Betsy Hart

D) Over-mothering "alpha" moms may be as unhealthy for kids as the guilty workaholic parents who spoil their child. The dreaded "helicopter parent" can come from either home.

The pendulum on work preferences for moms may be swinging "back" to being in the home. And I think that's great. But let's not idolize that situation, either. How about a middle ground? I've long thought it just makes great sense for almost any mom to find at least something, even if it's volunteer work, that she can do on a part-time basis and forces her to say, at least sometimes to her little one: "Honey, I'm busy."

I remember my own mom pursuing a master's degree when I was very young. I saw that her heart, her "center," was in her home. But I also saw her passion for learning and knowledge, and that she had a life outside — or rather, besides — her five kids. Her identity wasn't wrapped up in us.

There are some folks who think the latter really isn't OK. I would remind them that even the biblical, celebrated wife and mother of Proverbs 31 fame was out buying land and selling garments, according to the text.

We moms do well to remind ourselves and our children, in some fashion, that work in itself is a good thing. After all, it was in the Garden of Eden before the fall.


Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service. Her column on cultural and family issues, “From the Hart,” is distributed each week to hundreds of newspapers cross the country. Betsy’s first book, "It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting out Kids – and What to do About It," was released in September, 2005, and was a top seller for its publisher, Putnam Books.