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'Mommy Wars' by Leslie Morgan Steiner (WG92)

[Pre-registration Deadline: 8pm, Sunday, 03/12/2006]
The debate in the United States about the benefits of working vs. stay-at-home motherhood is ongoing. Come hear the most authoritative--and fascinating--viewpoints...which come from the mom

With motherhood comes one of the toughest decisions of a woman's life: stay home or pursue a career? As an executive at the Washington Post and a mother of three, Leslie Morgan Steiner (WG'92) has lived and breathed every side of the mommy wars. Rather than just watch the battles rage, she decided to do something about it. She asked 26 outspoken mothers to write about their lives and the choices that have worked for them. The result is a frank, surprising, utterly refreshing look at American motherhood. Mommy Wars is a book by and for and about the real experts on motherhood and hard work: the women at home, in the office, on the job every day of their lives.

Date: Tuesday, March 14th
Time: 12:00 noon - 1:30pm
Location: Wharton West, 101 Howard St., 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
Cost (including box lunch): $15 each for current WCNC members and their accompanied guests. $25 each for non-member alumni and other guests. $15 each for current members of affiliate clubs/organizations. Additional $10 after Sunday, March 12th if seats are still available.
Special Offer: Purchase the book with your ticket for an additional $15 (list price $24.95) and pick it up at the event! Limited number of books available, so purchase before they run out!.

Register online

From the Introduction of Mommy Wars (www.mommywars.net):

Motherhood in America is fraught with defensiveness, infighting, ignorance and judgment about whatís best for kids, family and women--a true catfight among women whoíd be far better off if we accepted and supported all good, if disparate, mothering choices. For years, I struggled to end my own personal catfight over career and family balance--and I tussled mightily to stop myself from disparaging other womenís different solutions. I still struggle. Along the way, Iíve perplexedly watched working women transmogrify into happy (and not so happy) stay-at-home moms, and seen others continue doggedly working, some happily and others with deepening resentment and anger over the drudgery and missed opportunities both at home and at work.

Nearly every week, someone tells me how lucky I am--that I have the best of working and stay-at-home motherhood. Until 2:30 every day, Iím a working mom in the advertising department of The Washington Post. Then I tear down the office stairs (late, always late), speed walk home, rip off my Tahari suit and pantyhose, and pull on yoga pants and my Merrill Jungle Slides just in time to grab our two year old and pick up the older kids from school. But the truth is I feel like a hybrid--neither working mom nor true stay-at-home mom.

I donít understand moms who find happiness staying home all the time, without work and their own incomes (however large or small). I canít fathom why some working moms stay stuck in too-demanding jobs or careers that they openly resent because of the quality (and quantity) time they miss with their kids. But what I know for certain, because I see it almost every day from each side of the battlefield, is that the two groups misunderstand and envy each other in the corrosive, fake-smiling way we women have perfected over the eons.

How can some moms stay home? Why is it that others, like me, so clearly cannot? Do we all fight our own private catfight about whether to work or stay at home? Does that explain why weíre so bitchy to women whoíve made different choices?

My confusion and curiosity about other momsí lives is what led me to create this book. I needed to hear from happy stay-at-home mothers and hard-driving career moms about what life is truly like for them. To bridge the gap between working mom fantasies and fears about stay-at-home lives (and vice versa) twenty-six wonderful writers have laid out, step by step, how theyíve made their choices and why the decisions are right (or not so right) for them, their children, their husbands, the world. I found it provocative, in the best sense of the word, to juxtapose the stay-at-home mom elucidations with the working mom ones, and to mix in a few hybrid part-timers like myself. In order to end this catfight and emerge united, we need to explain ourselves to each other.

Very much of the debate in the United States about the benefits of working vs. stay-at-home motherhood has been taken over by experts: researchers, academics, politicians, journalists. Many of them arenít women. Many arenít even parents. The most authoritative (and fascinating) answers come from the moms themselves.

So letís hear from them.

Leslie Morgan Steiner (WG'92)
Leslie Morgan Steinerís career combines international marketing, publishing, new product launches and motherhood. She works at The Washington Post. Her most recent position was General Manager for The Washington Post Magazine and a director in the Advertising Department at The Washington Post; she is currently on book leave for her anthology Mommy Wars, to be published by Random House in March 2006.

Steiner holds a BA in English from Harvard College. Her first job was as an editor at Seventeen Magazine; she financed her Wharton degree by writing for Seventeen, Mademoiselle, New England Monthly and Money Magazine. She is a member of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), serves as a member-at-large on The Maret School Alumni Council, and is a former spokeswoman for The Harriet Tubman Center in Minneapolis, the countryís oldest shelter for abused women and children. She and her husband, Perry Winter Steiner WGí93, live with their three children ages 8, 7 and 3, in Washington, DC.

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