Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Club: The War on Moms

via amazon

Reading this book, I vacillated between a sense of, "OMG, it is not just me!" relief, and some serious "I'm moving to Europe" anger.

How true is this?
In what economist Nancy Folbre describes as a children-as-pets mind-set, there's little recognition of the fact that children are essential to society or that keeping them well and ushering them into the era of tax-paying, job-holding adulthood is in the public interest.
The educator in me wished that the book talked more about how public education intersects with this phenomenon. The way that professions that work with kids are undervalued, both financially and socially. Especially early childhood education. {And yet in the same breath, educators are held responsible for a spectrum of social and economic problems.} What if we valued children more, valued their caretakers more, and valued their education more. And what if we demonstrated that value by investing in those things? {And holy cow, what if the term "Pro Life" meant being pro-moms, babies, children and society in general, instead of just being pro-fetus? Who else was sickened by the Mississippi chapter?}

I wish that these weren't just seen as "mom issues." Or even (but slightly better), "women's issues." These are everybody's issues. And everybody can stand to gain from a more flexible work structure that values personal happiness. I was struck by the innovative work/life balance programs and Ernst & Young yielded the company an extra $10 million per year! And the assistant to Gloria Steinem who brought her kids to "a child-friendly office" (most moms would probably just settle for a child-friendly grocery store or airport)?

I'm curious how everyone else felt about the book. I'd be really interested to see if anyone who has used the words "Obama" and "socialism" in the same sentence (without irony) might have been swayed by the chapter on universal health insurance as a foundation to these work/life/family/gender balance issues?? If there are any topics anyone would like to discuss in more depth?? Let me know!



  1. Are you talking to me? Lol! I still have a lot of reading to do, still on Chapter 3 (I think). Looks like there is some interesting reading ahead though...

    1. hahaha, unfortunately there are a lot of you guys (just kidding). Most of my mom friends, in fact. It's OK though. I still like y'all.