2009 Shows

Should mothers stay at home with their young children, or should they pursue a career? Don’t miss an intense debate from both sides of this issue! Meet a guest who criticizes other mothers for entering the workplace, and a mom of three who says she can’t wait to go back to work. Plus, mommy blogger Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com fame, “tweets” her thoughts during the show. Where does she stand on the issue? Then, the discussion heats up when the executive producer, an attorney and a producer of the Dr. Phil show join Dr. Phil onstage to share their thoughts on working mothers. And, Trena, a first-time mom, says she struggles with the difficult decision of putting her son in daycare.

Read Dr. Phil’s blog on stay-at-home moms vs. working moms, and vote for what you believe!

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: redaisy14 on Feb 25, 2010, 5:18PM
I am a working Mum with children (4, 6, 8 and 13).  I was watching this show today and I couldn't believe that anyone would have such an attitude towards others.  "My way is the only way".  Mum's don't always get to choose.  If a Mum is lucky enough to choose then you can be pretty sure that she has weighed up all the possible risks and benefits of her choice.

My youngest child is 4 years old.  He has been in a daycare centre since he was three months old.  He is a loving, well-adjusted, social, beautiful boy.  Out of all of our children, he started daycare the youngest, yet he is the one that is closest with me.  We have a loving home, we express our feelings, we hug, we say I love you all the time.  Our children have not suffered from being in daycare.  In fact, we value our family time so much more because of it.

A lot of stay at home Mums say that they get "She's just a Mum".  There are just as many people who put down those of us that work (for whatever reason).  We live in a reasonably affluent area.  There are a lot of stay at home Mums here.  I find that those Mum's form groups and actively look down and exclude the working Mums.

What I don't understand about this, is that the choices we make are hard, whether we work outside the home or not.  Raising children is hard, whether we work outside the home or not.  Why can't we all give each other a break and instead of judging and putting down other Mum's, give each other support.  Let's all get a better more positive attitude and set a good example to our children.  We need to show them not only how our life and choices work for us, but how to be accepting and loving towards others and the choices they have made.

I want my kids to see that we have a happy loving home with two parents that work outside the home, I hope that they have friends who have a stay at home parent with a happy loving home.  I hope that they have the freedom to make their own choice when they are parents and that they are not judged for their choice.
Replied By: mmasda on Dec 17, 2009, 9:52PM
Dear Dr. Phill,
Why don't stay at home mom's get respect just the same as a working mom? My husband tells his coworkers that I don't work, but I feel I do. I work harder than he does taking care of our newborn who is 2 months old. The cost of day care is enormous and a newborn needs to bond with his mother. I feel fortunate to be able to do so, but I also don't see why I am not valued the same as a working mom. I cook, clean, and make sure everything is done around our house. I think about going back to work part-time, but I also don't want to miss out on raising my child. On top of everything I serve in the guard on the weekends, so thats two-days out of the month that I do work. I plan to pursue my career again down the road, but for now I enjoy being a mom.


Replied By: momtara on Oct 24, 2009, 9:41AM
I finally watched the "Mom" episode of Dr. Phil and was unbelieveably mortified. I couldn't believe how judgmental Jessica was (I think that was her name). You know, I am a working mom--I think I do a good job of taking care of things. My husband lost his job and is back in school --so my family depends on my salary! His current two part-time jobs would not take care of bills AND we have an average sized home and reasonable cars. Please don't try and tell me that I am selfish for working. I love my job and I am good at it. I am a teacher, so during the day I am taking care of YOUR children. Being a mom made me a better teacher because I have a better understanding of child development and homework struggles. As for the chaos in my house, it probably is less the fact that I am a working mother --but more the fact that I have 3 boys. We do homework together. My husband even joins in with his assignments. We have supper together almost daily. The only nights we don't make it to the dinner table together is nights we have practices. Life isn't bad. I am organized, my kids have what they need and everyone is doing great emotionally! As a side note, I notice that I probably spend as much time with my school age kids (or more) than stay-at-home moms. I see my kids at school and directly after school. Plus my kids are always there on time and ready to go. My sister-in-law is a stay at home mom who gives me grief about my lifestyle. It hurts me. I also think I am a great mom. In her case, I don't agree with her decisions but I don't choose to pound her about it.... BTW, I plan on using that Dr. Phil's comeback with her in the future. "Step off, sister!"
Replied By: preraph on Oct 23, 2009, 3:44PM - In reply to cfrazier
I didn't say she didn't do things with me.  Who she didn't do things with was herself - for herself.  It's not a life living through your kids.  Everyone should strive to have a life apart from that one role.
Replied By: minnie1121 on Oct 22, 2009, 10:03AM - In reply to tartine
You are so wrong on this matter to say that most women who work choose to and it is not because they have to.  Since when are you the be all and know all.  I have been both a single mother and now married with children.  My first child came into this world with me believing that his father loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  Then when he found out I was pregnant, left.  I chose to keep my son.  I raised him alone until he was 9.  Then I met a wonderful man with a 10 year old son.  We know have a 5 year old daughter, and our two sons, 16 and 18.  I did not chose to be a single working mom, but did so because I love my child.  Now I am fortunate enough to have 3 children and still work.  I do not work because I want to, but because we have to have 2 incomes in this family to survive.  Now I am glad for you if you do not have to work outside of the home, but that does not make me any less of a good mom because I have to.   The only difference between you and me is that if I were fortunate to be able to stay at home with my kids, I would not judge mothers that have to work outside of the home.

By the way, my 18 year old is a freshman in college.  My 16 year old is a junior in high school.  Then there is my 5 year old who has a speech impediment and is school with some great teachers to help her.  They are all well liked by both teachers and friends.  They enjoy extra curricular activities, outdoor sports and have lots of friends.  They have good grades and we enjoy our Sundays going to church as a family.  That doesn't seem to scream like they are suffering because their mom works outside of the home to me.  And I don't think anyone that thinks rationally would think so either.
Replied By: minnie1121 on Oct 22, 2009, 9:45AM
This is the first chance I have had to write in about Jessica, the stay at home mom.  I could not believe how judgemental she is.  I would love to stay at home and take care of my family.  Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.  I have to work for a living, but that does not in anyway mean I am less of a mother to my kids than hers.  My kids are all well adjusted and great kids, even though they don't have a stay at home mom.  Who does this women think she is passing judgement on working moms.  I mean, who died and left her in charge.

I have an 18 year old that is a freshman in college.  I have  a 16  year old that is a junior in high school and a 5 year old that is in preschool.  They are great kids and I get this from friends, family, and teachers.  Just because I work for a living does not mean that I don't attend their school functions and am not their for them when they need me.  As a matter of fact, I work nights and my husband works days so that one of us is always there for them. 

Jessica, you are not GOD and maybe once you realize that, maybe you will realize that you were not put on this earth to judge anyone.  And your way is not the only way, much less the best way.
Replied By: jeshudson on Oct 22, 2009, 6:28AM
I am a working mom and just got to watch this episode of Dr. Phil this morning. I happen to be home from work because I am sick so I am able to catch up on my shows. I was frustrated when I watched this episode. I think it is a shame that we, as women, continue to be so judgemental and harsh with each other. I have many friends who are stay at home moms and am so jealous of them. I would love to be a stay at home mom but I work to help support my family. My husband works but his job does not offer the medical benefits a family needs with a child. I am fortunate to have a stable job in this economy, I've been with this job for almost 13 years now. I have been able to provide a good home for our daughter and take care of her medical needs, that means so much to me. We don't live extravagently but we live comfortably. My daughter is now 8 years old and in school full time, she went to day care and pre-school programs. I believe she is a well rounded girl. My husband gets her on the school bus every day and I am home to get her off of the bus, which I am so grateful for. She does not need day care during the school year. I have an excellent employer that allows me to take time off work to attend my daughters school events and actually encourages me to volunteer in her classroom. I am her girl scout leader and sunday school teacher. I believe that even though I do work outside of the home I am a quality parent to my daughter. The one thing I do want to get across to SAHM's is that you do a lot, I get that, but consider this; I have to doall you do on top of my full time job. Yes it is a choice I made, the only choice I could to make my family successful. I am home to clean, make dinner, love my daughter and my husband. My hope is that someday women will begin to be to see each other as friends instead of competition and being so judgemental of each other. I am grateful of my working and stay at home mom friends. We help each other and support each other. We all do what is necessary and appropriate for our families.  
Replied By: tartine on Oct 22, 2009, 6:28AM
I agree with Jessica, taking care of our children must be the most important job we have on earth . Did you notice that the staff were all single parent ? a stay at home mom invest in her children AND her family . Working mom's priority is either to get more stuff or because their job makes them FEEL valued and important ..... we spend time where our priorities are, it is no secret . The working mom who has to work to feed  her children???? they  are the minority . Out of all the women I know, there is only one (a dear friend) who has to work to get food on her table . She was in an abusive relationship and got divorced . ALL the other working moms I know,  work because of the extra money (to get a new car or bigger house) or for  the prestige that goes along by being an employee. My children are grown up now and I enjoy working part time ( mainly for the social ! )  but when they were little , I took care of them and that is the BEST thing and investment I have ever done . It still a choice for each women and we should respect it .
Replied By: librarylady353 on Oct 21, 2009, 6:53PM
My name is Donna and I am a librarian in a HS in Las Vegas. I am 43 years old and childless. This is a choice I made due to my living situation. I am divorced, am an orphan, and have no immediate family. While I know that many single women have children and succeed, I just can't bear the thought of someone who is not my mom raising my child(ren).

That being said, I do not agree with your in-studio guest, Jennifer, who arrogantly lauded her fortuitous circumstances while demeaning and degrading those women who had to, or chose to, be productive, employed members of our society. Though having a child and having daycare raise it is not my personal idea of "good parenting" and wouldn't work for me (because I am so darn picky!), I see nothing wrong with women or families who choose to select appropriate daycare for their own children.

In addition, I think it is backwards logic being used by your guest that surmises that a woman who works during the day when her child is in school is somehow creating an imbalanced child. Rubbish!

I am the product of a working mom, but didn't know it. She was there in the morning and got me off to school and was there in the afternoon when I came home. Apparently, she had several jobs that I wasn't aware of through the years. I didn't know my mom worked until I was in high school! Luckily, my mom had the luxury of being married to a man who made good money which afforded her the opportunity to only have to work part-time. So, her income was not key in determining the living conditions of her kids.

In spite of my mom working during my school-age years, I managed to get 4 college degrees, serve in the military, and stay out of jail. I'd say my mom did a darn good job considering she "worked"!

In closing, the Bible says: "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Jennifer should also take into consideration that "whatever goes around, comes around" and worry about her own backyard instead of her neighbors'.
Replied By: maggievivian on Oct 21, 2009, 2:52PM
Instead of bashing working moms, who help pay your taxes btw, and make this country a better one as we are positive role models for our children, why don't you  stop to think about the poor negative example you are showing your child by saying negative things about other woman who have made different life choices? We working moms have enough challenges-we don't need more thrown in our face, thank you. Put yourselves in our shoes-many of us don't want to work, but have to for financial reasons. Consider yourselves fortunate that you CAN stay at home. But keep your nasty comments to yourselves.
Showing 1-10 of total 339 Comments