I had been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom for 13 years when my husband's job was eliminated, which led me to go back to work as a registered nurse.
With my husband home to replace me, I re-entered this profession, which was now mostly full of strong, career-oriented, and competitive women. This was more than intimidating. I was actually ashamed every time someone asked me "so where did you work last?" and I responded that my previous job was 13 years before. I also got some pretty interesting looks when I explained that I had stayed home to raise my kids. When asked "How did your family survive?" I would say things like "we had one car, no TV, and I cooked at home all the time." Some actually laughed. I was immediately the oddball.
I began to regret that I had not at least kept up my skills over the years, until one day, one of the nurses opened up to me and told me how she worked so much overtime through the years that she was able to attend just two of her only son's football games. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "You are truly RICH for all the time spent with your kids. I'm so jealous and I wish with all my heart I could go back. But now he is grown and it's too late."
That changed everything for me. I readjusted my straying thoughts and pride, and got back on track. I am SO very glad I did not miss one illness, one "first", one bubble gum-blowing contest, or all the long conversations. My heart still aches a little that my husband gets to be there now, but I do not regret one day of my decision to be "my kids’ mom" for 13 undistracted years.
Thank you Dr. Laura for planting the seeds I needed 14 years ago that I can always be replaced by another nurse, but no one can truly replace "MOM".