It’s. 7.45am. Darn 7.46am – okay here it goes, I’ve got exactly 14 minutes to write this blog before I “fail” this morning’s test as a working parent. The kids are ready, I’m ready, they’ve had breakfast, lunches are made, bags are packed, permission slips for x/wy/z are signed, prepped dinner for tonight is de-frosting, after-school care for today is booked – right, all going well I can justify using this 14 minute gap (wait 13 minutes now) to write what’s on my mind, still get the kids to school on time, catch the bus on time – and if I’m lucky have time to grab a coffee just before I get to work on time. I’ve got this.
RIGHT. That’s what life as a working parent is like. And for those of you who don’t have kids and don’t care, that’s fine, don’t feel like you have to keep reading this, I’m not writing this for you (in the back of my mind I can already hear the but YOU chose to have kids line….Barry Soper, Mike Hoskings etc. etc.) and yes I did and I’m bloody proud that I did, and I love my kids HEAPS and I wouldnt have ever chosen not to be a parent. But the thing is I dared as a woman/mother to make two DEADLY choices alongside of that.
1.I had both of my kids before the age of 35 (one is 8years old – I had her when I was 28; one is 4 years old, I had him when I was 31)
2.At the same time as having my kids I’ve run at speed to keep pace with my career.
Don’t believe me – well weirdly enough there’s now a wikipedia page on me based on my last 8 years of activity (WTF) and a few weeks ago I wrote a piece about going back to work when my first was only 6weeks old. If anyone is going to call TIME on society for the current state of play for the way things are GEARED AGAINST working parents: it’s me!
(7.56am – four minutes to go)
Look I could pretend – it would be so easy to do so – that everything’s fine and the juggle-struggle as a fulltime career orientated working parent is real but manageable blah blah blah but anyone who’s been in these shoes (or worse) while trying TO DO A GOOD JOB (note not even great job, just a good job! or sometimes okay job!) of being a parent, fullstop, can call out the BS.
So why does it matter? Why does it matter that if I had just waited to secure my dream job and then had children after the age of 35 – (when technically – based on a review of where everyone who started out with me in my career is now sitting career-wise/income earning wise – a heck of a lot higher than me!) – this might all be manageable ?
It matters because if my daughter asks me whether it makes a difference what age she chooses to have kids will have an IMPACT on her career – the answer is almost certainly going to be different to if my son asks me. AND that is UNJUST.
Damn – it’s 8.01am. I’m going to miss the bus. Stuff it, I’m calling “TIME” on our society on behalf of all working parents. RIGHT NOW!