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In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
10/08/2010
IconI am an avid listener of yours. I have been listening for about 8 years now. I am 21 years old and in my senior year in college. Since I graduated from high school I have always known I wanted to be my kid's mom and my husband's girlfriend one day. The other day, Facebook led to a very interesting situation for me. My friend and ex-dance teacher from high school had written a "status update" explaining how hard it was to leave her babies on Monday morning to go back to work and asked if having a house was really worth missing her two little boys. More >>

Tags: ChildrenDay CareIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodnannyParentingSAHM stay-at-home momSocial IssuesValues
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08/09/2010
IconIts been exactly 8 months and 11 days since I quit my job to be at home with my son! I've emailed you twice in the past. First about "Kissing My Baby's Face Off" and second when I informed you I FINALLY quit that stressful job and yanked my then 9 month old son out of daycare to stay home with him! More >>

Tags: HealthIn Praise of Stay-at-home MomsParentingRead On-AirSAHMSocial Issuesstay at home momStay-at-Home Mom
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Tags: In Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsResponse To A CommentSexSexualityStay-at-Home Mom
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05/13/2010
IconI'm traveling this week, doing my radio program from Detroit and then from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so I thought I'd feature a guest blogger today, who wrote in with the following comments: Hi, Dr. Laura!I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children, ages 4 1/2 and almost 2.' I have been a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) since the middle of my first pregnancy.' I just picked up your book "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms," and read it cover-to-cover in two days.' At first, the book made me angry.' Not at anything you said, but it stirred up some old emotions in me that I thought I had buried long ago. You see, I have felt a lot of negativity from my in-laws since the day my husband and I decided that I would quit my job to stay home to raise our family.' My mother-in-law and father-in-law, and even both brothers-in-law and their wives, who all have children in day care, felt that I was not pulling my weight-that I was a burden on my husband, and that my children should be in day care.' Can you imagine?!! My husband and I lead a completely different lifestyle from them, but that didn't seem to matter to them. We don't have a thirty foot trailer for camping, and it's not important for us to have brand new SUVs or granite countertops.' We can have those material things in due time, if we choose. Reading your book made me think about the past again, the way my children and I have been treated over the years, and it brought back all the anger and resentment.' As I continued reading your book, it clicked!' My in-laws are jealous of the quality time that I get to spend with my children every day.' Also, the biggie for me:' happiness is a matter of perspective.' Both my husband and I feel like we are doing the right thing by having me stay-at-home and that's all that matters.' Period. In a quest to keep the right perspective, I have started journaling my proud "mommy moments," and I thought I would share this with you.' Perhaps this might help other SAHMs keep a positive outlook, too.' There's no denying that being a full-time stay-at-home mom is both rewarding and challenging.' So, I started journaling all the wonderful moments that I experience with my children on a daily basis - the moments I would never be able to experience via Mommy-cam. Today, my daughter lovingly brushed the hair away from my forehead and kissed me sweetly on my forehead, just as I have done to her countless times.' I wrote it down.' When my little boy wraps his pudgy arms around my legs and squeezes me with all his might, I write it down.' That way, when things get tough, which they will, I can quickly glance over my Mommy journal and see why I'm doing this again, to help me keep a positive outlook.' I know this won't make whatever is troubling me magically disappear, but I do think that seeing what's positive and wonderful in my life will help to clear my head and give me strength for Round 2 and 3. You have been such a wonderful influence on me, Dr. Laura.' Thank you for helping to lift my chin, so when people ask me what I do for a living, I can respond, smiling, "I am a proud FULL-time stay-at-home Mommy and I love my life." God bless you and yours, C. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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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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Tags: AbuseChild AbuseFamily/Relationships - ChildrenIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraSexStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraSexStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconI don't think I've ever known a more magnanimous group of people than bikers.' They get together to support an incredible range of charities in spite of the reality that they are generally not in the top 10% of America's most wealthy.' Instead, they have the biggest hearts and are willing to share and do what it takes to be helpful to others in need - a truly remarkable group.Since I've been riding my Harley-Davidson Road King trike, I've experienced first-hand the camaraderie of bikers.' Whenever bikers pass each other, they signal a kind of "hello" by raising their straightened left hand slightly.' I am unaware of "road rage" behavior from bikers.' It's the car drivers, seated in their metal containers, who seem to feel a sense of ownership of every part of the road on which they find themselves.' Cars will cut off other cars with millimeters to spare, offering a finger gesture in response to the shocked or frightened motorist who has just been subjected to their outrageous maneuvering.' Some will even wield a gun if particularly annoyed by being inconvenienced or held accountable for vehicular misbehavior.The first time I went on a major road with my bike, it was scary.' I'd always pull over to the right to allow speeding cars to move past.' The most frightening was when two lanes merged into one, and many drivers would speed to 70 or 90 mph just to gain an advantage and get past the bike.' Now I see the safety factor in riding in a group! More >>

Tags: In Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMorals, Ethics, ValuesStay-at-Home Mom
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05/13/2010
IconCheryl Coronel, a Dr. Laura listener, requested a response on the following:' "When people call about telling someone information that they are unaware of, you always ask, 'What benefit is it to the person to know?'' When it comes to a spouse, is this the only question that one needs to ask?' If it is about the children, must you tell?' Can you please elaborate as to the 'rules.'"'''' While this is a bit difficult to answer without specific examples, I'll do my best.'''' Most people seem to think that if something is true it can or should be spoken out loud with impunity.' Well, then, "Your thighs are flabby," "Your kid is ugly," and "Your wife's boobs are microscopic - how in the heck do you ever get turned on?"'''' Some folks used the "truth" as a weapon to hurt or feel/appear superior.' I have spent many minutes in many calls trying to pull people back from that temptation.'''' You must always ask yourself, "What benefit is it to the person to know...whatever?"' There are many times I have advised people to hold back on seemingly huge information because it would be severely damaging.' For example, I have told men not to tell their children that the child is not "biologically" theirs.' A common situation is when the woman was already pregnant by a sperm-donor type guy, and the caller stepped up to the plate and married her and raised the child as his/their own.' Years later, they "worry" that the child has a right to the truth.' I tell them that this child will be severely hurt by this disclosure and that they should go to their graves with that "truth."' A sperm does not a father make - it's the man who does the job who should enjoy the title.' Telling a child that his/her dad isn't, only makes them feel disconnected from family at a time when bonding and identification is so important.'''' One argument I get constantly with this position is that the child needs to know their medical history.' Poppycock.' With full-body scanning, technologically superior blood tests and other modern medical diagnostic advances such as genetic screening, history is the least important issue in good health maintenance.''' Children also do not benefit from knowledge of all the stupid things you did as a child; they need to benefit from what you've learned from all the stupid things you did as a child.'''' Now as to the "spouse" issue, I have often told folks who had a brief out-of-marriage encounter (especially when they have children) NOT to tell their spouses IF they are truly remorseful, they take full responsibility for their actions, do their best to repair the problems, and make dedicated efforts to not repeat their actions.' While "admitting" their misbehaviors might make them feel better, it is cruel to make the spouse carry that burden, and those visions, if it can be avoided.''''' However, I always advise people to definitely tell their fianc' or boy/girl friend of dalliances; before commitment it is important information for decision-making.'''' When callers say they "saw" or "heard" some information, I tell them not to convey it unless they know it first hand as truth (versus gossip and hearsay) AND then only if it is something that person needs to know in order to protect themselves or their family.'''' I always tell folks never to tell their spouses that they've fantasized about somebody, real or on celluloid; after all, they themselves are mundane too!''''' While I have but touched the surface (and you can read more about my thoughts in my newest book, The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage ),' I believe the point is made: make sure that any information you convey is absolutely correct and always consider the ultimate consequences.' Some things just should never be said. More >>

Tags: CharityIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMorals, Ethics, ValuesValues
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