Dear Dr Laura,
I am a single mother who never bothered to marry. I have 3 kids ranging from 7-14. I used to get offended when I would hear you say things about mothers who worked. I thought "Hey, I am a single mother, I HAVE to work. How can she judge me? She doesn't know what I've been through." I have listened to you for years and, over these last few, I have seen exactly what you are saying and why you are saying it.
Men and women alike are so wrapped up in our own crap, we can't see everything we do impacts our children. I am sure my kids don't think "Look what my poor mom has been through." No, they are kids and what they see is that they are fatherless because of MY choices. They see I am NOT there since I have to work because of my choices and they are the ones paying for it. The pain of seeing your children fatherless runs deep and it grieves me deeply to leave my children to go to work. I used to think my teenagers wouldn't need me, but to the contrary, my daughter has expressed just how much she wants me to pick them up from school and be there for field trips. Nothing is more important to me than my children. The decisions I made as a teenager ended up not only hurting me, but my children.
I think ALL of your listeners who have a father for their children yet treat him like crap should be unbelievably grateful for what they have and what it means to have that intact family for the children. I now see how important it is for Mom to be there with the kids daily. I think I have always known, but was angry, hurt and so blinded I couldn't see what mattered.
I am working to become a stay-at-home mom as soon as possible, so I WILL be the first person they see when they come home from school. I will no longer be in a hurry in the morning rushing to get all of us to our locations on time. I will be happier, more content, and most importantly a better momma to these kids because even though they don't have a dad in their life they will always know I am the one constant and nothing or no one will ever come before them.
And to the people who say there is NO WAY they can stay home, there is always a way. You MAKE a way. The memories I make and the lasting impression I will have on these children are all that matters to me.
Your words have meant much more then you know. Thank you so much.