Homemaking · With Kids

My degree was not a waste of time because I chose to be a Stay At Home Mom

Disclaimer: There are a lot of hurtful statements out there today in the world of moms. Every mom I know has mommy guilt for a host of different reasons. I have a lot of respect for women of all different walks of life and choices in career paths.

I have been at both ends of the spectrum: a working mom who had to deal with all the stresses of daycare, packing lunches, missed kisses, traveling for work, etc. and now I’m a stay at home homeschooling mom who loves my job and feels very fulfilled, but still misses the time I got to enjoy my morning coffee peacefully on the train. Please know that I am absolutely not trying to add any mommy guilt or judgement but rather speaking from the depths of my heart in my own journey.

There are many moms today who have some level of higher education and are deciding to become a stay at home mom. I know because I am one of them.  I have two masters’ degrees and absolutely loved my career prior to staying home.

If I was being completely honest I would tell you that so many years of striving to learn more and achieve more, this became a measure of my success. If I have to guess I bet that I’m not alone.

When I decided to stay home with my children I can understand why people didn’t get it. I had worked my entire life to become an architect and finally got my license only months before I quit. But people’s misunderstanding of my intentions came in a host of questions like “Why on earth would you want to waste your education to stay home?”

There certainly have been times where I’ve begun to question this myself but at the very depth of that question, the answer is very simple. Because we felt God call me to come home.

Within that answer is also an extremely complicated answer that involves the depths of my children’s souls.

You see I don’t view my degree as a waste of time now that I’m home because the decision to come home was never about me. It was about them. It was about the desire to serve my children and my husband in a way that I couldn’t do with my career.

If you’re considering staying home but are afraid of “wasting” your degree, I’d say to you this.

There is nothing quite so precious as the moments you have with your children during this SHORT season of life.

If you are a stay at home mom and struggling with your own convictions about “wasting” your degree:

  • Forgive yourself for not knowing what you know now

Oftentimes I fall into the trap of thinking how much money it would’ve saved our family if I hadn’t gone through graduate school. I’m here to tell you that this is a horrible trap to be in because no one can predict the future and the path that you are currently in. Remind yourself that you cannot live in the past decisions, but only for the future.

Do not think about the sunk cost of your schooling decisions. Think about the money you’re saving for your family now ­­and the implications of your decision on the family dynamics right now and in the future.

  • Remember your identity outside of your career path

Having spent so many years of my life defining myself with my educational achievements and my passion for my career it was very easy at times to feel lost with my decision to stay at home. You may feel lost about who you­­ really are ­and where your real identity lies but try to remember the aspects that make up who you are outside of your career path.

You may have to dig really deep with this one. For me, I wanted to be an architect since I was 5 years old so when I felt God calling me home I felt like it challenged my entire identity. I had to really remember that at the core of who I am, it didn’t have anything to do with being an architect, a mom, or a wife. My true identity lies in being the daughter of an awesome Heavenly Father.

  • Think about how schooling didn’t necessarily teach you specific things but it taught you how to learn.

I can probably only remember a handful of things from my entire MBA, but I know that strategic skills I learned about how to learn I use still today. Your degree was not a waste. You learned how to research, analyze, manage your time, and be a critical thinker. These are the skills that you will continue to use on a day to day basis.

  • Think about how you are applying the things you learned, even in a very different form.

I often joke that MBA coursework about Leading People & Organizations have nothing on the demands of a stay at home homeschooling mom!

Even in the traditional job market many people have careers that are only semi-related to their original degree title. But no one would dream of telling them that they ‘wasted’ their degree!

I may not be building buildings, but I’m building up my house. I am not managing employees, but I am managing my household. I may not be preparing presentations for clients but I’m preparing school lesson plans and daily schedules. My skills are not wasted and I guarantee yours aren’t either.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.

8 thoughts on “My degree was not a waste of time because I chose to be a Stay At Home Mom

  1. Thank you for sharing this perspective. I don’t have any kids yet but I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have a master’s degree and am climbing the ladder (very slowly) at work. I have started thinking I would like to be a stay at home mom if I am granted the opportunity. I agree that college teaches us how to learn and become critical thinkers, this surely translates to the job of stay at home moms or dads!

    1. Hi Michelle, thank you so much for stopping by! How great that you are starting to envision your future and what you might desire when you have children. Your degree is definitely not wasted and you will find so many ways that your degree has helped you become a more effective mom at home. Start thinking about how you could financially prepare yourself to stay at home if you’re thinking about it one day. Try to start living on only your husband’s salary and it will make the transition one day much smoother. Good luck to you!

  2. I don’t understand why so many people see career as the pinnacle and think you’re wasting your education if you choose a different path. Raising your babies is the most important thing in your life right now, and if God has called you to do that during this season, it’s absolutely the right choice! I am proud of you for choosing to do this incredibly difficult yet incredibly rewarding job!!! xoxo

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for the encouragement. It is difficult in a society that mostly see having a career as the only/best goal in life. There are lots of paths in life and we just chose a different one! Thanks so much for stopping by and the encouragement!

  3. I love this! You are doing the right thing! My daughter-in-law is a pediatrician, but she has chosen to stay home and homeschool her children. She too is doing the right thing. Someday when the kids are grown and gone, you can be an architect. It will be sooner than you think!

    1. Wow, that’s so great that your daughter is a pediatrician and decided to stay home. How old were her kids when she decided to homeschool them? I think the higher paying the career is it becomes more cultually unaccepted to stay at home but it’s a shame because like you said, the kids will grown and gone all too soon!

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