Really sane and balanced piece in the Guardian actually written BY a working mother rather than a) a harpie who is spouting whatever her editor is telling her to spout or b) a non-working mother whose corporate megabucks earning husband can afford to keep her in cashmere and vitriol.
Melissa Deanes gives us the upside of working and mothering. That it can be FUN. Oh yes – the joy of earning your own money can’t be understated. That working outside the home can make you a more interesting person. And that no, your brains don’t turn to mush after having a baby. It’s bollocks.
So is the tiresome cliche about working mothers feeling guilty. I’ve always worked, full time and now freelance. It’s been really knackering sometimes. But I’ve never felt guilty. Been told and read often enough that I’m meant to feel guilty. I haven’t. Never.
The women who are anti-working mothers have a curled lip attitude towards us. They speak of ‘career women’ and ‘selfishness’ and ‘If we want a career why can’t we be childminders’. (Actual quote). Hah! I think they see us as having it both ways and if they didn’t why should we? They can all fuck off.
All the working mothers I know do their very best for their families, and work to pay mortgages and put food on the table. Also it’s nice that they don’t have to ask their partners for money to buy a lipstick, like a child asking daddy.
As can the men who are anti working mothers. This breed are always the conservative types who also believe that cooking and cleaning have nothing to do with them. They’re the ones who need women to ‘look after them’ and minister to their grandiose egos. I went out with one of these types once, years and years ago. He believed strongly that a woman’s place was in the home. He was also shit in bed.
My daughter seems fine so far and as for The Boy, I barely see him these days. Occasionally I peek into his room in case the smell of his own feet has rendered him unconcious, but am usually reassured by a friendly grunt.
It all boils down to the fact that if you earn your own living, nobody can tell you what to do. As Dostoevsky said, ‘money is coined freedom.’