At school we were told we would have choices – that we could stay at home, or have a career or some combination but actually the reality is very different.
For every working mother trying to juggle a work/life balance there’s a stay at home mum who would love to work but can’t make the economics stack up because of the crippling cost of childcare.
In the workplace we find that whilst our skills and ambition match our male colleagues attitudes haven’t kept up and we face the choice of moving sideways into a second tier career or having to spend more time away from our family than we’d like whilst watching as Blackberries enable work to wiggle its way into our non working hours. Instead of flexibility we’re discovering that admitting you want an alternative means you’re shunted onto a mummy track. We watch male colleagues not even consider half the things on our to do list whilst we try and sort out the minutiae of family life without letting on that we’re doing all of these things as well as our job. We are seen as being the part timers and given no credit for different work patterns and increased efficiency as we work single-mindedly in our time constrained hours.
Stay at home mums aren’t given credit for the hardest job in the world – are portrayed in the media as yummy mummies sitting around sipping coffee all day rather than the reality of life at the coalface of childcare and the unrelenting nature of a 24/7 job caring for small children.
Childcare options haven’t kept up with the needs of families – the cost has spiralled up and up and there is very limited flexibility.
Tax breaks and benefits that helped families bridge the gap have disappeared reducing down options and leaving women without choices but having to work more or less than they want to.
I was spun a story – I was told I’d have choices, options and there was a great world that our feminist mothers had pushed forward to create for us.
Turns out whilst we have changed and our horizons have broadened society didn’t keep up and now we have a generation of mothers realising that the choices we thought we had are in fact a myth.
The Friday Rant Club is a chance to get those niggles, those irritants, those things that make you want to throw a toddler-stylee tantrum off your chest before the weekend.
Go on, let it all out and if you feel like it there’s a rather nice little button over there on the right to show you’re a member