Recently, I had dinner with a friend of mine, who is a mom of two kids, ages 1 and 3. She also works full time. I am a stay-at-home mom of three young boys. My friend told me that the next day, she didn't have any work to do in the office, and was feeling anxious thinking of being home with little to do instead of working. I suggested she keep her kids home from daycare that day, and she actually said "I cannot do that....I just can't." I felt utterly annoyed.
Fast forward to last night. My boys were working on a Cub Scout project which instructed the whole family to say something nice about each family member. Since my boys were being silly with some of their comments, I expected a silly compliment from them. Instead, one of them looked at me and said "Mom, I like how you are always there, like when I come home from school or when I have a question about my homework. That's cool." I was taken aback and it brought tears to my eyes. Then I thought about my friend who chose being anxious at home for a day instead of spending time with her two small kids. I doubt they would have the same answer. Thank you for reminding all of us of the importance of hands-on parenting.