Maternity and the Child
The care of their children is the one area where women in the success subculture allow themselves to express some concern, directly or indirectly. The topics and discussions in the Working Mothers' group lead me to believe that they need affirmation that they are doing the right thing by their children. They obviously want them to be happy and are not immune to implied criticism from "nonworking" mothers and others. They apparently feel vulnerable, and sometimes express their irritation in counterattacks.
Since we are in a transition period when the mothers of young children are moving into the labor market in increasing numbers, the reality is that for better or for worse, the children will have to adjust to the mothers' work patterns. Society's assumption is still that the responsibility for child rearing rests with the mother, the husband being an auxiliary.
Some questioning of this attitude can be discerned in the media. For example, David Wessel ( 1984), in an article, one of a series, in the Wall Street Journal, speaks to the plight of the working father: "Today's ideal middle-class father is supposed to change diapers, do housework, be emotionally involved with his children--without shirking his duties at work." He reports that paternity leave is available in 119 large corporations but is seldom utilized. Only 8 companies