June 27, 2005

Kiddie Cornered
I’m not sure that someone who thinks that motherhood is something to be survived is someone who has valuable advice to give to mothers and fathers across America [“Empire of the Alpha Mom,” by Randall Peterson, June 20]. When Time Warner Cable finally picks up Alpha Mom, I won’t have the time to watch her programming about baby massage and raising overachievers. I’ll be busy playing with my kids.
—Neil Platt, Brooklyn

Hiding behind reams of statistics, endless work hours, and excessive household help is an easy way to put distance between you and your maternal ambivalence. Isabel Kallman isn’t the first mom who’s had trouble bonding with her baby. They’re all over town. It’s just annoying that she doesn’t try to find some true joy in her own house before feeling the need to broadcast into mine. I hope the Kallmans are saving up for therapy. Ryland is going to need it.
—Annie Miller, Manhattan

After the delivery room, women tend to abandon their brains, body, and libido. Hooray for Alpha Mom TV and for women who maintain high expectations of themselves throughout their lives.
—Meme Roth, Millburn, N.J.

What a fun story! I laughed out loud as I read about Isabel, Craig, and Ryland. Please continue to share their silly antics with your readers.
—Lucette Tulp, Franklin Lakes, N.J.

A am a full-time professional in my forties raising two children in Manhattan. I found Isabel Kallman’s attitude toward motherhood ominous both for her neglected son and for future generations of Americans reared according to her ill-considered manifesto. Kallman should keep her harmful business regimens where they belong: on Wall Street, not in the nursery.
—Louise Barder, Manhattan

Alpha mom, shmalpha mom. While I admire Kallman’s drive and motivation to take an idea and make it happen, the notion that she’s got it all under control is preposterous. For any new mom, especially one with a controlling personality, maintaining order is akin to scrambling up a mud slide; you never quite get a foothold. I wish Kallman luck. Sounds like she and her husband are in for a whirlwind of reality checks.
—Cathy Sontag Nish, Chappaqua, N.Y.

As a Wall Street lawyer, I’m familiar with the long hours of Wall Street executives, but I know no one who regularly works 100 hours per week as Kallman claims she did. As the parent of an 18-year-old daughter who grew up in Manhattan (without an army of assistants), I understand the difficulties of raising a child here. But how you can portray Kallman as the new paradigm of motherhood when she can’t even make it through her own 2-year-old’s birthday party—with the assistance of her husband, nanny, and babysitter? Her advice is worthless.
—Jonathan Turkel, Manhattan

This woman is not the Martha Stewart of parenting. Martha can actually cook, sew, garden, etc. This article gave no evidence of Isabel Kallman’s parenting skills. Mothers that I know don’t “carve out” the time they want to spend with their children. Rather, they carve out a little bit of time for themselves, if possible.
—Michelle Cerrato, East Northport, N.Y.

As the mother of three and a career woman, I found this story exhausting. Alpha Mom TV will just perpetuate the “pressure from the media and other mothers.” It seems like yesterday that I trotted off to Kindermusic, Gymboree, and SoccerTots with my own little girl, who is now heading off to college. It goes all too fast.
—Leslie Yalof Garfield, Larchmont, N.Y.

I found it disturbing that the only reference to “love” in that whole article about mother-child relationships was in a quote from the father. Her boy will grow up to be the monstrous mother of all alpha males—enabled, obnoxious, materialistic—just like Mom.
—Malerie Yolen-Cohen, Stamford, Conn.

I would have much rather read an article on Brian Sullivan, the dad in “Look Book” [by Amy Larocca, June 20]. He sounds infinitely more interesting a person and a parent.
—Hillary Spector, Manhattan

Letters to the Editor may be edited for space and clarity. To submit a letter:

Mail to:
Letters to the Editor
New York Magazine
444 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022-6999

NYletters@newyorkmag.com. Please include a daytime phone number.

June 27, 2005