Letter to Dr. Laura

I love Dr. Laura. Her book The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands revolutionized my marriage. Literally. In fact, I need to read it again. And you should too.

I love how she cuts to the chase in almost every conversation. I love how she ‘gets’ the heart of the matter right away, and genuinely helps people see their responsibility in their problems. I love how she doesn’t take any guff from anyone, how she sticks to her guns, how she stands for what she believes in, no matter how unpopular those views might be. Most of all, I love how she staunchly supports stay-at-home moms, the man acting the man, supporting him in the role of head of household.

She always opens her show with a letter from her readers. Today’s letter made me weep:

I Want to Go To Day Care – My New Attitude

Dear Dr. Laura,

I am a stay at home Mama for two sweet natured, good hearted, and sometimes exhausting little boys, ages 3 ½ and 1 ½. Yesterday was one of the hard days for me – my 1 ½ year old was up a lot during the night leaving me tired and irritable, I was hormonal, and it was Monday – always a day with a lot to get done for us. We were out running errands, and when we got to the door of our first destination, I found they were unexpectedly closed. We headed back to the car, where my little guy suddenly decided he hated his car seat. After our wrestling match I turned, frazzled and a little disheveled, to my older son to get him buckled in as well. He was entranced watching some kids play outside at the day care next to the building where we were parked.

“Can I play, Mama?” he said.

“No, sweetie. It’s not a playground, it’s a day care. Now hop in, we need to go a couple more places before Daddy gets home tonight.”

“Can I go to day care?” he persisted.

“No honey, you don’t go to day care. I stay home with you.”

“I want to go to day care!” he said.

I closed my eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. “Sweetheart, I know it looks like fun to play outside and that errands aren’t much fun, but I don’t think you really want to go to day care.”

“Why not?” I could tell I had his attention because he was letting me buckle him in now.

“Well, those kids go to day care really early in the morning – like before Daddy leaves for work in the morning. And they stay there all day – like until after Daddy comes home at night.”

“Who takes care of them?”

“Their teachers.”

“Who reads them stories?”

“Their teachers.”

“Who plays with them?”

“The other kids and their teachers.” By this time I had the car started and was pulling out of the lot. There was silence for a minute while he digested what I had said. Then his voice from the backseat…

“Don’t they get sad being there all day long without their Mommy and Daddy?”

I glanced in the rear-view mirror and into his earnest little eyes. “What do you think?”

“I think they would be really sad and miss their Mommy. I don’t ever want to go to day care.”

And that’s how I went from being impatient, frustrated, frazzled, tired and cranky to grateful beyond belief that I made the right choices in my life (my wonderful hardworking husband, buying the house we could afford on one salary, driving older cars without payments, leaving behind my “fabulous” job with the six figure salary) so that I could have this exact conversation instead of the reverse. Because I can’t imagine looking into those little eyes the day he asked me “Why don’t you stay home with me, Mommy?”

Thanks for all you do to support families and children by validating the importance of staying home with our kids.


4 thoughts on “Letter to Dr. Laura

  1. Awwwww! I was a daycare kid. I remember the days my mom would pick us up late, we’d be the last ones there… and we’d watch out the window with big eyes hoping she’d come get us.

    I remember feeling tired and hungry and just wanting to go to my home, to play with my neighbor friends, to get Mommy attention, etc. This really helped me feel a lot better about the frustrating days!!!

  2. What a sweet letter. I was babysat and I don’t feel that badly about it. I loved my sitter and her family dearly. That said, it is my dream to be able to be home FT once I can afford it (still working PT and trying to do photography with hopes of turning it into a SAHM business). I can see both sides…

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