Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Praise of SAHMs

Dr. Laura just came out with a new book entitled "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms".

I won't read this book unless I am in a torture chamber with only this book to keep me amused as I wait for my torturers. However, I would like to comment on a few quotes, even if it may be out of context.

Just to start, I want to say that stay at home Moms (SAHMs) are amazing. I have all the respect in the world for SAHMs. My mom stayed at home. My two sisters in law stay at home. I have witnessed the magic of being a stay at home mom. Seriously, I know that I could not do it. I can BARELY survive the weekend with my children. Poor Dr. Laura would probably shake her head at the selfishness of me. But honestly, it's not that I can't stay home with my kids. I don't want to. I truly don't believe that I would offer my kids the best version of me if I was at home all the time. Don't get me wrong. I love them. I am crazy about them. But, I couldn't stay home with them 24-7. I would do myself and as a result, them, a huge disservice.

Dr. L says:

"My heart hurts for what these women miss and what their children miss from them,” Dr. Laura tells the Wall Street Journal. “No argument, no criticism. My heart just hurts — because when you get those pudgy arms around your neck, and being told you’re someone’s lullaby — the fact that a woman would miss that is so, so sad."

Tina says:

I think that it is not really a fair comment to say that a woman who works doesn't get pudgy arms wrapped around her and sweet comments. I think it is fairly ridiculous to say that working women miss that. I don't miss that. I get it all the time. Our children love and give us affection too, even though we work. Amazing. We still deserve love even though we have abandoned our children with someone else. Sigh.

Dr. L says:

"One thing I’ve been happy as peach pie about — because I’m all about the children and the happiness of a woman because that makes the happiness of the home — is that nannies, day cares and babysitters are all collapsing, which is forcing moms and dads to raise their children at home…. A home should be more than just a place to park yourself after a frenzied day of too much work. So even though there’s less cash, people seem to be happier."

Tina says:

Where to begin, where to begin? If she is ALL ABOUT the happiness of a woman and that making the happiness of the home, then what if WORK makes a woman happy too? What if staying at home with 3 kids is actually completely frenzied and a day at work is actually calm, peaceful, and regenerative? What if a day at home is completely exhausting sucking every last bit of happiness from a Mom? How about if a day at work brings a Mom home who is ready to spend really great quality time with her kids?

Honestly, I know a SAHM who seriously barely smiles. She never has ANYTHING good to say about being at home. I never knew her to be a working woman necessarily but she pretty much seems miserable. She complains about all the things that are supposedly so fulfilling about being a SAHM. Is she so happy because she is a SAHM? Are her kids happier for it? Will her kids look at her one day and say, "boy I am glad my mom stayed home because she never seemed happy to be there?" She seems tired. She seems more tired than I ever have after a day at work.

Maybe people aren't happier because there is less cash? Maybe people are happier because they are realizing that cash isn't everything? If you look around and you see healthy kids, a home, a job, then you are happy.

And finally, Dear Dr. Laura says:

"I tell these women to look in their children’s eyes. When your husband comes home, wrap your body around him at the door and look at his eyes. What people need to learn is that it’s not about the drudgery of housework — it’s about being at home for all of those incredible moments that make your life more valuable than the person who replaced you at work. No one can replace mom. Kids who don’t have moms suffer a lifetime."

Tina says:

Yes, kids who don't have moms probably do suffer a life time. But lady, I ain't DEAD. I am here. Right here. Hello. Is she CRAZY? I am home for incredible moments. I am sure I miss stuff but I also see a lot. My life is valuable even though I do work. I am sure I have value to my clients. I am sure that I could be replaced easily but that doesn't mean that my work has no value. I am valuable because I am a Mom and an attorney. I think giving up being an attorney so that I could be a mom could actually make me less valuable.


With that said, I obviously don't agree with Dr. Laura. I think that each mother makes a choice and that most mothers (except for the certifiable) honestly do what is best for their families, whatever that may be. There is incredible value offered to children who have Moms who stay at home to be their Moms full time. However, there is incredible value for these kids whose Moms choose to work. To make blanket statements and accuse women of choosing money over their children (no matter the sacrifice) is shallow.

It sort of angers me to think of some SAHM reading Laura's book in a red state somewhere nodding her head in approval of each sentence and mocking my existence. Bleck. But, the 1st amendment being what it is, I will live with this book existing because the quid pro quo for that is I can say that I hate its premise here on this blog.

OK, now I am going to go bury my head in the fat rolls of my kids, smell their rosy cheeks, listen to the hearty laughs and gurgles, and wrap my body around my husband. I do that too.

God help us, every one.


  1. WOW!! You know, again, to each their own. Whatever makes you and your family happy is what you should do. But please, I don't need some WEALTHY woman like her telling me that my family is not working and my kids are miserable and traumatized. I don't go around criticizing the stay at home moms that I know because they are doing their best just as I am. Make your choices and unless someone asks you your opinion, keep your mouth SHUT. None of us moms need anyone else telling us that we aren't making the grade. And why is it that women sometimes are our worst enemies?? Why not just support each other and commiserate about all the challenges that we share?? I hate to say it but i personally find that the most unhappy women tend to be the most critical and the most likely to make comments about the choices you have made. Hmmmmm.

  2. It makes me sad to realize that some women are willing to believe that hired help can replace their motherly love and attention. No woman should allow "mothers" to be diminished in that way. Warmly, dr laura schlessinger

    P.S. If you are willing to read the book with an open mind and heart I would be glad to send you one.

  3. If "anonymous" is truly Dr. Laura, I don't think any of us working moms believe that hired help "replaces" motherly love and attention. And I honestly think it is insulting that you would imply that I do not provide my child with motherly love and attention. Maybe you should come and observe my family and tell me how my child seems sad and traumatized to you. Please do not judge my family or my life choices based on what has worked for YOU. I just hate the thought that my daughter would ever feel "guilted" into being a stay at home mom. I would like her to base her choices on what will work best for her and her family, not what experts or society think are best for her.

  4. To Anonymous/Dr. Schlessinger:

    If you are Dr. Laura, which I doubt a little, I appreciate that you took the time to comment. However, I respectfully disagree with you. If you are not Dr. Laura, then well, I disagree with you too and the comment below will still be relevant.

    In your comment you indicate that you are sad that "some women" are willing to believe that hired help can replace motherly love. Frankly, I do not believe that nor is that expressed in my post. Motherly love is not replaceable. With that said, that does not mean a mother loves her children less or is less loving if she has other commitments.

    I also never diminish SAHMs in any way in my post, in fact, I do the opposite. I do not think my decision to work or have “hired help” diminishes the role of other mothers and I have a tough time making that leap in your reasoning. I do, however, wholeheartedly believe that women make choices that are best for themselves and their families and that those choices each have value and can result in happy children, happy families, and happy homes.

    I understand that your popularity is based on having somewhat controversial and conservative opinions. And so, of course, people will disagree with you and you are “paid” for having opinions that rub people the wrong way. After having listened to you and knowing your opinion on various issues, I know that I generally disagree with you.
    But, I do think it is not necessary or appropriate to insult or put down working women because you do not think Moms should work. You can have an opinion, a strong one even, without berating those who you feel are a scourge on society.

    I will tell you that I have read your book, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”, given to me by my mother (a fabulous SAHM) shortly after I was married. I am capable of reading any books, including yours, with an open mind and heart. I cannot say I agreed with your entire book. I also cannot say I disagreed with all of it. But, I read it and absorbed it.

    Some people are able to read analytically and make relevant comments that actually respond to what they have read without being completely wedded to their own belief system and ideology. If you like, send me your book and I will read it, open mind, open heart, and in the spirit of reading the work of another working woman with whom I disagree, and I will comment. My e-mail address is losingmylap at gmail dot com. I will send you my mailing address when I get an e-mail from you.


    Tina L.
    A Mother and Working

  5. As a working mom, I totally echo your sentiment that being a SAHM would be a disservice to my daughter. When I am home with her for days on end, we end up at each others throats (and she's only 2). I see the volumes that she learns at school (art, music, body parts, colors, the list goes on and on) and think "I'm not sure I could do that!". I come home each day feeling fulfilled and appreciated that I make huge difference in patient lives at Kaiser Permanente (as do the numerous other working moms there!). If I want to spend more time with my daughter, I take vacation (5 weeks a year!) Working allows me to be a happy fulfilled mom, and that allows me to have a happy fulfilled daughter!

  6. I agree that mothers and fathers need praise. I don't always agree with Dr. Laura. She doesn't know how to stop being contrary. She has built a fortune at the expense of others with a divide and conquer and take no prisoners performance.

    Dr. Laura is also sad that girls are pigs, I kid you not, she blogs about that.
    Quote by Dr. Laura "I’m very sad that, generally, girls today are pigs."

    Dr. Laura does sign with "Warmly". She has a staff of 20 or more that could also sign for her.
    You can contact her @ Corporate offices, Take On The Day LLC and see if they send you a book.
    Her business is a radio and a theatrical company. She is an entertainer. Not as she claims a licensed doctor. While she was claiming to care for U.S. soldiers she did them more harm by her war rallies and skipping why they were getting blown up by IEDs. If she is all that some SAHMs have, they are in trouble.
    See Sailing Anarchy or the following blog
    She has been banned from racing. She blames her crew for the cheating