Category Archives: Stay-At-Home-Moms

Another “Reformed” Day Care Mom

As long as you keep sending me stories like these, I’ll continue to post them on this blog.  Today’s email came from Lori:

This is long overdue.  I started listening to your program 20 years ago, when I was in my twenties, newly married, and focused on my career.  I was in the middle of a graduate program that I had worked very hard to get into, when I got pregnant with my son.  I always thought your ideas that a parent should stay home with their child were ridiculous – I thought it was a crazy, backward notion.  That is what day care was for!!

Then I had my son. 

He was six weeks old when I left him with a day care provider to continue my graduate program.  That was also the last time he was with a day care provider.  I physically and mentally could not stand to think that someone else was spending the day and providing for my son – something I should be doing and wanted to do.  After all, who could do it better?  My husband felt the same, so I quit graduate school and all my career plans went out the door so I could stay with my son full time.  While at first it wasn’t easy, I can say without a doubt what a great decision that was!

When my son and I went to the park or took a walk, I arranged it so I could listen to your radio program at the same time.  While I was sure about my decision, I had VERY LITTLE support from many others.  I got many comments or “put-downs” about what a waste of my life this was.  I felt like you were one of the few who supported me.  You were my advocate, and when I would feel especially down and question my decision, I would listen to you and it would lift me up, and I knew I was right.

So, a belated thank you for what you gave me, my wonderfully supportive husband, and my son – who is now a smart, kind, funny, well-adjusted 16 year old.  Keep speaking up for us stay-at-home moms.  I can look back at that time of my life and say I absolutely have no regrets.

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.

A Single Woman Weighs in on Stay-At-Home Moms

I’ve been hearing from a lot of stay-at-home moms, and sharing some of their letters with you.  I got this one from a woman who is not a mother, but who has strong feelings about those who stay at home with their kids:

My grandmother was a homemaker.  My mother was divorced, and raised us without our “sperm donor” father, because she chose to leave an abuser.  She worked at a company at night, so that she could walk us to school and help with homework (I didn’t realize the magnitude of this when I was young, but I surely do now).

I’m over 40 now, and don’t have any children, and I work full-time.  However, with every job that I’ve ever taken, I’ve always known in the back of my mind that it would never be a “career,” because I would eventually leave to be a stay-at-home mom.  So, I had to come up with something that I could do to generate income and stay at home:  writing.

I haven’t quite pursued my writing “career” yet.  I watch pregnant women around my office leave, have their babies, and come back.  Some of them are married, and some not.  Either way, I am dumbfounded that they would not rather be at home all day with the baby.

I never wanted to have children as a single woman without a husband.  First, because I didn’t want to have to do everything by myself.  As it is now, I hate taking out my own trash, and wished that I had a husband who didn’t mind taking on that chore!  And second, because each parent’s role is important.  They both matter and make a great contribution.  It’s what all children want:  a mommy and a daddy who are together and care about each other.  So, as I get older and my biological clock “explodes,” I’ve never been tempted to do it alone, i.e., just have a baby because that’s what I want.

Maybe one day, I’ll have a MAN who loves to call me his “girlfriend.”  In the meantime, I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I’ll miss that joy of being able to stay at home with my baby and welcoming my husband home at the end of a hard day at work to provide for us.

Dr. Laura, You Had No Influence On My Decision!

Today, I’m turning my blog over to Nicole, who wrote the following:

Dr. Laura:

I’m glad to be able to tell you I’m sorry, but you had nothing to do with my long-ago-made decision to be an at-home mom to my children.  I made that choice long before I started listening to you (at the ancient age of 19).

I am nearly 29 and extremely proud to tell you that my very own Mom was “her kids’ mom” all my growing-up life.  She did this while it was very popular to go to work, have a career and leave kids with the sitter or latch-key programs.  I had very little idea that moms even went to work until friends or teachers would ask me what my mom “did.”  I’d look at them weirdly and think it was a funny question to ask…she lives at home and bakes, fixes our meals, does the laundry, picks us up from school every day, and watches my younger siblings!  Who else would do those things if Mom didn’t?

I remember going home in the first grade and asking Mom what her job title was, because the teacher needed to know for our yearbook.  “Homemaker,” she’d say proudly!  She has been my biggest influence in modeling and reinforcing what a stay-at-home mom should look like…creative, resourceful, smart, kind, loving and self-sacrificing (and always beautiful)!  Your preaching, teaching, and nagging only reinforces the atmosphere I grew up with.

Thanks for all you do for all the women who didn’t grow up with my Mom.

Nicole

P.S.  I will give you this – you did help me when I was seeking and selecting my husband.  I had to find a man who would SUPPORT me in my long-ago-made “choice of lifestyle.”  I found him, and COULD NOT have done ANY better!  And, of course, Mom approves too!

Changing Her Little Piece of the World

This came from Kami, one of my radio listeners:

I am a stay-at-home Mom with a Master’s degree who chose to quit my job to raise my three sons (ages 5, 2, and 11 months).  I never dreamed of growing up to be a Mom.  I wanted to use my brain, get an education, and change the world through my career.  Now, every day, I find myself using my brain, getting an education, and hopefully, changing my little piece of the world as I work to shape my boys into men.

Instead of having them sit in daycare or pre-school for a big part of the week, I want my kids to play and read with me, and go to the library and find books of their own.  I want the freedom of knowing I can wake up and decide that we are going to hang out in our pjs until noon, and make bread or watch the birds building nests on our porch.  I want to help them make forts and play “hide ‘n seek,” and go on adventure walks around the neighborhood, even though it takes us twenty minutes to get past two houses.  I want them to go to the store and pick out their own veggie seeds to plant in the garden.  I want them to have snowball fights with me when I’m shoveling the driveway, and to help me fix dinner for someone who is sick.

My son has taught me so many things while he wasn’t in pre-school.  I learned that yogurt, pudding, and shaving cream can be used to draw with your finger; that bad weather, not necessity, is the mother of invention when it comes to craft projects; that math can be learned when baking cookies, cleaning up toys, handing out snacks, and putting away laundry; that some of the best talks happen in my bed when we just don’t feel like getting up.

And talk we do.  We talk about life and death, how planes work, where snow comes from, and whether pirates are decent.  We study geography as we drive around doing errands, and learn about engineering as we watch the progression of building construction.  We even tried to figure out why God made flies.

From the moment my first child was born, my life has been about my children, and some of those sweet moments can bring me to tears when I think about how fleeting they are.  My kids will get to be little, and they’ll get to have fun.  They are not in a hurry – and neither am I.”

Restaurants “Hurt” by Stay-At-Home Moms

According to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a “worrisome” long-term trend:  “The number of harried working moms isn’t growing the way it was.”

What??  This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?  I think not!  Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.

Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.  Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.

Ahh….not to worry!  Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy “homey” stuff:  offering children’s books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.

There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, “The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom” will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some “dream” job…..

Letter of Love

Listener Leslie wrote:

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I wanted to tell you about my sweet husband.  We have been married for over two years, and are now hoping to adopt a baby (you wouldn’t believe how long and tedious this process is, but we know it will be worth it!).  He has always supported my decision to be a stay-at-home mother, and we’ve been saving and planning for two years. 

Two weeks ago, after a long day at my stressful job, I came home crying.  My wonderful husband told me to quit my job, stay home, and relax so that I am 100% ready to be a mother. 

Oh, Dr. Laura, what a relief!  Tomorrow is my last day at this job, and every morning for the last two weeks, I have made my husband lunch, and my job is now to make our dollars go as far as possible.  Every night, he has come home to a happy wife, a hug, an “I love you,” and a hot meal.  Oh, how he beams! 

We may not yet have a baby, but I can already say that my husband is his kid’s dad, and I am proud to be his wife.

Encouraging Women To Do The Wrong Thing

First, full disclosure. Years ago, a journalist from Vanity Fair called me. She was supposedly friends for 20 years with my then-chief of staff, and wanted to interview me. And having some brains in my head (I don’t trust this stuff), I asked my associate about her, and she said “Y’know, she’s been a friend of mine; I’ll vouch for her.” So, I said ‘OK, I’ll call her, feel it out, and then make a decision.’

I called her, and she gave me a line of lies (that I found out later were a line of lies) about how I was a cultural phenomenon and she wanted to study this sociologically, and understand the points of view about how they became popular (but they weren’t), and she gave me this whole line, and I thought “OK, I like the point of view; she’s supposedly friends with my chief-of-staff who has known her and says she’s a decent person,” and I agreed to do it. Continue reading