I am a member of an online mother’s group. I’m in my early 50s and many are much younger. One mom posted today asking for advice. She wrote:
“I want to apply for my masters at the university… I have the option of a part time 3 year online program or an on campus program that’s full time but 2 years to completion. I’m 30 and have 3 little ones. My two oldest will be in kindergarten in the fall. My 2-year-old stays home. Should I try to make school my primary focus and put my youngest in day care a bit and finish in 2 years? What do you think?”
One mother answered, “My children would be too distracting for me to have at home and actually complete my own personal studies online. I feel like I would always be stopping to put their needs first… Get a nanny…”
What?! “I feel like I would always be stopping to put their needs first.”?? Um, this is what a mother DOES!!! I can’t believe she was recommending farming the little children out so she could meet HER needs and do HER studies. So cold. I answered in the kindest way possible, “Please please do not put your children in day care!! They need you! Mama, they need you and your undivided attention! NOTHING can take the place of you and your maternal attention. No degree, no job is half as important as them!!” Then I offered other options because she said they needed the $$- Dad take a second job, she work at night when Dad is home, postpone her degree. Then I gave coupon cutting tips, suggested a garden for produce and ideas to work from home. I reminded her that a masters costs money as did a nanny and that “there is not only a financial cost, but a cost to the family when mom is gone.” I offered for her to privately message me if she wanted to chat for more ideas.
Dr. Laura, I can’t express the VITRIOL that followed. Mother after mother bashed me. “Horrible words” wrote one mother. “I can’t stand the sanctimony!” and “Stop shaming!” They mocked me for suggesting a garden.
I am sad that today’s young mothers so often think nothing of abandoning and neglecting their precious children to meet THEIR wants. When I was a young wife and mom, I drank in the advice of older more experienced women. I asked questions and tried to learn. If I didn’t agree with something, I was at least respectful of age and experience. Today some young moms think they know everything and it’s me me ME FIRST. I have mothered longer than this young woman has been alive. Yet she spits this at me as though I know nothing. Why?
I’m not letting this get to me because it is so ridiculous. I don’t benefit or lose if she follows or doesn’t follow my advice. She is only hurting HERSELF and her CHILDREN. (aside from Dr. Laura: Society loses.) So sad.
Please keep telling the truth about how important moms are in their children’s lives. Hearing you on the radio keeps me strong. I won’t stop standing up for children or be bullied into silence. Mothers’ presence matters!!