In this provocative book, award-winning economics journalist Ann Crittenden argues that although women have been liberated, mothers have not. Drawing on hundreds of interviews from around the country, as well as the most current research in economics, sociology, history, child development,. and law, she shows how mothers are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that celebrates the labor of child-rearing but undervalues and even exploits those who perform it.
The price of motherhood is everywhere apparent. College-educated women pay a "mommy tax" of more than a million dollars in lost income when they have a child. Family law deprives mothers of financial equality in marriage. Most child care is excluded from the gross domestic product, at-home mothers are not counted in the labor force, and the social safety net simply leaves them out. With passion and clarity, Crittenden dismantles the principal argument for the status quo: that it's a woman's "choice." She demonstrates, on the contrary, that if mothers had more resources and respect, everyone -- including children -- would be better off.
Bold and galvanizing, full of innovative solutions, The Price of Motherhood reveals the glaring disparity between the value created by mothers' work and the reward women receive for carrying out society's most important job.
The good mother, the wise mother . . . is more important to the community than even the ablest man; her career is more worthy of honor and is more useful to the community than the career of any man, no matter how successful.
When my son was small, we loved to read The Giving Tree, a book about a tree that gave a little boy his apples to eat, branches to climb, and shade to sleep under. This made them both happy. As the boy grew into a man, the tree gave him her apples to sell for money, then her branches to build a house, and finally her trunk to make a boat. When the boy became a tired old man, the tree, by now nothing but a stump, offered him all she had left to sit on and rest. I would read the last line, "And the tree was happy." with tears flowing down my cheeks every time.
The very definition of a mother is selfless service to another. We don't owe Mother for her gifts; she owes us. And in return for her bounty, Mother receives...
If you liked The Price of Motherhood, try these:
In a novel that is at once uproariously funny and achingly sad, Allison Pearson captures the guilty secret lives of working women--the self-recrimination, the comic deceptions, the giddy exhaustion, the despair--as no other writer has.
Reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity--a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival.
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