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Letters From Listeners

How Long Do I Have with my Kids

Hi Dr Laura,

I was raised in the liberal Boston area. We were all supposed to have it all. Well, after having kids, I did work periodically: once using an institutional daycare center. My youngest, 18 months at the time cried for 1 week straight. The workers told me he would get use to it. He didn't. And I still didn't get it I should stay home. I found a home situation for my boys (18 months and 3). That worked for little while until I got laid off. A year later, I went back to work and hired an American college grad nanny who lived in our house. Well, that worked until I asked her what the kids' preschool teachers had to say about them and she didn't really care, nor did she ask the teachers questions only a mother would ask. Unbelievably, I was kind of perturbed at her at the time. Later I realized she was a paid driver NOT their mother. We moved overseas for a year and half and coming back I still hemmed and hawed about working.

Finally, the epiphany occurred on a religious retreat. I asked God what he wanted me to do... This was a no speaking retreat. Great for us talkers for sure...

I knew going home the best thing I could do for my kids and me was to stay home. Here is how I came to my conclusion. It is actually pretty logical. What is the average life span for women in this country? Oh, about 80-85. So here I was 35 and I asked myself how long do I have my kids? About 20 years or so; then they would be off and running... Since they were 4 and 5 then, I only had about 15 years to be with them. That leaves 30 years to do whatever it is I want to do in my life. The weight of all the women libber BS was removed from my shoulders. I realized I really had been sold a bill of goods about having it all. I could have it all, just not all at the same time!!!

I told myself I would pray for some kind of work I could do from my house and not interfere with me raising my kids. A few months later, I found the most wonderful source of income, selling educational books. I love books and reading so this was perfect for me. I did it a few years and then found it interfering with my family life, so I quit.

I also think teenagers need their mom or dads at home too. They can get into all kinds of things when there is not one home to give them a healthy snack and to be there to listen about their day. I was there. I have never regretted being there for them.

Now that they are grown, I got my motorcycle license, I have two kayaks and paddle when I can. I am planning to go to Peru to Machu Pichu next year.

Moms -- stay home....


Tags: Day Care, Daycare, Motherhood, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Raising children, SAHM stay-at-home mom, Values
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