Of all the stock images of working moms I found, only this mom looked the appropriate amount of stressed-out. / Image via Shutterstock

With after-work events on back-to-back nights, I felt the most substantial pangs of Working Mom Guilt this week since I became a mom in January.

In a fluke of good timing, though, a high-profile study dropped to assuage my feelings: It found evidence that the children of working moms are just as happy in adulthood as those whose moms stayed at home.

Coverage of the study, though, shows there’s still room for improvement.

CBS Morning News invited New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor on to discuss the study – Kantor has done plenty of her own research on family workplace policies.

In a twist of fate, she told producers there that she might not be able to appear because of … childcare issues! The show encouraged her to bring her daughter along with her, a move she celebrated in an Instagram post.

Posts like those always get lots of praise online, but a wonderful column from April outlined why bringing your kid to work with you isn’t really a solution we should be cheering:

But these moments of furiously spinning all our plates in the air at once need to be the rare exception rather than the rule. That’s the problem with the badass-working-parent image: the implication is, “See? She can do it all, and she’s not whining about parental leave or daycare space or missing work because her kid has pink eye. Everything is fine!”

Kantor, of course, handled the appearance well and said that the whole “mom guilt” concept is actually one that’s increasingly felt by both parents.

“This is a generation reared on paternity leave and the men I interview in the workplace, they feel a real tug to be with their children as well,” she said.

But the fact that men feel guilty about leaving their children too isn’t really a “win” – a win would be if we had better policies in place to help parents juggle work and raising kids, including far more affordable childcare options.

And the fact that all of this is framed around the idea of “mom guilt” – hell, we needed a whole study examining whether working moms were damaging their kids – shows how much the conversation remains framed around women as caregivers.

In a separate interview this week, best-selling author Lauren Groff spoke to the Harvard Gazette about her new book.

When the Gazette asked how she juggles motherhood with her successful career, Groff had a pretty awesome response:

I understand that this is a question of vital importance to many people, particularly to other mothers who are artists trying to get their work done, and know that I feel for everyone in the struggle. But until I see a male writer asked this question, I’m going to respectfully decline to answer it.​

What VOSD Learned This Week

In the wake of the deadly hepatitis crisis, the city was desperate to show it was making moves to address homelessness. One of those moves was strange: a rushed deal to buy a shuttered indoor skydiving facility – and it won’t house a single homeless person.

Meanwhile, as the city continues to struggle with a lack of affordable housing, Councilwoman Georgette Gomez is working to establish a list of affordable housing projects whose funding is set to expire.

In both cases – the skydiving building and the affordable housing list – the city is trying to address the homelessness and housing crises by doing something other than building new places for people to live.

Speaking of places to live …

There are about to be fewer vacation rentals in San Diego, and less money coming in to the city as a result, thanks to new restrictive regulations passed by the City Council on Monday. Lisa Halverstadt outlined the big questions surrounding the new rules, including how the city will go about enforcing them.

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Maya Srikrishnan this week unraveled the fascinating case of a Kazakh man arrested by ICE despite having a pending asylum claim. The man, an evangelical Christian who says he’s being persecuted by the Kazakh government, had an international warrant out for his arrest. A day after our story ran, an immigration judge tossed the case – allowing his asylum claim to proceed.

And over in federal court, judges in San Diego this week started losing their patience with the many problems the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance approach to border prosecutions is causing for the court system.

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We recorded a fun live podcast on Wednesday night, where Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez broke a little news.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“An almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess.” – FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, on the fact that the agency’s current standards for milk reference products from lactating animals.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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