In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms

by Laura Schlessinger


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In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Laura Schlessinger

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. Whether they do it from the outset of their marriages or make the difficult transition from career-driven women to homemakers, it is a choice that is incredibly rich and rewarding, not to mention challenging. Building on principles developed during her long career as a licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Laura provides a wealth of advice and encouragement to women as they navigate the wonders and struggles of being stay-at-home moms.

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms can help you to:

  • Hold your head high and deal with naysayers
  • Recognize the benefits for your children and your marriage
  • Understand the changes you notice in yourself
  • Realize that your current sacrifices will make for lasting bonds and a stronger family, in addition to a more cohesive community

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061690303
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Pages: 209
Sales rank: 193,952
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About 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 Dr. Schlessinger has her own YouTube Channel ( 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.

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.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

1 The Decision 12

2 The Stay-at-Home Mom's Inner Struggles 36

3 The Naysayers 58

4 How Staying at Home Impacts the Marriage 80

5 How Stay-at-Home Moms Benefit Kids 102

6 Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Changes You 124

7 The Good, the Bad, the Unforgettable 146

8 Great Advice 172

Postscript 197

Post-Postscript 199

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

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In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
warden More than 1 year ago
helps you to realize you made the right decision even though the would thinks you didn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
BarracudaMD More than 1 year ago
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!
authorDebraWoods More than 1 year ago
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."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
benandboys More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
jrobwilson More than 1 year ago
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.
docbaker More than 1 year ago
I am so tired of people who think that they know what's best for everyone else. I have absolutely no problem with stay-at-home parents (notice I didn't assume they were all mothers); on the contrary, I have the utmost respect and admiration for them -- there is truly no harder job out there. But it's not right for everyone. Dr. Laura has made a career (and millions of dollars) out of simplistically deciding what's "right" for people and judging them harshly when they don't fit into her neat little concept of "correctness." Everything she says seems to be a blanket statement with no concern for individual differences, i.e., mothers know "staying home to raise their children is the right choice for the whole family." A qualified psychologist wouldn't utter such black-and-white statements. Having a stay-at-home parent is a great choice for many families, but not for every family. Some families couldn't survive financially without two incomes. Some families only have one parent, for one reason or another. And some parents (such as myself) have personalities such that working outside the home actually makes them a better parent. Everyone has to make the choice that is right for his or her family. Until stay-at-home moms stop judging moms who work outside the home, and vice versa (it does go both ways), women will not have achieved true freedom. I hope someday people will be able to respect the choices of others, but as long as people are listening to the likes of Dr. Laura, that day is far away. As far as the effects of stay-at-home vs working-outside-the-home parents on the children, it's all about quality vs quantity of time spent with the children. I'm a pediatrician who sees a couple dozen kids a day in my practice, and neither group of kids (those with stay-at-home parents and those with working parents) is less well-adjusted than the other. I see fantastic families in both groups, and unfortunately some families with lots of problems in both groups. The scientific evidence supports this as well. By the way, if all stay-at-home parents were like the previous reviewer ("stormsTC"), we're all in trouble. I cringe to think that she (I assume she's a woman)is home-schooling her children, when she can't even write a coherent sentence herself. Yikes!
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Talk about great advice for a stay at home mom! Or even for someone thinking about it! Highly recommend!
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Cristina Mandeville More than 1 year ago
Im a stay at home mom and this book made me smile
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