The Latest Front in the “Wars” Over Motherhood: Childless vs Breeders

Perhaps the media have grown tired of fanning flames of discord between working moms and at-home moms, given the protests from both groups that they’ve had enough of the faux “mommy wars.” So, could pitting working moms against childless women be the media’s new, terribly unfortunate, pat storyline? Apparently, the answer is yes, at least in

England
.

 

The English newspaper, The Telegraph, in a story headlined, “Childless women ‘hostile to working mums,’” reported the results of a survey of 1,500 mothers by saying: “Women who do not have children are considerably less sympathetic than men to mothers trying to juggle home and career, researchers have discovered . . . The report paints a picture of women undermining and undercutting each other, vying for advancement and sometimes filled with resentment.”

 

While the London Times led off its story on the Family Care Company survey by reporting that a majority of working moms lie about why they’re late for work if the reason involves their kids, it quickly noted: “The report, which asked 1,500 working mothers about attitudes towards them in their office, concluded that women colleagues without children were less sympathetic to the pressures they faced juggling work and domestic duties than male colleagues. More than half of those surveyed (57 percent) said that men appeared to understand more than other women the stresses they were under.”

 

Meanwhile, Salon.com’s Broadsheet blog contributed this to the fray: “I guess some people without kids are really angry about the latitude working mothers (where's Daddy in this picture? Enjoying an unfettered career, I presume) have in the workplace. The argument goes on and on: the child-free complaining they are sick of covering for mothers attending a bevy of childcare crises, working mothers defending themselves for raising the next generation of humankind, child-free workers suggesting breeders are ruining the planet with their adorable environmental disasters, mothers shooting back that come retirement age, child haters will all be dependent on the next generation . . . Now that having children is widely considered a personal rather than a societal choice, there is precious little common ground between those who choose to and those who choose not to. (September 2007)