Dear Dr. Laura,
This past weekend I found myself at a dinner party with a rather large group of highly educated, career driven men and women. I felt like the odd man out since I am a stay at home mom of 3. I had one couple ask me what I did for a living and I answered, "I raise my 3 kids." They looked at me a little baffled and I could tell they were trying to think of something polite to say... it came out as "Oh....well.... okay..." I just smiled and moved on.
I ran into another young mom who in the midst of our conversation dropped in the fact that she had started her second daughter in day care at the ripe old age of 6 WEEKS. I quickly moved on from that conversation as well.
Lastly I sat and conversed with a young woman about my age, unmarried, with no children. This particular gal has a law degree and a prestigious career. The conversation turned to our careers and I told her I was home raising my kids. She proceeded to ask me the following "Don't you think you would want to achieve more in life? I just think it is so important to show our kids that Mommy can achieve great things in life through a successful career AND raise kids. Don't you want your kids to feel like their mom is accomplished? Don't you ever want to go out and make a difference? Don't you want your kids to be proud of a hard working mom?"
I sat while she was talking and channeled all of my years of listening to you. I prayed I would have the right things to say to this young woman. When she finished this is what I said:
"I wasn't always a stay-at-home mom, I have worked full or part time for most of my kids lives. Last year I was driving my daughter to my friend's house who was watching her for the day while I worked. On the way there my 5 year old daughter starting talking about my job. Then she asked me where my friend worked. I replied that she worked at home raising her kids. My daughter looked at me and leaned back in her seat and exclaimed, 'That is SO COOL' I swallowed hard. I realized then that going to work didn't "impress" my daughter. I realized that being dropped off at different babysitters house at 7am wasn't something she was proud of me for. So basically it comes down to WHO you want to impress in life. I want to impress my KIDS. I want to be their MOM. I want to RAISE my own kids."
The young woman looked at me and only said, "I get it. I totally get it."
Thanks for brainwashing me Dr. Laura so that when I am asked these tough question I know exactly what to say. I am happy to be a PROUD stay at home mom to my 3 kids... and I think they are proud of me too!