Dear Dr. Laura,
Fortunately for me, I began listening to you 20+ years ago. Your perspective on stay-at-home mothers was one I'd never heard espoused before - much less vigorously defended. While I already knew that was the path I wanted to take when I had children, you gave me both the confidence and justification for not accepting less.
When my now-husband and I became more seriously dating, he asked me to move in with him. Had I not had your influence, I probably would have happily agreed. Instead, I told him I would never live with a man I wasn't married to and was actually disappointed he'd even asked. He was completely shocked.
A few months later, he brought up the idea of marriage and rather than being a swooning, carried away young woman, I laid out the practicalities. First, I wanted to be a mother, so if he wasn't interested in having children we should part ways at that point. "No, no! I want children too!" he said. Then I told him I would not have kids for someone else to raise so I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. He was truly stunned. This was in 2001 and as an executive at a Fortune 100 company, he was surrounded by working mothers and literally didn't know any woman who left their career to raise their children. He was clearly uncomfortable with the idea and was mainly concerned with the loss of a second income. I explained I wasn't a materialistic person and I was happy to scale down our lifestyle and make sacrifices in order to be home with my children. I was very clear this was a deal-breaker. He agreed, although I knew he was only doing so because he loved me and wanted to marry me.
Two years after we married, our first daughter was born. And immediately, all of his reservations disappeared. He was instantly in love and so protective, he didn't even want to leave her with my mother for two hours for us to get a break. Our daughters are now 8 and 11 and he is horrified by working mothers and feels terrible for all the kids we see shuffled off to after-school care. While it's not always been easy, he is so glad I insisted on staying at home. And I always credit you for giving me the backbone to risk losing him in order to do the right thing for my future children. Sadly, my kids are in the vast minority among their peers who have a mom who "doesn't have a job". But they are truly grateful I am there to pick them up from school every day and feel genuinely sorry for their friends who spend four or five extra hours a day without their family. They now listen to you every day on SiriusXM and I am thrilled to be passing your torch to them. So on behalf of my kids...