Dr. Laura on Stay-At-Home-Moms and Working Moms
Dr Laura’s latest book, In Praise of Stay At Home Moms, is a tribute to mothers who stay at home with their children.
You can read an excerpt of the book at MSNBC.com. It starts pleasantly enough with a the story of how she wanted to become a mother, and then anecdotes of her life as a stay-at-home mother. She worked in the evenings when her son was asleep, or when he was at school, and took him on the road with her when she traveled for work.
Then it takes a turn and Dr. Laura attacks writers who support working moms, and asserting that supporters of working moms actually feel guilty for leaving their children with daycare providers. And that working moms don’t have “having deep meaning in one’s life”.
I admire Dr. Laura’s commitment to spending all of her son’s waking hours with him. But I intensely dislike her comparing her privileged life to the average mother and average family and suggesting that we can all do as she did.
Not all of us are TV personalities, radio show hosts or authors. Not all of us have a supportive husband or partner. Many of us simply do not have the option to cherry-pick a job that is flexible enough and pays well enough to let us do a couple of hours work when our children are sleeping. For many of us, just having a job, any job, is the difference between surviving financially, versus ending up in the breadline.
And the moms who have the choice to work or stay at home, no mother makes that decision lightly. And the choice can only be made by that mother, and I know that every mother makes that choice with her children and families’ best interests at heart.
Stay-at-home-moms are wonderful women and thoroughly deserving of praise. Working moms are also wonderful women and equally deserving of praise.
So if Dr. Laura wants to write a book praising stay-at-home moms, why can’t Dr. Laura simply praise stay-at-home-moms? It’s bitter praise if it’s made by attacking working, and work-at-home moms.