Dear Dr. Laura:
My husband and I have been living overseas on military orders for the majority of our two kids' lives. Our kids are three and a half and two and a half. And my husband has been gone eight of the last twelve months. Three months into his deployment, my kids and I sat down to have a good cry. My three and a half-year-old son took my face in his hands and said: "Mama, right now you have to be very big, but when Dada gets home, you get to be little again." I am a committed and loving stay-at-home mom, but following that deployment, I let my husband know how profoundly important he was to each of us - how safe he makes us feel, how brave he teaches us all to be, and how much joy he brings into our home.
That's when he promised me that he was going to work toward a "non-deploying" position because nothing was more important to him than raising our kids together. To our surprise and gratitude, his superiors reluctantly agreed to let him change his course and he received official orders just last week supporting that decision. I've heard you mention on your show the irreplaceable role of a man to his family. Video chats, family visits, supportive communities, fun outings, mama cuddles and creative countdowns to when Daddy comes home are all wonderful things, but they're not a substitute for an in-the-flesh husband and father. Whenever my husband and I feel tired from swimming against the current, we just kiss our kids goodnight and go downstairs to listen to your podcasts. Your words are of great value to us.