who ask, “What do you do?” and even from our kids. Questions such as, “Why don’t you have a job, like Jane’s mom does?” can be damaging, making us question our choice to give up our careers and the income they generate. Some mothers who work outside the home are pressured by family members who want us to raise our own kids or by those who ask why we had kids at all and even sometimes by employers who can threaten our standing on the ladder.
Many mothers who stay at home to raise children or carve out time to work a second job are perpetually stressed out by alternating pressures to do more in each arena. They are strung between two rigid models of motherhood.
To locate the source of those pressures we must look beyond each other and the media-hyped “battle of the moms” to the often contradictory society in which we live – one that expects mothers to either stay home or work, but that doesn’t support either extreme very well.