Week in Review
We hear a lot about empowering women. So they can have careers. And not just be mothers. As if that is a bad thing. We hear how wonderful it is when women return to work after having a baby. And the importance of childcare so women can have children without it affecting their career. We hear about how great it is that these women have it all. Children. And a career. But what we don’t hear about is how the children feel about it (see Shirley MacLaine Chose Career Over Me, Daughter Says by GWEN GOWEN posted 2/1/2013 on ABC News).
“Mommie Dearest” is the classic movie about what it was like growing up the daughter of a Hollywood star. The star, Joan Crawford, came to be seen as the epitome of the mother no one would want.
Now the spotlight is on the parenting skills of another Hollywood icon, Shirley MacLaine.
MacLaine’s lookalike daughter, Sachi Parker, talks about her childhood in the book “Lucky Me: My Life With — and Without — My Mom, Shirley MacLaine.” Parker says MacLaine chose being a movie star over being a mother…
“She was very absent,” Parker said. “I was very lonely — very lonely. Definitely. And I still struggle with abandonment issues and loneliness.”
In the book, Parker writes that MacLaine was always happy to see her for about four hours, and then suddenly she became a burden…
When she was two years old, Parker said, MacLaine sent her to Japan to live with her father and MacLaine’s husband, businessman Steve Parker…
MacLaine remained in Los Angeles to make “The Apartment” with co-star Jack Lemmon. Her career came first, as she explained to Barbara Walters in 1990.
“I saw my mother suppress her own creativity. I wasn’t going to let that happen to me. First of all, children pick up on that and they feel guilty about … having been responsible for your not realizing your creativity, so that was not going to happen,” MacLaine said.
If your career is so important why even have children? If you don’t want to be a mother and find being a mother a bore and a pain why even be a mother? Why ruin the life of your child because you’re so selfish. Putting your creativity ahead of your child’s well-being?
Few working mothers are Shirley MacLaine or Joan Crawford bad. But effort and creativity put into a career is effort and creativity that a child will not have. Is that fair to the child? While their mothers have a choice they don’t. They just have to settle for a part-time mom. Unlike their mother’s mother. Who probably had a full-time mom.
If you asked the children they’d probably prefer a full-time mom. But we don’t ask the children. Probably because people don’t want to hear their answer. Sure, they’ll want to hear them say we need to do something about global warming. That gay people should have the same right to get married as anyone else. That we need to pay their teachers more. But when it comes to them wanting a full-time mom then it’s the old children should be seen and not heard.
If you want a career have a career. If you want children have children. But if you want to have both think of what the children would want. And what’s fair to them. Don’t be a Joan Crawford. Or a Shirley MacLaine.