Dr. Val Farmer
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Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

Stay-At-Home Moms Voice Appreciation

June 22, 2003

Dr. Val Farmer:

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the editorial on Stay-At-Home Moms. I had the same secret life, raising four children and being able to stay home. I could have written the column almost word for word. It is a shame that more people don't feel the same way.

I always said that I spent less money, not having to have as many clothes, cooked all my meals from scratch, was always home for problems and when they arrived home from school. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We have been married for 52 years, lived in our Black Hills community all our lives and all our four grown children are well adjusted citizens with families of their own. Thanks. - A South Dakota reader

Dear Darlene or Val,

I am writing to thank you for the article, "Stay-At-Home Mom Makes A Confession." It was excellent and expresses all my feelings and beliefs exactly!

My mother stayed at home with me and my two sisters and it has benefitted me for a lifetime. I have fond memories of her baking and creating nutritious meals and just plain being there for everything.

It is sad the way our society has become so money-hungry and work-force oriented. A typical maternity leave is only six weeks! Wrong!!

I have a young daughter who will be three in September. As a result of a divorce I have had to work yet was fortunate to work at a group home for teenagers. I could bring my daughter with me whenever I needed to which made me feel so much better than the daycare option.

My employer laid off employees in April. I was able to be that full time Mom I’ve always desired to be. I started to dread a call from my boss to go back to work even as much as I believed in the program.

My fiance and I plan on having a baby of our own and he is fully supportive of stay-at home mothering and I am grateful.

Your article inspired me to go with my gut feeling and today I spoke with my boss and said I would not be returning to the program. I would put in some volunteer hours to help out. I’m a full time mother and proud of it. I hope more mothers can work to get to this point if possible! - A Minnesota reader

Dear Mr. Farmer or Darlene,

Thank you for the encouraging article of, "Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom." I really believe we need to read or hear more articles like the thoughts of Darlene. I know it is a sensitive subject with so many moms working outside the home, or getting their college degrees and thinking they need to 'use them' to have a 'fulfilling career'.

I received my college degree, but chose the career of a stay-at-home mom to raise our 4 precious boys. Our youngest is now 17. So many of Darlene's thoughts were mine today. I really appreciated how she could express herself. Please thank her for me.

Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and Lord, so I depend on him to be my Guide each day. He's the one who has given me (and Darlene) a love for children, our husbands, and the love of being a stay-at-home-mom. I want this message to be told to other young ladies today, but don't know how to do it.

I would love to be a public speaker on encouraging Moms to stay at home, but I don't dare! It is a touchy subject! Do you have an idea on how to encourage Moms to value being "domestic engineers" or "building cathedrals"?

Lastly, thank you for being an encouraging husband to Darlene. You must have encouraged her to value her career. Without my precious husband who always said, "You already have a job," when the budget was low, I couldn't have done the fulfilling job I did as a Mom.

I feel like I had the most fun and important job in the whole world. Our boys all love the Lord, work hard, and enjoy the great life the Lord has blessed them with. I feel blessed, my husband feels blessed, and our boys feel blessed for having a stay-at-home Mom.

We're all winners because my husband and I made this decision. I feel so strongly about this that I think 90 percent of the moms should be home. Our families and society are suffering because of it. Anyway, thank you and Darlene. What is Darlene doing with her time and talents as her family leaves the nest? - A Minnesota Stay-At-Home Mom

Darlene is now a "stay-at-home daughter" - and mom. We have a 16-year-old son at home and since February, her 91-year-old father lives with us. He requires as much attention as a preschooler because of his feeble knees and his dependence on her. She actually spends more time at home than she has in years.

Darlene makes the most of her time. One of her goals is to become fluent in Russian. She regularly studies with a Russian friend and teacher. She also studies piano at a local college conservatory. She serves in a church women’s organization and as a church organist. She enjoys gardening. Currently she is organizing both her parent’s and our personal scrapbooks. She gets away to see our grandchildren and help out whenever needed. - An appreciative husband