Dr. Laura may be shrill, arrogant and wrong on many issues but she’s right about the duty parents owe their children, writes Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic.
In a nutshell, Dr. Laura believes that many of the aspects of adult life that I had always considered complicated and messy and finely nuanced are in fact simple and clear-cut; that life ought to be neatly fitted around duty and responsibility rather than around the pursuit of that elusive old dog, happiness. This is what makes her the most compelling advocate for children I have thus far encountered, because the well-being of children often depends upon the commitment and obligation of the adults who created them.
. . . There are many of us who understand that once you have children, certain doors ought to be closed to you forever. That to do right by a child means more than buying him the latest bicycle helmet and getting him on the best soccer team. It means investing oneself completely in the marriage that wrought him, for there isn’t a person in the world who won’t date his moments of greatest happiness to the time his family was the most intact, whole, unshakable. I wish there was someone a bit more hip and glamorous than Laura standing up for this simple truth, but in our time and place there isn’t.
Flanagan is reviewing Dr. Laura’s new book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. She calls it “a bit of a turkey,” combining the “surrendered wife” idea with “men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” Still, Flanagan seems to be joining the critique of parenting expressed here.
On the other hand, Laura of Apt 11D disses mommy-lit.
OK, Mitten Strings from God. Need I say more? This book is written by a women who seems to have no doubts about her commitment to stay home with the kids, little outside interests, an unnatural perkiness, and a frontal lobotomy.
It was a gift from Laura’s sister. That’s what you get for not reading the blog, Sis.