I had hoped that this recession would change our country. I know that my way isn't necessarily the best way, but it is a pretty good gosh darn option.
I realize, of course, that the way we changed our family isn't the solution for everyone. I realize, of course, that not every woman wants to be a stay at home parent. I realize, of course, that not every family can make it work with one car and one motorcycle. And I realize, of course, that not every family is blessed to have two parents or a military paycheck with military benefits.
But in retrospect, me staying home was the best possible choice for our family. Rather than fretting about finding a new job in a HORRIBLE economy, I started focusing on our family. For the last year and a half, I have been available to Chris and to Brytin whenever they needed me. Chris could come home from a rough day at work and vent about it - or choose to forget about it all together and dive into whatever Brytin and I were mixed up with.
With me not fighting battles in the corporate world, the daily traffic and the constant need to be in at least two places at once, Chris and I didn't have to compete for who had the worst day. I could tend to the wounds the world gave him, allow him to relax and recooperate and help him off to face another battle the next day - renewed, refreshed and full strength.
At a very pivotal time in my stepson's life, I was there, every single day. From the time he was four-and-a-half to the present, I have been able to give him my undivided attention whenever he needs it. (Realize that does not mean he controls my time, but that when I see he needs attention/love/affection/discipline/whatever, I am able to be fully tuned in.) I was with him the entire summer before starting school, helping him understand that his life was changing. I was there to pick him up from Kinder every day and really truly listen to all the new experiences he wanted to share with me. And his first day of first grade, I was there to introduce him to his teacher, to help him remember his old friends and to encourage him to be the big boy he is :)
I am so thankful for a loving supporting husband who has allowed me this opportunity. I am so thankful that the downturned economy led me to this place. A stay-at-home parent is exactly who I was meant to be. I'm not perfect at it, but my family is better for it.
Somewhat biased, but rather interesting still is "Home Alone in America" by Mary Eberstadt. The book gives one woman's interpretation as to why our children are in the predicament they are in.