The War on Moms
by Sharon Lerner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The War on Moms / 978-0-470-17709-9
It's not easy being a mom, and it's becoming more and more so in America. You probably already knew that, but what author Lerner can provide in this fast blow to the gut are the numbers and facts to back that statement up. Interspersed with anecdotal tales of tragedy and of well-meaning, loving families sinking into heart-rending poverty at the birth of a developmentally challenged child, or the unexpected loss of a job, the reader will also find hard facts and comparisons - including numbers and data from poverty-stricken, non-industrialized nations that still treat motherhood with more care and dignity than America does (America being "one of only five nations - rich or poor - not to grant new mothers paid time off).
"The War on Moms" is a quick read, and yet essential for anyone thinking about becoming a parent. Lerner argues - correctly, in my opinion - that we need to empower women and mothers to make choices: choices about whether or not to work outside the home, choices about when to return to work after giving birth, choices about how their children will be cared for. Lerner strenuously avoids the "good mommy"/"bad mommy" rhetoric by arguing that such divisive tactics only hurt people in the long run and do nothing to help individuals make the choices that are best for them.
Most notably, Lerner brings to light the "puppy mentality" that so many people in America hold - that children are novelty 'pets' and that the onus for caring and raising should fall solely on the parent and never on their employers or society. Yet who will be the doctors and engineers and builders and teachers if no one ever has children or raises them to be strong, healthy members of society? Lerner carefully punctures the notion that children are a luxury and that mothers do not deserve the resources they need to raise their children as best they see fit.
I felt that this book was well-written, thoroughly researched, and careful to extend respect and humanity to all mothers, regardless of their individual choices or working conditions. I appreciate that Lerner is careful to never disparage either working moms or stay-at-home moms, and I value the fact that she understands that neither choice is one made easily, nor is one choice "better" than another.
NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through Amazon Vine.
~ Ana Mardoll
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