Hi Dr. Laura:
When my kids were small, I finally left my job and stayed home to raise them. I did get a part-time job when they were in school, and the hours allowed me to work only when they were there. I dropped them off every morning and picked them up after school. They didn't even know I worked!
One day, I spoke to one of the moms after school. She was picking up her daughter to drive her to daycare for AFTER school care, so she could rush back to work. She asked me what I did, and I explained that I initially worked when my kids were little, but I left my job and stayed home with them now. Months later she approached me again to say "thank you." She switched her schedule down to part-time, and now she, too, had the gift of time with her daughter. I remember her being so happy and thrilled to not feel terrible guilt.
Years later, I found out that her husband and daughter had been killed in a horrific car accident. She survived but eventually passed away from cancer. She told me that her choice to stay with her daughter was one she never regretted.
Too many people believe they MUST work to make things financially manageable, which is entirely untrue. They've just bought into the false belief that they have to have big vacations, dinners out, and new cars. We had none of that. We diligently put aside those perks and raised our kids. You wouldn't know it by looking at us now though. We managed to build up from our humble beginnings to something we're quite proud of. And we marvel that we did this AND I stayed home to raise those kids!
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