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The Cost of Being a Working Mother

February 10, 1985

I think it's great that Jeanne Goodman-Nelson can afford to raise her two daughters rather than pursue a salaried career ("To Mother, Cost of Working's Too High," View, Jan. 13). However, she needs to realize that not all women have the luxury to exercise the option she has chosen.

Many women, especially those raising children as single mothers, are forced to work at jobs that pay the paltry $1.85 an hour (after allowing for the hidden costs of job related expenses) that Ms. Goodman-Nelson is so proud to turn down.

If Ms. Goodman-Nelson were to find herself without a source of income for a period longer than two months, she, too might be willing to accept such a low-paying job.

It's clear that the middle-class status she already enjoys is what enables her to reject a less-than-enticing job. However, women from less comfortable situations cannot afford to be so discriminating.

I find the self-righteous attitude that Ms. Goodman-Nelson expresses to be shameful. How unfortunate that her middle-class upbringing failed to give her the sensitivity to empathize with those who are less well off than she is.

Maybe one day Ms. Goodman-Nelson will find herself without a husband, without a job and forced to raise two daughters on her own. And if that day comes, perhaps the job she so smugly expects to await her at age 40 will no longer be available.

Perhaps then she will cultivate an appreciation for the circumstances that require women to devote their days to careers.

DEBORAH STARK

Fullerton

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