What exactly does ‘having it all’ mean?
THE age old debate reared its head this week on whether working mothers really can ‘ have it all’.
As a relative newcomer to the species all I can do is scoff at the sheer patronising undertones to even the question itself.
Women who have children and who also work seem to always be the subject of the same criticism - that they are ‘not giving 100 per cent’ to any aspect of their lives.
Nobody in any walk of life wants to feel this way, and at times when that work/ life balance is tipping too heavily in one direction of another it is support, rather than criticism is needed.
This question about having it all is never once asked in relation to a working father and yet - today’s dads are more hands on that any generation before them.
Yes the mother is the one who carries the child and who gives birth but once that baby arrives neither parent can afford to sit back.
Rather than degrading mothers who work and bring up children wouldn’t it be a nice idea if the Government actually did something constructive to help us in our quest to raise our children - who by the way won’t be in nappies and childcare their whole lives, but will be valued and contributing members of society.
Why is it that working mums have to constantly defend ourselves to the criticism that comes from trying to meet all responsibilities to the best of our ability?
If we send our kids to childcare then we are called selfish and career hungry, regardless of our reasons - financial or otherwise.
If we try and devote more time to our children then we run the risk of looking work-shy.
Women who decide to have children and work are not ‘riding the system’ as some have claimed.
Receiving maternity benefit is not some sort of lottery bonus but is an entitlement considering all the taxes we pay during our working lives.
No parent should be punished or belittled for wanting to have a family and continue working. Do those naysayers expect every working mother (and father) to give up their jobs and go on the dole once they have a child?
What is needed is an end to this sort of judgement which really serves no purpose at all but to make those who might in struggling feel even worse.