Kathryn Lopez

Warner, as she explains it in her book, believes that the village should raise the children. In "Perfect Madness," Warner calls for "institutions that can help us take care of our children so we don't have to do everything on our own," wanting French-style month-long mommy vacations and other big-government solutions.

Now, don't get me wrong, a month off sounds great in a "Calgon take me away" kinda way. And I don't mean to diminish the stress and anxiety that comes with families making hard choices, sometimes a single parent making it. But ... can we be serious?

Her thinking is pulled straight out of Betty Friedan. Friedan wrote: "But even if a woman does not have to work to eat, she can find identity only in work that is of real value to society -- work for which, usually, our society pays." Warner, who has, in fact, been dubbed "The New Betty Friedan," would easily run the hysteria marathon with the feminist torch of victimization held high. But that's nothing to award a gold medal for.

Friedan/Warner thinking is a slap-in-the-face to stay-at-home moms who are home because they actually want to be there. And it's an attitude that is damaging to children. O'Beirne summarizes the research and debates well in a chapter of "Women Who Make the World Worse" called "Day Care Good; Mother Bad." Besides the ear infections and other physical disadvantages of sending your kid off to an institution, an expert on the first three years of childhood, O'Beirne cites, says it all -- and it's all so natural: "babies form their first human attachment only once. Babies begin to learn language only once ... The outcome of these processes play a major role in shaping the future of each child."

I'm not looking to inflame so-called Mommy Wars here, but it's pretty simple: If you can stay home with your kid, it's a good thing. Embrace it. Don't let modern day bottle burners tell you any differently.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.