The NY Times Motherlode has a column here by a woman responding to the comments of Paul Tudor Jones, a trader who said women with children don’t have the killer instinct you need to be a successful trader. This column agrees with him. The author of the column describes how she and her friends quit professional careers and stayed home to be better mothers.
When I became a working mother, in the early 1970’s, few of my friends had jobs outside the home. Many people at that time would make comments to me like, “I could never work an outside job and take care of my family.” I never knew how to respond, but a colleague of mine figured it out. She’s say, “Oh it’s easy. I never grade papers, my house is a mess, and my kids run wild.” Then she’d smile.
Now, years and years later, I see real benefits to my being a working mother. My husband and I were able to put three children through college without debt. We each have a pension and retirement savings. Both of my daughters have full-time careers, as does my daughter-in-law. My five grandchildren, all early daycare kids, are loving and bright and independent.
Ms. Narayan says that none of her friends went back to work because they worked for the “greater good” of their families. She really has the same mindset that my friends in the 1970’s had. But I think they were wrong then, and she is wrong now. I surely had little time to hang out with friends drinking coffee when my children were small, but I was modeling hard work, and helping to build a secure future for all of us. And no one then, and no one now, loves their children more than I love mine.