Monday, January 16, 2006

"Happy Housewives" and the Cult of Domesticity in the 21st Century

I'm the target demographic for Darla Shine's recent self-help book titled Happy Housewives. I'm the right age, I gave up a career and professional training to stay home with two young kids, and I do the majority of the housework in our now seemingly June Cleaveresque household. I don't think or feel like June Cleaver, though. As I read Shine's book, I did wonder if some of my distaste for the book might stem from the fact that I am not as wealthy nor as conservative as the stay-at-home moms she depicts. I think that it could have been more accurately titled Happy Rich Republican Housewives.

There were some good things about this book. It is an honest and heartfelt account of one woman's life and how she took control of the aspects of it that were making her "a whining, miserable, desperate housewife." It is simply written and a quick (sometimes humorous) read, and includes some good recipes and gardening advice. If the comments on amazon.com and a couple of SAH-mom blogs (see MotherSong and The Politically Incorrect Mom) are any indication, it has proven inspirational to many women.

However. There was a lot that really disturbed me in this happy, "I'm just talking to my girls" motivational book. First and foremost, as Jen has elaborated on in her LiteraryMama blog essays on My Happy Inner Housewife and My Inner Housewife: Shine Responds, there is the assertion that staying at home with your kids is always superior to working outside the home. There are no qualifications to this statement. (How about working while your kids are in school? How about part-time work? How about a stay-at-home dad?):

“Many of us are torn between our careers and our families. We work very hard, only to have to give it all up. What choice do you have? This is really what you were meant to do. If you made the choice to get pregnant, you should make the choice to stay home with that baby if you can afford to, and I think most of you could afford to.” (p. 19 in Happy Housewives, henceforth HH, emphasis mine).

I also found the advice on being a housewife (aka SAH-mom) unsettling. Darla states that she is unequivocally against the whole "Desperate Housewives" idea of competitive mothering, but she sends very mixed messages with her advice:

“I think one of the biggest reasons housewives have a bad image is that a lot of moms have let themselves go. Admit it, girls. Most housewives are in desperate need of a makeover – out-of-date hairstyles, jeans that should have been thrown out years ago, and worst of all, what I really cannot handle, no makeup!”, p. 32, HH.

Yes, I'm sitting here wearing jeans with holes, an old flannel shirt, and no make-up. This is what I wore to work as a professional archaeologist, however, and my husband still wants to have sex with me and I haven't been rejected by the other moms on the playground or my local Mothers & More group.

“We look cute, we’re thin, we’re in style, and we’re hot mamas! At least we think so. We’re constantly on top of each other, policing each other to make sure we don’t fall off the wagon. We force each other to look good……If you need help, look at what the women are wearing in the magazines. Real women in magazines like More, Redbook, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day, and InStyle.”, p. 33, HH.

Thankfully, I can't imagine any of my friends policing what I wear. And I was under the impression that the women shown in most magazines were media creations, not candid snapshots of real women. Even the women in that Dove Campaign for Real Beauty are not really real, if you know what I mean.

“The whole mommy clique thing is stronger than ever in the suburbs. I have been really studying this phenomenon, and it’s a clear fashion thing. I notice that the cute, stylish moms hang out with other cute, stylish moms, and the frumpy moms hang out with the other frumpy moms. I told this to my girlfriend, and she told me months later that that statement alone got her off her bottom and to the gym. Now she has a slew of new girlfriends, and she’s in the A-list mommy clique – which is stupid, I know, but it’s just the way it is. So look good, don’t be a bitch, and maybe you could be the new popular mom in town.”, p. 164, HH.

This makes Darla's rhetorical question on pg. 31 of HH “Am I shallow? Yes, a bit.” more than a little funny.

“I’ve often noticed in grocery stores that it’s the heavy women who are buying a whole lot of junk. The other day when I was grocery shopping I noticed the woman in line in front of me loading a ton of processed snacks onto the checkout counter….She was about eighty pounds overweight, and I wanted to shake her. Her son came up behind me to stand near his mother; he was about twelve years old and at least twenty pounds overweight. I was so angry that I wanted to smash my cart into her big fat ass.” p. 39, HH.

Didn't this bother anyone but me? Wasn't there an editor somewhere that said, "Honey, this makes your statements about not being a bitch and not being in a mommy clique look just bizarre, even if you follow it up with a section about being healthy and exercising and eating organic foods? And what's with that sentence on ridding yourself of toxins and parasites by simply changing your diet?" What parasites? If I get tapeworm or Shigella or any other parasites, you can bet I'll do more than change my diet.

The parts in this book that refer to men are the parts that really distressed me, though, and these are the sections that made me think of that Victorian "separate spheres" ideology, and how similar Happy Housewives is to the "Cult of Domesticity" of the 19th and early 20th centuries (I'll save further comparisons for another blog post, since this may already be straining your attention span). These are the parts that I couldn't wait to read aloud to my husband:

“The secret is that men are simple. They want only three things in life: attention, appreciation and sex. If they cannot get these three things from you, they will either look someplace else or become miserable bastards who annoy you every day of your life.” p. 55, HH.

“Ladies, you may think no one out there would want your overweight, sloppy husband who leaves his underwear on the floor and pees all over the toilet bowl, but I promise you there’s another woman willing to jump into your side of the bed.” p. 54, HH.

“Last year one of my best friends wanted a new dining room set, but her husband was not opening his wallet. I told her to go home, pay some attention to him, act interested in him, initiate some romance, do some nasty deeds that only married couples should do, and guess what? Two weeks later she had the furniture – and a new diamond ring to boot.” p. 57, HH.

“And ladies, I advise you to leave the baby with your girlfriend or your mother instead of your husband [snipped out story about her getting highlights and getting called by her dh five times]…You get the idea, girls? I would have had a very peaceful afternoon if my mother or Dana had taken care of the kids. They would have improvised. Men are just not capable of that. Sorry, guys.” p. 174, HH.

“Why do so many women insist on doing everything with their husbands? I say have sex together, and that is pretty much all you need to do. Really, sometimes communicating with your husband is overrated. I have my girlfriends for that!” p. 65, HH.

Now, you may argue that these quotes are taken out of context. But I didn't see anything in the context that negated the meaning of these statements, which I think speak for themselves. They reveal an understanding of gender relations that is very different from the one I hold, to put it mildly.

Although Darla is very big on female solidarity (and talks often about the support of her girlfriends), she feels that feminism has ignored (if not actively disrespected) mothers. I certainly agree with her that mothers deserve more respect and social recognition, especially for caregiving roles, but I personally didn't find the resources or inspiration for changing this attitude in Happy Housewives. Reading it made me feel desperate about communicating with other mothers, though. Instead of following Darla's ten easy steps "to stop being desperate - and start getting happy", I'd advocate that other mothers check out the following resources that don't combine motherhood with a new kind of "True Womanhood":

37 comments:

Anne Zelenka said...

Blech. I'm glad you read it so I don't have to. I especially hate the idea of putting on some makeup and dressing myself out of InStyle so I can become the most popular mom in town. Sometimes I like to make myself look pretty but it's not because I'm worried about which clique of moms I hang out with!

Sandy said...

Yes, well I read Marabel Morgan's "The Total Woman" last weekend - a comment someone left on a blog inspired me to compare it to HH (but now I can't find the comment....aghh). Anyway, take the scripture and the injunction to "submit" to your dh out of Morgan's 1974 self-help guide, and the similarities are really striking. Though Morgan advocates communication, and Shine doesn't. On the other hand, Morgan recommends spanking, and I don't think Shine would agree.

Naomi said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyy. Police each other's outfits? Please tell me this woman lives somewhere I would never, ever want to live, like one of the soulless suburbs that's basically a net of cul-de-sacs plopped down into a former cornfield.

I've never read "The Total Woman" but for sheer unadulterated "this would be funny if it weren't so scary" trainwreck reading, you must check out Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin. The Happy Housewife would probably hit it off with Helen quite well.

Anjali said...

Oh, God, Sandy, the book sounds PAINFUL. I had to retch in the wastebasket next to me just reading the passages you quoted. It's a good thing I didn't read the book itself. The book reminds me very much of the new magazine Total 180, which made me similarly nauseas..

wendy said...

I think it's too bad that everyone is so one-sided about HH. It seemed really clear to me that Ms. Shine was walking a dark path and found her way clear to a happy life and wants to share...is that so bad?
I personally have struggled with the balance of working from home while I stay at home with my son after a 55-hour a week job in my 'former life.' Turned to this book for inspiration of sorts and found it in a cheeky, happy tome that brings a reality check with a smile.
Funny how most of y'all commented without having read the book???

Anne-Louise said...

I really encourage each of you to actually READ this book for yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed it and drew great inspiration from it. I am a former career focused woman who found it difficult adjusting to the role of stay at home mom - this book was the kick in the butt I needed to start feeling better about my choice and about myself. What's wrong with keeping your hair and your image instyle? - do it for YOURSELF first and foremost - any improvements in relationships with others (husbands, girlfriends, or other moms) is a bonus in my view. I realised that in the middle of feeling sorry for myself about not having the identity that my career gave me, I was doing a disservice to myself, to my child and to my husband - my identity as housewife and mother is WAY more important to me than any Marketing Management career I had, and while my goal will be to enter the workforce again in some capacity in the future - right now what could be more important than looking after my family and my home? I also realised that after working hard, last thing my husband wanted was an unhappy wife. I took some steps outlined in the book and in the time since reading the book I am happier, my husband is happier.

I should also add that we are not 'Rich' in monetary terms, (but are in so many other ways!) and we are most DEFINITELY not Republican - so that blows the original poster's suggestion clear out of the water.

It is sad that society has conditioned all of us to think that there is something second rate about being a stay at home mom or a housewife. It is also very sad that anyone who makes the points that Darla Shine does is subject to such searing criticism. Again, I urge you to read this book and draw your own conclusions and perhaps like me you will view it as a tool that helped you wake up to yourself, feel good about yourself and start making a happier and healthier life for you and your family.

Lisa said...

All I can say is "loosen up!". Some of you girls are way too uptight. I loved this book. I did not take it so personally or read so much darkness into it. I have a fat ass, but I still laughed at the book. I love Seinfeld too. Lots of sarcastic wit. I don't agree with absolutely every word, but, sorry--it was funny! I don't dress cute, but flannel shirt and holey jeans and your proud of that? Fine for work, but not outside of that. I don't care how much your husband wants to still have sex with you. And speaking of sex, sorry, but Darla is pretty much right. I gave up my fantasy about men a long time ago. I'm not a fairy princess and my husband a prince. By the way, I am happily married for 15 years to a great guy. I have been a stay at home mom for almost 13 years. I have done it when we were practically broke and now when my husband makes a salary that most would consider "rich". Rich, republican housewives indeed! I spy lots of jealousy, pettiness and a complete lack of a sense of humor. Darla's right. Feminism has gone too far. What a deal. Now women get to work and raise children and take care of the home (if they do that is). What a bargain. By the way, I'm not a nit wit. I have a college education and am pretty down to earth. I agree that we all don't like to dress like Darla does, but the bottom line was to care about your appearance. And don't tell me appearance doesn't count. If that were so, we could all walk into a job interview in our baggy sweats and still get the job. Everyone feels better when they are not dressed like a slob. I don't think I'm great and beyond criticism. I thank Darla for giving me a little kick in my fat ass. She gave me some ideas for how I can be an even better home maker, wife and mother--and she made me laugh, most importantly. It felt great.

Samantha said...

Wow -
So much for "thinking for yourselves". Whatever happened to coming up with your own, original thoughts, ladies? Having said that, I choose not to comment about those that refer to being glad Sandy read it, not them...

For those others, I must say it is a shame that you fail to recognize humor when it comes at you... Darla's book was definitely written with tongue-in-cheek humor, and you missed it! And, as far as being a "Rich Republican Housewife" - what does that mean? I didn't even get any idea what type of political side she is on, and really, who cares? This is a mom who feels like there are others who could somehow benefit from knowing what she went through and what she did to change... What does politics have to do with that? And, why wouldn't being at home with your kids be better for them, anyway? It is better to be at home raising those children that you brought into this world instead of some babysitter. However, if you can't do it financially, thats ok. Oh, and I imagine Darla IS working while her kids are in school and part time - how else do you think she wrote a book and does a radio show?

MommyWithAttitude said...

I don't think the book was without its problems and I don't agree with everything in it (particularly the "feminists sold us a bill of goods" sentiment), but I think a lot of the criticism I hear about it is a little overwrought. Gees.

I did find it inspiring and funny and for all of her ranting about feminism, Darla Shine promotes reaching out to one another in true sisterhood. If that's not feminism I don't know what is.

When I used to have a real job I remember a study that came out saying that people who were dressed professionally had a more professional demeanor ON THE TELEPHONE (when their clothes couldn't even be seen by the client). Do you honestly want to say to women who are home stuck in a rut that it doesn't really matter if they get up in the morning and get cleaned up and dressed versus if they're still in their pajamas at dinnertime?

As someone who suffered from a pretty bad case of post-partum depression after my first baby (read: wore what I slept in and didn't shower sometimes for days on end) I'm here to tell you, it makes a HUGE difference in how a person feels.

Does that mean I'm a fashion plate every day? NO I'm not. But some women enjoy fashion, Darla Shine seems to be one of them. My mother and my closest friends do too, I just don't that much. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea for me to put on a clean shirt in the morning.

I think people want to be offended and read things that aren't really there. Darla Shine wants to help women who are full time homemakers feel validated and supported and I say good for her.

Naomi said...

I am a stay-at-home mother and housewife.

I am still utterly repulsed by the idea of my friends harrassing me about what I choose to wear. If that's your idea of "true sisterhood," I think I'll pass.

And, here's a reality check for you: if you have to arrange for a sitter when you get haircuts because your own husband can't care for his own kids for an hour on a day when he's not working, you reproduced with a jerk. All the happy talk in the world can't change that.

(I might read the book if I spot it at the library, but I'm sure as heck not spending any money on it.)

Janice said...

Please. Let's take a breath here. Jumping to conclusions without educating yourself on the book! I fear you are missing out on a lot by reading quotes taken out of context.

This book has done a very valuable thing by getting women talking about important issues - what could be more important than bolstering the spirits of moms?

Life is an ongoing conversation with those around us. We need to take what we can as positives and move on. For example, I may not agree with Sandi's comments but I do appreciate that she took the time to list additional websites to educate ourselves on all sides of these issues.

When Darla talks in the book about giving her friends feedback on how they look I didn't read it that they needed to have the latest fashions - it was more that looking after yourself and your appearance is an indication of healthy self esteem. Not that you can't have a healthy self esteem in flannel, etc but for many of us the better we feel the more likely we are to pay attention to our appearance. I think it's just life. I have to say that I'm always on the lookout for signs that my girlfriends might be getting bogged down by it all or getting blue or exhausted or whatever. I know they do the same for me. I've never ragged on their clothes but I sure have asked them if they were okay.

And in terms of the comments about the husband being a jerk. Well, I think if you really thought about it you might not be so quick to judge. My husband and I talk about the confidence it takes to care for children. He likes to stay involved as much as he can so he doesn't lose that confidence because we hold a lot of information about our kids' quirks and minutia that they may not know. Give the guy a break.

Darla has done a great thing with this book. Her message is be proud. Nurture your marriage. Care for yourself. Her parting thoughts as she wraps up the book are "Smell your babies. Go play with your son. Make a cake with your daughter. ...I'm lucky enough to know how lucky I am".

Kudos to her for getting this important conversation started.

Anonymous said...

This book should be retitled "The 21st Century Guide to Being a Stepford Wife; or, How You Too Can Cajole the Mastercard From Your Husband in Five Easy Blowjobs."

Naomi said...

And in terms of the comments about the husband being a jerk. Well, I think if you really thought about it you might not be so quick to judge. My husband and I talk about the confidence it takes to care for children. He likes to stay involved as much as he can so he doesn't lose that confidence because we hold a lot of information about our kids' quirks and minutia that they may not know. Give the guy a break.

And ladies, I advise you to leave the baby with your girlfriend or your mother instead of your husband [snipped out story about her getting highlights and getting called by her dh five times]…You get the idea, girls? I would have had a very peaceful afternoon if my mother or Dana had taken care of the kids. They would have improvised. Men are just not capable of that. Sorry, guys.

Not knowing every bit of the minutae is one thing. But if the husband Darla describes is your husband? If you arrange a sitter because he can't handle lunch, diaper changes, and a few hours of entertainment? If you laugh knowingly and say, "Oh yeah, TOTALLY," and believe that this is just The Way Men Are? You've been sold a bill of goods. Sorry, girls.

And is the Important Conversation the idea that being a stay-at-home mother is a worthwhile and valuable job? Because you're giving Darla waaaaaaaay too much credit if you think this topic originated with her.

MommyWithAttitude said...

Naomi, I read the book and I think you might be missing some things. For one thing, Darla Shine's husband is rarely home during the week (he works until well after the kids are in bed most evenings). I don't think it's bizarre or that he's a jerk if after spending that little amount of time with an infant, he might be at a loss when left alone with him (or her). He might be a jerk, for all I would know, but this one anecdote doesn't prove that.

My husband spends all kinds of time with our kids -- he's a good dad and does housework and everything, but you know what? He HATED being left alone with our kids before they were at least a year or so old.

While I didn't relate entirely to her anecdote (because I'm not living her life with her husband), I just don't see why it's so offensive.

Naomi said...

Because she's not saying, "My husband works really long hours, and therefore doesn't spend much time with the kids." She's saying, "Ladies, I advise you to leave the baby with your girlfriend or your mother instead of your husband. ... Men are just not capable of [improvising]. Sorry, guys." She's presenting this problem as a universal: basic parenting competence should not be expected of men, as a category.

Naomi said...

And why is Darla sending her fans to this blog to insist that she's not saying, in her book, what she says in her book?

Also, I want to clarify one thing. As a stay-at-home mother and housewife who is married to a man who loves his children and wants to spend time with them, I feel really sorry for women who ended up married to men who can't take care of their own kids for an hour or two. Not jealous. Nothing in this world could convince me to trade places with any of you. But if it makes you feel better to say that my criticism of Darla's book must be jealousy, well, go right on ahead thinking that. Whatever gets you through your day.

Janice said...

Sure, I'm a fan. Because the book made an impact on me. I sure didn't feel like anyone else was reaching out with that message but she was at the time I happened to walk by the book in a bookstore. So, for me, she started "my" conversation. And, her book started this one. FYI, I have been watching a few blogs after Googling her name.

I do have a very involved husband who looks after the kids when I go away for the weekend to visit girlfriends. That's my situation. It's obviously not hers and that's her life. I guess I just don't get why the harshness in some of the replies. Saying you wouldn't trade places with any of "us" is so harsh. You don't know anything about me. This is not a university textbook and I would guess she didn't mean it to be --- this book is written from one person's perspective and, to me, overall it is trying to make a positive change. I walk away with something positive and on I go. Have a great day.

Samantha said...

Naomi,

There is a lot of anger in your post and I just have to wonder why? Ok, so your not jealous. Darla's premise of the book is to embrace your role as a wife and mother. Stay at home with your kids if you can. Just because you are a SAHM doesn't mean everything is down hill - you need to be proud of it as a profession and not let what others say make you feel bad...

I am one of Darla's fans, and of course I am going to rise up and defend the message that she is trying to get out. I think that if someone takes what she has said in the wrong context, of course I need to step up and try to clarify - because I believe in what she is trying to do, which is empower the SAHM's to be the best. It isn't a political issue, we love our children, and our husbands... she just has identified some of the challenges we face and how she chose to work with those challenges instead of against them.

So, cool down, read the book for yourself with an open mind and see if you can't glean some useful information from it...

Anonymous said...

Hello out there...though I have never been a part of any 'blog' I couldn't help but respond to the "haters" out there who have and have not read Happy Housewives. You're talking to a well-paid career woman, turned full time mom and homemaker --and I'm not ashamed to add homemaker to the list--I find so many of you just want to say you're 'stay at home moms' and leave off the home maker part for fear of the exact same kind of riducule you're giving to Darla Shine in her new book.
Can you all just lighten up a little bit and stop taking this stuff so seriously. If you could remove some of the societal prejudices you've obviously subscribed to, you might open your minds to the fact that the "feminist movement", while giving birth to incredible equality rights for women, also bore a skyrocketing divorce rate. And, need I mention the fact that violence in schools has become unbelievably more prevalent, the pregnancy and suicide rate among teens has more than doubled, and the rate of missing and exploited children is astounding. Maybe if we focused a little more on the future citizens of our world (our babies) as well as the men we love we'd find what a difference we really could make. Is it so bad to feel happy about showing love for your family by taking care of them? And, how nice for so many of us who feel so much guilt if we take any time for ourselves, to get a little friendly "permission" from a fellow mommy/homemaker to do so! And as far as the "what about part-time work?" and other comments...what do you think Shine is doing? You don't consider writing a book part-time work? Lets give our fellow mothers, women, sisters a little more credit okay? --Laura B.

Naomi said...

Shorter anonymous:

"Why don't you think it's funny when I blame every societal ill -- real or imaginery -- on feminism? Something is clearly wrong with you!"

The Happy Feminist said...

Oy vey. I like the part when she advises her friend to use sex in order to manipulate her husband into buying her things. And she claims that it's FEMINISTS who don't respect homemakers?

Lisa said...

I don't give my husband blow jobs (just a personal preference), but if some sex gets him to be more open to things I want to buy, what the hey. I'll buy what I want anyway, if I need it, but it is so sweet when he just wants to buy it for me. Like it or not, men do feel very close to you and want to do things for you (help with the housework, fill your gas tank) and buy you things (flowers, a nice card, etc.) when they feel close to you. This isn't a new idea. I've read it in other books. It doesn't make sense (because men have sex with women they hardly know), but men equate closeness and intimacy with sex. It sucks (no pun intended), but it is reality. How many men cheat on their wives in a sexless realtionship? Not too many. I'm all girl--- don't have an ounce of testosterone in me. I have a college degree, did not marry until I was thirty and know perfectly well that I can take care of myself if I need to, but I still like my guy to pamper and spoil me a bit. So sue me! I pamper and spoil him too--that's where all of Darla's stuff come into play. It works for me. My husband claims he's crazy about me and even with my fat ass. Sorry, all this feminism vs old fashioned girl bickering is starting to strike me as quite funny. I'm getting giddy. I just can't get all riled up over it. I still have all my rights and I appreciate the girls that came before me and fought for them. This crap is samll potatoes. Thanks for the fun.

attnymom said...

I am grateful for "Happy Housewives." I was an attorney earning six figures when I decided to stay home with my baby. I was feeling resentful, unappreciated, and, well, desparate until I read this book. It made me realize that what I was doing was respectful and important. It helped me change my whole attitude towards my husband from resentful to grateful.

I think that a lot of moms feel guilty about working and don't want to admit that they should be at home with their kids. Since this book gets right to the heart of a very sensitive issue, there is no wonder so many people are angry about it. But if it weren't true, it wouldn't stike such nerves.

I wish there were more support for SHA moms like this.

Heels said...

The blog entry is grand.

The comments are grand, too.

I love the cadre of benevolent yes-girls chiming in here.

Sandy, thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading "Happy Housewives". No I'm not rich or Republican. There are a lot of good points made in the book and in the couple of weeks since reading it and applying it to my life, I've noticed a big change and so has my husband. My daughter is even happier. Embracing motherhood and being a FT homemaker has really turned my life around for the better. I work in the entertainment industry and there is no such thing as an 8 hour day. I started feeling guilty when my daughter turned one even though I worked out of my home...you can only hit Baby Einstein "Repeat Play" so many times. After the last project wrapped, I started panicking because I didn't want to face being a "housewife" FT. I started feeling desperate. Darla's book came to me at the right time. I had some good laughs reading the book and do feel a lot better about life.

Lisa V said...

Just came here via 11D. I am so glad you read that book so I don't have to, yet I can still ridicule it. Now my big fat ass in yoga pants, no make up and an old t-shirt will know to watch for the skinny well dressed broad that wants to clip me in the store with her shopping cart.

CuShMaN said...

From what I gather, the type of language used in this book seems similiar to [URL=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671524313/103-1506484-0699843?v=glance&n=283155]The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy[/URL]

Janet said...

I think its very interesting that she has no problem disregarding and attacking feminism yet profitted from it through a successful career before being a mom and now after...it wasn't too long ago that not very many women had successful careers...period! And why is it that people think you can't be a feminist AND pro-mother, to me they can't be separtated. Also I saw her on FOX news and wanted to throw the romote at the TV! She contrived the idea that many mothers NEED to work. She laughed saying something like how it might be about not driving the new SUV, making sacrifices in order to stay home. What if its about paying the electric bill or buying food. I just feel like she almost completely side steps this issue (poor mothers) because it is so far from her reality. Her husband is an exec. with FOX NEWS.
She wants to expound on the importance of being a stay-at-home Mom and holds herself up to that ideal, I guess when she isn't writing her book or promoting it, or doing her talk show or managing and responding to her website. What bothers me the most about the book, is that is promotes divisivness between women, always drawing that line between the women that work and the ones that don't...give me a break. Why don't we support each other regardless. I'm glad for anyone that is book might have "helped" but for me it was a reminder that my college learned feminism needs some real life expression..UGH!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to say that if you girls are soooo opininated and all then why are you putting your two cents in over something that you hav'nt even bothered to read? Also, nowhere in the book did I see where Darla has expressed that she was Republican?? I do hope that you have a good friend that will tell you to snap out of it when you have looked like total crap for days on end. And, since when is it a crime to have sex with your husband and look pretty? I feel sorry for your husbands, but that's why they are all probably having affairs on you. Why did you even have kids if you don't want any part in raising them?? You guys are too sad. I really do feel sorry for you and I will put you on prayer list at church.

Anonymous said...

The last comment was no doubtedly Darla herself... read any of her posts in her forum and you'll recognize the style. Take it from someone who knows her personally, this woman is a piece of work. Most of her friends can't stand her which is why she is throwing herself into this "cause." She is one crazy lady and I feel sorry that people are being sucked in by this superficial callous woman.

milo&shiloh'smum said...

Darla IS a piece of work. I couldn't help feeling as I read through the ENTIRE book (what a waste of time) that she's quite an angry, self deceiving woman. Let's pray for HER. [rolls eyes]

R. said...

I LOVED that review. You are dead on.

Anonymous said...

You didn't like it yet you have it linked to Amazon with an affiliate link so you will make money when someone buys it. Sounds as contradictory as Darla Shine! But you are right on about the contradictions, but as far as the 'man parts' (pardon the pun) of the book, I read those bits to my husband and he nodded in agreement! I found parts of the book irritating, but it did help me find more pride in my 'job' as a stay at home mom (I'm a part time WAHM also with my own business) and I have tried harder lately to make our home more enjoyable and do small little things to show every family member they are special. Even if someone thinks that 99% of the book is evil, if you get even 1% that you find useful and you can put that to work, do so. It's at the library too, so you don't have to buy it to get the 1% of info you can use.

Mrs Homemaker said...

I have so MANY issues with this book. I've detailed them out in my own blog, located at http://mrshomemaker.blogspot.com

This woman is an anorexic - she claims to be 118 lbs and that - according to her - is 15 lbs OVER-WEIGHT. If being over 100 lbs is "overweight" to this woman, she has major issues.

And communicating with your husband is over-rated? Jealous much, Darla, that other women's husbands come home at godly hours?

BLEH!

Markus said...

Good Job!: )

shy said...

i've read enough of the book to return it to the library and save myself from wasting anymore time.

to darla and her followers who are now posting here. the thing i don't like about the book isn't about some of darla's intentions. it's about how she goes about doing it.

with her 'club' (aka online forum which i use to be a part of), they feed into the mommy-war but judging mothers who want to work, making unfair, generalized statements without actually taking into consideration that parenting is something that involves not-so black and white answers. and that different solutions work for different people.

nope - these women claim that if you don't do it their way, it's the wrong way. and that you're not doing your job as a woman/mother.

it's not about feminism. it's about people who are narrow minded and stubborn as well as too insecure to be able to admit that their way is NOT always the right way.

also, the way the book reads is more for women who need to be told waht to do.

most strong women i know don't work this way - they like to read suggestions/guidelines that will help them educate themselves before making the right decision.

so for those strong women out there - this book may be too condescending for you.

but if you want a light entertaining read for a good laugh, go to the library and save yourself the money.

if darla really wants to put herself out there with her beliefs, she needs to be able to act like a professional if she wants to swim the the professionals.

darla - learn to take some critisizm. if you can't take it then you shouldn't have opened your mouth at all.

Anonymous said...

As someone who was on her forum for years and one of many just recently banned for reasons that no one can understand or comprehend I can say that what goes on behind the scenes with Darla and her head forum moderator is quite underhanded.

They read the ladies private messages, they ban people just for debating or questioning Darla or her cohort. To top it off they now have a new agenda, and if you do not follow along with the program you're booted right out on your behind.