Nancy Grace on Balancing Book and Babies: 'Working Moms Have It Hard!'

08/18/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
AP

During a recent appearance on Good Morning America to promote her new book The Eleventh Victim, former prosecutor Nancy Grace could not keep a glowing smile off her face. With host Robin Roberts noting that she was simply “beaming,” Nancy admitted that while the publishing of her book brought her a great sense of accomplishment, her happiness is mostly due in part to her 21-month-old twins John David and Lucy Elizabeth.

Behind the smile, however, is a “labor of love,” she says. Balancing the task of completing the novel with the demands of her family life has been no easy feat! “I started working on this book almost ten years ago and so much has happened since I first started it,” she explains.

“Since then I published another book, launched a show on Headline News…got married, got pregnant, nearly died, didn’t die, gave birth, and finished the book.”

The book, a novel depicting a former prosecutor who must confront killers and corruption, is not a far stretch of Nancy’s life, she notes. Although the main character in the book is a “much better person than I could ever hope to be,” the 49-year-old admits that her life is often reflected in the story line, beginning with the heroine, Hailey. “I never dreamed that I’d have a family … I always wanted a little girl and I thought I would name her Hailey,” she shares. “In the end I named her after my grandmother Lucy, but I thought when I started the book…I’d never have a child.”

While Nancy never envisioned herself with children, after marrying David Linch she was dealt a new set of cards when the couple welcomed their babies. “Since I married and had the twins, my life is so full of love and joy and I feel like this book came out right at the time that my life is the happiest,” she explains. That said, she warns future authors that finding time to finalize the manuscript can often be a struggle.

“I hear other people on TV talking about, ‘Oh, I did it when I was on the treadmill.’ That is BS! It was hard to finish that book; I would stay up until three or four in the morning … working moms have it hard!”

Click below to read about what comes between the twins — Mr. Potato Head!

The morning of the interview, as she was preparing to leave the house, Nancy laughs that her mothering skills were put to the test when Lucy and John began to squabble. The toy in question? Mr. Potato Head! “We have two, but it didn’t matter,” she shares. “It had to be that one — they like to stick the arm in the head!”

Already a strong child advocate, the day-to-day with her kids has stirred her emotions even more. “I can tell you that having … the twins has made me even more angry about crimes on children,” she says.

“I can hardly swat one of them on the hand if they’re hitting or doing something horrible, I just can’t bring myself to make them cry…It’s hard for me to believe someone could harm a child.”

Source: Good Morning America

– Anya

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Showing 31 comments

Sarah on

She can “hardly swat one of them on the hand” without it making HER upset? Maybe she should just NOT swat them on the hand at all.

Erika on

Here we go. The flames will start, both about her saying working moms have it hard and that she swats the children on their hands.

I personally think that is fine, she’s not abusing them, it’s just to tell them not to do something. But the judgemental people always have a problem with everything celebs say.

Sofie on

Personally I think stay at home moms have it hardest, atleast she gets to talk to other adults during the day and go to the bathroom in peace LOL!

wowfornoobs on

LOL Sofie I agree!!! :)

Sarah K. on

Oh here we go. She didn’t say anything about SAHMs, so why do some feel the need to bring it up? She’s a mom and she works, so she’s talking about her experience. What does that have to do with SAHMs? Sofie, you’re the one doing the comparing, not Nancy.

Erika on

I agree Sarah K (even though I sort of brought it up). I’m not a mother and have no idea whether I will be a stay at home mother or a working mother, so I don’t judge either side. Nancy never said ‘working moms have it easier’ so I don’t understand how you can say working moms don’t work nearly as hard.

Honestly, as someone without kids I can’t understand how stay at home moms have it harder. Working mothers have a day job, yet they still have to clean, go grocery shopping, take care of their kids and find individual time to spend with them. What makes being a stay at home mom harder?

jk on

I’m a SAHM and I come from the working world..this job of raising 2 little kids is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s hard to be a Mom whether you’re at home or at work. Period!!!! My Mom friends who work say they prefer to work and then spend a few hours in the evening with the kids before they go to bed..these are honest women and I appreciate their honesty. A few have told me they wouldn’t trade with me for anything..how’s that for honesty.

elle on

Erika,

A SAHM is much harder, but much more rewarding. SAHMs priority is their child (ren). So, often, chores get done when the little ones are napping or at bedtime. It’s a choice SAHMs make, and frankly, the child is the “littlest, and most demanding” boss they’ll ever have :)

Sarah M. on

Erika – I can see how SAHM’s have it harder. When you leave home & go to work it makes a difference. Working parents: 1)Get to eat lunch without having to make sure that other mouths need to be fed first. 2)They get more adult conversations & spend more time with other adults (usually). 3)They get fulfillment knowing that they are contributing to the family income & doing something with a degree that they may have earned. 4)THEY GET BREAKS! By law, companies have to give you breaks or they get hefty fines. Parents who stay home: 1)Have to make sure the kids get their food first, then they get to eat, too. 2)They have many more conversations with children (if they have children who are old enough to talk, with the exception of groups/play dates that they have joined during the week, also) than they do with adults typically. (It’s not always easy to follow or understand when some children are speaking, either.) 3)THEY DON’T GET BREAKS! The only way a stay-at-home-parent gets that is if they happen to have a child that naps. Even then it’s not a guarantee. When they need to go to the restroom, they are usually followed in there by younger children. I hope I didn’t offend you, Erika. That is not my intent. Those are just some of the cons that I would imagine come with being a SAHM. :)

I don’t have any children yet, and I’m not sure if I would be a SAHM or work. There are pros and cons to each scenario. As it is at the moment, I’m a nanny and work with children much of the week. I LOVE it, but am so happy when the mom/dad get home sometimes! And I love the kids to pieces.

Sarah M. on

I just re-read my comment, and it sounds like I think being a SAHM would be awful. I didn’t mean for it to sound like that. Every mother I’ve every talked to says that it is also the most rewarding ‘job’ they’ve ever had. Some women are happier being SAHM’s and other’s are happier working (with or without children). Each of them need to do what is best for them.

Jan on

elle, it is only your opinion that being a SAHM is more rewarding. I’ve done both, and I am far happier and feel more rewarded for working. It differs for each individual, but Betty Friedan didn’t write The Feminine Mystique for nothing.

Erika on

Sarah- I’m not offended, I don’t have kids yet so neither side offends me :)

I don’t think either is harder, I think it is a matter of opinion. Working would probably be harder for ME personally, as I would find it easier to stay home and be with my children, rather than type on a computer/answer phones in an office. I feel this way because, like I said, a working mother has to do everything a SAHM does AND work. There are benefits like getting adult conversations, having breaks and making money, but for ME it would be much harder to be a working mother. It depends on the person though, like I said.

lovemycrazythree on

Erika,

One of my pet peeves is people saying that WOHMs work all day and then still “have to do all the same stuff a SAHM does”. Really? A WOHM nurses her baby 8 times a day, possibly while reading a dozen books to her preschooler? A WOHM changes 6, 8, 10 diapers? (Or sits reading to her potty-training child on the toilet 4, 5, 6 times a day, LOL)? She makes breakfast, lunch, dinner plus 1, 2, 3 snacks? She takes her child(ren) to multiple daytime “field trips” – to the museum, outdoor events, library, swimming pool, etc?

The WOHM cleans up Play-doh off the dining room table, vacuums Cheerios off the living room rug, washes off fingerpaint, and cleans up other messes directly resulting from eating and playing that the child did smack dab in the middle of the work day? Messes that wouldn’t even exist in a home that was unoccupied from 8am-6pm with parents at work and child at daycare?

Oh, yeah, the daycare workers do 50-100% of all that for children in their care. They handle all these concerns for 10 hours a day, the ones that, if you were at home with your child, you would be in charge of. WOHMs have simply outsourced a lot of the tasks that their child needs done (eating, hygiene, sleep, play, education, supervision, conversation) to a 3rd party for 40-50 hours a week. The child needs these done no matter what, the workload doesn’t change; it’s the same amount of work whether split by two people doing half and half or by one person doing it 100%. SAHMs are doing their “work” – which is doing all these things those 40-50 hours that they could be at outside employment instead. Both women have a long list of responsibilities during the day. And both still mother and have further responsibilities on evenings and weekends.

Did it never occur to you that SAHMs are not just home eating bonbons and watching soaps? – they are, oh, I don’t know… WORKING. Engaging their child(ren). Teaching their child(ren). Cooking and cleaning for their child(ren)’s immediate needs. You know, all the things a nanny would do if you hired a nanny to provide care for your children.

Funny, I don’t think anyone would ever claim these things about a professional nanny. No one would ever diminish the work a nanny does all day long by saying that a working mom’s job encompasses “everything a nanny does” plus outside employment. As though it’s some situation where the nanny/SAHM only does X amount of work and the working mother does 2X. With a nanny, we realize that’s her job and that a job is a job, work is work, and that that nanny also goes home and takes care of her own family afterward. She has 2 shifts. Just like the SAHM has her 40-50 hour “workweek” (while the breadwinner is gone at work) and a second shift that still exists after her husband/partner comes home.

Anna on

Great points, lovemycrazythree!!!

Erika on

lovemycrazythree:
I respect your opinion. I understand that SAHMs do a lot of work, I’m not saying that, but I also think working moms do a lot of work and I don’t think either can be considered more difficult. For ME it would probably be more difficult to be a working mother and be away from my children.

When I was a child, my mother worked part time. She worked full days 2-3 times a week. She took us on all of the ‘field trips’ you described, and taught us. We never had daycare or a nanny, since when she was working my father was off, or my grandmother would come. She was ridiculed for staying home (she should be working) and ridiculed for working (told her kids could never be as smart since she wasn’t with us 24/7). She said both were equally hard, and she loved being home with us, but that was a lot of work. She felt working away from home was also difficult, her work required a lot of concentration and work. While working she said she wished she could be home with us, and while home with us, sometimes she wished she were working. I used to babysit for young children regularly (a few times a week) and it was very difficult so I definately do not think stay at home mothers eat bonbons all day, sorry if it came across that way.

Sarah M. on

lovemycrazythree – I agree with all but one of your points. Just because a mother is a WOHM, doesn’t always mean that it’s 40-50 hours per week. Many work part-time. The majority of profiles I’ve seen (I’m a nanny looking for a new family) on different nanny websites, have been anywhere from 1-3 days per week, usually 6-9 hour days. The family I’m finishing up with, I only watch their 2 boys 14 hours a week, total. 2 days, 7 hours each. I think when most people hear the term ‘nanny’, they automatically assume that the nanny works 40+ hours per week. That really isn’t the case the majority of the time (judging by most of the profiles from 6 nanny websites and 3 nanny agencies, anyway).

SH on

lovemycrazythree-

THANK YOU!!

Sophie on

Right on, lovemycrazythree! I’m a SAHM and it is the most demanding and exhausting job I’ve ever had.

Sofie on

Erika-

I can appreciate that you don’t really get how hard being a SAHM is, no way in hell could I have ever imagined how demanding and tiring it is, but having said that, I would not trade this “job” for any other right now….but, just wait, hopefully one day you will find out what being at SAHM is really like ;-)

AMEN lovemycrazythree, you hit it right on the head!

Shannon on

lovemycrazythree-

I am a full time working mother. When I leave my job at the end of the day, I go home and nurse my daughter, which I wind up doing about 6-8 times before I go to work the next day. I cahnge between 6-8 diapers between my 2 youngest. I make dinner and lunches for my daughter to take to school. I take my kids on outings in teh afternoons, like the playground and library. And just b/c they go to a daycare during the day does not mean that they dont make messes in my house too. I have cleaned up more than my fair share of finger paint and play-doh thank you very much. So you know what? I guess that means I do work all day and then come home and do all the same stuff you do. And I do it all without a husband too thank you very much. I’m not trying to diminish being a SAHM, I know that’s just as hard as what I do. But it goes the other way. What I do every day is just as hard as what you do, I have a terrible, thankless job 8 hours a day and then I come home and do everything you do. And on top of all that I have to live with the guilt and the heartbreak that comes every day with knowing I can’t stay home with them. I would love to do that, but it’s not a posibility for me. And it kills me every day to leave them. No one ever said being a SAHM was all about sitting around and eating bonbons. Please dont try to knock down what WOHM moms have to do every day too. You have no idea how hard it really is.

Millie on

What does WOHM stand 4?

Erika on

Millie:
Work out of home mom? I think, not sure!

Michele on

I really don’t understand why we as women are so hard on ourselves and each other! Every woman has to make a decision whether to work or stay at home after having children. Sometimes we don’t have a choice if we need the income to help support our family. But, whether you are a WOHM or SAHM, I think there is no question how hard it is and how much work is involved. I just wish we could give each other a break and realize that everyone is just doing the best they can for their families!!

Millie on

Thank you Erika, and i agree with michelle, no-one has the right answer, there isnt a right answer in fact, just different choices. And i think everyone on here should be commended for being so thoughtful and loving,(to their families), because in the end thats what counts, happy kids.

Michelle on

It is pretty obvious that SAHM’s have it harder. Obviously.

Nancy Grace is a work-aholic, very ambitious woman. Having babies and trying to keep up with her pre-babies career would no doubt, be very difficult though. Most working mothers do not have a career as demanding as Nancy Grace. I am sure her nannies and any other paid-help assist her a great deal though.

I have sequenced out of the paid-work force until our 2 young boys are in school all day each day (that means grade 1). We do this b/c (1) we have the financial means to live quite well on one income alone (husbands) (2) we are opposed to day-care (3) We want our boys to be raised by one of their parents (in this case it fell to me b/c my husband earns more than me, we live overseas and my husband’s position provides our visas, and lastly, I have breasts to breast-feed!)

I do wonder of the future generations of little ones these days, most of which are institutionalised so young….there are as yet, no long term studies to show the ill effects of such. Time will tell, and society will look back on this era with regret.

Life is a balance. We can’t be in the business of creating off spring, but with both parents of the thought “I won’t be the one to stay at home to raise them!!”

It isn’t a dis-empowering or subordinate thing to happen to be the one who carries the child in your womb, breast -feeds that child and subsequently be the one whom that child is most dependent upon in it’s earliest years. Reclaim your power, ladies!!

Just b/c society has now devalued raising children to something that many self-proclaimed ‘feminists’ perpetuate as a lesser worth, doesn’t mean it is true!

I am a very informed, strong, feminist. Feminism has ignored one of it’s central tenets–“motherhood”

Liliana on

Shannon, I agree wholeheartedly with you.

It’s pointless to debate whether a SAHM or WOHM has it harder. As long as a mother puts her child or children’s best interest at hand, it doesn’t matter. I apologize but, for me, it is not obvious that a SAHM has it harder.

I’m a mother to two amazing boys. I also work full-time. As a single parent, that is what I must do. That said, I enjoy my job. I’m both independent and ambitious so, yes, my career is important to me. Does that make me a terrible mother? Absolutely not. My first priority is and always will be my children.

In regards to the comments left by Michelle and lovemycrazythree, your thoughts on most working mothers are far from true. I’m sure you both are wonderful parents but please, do not assume the same isn’t true for myself and others just because we work outside of the home. I may not be there for every meal or mess but at the end of the day, I know I’m doing what’s best for my family and my boys know I love them above all else.

I don’t judge anyone for doing what they see is best for their family; please respect me enough to do the same.

Michelle on

Shannon,

That may be so re we shouldn’t judge mothers who work outside the home when they have very young dependents at home. Of course there is also the argument that if the mom can’t stay home, then the dad should.

I should have clarified that some families have to use daycare for reasons such as they need that double income or in the case of single parents (and to these, I can only imagine how challenging this would be-you have my respect).

For those who do this for career reasons–whilst I recognise for many, in taking too much time out of the work force is detrimental to their re-entry–as hard as that is, when your children have to go to daycare b/c of this, there should be no dilemma.

For those who have grandparents, extended family to help, then fine. But daycare is hard to justify beyond necessity.

Anyhow, the whole point of my post is how feminism has ignored it’s final frontier ie motherhood. Feminism is often misunderstood and is actually a veiled form of masculinism.

Every single time I hear about this SAHM and WOHM debate, no mention of CHILDREN’s WELLBEING and how they are the real victims caught in the middle of the power struggle going on.

To me this issue re the widespread and normalised thinking relating to daycares is more importantly about children’s rights and their welfare, not about us moms.

CelebBabyLover on

I love Nancy’s comment about how the twins like to stick Mr. Potato Head’s arm into his head! :)

Liliana on

There’s no reason why a woman can’t have it both: a career and a family. It doesn’t make her less of a mother for choosing to do so. As I’ve said before, as long as she puts her children’s needs before all else, I see no problem.

Bradi on

This whole mommy war thing makes me sick. Enough of the who has it harder than whom. It is our choice as moms to stay home or work, or to do both. We are not martyrs… it’s a personal decision. So, make a decision and own it or you will never escape “the grass is always green cliche.”

Katy on

The only thing that bothers me is that the term “working mom” implies that stay at home moms aren’t working!!

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