Just Ask A Woman ... And She'll Tell You!

Mary Lou stirred up some deep feelings when she discussed the pros and cons of motherhood -- especially the idea that not every moment is sunshine and rainbows.
Mary Lou,
I am fascinated with the "Just Ask A Woman" series that aired this week. Great job! I am a 42-year-old mother of two girls, ages 4 and 8. I worked as a health teacher for 17 years, but recently made the decision to stay at home until my younger daughter goes to kindergarten. I can't tell you what a difference this decision has made on my personal life, as well as my family. For years, I struggled with "keeping my head above water" while trying to juggle work, family, household etc. My working friends, feel the same way. We have weekly discussions about how to get through the day without "losing it". Furthermore, we are so busy taking care of everyone else, our health seems to suffer. We eat on the run, don't have/take time to exercise, and are stressed all the time. Thanks for thinking of us! Cynthia

So many moms put themselves last in line. It's a natural part of mothering to give your all to your family but I know you recognize that if you're not healthy, you can't even keep up with your mothering...So glad that you have your group of mom friends for support. They can also be your allies in making a plan for group walks or good eating...even if you just have an hour a week to start. Enjoy this precious time with your daughter...my best, Mary Lou

Dear Mary Lou,
I'm 47 yrs old with two young children. I took a break from teaching
in lieu of motherhood. Now, I'm easing my way back into the
workplace and find many young women in the process. Years ago,
before children, I worked for the telephone company; I worked nine
years without taking a sick day! So, I know what it's like to put
one's career before everything else. Now, I sometimes need a sick
day to take care of my kindergartener's ear infection. I'm in that
precarious position between caring for young children and
octogenarian parents. Working for a younger woman is fine if she is
like me, namely, no nanny, no housekeeper or support system. I can't
leave my sick children home from school and still come to work.

Dear TBE,
At your age, do you know you are exactly at the center of what millions of American women are experiencing? Our parents, thanks to better health and medical care are living longer ... and we are having kids later ... adding up to a 47 year old who's a parent up and down. Really tough. And the workplace needs to get with it and create more flexibilitly for moms like you. While an understanding boss is a boon, the real company culture and policies start at the top. I will keep making your voices heard. Meanwhile, I know you are doing an amazing job as a 'double mom.' You must be a great daughter yourself! Mary Lou

Good morning!
Just got finished watching your segment on motherhood. You have correctly portrayed the some of the the stress that comes along with motherhood except one huge fact. ALL PEOPLE WHO UNDERTAKE THE ROLL OF MOTHERHOOD ARE NOT WOMEN!!

I'm sure you can figure by now I am a Man that has finally gotten tired of the media and commercials portraying such a biased view of who really does what. Though I recognize I am in the minority of men who undertake this roll, we are a growing number and quite frankly find it disrespectful and insulting to have it portrayed in such a discriminatory manner. As my wife and four children always joke, I should be the one who gets recognized on mothers day! I do the laundry, make the kids breakfast, prepare their lunches, take them to doctors appointments,let the dog out, run snack bars at swim meets etc. along with accomplishing my obligations of being a father. All I'm asking is that you recognize all of us that fill this role because of what they do--NOT THEIR GENDER!!
Thank you,

Fair enough! Sounds like you are the kind of Dad most mothers would kill to have for a husband. It's true that lately there are more dads being terrific parents, though as you say, they are a bit of a minority. Many women still tell me that "Dad is the play guy" but she is the one who takes kids to the doctors, worries about their friends, runs the schedules. The series is called "Just Ask a Woman," so our focus was on women and with a bit more time, we could have done a better job by Dads. So, hats off to you, point well taken. Mary Lou

Hi, Mary Lou,
I'm so happy to see that you have continued on with "Just Ask A Woman". So much has changed for me in the past nine years. I am a wife and a mother of two. My older child is four years old and has Autsim. When I saw your segment this morning on motherhood it was so helpful to see that all women struggle. Not just me. Sometimes it's easy to feel alone and it's difficult to admit that you're not super mom. Fitting everything into one day and still making sure everything is waxed, plucked and tucked is a tall order. When people say to me "How do you do it"? I always smile and say how much I love being a mother. While this is true, sometimes I'm falling apart and wish that I could be the one going to work each day. Forty-five minutes of alone time on the train sounds like bliss to me.

Thank you again for your efforts. You're giving an important voice to the average American woman.


Victoria, There's no such thing as the average American women ... they're all extraordinary, like you! And powerful. Figuring out when or if career fits into mothering is one of the toughest decisions moms wrestle with. You will know when it's time. Till then, congrats on doing the most important job on earth! Mary Lou