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Magazine Pits Stay-at-Home against Employed Moms

Saturday, October 19, 2002

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New York Magazine cover

(WOMENSENEWS)--The cover story for this week's New York magazine is "Mom vs. Mom," detailing an alleged new trend: stay-at-home and employed mothers fighting about who is the better parent and the better woman.

The magazine claims there is a "growing conflict" between the two groups of mothers, yet cites no statistics, only the publication of a novel and an anthology of essays, "The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage," as proof that the battle is raging.

To substantiate his assertion, writer Ralph Gardner Jr. conducted interviews among a handful of well-to-do mothers and concluded, "Instead of directing their anger where it belongs--say at corporate America's stingy, unpaid maternity leave and refusal to countenance flex-time--working and nonworking moms are dividing into opposing camps and unleashing their resentment and suspicion on one another."

The author's analysis of why some mothers holding down full-time jobs outside the home are feeling discouraged is: "The romance of accessorizing a Calvin Klein suit with pumps and a T. Anthony briefcase is long gone." And this statement from a stay-at-home mom is blazoned across the page: "Since she left the rat race, her sex life has changed. 'It's definitely better.'"