Hi, Dr. Laura:
Although your long-time listeners already know your stance on stay at home moms, I still hear calls coming in where people are conflicted or not sure if being home to raise their kids is the choice for them. That's why I want them to hear my story.
My son recently started kindergarten. It was hard on me knowing I wouldn't be with him throughout the day. On his first day, I reassured him that I'd be there waiting for him when school was out. He enjoyed the day, met new friends, and excitedly told me about his day when I picked him up. Although there was some worry and concern at the beginning of the day for the first week, what was definitely NOT there was fear, tears, screaming, grabbing onto my pant legs, or having teachers rip him from my arms. None of those things were there because my boy trusts me and believes me when I tell him I will be back.
There are 19 other kids in his class, and I can tell every single one who has a working parent just by looking at them. They're the ones who are being comforted by the teacher for 15 minutes and sometimes all day months into the school year. These kids are the ones who are heartbroken, waiting at the door where so many times they have been left before. These kids don't believe it when the teacher tells them their parents will be back soon, because it hasn't been their experience. They anxiously look for their babysitters in the afternoon. I sometimes see their parents in the morning, and they complain about how their kid hates school and cries every morning and how it makes them late to work when they take the time to comfort them.
As I get in my car to drive home, I'm thankful that I had the wisdom and the responsibility to be the parent my kid needs, because life would be so much sadder if my kid was the one who didn't believe his Mommy was coming back for him.