End the Mommy Wars!

By Begala, Paul | Newsweek, May 14, 2012 | Go to article overview

End the Mommy Wars!


Begala, Paul, Newsweek


Byline: Paul Begala

A conservative tells the truth about single motherhood.

It used to be a cliche in politics: "Congress is so gridlocked, it couldn't pass a resolution honoring Mother's Day." But now that hyperbole has all but come to pass. In this hyperpartisan political year, even motherhood is ammo for the howitzers.

Bay Buchanan has waded into the Mommy Wars with characteristic fearlessness, and her take might surprise you. From her time as treasurer of the United States under Ronald Reagan to her work advising GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Buchanan's conservative credentials are gold-plated. Yet in her emotionally powerful new book, Bay and Her Boys, Buchanan rejects an ideological approach to the family. "We can talk about the importance of marriage and fathers all we want," she writes. "But we can't forget the 18 million kids whose fathers no longer live in their homes." The stat should hit you hard: the United States has more children growing up without a father than Germany has children.

Buchanan has written an unvarnished, at times heartbreaking, account of a young mother whose husband left her with boys who were 4 and 2--and with a third boy on the way. She doesn't sugarcoat the challenges. Her advice? If you lack job skills, get 'em; never trash the absent father to the kids; be the children's parent, not their friend; and, most important, put the kids first--in terms of your time, attention, and priorities. Buchanan recalls when she was at home fielding an important political call. Her young son wanted her attention and, like every parent trying to juggle work from home, she gave her young boy the universal sign for "one more minute"--an upraised index finger. Little Tommy's response? Toddling up on top of Bay's briefcase and peeing all over it. Message received.

When Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life," it was a 10-megaton explosion in the Mommy Wars. What you might not know is that, like Bay Buchanan, Hilary Rosen is a single mom. Four days a week she has custody of her two teenagers, juggling work and family on the high wire of politics.

"I don't know of a woman," Rosen says, "myself included, who doesn't feel some pang of guilt or regret at the choices they make--even if they have no choice." Of the career versus child-rearing dichotomy, she says, "Most of us are torn, wishing we could have more time at one or the other.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

End the Mommy Wars!
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.