Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hey Ladies, Lets Play Nice: the working mum balancing act

Lets hug this thing out!

Last week I was watching celebrity Big Brother (yes I know, I know don't judge me too harshly) and two of the female celebrities were really upset as they had received letters from home and were missing their kids.
One of the other contestants (also a woman) commented that if you are going to miss your children you shouldn't leave them for any period of time,especially for work. The underlining subtext being "if you cared so much you wouldn't leave them so you have no right to express sadness or upset at being parted from them"
What vaguely depressed me was that I saw this attitude echoed from lots of other women on twitter and facebook and yet when one of the male contestants wept over his own letter from home the response was overwhelmingly supportive. What a guy, how amazing to openly show emotion like that. Not a single person questioned why he had left his kids for three weeks, because after all thats what men do isn't it?
Why do we judge each other like this? Working mothers are uncaring, stay at home mothers are unambitious and dull and god forbid if you decide not to have kids at all then you are regularly questioned and deemed vaguely "unnatural"
I'm in quite a fortunate position at the moment as being self employed I fit my work around my daughters school time but prior to this when I worked for another company I had to leave my daughter for long days dropping her off at nursery first thing in the morning, collecting her late in the day. Was it hard? sometimes yes, did I miss my daughter? often, did I need to work both for the money and the creative stimulation? you betcha.
To question a woman's love for her child based on a sliding scale of how many hours she works is both ignorant and cruel and ladies we need to stop it.
Life's tough enough so lets stop jumping on judgement bandwagons and just high five each other for doing the very best we can. Stay at home, full time worker, earth mother, or child free its all good.So as the saying goes unless we have walked a mile in another dames slingbacks lets cut her some slack.

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  1. Well bloomin said that woman!
    @mrsmarsa x

  2. I'm a childless, not wanting children person and even I also noticed the inequality of comments and attitudes between women and men working away from their children. Last time I checked, it takes two to make a baby.

  3. Well said, it is difficult being a working mum,it's a constant juggle

  4. Very well said!!! I think we're all doing the best we can, right?? Why not make the world a bit easier and show each other some support, rather than bringing each other down.
    I agree with Vicky, does take two! And yet the attitudes towards men & women are so unfairly different sometimes...
    I think the overall direction is progress, though. Onward and upward!!

  5. Being a mother is very conflicting. The first two and half years I worked and went to school and I missed my son like crazy. I literally counted the hours I got to spend with him every day. When baby number two came and child care became more expensive than the money I was bringing home, I was thrilled to become a stay at home mom. Now, I dream of the days I got to go to that magical place called work where I got to feel like a whole, satisfied person. So those are our options? To feel like a satisfied person or a satisfied mother?

    And then there are those horribly stressful days where you haven't showered in a while and you see your non-parent friends posting pictures of the fabulous adult things they did over the weekend and you realize that not only are vacations and dinners at fancy restaurants out of the question, but just quickly popping in and of a store is fantasy. Then that awful guilt inducing thought that maybe you shouldn't have dove into the whole parent thing briefly flutters through your mind. And with all of that, with all of the pressures we put on ourselves, with all the anxiety to find happiness, why would we turn around and put those pressures and judgments on someone else? We should know how hard it is to be both a mother and a person and not lose our minds in all of it. What works for one isn't what works for all.

  6. I would love to be able to stay at home with my kids and do something that fits around there school hours but the fact is my husbands job isn't stable and we need a steady income (mine is just enough to survive on his pays for luxureys like clothes ! and if he gets a really good run a holiday !!!) people wind me up so much judging me especialy when they find out my youngest has autisum but to be quiet frank I think that doing diffrent things all the time is what stops him from becoming to set in his ways (although I understand this wouldn't work for all autistic children and would make some extreamly unsettled and upset) and I'm going to finish that rant there before I go of on a tangent ! lol

  7. Parenting is hard (but rewarding) work whichever way you approach it, I wish we would all stop beating each other with the 'bad parent stick' and support each others choices more.

  8. Oh Betty. This is so true! I believe that every person needs to decide what is right for them. Who are we to judge them? I am child-free and I constantly get asked why I don't want children and what is wrong with me. Quite frankly, it's no one's business! And if I do end up changing my mind? That's no one's business either. It's also true that mother's tend to be the ones who are judged and father's get to come and go as they please without it being questioned. We've still got a way to go on the equality front. x


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