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Depression
05/13/2010
IconA caller with a seemingly simple question has been haunting my mind since Monday.' The caller was a stay-at-home mom with four children under the age of six.' I thought I was heroic chasing after one child who never napped.' I can't imagine four little tykes going in different directions, all with different personalities and needs.' Wow.After asking some sneaky questions, I discerned that she was - in two words - BURNED OUT.' It's difficult to get around the understandable embarrassment or shame that a mother has for even thinking that she wished she were on another planet away from the children for a while.' But this is a totally understandable and normal reaction to a lovely, but draining, situation.When a woman is at a job, she can take a number of bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, and a lunch break which may even include shopping (a great tension releaser!).' When taking care of a number of children whose needs are relentless and inconsistent, it's easy to see how one brain and heart can be overwhelmed if the kids don't nap - mine never did, and I remember feeling mentally exhausted.Mothers do, but shouldn't, feel guilt at not always being thrilled out of their ears to be taking care of their children.' My first argument is that there is no one with any career or activity who doesn't regularly feel the same way.' Human beings need breaks - changes of scenery and input - and activities that help let off steam and revive one's sense of joy in life.' That's why in my book, In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms , I've written about the necessity of taking guilt-free breaks - and taking them before you break!First, to the husbands:' Make sure you command and demand that your beloved wife and mother of your progeny go out with her girlfriends, go have a one-hour bath with bubbles and wine, or go ride her bike with a bike club for a morning - something so that she can feel revived and relaxed.' Plan it for her if she's stubborn (the stubbornness usually comes from feeling guilty).' Tell her that a GOOD mother takes care of herself so that the "giving" flows more readily.Second, to you mothers:' Grandma is useful for a break while you do nothing or something that relaxes you.' I told this caller to get one of those carriers that attaches to a bicycle, and get a child bike seat affixed behind her bike seat - that takes care of three kids right there, and one is in kindergarten.' Take 'em all on a bike ride to picnic or relax in a park - that's only one of the things I did with my child.' Turn on an exercise video and dance along with the music to get a workout - the kids will join in, or play next to you with their toys.'My message is:' no guilt.' Any profession has tools that must be taken care of to keep working properly:' a computer, a saw and hammer...whatever.' For us mothers, the tool is ourselves.' So, no guilt.' Take it as a responsibility to keep yourself loose and refreshed.My final message is that being home with your children opens up many opportunities if you think out of the perimeter of your property.' It isn't supposed to be a "work farm."' It's supposed to be a joyous home.' Oh, and here's why that caller stuck in my mind:' I heard a depth of sadness in her voice that seriously worried me, and I realized that many of you moms try so hard that you forget to take care of yourselves.' In doing so, you lose contact with your mission in the first place.' When that happens, your children miss you.So, ladies, turn on that music and dance and sing around the house and enjoy! More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMental HealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconI am writing this blog on Nadya Suleman, octuplet mom, under duress.' I was told that a significant number of you wished for my point of view or comments on this occurrence.' My answer was, "Do I really have to comment on the obvious?"'I am disgusted with this woman for being educated in child developmental psychology and still intentionally robbing children of a dad (she had in-vitro fertilization with embryos from sperm donor) and the opportunity to get the kind of attention one out of fourteen children clearly won't get.I'm disgusted with the clinic and physicians who, knowing she already had six children and no husband or reasonable means of support (except for workman's comp lawsuits), and frankly, must be somewhat emotionally troubled, still impregnated her with multiple embryos -- more than the recommended number for a woman under the age of 35.I'm disgusted with the media for making a big deal about these freak situations without proper judgment and criticism and for starting programs for "freebee" bailouts with charitable support.I'm disgusted with Child Protective Services which I don't think has even considered taking these children away from this self-avowed baby-mill and placing them up for adoption into two-parent households, with a married mom and dad.Every Mother's Day my psyche is assaulted with front page stories coast-to-coast about unwed mothers' joy and glee and Mother-of-the-Year Awards to celebrity moms who clearly put their careers before their children (bless those who are "nannied!").So - this blog is in honor of and directed to the women who do it right: get married to good man who can support a family; wait until they're settled and have the emotional where-with-all to sacrifice in order to receive the huge rewards of mothering their own children.I'm sorry the media doesn't care about you...but your husband, your children, Dr. Laura, and a society grateful for the wonderful human beings you raise do care about you. More >>

Tags: DepressionEthicsFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMental HealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal Responsibility
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Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMental HealthParentingPersonal Responsibility
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconThis letter is from a listener who wishes to remain anonymous: Dr. Laura:I totally agree with you about how bad day care is, and how damaging it is for children.' Recently, I saw a mother who had just picked up her 18-month-old daughter from day care at 6 o'clock!' That's basically what time my kids go to bed!'' The baby was crying, grabbing at the mother's skirt, and refusing to let go.' The mother was getting annoyed, and kept saying, "Why are you acting like this?' What's wrong?" I felt so upset.' What a dumb question!' You neglected your baby for the entire day, she missed you, and is exhausted and stressed, and you're surprised that she's acting that way? I would think that a mother who has her child in day care the entire day would be the one crying and showering love and attention on her baby instead of getting mad at her.' The baby should be mad at the parent, not the other way around. And then, because parents don't see their baby all day, they put them to bed too late, which makes them more stressed and makes it even harder for them to cope with their emotions in day care.' When we, as parents, are tired, it's hard not to be fussy.' Well, imagine what it's like for a baby!' It's MUCH harder for them to handle being tired.' Parents need to do what's best for their children, not what's best for themselves, and if they don't want to, or if they think their children shouldn't stand in the way of their doing what they want, then don't have them! Why bring children into the world to give them to others to raise? Why bring children into the world if you are giving them the message that your job and your life are more important than them?' For those that say "Well, I'm just not the type to be home with my kids," or "I can't handle being with kids," then don't have them! I know of far too many babies that get attached to their nannies, and spend more time with them than with their own parents.' These babies wonder why their "parent" (that is, the nanny) is leaving them for the night.' Not only do they not have their real parents during most of the day, but then they don't have their "nanny parent" either. Sometimes, people say "I want my kids to have the best - the best car, the best house, the best toys."' Believe me, things are not what makes a baby happy.' Love and attention and kindness are what makes them happy. How sad. And then people wonder why children are so troubled, and why they "act out,"and why they would do anything for attention.' If a mother MUST work to feed her family, I understand, but the attitude shouldn't be that day care is the first choice .' The attitude needs to be "how sad that she cannot care for her baby." I think it's nuts that people think it's sad that my baby is home with me.' She is definitely happier than all the crying babies in the playground, but all the working mothers will' never know that their babies are crying, falling, or are just plain exhausted. More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMental HealthParentingStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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Tags: DepressionEthicsHealthMental HealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesQuote of the Week
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