Specifically the time to spend with my children. It's a sacrifice financially but dear sweet hubby and I made the decision before Peaches came along that we wanted me to stay home with our children until they were all in school all day, as both of our mothers did that and we felt that benefited us. Now granted there are days when I'd much rather be working, not only to have that extra money, but also to just get away from the trying days with all three at home, especially during the summer. But looking at the big picture, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Now what got me to thinking about this as my grateful post for today was the fact that I volunteered at the girls' school today. It's sad to say but you can pretty much pick out the kids whose parents take the time to spend with them and the parents who don't or can't because they work too much. I've noticed a lot of the kids who parents don't spend much time with them, for whatever reason, seem to be slightly behind their peers as far as academics go. And I've noticed this most with Peaches' class. It's her third year with these students and I've gotten to know some. So I know which ones have moms who stay home and which ones don't, and unfortunately it's the ones who don't who seem to be behind their peers. It breaks my heart and just makes me want to go in and volunteer as much as I can so I can help them. I absolutely love to help them learn stuff and then congratulate them when they get the answer right or read a sentence correctly. I love seeing their smiles when they realize they've done it right. All of this has just reinforced the idea of my getting a job at the elementary school once Little Man is in school all day, as not only would I have summers off with the kids, but I'd get to see more smiles on the students faces.
So it all comes down to the fact that I am so grateful that I get to be one of those moms who can stay home with her kids and maybe help them get a leg up. I don't always have the time to sit down with each one individually and work with them on one subject or another, but I can help feed their desire to learn and do better. I've started reading books for myself again and I think that them seeing me sitting down to read for fun has helped feed their love for books. And when I read to them and we have a book that we learn something from, I think my excitement at learning something new helps feed their love of learning something new.
And who knows maybe I'd be able to do that even if I did work full time outside of the home, but I'd like to think that my ability to stay home with them just helps me do it a little bit more.