by NICOLE MADIGAN
Very rarely do you read an article by a stay-at-home-mother (the reason for that pretty self-explanatory really) describing working mums as selfish, reminding them of all the firsts they’ll miss or the difference in care their child will receive at a group centre as opposed to at home.
On the flip-side though, I’ll often read an opinionated piece by a working woman proclaiming child-care to be the selfless option (the children are being socialized) and using clever words (as we journos do) to imply that stay-at-home-mothers are simply content to be at home baking cakes, are over-protective and fail to encourage independence in their children.
While working mothers on the other hand, desire intellectual stimulations and are better mothers for it, putting up with the guilt of child-care for the benefit of their child and to keep their minds functioning well.
Let me say straight up that I support all choices – stay-at-home, work part time, work full-time – it’s a mother’s call and everyone of us chooses the option that works best for us and our families.
I am not a fan of any of the “choices” debates be it work/stay at home, dummy/no dummy, breastfeed/bottle feed etc.
I also hate the judging that goes with them.
But what I also object to is the frequent insinuation that women who choose to stay at home (or work from home) with their children are simply wired that way. Mumsy types without career ambition content to watch The Wiggles and sing nursery rhymes with their over-protected tots.
It’s simply not the case. I know from experience.
Until the day I fell pregnant, my focus has been my career. My parents raised and encouraged me to be that way.
Throughout school, I was focused on getting into uni (among other standard teen interests like boys and friends).
During university, I was focused on breaking into the media.
When I did find my way into the media, it was all about climbing the ladder and pursing my journalism dream.
And I was doing just that. I had a great job as a reporter and presenter for Channel Nine Brisbane when I fell pregnant for the first time.
I loved my job – and everything that came with it – the functions, the parties, the freebies, the fashion.
But when I had my baby, I just knew I couldn’t go back. Continuing in that position – as much as I loved it – would have meant seeing my son for just enough time to say good morning and good night. And for me, that wasn’t enough.