On November 10, Elizabeth Vargas, of ABC’s 20/20, conducted a segment on working moms trying to balance their lives.  The segment was good- it covered all the “mommy war” issues: maternity leave, stress of working and trying to make ends meet. (Did you know that Iran and North Korea have better maternity leave policies than the U.S.?) She also made the Department of Labor spokeswoman look like she worked in an alternate universe. (Dept. of Labor: women should “save up” so they can afford to take time off when they have a child. Hah!)  But there was one part I thought Vargas missed the boat on: mommy support systems, i.e. the role of “dad.”

The segment did not feature one husband, boyfriend, partner of the 3 working women profiled.  In fact, I think the word husband only came up once, when Vargas showed a photo of hers (Marc Cohn, the singer, for those who care).  Now, I totally agree that women endure the bulk of the responsibility for child care, working or not working.  But from my experience, I couldn’t be half the mom OR employee I am today without the support of my husband.  Yes, we don’t get enough maternity leave, yes, we may face the glass ceiling that dads don’t.  But without my husband to come home early when I can’t, or to give me some peace on the weekend, raising our son doesn’t work.  Parenting takes two, and while dads may not have to consider the same set of choices or decisions that moms do, it doesn’t mean that the “mommy wars” are for moms alone.

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