To all the mothers feeling guilty and judged,
That sick feeling you have in the pit of your stomach while following this week’s debate about working mothers and putting kids ahead of career? I get it. I know it. I’ve had it.
A column by Miranda Devine about how women should always put their children above their career (otherwise their lives are meaningless and nobody will be sad at their funeral) and the subsequent angry-teary defiant response by radio host Em Rusciano who passionately insisted women work because they have to and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about it… these are good conversations to have.
Let's never dismiss them as 'mummy wars' because that's condescending bullshit. As women, this is an issue we're heavily invested in and it serves us all to air them thoroughly and often. There is no right answer for all women. Just the right answer for you.
I’m not going to slag off either Miranda or Em - or any woman - for the choices she makes around work and family. We’re all just trying to do our best.
Our biggest fear as mothers is that we’re doing it wrong. Our biggest hope is that there is a secret formula for making a happy, healthy child who will grow into a happy healthy adult with nothing but praise for our parenting skills. Hahahahaha.
Never gonna happen.
But I need to tell you some things. I’ve been a parent for almost 20 years and I’ve learned so much over that time. I want to share some of it here and now for every woman feeling a bit sick, guilty and judged by the public debate that rears so often as it has this week about working motherhood and never about working fatherhood... ever.