In this issue
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 Dec. 1, 2006 / 10 Kislev, 5767

More moms leave the workforce: Uh-oh

By Betsy Hart

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | More new moms are leaving the workforce and staying home to care for their babies and young children, reported Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal this week.

"New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the seven-year trend (of new moms leaving the workforce) has been broader than previously believed, with women at all income levels taking job breaks," she writes.

Interestingly, these new moms seem to be taking somewhat shorter breaks from the workforce than they have in the past.

New moms are the most likely to stay home, but the data still shows that the "drop out" rate from the workforce increased for mothers of children in every age range.

It's not rocket science that we moms want to be the ones primarily caring for our own children. Duh.

Yet, is there such a thing as too much of a good thing here? I say yes.

There was a time when being a mom meant an incredible amount of, well, work in the home. Three hours of floor-time with junior to "develop" his cognitive skills, early reading proficiency, and maybe those must-have scissor skills by the time he's 2? Not possible, even if it had been considered desirable. Mom was in the home, but she was busy! Junior padded around after her as she did her work, or made his own fun, or at an early age had his own jobs. Mom couldn't pour every waking moment into little ones.

I'm convinced the little ones were better off for it.

Work is not a necessary evil. It is a good and wholesome thing. It was, after all, present in the Garden of Eden before the fall. Our kids need to see that.

Modern life and prosperity means caring for the home takes a fraction of the time it once did. So I worry that too many moms make the great decision to stay home, only to pour every ounce of time and energy into their children in a way previous generations were unable to do — perhaps helping to turn their children into the idolized, self-absorbed "all about me" kids plaguing us today. After all, too often when these moms aren't managing every second of their child's life at home, they are in the schools with the kids, or planning activities and play dates (a term I loathe) or otherwise pouring themselves into every aspect of their children's lives.

It seems to me there are a lot of moms who need to get their own lives, precisely because it would be good for their families if they did.

Yes it's a wonderful thing to know there is at least one person in the world who loves you totally, unconditionally, and self-sacrificially. That's the definition of mother-love. But when that "love" becomes a kind of strange martyrdom (read: any mother of healthy children who complains she can't go to the bathroom by herself) and the child is essentially the only thing in mom's universe, it's destructive to the child and the mom. It used to be our inevitable responsibilities in the broader context of our home and the sheer numbers of children we used to have helped to keep that from happening.

Today we need to be more deliberate about it.

I think these young moms leaving the workforce are "right-on" to be with their young children. But I'm also convinced it would behoove them and their families to find some part-time work to do, no matter how minimal — from home is great, and even easier to find now than when I had the first of my kids just 12 years ago. Or, maybe these moms can find some volunteer work, which doesn't involve their children or any of their children's activities.

Whatever the case, in time their children will see that there is other work which matters and there are other needs to be met, and that's a healthy orientation for everyone — including mom — precisely because it fits how we were created to rightly live and operate in the world.

It seems to me that the mothers who say "but that's impossible!" are generally the ones who complain they can't go to the bathroom by themselves — which may mean they are the ones who need it most of all.

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.

"It Takes a Parent : How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting Our Kids — and What to Do About It"  

"Hart urges parents to focus...on instilling industry, frugality, sincerity and humility. She encourages parents to reclaim the word "no." Contrary to advice you may have received, you needn't give your child choices, or offer alternatives, or explain to little Suzie why she can't eat eight cookies right before bed-you're the parent, and sometimes you can just say no."

  —   Kirkus Reports

Sales help fund JWR.

Betsy Hart Archives

© 2006, Scripps Howard News Servic