March 10, 2015Stay-at-Home Moms Are NOT Unproductive!
Posted by Staff at 10:58 AM
Dear Dr. Laura,
I have been a listener for decades and may not always agree with you politically, but when it comes to doing the right thing I'm a huge fan. I was a stay-home-mom and my man and I have been married for 22 years.
Our daughter left for college this past August. A call compelled me to write to you. You were speaking to Sarah, a stay-home-mom with a 10 month-old daughter. She was dismayed about being a new mom and being "unproductive". Man, oh man, do I remember those days. After patiently listening to the caller you told her she was normal. You had felt the same way when you were a new mom, and between the time a child is small until they are grown there are a million different stages. As I listened to your advice it brought tears to my eyes remembering those days too. I put down my paintbrush and let the tears flow. As you shared your mommy memories with Sarah I fondly remembered the memories of raising my daughter.
When my daughter was born I joined a mother's support group to reach out to other new moms. After a few months the group split up with almost all of the mothers going back to work. I was told that I was being silly for throwing away my art school education to stay at home. Instead of having that oh-so-important career, I experienced countless 'unproductive' days of taking my baby daughter everywhere with me---long walks with her chatting away in the backpack, trips to the grocery store, romping in the backyard with a hose and dirt, and hours playing, laughing, and cuddling. Each day I experienced the joy of watching her blossom into a thoughtful, creative, and confident young woman.
When my daughter entered the 4th grade I spent the time she was at school to update my portfolio and begin to work again part time. My studio is in my home so my workday stopped when my daughter arrived home from school. If I was on a deadline, then the workday resumed after making dinner, overseeing homework, and putting my daughter to bed. Was it easy? Of course not. I would NEVER trade the years I spent raising our daughter.
Older women would tell me to enjoy each stage, that childhood goes by so quickly. I would smile and nod, thinking to myself---yeah, easy for you to say! You're finished raising your kid. NOW I know and understand. I can't remember what freelance jobs I had in the past, but the memories of my daughter's childhood are crystal clear in my mind and heart. I cherish each and every memory. I now find myself telling new moms to enjoy their time with their child. Before you know it, it's time to send them out into the world. Now that my daughter is on her own I do have my career. But best of all, my daughter and I are very close. I KNOW that the time I put into being at home with her made ALL the difference. Keep up with the teaching and preaching Dr. Laura. Our children are much better for it.