Meet Judith Warner, author of a range of non-fiction books including the somewhat controversial best seller Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety.

Judy, who has been called the Gloria Steinem of our generation, is a former special correspondent for Newsweek, a sometime guest columnist for the New York Times, host of her own XM radio talk show and mother of two girls ages five and eight.

Judith Warner is smart, funny and thoughtful. Because she is also extremely candid and self-deprecating about all things mom-related, we knew she'd be perfect for our first In The Spotlight feature.

Mommy Tracked posed a few questions to Judy about managing motherhood in this Age of Anxiety. Here is what she had to say.



Do you feel you have made professional sacrifices to be a better parent or parental sacrifices to be a better professional?


No, I don't feel that I have made professional sacrifices. I live and work exactly as I did in the early 1990s when I didn't have children. The only difference — and I suppose it is a big difference — is that I now work about six hours a day instead of 10. If I worked more hours, I certainly would be more productive in terms of meeting deadlines and making money. There's no question that the flexible nature of my work allows me to participate more fully in my children's lives than I could if I had a "normal" job. But a "full time corporate position" is not anything I ever would have had, under any circumstances. All this to say: I probably have an ideal set up for being a mother and doing fulfulling work. But this is not the result of clever planning or choosing on my part — its just the nature of being a writer.


What do you think about the so-called Mommy Wars polarizing the stay at home moms and the moms that work outside the home?


All the research I have done and read shows that most women, given a true choice, would prefer to work part-time. I have consistently found that working and stay at home moms have far more in common than they believe; their attitudes toward motherhood are basically the same, as are the pressures that they place on themselves. To the extent that the so-called Mommy Wars exist, I believe they are fueled by insecurity on the part of mothers and a desire to feel better that's satisfied by putting others down.


How do you stay connected with your husband and kids when you are traveling for speaking engagements or working around the clock to meet a deadline?


I pretty much never work around the clock. It's just impossible now. So deadlines simply aren't met — or, if necessary, my children are stuck in front of the TV for a while. I don't travel a lot for speaking engagements, but when I do, I speak with my kids by phone (I speak to my husband all the time by phone as well). My husband and I always eat dinner and hang out together in the evenings. We'd be unhappy if we didn't

Janet Moore

This is an awesome song about parenting and I would love to share the lyrics to you:

"The One Who Knows"

Time it was I had a dream,
and you're the dream come true.
If I had the world to give,
I'd give it all to you.
I'll take you to the mountains,
I will take you to the sea.
I'll show you how this life became
a miracle to me.

You'll fly away,
but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job's done you'll be
the one who knows.

All the things you treasure most
will be the hardest won.
I will watch you struggle long
before the answers come.
But I won't make it harder,
I'll be there to cheer you on,
I'll shine the light that guides you down
the road you're walking on.

You'll fly away,
but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job's done you'll be
the one who knows.

Before the mountains call to you,
before you leave this home,
I want to teach your heart to trust,
as I will teach my own,
But sometimes I will ask the moon
where it shined upon you last,
And shake my head and laugh and say
it all went by too fast.

You'll fly away,
but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job's done you'll be
the one who knows.

Janet M. Moore
car accident attorney Tampa


This is a very nice interview. It was interesting to know how people manage to remain good moms and have good careers. It seems to me it is quite complicated. I think everybody has to try to be the best mother because this is what important. Whenever you think that you are exhausted recall millions of others who do not give up. For example, Erin Brokovich (I downloaded this film recently from shared files SE ). Though it is a fiction but the story is very inspiring.


Of course Ms. Warner has not made any professional sacrifices to be a parent. This is the woman who wrote the article, 'Ban the Breast Pump,' which actually tries to say that there is not solid evidence to support breast milk over formula... Um, really? No, this is most certainly a woman who makes sure to put her needs first at all times. Why oh why would I be interested in how she balances her work with motherhood? I work part time and pump milk at work, and yes, it's a pain sometimes, but it's 15 minutes out of my day, and I do believe it's the healthiest thing for my baby. It's nice not to worry about my infant's ability to digest soy or cow's milk protein, or the variety of toxic chemicals that have been found in formulas lately. In my opinion, this woman gives feminism a bad name. How self absorbed do you have to be to write an article called, 'Ban the Breast Pump,' putting down mothers who risk "misshapen nipples" and sacrifice their leisurely latte breaks to pump milk? Maybe there's a touch of guilt driving her writing, but I don't care what the reason is- I just hope new moms won't give up on breastfeeding because of this woman's apparent need to make herself feel better by writing snotty little articles like that one.