Go Figure: 'Script of Intensive Motherhood' Creates Stress and Anxiety


More money, more problems? Maybe not.

Those who can and do shell out cash for “the most expensive nanny, a private plane, the best massage therapist, and the best occupational therapist” for their children find themselves more anxious, not less. The unique pressures of the upper crust may seem inviting when you are scrubbing out your dishwasher while your kids are ransacking your family room because you can’t afford another trip to the zoo this week.

Obviously (to some), money cannot fulfill, or really even solve many of the problems of everyday life. Go figure. But the funny thing is, were you (ye of lesser means) entrusted with the cash flow of the upper class, you really might fare better, so long as you remembered the values you forged in the depths of the lower-middle income strata of the first-world caste system. The “stress and anxiety” experienced by upper-class mothers, as noted by Wednesday Martin, author of Primates of Park Avenue, are traceable not to income and expenses but to the values one has that drives those expenditures, such as “a script of intensive motherhood” that says you owe your child a perfect childhood. Jettison that script, and upper-income folks may find themselves on the up-and-up.