Category Archives: Motherhood

72-Year-Old Woman Tries To Have a Child

I should have curly hair by now, especially considering the shenanigans and cruelty perpetrated on children by self-centered adults who have the title “parent.”  Their behavior would curl anyone’s hair.

A 72-year-old woman realized that she “always wanted a child, but spent [her] younger years devoted to academics, achieving degrees in medical sciences and zoology.  I’d always had it in the back of my mind that when the time was right I’d like to have a child.  But my studies meant that children kept getting delayed.  The right time finally came in my early 50s, and since then, I’ve been attempting, and failing, with IVF [in-vitro fertilization].”

This excuse for a prospective mother has never had a long term relationship (no time for that either), and therefore doesn’t even have an ancient daddy to provide for the child.  As for her age?  Well, she figures anyone can die at any time (and she’s a scientist?  She’s supposed to understand actuarial tables).  She really believes she’s going to last long enough in good enough health, or she says she’ll “ask one of my younger friends to be a guardian.”

So, IF she conceives (and I sincerely hope her 20 years of fertility failure continue), she’ll play with the kid and then just pass him or her off to some friend.  Great.

Remember the Italian woman, then the oldest to give birth in 2006 at the age of 67?  She died recently.  You can count the age of her orphaned child on less than one hand.

If this woman succeeds, she will have the title of the oldest mother in the world.  I would suggest that she will be the oldest female creature to give birth, as a real mother would never set up her own child for this selfish foolishness.  I wish this fertility doctor would have his license revoked.  The same should happen to the American doctor who impregnated the “Octomom.”

Freedoms without limits automatically encroach upon good sense, compassion, and someone else’s well-being.  This is just another example of how insignificant the needs of children have become as compared to the impulsive, self-centered desires of adults who want children, but who don’t necessarily want to be bothered by the needs of children.

Remembering A Child Lost

I received this poignant email about a heartbreaking topic, but Kelly has found inspiration in her loss, and that’s the message I’d like to pass on to all of you:

Dr. Laura:
I listened to a call you took from a woman who had lost a baby (a twin), and wondered how to handle this as she tried to go forward in life.  I thought I’d share how my family has coped with our loss.

My son was stillborn almost 13 years ago now.  He was my first baby, and the loss was devastating, especially since it was such a struggle to conceive him at all.  Three months after the loss I became pregnant again (huge surprise!).  How could I be happy for this baby when I was still mourning my son?  It was scary and hard, but I was determined to notice what would become good memories, so that I would have them to share with this child as she was growing up and wanting to hear how happy we were as we anticipated her arrival.  But I still struggled each year as the anniversary of my son’s birth/death approached. 

And then I read a story about a woman who had been raped and left for dead.  After years of agonizing fear and dread as the anniversary of her attack approached each year, she decided to do something to change all that.  She used that date each year to celebrate her life, and the fact that she still had it.  By this time, we had already shared with our daughter that she had a brother in heaven who watched over her.  I decided to take that a step further.

Rather than trying to cover up or explain my sadness at that time each year, I decided to make it a time of remembrance and appreciation.  If nothing else, my son’s death taught me just how fleeting this life is, and there is not a moment to take for granted. It took me a long time to get to this place, but now, on that day each year, my husband, my daughter and I take that day off (no matter what) just to spend time with each other doing something fun, and remembering how appreciative we are that we have each other.

We’ve been camping, spent a day at the park, went to the beach…anything that immersed us in each other.  And we take time out to remember our son, and thank him for that awesome lesson.  When it comes to the loss of a child, I really think every person has to find his or her own way.  I just thought I’d share ours, in hopes that it might help someone else.

Kelly

Mommy Journaling Reinforces The Joys of Staying Home

I’m traveling this week, doing my radio program from Detroit and then from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so I thought I’d feature a guest blogger today, who wrote in with the following comments:

Hi, Dr. Laura!
I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children, ages 4 1/2 and almost 2.  I have been a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) since the middle of my first pregnancy.  I just picked up your book “In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms,” and read it cover-to-cover in two days.  At first, the book made me angry.  Not at anything you said, but it stirred up some old emotions in me that I thought I had buried long ago.

You see, I have felt a lot of negativity from my in-laws since the day my husband and I decided that I would quit my job to stay home to raise our family.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law, and even both brothers-in-law and their wives, who all have children in day care, felt that I was not pulling my weight-that I was a burden on my husband, and that my children should be in day care.  Can you imagine?!!

My husband and I lead a completely different lifestyle from them, but that didn’t seem to matter to them. We don’t have a thirty foot trailer for camping, and it’s not important for us to have brand new SUVs or granite countertops.  We can have those material things in due time, if we choose.

Reading your book made me think about the past again, the way my children and I have been treated over the years, and it brought back all the anger and resentment.  As I continued reading your book, it clicked!  My in-laws are jealous of the quality time that I get to spend with my children every day.  Also, the biggie for me:  happiness is a matter of perspective.  Both my husband and I feel like we are doing the right thing by having me stay-at-home and that’s all that matters.  Period.

In a quest to keep the right perspective, I have started journaling my proud “mommy moments,” and I thought I would share this with you.  Perhaps this might help other SAHMs keep a positive outlook, too.  There’s no denying that being a full-time stay-at-home mom is both rewarding and challenging.  So, I started journaling all the wonderful moments that I experience with my children on a daily basis – the moments I would never be able to experience via Mommy-cam. 

Today, my daughter lovingly brushed the hair away from my forehead and kissed me sweetly on my forehead, just as I have done to her countless times.  I wrote it down.  When my little boy wraps his pudgy arms around my legs and squeezes me with all his might, I write it down.  That way, when things get tough, which they will, I can quickly glance over my Mommy journal and see why I’m doing this again, to help me keep a positive outlook.  I know this won’t make whatever is troubling me magically disappear, but I do think that seeing what’s positive and wonderful in my life will help to clear my head and give me strength for Round 2 and 3.

You have been such a wonderful influence on me, Dr. Laura.  Thank you for helping to lift my chin, so when people ask me what I do for a living, I can respond, smiling, “I am a proud FULL-time stay-at-home Mommy and I love my life.”

God bless you and yours,

C.

Why I’m Praising Moms

Some actors talk about how and from where they get their “motivation” in the portrayal of some character.  Actors usually get the role and then search for the motivation behind the role.  I am the exact opposite.  I get motivated about something, and then go out and make it happen.

For years, I have been striving to have women re-establish their sacred place in the universe by influencing them to value their womanhood, and not simply resign themselves to being worker bees or unattached sexual objects.  My latest book, In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms, is my contribution to that end, reminding women that 1) they are the spiritual center of the family, and 2) that their love  and attention cannot be replaced by hired help.  I’ve been working very hard to have mothers and wives value themselves in these roles and not feel “less,” but instead, enjoy the esteemed pedestal once again.

To “bring it home,” so to speak, I decided to do an extravaganza of an event, called In Praise of Mom, to applaud and recognize the beauty and importance of mothers everywhere.  Why am I so emotional about this?  Simple.  I almost missed out on this most incredible miracle (and sometime pain in the neck) called motherhood.

In the 1960s, I was seduced by the feminist anger that proclaimed that husbands and kids were in the way of getting power and respect.  We lost way too much because of the anger vented on men and mothering.  As many of you may know, I did not have the most mothering mommy possible, and that probably contributed to my negativity at the time.  But at age 35, I had an epiphany.  What I was missing from my life was being a wife and a mommy.

I now know the glories and agonies of being a mommy, and I am grateful I didn’t miss out on one minute of it.  I receive calls every day from women who are mothers of good kids, troubled kids, confusing kids, rambunctious kids, curious kids, risk-taking kids and more.  For a mom, the well-being of her child and family is number one.  It occurred to me that I should use the opportunity afforded by the release of my new book to celebrate Mother’s Day in a new, fun, touching, memorable way.  As my son is in the military (as are many of yours), we won’t be together on Mother’s Day.  The next best thing is for all us mothers to get together and laugh and hug about our trials, tribulations, and exaltations of motherhood.

In Praise of Mom will be a one-time only event on Tuesday, May 5 in a movie theater near you…and it will be beamed live by satellite to more than 400 theaters around the country.  Let’s get all the moms in our lives together and applaud ourselves! To purchase tickets, click here.

Burnout Prevention

A caller with a seemingly simple question has been haunting my mind since Monday.  The caller was a stay-at-home mom with four children under the age of six.  I thought I was heroic chasing after one child who never napped.  I can’t imagine four little tykes going in different directions, all with different personalities and needs.  Wow.

After asking some sneaky questions, I discerned that she was – in two words – BURNED OUT.  It’s difficult to get around the understandable embarrassment or shame that a mother has for even thinking that she wished she were on another planet away from the children for a while.  But this is a totally understandable and normal reaction to a lovely, but draining, situation.

When a woman is at a job, she can take a number of bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, and a lunch break which may even include shopping (a great tension releaser!).  When taking care of a number of children whose needs are relentless and inconsistent, it’s easy to see how one brain and heart can be overwhelmed if the kids don’t nap – mine never did, and I remember feeling mentally exhausted.

Mothers do, but shouldn’t, feel guilt at not always being thrilled out of their ears to be taking care of their children.  My first argument is that there is no one with any career or activity who doesn’t regularly feel the same way.  Human beings need breaks – changes of scenery and input – and activities that help let off steam and revive one’s sense of joy in life.  That’s why in my book, In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms, I’ve written about the necessity of taking guilt-free breaks – and taking them before you break!

First, to the husbands:  Make sure you command and demand that your beloved wife and mother of your progeny go out with her girlfriends, go have a one-hour bath with bubbles and wine, or go ride her bike with a bike club for a morning – something so that she can feel revived and relaxed.  Plan it for her if she’s stubborn (the stubbornness usually comes from feeling guilty).  Tell her that a GOOD mother takes care of herself so that the “giving” flows more readily.

Second, to you mothers:  Grandma is useful for a break while you do nothing or something that relaxes you.  I told this caller to get one of those carriers that attaches to a bicycle, and get a child bike seat affixed behind her bike seat – that takes care of three kids right there, and one is in kindergarten.  Take ‘em all on a bike ride to picnic or relax in a park – that’s only one of the things I did with my child.  Turn on an exercise video and dance along with the music to get a workout – the kids will join in, or play next to you with their toys. 

My message is:  no guilt.  Any profession has tools that must be taken care of to keep working properly:  a computer, a saw and hammer…whatever.  For us mothers, the tool is ourselves.  So, no guilt.  Take it as a responsibility to keep yourself loose and refreshed.

My final message is that being home with your children opens up many opportunities if you think out of the perimeter of your property.  It isn’t supposed to be a “work farm.”  It’s supposed to be a joyous home.  Oh, and here’s why that caller stuck in my mind:  I heard a depth of sadness in her voice that seriously worried me, and I realized that many of you moms try so hard that you forget to take care of yourselves.  In doing so, you lose contact with your mission in the first place.  When that happens, your children miss you.

So, ladies, turn on that music and dance and sing around the house and enjoy!

I Tidied Up My Point of View

When my now 6’3″ son was a little guy, housework was secondary in priority to interacting with him.  One of my most wonderful memories is of taking him on a walk (and pulling him in his Radio Flyer-like wagon) to the huge parking lot of the local Target.  I would put him in one of the shopping carts, and run like mad, twisting and turning and twirling the cart until he whooped with delight.  This would go on for the better part of an hour.  Thinking back, I got a good aerobic exercise workout, and he got a Disneyland-like ride.  At the time, though, it was just about having fun together.

One of the constant complaints I get (especially from at-home moms), is about the drudgery of housework, particularly about how it is never-ending and repetitive.  Frankly, I liked knowing the parameters involved with housework:  bathrooms, kitchen, and washing and folding laundry.  Folding laundry was my meditative exercise.  I found it quite relaxing.

Attitude is the essential issue in dealing with anything in life.  I had a recent caller to my radio program who was still working through her rotten childhood by yelling and being physical with her kids…but in a bad way.  After a bit of a lecture from me on finally having fun in her life, and my giving her examples of getting kids to do things (like putting toys away or getting their pajamas on) with fun (complete with giggles and applause), she wrote me back and thanked me.  Then I received this email from another listener:

I am in the middle of three loads of laundry (I have four boys ages 7,10, 12 and 14, so I have a lot of laundry), and wanted to thank you for being my “housework buddy.”  You may not realize it, but you’ve been helping me with my housework for the last 3 months.  How?  I’ve always hated and avoided doing housework, because I never saw the value in it.  Instead, I took part-time jobs while the kids were in school and hired a housekeeper once a week.  While she put a dent in the mess, there was still a lot of housework left, and I asked my full-time working husband to help out on the weekend.  This meant that our weekends weren’t much fun.

After listening to you talk to a caller about what a great gift she was giving her family by keeping the house neat, I decided to devote the three hours you’re on the air to housework.  I can now happily listen to you from any room in the house.  While I still don’t enjoy housework, my family and I do enjoy having a clean, well-organized home.  And we have a lot more fun on the weekend.  So, thank you for being my “housework buddy” and keeping me company while I work!

Debra
San Diego

Everything we do is of value, even if it is the same thing every day (which, of course, it doesn’t have to be).  Creativity in how we approach situations changes everything about how we feel and how much we appreciate life, love, and family.  So, whatever it is you have to do, find a way to make it fun.

Nanny, Babysitter, Day Care Worker or….MOMMY?

I got the inspiration for writing my latest book In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms, after I asked the audience at a television talk show a seemingly simple question. Find out what I asked, and how, 25 years later (!), that answer turned into my newest book:

Video: Nanny… Babysitter… Day Care Worker… or Mommy?

Or watch other videos at youtube.com/DrLaura.

Read transcript here.