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A Divorced Parenting Journey

Dear Dr. Laura:

Twenty-two years ago, I listened to your show every day on the long drive to work each morning. I was married and thrilled to be pregnant. Five years later, I very abruptly became a divorced mom of two small children, one still nursing. I was a stay-at-home mom. I did not want my children to become statistics, so I decided to follow the path you had told some of the divorced mom callers to take and I stuck to that path: Family first.

Fast forward two decades from those morning drives listening to your show. I have been a divorced parent for sixteen and a half years. I haven't "played" family with anyone, no sleep overs, nobody playing dad to my kids, no bar hopping or babysitters so mom could date, and no live-ins. Dating occurred only when the kids were on weekends with their dad. Instead, I put myself through graduate school because I was in a low-paying field that required a higher degree to be able to make ends meet. I will never forget the kids jumping up and down and cheering in the auditorium when I was handed "our" diploma.

The kids and I traveled and learned to find free and cheap fun. We learned how to split a Happy Meal 3 ways. We lived in college family housing for a period of time, where they met families from all over the world. School activities filled our calendar as they were in sports, plays, choir and various other school activities. They also took horseback, karate and guitar lessons. It wasn't always easy. I had several surgeries during this time and dealt with a chronic medical condition, but we managed. Money was always tight. Being both mom and dad was tough, but somehow we built those 4-H rockets, got the belt back on the mower, and got the mice out of the house that the cat brought in. And it wasn't always rainbows and butterflies. Many days it was more like thunderstorms and fire ants, but we managed. Both kids earned honors diplomas and were in leadership positions in high school. Both earned college academic scholarships and both are college athletes. They do volunteer work and both have jobs. They both are in solid, healthy relationships. Most importantly, they are good people.

If I had this divorced parenting journey to do all over again, I would do it the same way. Every sacrifice was worth it. No regrets. It has been an honor to be the full-time solo parent of these two kids, and to make their best interest top priority. I wouldn't trade the memories we made for anything in the world. I am so glad I heard your show back when I was pregnant with my first child. I can't thank you enough for the impact your guidance has had on our lives.

Blessings and peace,



Tags: Dating, Divorce, Parenting, Read On-Air, Stay-at-Home Mom, Values
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