• http://www.astrangebird,net gesikah

    I don’t really have anything to add to the discussion, not being a mom, I just have to say that when I first read:

    “…I’m flying out to Los Angeles to be on a Dr. Phil show…”

    my initial reaction was “Aaahhooohhh Goooo-uud Chraahhiist” and before my eyes got any further in the story, I had mental images of a Dooce vs Mormons throwdown or a Tom-Cruise-Crazy vs Dooce-on-the-side-PPD cage match.

    I was much relieved when I read on. You know…unless they pull the old switcheroo and ambush you. Good luck. :)

  • jillian

    I think that’ll be a fun topic to toss around. I worked with one child and stayed home for the second. I am stiil surprised (my kids are now 23 and 21, and I am back to work for many years now) to see so many people militant about how the best moms stay home (an attitude prevalent, I think among the non urban, non college educated). I think that sometimes some women (not all) cling to the idea of stay at home motherhood, because sometimes, getting ahead at work, being promoted, moving forward, staying in the loop is frankly, hard, and while motherhood can be hard work, its just not the same. This (staying home) they can do. They don’t have to compete, and they then rationalize that they are sacrificing, when they are really opting out of the tough stuff. Just a thought.

  • Meg

    Offering up your experiences is probably all the Dr. Phil audience can handle, but if you want a good sociological review of the issue (without being too theoretical or technical), Mary Blair-Loy’s book “Competing Devotions” is pretty good. It’s easy to identify with since, like you, I’m kinda straddled between role of stay-at-home/professional.

  • janemomma

    Your posting could not come at a more perfect time. Sesame Street is my savior since my 18 month old doesn’t nap. I love how they put in adult humor to keep us kind of engaged and I love the Dr. Phil skit. You should totally do it. It would really rock, esp with your southern accent. I agree with the other poster’s that BF Marlo might help boost BG popularity, but I feel like there are bigger issues right now than BF. The whole stay at home vs. working mom war is never going to be won, but what really works me is how unsupportive our country and society is of families overall. How is that we don’t have paid maternity leave and we have 50 million americans without health insurance, and many of them are children? Isn’t it something like most every other country has paid maternity leave except us, Swaizland, and 2 other countries I have never heard of. Overall, I think everyone (parents and not parents) needs to give us hard working parents some slack since being a parent is the hardest job ever and we are all doing the best we can.

  • http://adrienne-b.blogspot.com Adrienne

    I especially love #59.

    I’m pregnant with our first and struggling with finding a good daycare person right now. And it sucks. But it doesn’t help having people at work getting all judge-y about the route we’re choosing. We are all doing what feels right and works out OK for everyone involved. Just because I can’t afford the extra $40 per day to go to the center affiliated with my workplace is not making me a bad parent. BEFORE THE BABY IS EVEN BORN! Sheesh.

  • http://lovethatmax.blogspot.com Ellen

    I started working at women’s magazines right out of college, Redbook, where I edited articles about mommy guilt. I swore I’d never fall victim to that and, OF COURSE I did.

    I still work fulltime, often till 7 at night. In the last two weeks, I maybe put my kids to bed two times during the weekdays, a rather suck-y ratio.

    I often say to my husband, “I am missing out on their young lives.” My kids are 6 and 4. And, wait, the guilt is even more potent because my six-year-old is special needs (he has cerebral palsy because he has a stroke at birth).

    I want to work, I love what I do. I totally respect at-home moms—I think it is a harder job than having to actually go to a job. But the guilt you have to deal with as a working mom is intense.

    I wish someone could invent an anti-guilt vaccine.

  • Rae

    Oh, for rats a$$. I’m sorry you have to participate in this “debate.” Some of us stay home, some of us don’t and it’s freakin hard all around. So, let’s all get along and the sahms (ahem, that’s me) can get a stipend for a babysitter so I won’t accidently blow a gasket and duct tape my children to the wall. Do the Dr. Feel bit. I love that bit.

  • http://adayintheweek.wordpress.com Annabelle

    #695 Nichole – you are superb!

    There are a lot of comments here that I completely empathize with and echo a lot of my own, both on SAHM front and working away from home. What calms me is knowing that I came from a “broken” home and my mother, a brilliant woman, always did her very best. And I always inherently knew that she did and that she loved me and my siblings very much. She also loved her own time to herself and I understood that, too. I think we don’t give our kids the benefit of being as intuitive as they are and if they are loved, they will know it. We all want ideals and we all suffer from disappointments.

    I will say this though: I live in Canada, where we receive a year of paid parental leave, I always feel that it’s more than unjust when I hear about how little maternity/paternity/parental benefits are given to families in the US. I think that there should be a larger option out there for all families of all kinds. This doesn’t lessen the complexity of a decision to return to work, but it definitely gave me more time to make that decision. I can only imagine what a whirlwind of emotion/hormones/change/adjusting that must be felt if you have weeks to be with your baby and then have to make the decision whether to return to work (out of love for your job, necessity, circumstance, what-have-you). More time can only give more families/parents the option to develop a better certainty of their eventual decision. Which means less guilt for all parties involved. (I did not say no guilt! I don’t know how to solve that problem!)

    And finally to explain my love for #695 (Nichole’s) comment: I have been having a tough time all summer with a camp director and we recently had a serious- er, “discussion”… and it was revealed that her judgement of my daughter, when my daughter gets upset at camp (like all 3 yos do at one time or another), is a manifestation of something greater than a child taking her toy. It’s because I work. And because I work she has judged me and my daughter from the moment we set foot at the camp. Any other child who cries, cries because they are a child, but my daughter cried because of my absence. It’s uncalled for judgement. I know I do the very best I can and love my daughter deeply… and I think she was very wrong to judge before she tried to understand.

  • http://elainaavalos.blogspot.com Elaina

    So I totally just emailed that dude about tickets. I’ve been living in the south so freaking long I forgot I could actually do stuff like that now that I’m back in So Cal.

    I just thought I’d make that totally useless comment. I have absolutely nothing positive to add to the discussion of SAHM vs. Not Stay At Home Mom.

  • Christina

    Geez, will you even be reading comments this far down?

    In any event, I felt SO bad about not being able to stay at home with my daughter when she was born. I took an extra long maternity leave, even though I wasn’t getting paid after 8 weeks, simply because I didn’t think either of us was ready. But NOW I am unemployed and have been at home with her for two months and yes, I love my daughter, but I am going out of my mind with boredom–and so is she! She loved being around other kids, and playing with their toys, doing art, etc. She’s a high maintenance toddler and I love sitting and reading… we’re polar opposites.

    Now I’m dying to go back to work, and don’t feel guilty about it. Kids need socialization. And I was a Pre-K teacher when I was working–I saw how bad it can get when people left their kids there ALL day and then didn’t interact with them at home. It’s all about balance.

    I wish I was going to be in LA to see you. Let us know when it’s airing! And I vote yes on the Dr. Feel skit!

  • Wendy

    Amen to #57. There are only two choices: All or nothing. Stay home or work. There is no middle. Part time work in this country is reserved for pimply sixteen-year-olds that spit in our food.

    We can’t stop the guilt war because there is no right answer. I’m educated with a thick resume & because I am not willing to give 50 hours a week to a job, I’m out of luck. The only winner in this war are my children. At least THEY are having a good time.

  • Jackie


  • Anonymous

    #57, Carrie, Amen sister! You nailed it for my family.

  • Danielle

    Wow, this is SUCH a loaded topic.

    I am currently on an unpaid leave from my company after having my son on June 1st. As a result, I have a lot of feelings about staying at home versus returning to work.

    More than anything, I wish that companies would be more flexible with working mothers. I’d hoped to return in a full time capacity, working from home 3 days a week, but my company is not willing to work with me at all on my schedule. They are even unwilling to let me work four 10 hour days. My husband and I have made the personal choice not to put our son in a day care facility, which leaves us with few options.

    As it is, I’m currently trying to find work that I can do from home on a part time basis, mostly so I don’t suffer brain rot.

    Certainly things would be easier for us financially if I was able to return to my previous occupation on a full time basis, but we feel that our son is our first priority. If we can’t afford a vacation this year, it’s worth it.

    I think that going back to work or staying at home is a personal choice to be made by the people in the situation. I wish that women would back each other up, regardless of the choice that is made. Obviously, as mothers, we are all trying to make the best decisions for our families.

    One thing I do wish people understood is the loss of identity that SAH mothers can feel. I’ve gone from a position where I interacted with people all day and was viewed as a subject matter expert for my co-workers to interacting only with my son and my dogs. I suffer from cabin fever, and when my husband gets home I can’t wait to talk to him. Unfortunately I feel like all I have to talk about lately is my son, since he is what occupies my entire day. I feel like I used to be much more interesting.

  • http://deescribbler.typepad.com/my_weblog Dee

    I can’t believe there is even a show being made about this. Doesn’t everyone know you feel guilty whether you stay home or NOT?! I got laid off recently and so I can see both sides.

    The Dr. Phil producers need to come up with some more original story ideas. Here’s one. Why is it we can buy soy milk, rice milk, and even almond milk at the grocery store, and not breast milk?! I was never nursed because my mother didn’t have any milk. Why not let a few hundred women lactate for all the rest of us? I’d sign up for that duty, as long as I could watch DVD’s while I got milked, for God’s sake…

  • http://www.showmethemom.com Shannon

    Well with 885 people ahead of me, I’m sure this will get buried. I’ve done both sides of this. I was a SAHM for about 13 years, now I work corporate. The thing I think anyone who has been on both sides of that fence would say is that NEITHER SIDE IS EASY. The each have their pros, cons, ups and downs. Being a mom is hard. Period. And, the other thing I’ve learned is that with either choice, you feel guilty about something. Guilty about being at work, guilty about not working…the list goes on. There is just not a simple solution other than to do what is right for you and your family. And hang on for the ride. :)

  • http://www.littlebabyfeet.blogspot.com Sarah

    You’re going to be on Dr Phil! That’s pretty exciting. He’s kinda cool, but one of his eyes always seemed off to me and now I cant stop wondering if maybe its glass? Anyhow, good luck. And I love sesame street.

  • Julie

    It would be great if new moms could stay home longer with their babies before deciding whether or not to go back to work. Our six-week maternity leave policy in this country is a total joke. In some cases it isn’t an issue. But for others — a mother who has a difficult delivery and needs extra time to recuperate, a mom dealing with post-partum depression, or a mom whose baby is premature — six weeks is a ridiculously short amount of time. Can you imagine having to go back to work while your baby is struggling in the NICU because you’re the primary breadwinner for your family and don’t want to be fired? What a nightmare.

    Anyway … I am fortunate to work for a wonderful employer who allows me some flexibility. Because of it, my daughter has never needed to go to daycare and I can fit my work responsibilities around her needs. I think it’s up to every individual mom to decide whether her family is better served by her going to work, or by staying home. Every situation is different. I just wish we lived in a country where the decision didn’t have to be made so soon after delivery.

  • pregnant Sherri

    Dooce, Delete this if you must, I don’t know what your rules are:

    to #103 Sarahr:

    FUCK OFF. There are SO MANY THINGS in your statement that are ridiculous and obviously ignorant, snobby and judgmental. I don’t usually go all outright catty on somebody, but if you were here, you would have found yourself dodging a bitch-slap.

    First of all, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU ? ? ? Where do you get off calling me a CRAPPY PARENT because I believe my child IS BETTER OFF in daycare 5 days a week?

    Not all daycares are sugar snacks and TV, you know. I happen to have my (SMART) children in a YMCA Run class, with full curriculum and healthy food and outside play and all sorts of beneficial things that are taught by qualified, educated professionals.

    I am not educated in the field of educating young children. I am not someone who sees the babies as a reason to martyr myself and point fingers at the rest of us, who choose to do what we do, based on the interests of all involved. I work a stressful job, I love going home to my kids, and they love when I come home. And to see all the beautiful things they learn at school is such a wonderful thing for us to talk about later. To know that they have formed their own opinion, outside of the influence of their mom or dad, and that they believe in their ability to socialize and partake in activities without me or dad is to know that when it’s time for them to call me out on something, or when it’s time for them to go be productive, they won’t be too afraid to do so.

    Guess what: I’m PREGNANT AGAIN!!! And Guess what else?? THIS BABY IS GOING TO DAY CARE TOO!!!!!

    I AM ASHAMED THAT YOU ARE A MOTHER. I hope your kids do not inherit your ignorance and uncompassionate views on others.

  • sarahr

    Rebecca (848), sounds like you need studies to convince you of something that I think is common sense. Women have babies, then they take care of them. It’s great if Dads can be present and helpful too, and grandparents and friends. I just see a parent staying home with their child as ideal as opposed to leaving them with strangers. And I see it as a problem that we don’t seem to understand the value of that anymore.
    Jillian (865), Are you serious? You obviously know NOTHING about the way that young children learn and grow if you think that music classes are more important than one on one interaction with the primary caregiver (parent) for a young child. A child’s sense of confidence, and his knowledge of himself as an important, unique individual comes from consistent interaction with and affection from their primary caregiver, not from dance lessons. Not to say that children who go to daycare cannot emerge as well-adjusted individuals, but it is certainly not the ideal situation for a developing child.

  • http://lizsmusings.wordpress.com LizP

    I think you should totally say “AAAHMM DR. FEEEEEEL!”

    I also think that the SAHM/WAHM/WOHM discussion is sort of like the proverbial dead horse … it just keep being beaten. People do what works for them, either financially or psychologically (or whatever-ally). Why do we have to criticize, berate, or feel guilty for the choices we make for our families?

    Have a fab time in LA!

  • http://memyselfandmommy.com/ Renee

    I’m sure this will raise some eyebrows, but here is my opinion on the matter. I work full time away from home. I enjoy my career, but more than anything I would love to stay home and take care of my family. HOW-EVER finances will not allow that to happen, and that is a shame. I think one parent from each family should get paid by the government if they choose to stay home. Not astronomical amounts, but like X amount per year for the first child and then Y amount for each additional kid that you have. It would be a fair salary, not one to sustain an extravagant lifestyle. Now before you think I’m 100% crazy, hear me out. You would have to be a stand up parent, not a bum, not a druggie, not out shopping and socializing all the time. You would have to keep up with all of your families doctor’s appointments, shots, dentist appointments, parent-teacher conferences etc. Proper maintenance and cleaning of homes would have to be kept up with (ie smoke alarm batteries checked regularly) You would have to volunteer x amount of hours at your child’s school or some where else that needs the extra hands. I also think that families would need to participate in community activities and things as well. There would be other requirements that would need to be met monthly to receive this benefit. ALSO, think about how much money is saved when a parent is able to be at home. Childcare is outrageously expensive, eating take-out because you are too busy and tired to cook adds up, house keepers are expensive, laundry service… think about all of things that a family outsources that they would be able to save money a parent could stay at home. Think about how much more healthy, and unified families would be if a parent were at home. Think about the reduction in crimes committed by teens because there is a parent at home to guide children. Another thought, if a parent leaves a job they don’t really like to stay home and care for a family, then that job opens up to someone who really wants to work and doesn’t want to be at home.

    So, I’ve not worked out all of the details (I have a lot more to do before I propose it to Obama), but it really breaks my hear that because of money, more parents are unable to stay home.

  • Anne

    Erggh! I hate the stupid media for creating and perpetuating these silly mommy wars and lumping all SAHMs into one group and all working moms into another. We are all different! Some moms have choices when it comes to whether or not they stay at home, others don’t. Some make HUGE sacrifices financially and other to live their lives, and some don’t. I’m so sick of moms everywhere bitching and moaning all the damn time! SAHMs bitch about their kids, working moms bitch about their jobs, and too many women bitch about their husbands. Sometimes I feel like b/c I am HAPPY (OMG-I said it!) and don’t feel guilty and resentful about my life that something is wrong with me. All of the TV shows, magazines, blogs and websites seem to say so. Yes, things in this country could be a lot better for moms and dads, but they sure as hell could be a lot worse. Let’s all stop complaining and start being proud of the lives we are giving our kids, and for the decisions we make, whatever they may be. And don’t even engage in these crazy debates that seem forced upon us at every turn.

  • Robin

    I had my first job at 16. I’m 34, I have a graduate degree and a 16-month-old. Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had.

  • KimW

    How about the fact that some of us don’t feel guilty at all for choosing to work?
    I don’t feel happy about it all the time, and I would prefer to work fewer hours, but I still want to work.

    But, if I stayed home, I wouldn’t be happy about it all the time and I would prefer to spend more time alone.

  • Angie

    Amen to Sarah #2 and Jen #297. That’s how I feel too.

  • Tatiana

    I have two kids, ages 5 and 6. I work full time out of the house.
    A lot of times I feel like a lousy employee and a lousy mother.
    And, I have it good! I have a job I LOVE, a great boss, very flexible job and the world’s best nanny that has been with us since the birth of our first baby.
    My husband has been laid off several times in the past couple of years, and we really need my salary, so it was never really a choice for me anyway.
    The point I am trying to make is that I don’t think I am great at doing both, but I really try hard. I give it 100% on the weekends and evenings when I am with my kids.

  • Robin

    Parents (especially single parents) are some of the only workers in the first world who aren’t legally entitled to breaks.

  • Stacie

    When my son was born I knew it probably would be good for bonding and nurturing to home.

    However, I value my sanity and knew I would either hate my kid or become a woman I didn’t want to be.

    You have to bring it up. That discord between vision and reality is what sent me back to the work force.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Phil? Are you taking your meds?

  • Anonymous

    I think biased opinions such as #18, M’s, really hobble much needed progress in improving non-parental child care options and creating greater access to high quality child care programs.

    M said: “I am an elementary school teacher. I can tell you that I can WITHOUT A DOUBT which kids in my class had parents who stayed home with them at least for the first five years. IT IS THAT OBVIOUS.”

    How can it be that clear to her but not so much evidenced by the largest study of early child care and child development ever conducted?

    This study showed that various family characteristics have a greater impact on early child development than do non-maternal child care arrangements. For example, children did better if their mothers were sensitive, responsive, and had positive personalities, regardless of whether the children were in child care through age 4 1/2.

    So do whatever makes it possible for you to be this kind of mother or father.

    And whether you stay at home or work full time or something in between, please find out what you can do to improve access to high quality child care programs in your state.

  • anonymous

    844, I give you a big hug. And you make a really good point.

  • Elise

    Perhaps this is already clear, but I think there is a distinction between mothers like you who work from home and thus are able to have your kids with you, albeit with the use of childcare, and mothers who have given up their profession/occupation in favor of being a full-time caregiver to their children. It seems that the needs and challenges of these two types of SAHMs are actually very different. In comparison to a traditional SAHM, a working-from-home mom hasn’t given many of the important characteristics of a working mom to be at home with her kids, such as the intellectual stimulation of work, a paycheck and the status as co-provider in the family.

  • http://wanderingbarque.com/everfixedmark/ Denise

    I would like you to address the fact that when a woman decides to stay home or go back to work, a lot of factors come into play–not just her philosophy about What’s Best for the Children. If you dislike your job, wouldn’t make much more money than would be spent on day care, would have a hellish commute, have lousy day care options, have a partner who makes a decent wage–that all factors into a decision to stay home. If you adore your job, make a lot of money, have a flexible schedule, get paid more than your partner, have great day care options, etc.–that could push you to go back to work. It’s not all about how much you would love being a stay-home mom, or whether or not you want to exercise your feminist prerogative. Sometimes, it’s more about the options.

  • Lara

    When people question my husband, with that “edge” in their voice, about his decision to go to work instead of stay home with the kids, I’ll listen to what they have to say.

    I live in a very conservative area and there’s this interesting conversation that keeps cropping up:

    Other Person: Well, after I factored in child care and gas and everything, it just wasn’t worth it, so I’m staying home.
    Me: Are you and your husband splitting those costs down the middle? I bet you’d find it was very worth it for you to go to work if the costs were split fairly.
    OP: No, I’m the one who decided to stay home with the kids.
    Me. True. And he has decided to be at work, and not stay home with the kids. How do those two decisions mean he doesn’t shoulder half the financial responsibility for his children while the parents are working?
    OP: It’s my expense, not his. If I choose to go to work, well, I could’ve stayed home, so I’m the one who’s generating extra expenses.
    Me: Your husband could stay home too. Why are you shouldering 100% of the costs of both parents working, when either parent could stay home? Split it!

    But people are so absolutely wedded to the idea of women staying home — even people who are convinced they’re egalitarian (until they have that conversation) — that all costs of two parents working are borne by the woman alone. As if she’s a single parent. As if she had the kids by herself. As if her spouse’s choice to work is insignificant, but she has to pay for her own choice. As if she alone is responsible for two working parents, and her husband has no choice and no responsibility.

    This conversation never goes over well. People just want it to be the woman who stays home, and if she doesn’t, they want her to pay for it. And we do pay for it. It is entirely financially worth going back to work IF your spouse pulls his (or her) weight with the child care costs. Or else chooses to stay home himself.

    How crazy is it that we debate and heap guilt on the people who are actually doing the job, and sort of conveniently ignore the people who are just leaning on us to do it? We’re all crazy.

    Let’s spread some love. I like what you said. Why can’t we all just get along? Usually if our spouses carried their full weight in housework and child care costs, then we’d be fine. It’s not other mothers who make it so hard for us — we’re not married to them, so it doesn’t matter what they do. It matters what our spouses do.

  • Kelli

    I might have to watch Dr. Phil for the first time in my life. This is a one time exception, but I will do it for you. How about a new name instead of “stay at home mom” – Gawd I had that title.

  • Me

    Each mom is different. Each dad is different. All kids are different. All dynamics are different. Some parents get divorced. Some parents have long-distance relationships. Some parents are of the same gender. Some parents are truck-drivers. Some parents are in graduate school. Some parents are pursuing their under-graduate degrees. Some parents have some professional degrees. Some parents have many professional degrees. There is no one best solution that can possibly fit all families. Each family, whether nuclear or not, ultimately knows what is best for everyone involved. So therefore, my opinion on the SAHM/WOHM/WAHM/SAHD/WOHD/WAHD is this: everyone is unique. Celebrate that.




  • http://throughkatseyes.blogspot.com/ Kat

    What no one ever seems to admit is that NOTHING WE DO IS CORRECT. Somewhere along the line, we’ve made a sport of nitpicking the parenting skills of others. And I agree it’s entirely warranted when the well being of a child is *truly* at stake. But come on! Nursing for 6 months rather than 12? TV or no boob tube? Organic verses non? Staying at home verses returning to the workforce? Every choice a mother makes is now public debate. And someone somewhere always thinks what you’re doing (which is typically your very best, thank you very much), is wrong.

    I have a master’s degree from an Ivy League school and I chose to stay at home with my daughter. There are days when that decision is entirely, gloriously right. There are other days when I lament what could have been had I focused on my career and left my daughter’s daily care to someone with more patience and creativity than I.

    Each day is its own battle. Some are amazing wins while others are debilitating losses. And I think the same could be said for the moms who work full-time outside the home. So why in the hell are we making the job so much tougher for each other by tossing around the guilt and judgments?

  • Jamie

    I work. My husband works. Our children are in daycare. This is our family. We are happy. That is all that matters.

  • Tressa

    I went to see Oprah when she did a show on this topic about 6 years ago; it was heated as all get-out, so good luck! :-) I agree with Katie’s #16 comment: Why can’t we all agree that parenting is hard and support each other instead of going all “mean girls” and chewing each other’s heads off over different styles?
    I had a “friend” tell me in April that if I wasn’t going to deal with a certain problem my son is having (which I was dealing with but didn’t feel like confiding in anyone about), then my son would be better off in foster care than with me.
    I do not think she could have given me a meaner, more cruel response as I was struggling to deal with my son’s crisis. The night before she had said this, I had gone to see his child psychologist awaiting a diagnosis of what was wrong, and all the doctor had for me was the “news” that we were at the BEGINNING of figuring it out. This after WEEKS of testing and waiting. I was sobbing my heart out.
    Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, and having her judge me like that was one of the most painful experiences of my parenting life.

  • Nikki

    UGH! Good luck with that argument. I stay home and have found it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone who works to understand what I do all day. I don’t think anyone understands the other side of it.

    Oh… I have a 16 month old and the Dr. Feel episode was the first one we watched with her! We DRV’d it and still watch it! LOVE IT!

  • Penny

    How about the old adage ‘Damned if you do and damned if you don’t?’ That one always works for me. I stayed home for 5 years after working for 16 and I found it mind-numbing at times and intellectually draining. I loved the time with my kids, but dear Lord, I longed for a conversation not about food, poop or playdates. Then I went back to work after that long stretch and can you believe that all I thought about at work was what my kiddos were doing? Well screw me on that one.

    Now I am home again, after a long and hard decision by hubby and me. Our youngest child was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in January. Five days in the ICU, nearly dying and then learning all about how to give numerous daily shots to your very young daughter nearly did me in. I told my husband, right there in the ICU – “If I go back to work, it will kill me.” So, I resigned my lovely $60,000 a year job. Who does that? Me, I do that. I did it because I couldn’t imagine another person giving her shots or spending days with her after almost losing her. I did it so she knows she is loved each day, by me and her dad. That she knows I would do anything for her.

    So, in the end, all decisions are hard. It seems that as women we take the brunt of it all and like I said, we are demonized either way, especially by other woman. The first time I left I did it because I thought I should. The second time, I did it because I knew I should.

  • http://www.liamsgrandma.typepad.com Liam’s Grandma

    There are so many comments, you may not even get to mine, but I want to say that I am now a grandmother at 49 years old. I was a working mom – had to work for a variety of reasons – and regret it. Because now that my children are grown and gone, I can do whatever I want. Instead, I worked at a professional job while they were growing up and missed out on a lot.

    Now, more than anything, I want to be a part of my grandson’s life as he grows up. So I currently work part-time, take care of him while his mama works (because she is a single parent and, sadly, has no choice), and I love every single moment with Liam. Because, contrary to what we all think when we are bleary-eyed from caring for toddlers and infants and we walk around smelling like spit up, these years speed by and they are the best years. I so wish I had had more time with my kids instead of coming home every night, exhausted, trying to prepare a decent meal AND listen to them talk about their day, etc., etc.

    I regret not being there for many things….

  • http://www.theohanamama.com Sarah, Ohana Mama

    I am actually covering this on my momtv show this week (yeah yeah, small potatoes…or rather just the eyes that grow out of a potato, compraed to your Dr. Phil show)..anyhow, it’ll be on mommy guilt. I work from home and boy do I feel guilty…I have chosen what seems to be the worst of all situations. Working AND takign care of the kids…ox moron, I say!

    BUT I do get to be home with my child…evn if Elmo is my mommy’s helper…yeah we love Sesame Street too in this house (and thank god for on demand!).

    Have fun with Doctor Feeeeel. Can’t wait to see it!

  • http://itsallaboutthesmallstuff.blogspot.com/ Daria

    I watched 5 minutes of the primetime Who Wants to Be a Millionaire this week and the contestant was a dad who stayed home with his kids and Regis said, “oh, you are a stay-at-home mom? ha ha ha…” and I wondered if I was the only one bothered by that and thought that was insulting? STAY-AT-HOME-DAD, Regis!

  • Anna

    Well I would like to say that I have 3 kids two and under and I stay home because daycare in Nyc is way way too expensive. And the first year was HARD. I was pregnant and caring for 2 infants and it sucked and I cried a lot. But here’s the thing- it got better and now I actually like it and have a lot of fun. But what I resent is people assuming that since I stay home I must be depressed and unfullfilled. It’s usually men who say this.. But I make no judgements about moms who like to work. It’s a personal decision. Like breast feeding which I think people now really really judge you if you use formula, btw. That’s a serious topic too. I mean on the can of formula at the top of the directions it says ‘breastmilk is best!’ but here’s how you make it you shitty mom!
    Good luck!

  • Mary

    I lasted all of 2 weeks after her birth at home, was offered a job where I could take Evelyn. That went fine till she walked at ~13 months. She had so many friends there but it became dangerous and she needed a place to play etc.
    When we moved to Utah, we realised that by not having her in after school care, she was doing well. So, my husband started being her primary care.
    And it all is good. Yet very different from the norm here and in many places….

  • Dawn C

    I am laughing at your pantyhose comment. I am Catholic and when I was kid going to Church every Sunday during the summer my brother was allowed to wear shorts to Mass – but as a female I was not as it was deemed inappropriate by my Mother. I was more of a tomboy and not really a sundress kinda girl, so I would spend my summers shooting my brother dirty looks during Mass while I was sweating in pants. At the age of 38 I am still bitter about this.

  • Pandora

    I DARE you to do the Dr. Feel bit. In the end it will probably be the only interesting part of the show…. such shows always seem to get watered-down, sound-bited, edited, and just tend to skim the surface or re-hash the same tired (false) dichotomies and paradigms.
    So, get yer 2 cents in, then just relax and spaz out, do Dr. Feel, preface all assertions with “As I am number 26…”, sing, and whatever you do…
    Have FUN
    Also, remember, you probably reach more people with your blog than with dumb ol TV, and your readers are clearly, obviously working on the need for new expectations, definitions, and functions of family life.

  • Liz Anderson

    Please, for the love of all things holy DON’T let anyone take a swipe at those of us who chose to stay at home with our kids *AND* provide safe, licensed childcare to others. Really, we aren’t the anti-Christ because we’ve found a way to do it all, allbeit grossly overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. You think going to an office is tough? Try attempting to make a living while raising your own children and taking care of a household AT THE SAME TIME. It’s not for lightweights, lemme tell you.

    I’m NOT responsible for all you people who didn’t think or plan before you had children. I’m not the one to blame for the cost of everything or that you didn’t check the financial statements of your Baby Daddy. This is my home, my family and my business. Respect it as much if you even hope to gain my respect.

    Please, Dooce, you’re a working at home while staying home Momma. Stick up for us all.