May 17, 2006

Po Bronson Calls For Mommy Wars Truce on Mother's Day

Well, as we approach Mother's Day this year [sic, OK, so I'm behind with the posts], let's take a page from dad, author and Time columnist Po Bronson, who looks at the "mommy wars" and wonders what's all the fighting about? Because Po, for the life of him, cannot figure it out.

When he lines up the actual data on mothers performing actual parenting-related tasks, Bronson finds, working moms and at-home moms end up just about the same. Their kids' experiences are pretty close, too. The only quantifiable difference he can see is that working moms have an average of 42 fewer minutes "engagement time" with kids. Granted, he doesn't look at touchy-feely chick things like sense of fulfillment [I kid because I love, people], and I can place some value myself on the sociologist-defined "accessible time," too, which has to be lower for out-of-the-home parents. But his basic points and frameup make sense.

Of course, what he doesn't mention--because doing so would violate the Secret Author's Omerta--is that the real factor in the "mommy wars" is flogging books by gaining airtime on TV news programs. And now that I've said that, I have to start looking over my back for a violin case-toting Caitlin Flanagan. Great.

Let's Have a Truce on Mother's Day: A father's view on why the Mommy Wars are unfair to both sides [time.com]

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