Thursday, February 17, 2005

Channeling Motherhood

Lileks has a tremendous rant about a recent Newsweek article that seems to make a lot of bad points - including one about how canceling the Bush-tax cuts will make it easier to be a Supermom. Or something.

I have a lot more to say about this, being a college-educated woman who hopes to one day be a stay-at-home-mom instead of a prize winning physicist. But for now I will just quote this one Lileks paragraph that seems to capture why it is many moms make the stay at home choice at all:
The article makes a point despite itself: the perfect is the enemy of the fun. Maybe I’m the wrong person to comment on this, since I am a guy in a rather unique position. But I’ve given up great acres of work time to be here with [my daughter]Gnat, and the amount of free time I used to have – time I spent recharging the daily batteries – has dwindled to zip. But it’s all a trade-off. So it’ll be a couple more years until I can wander downtown again; so it’ll be a while until she’s in school and my day is my own. So what. Nothing beats the time we spend together, the look on her face when she shows me a magic trick, the hug and kiss I get when I leave her at school. Today she beat me at UNO again and I explained how Barbie glitter cards are made and we looked at a website about the solar system and ooohed and ahhed at Saturn. And that matters more than anything because she is mine and I’m her Dad, and qualifying those definitions just seems petty.

And also, this earlier comment which may explain why Supermoms don't think it's enough to just say motherhood is the "toughest job in the world":
I never have to worry whether I’ve sold out my gender because I’m not standing in a meeting room explaining a pie chart. Raising Gnat is the most important thing I do. But she’s a child, not a project. I don’t get a bonus if she exceeds quarterly projections.

I really recommend the whole Lileks piece. It's quite on-target. The Newsweek article on the other hand - is completely crazy.