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Mommy Wars, Part II
Rebook Magazine published an article about working mothers and stay-at home mothers and their decisions to work or not. This text contains several letters sent to the magazine in response to that article. The letters are from women of different social backgrounds, and two letters are from children. The title of the article, “Mommy Wars II”, indicates how seriously women take the issue of whether to work or to stay home and take care of their children. For some, the decision is easy. Others mention the difficulty of achieving a balance between work and family, that is, of being able to do both – successfully. Others have conflicted feelings: they want to work, and they want to stay home and take care of their children.
A short introduction from the editors of the magazine precedes the letters from the readers. The letters the editors received old them they had hit a nerve. In other words, the magazine had touched on an issue that women are very sensitive about. The main topic of this text is “Who are good and successful mother- working women or stay-at-home moms? It must be borne in mind that some moms work because they have to, some of them work because they want to – and some of them move heaven and earth to find a way to stay some with their kids. But no matter what they decide, achieving a perfect balance between work and family is far from easy.
How much can they give to their jobs without cheating their children – and vice versa? How can they balance their own needs with everyone else’s? Can they really do it all? The letters make it clear that none of them makes these decisions quickly or lightly – and that even once they’ve chosen their direction, they may have strong, often conflicted feelings about it. The one resounding truth: Balancing work and family is the most difficult and divisive personal issue of our generation and it creates tension on both sides.
The Case of Staying at Home
Jamie G. thinks that a stay-at-home mom is better than working mom. She realized that it was impossible to satisfy the needs of small children who really just wanted to be with their mothers. So when her son was born, she stayed home to raise him.
At Home, With Doubts
Josee D. regrets for staying home with her two sons for 13 years. She thinks that for the sake of her children she has ruined her career so she’s totally off-track now. One of her sons recently said that he’s fed up with her seeing unemployed. She laments, the same little boy would cry if she even mentioned going back to work. Now she is in dilemma, as she can’t decide whether to continue her job.
Working Moms Fight Back
Lori, E. thinks that there are just as many “good mothers” who work as there are “good mothers” who stay home. It’s unfair to assess a mother’s love, parenting skills, and concern for her child’s well-being by whether or not she works. She disagrees with the stay-at home moms’ opinion that claimed that the working moms were selfish, unloving, and didn’t spend enough time having fun with their children.
Another woman (whose name is not mentioned) thinks that she’s and attentive, nurturing, and caring mother to two sons, and she also has a job. She thinks that stay-at-home moms must learn to respect working mothers. She opines that everyone has to do what is right for the family, and those choices should be accepted and respected.
Yet Some of Us Have to Work
Hawley G., a working mom, thinks that she works not to make her happy, but to give her children a more enjoyable life. Without her salary, they wouldn’t be able to afford their nice house or college education. She is not against stay-at-home moms; in fact, she actually envies them. She announces that if she ever win the lottery, she’d quit her job in a minute.
What Your Kids Have to Say
Jade R., a high-school student with a working mother, encourages working moms not to get disappointed with their lives. She thinks that she’s happy that her mom works. Her mom is a single parent and has always had to work. Jade opines that being a working mother doesn’t mean that you don’t love your kid.
Krista B., a 12 year-old with a working mom is disappointed with the survey report that said 20 percent of the stay-at-home moms think that working moms are selfish. Her mother said, “It’s not about being selfish, it’s about survival,” and she agrees with her.
Seeing Both Sides
Lisa J., thinks that a woman can be a good mother whether she carries around a laptop or a diaper bag! What makes the woman happiest is what’s most important – if she’s not happy staying at home, then how can she bring up a healthy, have child?
Michelle S., a stay-at-home mom with two young children and also a college graduate with only one year of work experience, argues that staying home doesn’t make one perfect mother, not working does. For her, there just isn’t a simple formula for the perfect mother.
Some Have Even Found Balance
Jeanette W., a working mother, doesn’t regret for choosing to work. She stayed home for seven years, and concluded that it’s really hard job. She wanted to be more than her husband’s wife and her children’s mother – she needed her own identity. In going back to work, she’s found a new level of confidence, and she has yet to see a real difference in the kids whose mothers stay at home or go to work.