According to actress Emma Thompson, you can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time.
Oh man, really? What the shit E.T.?!
Maybe she hit her head before the interview? Perhaps she was taken out of context?
I read this statement, recovered from the series of small strokes it induced, and then sought out the original Daily Mail article so I could better understand her line of thinking. After all, Emma Thompson is a goddess of epic proportions, a champion of working mothers everywhere, and a bloody great actress.
Upon further investigation things only got worse, Emma actually said: “I wanted to spend more time with my family. A year off was my birthday present to myself. I didn’t actually act or write. I was just a mum. I taught drama at my daughter’s school, cooked meals and had fun. I highly recommend others to do the same if they can afford it. You can’t be a great Mum and keep working all the time.”
Oh my Christ. So many emotions, which one to go with? Teaching drama?! What? I can’t even. You can’t even. She can’t even!
I think Emma Thompson’s good mother checklist goes something like this:
1. Ensure children’s emotional, physical and spiritual needs are met at all times. (Private family yoga sessions are involved here.)
2. Ensure house is always tidy and smells of lavender. (I don’t know why I went with lavender, it just felt inherently British.)
3. Feed children home cooked organic and nutritionally balanced meals. (With all fruit and veg grown in her own environmentally sound patch that the servants planted when she was being a bad mother.)
4. Perfect parental attendance of all child activities and sports. (Thank GOD the Range Rover fits seven!)
5. Impart Oscar winning wisdom on method acting to the next generation. (Ring Daniel Day Lewis. See if he is free for morning tea.)
Of COURSE Emma needed a year off to be a good mum – look at her list!
I think it comes down to one simple fact here, my definition of a ‘good mother’ vastly differs from Emma Thompson’s.
Let us focus on that fact, rather than Emma forgetting she was not addressing a convention of millionaires who find things like cooking, mothering and chores to be a quaint novelty.
You see, us working mothers are a sensitive lot. I don’t know about you but I am constantly scanning conversations, emails and other people’s inner dialogues for a hint of someone insinuating I am not measuring up as a mother.
Okay, I don’t really do that but I am ‘she’s a bad mother’ sensitive, because deep down my darkest fear IS that my children somehow suffer because I work. I mean, they would suffer a great deal more if I didn’t (in the form of starvation, hypothermia and general abject poverty). I don’t really have a choice; as I am sure many of you don’t either.