THE WORKING MOTHER by Sidney Cornelia Callahan


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Mrs. Callahan in her introduction to these sixteen personal testimonies of working mothers ably confirms that ""a good worker is a good mother."" Self-reliant, self-respecting mother/workers have the ego flexibility to function well in both worlds. In fact ""Work takes up their aggressive energies to shape and achieve, and keeps their children from being unduly worked on."" She also examines varieties of substitute mother care, the inadequacies of present facilities and familial-civic attitudes, and the need for a balance between group and home care. (""The individual has to have somewhere to go if he dissents."") The case histories here -- some questionnaire-based narratives, some interviews -- are wildly out of synch as a population sample. On the one hand there are, with one exception, white professionals, lawyers, doctors, social workers, etc.; on the other, low-salaried black women. These comprise two valuable categories (the similarities and divergencies are instructive) but one could wish for a larger representation of factory workers, sales people, professional assistants, for example, of all backgrounds. But all admit the difficulties; most deal with guilt feelings; and to a woman, they state that they work because they enjoy it and dread ""sinking into the sink."" Raw material and a few incidental reflections on the changing image of the working mother.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1971
Publisher: Macmillan