The War on Moms: An Interview with Sharon Lerner -- Part I of II
Sharon Lerner has some reassuring words for you, if you're struggling to pay your bills, find time for your family, and do a good job at work, too: this problem is so much bigger than you.
"Perhaps you yourself work so hard, you don't have enough time for your family, let alone for yourself," she writes in the introduction of her brand new book, The War on Moms: On Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation (Wiley, 2002). "On the other hand, you might have ample time with your children but feel edged out of professional life, unable to earn any money -- or enough of it to avoid sinking into a financial hole. Or maybe you work hard and still find yourself barely getting by. Any of these scenarios is common. What's far less likely is that you have both financial stability and all of the time you need to care for your family. That's because such balance has become a rare privilege in this country. And while it's easy to feel personally responsible for failing to achieve the elusive mix of work and family within your own life, the problem is far bigger than you....
"To say there is a sinister plot against American women is both overblown and exactly right. Technically speaking, there is no War on Moms, of course. There is no concerted effort to kill or main women who have children. But if some sinister think tank had spent the last thirty years cooking up the ideal way to make American women miserable, it likely couldn't have served up more unpleasantness than women now encounter on a daily basis."
Lerner is an American journalist who specializes in writing about women and politics. The War on Moms: On Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation (Wiley, 2002) -- a meticulously researched book that should be considered required reading for every mother or mother-to-be on either side of the border -- is her first book. I had the opportunity to interview Lerner via Skype earlier today. What follows is the first part of our interview.