There is a post and string of comments on www.wsj.com/juggle about working moms and whether or not they are role models for their children. While the post is insightful it really throws the question open to the readers. The comments are the nitty gritty of that discussion. Here is my take. Moms choose to work for a variety of reasons. For some it is necessity in the sense that they need the money. For others it is more personal, more sensitive and may have to do with their need to connect with their adult colleagues, their relatively short amount of patience, marital politics, personal aspirations and pride, etc, etc. Is it really about being a role model for the kids? The author of the juggle post claims that this concern was not a small part of the equation for her decision to work. Really? I think I fall on the side of justification. I think that working moms use this mantra as a way of justifying our decision. Lord knows we need all the justification we can get after being constantly bombarded with family, religion, and media and other information outlets criticizing our decision to leave the care of little Joe and Susie to a perfect stranger ALL DAY in a germ-infested CENTER! (hopefully my sarcasm is apparent) Women are always judging other women. When it comes to criticizing a woman on her mothering -- it doesn't get more personal than that. You can tell me that I am a bad student or a bad wife but tell me that I'm a bad mom and my world comes crashing down. Edie on ABC's Desperate Housewives said it to Carlos best this past Sunday, "Bad mom, bad person, its the same thing isn't it." (or something to that effect) Moms need to stop judging each other. Moms need to stop justifying their decisions. To me, labeling working moms as role models is a form of judgment. While positive on the surface it just adds another layer of societal pressure and guilt on the decision to work or not to work. It is hard enough in our own heads and our own homes to deal with the sensitive subject of our children's upbringing. The last thing we need to hear is that working moms are "role models" for their kids. Maybe they are maybe they aren't, but they are doing the best that they can do, regardless. Finally, moms don't over estimate the effect your working has on your kids. My mom stayed home with us and what I learned from that is that women make sacrifices for their family. My dad worked 2-3 jobs and what I learned from that is that dads make sacrifices for their families. I'm a working mom and my sister is a stay at home mom. On the political spectrum, I'm the conservative one and she's the progressive one. Go figure! Thanks mom for just being a good mom and a good role model in the areas that matter to raising good people and good citizens.
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