I can’t help but write a blog about this.

There was an article in the New York Times about a month ago written by a female doctor with four kids and she stated no woman should go to medical school if they are not going to work full time when they are done.  I won’t get into the arguments for and against her, but I applaud her for bringing up the conversation.  Needless to say, my hypereducated Bay Area group of female friends, many of whom are lawyers, doctors, and business school types, have had lively discussions about this.  And it prompted us to make a book club, and our first assignment?  To read “Torn, True stories of Kids, Career, and the conflict of modern motherhood,”  edited by Samantha Walravens, with chapters by some fantastic writers, career and noncareer women, who share their stories.

The crux?

Working mom, Part time working mom, Stay at home moms.  There are many different paths we can take, and since you are on this website entitled body post baby, you have already made the one common choice- to have a child (or many children).

So then you get to the this thing they talk about … “BALANCE.”  What is that?

The stories are well written, insightful, and open.  I found it refreshing to see women really talk about their lives and the complexities.  And it writes about both sides of the fence: those who are working with kids, and those who “opted out” and are stay at home moms.  Both groups have issues with balance.  Both groups have issues with navigating our current world and how to mother in it.

I’ll update you on the gist of my book club meeting.  Should be interesting.  But for any of you who want a good read in tiny bite sized pieces (the only kind of book to read when you have the craziness of kids), I like this one.

I know this isn’t really about plastic surgery.  But being a working mom, I loved this study which looked at kids and obesity.  One of the questions raised in recent times is whether childhood obesity rates going up has something to do with more mothers having to work.  In 2000, the New York Times reported for the first time since the Census Bureau began tracking numbers, families in which both parents are working is the majority, including the traditional married with children group.  Here in the Bay Area we know most of us can’t afford our house without two working parents.  

This study out of Australia, to be published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine, looked at 2500 children at two different points- ages 4/5 and again at 6/7.  There were three groups of moms: stay at home, full time working, and part time working. 

Findings (Dum ta dum dum drumroll): Mothers who worked part time were more likely to have healthier children than either of the other groups.  They found those children watched an hour less of TV per week and had a healthier lifestyle. 

Full time career women had higher rates of overweight children.  The thoughts were they had fewer home cooked meals and less time to encourage active, physical play.

Stay at home moms? Unclear why they were more likely to have overweight kids, but they postulated the part time working mom might balance work and family demands better. “They reschedule activities, sleep less, and allocate less time to personal care and leisure to ensure that time with children is protected.”

Regardless, it was good for me to read.  It is nice to know stay at home moms and full time working moms were in the same boat, and part time working moms fared the best.  So working isn’t the issue.  Balancing and scheduling well seems to be the ticket.

Ooooh.  Or perhaps this means we all need a day or two off a week.  As the study shows,  it is better for our kid’s health and weight….