendly. Again, some call these changes sacrifices; I call them necessary yet wonderful parts of having a family. Though I enjoyed those things before parenthood, I do not miss them. I am too busy raising the son I feel very fortunate to have.

Many people struggle with not having time to themselves once becoming a parent; not me. I love being with my son and have no desire to be away from him. Someday that may change, but for now I will just enjoy being able to be with him every day.

Staying home with my son is not a sacrifice; it is the only option for me. I can’t imagine doing anything else. The real sacrifice would be to leave him every day to go to work; that is one sacrifice I am not willing to make. I feel so fortunate that I don’t have to make that choice.