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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

The Oprah effect



During my early morning pumping sessions, unfortunately, thanks to a Mom_oprah_2 dwindling milk supply, I’m back at it -- I catch up on the Oprah show. In the wee hours of the morning, I watch as Queen Oprah waxes on about amazing kids, does show and tell with Dr. Oz and interviews celebrities. These are welcome, mind-numbing distractions at 4 a.m. But Oprah fans know her shows also include some parenting zingers.

So far this season, she’s had scare-your-pants-off programs about Internet predators and sexual molesters -– many times the molesters turn out to be someone the parents know and trust. A show about a woman whose infant died after she forgot her in a hot car broke my heart. And the story of a family  -- every one but an infant -- addicted to heroin was mind boggling. Of course, these are not new issues. But as a new Momma, I’m tuning in with a much different perspective.

While I could do without the catty, judgmental types on the show and in the blogosphere, the information presented is solid. It makes me put my busy working mom, wife and community volunteer routine on hold and think about the great dangers of the world. Oprah’s ability to pull at my heart strings and my sense of responsibility is a good thing. After all, if she can influence me to run out and buy the book of the month or to get my financial house in order, then certainly this mother-to-none but guru-to-many can help me think about things that improve my parenting.

After those shows, I hugged my daughter a little tighter. I vowed to become more vigilant in my daily prayers for her safety and success, and I stepped up my reconnaissance for those who would do her harm. And for goodness sakes, after the hot-car episode, I’ll check the backseat of the car one more time every time and nag others to do the same.

-- Sherri Day

[Photo: Getty Images]

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:57am]


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