Sorry peeps but I have to get onto my soap box for a small moment this week.
Miranda Devine published this short article “Don’t let your career make you a bad mother” the other week, and not surprisingly…it has caused a bit of a stir among the media.
Admittedly, when I first heard this article being discussed (on the Mamma Mia webcast), I immediately went into battle mode. WHAT THE? This is OUTRAGEOUS! As they debated it out on the webcast, I found myself yelling at the radio … how dare you imply that I am a bad mother simply because I choose to go to work.
Feeling a tad defensive Claire? Ahh…yes… possibly.
The thing is, I am a little bit sick of these silly arguments and inflammatory articles (which, mind you, I’m sure was designed to do exactly what it has done). Because when you break it down, the whole argument is completely flawed by the fact that the analogy she is basing her assumptions on in the article…was, infact, a woman who was both a mother AND a doctor…and by all accounts it appears that she managed to do both these things successfully.
Because actually, the reality is not the either/ or debate it is made out to be.
It is not simply a choice between being a crazed career woman who palms her children off to nanny’s while she selfishly talks on her mobile phone (have you seen the movie Storks? Please reference for classic stereotypical example of career parents) OR an obsessive stay at home mother, who spends all her time at the school canteen and frowns on mothers who dare to bring anything but sugar free home baked cookies to the Fete Bake stall. Sure…there would be some people who sit at these exaggerated ends of the spectrum but most of us normal people would sit somewhere in the middle.
Our prioritization of our jobs and our kids may change from year to year, month to month, day to day even. And there are so many other facets of our lives that define us. If I wasn’t a mother, I would not cease to exist or add no value. But I am a mother and yes…I do work. I am also a wife. I am a friend. I am a blogger. I am a really bad but enthusiastic dancer.
When I choose to “prioritise” dancing around the lounge room instead of doing homework with my kids, does that make me a bad mum in that moment. Hell no. It makes me really hilarious and cool (just for the record)…and it makes my kids roll their eyes and laugh.
So PLEASE can we stop having this conversation. We do not just have Option A and Option B on the table. We have a plethora of choices, and we need to stop judging people for the choices they have made.
At my funeral, I hope my children talk about what a wonderful, caring Mum that I was. My colleagues talk about my passion for my work. My friends and husband talk about my general awesomeness. Then they all do some daggy dancing at the wake.