Opportunity for women is a beautiful, wonderful thing.
I want my daughter to have the freedom to put her mind to whatever she likes. But opportunity has come at a cost in the form of some very complex, fundamental social complications.
We don’t seem ready to admit that taking a mum away from her kids and putting her in an office will have ramifications. Without touching a single research paper, I feel like biology is screaming this at us in the form of boobs, vaginas, hormones, mother guilt and a childhood anxiety epidemic.
The momentum on equality for women seemed to pause once we all got jobs.
It was like all the men of the world leaned back in their office chairs, breathed a collective, exasperated sigh of relief and said ‘Happy now?’ No, John, I’m not happy. I’m mad we didn’t push for more. You see, I would like to have some more progressive options when it comes to having a family other than ‘give your kids to someone else while you go to work’.
Surely we can come up with something a little more sophisticated than just outsourcing child raising duties or swapping the mum for the dad or freezing our eggs. Why can’t we freeze our careers?
Is extended maternity leave good for parents and employers? Post continues below.
I want to be able to choose to be mother, and only that, and not feel the oppressive weight of expectation to have a career at the same time.
I want my daughter to be able choose to take a decade out of the workforce, be valued by society for her choice, and then be supported and equipped to re-establish her career, rather than feeling the whole time that the workplace has moved on and that she has lost all that she has worked so hard for.
I want her to live in a society that values full time mothering as much as it values a pay cheque or a job title.
Support for women who choose to step back from their profession and physically raise their own kids until they go to school is severely lacking in this country. It’s lacking in government policy, in the workplace and in society in general.
I feel compelled to stay tangled up in this weird, unsatisfying mess of trying to have a career and raise young kids at the same time. I am an undeniable product of a society that tells girls they can and should be able to have it all.