There are two things I’m a bit sick of in the press this week. The first is the idea that women must pay a price for “having it all”. That’s rubbish. Women don’t pay a price for “having it all”. We pay a price for having to deal with more than our fair share of “it”.
Second, the “money” myth. Of course for many families these days two incomes are necessary to pay the bills/ mortage. But childcare is so expensive, a great number of families will actually benefit – financially – if one partner gives up work.
The truth is, many women continue to work not so much for the money but for a whole host of other reasons: the desire to use a different part of our brains; the desire to keep our skills and knowhow up-to-date; the desire to continue to identify with ourselves in roles as journalists, lawyers, doctors etc; the desire to have many aspects and interests in our lives.
Why is it that women still feel guilty for admitting that actually they might quite like to work over being a “homemaker” day in and day out?
Childcare is wonderful, lovely, rewarding and deeply fulfilling. But it can also be repetitive, boring, frustrating and stressful. There’s a limit to how many bottoms we wish to wipe, meals we wish to cook and arguments we want to have about the amount of toys/ paraphernalia that our beloved little one(s) wants to carry with them every single time we go out. Let alone all that tidying, washing and hoovering!
I’m sure that a lot of women, given the choice, would love to work in a stimulating job PART TIME and get to look after their children the rest.
Why, oh why, is it taking us so long to find a way to make this happen?
I’ve a great deal of sympathy for Allison Pearson, but it wasn’t her desire to have a career and children that was at fault, it was this crazy “system” we’re all expected to cope with.
Photo: Pewari Naan