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Stay-At-Home-Moms
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
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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05/13/2010
IconAs long as you keep sending me stories like these, I'll continue to post them on this blog.' Today's email came from Lori: This is long overdue.' I started listening to your program 20 years ago, when I was in my twenties, newly married, and focused on my career.' I was in the middle of a graduate program that I had worked very hard to get into, when I got pregnant with my son.' I always thought your ideas that a parent should stay home with their child were ridiculous - I thought it was a crazy, backward notion.' That is what day care was for!! Then I had my son. He was six weeks old when I left him with a day care provider to continue my graduate program.' That was also the last time he was with a day care provider.' I physically and mentally could not stand to think that someone else was spending the day and providing for my son - something I should be doing and wanted to do.' After all, who could do it better?' My husband felt the same, so I quit graduate school and all my career plans went out the door so I could stay with my son full time.' While at first it wasn't easy, I can say without a doubt what a great decision that was! When my son and I went to the park or took a walk, I arranged it so I could listen to your radio program at the same time.' While I was sure about my decision, I had VERY LITTLE support from many others.' I got many comments or "put-downs" about what a waste of my life this was.' I felt like you were one of the few who supported me.' You were my advocate, and when I would feel especially down and question my decision, I would listen to you and it would lift me up, and I knew I was right. So, a belated thank you for what you gave me, my wonderfully supportive husband, and my son - who is now a smart, kind, funny, well-adjusted 16 year old.' Keep speaking up for us stay-at-home moms.' I can look back at that time of my life and say I absolutely have no regrets. More >>

Tags: choose wisely - treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRelativesStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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05/13/2010
IconFrom a listener to my radio program: Dr. Laura, I want to thank you for the special moments that you helped me have.' As a listener, my husband and I decided that I would stay home with our 2 month old baby boy even before he was born.' I must admit that it's hard financially, but we understand that our son is more important than luxury. Yesterday, I had a "tear-jerker" moment.' After feeding my son, I got up and started to clean the room.' After a while, I saw him moving.' He was putting his little hand above his head, feeling for the place where my arm had just been.' Then he stretched his arms and legs in front of him where I had been lying before.' I realized he was looking for me.' His little face began to prepare to cry.' I then placed my hand on his side.' "I'm right here, baby."' He then opened his eyes.' On seeing me, he smiled his gummy smile. I stayed there, smoothing out his hair, until he fell back to sleep, but I couldn't help thinking, what if I had been at work?' What if he was with a sitter or at day care?' I wouldn't have had that moment, and he wouldn't have been comforted. I know, because I used to work at a day care center - he would have been left crying, because he had been fed and his diaper had been changed. As an ex-day care worker, I know that children are not cared for lovingly.' They just have their physical needs met, but not their emotional needs. There were so many kids who called me "mommy," and that was only because I was doing her job while doing mine.' The fact was, "mommy" wasn't there.' But I was and am here for our son.' Thank you. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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05/13/2010
IconI've been hearing from a lot of stay-at-home moms, and sharing some of their letters with you.' I got this one from a woman who is not a mother, but who has strong feelings about those who stay at home with their kids: My grandmother was a homemaker.' My mother was divorced, and raised us without our "sperm donor" father, because she chose to leave an abuser.' She worked at a company at night, so that she could walk us to school and help with homework (I didn't realize the magnitude of this when I was young, but I surely do now). I'm over 40 now, and don't have any children, and I work full-time.' However, with every job that I've ever taken, I've always known in the back of my mind that it would never be a "career," because I would eventually leave to be a stay-at-home mom.' So, I had to come up with something that I could do to generate income and stay at home:' writing. I haven't quite pursued my writing "career" yet.' I watch pregnant women around my office leave, have their babies, and come back.' Some of them are married, and some not.' Either way, I am dumbfounded that they would not rather be at home all day with the baby. I never wanted to have children as a single woman without a husband.' First, because I didn't want to have to do everything by myself.' As it is now, I hate taking out my own trash, and wished that I had a husband who didn't mind taking on that chore!' And second, because each parent's role is important.' They both matter and make a great contribution.' It's what all children want:' a mommy and a daddy who are together and care about each other.' So, as I get older and my biological clock "explodes," I've never been tempted to do it alone, i.e., just have a baby because that's what I want. Maybe one day, I'll have a MAN who loves to call me his "girlfriend."' In the meantime, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I'll miss that joy of being able to stay at home with my baby and welcoming my husband home at the end of a hard day at work to provide for us. More >>

Tags: CommitmentFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelativesStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconToday, I'm turning my blog over to Nicole, who wrote the following: Dr. Laura: I'm glad to be able to tell you I'm sorry, but you had nothing to do with my long-ago-made decision to be an at-home mom to my children.' I made that choice long before I started listening to you (at the ancient age of 19). I am nearly 29 and extremely proud to tell you that my very own Mom was "her kids' mom" all my growing-up life.' She did this while it was very popular to go to work, have a career and leave kids with the sitter or latch-key programs.' I had very little idea that moms even went to work until friends or teachers would ask me what my mom "did."' I'd look at them weirdly and think it was a funny question to ask...she lives at home and bakes, fixes our meals, does the laundry, picks us up from school every day, and watches my younger siblings!' Who else would do those things if Mom didn't? I remember going home in the first grade and asking Mom what her job title was, because the teacher needed to know for our yearbook.' "Homemaker," she'd say proudly!' She has been my biggest influence in modeling and reinforcing what a stay-at-home mom should look like...creative, resourceful, smart, kind, loving and self-sacrificing (and always beautiful)!' Your preaching, teaching, and nagging only reinforces the atmosphere I grew up with. Thanks for all you do for all the women who didn't grow up with my Mom. Nicole P.S.' I will give you this - you did help me when I was seeking and selecting my husband.' I had to find a man who would SUPPORT me in my long-ago-made "choice of lifestyle."' I found him, and COULD NOT have done ANY better!' And, of course, Mom approves too! More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconI received a ton of mail about the call I described in yesterday's blog.' The following letter from a listener is representative of the wide range of reactions people had to that call: Dr. Laura:While listening to your program with my incredibly sexy husband yesterday, I couldn't help but feel some sadness and frustration toward the caller who resented her loved one with dementia. My grandparents, who will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in just over a month, are currently battling dementia, and watching the progression of the disease can be heart-wrenching.' I spent so much time with my "Pop" and "Mi-mommy," learning important principles like "Can't never could do anything," and "pretty is as pretty does."' They were known by others for their compassion, kindness, and wonderful wit. They both began experiencing symptoms of dementia about three years ago, with simple forgetfulness turning into frequent short-term memory loss and the loss of the ability to perform simple tasks.' Dementia is a progressive illness, and although they battle it with all their might by taking medications to help slow the disease, we can see the constant decline.' Resentment has not been a feeling anyone has expressed. When my grandfather tells the same story 5 or 6 times in a 30-minute period, we listen like it is the first time we've ever heard it told.' When my grandmother weaves together in her mind multiple stories and comes up with a muddled collage of a past experience, we engage her and help her to recall the old memories.' When they are struggling to remember how to pour water in a glass or operate the TV, we patiently help them recall.' We don't do it out of obligation or even to keep from feeling guilty.' We do it because, years ago,' THEY taught us to show kindness and love and compassion. I work in hospice, and on a professional level, I know all too well the course this mean, aggressive disease takes.' I cherish every moment that they can tell me a story, and I will treasure every time I hug them and they know who I am.' I know that one day, I will sit down and hold their hands and they won't be able to tell a story, and they won't know who I am.' They won't be able to hold their heads up or smile, but I will still be there with them, because that's the person they have helped me to become.' If I sat with them and listened to them and held their hands every day for the rest of my life, there is no way I could repay them for what they have given me. In October, I'll be walking in the Alzheimer's' Association' Memory Walk ( http://www.alz.org/memorywalk/ ) in honor of my grandparents.' I will do everything I can to fight this brutal disease and I beg those in our society to think about the compassion we owe our fellow man.' A wise physician I once worked with said "The measure of a society can be seen in how we treat our young, our old, and our dying."' I pray that our society does not let me down, and that we treat our elders with the love, respect and dignity they deserve. Striving to be half as wonderful as my grandparents, Alison More >>

Tags: CommitmentHealthMarriagePersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconThis came from Kami, one of my radio listeners: I am a stay-at-home Mom with a Master's degree who chose to quit my job to raise my three sons (ages 5, 2, and 11 months).' I never dreamed of growing up to be a Mom.' I wanted to use my brain, get an education, and change the world through my career.' Now, every day, I find myself using my brain, getting an education, and hopefully, changing my little piece of the world as I work to shape my boys into men. Instead of having them sit in daycare or pre-school for a big part of the week, I want my kids to play and read with me, and go to the library and find books of their own.' I want the freedom of knowing I can wake up and decide that we are going to hang out in our pjs until noon, and make bread or watch the birds building nests on our porch.' I want to help them make forts and play "hide 'n seek," and go on adventure walks around the neighborhood, even though it takes us twenty minutes to get past two houses.' I want them to go to the store and pick out their own veggie seeds to plant in the garden.' I want them to have snowball fights with me when I'm shoveling the driveway, and to help me fix dinner for someone who is sick. My son has taught me so many things while he wasn't in pre-school.' I learned that yogurt, pudding, and shaving cream can be used to draw with your finger; that bad weather, not necessity, is the mother of invention when it comes to craft projects; that math can be learned when baking cookies, cleaning up toys, handing out snacks, and putting away laundry; that some of the best talks happen in my bed when we just don't feel like getting up. And talk we do.' We talk about life and death, how planes work, where snow comes from, and whether pirates are decent.' We study geography as we drive around doing errands, and learn about engineering as we watch the progression of building construction.' We even tried to figure out why God made flies. From the moment my first child was born, my life has been about my children, and some of those sweet moments can bring me to tears when I think about how fleeting they are.' My kids will get to be little, and they'll get to have fun.' They are not in a hurry - and neither am I." More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconListener Leslie wrote: It's almost Valentine's Day, so I wanted to tell you about my sweet husband.' We have been married for over two years, and are now hoping to adopt a baby (you wouldn't believe how long and tedious this process is, but we know it will be worth it!).' He has always supported my decision to be a stay-at-home mother, and we've been saving and planning for two years. Two weeks ago, after a long day at my stressful job, I came home crying.' My wonderful husband told me to quit my job, stay home, and relax so that I am 100% ready to be a mother. Oh, Dr. Laura, what a relief!' Tomorrow is my last day at this job, and every morning for the last two weeks, I have made my husband lunch, and my job is now to make our dollars go as far as possible.' Every night, he has come home to a happy wife, a hug, an "I love you," and a hot meal.' Oh, how he beams! We may not yet have a baby, but I can already say that my husband is his kid's dad, and I am proud to be his wife. More >>

Tags: MarriageParentingSexStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconFirst, full disclosure. Years ago, a journalist from Vanity Fair called me. She was supposedly friends for 20 years with my then-chief of staff, and wanted to interview me. And having some brains in my head (I don't trust this stuff), I asked my associate about her, and she said "Y'know, she's been a friend of mine; I'll vouch for her." So, I said 'OK, I'll call her, feel it out, and then make a decision.'I called her, and she gave me a line of lies (that I found out later were a line of lies) about how I was a cultural phenomenon and she wanted to study this sociologically, and understand the points of view about how they became popular (but they weren't), and she gave me this whole line, and I thought "OK, I like the point of view; she's supposedly friends with my chief-of-staff who has known her and says she's a decent person," and I agreed to do it.Meanwhile, my editor at HarperCollins said "Don't. Trust me on this. Don't. Trust me on this. Don't. Trust me on this. Don't." Turns out (I'm going to go back and forth in history a little bit), after the article was out, my editor, who was protecting her source who was a dear friend who worked at Vanity Fair , said "I couldn't tell you because I promised " - don't you hate those? --- I couldn't tell you, because I promised, but that Vanity Fair , according to my source (a male who works there, whose name I do not know, or I'd give it right now) said that they actually had a planning meeting to set me up and do a hatchet piece. I'm telling you this because I want clarity that what I'm about to say is not vengeance. You've heard me say I love vengeance....I love it. Justice, vengeance - all one thing to me. I love it! And you've also heard how I want you to go get it, usually by being really nice ('cause that kills the bad guys) and being happy and successful.That woman from Vanity Fair came for the first meeting with me and I knew I was in trouble, when I came in and sat down, and she took a look at my figure and disdainfully asked me if I was a size zero, while she was somewhere between fat and obese, and I was trying to get her an appropriate sandwich, but she wanted to eat something with a lot of mayonnaise - I knew there was a problem from that point on, to be honest with you. And I was right. It was just a nasty hatchet piece of people saying gossipy stupid things and it was really mean. The writer's name is Leslie Bennetts. Really mean . But I found out way too late that that was Vanity Fair 's plan - it was their little editorial meeting, according to my editor at HarperCollins who's not there anymore and not related to this. But she didn't tell me in time. She said, "Well, I warned you!" A little more information would have been more helpful.The reason I'm bringing this up as disclosure, is that this same person is coming out with a book pretty much telling women not to stay home with their kids. Now, let me say something about women's magazines. By and large, women's magazines completely ignore me. "I am my kid's mom." You'd think one year in 31 years that I've been in the media - that one year I would have been made "Mother of the Year" in one woman's magazine. A couple of years ago, we tried to have a women's magazine "editor and publisher" luncheon with me when one of my new books came out. HarperCollins was going to pay for the lunch, I was going to appear...everybody eats, and I'd do a Q&A. They had to cancel it - nobody would come. Whenever they do articles like on mothers staying home, who do you think in the entire United States you would really think they'd ask for a quote, besides me? It doesn't happen. Okay?So, I want you to know that I've been getting e-mails from you folks about Ladies Home Journal and Glamour magazine doing a little one-page on this book which is encouraging women to do the wrong thing and be paranoid. Let me just share with you two of these letters. This one is from Christie: I was appalled today when a friend e-mailed this to me from Glamour magazine. The article tells stay-at-home moms that they will become dependent financially and lose themselves. I'm a stay-at-home mom to a beautiful six month old baby girl. I am a wife to a Navy officer (my warrior!), and I am dependent on him. Yet, I know that my family is dependent on me! My husband and child NEED me to do the tasks that make our home run smoothly in order to feel safe, secure and loved! I thank you for reminding your listeners on a daily basis the importance of being dependent on your spouse in your marriage both ways, and to be your kids' parents. Yes! That's the part Leslie doesn't seem to get! I don't know what her home life is like, but mutual dependency is a good marriage. This is from Jennifer: I was appalled at coming across an article in Ladies Home Journal (like a rabbit, it keeps multiplying!) . It's entitled "Why Moms Should Work." For women who have quit their jobs to stay home with the kids full-time, here's a reason to think twice. There's a whole page article she writes about why you shouldn't stay home with your kids. You have to read this! I will only tell you the last paragraph of the article. It says: "There's stress attached to everything we do. Women need to accept that it's fine to be a good-enough parent, a good-enough homemaker, a good-enough wife. We have richer, more satisfying lives when we do a reasonably good job at a multiple of tasks, than when we strive for this insane perfectionism in a single, limited role." I was crushed that she called staying at home with your children a limited role. I'm my 7 year old son's mom and the wife of my husband of 10 years. I'm certainly proud of that and firmly believe the reason my life is so good is because of women like you, Dr. Laura. You believe in us, and we praise you for that. I can't thank you enough for your voice, what you do for your country, and thank you for the tools for a happy home. And that includes staying home with our children. By the way, across the country, young women are jettisoning careers to stay home with their kids. According to The Wall Street Journal (printing information from the US Census Bureau), an estimated almost 6 million mothers stayed home to care for their families in 2005 - 1.2 million more than a decade ago. The trend of opting-out has been broader than previously believed, with women at all income levels taking job breaks. Meanwhile, Leslie Bennetts is paranoid about divorce, your spouse losing a job, and widowhood, as though the only answer to that was across-the-board "do not be at home, do not take care of your kids, do not be your husband's girlfriend"....get your job, be secure, just in case something horrible happens. Well, my answer to something horrible happening is find another way to deal with it if and when it does, rather than knee-jerking, giving up on your family.Last but not least, I'm going to close with this letter from Yvette: Thank you so much for your hard-hitting, yet Godly (if I may say so) advice. I had considered divorcing my husband, pursuing a Vice President job within a Fortune 500 Top 50 company, until I recently took your words to heart. My dear and understanding (for the most part) husband and I have been married for over 13 years, and we have a phenomenal 10 year old son. Although I had read many of your insightful books, I still worked 60 or so hours a week. I claim only stupidity, selfish desires and adhering to the current social norm. I have recently been available to listen to your daily broadcast, which is a godsend. Dr. Laura, I am so self-centered, that I was focusing solely on my career, impressing my boss, scoring myself the bigger paycheck, and securing the coveted VP slot, that I put my marriage and motherhood on the back burner. I must say, you have reminded me of my true calling. Thank you so much. I am now about to become my son's mom and my husband's wife. Thank you for helping me realize that no paycheck, no status can take the place of my true calling. For the first time I can remember, I actually apologized to my dear husband for not listening. Dr. Laura, it finally occurred to me that if I don't listen to my husband (who is, by the way, the most selfless person in the world and only has our family's best at heart) I'll never be blessed in the way that God desires. Of course, this occurred while I work. So I have a journey ahead. I know that sometimes we all need something from another person, therefore, please remember that, in reciprocation, I am ready to be of service to you in any way I can. You go home and take care of your babies. That's how you'll be of service to all the world - a better chance of raising good kids to be decent citizens, to go out and do wonderful things in the world.So, my comments about Leslie Bennetts' book are not vengeance. I have gone on to be happy, functional, secure, and continue with my career. That's my vengeance on what she tried to do. But warning you that women's magazines, and this sort of book, do not function in the best interests of families, children, or women is important to me. Encouraging women to do the wrong thing by making them paranoid about disasters, so they should only strive to be good-enough moms when they're around, good-enough wives if they have the time, but the work is everything, is exactly what for decades and decades women complained their men were doing. And paranoid feminists like Leslie Bennetts are telling you to go backwards in history and hurt the family... just like men who were never home and never involved did. More >>

Tags: CommitmentInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParentingStay-At-Home-Moms
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