Dear Dr. Laura,
I used to listen to you with my mom when I was a teenager, and my husband rediscovered you this summer on SiriusXM. We've both become addicted to listening to you – we take your podcasts around with us and listen whenever we have a chance. The other day I had the urgent feeling of needing my Dr. Laura fix for the day!!
I've been a stay-at-home mom ever since the first of my three children was born six years ago. I work part-time from home, but only a few hours a week. I was raised by very traditional parents, so I always planned to be a stay-at-home mom. However, after marrying young and having kids right away, I started to resent being at home. I felt like I had no life, and I looked around at other women I knew who had their kids in day care and had successful careers and wondered, "Why can't I do that?"
My husband always wanted above all to provide for us so I could stay home and raise our kids, but for years I didn't appreciate that. Going through bouts of depression, I kept talking about working again and getting out of the house.
The problem was I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I tried child care twice. The first time was with a local day home, and I brought my daughter there once. She was distracted with toys when I left but she cried after I was gone, and I felt so awful I could never bring her back. The second time was when I was imminently expecting my third child, and I tried bringing my older two to a day care center where a friend worked. I took them there for four hours twice a week. They'd cry when I'd leave, but my friend would call me and reassure me that they cheered up immediately. And yet I'd be in a panic-stricken state of anxiety, completely unable to function, until I picked them up again. After two weeks, I stopped taking them.
Ultimately I realized that as hard as it was, as much as I resented it sometimes, I really did want to be home for them. And just this summer, since I started listening to you again, I've realized exactly why. I don't want to institutionalize my kids. I want to be their mom and raise them and see every hilarious, adorable moment while I can.
I received your book "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms" for my free gift when I signed up for a premium membership to your podcasts on your website, and I’ve eagerly started reading it. My husband is extremely happy that I've finally realized the importance of being home with our kids – and that's another thing I have to thank you for, because you've reminded me about the importance of being my husband's girlfriend, of showing how much I appreciate and love him.
I am so happy to have a wonderful husband, a stable, committed marriage and three beautiful children.