“The Stay-at-Home Martyr”

0-7627-4942-3This is my first non-sucks book and I’m quite proud of it. I co-wrote it with the talented Jenn Worley, who, not only has four kids (two of them two year old twins for God’s sake!) but a degree in child psychology. We can all learn a lot about parenting from this book!!



Attention, mommies! We wrote this book in hopes that it would inspire you to care about yourself again. To love and appreciate yourself without feeling guilty or being shot down by the ruthless uber-mommy brigade. We know that somewhere under that old T-shirt, sweatpants, ponytail, and mismatched undergarments lives a sexy, interesting woman who’s begging for a night out. We know you’re tired. We know you can barely remember life before babies. We also know that somehow in the process of becoming a mother, you lost yourself. Every day, hour, and minute have been reduced to a single purpose: your darling children. What’s wrong with that? A lot. And we’ll attempt to explain why in the pages to come.

            We have taken the liberty of naming this affliction, because without a diagnosis, there can be no remedy. Like any other addiction, Stay-at-Home Martyrdom can never truly be “cured.” And recovery isn’t instantaneous. Reclaiming ourselves as adults with valid needs is a lengthy process, filled with relapse, denial, and “start-overs.” But we can’t give up. We must support each other in our quest. For this reason, we have formed M.A.M.A.R.Y.Mommies Against Martyrdom and Raising Youths-who-can’t-cope”! We’re here to stop the spread of Martyrdom. To combat complacency. To relocate kids back to the bottom of the family food chain (where they actually feel more secure and cared for). And while we’re at it, to free the world from the dreaded skinny jean and other cruel, unflattering fashion trends.

             Who are we to lead this march? We are loving, overworked mothers ourselves, and we know just how deep mother/child attachment runs. We also now realize how dangerous too much love without limits can be. Between us we have a master’s degree in child development, a teaching credential, five children spanning in age from one to eleven, two neglected husbands, one overweight dog, three deceased goldfish (let’s take a moment and bow our heads for Gold, Gold, and Gold), and an entire Home Depot Garden Center’s worth of near-dead houseplants. (See “Other Living Creatures” in Chapter Seven.) We have spent countless hours trudging through the monotonous world of the stay-at-home mother. We have observed, we have read, and we have talked serious smack with hundreds of other Martyr-mommies in peril.

Knowing how little energy and time you have (or think you have), we have tried to make this process as simple and straightforward as possible. All you have to do is read. You may be wondering, “If I manage to get a minute to myself (which I won’t because my children need constant, age-appropriate stimulation and unfaltering supervision), why on Earth should I spend it reading this book?” Here’s why. Your children treat you like a doormat. And even worse, you treat yourself like a doormat. It’s time for your “start-over.” So put down your homemade baby food grinder and fifty-pound designer diaper bag, and let’s go to it.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: The Stay-at-Home Martyr

Parenting Through the Ages

In the Beginning, There Was a Light Bulb Moment

Birth of a Martyr

Admitting You Have a Problem

The Quiz


Chapter Two: “Glamour Do” or “Glamour Don’t You Ever Look In the Freakin’ Mirror?”

From a Positive Pregnancy Test to a Negative Self Image

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes:



Between Your Knees


Let’s Get Physical…Don’t Panic, I Don’t Mean Sex        

Out With the Old, and In With the New You

Doctor You Up


Chapter Three: Martyr-Dumb

You Know You’re Getting Dangerously Close to the Edge When…

Kids Are Boring

Worry Wartyrs

Poo-poo Pee-pee: A Person Cannot Survive on Monosyllabic Repetition Alone

New You Glossary

Get a Hobby—PTA and Scrapbooking DO NOT Count

Go Mental

Sticker Reward Chart


Chapter Four: ‘Til Death or Martyrdom Do You Part

The Family Food Chain

Daddy Dearest

I Know What Boys Like

It’s a Family Affair

What to Expect when You’re Expecting Too Much

Communication is the Key to Boredom

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How Evil You Say It

How to Start a Fire with Wet Wood

The 30-Day Rule

One Nice Thing

Keeping the Upper Hand

Counseling Before Canceling



Chapter Five: From Dog Tired to Doggy Style

You know your sex life is suffering when…


Date Night

Hiring a Sitter

But I Don’t Wanna!

The “Mama Sutra”

Not Tonight Dear, I Have a Deviated Cranial Lobe



Chapter Six: Children of a Lesser Mom

You know that you’re over-martyring your kids when:

Who Needs Who?  The Industrial Strength Umbilical Cord

They won’t know how to make themselves feel better.

They won’t know how to make themselves feel better.

They don’t learn how to deal with disappointment.

They always feel like they have to be good.

They’ll grow up feeling entitled.

They won’t learn how to be independent.

You’re Mad for Fashion

The Rescuers

Lost in Translation

Lowering the Bar to Raise Happier Kids

You Know You’re Obsessed With Extra-Curricular Activities When…


Chapter Seven: Home is Where the Martyr Is

Back in the Dé-cor

You Know You’ve Decorated in “Kid Shit Everywhere” When…

Pre-School of Interior Design

Less Is More Than Enough

The White Zone is for Immediate Loading and Unloading of Kid Crap Only

Nature vs. Nurturing our Young

On the Road

Other Living Creatures

Meals on Wheels 

Germs are good (and other reasons to stop cleaning your house).

Goodwill Means Goodbye

Kids are Maid to Help


Chapter Eight: The Friends and Family Plan of Attack

If You Don’t Have Something Nice to Say…You Must Be a Martyr

Martyrs have a short shelf life.

Husbands can’t share lip-gloss.

Women live longer than men. 

Divorce happens to half of us.

Learn to Talk the Talk

Make New Friends

Family Matters

The Parent Trap

Sibling Rivalry

You’re In (Law) For Trouble

Getting Away From it All (and bringing it all with you).

I’ll be home for the holidays (while the rest of you go out and have a good time).

Fly the Unfriendly Skies


Chapter Nine: The Ghost of Martyr Future

School Daze

The Ins and Outs of Offspring

Empty Nest = Empty Life

Back to the Work Force

My Martyr, My Pimp


Congratulations, You’re a Grandmartyr!


It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn




One response to ““The Stay-at-Home Martyr”

  1. LOL and here I thought I was the original one to come up with the phrase “Stay At Home Martyr.” I hope this book gets read widely. It needs to be read by some of this women. Half the time I wanna tell these stay at home martyrs to quit patting yourselves on the back, get off the Internet and go play with your kids LOL

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