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The Top 21 Kids Websites to Teach Responsibility and Life Skills

The Top 21 Kids Websites to Teach Responsibility and Life Skills

Letting your children navigate the internet on their own is like throwing them into the Wild West for them to fend for themselves. The internet can be a dangerous place for children if they are on the wrong websites.

We all want to protect our children, so knowing the websites that are safe for our kids is of utmost importance. What we also want as parents are websites that teach our children life skills and responsibility.

There are great websites, geared for children, that will engage your child and have them learning at the same time. Below are the top 21 websites for teaching children life skills and responsibility. All of the sites have been vetted and approved by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”

Always monitor children when they are using the internet. Parental guidance for age appropriateness is recommended when your child uses any of the websites listed below. What is appropriate for an eight year old is not always appropriate or suited for a four year old.

These 21 websites can have your kids engaged, entertained, learning, and developing new skills.  Most of them are intended to engage children of various ages, so look for the content on each site that is appropriate for your child’s age and ability level.

1. PBS Kids

    This website is loaded with games, educational activities and videos that will please both child and parent.

    This site engages children in activities and videos that teach them about citizenship, different cultures, geography, global awareness, hypothesis testing, investigating, self-reflection, personal growth, empathy, respect for others, labeling feelings and more.

    For example, the Webonauts Internet Academy teaches kids how to be safe online and Wild Kratts teaches kids about different habitats around the world.

    There is a great deal of content on this website. Head to their site today to discover what your child could be missing out on!

    2. Curious World

      This site is geared for kids ages 2-7. The main character guiding kids on an educational journey is Curious George. If your child is a fan of the books or cartoon, then you should check out this website.

      There are eight key areas of learning covered on this website including math, reading, and science. This website makes learning fun with games and child appropriate online activities. It also includes hands on activities for parents to do with their child.

      Activities such as crafting, cooking, and art projects with detailed instructions are provided, so that parents can interact with their children to build important life skills.

      3. News-O-Matic

        This is a news website geared for kids. The content helps them learn about the world and its happenings, in a website that is made for kids.

        There are daily editions of which include new articles every day on a variety of subjects and topics. The articles are written to grab the attention of a child reader. You will find that even reluctant readers find this site entertaining.

        If you have a passion for the news and keeping up with the changing world, then you can ignite this passion in your children by getting them started on the News-O-Matic website.

        Some of the skills that kids can learn while utilizing this site include reading comprehension, increased vocabulary, geography recognition, critical thinking, perspective taking, reasoning, and cultural awareness.

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        4. National Geographic Kids

          The National Geographic Kids website teaches kids about animals, space, the natural world, dinosaurs, insects and more. They use games, videos, and online activities to connect children with learning about our natural world.

          There are valuable skills reinforced in the online activities including the use of logic, memory, applying information, investigation, problem solving, and imagination.

          There is a great deal of free content on this website that can be utilized without being a paid subscriber.

          5. ABC Mouse

            This website is geared for children ages 2-7. This is a learning website that covers the subjects of reading, math, social studies, science, health, writing, art, and music.

            Some of the skills that are taught on this site through the website activities include following directions, letter recognition, word recognition, phonics, reading comprehension, speaking, memorization, solving puzzles, measurement, goal achievement, rhythm, and more.

            This website boats that it contains a comprehensive curriculum with more than 8,500 learning activities. It is a great tool for preschoolers preparing for kindergarten.

            There are also lessons and activities that are more advanced beyond kindergarten.

            This is a subscription based program. It has won many awards because of its comprehensive nature and successful curriculum.

            6. FunBrain

              This educational website has a great deal of free content, so your child can access hundreds of activities without a subscription.

              There are games and activities for kids to play while they learn at the same time. Kids will use the following skills while playing on this website: problem solving, puzzle solving, reading, vocabulary, math, and reasoning.

              What makes this site unique is that there are online versions of popular kid’s books including the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

              7. Nourish Interactive

                This website is geared toward nutrition for children. It is a free website.

                There are games, printable activities, recipes and tools on this site that teach children about nutrition.

                The goal of the site is to help children learn to make healthy eating choices at a young age, so they can have this skill for life. The site also teaches about cooking, with many healthy recipes available free.

                8. Arthur Family Health

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                  Arthur is a favorite cartoon character on PBS. The Arthur Family Health website is for kids to learn about resilience, fitness, peanut allergies, asthma, and more.

                  Health is not an easy topic to address with children, but this website does a great job by utilizing games, videos, and activities that are age appropriate and fun.

                  9. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

                    This website uses the popular PBS cartoon character Daniel Tiger. This website has games, activities, and videos geared toward younger children.

                    The skills that are taught on this site include expressing emotions appropriately, eating healthy, making friends, brushing teeth, dealing with disappointment and toilet training.

                    There are stories with a narrator for kids to listen to, simple games to play, videos to watch, and songs to engage younger children.

                    It is an entertaining site for younger kids and the topics teach great life skills for little ones! This is a free website.

                    10. BrainPop

                      This website is geared for children in the fourth grade and older. It is a paid subscription site. However, there are some games and videos that are available free on this site.

                      This website helps kids academically. There are also life skills and lessons addressed on the site. They address even the most sensitive and tough topics such as war, terrorism, sexual development, and alcoholism.

                      Reviewers of the site say that this website is useful for kids all the way through high school.

                      11. Arcademic Skill Builder

                        This website is geared toward helping young students acquire math, language arts, English and critical-thinking skills. This site is filled with games and activities to keep kids entertained while learning.

                        This website has a strong emphasis on math skills including addition, subtraction, counting, division, fractions, money, multiplication, ratios, and shapes.

                        If your child is struggling with their math skills, then this site can be of great help. Many of the games and activities are free.

                        12. Cyberchase

                          This website is based on the PBS show Cyberchase. It is geared toward children who can read or are learning to read. It helps kids acquire critical thinking and reading skills.

                          The site is filled with free games, videos and activities that keep kids entertained, engaged, and learning. Some of the games get kids to think about real life situations to utilize their problem solving skills. Brainstorming is a another skill that is utilized on this site. It is a free website.

                          13. Fact Monster

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                            This website was created in partnership with educational professional. It is a site that is a great help for children completing homework. They can find facts on dozens of subjects on this site along with dictionary and atlas.

                            The content is more than browsing and providing information. There are games and activities to entertain kids on the site while they learn. Interesting to note, the site contains more than 30,000 short biographies!

                            This website is a game changer for home work time. Some of the skills that kids apply on this site include problem solving, thinking, reasoning, and self-direction.

                            14. Maggie’s Earth Adventures

                              This website gets kids thinking and learning about the world and its vast ecosystems. It is a free site that teaches kids about the earth.

                              Real life situations are presented in short videos. Then kids play games that touch on the subjects of animals, earth, recycling, and injustice.

                              Some of the skills that they can acquire on this site include cultural understanding, global awareness, reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, investigation, prediction, and thinking critically.

                              15. PBS Lab

                                PBS Lab is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant requires them to research the games and their effectiveness in helping kids learn real skills. The result is a website where kids actually learn while they have fun.

                                This site teaches kids the skills they need to be successful in school. The website is useful for kids ages three and up. Some of the skills that kids learn on this site include math, reading, spelling, word recognition, measuring, and pattern recognition. This site is free!

                                16. Sesame Street

                                  This website is based on the TV program. Kids are entertained by their favorite Muppets in games, songs, podcasts, videos, and activities.

                                  This site can be used by children ages two and up, so it is one of the best options for very young children.

                                  Some of the skills taught on this site include empathy, labeling emotions, brushing teeth, hygiene, addition, subtraction, counting, measuring, recognizing shapes, understanding cultural differences, following directions, letter recognition, word recognition, spelling, respecting others, asking questions, problem solving, use of imagination, and making new creations.

                                  This site has a great deal of value for parents who want their children to be learning practical life skills while they are on the internet being entertained. This website is completely free!

                                  17. Star Fall

                                    This educational website is geared for children ages four and up. Although this is a subscription website, there is content that users can try out before purchasing.

                                    The website is run through a non profit organization and the price for subscription to the site is low because they want to make the content available widespread to benefit many children.

                                    Some of the skills that kids can learn on this website are addition, subtraction, counting, division, equations, fractions, geometry, grouping, measuring, multiplication, number recognition, shape recognition, reading, letter recognition, and word recognition.

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                                    There are games, lots of songs, and activities to engage young children. The primary focus on this site is math and literacy.

                                    18. How Stuff Works

                                      This website is geared toward older children. It is a site filled with articles, podcasts, games, quizzes, and polls. There is a wealth of information on this site, which makes it useful for homework projects.

                                      The articles are attention grabbing, which help to snag the reader and get them interested in everything from the history of specific holidays to learning how super-volcanos work.

                                      This site touches on eleven primary categories of learning: animals, health, science, tech, automobiles, culture, home & garden, finances, lifestyle, entertainment, and adventure.

                                      Some of the skills that kids can learn through using this site include: building, gardening, self-direction, creativity, researching, empathy, understanding different cultures, and developing novel solutions.

                                      19. Nick Jr

                                        This website is based on the tv shows from the Nick Jr network. Young kids can learn while they interact with their favorite characters on this website. Bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol, Sunny, and dozens of other characters can be found on this site.

                                        There are games, video, stories, and printable activities found on this website. The site is entertaining for kids and they learn a variety of skills including math and reading.

                                        The content is geared toward preschool learning, and it is free.

                                        20. Space Racers

                                          This website is based on the show. The site is designed to get preschoolers excited about space and science.

                                          The learning on this site is based on STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It comes through games, coloring pages, videos, music segments, lesson plans, and printouts from the lessons.

                                          There are a total of 17 lesson plans that use STEM concepts. The skills that kids learn from using this site include observation, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, mathematics, decision making, hypothesis testing, and goal setting.

                                          The science subjects taught on this site through the entertaining and engaging content include astronomy, rocket science, geology, and physics. This website is free!

                                          21. Crayola

                                            This website comes from the Crayola company. It is a free website.

                                            When kids click on the “play zone” they can find educational games and activities. The site has many free printable and coloring activities.

                                            The following skills can be learned by kids who use this site: following directions, drawing, painting, making digital creations, use of imagination, innovation, and making new creations.

                                            There are a great deal of DIY craft projects with detailed instructions found on this website.

                                            Featured photo credit: Ben Mullins via unsplash.com

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                                            Dr. Magdalena Battles

                                            A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault

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                                            Published on June 24, 2020

                                            How to Be a Successful And Happy Stay at Home Mom

                                            How to Be a Successful And Happy Stay at Home Mom

                                            I can’t think of a more rewarding job, nor a more challenging one than being a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM)! There is no shortage of opinion, however, as to the pros and cons of going on active duty until your kid/s turns 18 and flies off to college.

                                            When you choose a career such as this, you’re in it for the long haul. But by the end of your journey, you’ll be decorated with every possible medal of honor. And may I say, indisputably deserved.

                                            Think about it: a SAHM is a queen. She has one of the most important jobs of all—managing the castle, all that it entails, and its inhabitants.

                                            For most of you, your home is your castle. It is where your most valuable possessions reside—your loved ones, your pets, your memories, and the special items you’ve collected over the years. It is where you feel comfortable, uninhibited, and free to be yourself. It is where you dine, sleep, and relax. It is everything!

                                            Being the queen of your castle is like being the president. What other position carries as much clout other than being the president?

                                            Taking care of that castle and its occupants is no easy task; it is a highly-ranked position that deserves every available merit.

                                            Yes, staying at home can be a big decision, especially if you have a career and have been used to praise, socialization, and a regular paycheck. You might even think that if you decide to stay home, it is a “step down,” a demotion of sorts. But nothing could be further from the truth.

                                            Why Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is an Important Career

                                            Being a SAHM requires wearing a litany of hats. You’re a full-time babysitter, a Lyft driver without tips or 5-star ratings, a nurse, a chef, a behavioral therapist, and most importantly, a teacher.

                                            Teachable moments abound. You get to teach your children all the important things you want them to learn. Sure, there are no days off or summer vacations in store for decades, depending on the age of your little one/s, but imagine what amazing human beings you are helping to create!

                                            Being stellar SAHMs are big shoes to fill. Not just anyone is up to the task; not everyone has the patience or the stamina it requires. Think triathlon here, but more—much more.

                                            To put it simply, being a SAHM is one of the most important careers in the world. Let’s take a look at why this is so.

                                            1. Your Child Is Always With Someone Who Loves Them

                                            When your children are home with you, they are loved 24/7. They are happy and comforted.

                                            In a daycare facility, the most important person in your life will be with someone who is just doing their job. They’re there for the paycheck, not because they love your child.

                                            As you know, there are good and bad employees. You won’t necessarily know if your child is with a great employee or with one who is half paying attention to one of the most highly-treasured people in your life.

                                            2. You Don’t Have to Deal With Office Stress and Deadlines

                                            Working outside of your castle generally demands that you be present wherever it is you work—a hospital, a warehouse, a car dealership, an office, etc.,—when they want you to be there.

                                            There are petty fights, nasty gossip, stressful projects, bad bosses, jealous co-workers, etc. You might often find yourself looking at the clock and waiting for the weekend.

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                                            If you’re a SAHM, you make the rules! That alone should cause you great joy.

                                            3. You Get to Witness Each of Your Child’s Milestones Firsthand

                                            Think about how many milestones working moms miss. As a SAHM, you get to be there. You get to take those pictures, those videos, and see your little one grow up—in person, not via Nanny Cam! And if you’re children are middle-school-age and older, you get to keep an eye on them when they get home from school.

                                            In an article in the American Journal of Nursing Science, it states that:[1]

                                            “Economic and social pressures are forcing more parents into the workplace at a time when children appear to most need adult guidance and supervision. These children, in turn, face a growing number of problems such as physical and sexual abuse, crime and delinquency, depression and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional and behavioral problems, learning difficulties, school attendance problems, domestic violence, pregnancy, abortion, and venereal disease.

                                            Many “latchkey” children experience stressful and even dangerous situations without ready access to adult guidance and support. It is estimated that as many as 10 million children care for themselves before or after school. Many latchkey kids begin their self-care responsibilities at about 8 years of age.”

                                            4. Your Child Gets to Grow Up in Their Castle With a Queen Who Loves Them

                                            When you’re home with your child, you provide love and comfort. That makes for a happy child and eventually, a happy adult. True, some adults were raised with their queen and don’t fare well, but in those rare cases, there are other factors involved, too numerous to list here.

                                            In general, children do better when they know they are loved and cared for. And for children, the presence that would create stability and warm-fuzzy feelings is Mom!

                                            5. Your Child Will Grow Up Feeling Happy, Safe, and Secure

                                            Personally, I grew up with a SAHM. My mom was always around. We knew we could count on her for anything. She’d keep the house clean, cook great meals, and take us swimming in the summers.

                                            I have very happy memories. I always felt secure and loved. And when my dad would get home after work, the family was complete. Fun times! If you are a good, caring mom, the best gift you can give your children is YOU!

                                            Creating happy children is one of the biggest successes you can experience.

                                            6. Your Child’s School Performance Will Improve

                                            Research shows that there are excellent benefits to children staying at home, such as an increase in school performance. Those benefits extend way beyond the early years of that child’s life.

                                            Did you know that homeschoolers generally score 15 to 30% points above public school students on a standardized test?

                                            In the article, Does Being a Stay at Home Home Benefit Your Kids?, it states:[2]

                                            “A British study in the ‘Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health’ reported that children of stay-at home-mothers are more likely to participate in organized sports than those whose mothers worked, possibly because their mothers had more time to take them to sports practices.

                                            Other studies have found that children of stay-at-home moms were exposed to fewer germs and suffered from fewer illnesses. In addition, stay-at-home moms can have more time to prepare healthier foods and they rely less on convenience foods, partially for financial reasons.”

                                            It’s Normal to Feel Iffy at First

                                            Even after having read the six above-mentioned amazing reasons to stay at home, you might still feel iffy about it. Not because you don’t love your children but because you feel you will lose yourself—your identity.

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                                            It’s understandable to feel that way. Shifting your perspective is key here. Staying at home doesn’t have to go hand-in-hand with losing your identity. You simply add to it; it’s another layer, another facet of who you are.

                                            In the beginning, you may need to make some adjustments, but isn’t life, in general, an adjustment? Things are happening every day that oblige us to change course and go with the flow.

                                            How to Be a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom

                                            If you decide, that yes, you are going to stay home with your child but aren’t sure how to navigate the new waters without completely losing yourself, allow me to offer you some ideas that will make your experience an exceptionally happy one.

                                            By following through with the suggestions below, you will feel successful, happy, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

                                            Here are some tips on how to be a successful stay-at-home mom:

                                            1. Wake Up Early!

                                            Some SAHMs complain that they don’t have enough time for themselves. Valid point. Try getting up early, before the kids do.[3] This is the first thing that you should keep in mind if you want to be a successful stay-at-home mom.

                                            Being up before everyone else offers you alone time to get some personal things done. The house is quiet and peaceful—the perfect setting to do what you need to do. That could be taking an uninterrupted warm shower, reading passages from your favorite book, having a cup of coffee while streaming one of your favorite shows or movies, writing emails, etc.

                                            Waking up early offers you many opportunities to do what you need to do so that you don’t feel as though you’re missing out.

                                            2. Dress Up!

                                            No, I don’t mean dress up like you’re going out dancing, but you don’t have to be in your pajamas or sweats all day, either. How you dress makes a difference in your mood—on how you feel. So, dress casually but nicely.

                                            In an article by Corina, How to be a Stylish Stay at Home Mom Without Compromising Comfort, she writes, “You don’t need a ton of clothes! Stick with what fits you well and makes you feel pretty without much fuss.”[4]

                                            You can be at home and still dress to impress. You will feel so much better about yourself.

                                            3. Exercise and Have Fun With Your Kids!

                                            Taking care of your little ones doesn’t mean you give up on yourself. Take some time during the day to exercise. It will keep you strong, toned, and happy.

                                            Have the children join you, and make it amusing by playing some fun workout music. They’ll use up a lot of energy and enjoy the time with you simultaneously.

                                            Here’s an example of a mom who’s having a lot of fun with her kids as well as entertaining her audience. Watch Sophie Ellis-Bextor on YouTube.[5]

                                            What a fun thing to do with your kids!

                                            4. Schedule Weekly Outings!

                                            To add excitement to your week, plan a weekly outing to the zoo, the botanical gardens, the library, the park, etc.

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                                            Of course, at this point, the outings depend on personal safety and each state’s guidelines, so you’ll have to check on that. But bike rides around the neighborhood and picnics will work just as well.

                                            If it’s too difficult to get out for whatever reason, there are many fun things you can do at home, pandemic or not. You can schedule a Stay At Home FUN DAY! Making a fun environment for your children is important in being a successful stay-at-home mom.

                                            In an article by Andrea Browne Taylor, 16 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic, she lists many activities to do with your kids.[6] Even I want to do these!

                                            5. Establish a Break

                                            During the day, it’s important to set aside some time to do something quiet; perhaps set aside 20-30 minutes to read, color, etc.

                                            During this break, each person can do something they personally enjoy. Encourage your kids to get creative. Research shows that creative activities, such as art, are wonderful for children.

                                            In her article, Why Art and Creativity are Important, Paula Bernstein states,[7]

                                            “Fostering creativity won’t just increase your child’s chances of becoming the next Picasso. You’re also helping him develop mentally, socially, and emotionally, says Ecklund-Flores.”

                                            And for you, pick up that hobby you put on the back burner. Whether it is painting, crocheting, knitting, writing, whatever, use that time to get some creative YOU time in! You are going to feel so much happier and accomplished afterward.

                                            6. Make Your Castle a Beautiful Living Space!

                                            Decorate your home in a way that is soothing to you. Choose the colors, the decor, the furniture, the pictures, the artwork, the plants, etc. that make you feel at peace in your own castle.

                                            Play music that is both calming and energizing. Living in a space you love and find comforting makes all the difference in the world. If you create a happy environment, you’ll feel happier, and so will your children.

                                            For ways to make your home a happier place, check out Olivia Heath’s article, 8 ways to make your home a happier place.[8]

                                            7. Set Up a Routine!

                                            Most people respond well to a routine. For instance, from 8 – 9, breakfast and cartoons; from 9 – 12. chores and homework; from 12 – 1:00 p.m., lunch. After that, nap time, if appropriate, or personal time.

                                            The routine, of course, will be based on the age of your children and your own personal views. According to a Skilled at Life article:

                                            Setting up a routine “creates structure in our lives. a daily routine provides structure and a logical sequence in our lives. It provides the framework within which we live our lives and conduct our daily activities. Soon we become familiar and comfortable with what we have to do each day. It allows us to experience a flow to our day.”((Skilled at Life: 18 Reasons Why a Daily Routine Is So Important))

                                            As a SAHM, you’ll benefit from the routine and take comfort in knowing what to expect. This is the time for you to incorporate anything into your daily routine that makes you feel relaxed, happy, and stress-free.

                                            8. Meet Up With Other SAHMs

                                            Meeting up with other SAHMs will provide you with support. Additionally, the kids get to socialize with other children and you with other like-minded moms.

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                                            Not working outside the home sometimes can feel isolating, so talking to other adults is a nice treat. Below, I included a link to help you find just the group for you! Check it out.

                                            9. Hire a Babysitter!

                                            Sometimes you might like to go out with friends, get pampered at a spa, or what-have-you. A babysitter or a trusted family member can help with that.

                                            These little breaks can be the fuel you need to keep going. It’s like getting a mini-vacation. It’s revitalizing. Once you get home from your spa treatment or the movie you saw with your friends, you will have renewed energy. You can now refocus on your castle tasks. And remember, a happy mom, makes for a happy child!

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            As a SAHM, you might make the mistake of thinking that if you don’t bring home a paycheck, you’re not valuable or helping with the household expenses. You’re actually helping more than you think.

                                            You don’t need a paycheck to add value to who you are. You are already one of the most valued members of society. You’re watching over human lives—your children—making sure they are safe, healthy, and happy. And as far as expenses go, you will be saving on daycare costs and transportation expenses.

                                            If after reading all these amazing things about being a SAHM, you’re still conflicted, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not for everyone.

                                            As I mentioned above, staying at home can be challenging. And in all honesty, it can have its drawbacks. That’s also why I provided you here some tips on how to be a successful stay-at-home mom.

                                            For example, being at home with your children all the time can make you feel a little depressed or bored. You might not feel like you’re being stimulated by life or adult-like situations. Maybe some of the hobbies you used to enjoy get neglected, or you might feel financially dependent on your husband.

                                            Furthermore, you might think you’ll lose all your abilities; the opportunity to utilize the educational training you received. Or maybe you miss the ritual of getting dressed, driving to work, and being around other people who are doing similar things. That’s all valid.

                                            Only you can make that decision. While you’re thinking about it, though, let me remind you that as a SAHM you will be missing some things. But you’ll be gaining so much more.

                                            Doing a presentation at work may get you kudos and accolades, but hearing the words, “I love you, mommy” is priceless. Watching your children grow up before your very eyes? Priceless. Making sure they’re safe and sound with you loving them all day? Priceless.

                                            There is no other job in the world with those kinds of benefits. As a SAHM, you are the heart and soul of your castle.

                                            Remember, too, that your children will grow up. You won’t have to wait until you’re 65 to retire. And although your job as Mom will never be done, you’ll be able to do many things that you didn’t get to do while on active duty.

                                            When you are “done,” you will have the satisfaction of having accomplished an amazing feat. You can feel proud because success like that isn’t easy to come by.

                                            The title of Stay-at-Home-Mom, despite what any group might say, is a powerful and inspiring one.

                                            Are you up to the challenge?

                                            Want to know more about being a successful stay-at-home mom and its benefits? Check these out:

                                            More Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms

                                            Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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