Okay, it's a theme, a passion, an obsession, but many of us share it. Where will change come from?
Today, in between my almost 8-months-pregnant hibernal fog, I read in the Philly Inquirer about the new TV show, airing tonight, called Closer to Home, whose central character is a back-to-work mom detective. The article complained that she wears too much make up, but generally likes the show. Put that together with Lynnette, week 2, and her return to work, and does this mean that those invisible hollywood writers have a theme going? A theme that finally lets at least this aspect of motherhood on the air?
Now, we want all of motherhood on the air, but this is a good start. So, in case any TV writers ever check this blog, let me tell you what moms across america, and savvy dads, too, want to know about these characters: we want to know their salaries. We want to know the exact relation between what they did before kids and what they're doing now. We want to know the wage differential: did they lose status during their years at home? are they subject to the mommy wage gap? are they being paid fairly now? Just a few lines of dialogue will satisfy, no need to make a big deal. But if you want realism, if you want us to relax and believe, dish the numbers. Hollywood, if you can hear me, that's what I have to say. We want numbers. And ps, there's the contact question: Did these women have pre-existing contacts? Did they answer newspaper ads, seek headhunters? Did they have to network the whole time they were home with the kids?
I really truly am sleeping as much as I can, which means tonight I dozed on the couch as soon as Rob walked in the door, and missed even kissing my daughter goodnight. In my haze (the TV was on, we watched Eloise for the millionth time this afternoon....) I heard a news report, yet another, on whether working moms should feel guilty (answer: they shouldn't). Apparently a new government report. Apparently they want us all back in the workplace. The report reassures moms (see below) that it's only the margins of kids in daycare who become more aggressive, and most kids in daycare do just fine on all standards of behavior and intelligence. All of you know that I have to opinion on the daycare/homecare debates. There are many ways to raise a child. I'm just intrigued when I see a new juncture of concern and debate.
Is this just the Desperate Housewives effect? (Rumor has it the NY Post has a DH-angled article on back-to-work motherhood in a recent edition.) Could it be the economy's heating up again and they need women's skills and talents? If so, women, ladies, girls, when you head back to work: be confident, demand, negotiate, and get what you want, that's my advice. My only problem with this report: the dads. Dads are part of parenting too, let's keep them in the picture, whether they're at home, working, cycling back in, supporting, or whatever. Not every family has a dad, some have two moms, some have one, some families only have dads, but dads can't stay invisible in this story of change.
And now, because it's media night, I'm off to clean out my office, which is going to become the nursery. I'm moving upstairs, to a slightly larger space, but out of the hustle-and-bustle of what will become the family floor (ours is one of those old, narrow, tall houses). For a half-hour, since no one I know wants to miss Commander-in-Chief at 9 o'clock. Who says that TV is the poison of civilization? Not me.