An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Because my anxiety needed a nudge or two

I remember the first time Leta ever saw an episode of Sesame Street, I think she was maybe thirteen or fourteen months old. She had woken up really early one morning, and in an effort to let Jon get some sleep before heading into his office job I took her out to the living room and turned the television to one of the kid channels. And all it took was one peep out of Elmo and Leta had found religion. Thankfully it wasn’t one that required she wear pantyhose for three hours every Sunday morning.


I’m not at all ashamed to admit that Sesame Street taught Leta the alphabet. In fact, I didn’t know she knew her letters until one night just a few months after that initial exposure to Sesame Street she pointed to the sponge letters in the bathtub and identified each and every one correctly. It was a total freak show! I frantically called Jon into the bathroom and was all, DUDE, WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER? And he’s all, what? Is she breathing? And I’m all, BREATHING? I DON’T KNOW, BUT SHE KNOWS WHAT A Q LOOKS LIKE!

And then the next two years of our lives were Sesame Street all the time, every day, in the morning, in the night, until suddenly she graduated to the more annoying shows where the characters ask you questions and expect you to respond to the television. WHATEVER. AS IF. Leta actually caught on pretty quickly to that trickery, she knew they couldn’t hear her answers, so when Dora was all, WHERE ARE WE GOING? Leta would go, YOU KNOW WE’RE GOING TO THE TREEHOUSE, WHY ARE YOU EVEN ASKING THAT STUPID QUESTION?

God, I love that kid.

Anyway, it’s been a few years since Sesame Street was the background music in our house, and we actually miss it quite a bit. There were certain skits we’d quote to each other all the time, most of them involving Telly Monster and his incurable neuroses. And there was this one bit where a puppet was dressed up to look like Dr. Phil, except his name was Dr. Feel. And they had the actual, real-life Dr. Phil arguing with the puppet over who was the real Dr. Phil. Like:

“No, I’m Dr. Feel!”

“No, I’m Dr. Phil!”

“No, I’m Dr. Feel!”

And it goes on and on and never resolves itself. Totally hilarious.

I guess you had to be there.

We quoted that one to each other all the time, and I played Dr. Feel because of my Southern accent. So imagine me and Jon and Leta sitting around the table eating lunch, and Jon is all, No, I’m Dr. Phil! And I’m all, Naaahhh-oooooohhh! AAAHMM DR. FEEEEEEL! And Leta is all PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!

Is there a point to this story, yes I am getting there, hold yer britches.

I can’t believe I’m even attempting this, but Monday afternoon I’m flying out to Los Angeles to be on a Dr. Phil show that is taping very early Tuesday morning. And since Marlo is eating nothing but breast milk straight from the boob, she is coming with me. And since there is no way I could handle that kind of chaos by myself, Jon booked a ticket for himself. All so that I can participate in The Conversation of all Conversations, a dialogue or two about the guilt mothers feel when they go back to work, and should they stay at home, and who is right and who is wrong, and why can we not just get along? You know that conversation, it’s the one that never ends and probably never will. Because there is no right answer. OH BUT WE DO HAVE OUR OPINIONS, NOW DON’T WE.

As the producers were prepping me for the show I said, you know, some of us have this idea of what staying at home with our kids is going to be like, and then when we actually do it, when we actually Stay At Home With The Kids, it’s nothing at all like we imagined it to be. And coping with that reality can be devastating. So there’s that side of things.

Since I have this platform and your ears for a bit, is there something you think I should bring up in this conversation? Is there an angle you think needs more attention? Don’t we all sometimes feel guilty no matter what choice we make? Do you think I should at one point kick my leg in the air and go, AAAHMM DR. FEEEEEEL!

Also, if you’re in the Los Angeles area and want free tickets to be in the studio audience when I appear on the show that is taping Tuesday, August 18, you can email And then stick around and meet Marlo. She can blow bubbles!

  • I’m guessing that in the end, if there’s anyway possible for us to feel guilty about something, we will! I’m a stay at home mom and after living in this community for three years I have not been able to find any friends in my peer group. I’m a SAHM and feel completely guilty that I don’t have any connections that may help my 7 month old daughter have friends herself.

  • kathryn

    I am a SAHM by choice and never thought I would be doing this, I always thought I would go right back to work (teaching). But I just could not do it. It has been hard,both financially and emotionally, but I love it most days and am happy about the decision I made. What I do not like is when my working friends constantly make comments about my choice to stay home…asking me what I could possibly do all day, expecting my child to be so smart because I am home all day teaching her(seriously?) and continually telling me how they could never do this all day!

    Why does it seem o.k. for working moms to criticize or question the SAHM mom, but if I was to tell them I do not understand how they leave their child in the care of someone else for 10-11 hours a day I would be THE WORLD’S BIGGEST BITCH?

  • Kate

    Also, I don’t get sick days or vacation either. I’m a MOM. That’s how it works. I took a sick day from work this week and all that meant is that I was trying to juggle napping myself and wrangling a toddler.

  • I echo Comment #2.

    But I think it does not apply just to educated women. No matter what a woman’s background is academically and professionally, if she chooses to stay at home she is going to be treated by some as though she were a second class citizen and as though staying at home with her children defines her.

    And if she returns to work, then she’ll be judged for leaving her children in the care of someone else.

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I suppose.

  • I was on leave from my job for 13 weeks after my son was born. I went back to work for less than a month, found out that all of my priorities had changed the second I had looked into his beautiful face and quit within a month to stay with him. It hasn’t been easy- I miss the money, the health insurance, the getting out and talking to other adults on a regular basis. Then I hooked up with parenting groups for some adult stimulation and there’s the guilt that even though I’m home and raising my own kid and not letting some random daycare worker bring them up, I’m not doing EVERYTHING I could be doing. Oh my god, you give your son COW’S MILK? And you nursed him for 18 months (which could be a pro or con depending on who you talk to)? And you did this, that and the other thing that would probably have killed him instantly, my god, how lucky are you that in your infinite stupidity it didn’t (sleeping in a family bed vs crib, immunizations, letting him try things on his own and letting him fail and try again). It’s all frustrating, especially when your intentions are good and pure and everyone thinks they know how to raise your kid better than you.

    So I hope you tell them all to shut it, that ultimately it doesn’t matter, and to just enjoy your kids in the miniscule time it takes for them to grow up.

  • Linsey

    I’m not a mom but I was a summertime nanny during my first 2 years of college to a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old (sisters).

    I loved it, and them, and their family… but usually in mid-July I would be bored out of my mind! I give a lot of credit to moms that are able to stay home & stay sane.

    Someday I would LOVE the luxury to be a Shit-Ass-Hoe-Motherfucker, but I would want to be able to do things with them aside from the monotony of painting-lunch-nap-movie-sidewalk chalk-painting-tv-dinner-omg-kill-me-now.

  • Maureen

    I just want to say that I have not found the perfect balance even though I have both stayed at home and worked part time. I think the perfect balance is an elusive myth and moms just have to let it go and just live. As I heard from a leadership conference for women: THERE IS NO BEST WAY TO LIVE AS A WOMAN. OWN YOUR OWN RHYTHM OF LIFE and FLOURISH!

  • kerry

    that’s up to you if you want to do the dr. feel thing, but i’d love it if you kicked dr. phil. i’d actually watch the show if you kicked him in the groin.

  • Hi Heather. I’m a mom who’s been on both sides of this question. I worked until my first son was a year old, quit for the next 8 years (and another son) then went back to work full time. I’m now a single parent. There’s guilt on both sides – working and wanting desperately to be home with my baby, being home and wanting desperately to do something – anything – with my brain (turning to mush after too much Sesame Street), getting divorced and feeling guilty because my marriage had failed and because I couldn’t chaperone every field trip any more and maybe I missed something and because my boys were now latchkey kids… There’s always something you can feel guilty about no matter what choice you make.

    What I really think you should talk about is the difficulty that women have trying to make things work for them during their child bearing and child rearing years. There are few compromises between full time and stay at home. Full time work ends up just paying for daycare because it’s so expensive, and staying at home means that you are sidelined in your career. It was difficult for me to return to work, since the assumption on the part of employers seems to be, well, that your brain turned to mush from too much Sesame Street! What we really need is flexibility to make the right choice for our families at different stages of our lives. Better parental leave policies and easier re-entry into the workforce, flexible work schedules in recoginition of the difficult job that parents do.

    My boys are teenagers now, and in spite of (or because of?) all that guilt I think they’ve turned out pretty well so far. I still wish I had more time for them, not because they still cry in the night but because soon they’ll be out on their own and I’ll be the one crying in the night. 🙂

    And, I really think you should do the Dr. Feeeel bit (as a fellow southern woman)!

  • Jenn Harrell

    TOTALLY what comment #2 said. Not that I watch Dr. Phil, but half of America seems to, so yea… bring that one up 😉

  • Beth

    I have worked in all manners of ways (full-time, part-time, from home, etc.) since my oldest was born 10 years and one month ago. I don’t know if these comments will help at all, but here goes:

    1. I hate it when SAHMs say that they “never get a vacation.” As if when I take a vacation day from my paying job, I get to sit at home and eat bon-bons all day. Usually, when I take a vacation day, it’s because there’s something I have to do with the kids that takes longer than my conscience allows me to be away from work, or I’m actually going on a vacation, which is work for all moms, everywhere.

    2. Since my children are older, most of the SAHMs I know left their jobs before the big mommy revolution. When they worked, the office culture wasn’t such that you could take an hour or two here and go to the school program or you could work from home while a kid was sick. Either that, or they never finished their college education, so are only qualified for jobs that don’t allow that type of flexibility. In my job, I am allowed reasonable flexibility to attend my children’t school functions. If a child gets sick and I need to leave work, I have a work-provided laptop I can work on at home. If I could say one thing to SAHMs, it would that we are no longer chained to our desks. Employers understand that we have families and are more productive and happier when we are allowed a few leniencies to enjoy them.

  • This has been said, I know, but I stay at home and work at home (I do day care from home). And I feel sometimes like I get it from all sides. Since I’m home all day, I ought to be able to do things like call the plumber and clean out the refrigerator. And why am I wasting my education and intelligence on people who aren’t even potty trained? And I ought to be 100% “on” all the time, for the day care kids when I’m “working” and for my kids when I’m not.

    And sometimes I just want some things acknowledged: first, staying at home is a job. One I get paid for, by the way, so I need to do my job when I’m at home. Second, I haven’t been trapped into this and am not silently resenting my kids or husband. This has been my choice. And finally, people who spend their day with grown-ups, who have a commute where they get to drink coffee and listen to talk radio and swear, please understand how hard it is on those of us who never get any down time. (And no, naps don’t count. Two of my kids no longer nap, and it’s not like that was ever really time to yourself, just time to unload the dishwasher.) I’m not saying it’s harder than any other life or that I wish it were different, but sometimes I feel very misunderstood.

  • Courtney

    Hi. I am 32 years old and I have an old voicemail saved of my 35 year old cousin (w 2 girls under 9) singing the J song… and my goofy cousin makes me smile all the time. I love it and it is one of my most prized possessions.
    Here it is on youtube.

    I ask her to do it in-person all the time- i totally get it.

  • Anonymous

    I have a baby due at the end of October and have been at home since last November when I was laid off. I am looking forward to going back to work after the baby is born. I feel like I’ve misplaced my identity and assume that it will fall even farther into a black hole after the baby is born. I can’t wait to say “Hello” to my old self again!

    Also, dealing with my Mom who is old school and thinks I should want to stay home with the baby (not only do I want to work but need to full time to help pay the mortgage.) It’s hard trying to explain this to my mom.

    I can’t be the only one who is double effected by the economy and going through a big change like this….
    Maybe my need to be the successful working woman will change?

  • BlestMama

    I don’t think most moms mean to make other moms feel bad for their decisions, I just think they are trying to feel better about their own decisions. For me, working outside the home is more about sanity than money. It was rough those first three months I was home and returning to work gave me a much needed break. Now I feel like I’m not home enough and struggle to make every minute with my daughter count. Ideally, I would work outside the home 3-4 days a week.

    I think it really comes down to how much quality time you spend with your child, which isn’t necessarily related to whether you work outside the home or not.

  • Here’s my contribution:

    Also, if at any point in the conversation he asks, “Well, how’s that working out for you?” I’d advise you to respond, “Pretty fuckin’ good, Dr. FEEL.”

  • Good luck over there in the whale’s vag, and might I add that hearing “dooce” and “Dr. Phil” in the same sentence is enough to make my day?

    I’m a freak.

  • I agree with #17 – breastfeeding on national tv would be a huge show of support for all of the mothers out there who have been sneered at, kicked out of stores, etc. (at least, so I hear, since I’m a guy and I’ll never know).

    Maybe you can address the media issues of how stay at home moms are portrayed. There seems to be two polarities and nothing in between – either they’re portrayed as sitting around eating bonbons or they’re frantically running errands and being a Mommy from sunrise to sunset like they’re doped up on speed.
    What about the happy moments where you’re just a Mom and you can enjoy a moment with your child? That happens right?

    Also… Do you remember the old sketch with Grover doing, “NEAR!!! … faaaar”? That was my favorite sketch ever – just thought I’d throw that out there. I still watch it on Youtube all the time.

  • katherine

    I think the whole “mommy war” continues because the modern woman DOES have choices. We’re just never satisfied with the ones we make because we live in a consuming culture that constantly whispers in our ears to keep wanting more.

    For those of us who do have this choice – SAHM or return to work when our babies are born(meaning we have means and education in varying amounts)- we should concentrate on keeping an emotionally clean house, being present for our children and honest with ourselves and our partners about the guilt and shame we feel for never getting it quite right. And then when we figure out that riddle, we can move on to demanding more options in childcare for women who must work and negotiating for more flexibility in the workplace for women who would like a place there when their children get to school age.

    We put a lot of creative energy into how we decorate our homes and accessorize our outfits, but how much are we putting into how we patch together our lives? I work on my self, to not make assumptions or judgments about the choices of other women. When I see a well put together life I admire it the same way that I appreciate art or music. The brilliance shines through the light of her genuine smile and sings in distinct harmony as she conducts the business of living along her desired path.

  • Amy

    I just have to say that you being on Dr. Phil is my perfect Reeses Peanut Butter cup Pop Culture combination. I may very well go into some sort of sugar coma.

  • Kristin

    I asked my husband if he’d fly me to California so I could meet you and Marlo. He was absolutly appalled at this idea! Not because I wanted to go all the way to California but because “…it’s too ridiculous to fly two states over to meet someone you could drive an hour to see!” How inconsiderate!


    My own piece of Duchesne Utah-

  • sugarfuzz

    I’m selfish so I have no prob being a working mother. I do not want to be around my child all damn day and night. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him, I just enjoy time away from him. Women need to take the route they think is best and hope the child turns out ok! If not, fuck it!

  • HollyD

    Oh, I wish I could be there to see you tell Dr. Phil “NOOO, AAAHMM DR. FEEEEEEL”. That would totally be worth a plane ride to and from LA!! Plus meeting Marlo would be pretty cool. we could have a bubble contest.

  • RoseTattoo

    Either way, it’s not easy. Both have their pros and cons. My working motherhood started in 1980, not exactly trailblazing, but there were very few concessions to the working mother. Cry me a river.

    Either way, it’s not easy and my kids turned out all right. Both are happy adults, which is all a mother can ask (or anyone else can expect). I did good.

  • jgelb

    Wonderful forum and great topic Heather! How about the idea that many stay-at-home moms, who come out of a career to raise their kids, struggle to find self-worth in doing the dishes, marketing, cooking, laundry, driving around, etc. And society in general doesn’t offer any support or props. When I meet new people and they ask what I do, when I say I’m a stay-at-home-mom, their eyes glaze over and they essentially regard me with pity. Not very encouraging…

  • Ev

    The thing that bothers me most about this whole debate is how it is NOT grounded in the facts of our past. That is, the idea that mothers used to stay home and take care of their children all day. The real facts are quite different if you do the research: when families were larger and more extended, older children cared for younger children and grandparents and adult siblings played a large role in child care. In fact, research shows that the working mothers of today spend MORE time 1×1 with their children than stay-at-home mothers did in the past. If you are a stay-at-home mother of one child today, it’s likely that you are spending much much more time than mothers have ever spent with children historically, in modern times. The old-time mother of six children (in my father’s case, 12 children) did not spend a lot of time with the kids. The kids took care of each other. If only women would ground themselves in the history of childcare, it would go a long way toward these feelings of guilt. For a good overview of all of this, I highly recommend Martha Beck’s Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart & How They Can Recreate Their Lives. We really need to stop beating each other up over this.

  • Laura in LA

    I know that I will have to go back to work after having a child, that is just what has to happen for us financially. My big concern is the time frame….I will get six weeks of maternity leave from the company I work for. Six weeks just doesnt seem like enough. Maybe this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but my oh my, the transition sure seems like it would be easier if the average maternity leave were longer. I can’t imagine even being in a routine at six weeks, much less leaving my tiny child for 8-10 hours at the time.

  • eva

    My daughter is 19 months odl and I have been working full time since my mat leave ended when she was one (yay Canada!). I love my job, make great money, and live close to daycare and work. It’s still hard because I know that Megan would rather be with me than with anyone else, and would most prefer having both Brad and I with her 24/7. That said, her daycare centre is awesome.
    So my point? You are definitely a working mom Heather, but please try to mention that there are many many more moms who work full time outside the home, and that for us? Life is full of schedules that we can’t control and $1100/month fees and rushing around. And that’s for those of us lucky enough to be in my shoes with great jobs, flexible employers, and reliably structured and fun daycare. I shudder to imagine what it’s like for, say, single full time working moms who have to put their kids in less than perfect daycares with cheaper fees, and who don’t love their jobs and co-workers. I don’t know how you can represent all these different groups, but mentioning that you know they’re out there would go a long way!

  • Anonymous

    I stayed home full time when my baby was born. I have felt extremely guilty due to the financial consequences for our family. Although it’s been better for our son, it has caused much stress in the marriage. My salary was responsible for over 50% of our income. Staying home was something I wanted to do very much, and had planned it that way for at least 8 years before having a child. Unfortunately in our mid-thirties, we still were not financial comfortable on one income. We don’t live in a major city, and job opportunities are not as plentiful around here.
    Almost 6 years later, I’ve now decided I could try going back to work full time in a similar role before a child. I’m finding a position very hard to come by, and two recruiters have told me I will need to be a temp before expecting to find a full time job due to my time off. This has been a very frustrating process for me.

  • Margaret

    Maybe someone already said this, but please suggest that “mothers” just stop trying to imply that their way is superior to other ways. Seriously, I’m so sick of this debate. Re: shoegazing…..Why is Damon Albarn holding Marlo?

  • Jan

    Don’t have kids (but just acquired three tween/teen steps). My hat is off to you — I would have gone down the tubes had I had to stay home all day with babies and little kids. Yes, I think it’s the best thing for them. Yes, I would have tried, but I really think I would have had a breakdown. I need down time. I need to be fully engaged in a creative and intellectual career. I’m not passing judgment on anyone else — but I sure wouldn’t want other women judging me.

  • …funny how those who will be able to watch the show are those who are home during the day (unless they DVR it or something) are stay at home moms. So let’s see what slant they put on it. I’ve been both, both roles are hard. Neither is better.

    xoxo, y’all.

  • Anonymous

    As a person without kids and zero qualifications, how about the thought that maybe that decision stay at home or daycare options is more fluid than set in stone. Maybe it should be re-evaluate from time to time to make sure it is working for the family?

  • Anonymous

    I laughed so hard at that Sesame Street. I also loved the one where Zoe and Elmo are arguing over which cookie Rocko the pet Rock should get to “eat”. Hilarious.

  • amy

    #18- Could you be any more condescending? I hope to hell you aren’t in my school district?

    #39- Katie- thanks for saying what needed to be said!

    p.s. I’m going back to work next week after 12 weeks maternity leave, so this is a very personal issue.

  • Erica

    I kind of want to give #39 a big french kiss. I have a four and a half month old girl. I went back to my full time job when she was three months old. I could not wait to go back. I didn’t even feel guilty about going back because I knew being back in an office and getting out of the house everyday was going to make me, and I stress me, a better wife, mother, sister and daughter. Well, when I started work, I felt guilty about not feeling guilty. Yes, I was guilty because there was no guilt about being back at work and leaving my daughter at day care.

    I realized aren’t I just trying to do my best? Going back to work is doing my best and I should not feel guilty about it; especially when it makes me a better parent when I am with her.

    Something you could address is the judging. I have tried in earnest to stop doing this myself, but it admittedly hard. To pass judgment on the decisions others are making on how they are raising their kids is very easy to do. I believe I do/did this to make me feel better about the small decisions I make every day in raising my daughter. It is/was my way of self-affirmation.

    On the flip side, I truly believe that if we all, as parents embrace the fact that 99% of parents out there are truly trying to do the very best for their children, INCLUDING ourselves, we can get beyond our own guilt and the judgment of others.

    Good luck. I despise that man.

  • I get so frustrated with this whole debate. My mother was a SAHM (and believe me, I hear about it). I am not. I don’t have the option. PERIOD. It’s not about being willing to make the sacrifice of living on a smaller income for my family. I make literally half of my family’s income. If I didn’t work we would LOSE OUR HOUSE. I would love to have the option to even consider this debate but I don’t. And that is something I have to struggle with. I will say, however, that my kids both go to daycare. My daughter is 2 and couldn’t be more polite, well adjusted and social. And her mama is still the center of her world even though she works 40 hours a week. I guess my point is that we shouldn’t be judging each other on whether or not we stay home full time with our kids. No matter what we are still all mothers with a common goal- to do the best possible thing for our families.

  • Like some others that posted, I work at home and am self employed but can’t get much done with my son here. He goes to a sitter half a day and then comes home for his nap so I can get in my 7 hours. My family and neighbors that come over during the day (who clearly don’t realize I W-O-R-K here) area continually puzzled that my son isn’t here. I think the guilt is just part of motherhood. My non-working friends feel guilty for not providing enriching enough activities, or not being patient, or not keeping the house clean. Guilt is here no matter what – we just find different ways to direct it.

  • Liz

    One time a Mary Kay consultant tried to make me feel dumb for working. Outside the home. And not selling Make Up. Because what better way to use my brain than share with people to glories of applying eyeshadow? And I wanted to work? Outside the home? I know, I’m crazy.(I am sure there are some people that do great and Mary Kay and staying at home is their thing> just not mine!)

    I have an 11 month old boy at home, and I work 40 hours a week and unfortunately I am take every thing super personally, even if it isn’t meant to be. For example, my husband will ask what time I get off work to pick up the kid, and I feel guilty that maybe I should be getting off earlier? I feel like I can’t please everyone at home and I can’t please everyone at work!

    It is what it is.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have it all. Either you stay home with your kids and never leave them or you have a fabulous career that you are soley focused on. Sure you can be a working mom and that works for a lot of women becuase they have accepted the fact that some things have to give and they can’t do every thing. Every time. And of course you can be a SAHM that is truly satisfied because you know that what you’re doing is important, too. Either way there are sacrifices. The most important thing is to be at peace with whatever decision you make.

  • Redhead-grl

    I am now finally decloaking because I can’t stand that bastard Dr. Phil. Seriously. He is a pompous, arrogant idiot. I can’t be the only one who’s horrified that the fabulous Dooce would even grace his show with her presence.


  • Anonymous

    I am not a mom. I am thinking about becoming one in a year or two. Here’s the thing: I’m 34 and at that phase in my career where I’m just beginning to get somewhere. Just. Couple that with the fact that I work for men who don’t take me that seriously and often don’t treat me like I’m that capable (see above regarding the just beginning to get somewhere). So it’s very tempting to become a stay at home mom to escape all of this bs but it’s the wrong reason to make that decision. It’s something that many of my fellow ladies talk about.

    As you were.

  • Andrea

    I think the thing I’ve struggled with most is I feel as if I’ve lost a bit of my own identity by being a Stay-At-Home-Mom. The last 5 years of my life have been ALL ABOUT MY KIDS and somewhere along the way *I* lost myself.

    I think there needs to be some sort of balance and I don’t know how to find that balance. I don’t know how to live for my kids and for myself and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a common denominator between a lot of SAHM’s.

  • Seetha

    Please don’t go on Dr. Phil’s show. He’s a crook. He doesn’t even have a medical license!

  • Kelli

    It’s all pretty much been said. Mom’s always feel guilty over one thing or another…it’s just about accepting yourself as a mother and supporting each other for our own personal decisions.

    I really just wanted to say your baby is SO FREAKIN’ CUTE.

  • I would pay money to see you do that.

  • Sidney

    I have been reading this daddy blog and he talks about his daughter in daycare (only he calls it a “school” even though his daughter has been there since she was six weeks old). And he talks about how he and his wife NEED to earn two incomes. In nearly every post he is talking about his new gadgets (Blackberry, iTouch, plasma, Blu-ray, Sirus. etc/); I’m betting that he is able to afford all that junk because they both work. Anyway, when his daughter took her first steps at ‘school,’ all I could think was, “See! Neither of you were there because you were busy earning enough money for your STUFF!”

    As a mother that doesn’t NEED to work, I always like to think that I would be taking a job away from someone that does truly need that income. But just maybe our employment statistics are all messed up because folks want to acquire things more than they want to be with the people they brought into the world.

    I continued to be a stay-at-home when my kids went to school and found it was fulfilling to fund raise for the schools and other non-profits. For me, it was gratifying to demonstrate to my kids that those of us that are fortunate need to give back.

    Off the soapbox and back to the laundry….

  • erin

    i don’t have any great advice to give. but i would love it if you’d tell dr. phil he’s a giant pain in the ass, because he is. good luck! you’ll be the best thing that’s ever been on that show!

  • Shannon

    I am a stay-at-home mom right now. Well I should add that I’m also a full-time student. I was doing all online classes, but this fall my youngest will be starting school, and I’m going to be able to actually go out into the big people world and go to school. I have three kids; 9, 7, and 4. I’ve worked on and off during their lives but it always came down to day care. We couldn’t afford it. I was making good money as a paramedic and my husband had a very good job in management, but we couldn’t afford to do day care, or summer camp, in the summer time. It would eat up my entire check.

    I think that a lot of moms stay home for that reason. Quality child care, that I’m not worried about my kid going to, is expensive. A lot of families can’t afford it. It’s better financially to have a parent stay at home, for those families.

    Also, people don’t gripe and argue about stay-at-home dads. Although it’s not very common, they are out there, and they don’t get a bad rap. They’re not considered lazy or uneducated.

    For moms, the delimma of to work or not to work is endless and no one can give the right answer. There are quite a few studies on this topic, but no one can give a definitive answer, and until that day comes no one should judge anyone else because no one understands that person’s circumstances like that person.

  • So insanely annoyed that we won’t be moving back to California till next summer.

    But on the stay at home mom front, I think the depression that goes along with staying home with your kids should be addressed. And the guilt from the depression, naturally. Because we shouldn’t feel depressed to be surrounded by our own offspring day in and out, but OH DOES IT HAPPEN.

    This is why I run away from home for a night (or a weekend, or a week…) every 6 months or so. Or just out for a few hours with my friends. NOT my spouse, not a cousin, it has to be surrounded by unrelated friends I can refer to as ‘bitches’ and ‘ho’s. I must get away to a place where I’m referred to by my given name, where I have no responsibilities but my own physical well being, and even be allowed to let that go without hesitation.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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