The Crisis of the Working Mother: Reshaping the Conflict Between Family and Work by Barbara J. Berg (Summit Books: $16.95).
Like the rest of the 52% of American working women with preschool children, Barbara J. Berg discovered that she had come that proverbial "long way." But for all her education and accomplishments--a Ph.D. in history, a TV consultant and author of several books--she felt guilt and more than a touch of sorrow in leaving her children for the job.
The role of Supermom wasn't for her. So-called "quality time" turned out to be "fiction," and the crisis she experienced--shared by many working mothers responding to her questionnaire--resulted in feeling "ripped in two" and "torn apart."
Working mothers act out their sense of guilt and loss in not being prime caretakers for their children at a critical time. Some spoil their children outrageously; others turn into workaholics, burning the professional and domestic candle at both ends, and some become jealous of their children's caretakers. Berg was more than perturbed at having to explain to her daughter that the family housekeeper was not the "other mommy."