Leslie Morgan Steiner responded to Mary Tsao's review of her book Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families on Literary Mama. In her review, Tsao wrote that while the book is a good one, its title and subtitle are unnecessarily divisive. Steiner responded:
I loved the Literary Mama review of Mommy Wars. I just wanted to explain the title.
What I found in talking to hundreds of moms over the past three years is that the worst "mommy war" is the one inside women's heads as we struggle to come to peace with our choices (or lack of choices) regarding work and kids. Nearly every college-educated mom I know struggles with whether she's made the "right" choice about how to balance raising kids and working. It's an inner dialogue that sometimes causes us to lash out at other moms who've made different choices -- hence the so-called "mommy war" between working and at-home moms.
No one in America tells moms that we are doing a good job. We all need to tell ourselves, and other moms, that we are good mothers. No "perfect mom" exists, despite the commercials, television programs, and articles that seem to insist that some kind of perfection is possible if we try hard enough! Moms are like snowflakes -- no two are alike. This doesn't mean we are better or worse than other mothers. We are simply ourselves.
Ask yourself "would I like to be my own kid?" This will give you a lot of answers about just how fine a mother you are.
All the best,
Leslie Morgan Steiner
Meanwhile, I had emailed Caitlin Flanagan to let her know that the author profile and book review had been published on Literary Mama. Flanagan did not comment on either piece, but instead sent me this:
Spray a pyrex baking pan with Pam
Put halibut steaks in the pan
Drizzle with combination of teriyaki sauce and olive oil
Put crumbled feta cheese on top
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes
Serve with couscous to which you have added some chopped pecans and fried cranberries
Different authors, different approaches to publicity.