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As the third of nine children in a tight-knit Catholic family, author E.M. Stoddard learns how to be resilient early in life. Although her childhood has many happy memories, Stoddard is determined not to re-live her mother's life-burdened with too much responsibility and dependent on an emotionally distant husband.

Soon after her high school graduation, Stoddard marries her boyfriend Patrick, whose personal problems begin to cause trouble for the couple almost immediately. As the years go by, Patrick's behavior continues to deteriorate, and divorce becomes the only logical choice.

After the dissolution of her marriage, Stoddard's life changes dramatically. With the responsibilities of a new job, a mortgage, and most importantly, her nine-year-old son, Matt, Stoddard can't rely on her ex-husband to provide support. She has to do it on her own.

Since her new position requires extensive travel, Stoddard decides that live-in help is an absolute necessity. But finding a trustworthy, dependable nanny becomes an educational experience as she hires a total of seven individuals over the next few years, most with qualities that make them less-than-ideal child care providers.

Mom's the Word: A Memoir of Love and Survival tells the inspiring and often humorous story of Stoddard's experiences as she, her son and their fat beagle survive the craziness, heartache, fear, joy, and personal growth that come with life's challenges.

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