In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms

( 59 )

Overview

They number in the millions and they are incredibly important to families and to our society, yet they are underappreciated, little respected, and even controversial.

Who are they?

They are the stay-at-home moms.

These are women who know in their hearts that staying home to raise their children is the right choice for the whole family. Some do it from the outset of their marriages, while others make the ...

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Overview

They number in the millions and they are incredibly important to families and to our society, yet they are underappreciated, little respected, and even controversial.

Who are they?

They are the stay-at-home moms.

These are women who know in their hearts that staying home to raise their children is the right choice for the whole family. Some do it from the outset of their marriages, while others make the difficult transition from career-driven women to homemakers. Either way, it is a choice that is incredibly rich and rewarding, not to mention challenging.

Now Dr. Laura, building on principles developed during her long career as a licensed marriage and family therapist, provides a wealth of advice and support, as well as compassion and inspiration, to women as they navigate the wonders and struggles of being stay-at-home moms.

Learn how:

  • to hold your head high and deal with naysayers;
  • to see the benefits of being home not only for your children but also for your marriage;
  • to understand the changes you see in yourself;
  • to realize that the sacrifices you endure now will make for lasting bonds and a stronger family, in addition to a more cohesive community.

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms is a special book, a profound and unique understanding of how important it is for mothers to raise their own children.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616885199
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is one of the most popular talk-show hosts in radio history and the only woman to win the prestigious Marconi Award for syndicated radio. She is the author of twelve New York Times bestsellers, writes a daily blog, and is a regular Newsmax columnist. She is heard daily on Sirius/XM Channel 155 live, and her program is streamed and podcast on www.drlaura.com. Dr. Schlessinger has her own YouTube Channel (YouTube.com/drlaura). She is also the skipper and driver of a racing sailboat program that won the 2010 international race from Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas. She and her husband live in Southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms

Chapter One

The Decision

There was a time, long ago, when parents agonized over the sad necessity of finding some sort of child care due to deaths, financial disasters, and other catastrophes. Under these conditions families often struggled with feelings of failure, guilt, and loss at having to outsource the warmth of parenting to hired help.

The "greatest generation" isn't limited to those folks who served valiantly at war; it embraces the folks who worked on the farms and in the factories, toiling at difficult jobs to not only serve their country but provide for their families. Little mentioned are the women who birthed their babies, raised their kids, and managed the home and the budget so that there would be food in the family's tummies and clothes on their backs, taught their children right from wrong, and made sure they washed behind their ears and got to school on time. In those days there was very little bellyaching about "finding yourself," "time for me," or "what is my identity?"; women were respected for their commitments and talents, and in spite of hardships, they felt important to their families and communities.

Just in case you think this is all anachronistic, contemplate this recent letter from a listener:

As I've been thinking and listening to your show, I've realized that our terminology surrounding women who choose to stay at home with their families has changed. We've become "stay-at-home moms" or, often negatively, "housewives," rather than "homemakers." My suspicion is that women have coined themselves SAHMs because they're wanting to be competitive with their "workingmother" counterparts (as if staying at home isn't working!).

Perhaps we've believed the lie that being a "homemaker" is old-fashioned and therefore irrelevant. However, I have come to realize that though my primary motivation for spending my days in my home is in fact taking care of my children, I do much more than that. I spend my days making a home, not just for my children, but for my husband and myself.

Cleaning and organizing, playing with and teaching my children, shopping and running errands, taking care of finances, doing laundry, taking care of doctor appointments, communicating with teachers, organizing the family calendar, cooking meals, and making our home a comfortable, cozy, and welcoming place for us and our extended family and friends, among other things, is not just being a "stay-at-home mom." I am making a house a home, and I couldn't be happier with my job.

I have always told women who call my radio show agonizing about their decision and how it might impact their self-worth that the woman is the soul, spirit, and center of a home.

Then came the Alice Walker types; Walker, revered as a trail-blazing feminist and author who touched the lives of a generation of women, proclaimed motherhood as about the worst thing that could happen to a woman. She compared being a mother, raising children, and running a home to slavery—that's right, slavery! Follow that up with Gloria Steinem's declaration that stay-at-home moms were valueless, and what young woman in her right mind would choose to become a valueless slave?

Since that time young women have barely given a thought to this sacrifice of personhood, and have sought independence whatever the cost to their children and marriages—assuming they've even bothered with marriages, when "shack-up" situations give you the freedom to hit the eject button whenever the mood strikes. Obviously, women's independence requires children's independence; hence the drive toward kids being separated from parents and home as early as possible, going into day care or preschool or the care of nannies or babysitters for up to twenty-four hours in a day, regardless of illness and ferocious tears. GPS cell-phone combos now enable busy moms to enjoy the fantasy of being wirelessly connected to kids who are who knows where, and fifty-fifty custody arrangements give moms that career and dating time.

Let's be serious: Who in her right mind would give up all that freedom and opportunity to cook, clean, fold clothes, and keep children busy all day, and then have to cater to the needs of a husband who saunters through that front door at night after having a fun day at work? Yipes! When you put it that way . . .

Like Mother, Like Daughter

People generally plan to have households and relationships that run about the same way as their original family. It therefore shouldn't surprise anyone when the adult daughters of stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) choose to do the same; after all, it is what they are most familiar with, and therefore what they imagine and hope they will get the most family support for. For these women, a childhood with a SAHM gave them a sense of purpose and positive identity with respect to hands-on parenting. They also often describe a sense of obligation and duty as a mother to be their children's primary caregiver, in spite of an all-too-common societal perspective that this amounts to servitude.

Those women whose mothers worked generally also intend to work, because their own moms have given them the idea that being a SAHM is boring and unfulfilling—a curious thing to say to your children about taking care of them, don't you think?

Some women had mothers who offered day care in their own homes so they could stay at home. These women, having seen with their own eyes how their moms spent more time with those children than their own parents did, may have decided that they wanted to be the ones raising their own children.

One woman wrote to me of her very own family experiment. It seems her mother was a SAHM while she was growing up, but then went to school and started to work more and more, so that the writer's younger sisters got less and less of their mom. She described their lives as being "punctuated with shacking up, eating disorders, an abusive husband, divorce, poverty and a child born out of wedlock. I got the best of our mom. Recognizing the difference between our lives, it made me want the best for my future children: a SAHM."

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms. Copyright (c) by Dr. Laura Schlessinger . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Decision 11

Chapter 2 The Stay-at-Home Mom's Inner Struggles 35

Chapter 3 The Naysayers 57

Chapter 4 How Staying at Home Impacts the Marriage 79

Chapter 5 How Stay-at-Home Moms Benefit Kids 101

Chapter 6 Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Changes You 123

Chapter 7 The Good, the Bad, the Unforgettable 147

Chapter 8 Great Advice 173

Postscript 197

Post-Postscript 199

Appendix: Dr. Laura's Resources for Stay-at-Home Moms 203

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    THE BEST FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS

    "IN PRAISE OF STAY AT HOME MOMS" THIS IS A WONDERFUL BESTSELLER THAT DR. LAURA HAS WRITTION AND IT IS A VERY SPECIAL BOOK FOR SOME VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE. THIS WILL DOCUMENT THAT STAY AT HOME MOTHERS ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING AND KEEPING THEIR CHILDREN AT HOME AND FINDING A BETTER WAY TO STUDY A FINE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION WHEAN IN FACT THERE IS A SCHOOL NOT AVALIBLE THAT CROSS`S THERE PARENTS FAITH AND VALUES. DR LAURA HAS AMAZING RESEARCH THAT CLEARLY SHOWS THAT IN THIS SUPER PAGE TURNER THAT THESE SPECIAL MOTHERS BRING IN GREAT EDUCATION FOR THEIR FAMILY AND IT TRULY MAKES THEM A GREAT LIFE. THIS BOOK CLEARLY GIVES A BETTER UNDERSTANDING . GIVE A GREAT GIFT FOR A FRIEND OR A FAMILY MEMBER SHARE AN EMAIL ABOUT THIS BOOK.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 20, 2009

    excellent for stay at home moms

    helps you to realize you made the right decision even though the would thinks you didn't.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    A Compelling Read for SAHMs and Potential SAHMs

    As a stay-at-home mother and author who writes extensively about motherhood and family life, this book became a must-read as soon as I heard about it.

    Laura Schlessinger is definitely outspoken and, for the most part, you will agree with her or not. As a SAHM for the last 15 years, I agree with about 90% of what she has to say in this book (I do not agree with her version of the husband coming home to simply relax after work. When my husband comes home, we work side by side until we can both take a break).

    Dr. Laura's book is filled with compelling arguments for being a SAHM. She doesn't use nameless faceless statistics or mass surveys to support her arguments. Rather, she uses the engaging and relevant personal stories and experiences of many stay-at-home moms to make her case.

    SAHMs and future/potential SAHMs will appreciate the points she makes on many fronts. Among them, she affirms that being a SAHM is a wonderful use of our intellect (a nice contrast to those who suggest we are wasting our minds by staying home; what an odd thing to say about spending real time with your children), that true quality time can only really come from quantity time (in other words, quality time doesn't necessarily occur on demand during specified time periods), and that there is, in effect, nothing like a mother's love out there in the world.

    I think it's important to note that Dr. Laura doesn't say that moms should never work while raising their families. Rather, she says that such decisions of if, when, and how to work should be very carefully thought through as children benfit far more from having their mom around them than they do from the best paid (or unpaid) childcare around.

    As for me, some days are better than others, but overall, I love being a SAHM to five. As an 18-month ovarian cancer survivor, I can't think of any other place I'd rather be than with my kids and husband. Thanks to Dr. Laura's book, I am more encouraged than ever to make the most of being a stay-at-home mom to my children. This book would make a great boost for any SAHM or future SAHM. -- Debra Woods, author of It's Okay to Take a Nap:and Other Reassuring Truths for Mothers Everywhere."

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    Highly recommended!!!!!!

    I must say I think this is like anything you can take it too far, but I have to say it was really good. I am a SAHM and I love it are there challenging days, yes, but doesn't everyone have challenging days. I have been a SAHM, 9-5'er (for 2 yrs, and then blessed to be a SAHM again. I can tell you nothing compares to that. We also homeschool our son and nothing is more pleasing to do that or to just be the one who gets to give the hugs and share things with them throughout the day when they learn something new. I don't condem a mom who works outside of the home, but from having to be one who knows what it is like to leave your family for the day and go work for someone else. I love staying home. My husband didn't like it when I worked outside of the home. Our home runs alot smoother when I am home and I am no where even close to be stressed like I was. I wasn't going to buy this book I thought oh I don't need to read it, but am I glad that I did. It has opened my eyes up to somethings that I didn't even think about. Would I recommend it YES.....for anyone. Just read it with an open nonjudging approach. I think either way you could be blessed by reading it, but especially as a SAHM you will like it. I also get the same feelings that these others have gotten I think people think because you stay home you have no knowledge of what goes on, that you may be a unable to carry on an intelligent conversation with someone. Oh well...that is there opinion. I know my husband and I have chosen what God wants us to do in our family.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    Just what I needed to hear!

    I am not a Dr. Laura listener, but wanted to read this book because I am a stay-at-home mom. This is an easy, uplifting book to read. It is encouraging and a book that should have been written a long time ago! Thanks, Dr. Laura.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Encouraging

    I just got this book a few days ago. I cannot put it down. I am a SAHM of a 2yr old boy. Sometimes a SAHM just needs a little encouragement throughout the day. This book gave me the encouragement I was looking for. If you're struggling with trying to figure out if you should work or stay at home this book is very in your face about how no one can love your child/children as good as you can. But if you think about it, it's true. You carry the child, as a mother, for 9 months. You know that child like the back of your hand. I very much recommend it to all my girlfriends out there!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    It is time that dedicated mothers are honored

    Dr. Schlessinger has done a great service in her work to get mothers to be more involved in the lives of their children. This book honors those who do. With families falling apart and juvenile crime and pregnancies on the rise, more mothers should follow the examples given and guide their children to be more productive and exemplary citizens.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Every Husband should read this book (Wives also - for encouragement and sanity)

    If a husband expects his wife to be a woman, then he should be a man and this book clearly notes the differences and their roles as dads and moms. Parents must do what is best for their kids, not themselves (however, the best things for themselves is doing what is best for the kids).

    This book is also the cure for the majority of society's ill (low self esteem, feelings of neglect, divorce, etc.). All of these problems stem from childhood, so we need to make sure our kid's childhood is the best it can be. And it starts with parent who are committed to Mom being home to raise the kids.

    This is not a politically correct book, which makes it all the more important to read. Political correctness is the problem, this book is the cure.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It is about time!!!

    I have never been disappointed by anything Dr. Laura writes. She is incredibly insightful, honest, and brutal when necessary. I respect her opinion and can honestly say that since I read her book "How could you do that..", 12 years ago, my life has completely changed for the better! Taking the gray out of every decision and just doing what you know is right, makes all the difference in the world. Thank you Dr.Laura for this new book, it is not that I needed your affimation, but seeing it in print, made my day!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Brought me peace and happiness

    As a future SAHM I found this book extraordinarily uplifting. I used to be career obsessed, but awaiting the arrival of my baby girl has changed me for the better. Dr. Laura gave me the courage I need to embrace my newfound happiness and tell people with great pride that I will undertake the most important job in the world- mommy! Thank you Dr. Laura, and I hope other moms find this book as inspirational as I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Awesome book!

    Talk about great advice for a stay at home mom! Or even for someone thinking about it! Highly recommend!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    Will have to buy this

    Im a stay at home mom and this book made me smile

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    Good Overall

    Like her talk show, most times I agree and am amazed with her advise and revelations, and sometimes I don't share her opinion. But overall, by far, I love listening and reading Dr Laura advise and opinions and the way she looks at life. So refreshing in the PC world of those who are too accommodating of selfish, wrong parents.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2009

    Already passed it on!

    Her insights into the challenges career women face with their self-worth after making leap into child rearing in spot on. She spelled out the pros of being a SAHM that I thought I knew but needed to hear from someone else.
    My neighbor is now reading my copy. She is also a SAHM.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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