Here's a post I wrote, published today on the NYT's Motherlode blog. I wrote this in response to a Mom's entry about her nanny, which you can read all about here. My two cents:
We're going through a time of change, where we middle class women find ourselves "required" to work and raise children at the same time. In some ways, our lives may be less fulfilling than our mothers'. It's fair for us to debate these issues here, out loud.
Having said that, I think that we're all going to have to accept the tradeoffs that our work-family situations require. It hurts me, sometimes a lot, that I'm not home with my two 'tween daughters. But I take strength from knowing that I am providing for them, materially, by working. These are competing feelings that I have to reconcile. When I feel that I've been too immersed in work, I cut back and take my kids out for a special day or weekend. I've sometimes changed jobs to have more time with them. I suppose that if I ever got to the end of that line of logic, I would join the radical moms I've read about who are growing their own food and rejecting consumerism and status labels. I'm privileged to have all of these options, but that doesn't make it easy or painless.
I also take solace in the idea that if our generation works through some of these issues, it will benefit our sons and daughters when they're raising families.