Are You a "Weekend" Mother?
by Leslie Morgan Steiner
Good god, sometimes I don’t know whether I can take the mommy wars anymore.
The latest salvo: invention, by stay-at-home moms, of the derogatory term "weekend mother" to describe women who work for pay outside their homes from Monday through Friday (or some other period).
The implication being that working moms can not give as much love and attention to their children as stay-at-home mothers.
"They're not there," one stay-at-home mother said of working mothers. "Most of the working moms I know, all they have time for is dinner and bath time. They're not really spending time with their kids."
The debate raged on Facebook about this moniker and then was picked up by newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee. Writer (and mom) Niesha Lofing wrote in her own defense:
"The ‘weekend mother’ label certainly hit a pressure point in my brain. I thought good parents were the ones who engaged in their children's development – whether they stay at home with them or not."
Shout it from the laptop, Niesha! For the record, The American Association of Pediatrics has said that a child's development is influenced more by the emotional health of the family and quality of child care than by whether mom spends all day child-rearing. I know stay-at-home moms who are so nuts I wouldn’t leave a child with them for 30 minutes. And working moms who bump pediatrician appointments in favor of a pedicure. Your employment status is irrelevant to how good a mom you are. Most of the 80 million moms in this country are darn good caregivers, no matter where you find us between 9 am and 5 pm. The vast majority of mothers are working moms who have to work to support their families – only about six million of the country’s 80 million moms stay at home fulltime. And all moms work, whether we get paid or not – the label "working mom" is just as silly as "stay-at-home mom."