Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mother's Little Helper

I just got through watching a very disturbing news clip from ABC. It was a part of a 20/20 focus story on mothers and drinking. While the episode was designed, using face-to-face interviews, to bring this secret habit to light, I found the interview tactics to be appalling. The woman conducting the interview phrased almost every question posed to a recently recovering alcoholic mother in terms of "Did you realize that you were putting your child in danger?" Although that question was only asked directly once during the ten-minute clip that I watched, every other question contained subtexts of this message. What the hell! Of course the mother knew in her heart that she was putting her child in danger. Here we go again, it seems like every issue that is supposed to focus on women is turned inside out in order to display her failures as a caregiver. Quite obviously this poor woman was struggling with leaving a high profile job in order to be a stay-at-home mom. For many women the transition to staying at home comes naturally and easily, for others it can be devasting and the subsequent guilt that they feel for not enjoying it can be overwhelming. So here is this mother admitting on national television that she drove her daughter while drinking and the interviewer asks "So you drove your daughter when you had been drinking, weren't you aware that you were putting her in danger?" I had to hand it to this mother who, after a long pause, said, "The answer to that is kind of obvious don't you think."

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