What would help me as a working mom is fair treatment from politicians and the media. I enjoy my life, and wouldn’t have it any other way, but it would be way cool not to have quite so many people thinking that I am doing something wrong and looking down their noses at me. (1) Quit it with the “it’s better if young children are home with one parent.” Pfui. Americans like the idea better, that’s all. Show me some legitimate research that shows this (there isn’t any). Really, both ways are fine. Kids like daycare and thrive there. Kids like to be at home and thrive there, too.
(2) Quit comparing childcare jobs with some impossible ideal of stay-at-home parenthood. I represent women getting restraining orders, and I’ve seen plenty of stay at home parents who have had their parental rights terminated. I’m *not* saying this is typical: it isn’t. But neither is the perfect mom (the image *is* a mom, not a dad) who takes her children out for interesting educational field trips every day, never loses her temper, never sticks her kids in front of the TV so she can get something done, gives her children only educational toys and nutritional food. Compare daycare to the *average* stay at home parent, not what you’d like to believe she is like.
(3) Quit it with the “some women *have* to work.” It is fine to work, even if you wouldn’t starve otherwise. (4) Bring some coherence to the treatment of poor women and middle class women. Poor women are supposed to “get off their butts and work”. Middle class women are supposed to quit their jobs and stay home, even if they’d much rather not. (5) Quit it with the working moms versus stay at home moms attitude. I know that U.S. likes to view everything as a big fight (preferably akin to pro wrestling), but this shouldn’t be a fight. We are all moms who love their kids, and we should be on the same side.