In Praise for the Stay at Home Moms

Monday, May 18, 2009

I listened to Focus on the Family radio one day and it happened Dr. James Dobson was interviewing Dr Laura Schlessinger on her latest book: In Praise of Stay-at-home-Moms. Click here to listen to the first part and second part of the interview.

Before we had Max, Chris and I already discussed and decided that it's best for me to stay home to raise our kid. Still, with the world around us telling what a waste of your talent, time, money, and energy to do so has made me doubting myself at times. Listening to the interviews has been such an encouragement for me and helped me to see how by being at home has benefit my kid and my marriage.

I decided to buy the book when I saw it at Costco. I was hesitate to spend $15 at first but it's so worth it. I just finished reading the introduction, already my eyes filled with tears. Here is why:

One mother (a listener of Dr. Laura's radio program) wrote:

As I sit to write this letter, my hope is that if just one mother can hear what I have to say and holds her child just a little tighter today, I will have fulfilled my reason for writing.

By the time I was 29 our family was complete I had three beautiful children, a loving husband, and although never money to spare, we found ways to get by. I had stopped working full-time and started part-time shortly after my first child was born because I loved being with her. Although I had my mother and mother-in-law to babysit whenever I needed, by the time my middle son was born, I knew I could not work anymore. Something inside of me told me that I had to spend as much time with my children as I could. My husband worked extra hours, I made do with what we had, and we made things work for us. My husband would work at night or at home, but if there was a baseball game - he was there. I cut every one's hair, including my own, did my own nails, and never bought anything that was not on sale. We were happy.

There were many days where I was pulling out my hair, found myself screaming at them, and was totally exhausted by the end of the day, thinking to myself, "Any other work would be a pleasant relief." But there were also many moments I would never trade in for any job, no matter what the pay. Those moments when your child give you smile or a look you never forget, moments when they would give you a kiss, a hug, or just hold your hand for no reason. Those are the moments a mother treasures in her heart forever and they can never be replaced, not even by a grandmother.

I was selfish - I wanted my children to know me, and I wanted to be that special person in their lives. Although I didn't know it then, and on certain days may have told you otherwise, my life was perfect.

Maybe life isn't meant to be lived perfectly. Perhaps I took too many things for granted. But out life is no longer that perfect storybook tale. Two years ago my middle son was killed in an auto accident. He was 22 years old. He was away at college when he decided to get in a car where the driver had been drinking; ten minutes later he was dead. Our lives will never be the same again; the world as we knew it has been destroyed. We miss our son terribly. My husband, surviving two children, and I will never be the same, but we are trying to hold on to each other and pick up the pieces, one piece at a time.

Dr. Laura, there is only one thing I can say. I am so grateful for those moments I had with my son. Those moments, the good as well as the crazy ones, I will forever hold close to my heart. All those precious year I spent with my son now are what help me get through the day.

So, please, Dr Laura, never stop preaching to all the young moms who feel they can't handle it, are struggling with making it through the day, who believe they "need to work instead of being with their child, just how much it might someday mean to them to have spent those precious moments with their children. Hopefully other moms can just take my word for it; Don't let anyone or anything prevent you from holding them, hugging them, playing with them, memorizing their smile, their laughter, their heart.

Our children are such special gifts that should never be taken for granted, and life is so unpredictable, we never know if today we will breathe our last breath. - Lisa