"I am a stay-at-home mom. I can't be judged as a working mom, but I am dying to go back into the workforce," says Melina who has three children under age 2, including a set of twins. "They cry from morning until night. Mentally, I'm just not there."
"We've all had moments of feeling that way, but I don't know that catering to your feelings is the most important thing you do as an adult," Jessica says.
"I think it's important for your kids to have a happy, healthy mother. I did put my kids in preschool, and they are doing phenomenally better than they did at home," Melina says. "They started talking more. They're potting training."
Dr. Phil turns to Sherri, who says she's a better mother because she works outside the home. "Working gives me more confidence, and I'm able to face the world," she says. "It's not just loving your children and nurturing them. You also have to prep them, coach them and guide them."
Jessica takes Sherri to task. "What about the first five years? What about the nurturing? What about the attachment?" [AD]
"It's like you're setting this up as an all-or-none situation: You either love, and hug and bond with your kids, or you work," Dr. Phil tells Jessica. "Can't you do both?"
"I'm sure that somebody can. I personally can't," she replies.
"The research doesn't support what you're saying," Dr. Phil points out. "Children with 100 percent mom involvement don't do better in school. They don't do better in life than kids with working moms. In fact, kids in daycare have better developed cognitive skills, they have better developed language skills, they do better on school-readiness tests than kids who are 100 percent mom, if the daycare if high quality." [AD]
Dr. Phil also notes that kids raised in households by stay-at-home moms have stronger family ties.
"Some of the comments seem a little bit polarizing and maybe with a tinge of ignorance in them regarding working moms. I think it's very important to raise confident and competent women," says an audience member. "Not everyone who is putting on pantyhose and going to work is a secretary. There are people out there who really do impact lives and make a difference."