During the recent British prime minister race, candidate Andrea Leadsom made the following comment: “Genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.” Many said the statement sounded like criticism against Leadsom’s Tory leadership rival then, Theresa May, who is now the new U.K. prime minister.
It’s hard to say whether Leadsom was engaging in “mommy wars” rhetoric against May, who has no children. At any rate, Leadsom apologized, and stepped down as PM contender. May, it turns out, has been married for almost 40 years; she and her husband wanted children, but couldn’t have any. Many lessons can be learned from this little episode, the most obvious being: you do not know the mind and heart of another person, so be charitable!
It’s true that everyone, whether a mother or not, has a tangible stake in the future of their country. But mothers also carry a certain anxiety concerning their children’s fate. In light of the thinning middle class (see here, here, here, and here), some of our children may not be better off than we are. The upward mobility and economic progress we’ve enjoyed, which has generally allowed each generation to land in a slightly better place than their parents, may be slowing down.
Read the rest of the essay at The Federalist