Terrific letter to the editor, Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2013 (reprinted in full):
“Parenting is supposed to be inconvenient. If you don’t have the money for a chauffeur to drive your children to music lessons, sporting events, doctor’s appointments, or the zillion other places they need to go, the job falls to you. If you don’t have the money for a private tutor to actually teach your children the things they should be learning in public school but aren’t taught, the teaching job falls to you. Most children need direct instruction—they use their computers for entertainment. And unless you have family living nearby with a vested interest in your child, spending time reading to them falls to you as well. Reading to a child does engender a love of reading. It does make a difference. Inconvenient? Time consuming? Yes.”
“What happens to careers due to these inconvenient demands? They won’t be as stellar as they might have been if we had chosen to live alone and pursue a self-oriented life. It is called choice. We all have to make choices. If you chose to have children, it is about sacrifice.”
“Is it fair that many women have to sacrifice their career ambitions because of the inconvenience of parenting? No. But, what about fairness to our children? Is it fair to be born into dual-career households and raised by hired help who couldn’t care less whether the children are doing homework or stuffing Oreos and playing videogames as long as they’re quiet? Is it fair to children, who when they turn the ripe old age of 12, to be left to navigate the roughest years of their life, adolescence, alone? With an empty house, YouTube, Twitter, iPhones and their friends to guide them, they will surely be just fine, right? Maybe it is about time that society has started leaning on mothers and fathers to go the extra yard, spend those extra hours even if it means compromising when it comes to careers. Our children really do need us. And they usually need us the most when it is inconvenient.”
Mary M. Glaser, Simsbury, Conn.