I wrote you almost 6 years ago, and was lucky enough to catch the part of your program where you read my letter. I should have been a statistic. I was a young mother, who married my high school sweetheart. We've had our ups and downs, but through faith, family support, and a lot of work, we have overcome what could have broken us. We have been together over 11 years now! Wow! I cannot believe it. I've been a stay-at-home mom to all 4 of our children - 3 of who are now in school!
Here is my "soap box" of the year! I felt like an outcast at my children's school. I did not work 50 hour weeks. I did not drop my kids off at 7:15am in the cafeteria to wait until 7:45 for the bell, or pick them up at 7 pm from after school care only to feed them and put them to bed. I became the class room volunteer so I could share in their day. I ate lunch with them, so I could (secretly) make sure they were eating instead of talking. I joined the PTA and started becoming involved in the school. My children are in various after school activities, all of which I know the parents, the teachers, the team mates, etc. My children know that I am there.
Our parent/teacher conferences went quickly with "your children are smart, adjusted and respectful. Just keep up the good work". Wow. My husband and I who started off not knowing what the heck we were doing, and still have our occasional "oops" moments, did something really right. We loved each other. We put our kids first. We sacrificed, and bent over backwards to make them feel loved and accepted through everything they choose to do in life. My oldest son is at the top of his class. The mom who "just stays at home", who just volunteers at the school, that's HER son.
I recently had an older mom (older than ME, I was young when I had my children!) tell me the only reason I am able to do all these things for my kids is because I am young and have energy. Really? My toddler has not slept more than 4 hours straight since he was born - he's almost 3. I am tired of being looked down upon because I chose to stay home. I'm not a cop out. I work my butt off in all I do, because I want to show my kids that no matter what they choose to do, they can do it successfully. I chose to rock being a mom and a wife. People say they don't know how I do it. I don't either. I just do it, because I expect greatness for my family. It doesn't happen by luck, it's determination. Age isn't a factor in how involved you are in your child's life. I would never in my right mind accuse someone of being TOO old to be a mother, why in the world would anyone feel the right to do it in the reversed situation. I am a perfectionist, and overly organized, but at the end of the day I am a sleep deprived mother of 4 and my husband's girlfriend, and I love every minute of it.