Apparently children of working mothers aren’t only higher achievers, but more emotionally developed.
Years ago, when I was 36, I fell over, dropped like a dead weight for no reason at all. BOOM.
At the hospital, they checked for everything (including HIV, as I had been working as a scientist on the body fluids of Australia’s first AIDS patient), advised me to wean my baby as a precaution, and guess what?
It turned out I was just exhausted.
Just exhausted. Just. Exhausted. Like every working mother in Australia.
Now, having crawled to the rock of perspective and rest, after 25 years of child-rearing, I look back through the corridor of time and those years seem like a whirling frenzy, barely glimpsed through a haze of fatigue. Like every working mother.
Fatigue, we can do. It’s our reality, whether we work at home or in the workforce. But if we work outside the home – as two-thirds of us do – what cuts through the exhaustion, interrupts our sleep in sharp pangs and lays a quiet hand of burden across the breadth of our lives, is guilt. How much does our absence, our displacement of infants and children to the care of others, impact on their delicate little psyches?
Is our quest for fulfilment, of equal rights to autonomy and financial independence, or our need to pay the bills, at the expense of our children’s healthy mental and emotional development?
Here are some kick-arse, well-known working mothers. (Post continues after gallery.)