TLC show stirs up "mommy wars"

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TLC has a new show called, "The Secret Lives of Soccer Moms". Let me start by telling you that I have a particularly keen interest in this show for several reasons. For one, I was being seriously considered for the job of host held by former sitcom actress, Tracy Gold and actually flew out to LA to meet with TLC executives.

As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) who occasionally dabbles in my television-hosting career, I can definitely relate to the premise of the show, which allows a SAHM to work in her dream job for a week and decide at the end whether or not she wants to continue being a full-time at home mom.

At this stage of my life, I only consider television jobs that have a limited shooting schedule because I want to be a SAHM and have no interest in relocating my family to LA or New York. This show would have met that criteria and had the added benefit of being a topic of eminent interest to me. Bummer!

In the first episode, mom decides at the end of the week to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer and, if the reactions displayed on the show's website comment boards are any indication, the mommy wars are far from over. Many SAHMs resent that in its first episode, mom's decision is received with her family's joyful approval followed by closing credits; the audience is spared the cold reality of seeing kids who are accustomed to the warmth and familiarity of home and mom suddenly dealing with the adjustment of a day-care situation and the emotional aftermath of making sense of mom's "choice".

On the other hand, working moms, especially part-time working moms, can relate to the shows' moms and their sincere desire to tap into the passions and creativity of their former selves - if only for a few hours a week.

As a television host, I would have a far more successful career if I lived in LA where i could audition daily and increase my visibility and chances of landing a job by a hundred fold. On the other hand, the normalcy of small-town living has had an immeasurably positive effect on my kids and the lower cost of living has allowed our family to afford having one parent home full-time. It has also made me a much more credible host and voice for all the new mommy shows Hollywood is rolling out these days. God knows that far too many of these shows and talk shows are overly represented by wealthy urban women who have never lived without a nanny or stepped foot in a Wal-Mart.

Yet, I would be lying if I didn't admit to loving the fact that at least three or four times a year, I travel alone, stay in a nice hotel, and get my hair and make-up done by professionals without wondering if anyone needs a diaper change.

In the end, "The Secret Lives of Soccer Moms" is one of those great reality show concepts that simultaneously entertains and offers viewers, moms and future moms in this case, a platform from which to explore and discuss the deepest questions that dominate and determine our lives and our legacy.

For more information about Rachel Campos-Duffy, please visit: www.rachelcamposduffy.com

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