This article caught my eye this morning. Cherie Blair, oh deary, deary me.
As I don’t ‘work’, I have a 1-year-old, a husband who works in investment banking and I drive a mahoosive 4×4, I guess you are talking to me, Cherie?
What a can of worms to open. I see articles like this and feel like banging my head off a wall. Yes, I am always up for a debate and a conversation, but WHY do people insist on this as a topic? One thing I have learned in this bonkers 16 months is that each family does what works for them. Everyone’s circumstances are different, their priorities are different, their bank balances are different. It’s nobodies business if I choose to be a stay-at-home Mum. Just like it’s none of my business if someone goes back to work full-time. Live and let live! If the kids are happy and the parents are happy then people should be free to do what works for them, without judgement, criticism or guilt.
Am I single-handedly setting back the feminist movement by years? No, quite the opposite, I am making the most of the choice and freedom that people fought for.
Our choice was that I would resign at the end of my maternity leave period and will be a ‘housewife’ until such a time that my child/ren go to school full-time. And then I will do something. (Who knows what that will be?!)
Mrs Blair states that in choosing to be at home I am not setting a good example to my daughter. I set a good example to her all day every day, because she is with me, learning from me and being nurtured by me. Not by a 3rd party. That’s our choice. And her choice was to be exceptionally successful in her career and have a nanny raise her kids. That’s cool too.
I quote “how can they even imagine that is the way to fulfil yourself”? To be honest, Cherie, being a mother currently gives me far more fulfilment than I got sitting in an office all day long. Who are you to assume otherwise?
She also states that in being a stay-at-home Mum, I may have married a rich man and retired. Ha! Well, we’re not rich, far from it, we get by because we are sensible with what money we do have. We have enough that we can pay the mortgage and bills without the 2nd salary. We’re very lucky. But we don’t go on expensive holidays anymore or have the dream house extension. We are just comfortable. If I were to return to my previous role, I would be shelling out around £1000 a month on a good full-time nursery and £300 on a train ticket. Does that leave enough money to make it worth not seeing my child? Nope. If I had been on an enormous salary (such as that of a QC, Mrs Blair), would I have gone back? Probably not. Because at this crucial stage in my daughter’s life, we feel that being with her is more important than extra cash. I know that a lot of people have to return to work to pay the bills, you do what you have to do.
And as for the ‘retired’ bit, I have never worked so hard in my bloody life as I do now. What I’d give for a day in the office, a hot cup of tea and a conversation with an adult. And a lunch break!
I have gathered so many transferable skills in my working years, what could be a better use of these than teaching my little girl? She will be a confident, happy girl who can do whatever she wants with her life. Rocket scientist, artist, doctor? You want to eat yoghurt with a fork, my darling, you crack on.
As long as we all pledge to do the very best by our children, by whatever means, and raise them to be happy, friendly, kind, polite adults then who cares how we get there?
Thanks for your concern, Cherie, but each to their own.