Heights Mom Likes Work

The Brooklyn Rail has a great piece today on Brooklyn moms and the working vs stay-at-home issues they face.  One of the mothers featured lives in the nabe:

The Brooklyn Rail: Mommy Wars in Brooklyn: Another mother, a 37-year-old talent agent in Brooklyn Heights, recalls receiving similar commentary from strangers. “I once was taking a car service home from the airport – from a work trip – and the driver told me that mothers belong at home. Needless to say, I didn’t give him a tip.”

“To be 100 percent honest,” says the working mom in Brooklyn Heights of her stay-at-home counterparts, “on occasion I find myself being superficial. You have that moment at the playground where the stay-at-home moms have sweatpants on and no makeup and just look haggard and you think, ‘Wow, I look good!’”

But while enmity would seem to be lobbed between the two groups, mothers do recognize the vulnerabilities of their individual positions and the sacrifices each group makes. The working mom in Brooklyn Heights estimates that she travels for work an average of one to two nights a month and attends an evening work event once a week. She acknowledges an easier bond with fellow working mothers, but concedes, “Most of my friends work, so I think I identify with them more. But, all in all, I don’t think either situation is perfect. Most stay at home moms I know feel isolated and bored and tired of being with the kids all day, and most working moms I know feel overwhelmed and guilty.”

Many working mothers feel they lack the very community some would rather avoid. Isolation is one of the biggest complaints for the working mom in Brooklyn Heights. Her 3½-year-old is in school five mornings a week, and she and her husband employ a nanny from noon to 7 on weekdays. “It is almost impossible to have a sense of community at the school because I’m never there at pick up when people are planning play dates etc. I always feel that, if there is an emergency, I really have very few people to count on. It’s simply that I don’t have time to form the bonds.”

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