The second shift ain't harmful, ladies

Ah, economics Economix :laser graphics!: we meet again.

It turns out there was this big study about how working moms don't break their babies. That's good news, I guess.

I see a couple of issues, though:

The article is written as if the status quo is unchangeable. There are places in this world where mothers get a full year of maternity leave. When our daughter was born, we had to take out a loan just to cover the cost of my partner's 6 weeks of partial pay maternity leave, plus a few more weeks of unpaid leave. It doesn't have to be this way.

The article (I don't know about the research paper) does speculate that black mothers may be more likely than white mothers to have extended kin networks to help look after newborns (they don't present any data to back this up). So, it looks like researchers have caught on to the idea that there may be alternatives to the mother providing all the care. But they don't really run with it.

Perhaps there's a second (or third) mother? Maybe the mother is single? Perhaps there isn't a mother? Anyhoo, let's run with the current conservative paradigm for USian nuclear families. The mother might have a job, the mother should care for the kid, presumably clean the house, cook the meals.... Mother, mother, mother...

A commenter named Kate (turns out there's more than one of us) hits on the obvious point that couple consist of two people. It's 2010 and the men are still watching ballsports on the couch? Really?!?!

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