At Lauren's urging, I picked up Dr. Laura's In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms from the library. I have a hate-hate relationship with Dr. Laura, after reading a few pages of The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (it must be the "husbands need sex but don't want it unless you are dolled up enough to be desirable and so you can't blame them if they have an affair if you become too frumpy)
I told her I would read it with the mindset that it wasn't Dr. Laura. I tried to keep an open mind throughout.
Throughout my reading, I was pretty convinced that SAHMs are superior to daycare. But that was kind of a given to me. I already got the whole mommy-love > others-love. I can also see how some SAHMs need that kind of validation in their lives, and so like the book because it makes them feel better about themselves.
That was her point, right? So what exactly bothered me?
1 - She has no provision for daddy-love. She makes it a husband works/wife nurtures dichotomy. It's become clear to me through my interactions with some families (including my own, meaning my mom/dad and Tim/me) that daddies can nurture (minus breastfeeding) just as great as mommies.
2 - She dwells on the giving your husband sex thing in this book as well. Because if you don't give them enough sex, then you have no right to ask them to do housework. Because it's not their house too? Bleh. She also wrote a sentence about how some women use the excuse of "molestation" (her quotes, not mine) to not have sex and this isn't a valid reason? She completely dismisses that trauma that A LOT of women go through... and I can understand how sex can be less than desirable at times or feel weird. It definitely shouldn't, by any means, since Heavenly Father intended for it to be the most spiritual and beautiful act between a husband and wife. But our world has also perverted it, and I think men (and women) should be sensitive to the feelings of their wives (or husbands) should there have been sexual abuse in the past. And it shouldn't be put in quotations like it's a made-up thing.
3 - She makes men seem like IDIOTS! Women who like her... do you really think your husband sucks that bad? For example, should you need to convince your husband of the need for you to stay at home, rub his shoulders a little bit and tell him that's what life will feel like if you're allowed to create a haven by being at home. Otherwise, he won't listen to you? She encourages women to manipulate their husbands, as if they aren't rational beings or something. I'm sorry, but Tim doesn't need a neck rub to listen to me.
4 - She contradicts herself numerous times! Especially in the way she discusses her own life. She wasn't a stay-at-home mom but completely villifies working mothers. She says that SHE could do it because she put her family first-- like other women are not capable of such a feat.
When women are not in the workplace, we lose their perspective. When women aren't in Congress, for example, who would be offering the mother's perspective in the laws of our country? Do you really want only men's voices heard in the world as they were for hundreds of years? We NEED women, clearly, in the decision making bodies of humanity. They make up half of the world, they are important and not just to the family. Not to say we don't need them at home, too. But herein lies the dilemma of our generation: merging work and family. So, after dismissing Dr. Laura, I offer up another voice of quasi-authority: read Joan Williams' Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It. You don't have to sacrifice your children and husband to have a career in the formal sector should you so choose. That's all I'm saying...