“Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Lie in three words, - health, peace, and competence” - Alexander Pope

June 12, 2008

On Not Doing Dishes: The Rise of the Core Competency Mom by Laura Vanderkam

I wasn't expecting to find this on the Huffington Post, but there it is. A well-written, thought-provoking essay, whose central point is this: Stay-at-home moms and working moms end up spending about the same amount of time directly caring for their children. Although this seems counterintuitive, there are apparently studies that say that working moms simply prioritize their children first in their available, non working hours, leaving "other stuff" - to quote the article - Stay-at-home moms spend an equal amount of time taking care of their kids and their houses; moms who work full-time spend more time with their kids than on household chores.

Of course, what the article doesn't take into account is the ages of children, and how much more labor intensive it is to care for a four month old than a four year old, but in many ways the essay does reflect what goes on in my own home - choosing play time and walks and bedtime stories over housework.

Its actually the first of an ongoing series: here are part 2 (on organization), opart 3 (on productivity), part 4 (on housework), and part 5 (on time vs. money). I think there are probably more to come.