“If you want high-achieving mothers back in the workforce, don’t give us an office and a work week filled with facetime, give us something to get done and tell us when you need it by.”
Not to lay claim to the title of “high-achieving mother”, this article nonetheless resounded with me. I can be efficient and focused with a well defined task in front of me. I’m passionate about my work as much as any 9-5 employee… perhaps more so because I’m such an idealist and activist deep down.
Having said that, I do not think there is any problem with the large proportion of mothers who leave work and never return. Most paid jobs that women inhabit are boring and unpleasant, and many are substituting for highly paid women who are not home with their kids: cleaners, childcare workers, nannies. I would much rather be a homemaker and mother full time than most of those jobs. One real problem is that women feel they must have a career outside home and family life. As one friend’s mother told her, “Don’t have kids until you’ve done something with your life.” The cosmic truth is that having a family IS what you do with your life. Mainly, a woman’s ‘career’ merely pays the bills. And most tragically, Australia’s housing bubble means most women have to work just to have a place in which to live.