Dr. Laura--In Defense of Stay at Home Moms

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Being fair and balanced (about everything but fashion), I decided to post my review of Dr. Laura Schlessinger's new book In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms right after my post about finding good child care.

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I finished the book over the weekend and am glad I spent time getting to know Dr. Laura. My first thoughts were that the book is condescending. She tidies everything up so nicely into black and white choices--and moms know there aren't many of these. But as a WAHM (work at home mom), when I dug deeper I got something from it.

What I liked: Lots of letters from moms who were overjoyed with their decisions to stay home. Plenty of great reminders of how important a job it is to raise good kids. Her insistence that moms don't get bogged down in work and chores and miss out on the joy of experiencing childhood with their kids.

What I didn't: What about lesbian moms? Single moms? Moms who spend decades getting advanced degrees (such as MDs) and can't take a dozen years off to not practice? Dr. Laura doesn't give moms much wiggle room. If you can't do your job from the house or at night when the kids are asleep (that is what she did with her radio show)--it's not the best thing.

Who should read this: SAHMs and WAHMs who are feeling undervalued and unappreciated--this is an encouraging and validating book. Moms who are considering staying at home would also benefit from this book as it presents a strong case. If you are a working mom? Skip it. You don't need the guilt trip.

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