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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 14, 2007 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5767

There needs to be a middle ground on mothering

By Betsy Hart


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Fewer Mothers Prefer Full-time Work" blared the headline of the recent Pew Research Center study.


As the respected Pew folks put it, "In the span of the past decade, full-time work outside the home has lost some of its appeal to mothers."


And the punch line would be ... Duh?


To paraphrase the findings: among working mothers with children ages 17 or under, only 21 percent say such work is the "ideal situation" for them. That's down from the 32 percent who said full-time work was the ideal back in 1997. Sixty percent of today's working mothers say part-time work would be their first choice, a quarter more than agreed with that statement in 1997. Another 19 percent say they would prefer not working at all outside the home.


Among stay-at-home moms, almost half say that not working at all is their ideal, about an 18 percent increase from those who said so in 1997.


"Preferences" and "real life necessity" don't always match up, of course, but lest some cynic argue that "no one wants to work if they don't have to," the same study showed that 72 percent of dads find working full time to be their ideal and only 12 percent said part-time work would be their first choice.


So this leaves us with:


A) It's not rocket science to discover that women want to be at home much or most of the time with their kids or, to paraphrase writer Danielle Frum, a lot of women have figured out that it's no "achievement" to decide things can be boring and difficult at home and trade that in, only to find out that things can be boring and difficult at work.


And yet:


B) There is this mythology that moms since the beginning of time have been spending three hours of floor time daily with Junior. The reality is, Mom was home — but she was typically working to sustain that home, and Junior was occupying himself, playing with siblings or just padding after her if not doing his own work.


And my own observation:


C) In our modern society of more convenient living and fewer children, some at-home moms today do have — dare I say it? — a lot of time on their hands, and they fill it by pouring themselves and their time and energy into their kids, or into controlling their kids, in a way that's probably not healthy for anyone.


Have you ever noticed it's typically not the mother of four or five kids who says, "I don't have time to go to the bathroom by myself"? No, it's more often the mom of one or two kids.


This isn't an exhortation to have lots of kids. It's an observation that when we moms are forced to be more "hands-off" because there aren't enough hands, the kids tend to occupy themselves or each other just fine. I think that's a good thing.


So it seems to me that:


D) Over-mothering "alpha" moms may be as unhealthy for kids as the guilty workaholic parents who spoil their child. The dreaded "helicopter parent" can come from either home.


The pendulum on work preferences for moms may be swinging "back" to being in the home. And I think that's great. But let's not idolize that situation, either. How about a middle ground? I've long thought it just makes great sense for almost any mom to find at least something, even if it's volunteer work, that she can do on a part-time basis and forces her to say, at least sometimes to her little one: "Honey, I'm busy."


I remember my own mom pursuing a master's degree when I was very young. I saw that her heart, her "center," was in her home. But I also saw her passion for learning and knowledge, and that she had a life outside — or rather, besides — her five kids. Her identity wasn't wrapped up in us.


There are some folks who think the latter really isn't OK. I would remind them that even the biblical, celebrated wife and mother of Proverbs 31 fame was out buying land and selling garments, according to the text.


We moms do well to remind ourselves and our children, in some fashion, that work in itself is a good thing. After all, it was in the Garden of Eden before the fall.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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