Monday, February 14, 2005

Newsweek on "Mommy Madness"

Anybody read the cover feature in this week's Newsweek yet? Mommy Madness. Main article: The Myth of the Perfect Mother: Why it drives real women crazy. Secondary article: Moms Shouldn't Be Martyrs / The Good Enough Mother (by Anna Quindlen, whom I love and yet I quibble with some of what she says).

I'll just say that the statements and illustrations about "mad," "crazy", and "martyr" moms seem to be upper-middle-class and upper-class women trying to be perfect, high-achieving moms bringing up perfect, high-achieving children, especially in what sounds like high-powered environments such as higher-income suburbs of big cities.

Arrgh. That is so NOT the route I've taken, nor that of many of my friends and acquaintances. Maybe we're all just a century behind the power-mom thing here in Flyover Nation? I don't think so; there are simply Other Choices Available. Obviously I'm already mentally composing letters to the editor.

UPDATE: I'd read the print edition of Newsweek this evening after it arrived in our postal mail. There's an additional article in the Web edition that make this feature more balanced. Meet the Slacker Mommy. Whew.

Go read the feature and tell me what you think!


Donna said...

Hi, Barbara - Thanks for pointing out those articles. I've been saving my magazines for reading material while I sit through my daughter's three 2.5 hour sessions doing gymnastics weekly. Personally, I think I'm somewhere inbetween the two articles (Warner's and the "Slacker Mom" piece). I do agree with Warner (and have often voiced the same sentiments) about what I perceive as doublespeak from our government, which claims to support families yet does nothing to help make health care affordable, cuts education, and makes decisions that always seems to make it harder on the middle class. So I'm glad she's starting a conversation on this. But I'm not hopeful -- it's a "woman's issue" so the powers that be probably won't even pay attention. In fact, I'll bet my own husband won't even bother to read that article because it's a girl thing.

amelia said...

Barb! I will say it loud and proud, I am the slacker mom! I think it is absolutely absurd to run yourself and your kids around from one activity to the next. Sure, I will have my children pick after school activities but they get one at a time and they will have a break in between activities. I also disagree with toys that essentially "play by themselves". They need to explore and create on their own. Hey, remember that little thing we had when we were kids? I think they called it an imagination. When I became a parent I felt my goal was to raise a respectable, self-sufficient, and happy person. Pretty basic.

I also agree with Donna about the doubletalk from the current administration about family values. I completely agree with the statement that these are “women’s issues” and I feel that they will never seriously get addressed unless, as the article suggests, we as women really push hard for something to be done about the situation.

...e... said...

I have no kids and I'm well past it so I have no vote, but I agree with the slacker mom article in every respect but one: isn't "Slacker" a pejorative term? So sanity is bad?