Normally I stay away from news stories that appear to criticize certain mother’s choices, but I am a fan of Judith Warner’s writing. For me, her book Perfect Madness is the modern-day Feminine Mystique on why today’s U.S. mothers are so overworked and frazzled.
Anyways, Warner wrote a cover story for New York Times Magazine, “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In”. She followed up with moms who left high-powerered careers to stay home with their children 10 years ago. A significant number of them re-entered the workforce or were looking for work.
Being a news cover story, there was emphasis on some of the worst aspects of the women’s lives: divorce, marital tension, taking on work, in which they were paid significantly less than 10 years ago. I want to highlight the positive aspects, which thankfully, has been my experience opting out of a job 10 years ago to re-enter full-time paid work two years ago. For the women who managed to maintain their contacts and/or volunteer in schools at the “executive level” — think PTA president — they were more easily able to find work. They also landed jobs that they were more passionate about prior to having children, and had more balance in their lives.
For me, this is testament that moms are looking for jobs that fit into their lives, not the other way around. Did any of you read this story? What did you think?
In somewhat related news: a colleague at Slate wrote about two studies, in which women — regardless of their reasons, position and pay — were less likely to be granted flextime than men. Bah humbug!
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?