Not Guilty!: The Good News about Working Mothers

Betty Holcomb, Author
Betty Holcomb, Author Scribner Book Company $25 (384p) ISBN 978-0-684-82233-4
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
About the only good news that Holcomb, a consulting editor at Working Mother magazine, has to offer here is that children are not harmed when their mothers work outside the home, according to her extensive research. She contends, however, that a combination of rigid employer policies, lack of affordable quality day care and the persistent cultural myth that children are better off when raised by a working father and a stay-at-home mother combine to make mothers who work feel stressed and anxious. Holcomb draws on studies supporting her argument that women profit emotionally as well as economically from working outside the home, and their children benefit socially from good day care. The author traces a backlash against working mothers that was launched in the 1980s by groups such as Focus on the Family and the Institute of American Values, which continue to lobby against adequate funding for child care. According to Holcomb's thought-provoking analysis, the conservative media have published many articles based on outdated and unsupported evidence that attack working mothers and heighten their guilt. (July)