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Applause for Stay-at-home Moms
by Susie Michelle Cortright
Stay-at-home moms are in need of some nurturing. We battle a social stereotype as lazy, uninteresting, and ineffectual. We worry that we are wasting our education and standing still amid a surge of feminist progress.

We have seen a lot of articles applauding mothers who go to work each day. Rarely do we see an article that celebrates those who stay-at-home. Here are just a few reminders of the ways your selflessness and sacrifices make a difference.

Staying home means . . .
More time with children and the ability to get more involved in school and activities, which can become a cornerstone for your child's social activities and social development.

Being there for the milestones. You'll be there when they walk, talk, giggle, and want to know the answers to all kinds of questions.

More input. Monica Jones is a stay-at-home mother of two in Vienna, Virginia. She holds a masters degree in mathematics and left a career with a consulting company to stay home with her children. "This is definitely a case of 'if you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself.'" Jones says. "Each set of parents has an idea of what "right" is -- how they want their children to be raised and the values they want to instill in their children. No one can raise children the way parents want except the parents themselves."

Health benefits. Stay-at-home moms have an easier time breastfeeding and may be able to breastfeed longer, which means more health benefits for kids. Also, expect fewer doctor bills, since children don't come in contact with as many viruses and bacteria at home.

Improved quality of life. Staying at home can mean reduced stress from a slower, less frantic pace and quality family time-a real benefit for Jones: "We have more family time on the weekends because we don't have to take care of the house-cleaning, bill-paying, etcetera, that I did during the week," she says.

Improved communication. "My children and I have a wonderful relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and love," says Silvia Brugge, a stay-at-home mother of three. "I believe that the everyday situations, struggles, and ups and downs have created an environment in which our communication is very good."

More time for spiritual needs. You can serve the community as a volunteer. You can pursue hobbies and personal interests without a heavy weight of guilt. And you might find it easier to help your parents as they get older, as well. 

Susie Michelle Cortright is the author of More Energy for Moms and the founder of Momscape.com, a website devoted to helping moms find peace of mind. She is a writer and full-time mom whose passion is helping women celebrate and embrace their role as mothers, while helping them get in touch with the best resources for stress-relief.

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