All moms work. As someone who has stayed at home, worked from home, worked part-time outside of the home, and worked full-time outside of the home, I can say they all are "work."
But for the purposes of this new study from UCLA, working moms are moms who have jobs where they are paid in addition to the job of being a parent. And those working moms? Well, they're just not as attractive as the stay-at-homes.
According to the Wall Street Journal, married mothers who work, but still put a priority on spending time with their children, spend less time on grooming. Working fathers who like to play with their kids? They're looking pretty shabby as well.
But that's not all we working parents are doing wrong in the pursuit of a paycheck and quality time with the kids. Of course it's not.
Both mothers and fathers are spending less time on preparing and eating meals, and they are enjoying less leisure time. They also report “feeling always rushed” and that they have too little time for themselves or their partners.
Did someone put up a camera in my house? As someone who couldn't get it together to buy the right hairbrush for six months, I'll attest to being a working mom who likes to read to her kids, but has grooming problems. Additionally, I'm picking up dinner tonight from a local larder so my husband and I can both get work done and hopefully enjoy a 15-minute conversation post-kid bedtime instead of cooking and the requisite cleaning that come after. Ideal? No. Reality? Absolutely.
We could put the kids in an after-school/after-day care program that costs us a zillion dollars and allows us to work, do the grocery shopping, meal prep, and maybe get a timely haircut from time to time. But then we'd spend about half an hour with them before they went to bed. Not cool.
Our choice is to be more involved with the kids, or as the article describes it, "intense parenting." Unfortunately that choice will have to come at great cost to our personal grooming habits, house cleaning, and home cooking, and have the added benefit of creating anxiety and stress.
I'd feel worse if this didn't also describe every other parent I know.
There's got to be a better way, right?
Image via StarMama/Flickr