Mothers Debate the Impact of Working Motherhood

Mothers Debate the Impact of Working Motherhood

After Sheryl Sandberg's recent interview about work-life balance, we sought out mothers to give their two cents, and we're not the only ones.

The New York Times is hosting a discussion entitled "Motherhood vs. Feminism," with seven essays by mothers discussing the book "The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women," by French author Elisabeth Badinter.

Essays by Mayim Bialik (fan girl squeal!), Pamela Druckerman (who has appeared before on our site) and more debate how, if at all, attachment parenting—the idea that mothers should co-sleep, breastfeed and allow a child to separate from its mother at its own pace—has affected the feminist movement, which traditionally encouraged women to work outside the home.


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Arguments included in the debate:

  • Attachment parenting is feminism, as it allows women to bypass the artificial adaptations created for them to live more like men. (Bialik)
  • Feminism "devalued marriage and the familial and societal benefits of homemaking and encouraged self-indulgence," so the rise of attachment parenting rightly reminds us that family comes first. (Lashaun Williams, columnist and blogger)
  • "Being a mother is part of who you are, but it should not be all of who you are." (Heather McDonald, a comedian and author)
  • American moms embrace guilt, because it lets us feel as though as though we're paying in some way for ultimately doing what we want, whether popping the kids in front of the TV or getting our hair done. (Druckerman)
It's a fascinating debate and no matter your own beliefs about motherhood, we recommend giving it a read.


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