Secret Life of a Soccer Mom: Surprise Reactions.

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Among the books I’ve adored reading to my three children over the years has been Rosemary Wells’ “Bunny Planet” collection. In each of the three books in the set, a child-bunny is having a bad day, falls asleep and has a dream about visiting the “Bunny Planet” where a benevolent Bunny Queen named Janet shows the youngin’ the day that “should have been,” a day that exists only in the little one’s dreams.

 


I kept thinking about those books when I caught the first episode of TLC’s new reality show, “The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom.”  The conceit of the show is that an at-home mom gets the opportunity to see what her life would be like if she resurrected her dormant, pre-kids career and started working full-time outside of the house. The woman is given a week to work at a company – all arranged by TLC and caught on film, of course – while her family thinks she’s off at a spa, relaxing. Dad is left in charge. At the end of the week, depending on how the mom fared with her work, she may be offered a job at the company and is given precious few hours to decide if she wants to radically change her life and become a working mother. The tagline in the show’s introduction summarizes it nicely: “For anyone who has put their dreams on hold, your time has come.”

 


The premiere installment featured Adrian Stark, a former fashion designer who has worked for the likes of Chanel. She left her career over a decade ago when she became a mother. Her life since then -- before “Soccer Mom” hostess Tracey Gold arrived at Stark’s home in a black truck containing spy-like surveillance equipment – has revolved almost completely around her three daughters, while her husband Bruce, a physician, has gone off to work each day. Gold gave Stark the chance to work in a fashion house where Stark was called upon to design and make three dresses in less than a week. Stark’s creations were included in the designer’s private fashion show for two buyers and a celebrity stylist. After the first two of Stark’s dresses were given the thumbs down, the last one was labeled a hit. In fact, Stark’s cream-colored dress was later worn by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson at a televised event.

 


Near the end of the episode, Stark came clean with her family about what had transpired and they were shown a video of her at work. “I don’t regret staying home with you girls at all,” she tearfully told them, “but there is a side of me that loves to be creative.” After her husband watched scenes of her in action, he said that for many years there has been a part of her that has been missing and he could never quite figure out what is was. Perhaps, he ventured, pursuing her dreams would make her feel whole again.

 

debbiestickel
03.26.08

As a working mom, I too was very upset about the time they gave her to make a decision. I also didn't like the fact that the first day people from the show were running her errands and making food, and then the other days her husband was doing it. In real life there isn't always someone at home doing that stuff for you...you have to come home from work and do it yourself. She could be in for a very rude awakening.

Peachs Mom
03.14.08

Really...someone describes a woman spending a week exploring the option of returning to her career as "being taken away from her 3 young girls"...
I would ask her to consider the other side (rather than her own one-sided view) what about the wonderful opportunity that both the mom and her 3 daughters have in seeing her live her life in a new and fulfilling way, serving as a role model for her girls as they grow up and look to make their own career choices. Why do I feel like regardless of our choice to stay at home or not-our value as mothers is measured by the degree with which we exist for our children at the expense of everything else. Is it really so wrong for a mother to have her own individual identity?

NewAgeMom
03.11.08

Oh yeah I also agree with girl mogul - in this country we would be lucky if we got paid maternity leave! So on and off ramping into and out of the workforce will never be easy... unless we do something about it~

Wanna Know What I REALLY Think..... Visit me here -
http://thatnypoetgirl.blogspot.com/
http://thetrialsofpregneto.blogspot.com/

NewAgeMom
03.11.08

Personally, the show put me at odds with myself. I think that if they didn't give them the ultimatum they would never muster up the courage to do their dreams because there are ALWAYS excuses and responsibilities we as women can put before our own dreams. Not to say that children are excuses they are more on the responsibility end of things. Sometimes in order for us to truly be good parents and role models we have to show our children that you can be more than one thing at a time. As for the mother who chose to become the designer at short notice and become a working mom I say KUDOS to her. If you watched the show, you could tell that she was REALLY HAPPY for the OPPORTUNITY and she was no slacker either! She did what she did EXTREMELY WELL even the other designers said so and come on she worked for Chanel so she had to be good 10 years ago...

To each his own is the statement I have to make. We need to stop judging each other on the decisions we make in rearing our children. We all have different values and NONE of them are wrong just different.

Who are we to say that she SHOULD do anything?

I say her children will lose nothing from thier mother pursuing her dream but they do have a lot to gain...

Wanna Know What I REALLY Think..... Visit me here -
http://thatnypoetgirl.blogspot.com/
http://thetrialsofpregneto.blogspot.com/

Sophia2Ryan
03.11.08

For those women who have a choice of whether to stay home or not, this is a great show. For those of us who need to work, kids or not, this is a completely ridiculous concept.

Crazymama2 is right, even working moms would love a shot at their dream job because sometimes our choice in employment has more to do with daycare hours than what we'd LOVE to do.

http://themommydiariestmd.blogspot.com

crazymama2
03.11.08

I hate shows and books like this. It makes it seem as though all women HAVE a choice to stay home, but some choose to work because they are vain and selfish.

Hey, some of us work because we need to put food on the table. I'm sure many of us working moms would LOVE a week at a job in our dream career!

girlmogul
03.11.08

I hope they show women trying more "real" jobs as opposed to "glamour" jobs. If a mother was returning to a job, in say, computer programming, would that make good tv? And the show also highlights how hard it is to on and off ramp in our society - it should be easier for women to work if they can, need or want to, without the all or nothing approach.
Andrea
www.girlmogul.com – Encouraging successful girls

leslie morgan s...
03.10.08

Looking forward to seeing the show tonight.
Very interested in stories of stay-at-home moms who've returned to work. So many myths and misconceptions about how hard it is.
If you've done it, please share your story in a brief survey, Moms At Work. The link ishttp://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=

MGKrtmhhg2AUepXCZErkaA_3d_3d
Thanks!
Leslie Morgan Steiner
www.mommywars.net
www.washingtonpost.com/onbalance