Guilty Moms: Trena

Childcare Crisis

Trena joins Dr. Phil onstage. Her husband, Johnny, sits in the audience.


"You're going to be going back into the workforce?" Dr. Phil asks Trena.

"Yes," she replies.

[AD]"Did you know that that was going to have to occur when you decided to have [Solomon]?"

"Yes, I did, but it was a totally different feeling in the beginning,"

"You didn't realize how connected you were going to be," Dr. Phil notes.

"I never realized it at all. Not in a million years," Trena answers. "I'm going to have to find a place put him " either a daycare or a nanny. Something that we can afford."

"Were you at all encouraged or heartened by some of the things you've heard the working moms say?" Dr. Phil asks Trena. "Does it help you to know that you can be a bit of a chameleon?"

"It did help a lot to listen to the working moms and the stay-at-home moms. I feel like the working moms made me feel a tad better. If I did decide to put him in daycare, there is another person, another part of the village, to watch over my son when I can't be there," she replies. "I still have that guilt that someone else is going to experience him talking for the first time, crawling for the first time, walking for the first time. I'm, in a sense, jealous that I'm going to miss out on that."


Trena and Johnny interview daycare providers and nannies.

"You understand, you're not moving away," Dr. Phil jokes. "I'm not trying to minimize it. Working moms, on average, spend 80 percent of the time that stay-at-home moms do with their kids over the years. It's the quality, not the quantity, of what you do."

Dr. Phil wants the new mom to understand that she isn't abandoning her baby by re-entering the workforce. "You're bringing in some outside resources to help you have everything you need to have. You need money to be able to nurture your son and provide him with the experiences you want him to have," he explains. "It is a trade off, so what you want him to have is a balance." [AD]

Dr. Phil turns to Trena's husband, Johnny. "Is she being too harsh on herself?"

"She is definitely being too harsh on herself," Johnny agrees.


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Noting that the new mom isn't fully convinced, Dr. Phil tries to reason with her. "You are not abandoning your son. You're going to love this child. You're going to nurture this child. You're gong to raise this child. How does that equate with abandonment?"

"Because somebody else is going to hold him and cuddle him when he's upset during the day when I'm not there," she replies.

"Solomon will never, ever, ever not know who his mother is," Dr. Phil assures her.

"That does make me feel better," Trena says, giving him a tiny smile.[AD]