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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