Staying at home to bring up kids can be really tough, so let’s give those mothers – and fathers – a bit of well-deserved respect
Will the debate about working mums ever
That’s the question I asked when I read that grandparents are helping more mums get back to work.
And, after Esther Rantzen said the decline of the housewife was leading to a generation of children with depression and anxiety, her daughter Rebecca hit back. She’s a stay-at-home mum, partly because of her mum’s commitment to her career when she was young.
We shouldn’t be made to feel bad if we choose to go out to work after having children.
There has always been an expectation in some quarters that if you’re the mum, you stay at home to look after the kids.
Being at home 24 hours a day, seven days a week with kids can be relentless.
After Jamie was born, I went back to work out of necessity.
Then Andy came along 15 months later and I gave up my job that came complete with a car.
I suddenly felt quite trapped. My job went, my car went and my freedom went.
That’s when I got into volunteering at the local tennis club. Just to get me out of the house for a few hours, to give myself a break and have something else to do.
You don’t know whether or not you will like being a stay-at-home mother until you’re in the thick of it.
You don’t realise what it entails. That’s why I think a lot of dads find it a real eye-opener if they’re left at home with the kids for a day.
They think mums who stay at home with children have a lovely time of it. It can be fun. But, for some, it can be mind-numbing when their children are very young.
So I don’t think anyone should be dictating to us if we feel like that.
Let’s get past the debate about whether or not women should be stay-at-home mums. The world is a very different place than it was even 20 or 30 years ago.
There are many more opportunities for women and, of the 70% who work, of course there will be many who do so out of necessity. Dads don’t come in for the same criticism. I know there are some stay-at-home fathers who choose to be there because they want to be with their children, or maybe their partner has a better job.
It’s horses for courses – but it’s always the women who get the rap. We have just as much right to be part of the working world as anyone.
Stay-at-home mums should be free to make the choice that’s right for them and their families. Life is not a one size fits all. We are all different.
So let’s stop criticising each other and support each other’s choices, instead.
Andy came along and I gave up my job – I suddenly felt quite trapped
It’s tough for stayat-home mums