June 8, 2010
Part-time vs. Full-time Working Moms
IconDr. Laura, I just read an article in USA Today that I think you will find very entertaining and I'd get a kick out of hearing your assessment of it. The article is entitled "Moms, Part-Time Work is Overrated" by Laura Vanderkam. The gist of the article is that you might as well work full-time because you don't really spend much more valuable time with your kids if you work part-time and you're giving up a lot of money and clout. It even states that it is "worrying that so many Moms . . . think part-time work is a great idea." To me, it's yet another disheartening article that ignores the importance of simply being available for your children. As my 8-yr-old's Mother's Day note said, among other things, I make her feel safe. I think that's almost entirely because I am available to her as much as I am. I'm a stay-at-home mom and have been for 5 years. Prior to staying home I worked full-time as a lawyer and received a good level of job-satisfaction from my job. However, when we decided to move for my husband's job I decided it was time to stay-at-home, for my kids' sake. I had a very hard time giving up my career track and the sense of accomplishment that came from my job. I was also very fearful I would just plain stink at being at home with my kids. But, it turns out it was the kick-in-the pants I needed and I'm so glad for my children that I've done it. Nonetheless, I'm not always steadfast in my own sense of accomplishments in staying home. I've experienced plenty of eyes glazing over when I say I'm a stay-at-home mom and had many similar forms of dismissal which are so disheartening. When I recently felt very down about it, I decided to look for some insight on the topic and got your book, In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms. It's a very interesting book and really supports all that, in my heart, I know to be true. I just wish the world did the same. I think the most difficult thing for us stay-at-home moms, and for everyone doing any related analysis, is the benefits to children are so intangible and, as a result, so immeasurable; whereas, money is so easily measured. People, like me, would really like a quick way to establish that they are valuable and, well, being a stay-at-home mom unfortunately doesn't pull that kind of clout today. When did we decide to so undervalue our children? Why do we think we can throw money at them and they will be fine? To me, this is yet another article by someone that is oblivious and hurting a lot of people as a result. Sincerely, Robyn

Posted by Staff at 8:36 PM