Drowning in guilt
I wanted to laugh and grab a glass of vino at the realisation I’m not the only one with no work/life balance (“Working lies”, Sep 1-2). I’d been feeling hard done by because I’m a single mum to two boys under six, I work three days and I’m on medication for chronic insomnia and depression that knocks me out for nine hours at a time. I don’t have the time to sleep that long! I felt like the only one who has a permanent mountain of clean washing, or who stands to the side while the non-working kindy mums give each other daily hugs. At work, I feel guilty that I can’t give more; at home, I feel guilty I don’t give enough time to my boys. Hell, I even feel guilty about feeling guilty. You will be inundated with letters. A flood is happening; we’re all awash in it. Nicole Watts
I have seen and experienced almost every situation the women in this article shared yet I consider myself one of the lucky ones. As a business owner I have flexibility, mostly, as to how I run my life, and I am able to extend that flexibility to my staff. Angela Ferguson Melbourne, Vic
This is not only a problem for women. Men who are successful in their careers inevitably miss out on many of the joys of being a parent and if women endeavour to be totally engaged with both work and family it is inevitable they will be stressed and become burnt out. Something has to give. Nicholas Ingram Richmond, Vic
I tentatively shared Christine Armstrong’s provocative yet strangely reassuring article with my career-minded daughter, who promptly shared it with her corporate and social worlds. Why have we not previously identified the true face of such commonplace distress? This grandmother would love to see real, life-saving change for a generation of wonderful, capable young women, and their innocent and deserving children.
Sue Walker Burnside, SA
“Working lies” reminded me of something an older woman told me years ago when I, too, was trying to juggle a demanding job and raise four young children: “Women can have it all, they just can’t have it all at once.” It changed my life.
Wanda Dunnet Narrabri, NSW
My husband and I made the decision for one of us to stay home. I work while he does everything like clockwork and I do appreciate it. We may not have the fancy holidays or car but we do have two children who have the attention of one parent all the time. Life’s too short to miss that first decade of a child’s life. Enjoy it while you can. Wendy Beggs
As a devoted husband, no argument here – just cruel irony, running your story on Father’s Day weekend. My darling wife is the true hero; she gladly gave up a career to stay home to care for our disabled child. There are devoted husbands, partners and fathers whose options for work-life balance are non-existent too, but we go on in shared service, with grace and love.
James Jarvis Graceville, Qld
When we retired 11 years ago, our daughter announced she had given 10 years to her children (then aged 10, eight and four) and promptly returned to her career. We are proud of her achievements but we have done our bit for 11 years and we’re still on call as she travels frequently. The grandparents are also struggling to cope! Not sure this is what we planned for our retirement.
Name & address provided Rod Bower made serious and inaccurate accusations against me in his recent article: “The spokesperson leading this actual act of terrorism against Fleurieu on the anti-Halal website Halal Choices was of course unable to substantiate her claims. Appalled by this gross act of bullying…” An “actual act of terrorism?” This is totally inaccurate and reveals that Bower doesn’t know what the word terrorism means. His accusations regarding terrorism and bullying are not supported with any evidence. As the director of Halal Choices I call for choice. I highlight the fact that most products are not clearly labelled so consumers don’t have a choice. Bower has no evidence of me bullying Fleurieu because it doesn’t exist.
Mid North Coast, NSW
For myself, and I’m sure many other Australians, Father Rod Bower stands out like a beacon of light in dark times. Here is a man who speaks for those of us who want to “reach out across cultural, ethnic and religious boundaries and recognise and celebrate our shared humanity”. Thank God for Father Rod Bower. Annemarie Malcolm Margaret River, WA
The writer of September’s best letter will receive a 12-month supply of skincare, valued at $500, from Australian brand Du’it. duit.com.au