Mothers At Home Honors Media Coverage of At-Home Parenting Issues

Vienna, VA - Mothers At Home has selected 10 writers and media outlets for recognition through the organization's annual Media Awards. These writers and publications are being honored for excellence in reporting or commentary on issues related to at-home mothering, families and/or the needs of children.

"We are too often disappointed by the inaccuracies in reporting and editing with regard to at-home mothering and the choice of 8 million American Families to have a parent at home," says Betty Walter, executive director of Mother At Home. "Our annual Media Awards provide us with the opportunity to celebrate examples of accurate and informative writing and editing that appear in publications across the United Sates. We are delighted to honor this year's winners, which were selected from among hundreds of articles sent to us by readers of Welcome Home."

Mother At Home, the nation's oldest and one of the largest non-profit organizations for at-home mothers, is publisher of the award-winning monthly journal Welcome Home. The organization represents about 15,000 at-home mothers across the nation who have chosen to devote their time, talents and energy to raising their children.

The 1999 winners, listed alphabetically by publication, are:

American Baby magazine, March 1999, "The Road Chosen," by Laura Stavoe Harm.
In this heartwarming account, Ms. Harm relates the forces that led her and her husband to the decisions that she stay at home with their newborn twins. In relating her experiences as an at-home mother, Ms. Harm shares, " have come to the conclusion that it is not which road I took, but having the choice, that has made all the difference."

The Bakersfield Californian, September 11, 1999, "Moms do Have the Choice to Stay Home," By Janet Ables.
Ms. Ables, an at-home mother, challenges many of the fallacies regarding the option to have a stay-at-home parent. In her commentary, she notes that one-income families do in fact "still exist and thrive. "She urges our society to encourage, rather than discourage, mothers considering the option to be at home with their children.

Dr. Laura Perspective magazine, May 1999, Giving Your All," by Valerie Schultz.
In this eloquent account, Ms. Schultz encourages mothers to put their creative energies into motherhood. "Let your children eat you alive! ... You will have no greater manifestation of the creative urge than your child." She reassures women that when their children are older, they will have more of an opportunity to return to other creative pursuits with added wisdom.

Investor's Business Daily, March 5, 1999, "When Science Serves Politics," by Diane Fisher.
Ms. Fisher takes a critical look at the results of a child care study by psychologist Elizabeth Harvey, which was widely reported by the news media as reassuring evidence that children in daycare will suffer no significant harm. Through her in-depth analysis, Ms. Fisher sheds light on the true meaning of Ms. Harvey's research while addressing some of the needs of children not addressed in this study and related media accounts. Ms. Fisher asks, "Is the study assessing capacity to love, intimacy, commitment, spiritual strength or independent morality? No. Do we care about these things? I hope so."

The Kansas City Star, February 21, 1999, "Stay-at-Home World," by Eric Adler.
Mr. Adler articulately describes the transition from salaried employee to stay-at-home parent. With anecdotal interview from several at-home moms and dads, his article provides a balanced look at the challenges, joys and rewards of child rearing. "Ask them ... they will tell you that staying home to raise their children has been the greatest, most important and soul-satisfying job they've ever held."

Men's Health magazine, September 1999, "A Man's Life: Day Care!," by Tom Zoellner.
In this critical look at the daycare issue, Mr. Zoellner encourages fathers to play a primary role in making important decisions regarding the care of their children. Citing inaccurate and biased media reporting on daycare research, this article uncovers many misconceptions regarding myriad daycare options. "You wouldn't buy a stock or a car or a house based on nothing but feel-good information. Why do the same with day care?" he advises readers.

Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 2, 1999, "Clouding the Issue for Working Mothers," by Kim Ode.
In this moving commentary, Ms. Ode advises parents not to be lulled into a false sense of security by media accounts that suggest there are no long-term ill effects of daycare on children. Ms. Ode, a mother who is employed full-time, says, "Tests for behavior, language, confidence and smarts provide some measures of a person, but they don't factor how it feels for that person to grow up." Recalling her own indelible childhood memory of cloud-watching with her mother, Ms. Ode reminds parents of the importance of taking time to make memories with their children.

Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 3, 1999, "Parents, Try Staying Home With the Kids," by Kathleen Sonnek.
In this insightful and though-provoking piece, Ms. Sonnek examines the tragedies of Jonesboro, Ark., and Littleton, Colo., and urges parents to give their children what they really need and want: their time and undivided attention. In her commentary, Ms. Sonnek reminds today's parents that their children, not their professions, are their most important responsibility, noting "it's the moment by moment, day after day, year after year encounter with one's own children from birth that cements the bond of love and respect."

Portland Parent magazine, May 1999, "Her Legacy," by Brette McWhorter Sember.
Ms. Sember, an at-home mother and author, passionately describes how her decision to stay home with her children was at odds with the example her own employed mother had set. After finishing law school and beginning her law career, Ms. Sember ultimately reached the conclusion that she must follow her own heart by staying home to raise and care for her children.

Reader's Digest, August 1999, "Living Well on One Income," by Andy Dappen.
In this excerpt from his book, Shattering the Two-Income Myth, Mr. Dappen debunks many of the fallacies surrounding our society's view that the two-income lifestyle is necessary. Mr. Dappen suggests the issue is that our lifestyle expectations have inflated and offer his opinion that many families can enjoy "less stressful, happier, more directed and fuller" lives by embracing the one-income lifestyle.

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