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The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom: Choosing Career Over Family?

By Alf Gordon(13,356)

Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008
View All Blog Posts submitted by Alf Gordon

You're a mom of three who stays at home and takes care of the family while your husband goes out into the workforce every day.  Of course, this wasn't always your life.  Before the kids came along you had a satisfying career.  But long ago you decided that kids and family are more important.  Until the day you're granted the opportunity to spend a week working a dream job in that field again, with the possibility of being offered the position full-time.  Do you choose career over family?

TLC's new reality TV series, "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom", does just that.  Dad gets to cook and clean and take care of the kids; children get to experience daycare and babysitters; and Mom gets to see what life might have been like had she not chosen to give up her profession.  If she's good enough, she can turn that one-week trial into a full-time position.  It's every woman's dream, right?

Evidently not, if the feedback from the March 3 premiere episode is any indication.  Adrian, the mom in the first episode, decided to accept the full-time fashion design position offered her.  Once the show was over, the on-line message boards at the network's Web site were jam-packed with messages from irate stay-at-home moms (or SAHMs) who felt that Adrian was "selfish" for choosing career over children.  They were indignant that the show pushed the "feminist crap...idea that you need a career to be complete?  How about feeling complete by parenting your kids the right way?"  Others wanted the series to show "the other side of the story … how the kids' world is going to be turned upside down by having to go to day care."  And one woman went even further when she wrote, "Unless you're about to starve there is no reason for you to be at work. If you didn't want to raise your children, you should not have had them. It's child abandonment."

It's a touchy subject that TLC is gutsy enough to cover, and they attempt to do so in a fair and balanced way, with lots of qualifiers thrown in for good measure.  TLC identifies the SAHM as a career option (that's probably a first).  They are quick to point out that in future episodes, not all moms are offered positions, and not all the ones who receive offers accept them.  They also acknowledge the changes that will be necessary for those moms who decide to go back to work outside the home, particularly in areas like childcare and housekeeping.  The one thing that the show doesn't discuss, however, is that if these women discover their new jobs don't work out for whatever reason, they can most likely quit anytime without causing severe financial hardship to their family.  In the majority of two-income households, that isn't a viable option.

Regardless of which side of the debate you fall into, "Soccer Mom" is an interesting look at what life could be like for a family when Mom is given her dream job.  Now, if they'd come up with a show where Dad gets the same opportunity, I could volunteer for that one!

This Blog Post has been read 243 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Thursday, March 13, 2008
View other posts by Alf Gordon

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