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Her newsletter encourages ‘Home By Choice’ mothers

CHANDLER, Ariz. (BP)–When Hannah Keeley was six months pregnant with her first child, she quit her job as a behavior therapist to stay at home.
Shortly after she became a stay-at-home mom, however, Keeley found herself feeling embarrassed by the career she had chosen.
“I heard myself telling others what career I used to have, where I used to attend college, the graduate program I used to be in,” she confides. “Although I was thoroughly happy being a full-time parent, I also felt that I had somehow sold myself short.
“It wasn’t until I realized the importance of my occupation that I began to feel pride in my job. I was laying the foundation on which my child would base the rest of her life. For just a few short years, I would be the one to which my child would look to for moral and emotional development,” she asserts.
That realization led the 28-year-old mother of three — all under age 4 — to start a newsletter, “Home By Choice,” to offer support for parents who make the economic sacrifice to stay at home to rear children.
Keeley urges parents to re-evaluate the importance of parenting. “We can choose to see it as a job we must endure, or as a career in which we can excel, grow and really make a difference,” says Keeley, of Chandler, Ariz., daughter of Charles Jenkins, pastor of Modoc (S.C.) Baptist Church and first vice president of the state convention’s bivocational ministers’ fellowship.
“We’re not building cars. We’re building human beings,” Keeley says. “We’re not programming computers. We’re programming minds with values and morals … . Is there any other career that is more worthwhile?
“Our culture constantly demands that a family has two incomes, when living successfully and joyfully on one income is definitely attainable,” Keeley contends.
Family and home have been brushed by the wayside in striving for materialism, Keeley believes. “Happiness can’t be found there; happiness is found in the home.”
Keeley — whose address is P.O. Box 7734, Chandler, AZ 85246 — includes in each of her newsletters tips for making a child’s early years fun, educational and love-filled.

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  • Todd Deaton