This Family Will Miss You, Dr. Laura

It’s a shame Dr. Laura will be going off the air. I will miss her company, the advice, and support she gave me over the last 18 years. I really wanted her to stick around long enough for my kids to listen to her and hear confirmation of what “Do the Right Thing” means in their adult life.  Not all decisions are clear cut in our daily lives, but listening to her show sometimes helped me decipher the answer to many confusing situations.

She evidently also helped many others since she became the voice of reason over national airwaves; tough and sometimes insensitive in some people’s opinion, Dr. Laura gave it to you straight — more like let you have it. That is what made her so appealing (and disliked) by many.  After all, if YOU called in asking for her advice, you knew you better have your wits about you because she did not sugar coat her sage words.

Unfortunately, it sounds like she’s fed up with the attacks. I don’t blame her. It takes guts to put yourself out there to share your opinions and try to help others in the process. She stuck it out for a long time, and surely doesn’t need the grief she’s put herself through.

However, I am one of those lucky to have tuned into her radio show at a very opportune time. After listening for a few months, intently, I figured out some things I had been unable to for the first two years of my child’s life. She changed my life and my family’s quality of life. And for this I am grateful to her.

Parked outside of my child’s preschool waiting to pick him up, I discovered Laura Schlesinger’s radio show, and I vividly recall how she stunned me into paying attention with a call about a stay at home mom (SAHM) and its virtues.  Her words gripped me like a cold winter’s night in the middle of a California summer’s the day.

At that time, I was a working mother with a flexible job as a court interpreter and could make my own hours.  I had taken up this job as a fall back after having quit my power job overseas to get married. The one thing I couldn’t make was enough money to support my entire household, which wasn’t the intention in the first place. I didn’t need to since my husband was making more than enough to support all of us. Essentially, I was working to fulfill my own and others expectations about my earning potential after having attended an elite school and having worked in high finance abroad for a few years.

You see, I got a Master’s Degree from Oxford University in England, and then worked in the male-dominated investment banking sector in London.  Needless to say, making a six figure salary and traveling first class to parts of the world I didn’t even know existed, I was accustomed to carrying my own money in my personally purchased designer purse – and feeling mighty independent.  I was doing very well for myself for a while until I met my knight in shining armor and started a family. (You can read how this part of the story unfolded here.)

I got married, moved to the USA again and had a child. And, my head started to play with my heart — something I wasn’t used to since I had always let my head lead the way. The doubts and guilt started to set in; my husband and I would talk about how our baby needed me more at home than I needed to feel productive, but I didn’t like the sound of that – inside I knew something just wasn’t right for me.

Reconciling the fact that after all that money, time and sacrifice to get my education I was not going to change the world, but instead walk away from my hard-earned position was very difficult. Was I supposed to just extend my hand out so my husband could give me the money to buy ingredients to bake brownies all day? (Mind you, when I married I couldn’t even boil water!)

Boy, did I have hard time making this decision.

And, seemingly out of nowhere, I stumbled on Dr. Laura’s show and things started to become clear to me.

After listening to a few of the therapist’s segments, I started to understand the priceless job of being a SAHM and how much more gratifying the payoff was to spend time with my children; learn to make my house a home; learn to cook, and then also realized what a selfless man I’d married who was willing and able to give us what we needed… and more.

Yup. I totally drank the Dr. Laura cool aid, and it didn’t kill me.

Quite the opposite. I began a new life, one with new meaning and purpose.

I gradually stopped working and reduced my hours to part time. Then, I worked less outside the home and started to do more inside. And it was nice – not easy, but very nice.

Instead of focusing my energy on what I was not accomplishing for myself, I focused on nurturing and educating my kids. I actually realized how my education and travels had settled me to where I wasn’t yearning to go ‘find myself’. I had done it all. I could confidently think to myself ‘been there, done that’ to a lot of experiences others were yet to go through. All I could think of was, ‘I’m glad I got that out of my system when I was young and single’.

Going down new roads has its bumps and detours. But, when I came across the fork in my road to have a job or create a family and carefully keep it together while giving myself to it has been the best choice I’ve made in long time. 20 years to be exact, which is the number of years I’ve been shining my knight’s armor! (Get your minds out of the gutter people!)

So, thank you Dr. Laura. This family will miss you.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Suzette, Dr. Laura's job is to be a shock jock, and bitchy as she can come off (and it is OK to not agree with all of her “answers” for everyone OR her sauciness) she gives folks solid and sound solutions. She might prescribe them as the “right” (seemingly only) way, but often her solutions really resonat. While I would much like the show better if she were softer with her guests, I still think she is brilliant.
    She, like you, promotes keeping kids KIDS, prioritizing being parentally PRESENT as the primary caretaker (especially for the young-young ones), and using tough-love when needed. I think she has helped many families have the courage to be strong, unselfish, responsible, outspoken and stand for our laurels. What is best is not always easy to do, what is ideal is not always an instant feel-good answer, what is moral is not always what is pleasurable at the moment. She helped us by reminding us of that.
    Again, she has imperfections like we all do, but I do not consider her a racist. She gets fed up with hypociries and blatent double standards and it shows whem she makes her callers' issue as part of her agenda…BUT again, she is a radio personality after ratings, not a therapist at a desk 1:1. I do not agree with all of her tactics, but NOR do I think she is a racist, etc. What she presents is a consertive voice and folks willingly call up because they want a wake-up call of her branded nature. That is a given.
    Keep up the good work, as your voice in the media is very Dr. Laura-esque. You are an inspiration to many of us moms and remind us that our kids' years are precious ones. And a lot of those memories built are based on our choices to “do the right thing”. Bless you, Mama.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully written, Stacy! I appreciate your point of view regading her often-times stern words to her callers. This is true, and also probably the way she got her point across to the callers. Otherwise, we could go to our own mothers for the softer version of an opinion about our dilemas.
    There's just no simple way of putting it, but to say that if they called her, people wanted to hear what she had to say. If not, then they were better off staying on the other side of the radio and only listen.
    Thank you for refering to me as 'Laura-esque'. I will gladly take this as a compliment even if it means those who read this may roll their eyes (or might be 'closet Dr. Laura listeners').
    Keep doing what you do. We need more people like you with integrity!

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