Mum shares photo that perfectly sums up the struggles of working mums
A powerful image.
Juggling work and being a parent is a struggle that most mums face, often much more than working dads do.
It's not always the case but for the most part working mums are often expected to carry the parental load more so than dads. It is also often presumed that if childcare is an issue it should be the mother who leaves her job.
This is an issue that has even come up in my family and while the frustration of it all can be hard to put into words this image sums it up perfectly.
Author Clementine Ford was photographed giving a speech while simultaneously carrying her child at the same time.
Ford described in her post how this is a regular occurrence for her and how when it comes to carrying the load even in 2019 it still seems to fall on the shoulders of mums;
"In all the years I’ve been speaking publicly, I’ve never seen a man singlehandedly have to balance caring for a child while preparing to speak on stage or do a panel.
I’ve never seen him walking a baby in a pram in the hopes they’ll sleep just before the event starts so it can all be done without interruption. Men generally don’t have to think about those things, because they have women doing it for them.
I’ve breastfed my son on stages, rocked him in a carrier, let him crawl around at my feet and been greatly supported by volunteers or friends who’ve entertained him off stage. With only one exception, all of these village members have been women. "
Ford went on to speak about something that I've often experienced myself as a working mum. It's not something that I've come across in my current workplace but in other jobs when a problem has arisen at home or I couldn't attend a work night out there was very much an attitude of 'why are you even here? You chose to have kids go home to them and let someone else have this job.'
Like Ford it's not an attitude I've ever seen being taken with men. My husband is a father as much as I am a mother but no one ever asks him why he's not at home with his children or why he chooses to work when he's a parent.
"Shamefully, it took me becoming a mother myself to really understand this. That’s the way it is with most people it seems. Out of sight, out of mind. You bloody chose to have those kids! Etc.
Except that men are not at all excluded or punished for becoming parents the way that women are excluded and punished for becoming *mothers*. And the lengths we go to minimise the presence of our children or apologise for them is really telling. It’s a very white thing.
I suggested last night that all public forums need to include childcare in their budgets. Not just for speakers, but for attendees too. It should become the norm! Communities INCLUDE children. They belong in spaces like these too. "
I completely agree that more workplaces and colleges should have childcare options in place so that more parents can return to education and work without the worry of who will look after their child for those few hours.
It's important that we start to treat parents with more respect and consideration especially since they are helping to raise the next generation.