On February 4, Miranda Devine wrote an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph.
Miranda Devine’s recent opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph tackles the detrimental stereotype that many working mothers face: that their career choice somehow makes them less capable of being good mothers – a bad mother.
She encourages women to own their professional ambitions and not let societal expectations hold them back from pursuing their passions.
Devine’s piece is a timely reminder that a woman’s career choice does not define her as a bad mother.
Essentially, she claims that being a career-driven woman and a good mother are mutually exclusive. You may have seen Em Rusciano’s incredible on-air response. Here’s the video:
This is my view on it.
I am a mother, I am a wife, I am self-employed. I place my family at the top of my priorities. I love being a mum. I couldn’t imagine my life without children. I have two little boys, 5 and 3, and they bring so much joy into our lives. I love being a wife. I am lucky to have found a man that I want to spend the rest of my life with and raise a family with.
He is an amazing husband and father and supports our family both financially and emotionally. I also love the fact that I am able to work and be my own boss. What I am most grateful for is that each of these things were my choice. Not everyone can have children, marry the person they love and have the flexibility and financial stability to work part time from home.
But there are certainly days that I miss having a corporate job. I moved from a big metropolitan city to a regional town eight years ago and gave up an exciting career in international business. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret moving for a minute, but there have been times that I felt like “just” a mum with a sideline hobby are have wished I could dress up, put a pair of heels on and go into a city office to have an adult conversation!
That being said, women should not be defined by their careers or what type of mother they are. When reflecting on our lives we need to ask, whose lives did we touch? How did we make a difference in the world? What legacy will we leave? If the difference we make is through our work or raising a family then that should be how we are defined.
And why is the the role of fathers so often overlooked? Where is the uproar against fathers who work full time? Children need their fathers as much as their mothers. Fathers can take care of their children just as well as mothers. Why do we not question fathers who go to work or judge those fathers who choose to stay at home?
Miranda believes that women are ignoring their biological clock, relying on some sort of IVF safety net. I know a lot of women in their late 30s who are single and childless. They are attractive, intelligent and have careers, but I am sure that many of them would give up their job in a heartbeat if they find the right man to have children with. No one I know is saying “I’ll go and work from 8-6 everyday and save up enough money to undergo IVF alone when I’m 45”.
Women understand that IVF is expensive, it is invasive, it is painful, it is not a guarantee. I can’t imagine anyone who wanted to go through cycle after cycle of hormones, injections, medical examinations and potential heartbreak, just so they can climb the corporate ladder for a few years longer.
And lastly, I take offence to the notion that mothers always have to put themselves last, otherwise they are bad mothers.
Sometimes it is necessary to be selfish. There is a reason why we are told in a plane, that in the case of an emergency we need to fit our own mask before helping others.
As parents, we cannot meet the needs of our family with an empty cup. It’s important for parents to have time for themselves, to be able to do what gives them the strength to face the day.
I know that being able to hit a refresh button every morning makes us better parents.
Let’s celebrate all parents, the ones who work, the ones who don’t, the ones who do both.
Let’s be there to lift each other up and respect one another’s choices. Let’s leave the legacy to the next generations that it’s possible to become the best version of ourselves, whatever that looks like.