I am so grateful for your words of wisdom. You have made me realize that there is, indeed, substance in, and pride to be carried with, being a stay-at-home-mother. I am married to a wonderful man and have three sons, 5, 3, and 2.
After the long and loud days at home with 3 boys, I often imagined myself as "that crazy lady who inexplicably drove her car into a tree one day!" - I was not able to fully comprehend the benefits of all this insanity and lack of "me" time. I was always told that to be "successful" a woman had to go to work every day and make something of yourself. This led to my assumption that stay-at-home moms were stupid, lazy, lowlifes. I grew up in a family in which my mother was a workaholic. My brother and I were sent to a babysitter every day and my mother was always late picking us up. Our babysitter finally got fed up with my mother's tardiness that she left us outside on the swing-set, while she and her family went indoors to have supper. I felt unimportant, unloved, neglected and "second" in my mother's life. I was always jealous of the other children at school who had their smiling parents waiting at the gate to pick their kids up.
The days in which my father was able to sneak away from work and pick us up for lunch were the greatest. There was a sense of warmth and comfort that came from knowing your parents were going to be there for you.
I didn't realize the lack of warmth and comfort in my life were turning a once smiley and confident young girl into an insecure, emotional wreck. As I grew into my teenage years, my parents grew apart, and decided to divorce. I developed an eating disorder. In university, I developed a passion for Women's Studies courses, which introduced me to "feminist theory", and the great feminists in literature. From this, I grasped that all men are out to get "us"; that a strong-woman will never let a man tell her what to do; to make a name for yourself in the workplace, and that staying at home all day with your children is equivalent to being behind bars.
Later on in life, I would flush this down the toilet with most of the other bullshit I learned at university. I now realize, with the help of your validation, women are MEANT to stay home with their children. Feminists all over the world are going to hate me when I say: "IT'S OUR DNA to be present for our children." I would never wish my boys to feel as I did growing up after being left in the hands of a babysitter for 9+ hours a day. No stranger could never match the amount of love I feel for these boys. What message would I be sending my kids if I left them with someone else all day, if I wasn't there to pick them up from school, and if I wasn't home with them to offer the best type of love - a mother's love? The message would be that they are "second" - when in fact, family should come first. I now realize "this" work is the most important work I can ever do in life. I AM MY KIDS' MOM!