Friday, May 15, 2009
In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), I knew I had to read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms the minute I spotted it on the shelf in my library.
It was well worth the read! I love that Dr. Laura focuses on people in her book, not studies, reports or statistics. In her preface, Dr. Laura says, "I am personally moved by and interested in the lovely stories of warmth, love, and sacrifice told by families who've structured themselves to focus on enjoying every possible moment of their child's journey in development..."
And she shares those stories with us - quoting from e-mails sent to her from stay-at-home moms all over. She also shares her own experiences as a stay-at-home mom to her son. I think that's why I enjoyed the book so much - she identifies with the feelings most SAHM's have.
"For some women, a sense of invisibility strikes once they are at home with children; all of a SAHM's "work responsibilities" are within the walls of her residence, where she is generally alone. Since no goal is ever really accomplished for good - no kitchen cupboard stays stocked, no diaper stays unfilled, and no bathroom stays clean - her repetitive efforts can feel thankless and unnoticed" (pg 41).
Now, if you're a stay-at-home mom, don't tell me you never felt that way! I sure have.
Dr. Laura takes her readers through the good, the bad, and the unforgettable aspects of being a SAHM... letting us realize that we're not alone in our struggles and our joys, and reminding us that it is all soworth it.
Dr. Laura emphasizes that it not only OK to enjoy being at home, but that's great for our children, for our marriages and ourselves.
She's also realistic, especially for those who transition from careers to being at home. "To paraphrase an e-mail from one SAHM, you'll have to relax your exacting standards, surrender the dream of a perfectly organized home with everything in its place, and give up your ideal of perpetually well-behaved children. You have either assume that attitude and perspective - or go nuts!" (p 45).
Ain't that the truth?!
If you're a SAHM feeling a bit discouraged in your role, feeling a bit isolated or wondering why you quit working for this - read this book. It will uplift you, encourage you, and help you realize you're not alone. Plus, Dr. Laura has all sorts of resources at the back of the book to help you connect with other SAHMs - even if you're the only one in your neighborhood.