7 June 2013

A Working Mummy

Sometimes I am made to feel guilty for working when my daughter is so little. Molly's only 2 and a half and she has already asked me why I go to work. When I tried to give her a befitting response she was more interested in showing me that "Molly made a triangle with fingers Mummy" When I asked if she was listening to me she replied "no thank you Mummy"


So here's why I work; for my baby girl to read when she's finished making triangles with her fingers.


Before Molly, I wanted a career for me. That's still the case but there is a new force driving me. My motivation now is to try to be the person that my little girl learns from and looks up to. I want her to want as much for herself as is possible and to know that she can control her direction in life. If the truth be told I want that for all the girls and women I know but I only have influence over Molly, and even that is relatively limited! 

Radio 4's Today programme recently dealt with an issue reported by the Women's Business Council that our girls are, seemingly, failing to get the decent jobs Girls seem to be aiming low, lacking in confidence and have no aspirations. They discussed businesses going into schools to make girls aware of what can be achieved and what is out there for them by way of opportunities. All of this is important, of course, but I can't help feeling that role models and guidance at home are the factors that will win through in terms of what the outcome will be for our girls.


Mothers feel guilty about working when their children are little. I felt guilty for a little while (Molly was 5 months old) and it was just nature and the separation thing going on. It subsided when we both adapted to our new routine. 

It's a hugely personal thing but working makes me happy. This happiness soaks into my relationship with Molly and enables me to be a better and more engaging Mum to her. It matters to me that she grows up thinking that it is normal for women to work, to achieve and to have an identity outside of the home. Being a Mum to me means being there when she needs me but also living my life in a way that one day I hope she will want to too. It's not about what I do but about making those choices for myself and being happy. I might add that if she wants to be a housewife then of course that's fine. I just want her to be the one to choose that direction for herself.


It's not for everyone, I get that, but this is about me and I don't feel guilty about working. Society subtly emanates this message, which gradually gets absorbed into our girls' psyches, that women's work is less important than men's, that men make the money and that Mums should be the ones to feel guilty for working. It's no one's fault. It's just the way it is. I hope that Molly will grow up with a different view. One which enables her to control her own future and be whatever and whoever she wants to be.


Listen to the Radio 4 discussion here:http://t.co/wgmRXUloDC


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