Dr. Laura Schlessinger on Working Moms

Filed under: Work Life, Books for Parents

Dr. Laura feels sorry for working moms. Image: Amazon.com

Just in time for Mother's Day, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has released a new book titled "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms." In this, her sixteenth book, Schlessinger urges mothers to eschew careers and stay home with their children. She is "happy as peach pie" that the economy has forced many moms out of the workplace and has included in her book tips and advice on how to make the transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom.

She says she did not set out to write a book condemning mothers who work but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she managed to do just that. When asked at what point stay-at-home mothers should return to the workforce, she answered "never" and insisted that mothers should always be home when their children are.

She uses her own life as an example of how this can be done. When her son was young, she says she arranged to do her radio show only during the hours when he was at school. She says that mothers who claim they cannot manage that type of schedule with their jobs are just not trying hard enough.

"For everything in life, you have to make a priority list. This must be done. If we truly believe in something and cherish it, we find a way to make it happen," she says.

She goes on to say that her "heart hurts" for working moms and their children for what they are missing. "No argument, no criticism. My heart just hurts -- because when you get those pudgy arms around your neck, and being told you're someone's lullaby -- the fact that a woman would miss that is so, so sad," she says.

And that's where she loses me. In her one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, she assumes that a mom who works outside the home has a different relationship with her child than the mom who doesn't. That somehow the loving bond between mom and child is less if you are not together 24/7.

I also take issue with her assumption that all stay-at-home moms are spending their days wrapped lovingly in the arms of their children while their working counterparts are ignoring their kids in a selfish search for personal fulfillment. It's an unrealistic and narrow view of motherhood that serves only to further the so-called mommy wars in which mothers feel they must pick a side and defend it to the end. How about a book that simply praises the good mother who is raising happy and well-adjusted children despite all the 'expert's who tell her she's doing it wrong? Now that's a book I might read.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.