Author Says Motherhood Is Not A Job On The Side
- Wednesday, May 19, 2004
"If motherhood were viewed as the full-time job it is, it would not be considered something we could do on the side."
Author Suzanne Venker
A new book argues that women can never be successful while simultaneously working full time and rearing their children, and calls on moms to shift their priorities from the pursuit of professional success to the job of raising their kids.
Former middle school English teacher Suzanne Venker has released a book called 7 Myths of Working Mothers: Why Children and (Most) Careers Just Don't Mix (Spence Pub, 2004). In her book, she maintains that women can achieve the balance they so desperately seek only by planning their careers around motherhood -- rather than planning motherhood around their careers.
Venker says the concept of having to work is so palpable in the United States that most Americans do not even question it, but just believe it and say it. That includes mothers who are at home and those who have one income, lead simple lives, and are making it work.
"You can imagine what this is like for them to hear this myth go around and they can't say a word because, of course, it makes people uncomfortable," she says. "So they have to hear this myth."
The former school teacher says while balancing a full-time career and rearing kids leaves many women unhappy and their children at a disadvantage, it is silly to say that mothers should never be in the workforce.
"That doesn't mean we can stretch that reality to accommodate all women who simply choose to opt out of doing the work of motherhood and claim that they have to do it when we are richer in this country than we have ever been in history," she observes.
She adds that it never seems to occur to anyone how "strange" it is that that phrase -- "mothers should never be in the workplace" -- would come about now, when it would be far more likely that it should come around during the Depression, for example, when women were forced into the workforce.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who wrote the foreword to the book, says Venker's contribution to families, children, and women is huge. "In a way, it is sad that she's got to argue points to prove what ought to be a 'given,'" the famous radio personality says. "On the other hand, her arguments are beautifully crafted and right on target for today's anti-childrearing atmosphere."
Venker also contends that contrary to what the media would like people to believe, the woman who pursues a full-time career and places her children in someone else's care is in the minority.
© 2004 Agape Press. All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission.
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