I just wanted to say a big huge THANK YOU for the courage you gave me to become a stay- at-home mom. I started listening to you over a decade ago, in college, per my then fiance's (now husband's) advice. Since then we have had a daughter who's now 5, and a son who's now 18 months. I never "got" what you were trying to say until after my daughter was born and I read "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms." Thankfully my mother-in-law (and not some total stranger) watched my daughter for the first four years of her life, but I still felt I should be the one to raise her. We made some financial plans so it was viable for me to stay home, and when my son was 8 months old we made the leap. I stayed home!!!
It has been nearly a year now and I would NEVER go back. I knew it was something I wanted, but it seemed selfish to not partake in financially helping the family. However, I now see how it has positively affected my family. My husband, who I try my best to be a better wife to, has more than stepped up to the plate of caring for us financially, and takes pride in it. We get along much better than I thought possible - it's like the romance before kids, but with two beautiful children to snuggle with and love as well.
Since I have stayed home, the house is cleaner, and the kids are cared for by ME and my husband. I don't feel that bathing, feeding, and changing diapers are such a chore because I'm not so stressed out and tired from working all day, and I am able to teach my kids my personal values. Others have noticed and commented on my daughter's responsible behavior. Even my daughter's "confidence" rating in swim lessons went up terrifically (yes, they grade that at the YMCA).
So, as I sit here listening to your show, I reflect on the last hour of my life. I wiped my little guy's lunch-covered face (made by me, not some fast food place), kissed it, of course, held him in my arms as he drifted off to dreamland, and tucked him in OUR bed. I watched my daughter play with her Barbies while dressed in clothes SHE picked out (and not me because we aren't running late every day for me to get to work). She just giggled, and I didn't miss it. I wasn't somewhere else, working.