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."
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."
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."
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.