11 May 2012

Working Moms are Mom Enough

Time magazine’s recent shocking cover (you know the one where a toddler is standing on a chair while nursing) with the provocative headline “Are you Mom Enough?” has spurred extensive dialogue over the subject of attachment parenting.

However, an important piece of this conversation is missing. While attachment parenting has become a phenomenon among an elite group of career moms who can afford to have their children attached to their hip (or nipple), this simply isn’t an option for many moms.

The reality is that 65% of low wage workers are women, and many of these women are mothers. These women are actually very attached. Attached to their jobs (sometimes more than one) that allow them to feed their families, put a roof over their head, and pay for their childcare.

These women are “Mom Enough,” even if they work outside the home. And, their children aren’t fated for developmental disorders or attachment issues.

Amidst all these “mommy wars,” Time magazine could have lifted up a more relevant debate by framing a discussion around core concerns for all mothers.

Addressing the gender wage gap and disparities in accessing affordable, quality day care options would be an admirable start. Addressing the lack of mandates for minimum paid parental leave after childbirth would also resonate with the larger audience of mothers who have important things to worry about (like keeping their jobs).

Working moms have enough to stress about; let’s not add the pressure of breastfeeding till the age of three to the laundry list of responsibilities working mothers already face.

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