A post written by my wife. Most appropriate as Mothers Day approaches
Everyone is talking about their mother this week. It could be because it is Mother’s Day on Sunday, but the actual cause is a comment by a politician, followed by a nasty retort from a newspaper journalist.
The gist of it all is that some women in the past were prevented from pursuing a career and had to settle for marriage and motherhood. (Do they realise that they’re saying their mother got second best when she became their mother?)
And so we have story after story published of women who missed the opportunity to be lawyers, doctors and all those other prestigious professions.
Instead they were “doomed”, “corralled”, or “pushed”, into “domestic slavery”.
I have always maintained that being a wife and mother is a career. If our society saw the role of mothers to be caregivers first, (as that is what we are designed, physically and emotionally, to be), and view the time they spend working outside the home as the ‘other’ job, I believe we would find a more harmonious balance. And every woman’s work would be equally valued.
Instead of saying “I took time off (my paid job) to have a baby” why don’t we turn it around and say “now that I have finished having children and they’re more independent, I will do that course or start that job”. Maybe we should be talking about taking time off my role as a mother to pursue paid work. This also implies that parenting is a forever role that you go back to every night. And the other job is the ‘other job’. We might begin by not asking people what they do. As if their job defines them. (I am reminded of some headstones in Switzerland. On them is written the deceased’s title and profession. No mention of the loving family she had.)
I think that the politician’s mother had it around the right way all along. She wanted to be a lawyer but her job as his Mum came first. Later, when she had raised two fine, competent sons, she took time off to study and begin a different career.