Posted On: Wednesday - January 9th 2019 8:46AM MST
In Topics:   Feminism
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but more importantly, it was the Peak of Stupidity ...
After the post yesterday which discussed Presidential candidate Warren's 16 year-old book about the economics of motherhood, it's time for this short post of pondering about it.
It's not like the economics discussed in Chief Warren's book are that hard for any decently-numerate working Dad to figure out that the 2-income set up is not that big a plus for the family, just financially speaking, never mind the social aspects. When looking back just now, I was surprised that Peak Stupidity has not covered this subject more, in fact. (I can see another post coming on details.) There are the 2 reliable vehicles required, the higher tax bracket (often making the 2nd-earner Mom's taxes, that the Dad pays, only pay off at 55 - 70% on the dollar earned!), and the child-care (most likely the biggest financial sink), just for starters. I'm sure that The Two-Income Trap covers that all pretty well, albeit with slightly different numbers.
The social costs are another thing, and the (apparently) MOST-important detail of the Mom' happiness and fulfillment is the subject here. This is about 2 Moms that live on the same block near me.
(A tail of one Mom! This is a file photo that I couldn't resist - wheewww!)
I've thought some about these two ladies that live about equidistant, have pretty much the same size and style of nice houses, both with working husbands. The Mom in one direction has 3 little ones and stays at home (or around with the kids at the parks, social events, etc.) The Mom in the other direction has 2 little ones and works at a decent-paying medium-level white color job.
Mom # 1 seems pretty happy when I talk to her about her kids, and a bit about the house and neighborhood. The main thing I get is that she seems very relaxed. Though not quite as hot as the file photo, she does keep herself in good shape, and has a nice smile. Their house is kept up very nicely, as the husband, who's not around much, must make good money - I never have talked to him.
Mom # 2 is rushed most of the time I see her, so there's not much talk to get anything out of. I cannot say if she's happy or fulfilled or what-have-you. I guess the feminists would say she "has it all!" Does she like that? I don't remember for sure what her husband does, but I thought it was a pretty good white-collar gig. Their house is also kept up nicely, on par, in my estimate with the expenses put into Mom #1's house.
OK, there's not much of a big conclusion here, as, even from this anecdote, the reader may well wonder, WTF is the point? (Knowing this blog, I'm sure you expected the results a certain way.) As I wrote, this is just pondering, or speculation. So here goes a bit of that:
Regarding the economics, I can see the use of the word "trap" in that book. Mom and Dad # 2 may be caught in a position where, as most Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck (a bit more here), no matter how much they make, they feel that they need the money from Mom #2's job. The kids can get the best of everything, except for, of course, the most attention from Mom. As Peak Stupidity wrote in our review of another book The Nurture Assumption, the time spent with the little ones will have long-lasting effects due to the build-up of trust - the more and longer, the better.
Mom #1's kids have all the attention from a relaxed Mom. She can spend time organizing things with the other home-Moms in the area for even more fun and learning for the kids. The total time spent with them could be 2 to 3 X that spent by Mom #2. Maybe her husband makes just a metric shit-ton of money. I dunno, but remember that the economics may not leave them with but 20% - 30% (my rectal extraction here, for now) less discretionary spending money even if Dad #1's pay = Dad #2's pay.
However, it's supposed to be all about Mom's happiness and fulfillment, per the feminists. They don't care quite so much about the kids, I suppose, as most serious feminists don't have many. I can't tell for sure, as I wrote already, whether Mom # 1 or Mom # 2 is happier, and I doubt I could get a straight answer about it from Mom #2 anyway. The buzzword, though, has been fulfillment. As far as fulfillment goes, I doubt either one of them knows how fulfilled they are without having Cosmo magazine tell them how fulfilled they are.