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Stay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconFrom a listener after hearing another caller on my radio program: Dr. Laura: I grew up listening to you as my own stay-at-home mother bussed [sic] my three siblings and me home after school.' Listening to you teach the moms that would call in, I remember thinking that if I ever had kids, I would be "my kid's mom."' I saw Mom spend over 10 years at home with us, and the investment and dedication [she] modeled stuck with me.' Now I am a 24 year-old stay-at-home mom to a bright 13-month-old son. I just finished listening to a caller who was wondering about taking some yoga classes to get her certification.' I knew exactly where she was coming from, because recently, I also was debating starting grad classes or taking up a part-time job. The past week, I have been feeling like a hamster in a wheel --' no goals, [no] direction, not really getting anywhere. I've been comparing myself to my "friends" who are in grad school, building their careers, globe-trotting, but also "family - less."' I felt like maybe I needed to keep up.' I thought you were being too hard on [the caller] until you said something that led me to tears. You told her she had the most important job in the world right now, [and] that there will be time to take the yoga classes later.' I've heard you say things like that before, but this time, you were speaking directly to me. Thank you for that encouragement and truth.' All these years, you were telling everyone else, but I've finally made it my own.' I do have the most important job in the world.' It's challenging, character-building, but full of blessings.' This little boy is growing up very fast. The rat race can wait...I am MY kid's mom! More >>

Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodMovie ReviewMoviesParentingStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconToday, I've got a guest blog today from Olivia: Hi, Dr. Laura: I am a 25 year old married mother of two small boys.' Minutes ago, I just finishedreading your book "Stupid Things Parents Do To Mess Up Their Kids."' This is why [my reading this] is so timely: A year ago, some family crisis propelled me into quitting my part-time, yet demanding, job.' In many ways, it was a dream job - part-time, flexible, good pay (or so I thought), and fantastic for my resume.' My family began to deteriorate rather quickly in spite of our kids not being in day care. My job went to my head, and I spent horrible amounts of time on things that had nothing to do with my family, and even harmed my family relationships.' I was being selfish, stupid, and immature as I sought out personal satisfaction and success. After a major and deserving blow from life, I quit my job, in spite of my board wanting me to stay.' In the last year, I have been focusing on my family more, but have been dabbling in a small business.' Lately, business has been slow, and I have been praying for it to pick up, or to open my eyes to what God would have me do instead.' Stupid, I know, as I have two beautiful sons staring me in the face every day. A couple of days ago, when I was in the library with my kids, I had this sudden desire to grab a parenting book (no idea what kind), but in a rush I went to the section, perused quickly and grabbed your book.' You loudly and clearly stating things I knew in my heart, but hadn't allowed to be voiced in my head.' I really believe this was a divine intervention. I know that I am not in the season of life to devote lots of time and energy to anything or anyone other than my family.' You are completely right about everything you said in your book.' Shame on the "so-called" (love how you made fun of that) professionals who tease, shame, and humiliate young, educated women who choose family over career.' And shame on we self-proclaimed "strong" women who allow ourselves to be cowed from taking full-time responsibility for our children, family and home life if we are able. I used to feel embarrassed or apologetic when admitting I was a married mother of two at my age.' Now I feel grateful for the path I have chosen, and my joy is full as I recognize the deep personal growth and learning my divinely appointed "job" grants me each and every day as I sacrifice, love, and nurture my family. Thanks, Dr. Laura.' We need more women to speak out the way you do. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconNot long ago, I posted a video on my YouTube Channel addressing whether it was ever too late to be a stay-at-home mom. I got the following response to that video from a listener, and she's my "guest blogger" for today, especially because this is the week a lot of parents send their kids back to school: Dear Dr. Laura:I have always been at home with my kids, who are now 11, 14, and 16. I am so thankful that I am still home with them, and feel it's just as important now as it was when they were little. Since I am home, all the kids come over here. I have the benefit of knowing my kids' friends and their parents well, and knowing where my kids are and who they are with. This has been especially important during the summer, when many kids spend long hours unsupervised. I knew my 16 year old was not out drinking or getting in trouble, because he was right here. We went swimming together one day, and talked about his plans for college and how he felt about the upcoming school year-another one of those precious and important conversations I would have missed if I wasn't here.During the school year, it's during the first 15 minutes after they get home that I hear all about their day, their troubles and their triumphs. I would miss that if I were at work. I am the mom who can pick up friends, work in the classroom, bake last minute cookies, and make a costume for drama, because I am home.The older they get, the more I realize how short our time is with them, and the more thankful I am for every minute. I enjoy my teens much more now than I did when they were little, and I am grateful every day that I will not miss their last year as children. And yes, you better believe that both I and the kids thank my wonderful husband that Mom is able to be at home during this critical time.Thanks for standing up for those of us who are at home doing "nothing" all day with our older kids.Lynn More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSAHM stay at home momStay-At-Home-MomsTeens
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Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSexStay-At-Home-Moms
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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: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSexStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconWhen my now 6'3" son was a little guy, housework was secondary in priority to interacting with him.' One of my most wonderful memories is of taking him on a walk (and pulling him in his Radio Flyer-like wagon) to the huge parking lot of the local Target.' I would put him in one of the shopping carts, and run like mad, twisting and turning and twirling the cart until he whooped with delight.' This would go on for the better part of an hour.' Thinking back, I got a good aerobic exercise workout, and he got a Disneyland-like ride.' At the time, though, it was just about having fun together.One of the constant complaints I get (especially from at-home moms), is about the drudgery of housework, particularly about how it is never-ending and repetitive.' Frankly, I liked knowing the parameters involved with housework:' bathrooms, kitchen, and washing and folding laundry.' Folding laundry was my meditative exercise.' I found it quite relaxing.Attitude is the essential issue in dealing with anything in life.' I had a recent caller to my radio program who was still working through her rotten childhood by yelling and being physical with her kids...but in a bad way.' After a bit of a lecture from me on finally having fun in her life, and my giving her examples of getting kids to do things (like putting toys away or getting their pajamas on) with fun (complete with giggles and applause), she wrote me back and thanked me.' Then I received this email from another listener: I am in the middle of three loads of laundry (I have four boys ages 7,10, 12 and 14, so I have a lot of laundry), and wanted to thank you for being my "housework buddy."' You may not realize it, but you've been helping me with my housework for the last 3 months.' How?' I've always hated and avoided doing housework, because I never saw the value in it.' Instead, I took part-time jobs while the kids were in school and hired a housekeeper once a week.' While she put a dent in the mess, there was still a lot of housework left, and I asked my full-time working husband to help out on the weekend.' This meant that our weekends weren't much fun. After listening to you talk to a caller about what a great gift she was giving her family by keeping the house neat, I decided to devote the three hours you're on the air to housework.' I can now happily listen to you from any room in the house.' While I still don't enjoy housework, my family and I do enjoy having a clean, well-organized home.' And we have a lot more fun on the weekend.' So, thank you for being my "housework buddy" and keeping me company while I work! DebraSan Diego Everything we do is of value, even if it is the same thing every day (which, of course, it doesn't have to be).' Creativity in how we approach situations changes everything about how we feel and how much we appreciate life, love, and family.' So, whatever it is you have to do, find a way to make it fun. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodPersonal ResponsibilityRelativesStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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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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