There, I said it.
I work at home while the children are at school, and I listen to Dr. Laura when I am working. Her commentary and phone calls play in the background as I format WordPress posts, edit photos, and plan my editorial calendar. I shake my head at the misfortunes of her callers as I answer emails, process invoices, and IM with my boss. I pause the podcast when I go downstairs for a snack or take a phone call.
Dr. Laura Schlesinger is a radio personality who shares her opinion with callers who seek her advice about their personal drama. She takes a strong stance against both parents working outside the home, a strong supporter of the military and manly men, and if you listen to her long enough, you will probably love her or hate her. She doesn’t mince words, and last year she left AM radio because she unabashedly said the “n-word” on the air and was blasted for it. Now she’s on satellite and I subscribe to her podcast.
As a working mother – albeit one who works at home (but I have worked full time outside the home in the past), I am not always in agreement with Dr. Laura. I know she would tell me to get my younger son out of preschool because he should be at home. I know I would have been scolded for working in television and finding daycare when my older son was only 13 months old. I don’t know if Dr. Laura’s preaching would have influenced me at the time, but now that I have the luxury, borne of hard work and much juggling, of being here for my kids after school, I hear her at-home-mom mantras echo in the back of my mind.
Because my community of friends and family, both offline and online, is largely made up of working mothers and people with otherwise very open minds, I have been quiet about my Dr. Laura fandom. She comes off as a right wing conservative “Crazy Pants”. I remember the first day I heard her on the radio. She was tearing into some poor woman who had called in, crying, because she found out her husband had had an affair. Dr. Laura told the woman it was her own fault because she had been a crappy wife. I sat in my car, mouth agape, unable to change the station.
And I tuned in the next day. And the next. And here I am. I don’t always agree with everything Dr. Laura says, or her manner – sometimes she talks over people so much that she seems to miss the point of their questions, or hangs up on them out of frustration before they can even tell her why they are calling. But I have come to understand the overall message.
I like Dr. Laura because she just wants people to do the right thing. She’s protective of young children. She’s a big fan of preserving a happy, stable home life, and if that means stroking your husband’s ego (or your partner’s – she’s not anti-gay, which is a big deal to me), then so be it. Men just want regular sex and tasty sandwich, she says, it’s so easy to keep them happy. Many of her solutions for people are astoundingly simple – walk away from that mean person. Send a thank-you note. Put your kid in a private school. Break up with that addict. Stop calling your verbally abusive mother.
I’ve shared my little secret with people here and there, but for the most part I’ve kept it to myself. I was never willing to be judged because of it or get into an argument about Dr. Laura – indeed, I would certainly agree that she’s a little crazy, because aren’t many people who work hard to make a difference in the world a little crazy? – with someone who really can’t stand her. But now I’m 40, and as the internet tells you, once you hit 40 you no longer care what people think. And so I don’t. I’m confessing.
My name is Kim Tracy Prince, and I’m a Dr. Laura fan.
If you would like to confess something (and I mean who doesn’t?) Email me at: DesireeEaglin@aol.com