I'm traveling this week, doing my radio program from Detroit and then from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so I thought I'd feature a guest blogger today, who wrote in with the following comments:
Hi, Dr. Laura!I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children, ages 4 1/2 and almost 2. I have been a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) since the middle of my first pregnancy. I just picked up your book "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms," and read it cover-to-cover in two days. At first, the book made me angry. Not at anything you said, but it stirred up some old emotions in me that I thought I had buried long ago.
You see, I have felt a lot of negativity from my in-laws since the day my husband and I decided that I would quit my job to stay home to raise our family. My mother-in-law and father-in-law, and even both brothers-in-law and their wives, who all have children in day care, felt that I was not pulling my weight-that I was a burden on my husband, and that my children should be in day care. Can you imagine?!!
My husband and I lead a completely different lifestyle from them, but that didn't seem to matter to them. We don't have a thirty foot trailer for camping, and it's not important for us to have brand new SUVs or granite countertops. We can have those material things in due time, if we choose.
Reading your book made me think about the past again, the way my children and I have been treated over the years, and it brought back all the anger and resentment. As I continued reading your book, it clicked! My in-laws are
of the quality time that I get to spend with my children every day. Also, the biggie for me: happiness is a matter of perspective. Both my husband and I feel like we are doing the right thing by having me stay-at-home and that's all that matters. Period.
In a quest to keep the right perspective, I have started journaling my proud "mommy moments," and I thought I would share this with you. Perhaps this might help other SAHMs keep a positive outlook, too. There's no denying that being a full-time stay-at-home mom is both rewarding and challenging. So, I started journaling all the wonderful moments that I experience with my children on a daily basis - the moments I would never be able to experience via Mommy-cam.
Today, my daughter lovingly brushed the hair away from my forehead and kissed me sweetly on my forehead, just as I have done to her countless times. I wrote it down. When my little boy wraps his pudgy arms around my legs and squeezes me with all his might, I write it down. That way, when things get tough, which they will, I can quickly glance over my Mommy journal and see why I'm doing this again, to help me keep a positive outlook. I know this won't make whatever is troubling me magically disappear, but I do think that seeing what's positive and wonderful in my life will help to clear my head and give me strength for Round 2 and 3.
You have been such a wonderful influence on me, Dr. Laura. Thank you for helping to lift my chin, so when people ask me what I do for a living, I can respond, smiling, "I am a proud FULL-time stay-at-home Mommy and I love my life."
God bless you and yours,