Can’t Beat This Argument for Moms-At-Home

From a listener to my radio program:

Dr. Laura, I want to thank you for the special moments that you helped me have.  As a listener, my husband and I decided that I would stay home with our 2 month old baby boy even before he was born.  I must admit that it’s hard financially, but we understand that our son is more important than luxury.

Yesterday, I had a “tear-jerker” moment.  After feeding my son, I got up and started to clean the room.  After a while, I saw him moving.  He was putting his little hand above his head, feeling for the place where my arm had just been.  Then he stretched his arms and legs in front of him where I had been lying before.  I realized he was looking for me.  His little face began to prepare to cry.  I then placed my hand on his side.  “I’m right here, baby.”  He then opened his eyes.  On seeing me, he smiled his gummy smile. 

I stayed there, smoothing out his hair, until he fell back to sleep, but I couldn’t help thinking, what if I had been at work?  What if he was with a sitter or at day care?  I wouldn’t have had that moment, and he wouldn’t have been comforted. I know, because I used to work at a day care center – he would have been left crying, because he had been fed and his diaper had been changed.

As an ex-day care worker, I know that children are not cared for lovingly.  They just have their physical needs met, but not their emotional needs. There were so many kids who called me “mommy,” and that was only because I was doing her job while doing mine.  The fact was, “mommy” wasn’t there.  But I was and am here for our son.  Thank you.