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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Raising kids can be overwhelming at times. But it helps to gripe.
Just ask a few Tampa Bay area moms who were venting for a national audience last week for a segment of Surviving Motherhood, a TLC program that features average moms in a public place talking about the difficulties of raising their youngsters.
"This is totally real," Dawn Lorenzo, the show's executive producer, said at the impromptu set in Latitudes coffee shop on First Avenue S in St. Petersburg. "We let it roll."
As Valrico mom Lisa Costa watched 11-month-old son Angelo play on the rug in front of the sofa, she told her new best friends about how glad she was to have her mother's help when Angelo came along. "At first I thought it was perfect," said Lisa, 25, for whom Angelo was the first child. "Well now it's been 11 months, and it's like, 'Oh, no.' "
The other mothers shook their heads in disbelief when Lisa revealed that her mother didn't want her to breast-feed. She got knowing nods when she talked about her mother superseding Lisa's parenting decisions.
"I said, 'Are you the mom or am I?' " Lisa said, choking back tears. "It takes away my confidence."
That's the kind of candor the show is known for, Lorenzo said while breast-feeding 4-month-old Finn, the younger of her two children.
"We find moms who are willing to put themselves out there," she said. "We want them to be honest, not sugar coat. They expose a lot of things."
The show helps moms to know that women have had the same issues and that there are answers, Lorenzo said.
Sleep comes up often. Denise Tomey of Tierra Verde talked about how not letting her twins sleep alone has created a problem now that she has a third child. Tomey said she was leery of being on the show, but after a couple days' filming, it has become just sitting on the couch talking to the girls.