Domesticity and felicity

There are many stereotypes surrounding the image of the stay-at- home parent, from the typical mess of a mother who is struggling to keep up, to the over-scheduled, over-involved mom who is on the board of pretty much everything in which her kid is involved. The problem is that society struggles to recognize the faults in this stereotypical image and see the true feats that real stay-at-home parents accomplish every day.

Although there are many reasons that a mother or father may decide to stay at home, it is almost never just because they are lazy or don’t feel like returning to work. There are many valid reasons that these parents stay at home, such as for the bene t of the child.

“Even though day care centers are great, there is nothing like the parents being the primary caretakers,” stay-at- home mom Amy DiMeo said.

Throughout various psychological research studies, it has been found that babies form a vital attachment with their mothers or other caregivers. This close connection with a stay-at-home parent can also extend to older children.

A recent study in Norway found research showing that children who had parents who stayed at home more bene tted greatly, according to the Graduate School at Stanford Business.

Another reason that a lot of parents choose to stay home is simply to make things run more smoothly at home, without the added cost of childcare. Often, parents make the decision that the money they would be making at work does not outweigh the bene t of being around to watch their child grow up.

“I was working very long hours and I really wanted to spend more time with my daughter. I thought it was the right thing to do for our family,” said stay-at- home mom Lori Porello.

However, others believe that the money and fulfillment from having a career is a far greater bene t than staying at home. It is simply an individual choice that each parent must make: other whether it is more worthwhile to work or not.

“Not working is a financial cut but there are so many things that are more important than material things,” said DiMeo.

When picturing a stay-at-home parent, one tends to envision a barely- showered mom completing basic household tasks all day, such as cooking and cleaning, to occupy herself. In reality, many mothers are volunteers for different organizations or help out at their children’s school.

“I volunteer. My days go by very quickly,” said Porello.

Other stay-at-home parents find creative ways to help bring in money for their household to make up for the loss of income. There are many jobs that one can do from home, such as online work, babysitting and running small businesses.

“I babysit and I have a small home- based business that I have started,” stay- at-home mom Amy Ailabouni said.

There is a stigma surrounding stay- at-home parents with a wide range of opinions on the importance of this job. There is the typical adage saying that being a stay-at-home mother is the hardest job in the world, often due to the feeling of isolation.

“I 100 percent agree that being a stay- at-home mom is the hardest job in the world,” said Ailabouni.

Others believe that it is far easier - and sometimes better - than having a career. Either way, stay-at-home parents and others all have differing opinions.

“Being a stay at home mom is a seven days per week, 365 days per year job but is still much easier than answering to a boss,” said DiMeo.


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