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Working Mothers

May 20, 1993

While I respect Woodland Hills homemaker's Pauli Carnes' (Commentary, May 9) decision to devote herself to full-time motherhood during her children's formative years and well beyond, I am angered by her expression of hostility toward women who have chosen not to do so. Two passages in her article are particularly offensive in their smugness and self-righteousness--her assessment of a working mother as "a woman who is capable of dumping her child to pursue career goals" and her jab at such an individual's "inability or unwillingness to put another's needs ahead of one's own."

Carnes should spare us the justifications of how she's chosen to spend the last 15 years of her life if it involves taking potshots at those for whom full-time motherhood is not an option, either emotionally or economically. For this reason, her otherwise eloquent Mother's Day article rang hollow. To this working mother, who like many of us struggles mightily to balance multiple roles and feels good about the quality of her work and home life, it came across as not only intolerant, but frankly mean-spirited.

ELIZABETH A.T. SMITH

Los Angeles

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