Mummy Wars

by Stacey

A new survey of 1,500 working mothers in Britain shows that working moms in the U.K. feel torn by competing obligations (sound familar?) and they’re resentful of the lack of support they get from child-less female colleagues. Thanks to Salon’s Broadsheet for the tip.

According to this article in the Telegraph, The Working Mothers’ Report, as it is called, found that 94 per cent of those surveyed said that juggling kids and work had a negative impact on their career. In addition, 66 per cent felt that pushing for flex-time such as working from home or working different hours, would also be harmful for their careers. Fifty-two per cent would rather blame a faulty alarm clock or heavy traffic than child-care problems for lateness at work.

The report also disclosed that 37 per cent of mothers applying for a job had been asked about family commitments during their interview. One in seven had delayed having children, even though they wanted them, because they felt that their employer would disapprove of them trying to manage competing priorities, the Telegraph article says.

As if that weren’t enough of a headache, 57 per cent of the working mothers found their female colleagues who did not have kids to be unsympathetic to their frustrations. “Those surveyed said that with maternity leave lasting up to 12 months and the right to ask for flexible working, women without children perceived them as enemies to be left behind on the corporate ladder,” the Telegraph article says. “The report paints a picture of women undermining and undercutting each other, vying for advancement and sometimes filled with resentment.”

Nice. I couldn’t stomach reading the comments on the Telegraph web site. But thankfully, Carol Lloyd from Salon did. This is what she has to say:

Then I began reading the voluminous, cantankerous message boards following the Telegraph article. Big mistake. I guess some people without kids are really angry about the latitude working mothers (where’s Daddy in this picture? Enjoying an unfettered career, I presume) have in the workplace. The argument goes on and on: the child-free complaining they are sick of covering for mothers attending a bevy of childcare crises, working mothers defending themselves for raising the next generation of humankind, child-free workers suggesting breeders are ruining the planet with their adorable environmental disasters, mothers shooting back that come retirement age, child haters will all be dependent on the next generation … Now that having children is widely considered a personal rather than a societal choice, there is precious little common ground between those who choose to and those who choose not to.

I’m wondering, does this ring true for working moms here in the U.S.? Are child-free women in the office unsympathetic to working mothers? What say you, working moms of the U.S.A.?


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Filed under baby, family, family life, kids, life, media, mommy wars, mother love, parenting, work

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