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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

The opinions you read below are those of the individual writers, not necessarily views that will become formal positions of The Seattle Times. Respond to STop
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Jim Vesely
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Jim Vesely
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Lee Moriwaki
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Lee Moriwaki
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Joni Balter
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Eric Devericks
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Lance Dickie
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Bruce Ramsey
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Kate Riley
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Lynne Varner
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Ryan Blethen
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November 30, 2004

Mommy wars

Ever since penning a Nov. 9 column on the tension between stay at-home moms and career moms, the return missives continue to fill my e-mail box. Most of those responding are glad to see an issue they care about illuminated. But there were the few sanctimonious replies that highlight the polarization surrounding the issue of stay at-home parenting versus working moms.

A husband from Omaha sanctimoniously informed me that if couples don't want to raise their children, they should not have them. His wife, he proudly writes, "is at home with our kids." He also notes that his mom was a working mom for 33-years. "She blew it big time, as she sheepishly came to understand very late in her life."

Now that's the grateful son we should all be cursed with.

As a working mother myself, I am not unbiased. But as a journalist, I'm constantly seeking proof before presenting something as fact. The fact is studies that make predictions about the effect on children of a mother working are flawed. One study done a year ago that reported full-time daycare causes behavior problems was done by kindergarten teachers and parents. Hardly a neutral group.

The bottom line is that years of studies suggest that the quality of a child's environment is the single most important thing. Thus a child home with his mom watching cartoons all day is in no better shape than the child sitting in the corner of a daycare facility.

Instead of us moms beating ourselves up over our choices -- you never hear men moaning about the guilt of working while parenting -- let's make the choice to improve daycare centers everywhere, whether our child is in them or not.

Respond to Lynn

Read her latest column

 
Posted by at November 30, 2004 05:11 PM



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