ForeWord Reviews

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So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom

Foreword Review — July / Aug 1999

Regardless of the title’s emphasis on the female half of a marriage, Gochnauer, a regular contributor to the Kansas City Star and author of the Homebodies column, focuses on the need for both partners to work together and agree on the stay-at-home issue. “A couple should be free to choose whether the mother works outside the home, stays home full-time with her kids, or finds a balance between the two worlds which best fits the family’s needs.”

Relying heavily on anecdotal information about her own choices and the choices of other moms, she tackles the issue with common sense and notes readers don’t have to be a stay-at-home mom forever.

Questions asked by every potential stay-at-home mom are covered, including how to tell your boss, how to deal with relatives, living on a budget, interacting with other moms seeking an adult voice, strengthening the relationship with a spouse and realizing one is moving to another job and not quitting “work.” She offers an outline guide to determining the actual family budget, leaving it up to the family to create their own. A fill-in chart might have been included.

Touted as a “guilt-free guide” to working at home, Gochnauer’s emphasis at times on God’s purpose in calling a mother home could be construed as criticizing mothers in the general work force for failing their children on a moral level, regardless of her insistence that each couple must choose for themselves. Planned advertising specifically targets the Christian market and this book supplements more mainstream publications geared toward working at home.

The practical advice offered and the contact information to national organizations for stay-at-home moms contained in an appendix provide a network of support for a difficult decision in today’s societal climate.