I was at the park, doing my post jog/run play ground time with my youngest one. This nice woman walked up and started talking to me while I was doing my sit ups. We just started chatting and then we got on the topic of working and staying home with the kids and she said "I will be staying home with my 3 kids in about a week, I put in my resignation one week ago. I work my ass off and don't make any money and there's no appreciation for all the work I do. I can not wait to stay home with the kids so I can relax and take it easy for a while and finally get some appreciation, you know?" I held back my explosive laughter and just agreed with her. I remember feeling that way before I really understood the whole "labours of love" thing for real. I do feel that caring for your kids if you can, is best for them, and I love being able to be there for them, for now, until I find a job that works for our family, but if your expecting relaxation and highly deserved appreciation, you've been watching too many made for tv scripted house wives shows. I didn't have the heart or the time to challenge her expectations. My bon bons, 20 year old tennis coach and 12:00 spa appointment where waiting, lol. Why ruin the surprise!
I am on a four month maternity leave and it has felt like a wonderful vacation! My oldest is in school most of the day and my middle child is pretty easy for a two year old. Babies are the easiest of all. So taking it easy applies for me. Appreciation is a different story all together.
Ive done both but now being home with my boys, number three on the way, and I homeschool-would I say it's easy? Sometimes but not always. There are definite advantages to being home and out of the public (I worked retail for more than ten years) but there are days when the kids are SCREAMING by the time Daddy gets home and I want to rip my hair out; those days I would gladly hand him the kids and go deal with the insane customers. :-)