Standing in the playground today I heard a group of women discussing Amanda Holden. The gossip revolved around her decision to return to work less than three weeks after the birth of her baby girl. I didn’t join in the discussion because truth be told I was unsure how I felt about her situation.
Scouring the Internet I discovered that she is not the only woman to take just enough maternity leave to reapply their make-up. Beyonce and Victoria Beckham also returned to work within weeks of giving birth. Beyonce is quoted as saying “pregnancy is not an illness and my baby goes everywhere with me”. I imagine her team of nannies go everywhere too.
In all honesty as a modern mother I am hounded with expectation and guilt. Todays mother cannot win. If I work I’m missing my child’s development, neglectful and selfish. If I don’t work I’m not using my brain and have nothing to talk about. I feel I am expected to give birth, work, look after the home (not just the basics I should be knitting and baking too) and (if you listen to Gina Ford) keep my man satisfied.
All of this must be done whilst looking immaculate and young. Add to that keeping up with your children’s schedules and not letting them play video games or watch TV. Oh the guilt.
I have a suggestion, let’s do the best we can and respect other mothers for doing the same. Let’s not bitch because Amanda Holden felt under pressure to return to her incredibly competitive career, probably because if she didn’t she would not have a career to return to. Equally don’t assume I am at home with my children because I have no ambition.
Individual circumstance is just that, individual. I’m reasonably confident that 99.9% of mothers absolutely have their children’s well being as a top priority. Their is more than one way to bring up a happy child. Let’s respect a women’s choice to work or not work. Lets leave Amanda Holden alone.
fair enough i think you have written a really interesting take on the Amanda Holden ‘thing’ . I have to confess that I was a little taken aback at her readiness to return to work so quickly after her baby, a c section following a traumatic birth and on top of the fit that she had lost her baby prior to this one. I tweeted that I felt it was too soon to go back to work (not that she is alone as a lot of high profile mums do) and i stand by that. i think if you have children then be a mum for a bit and enjoy the time without the pressure of a job – at least for your maternity entitlement!!
BUT i can see that she felt pressured to return to work and keep her work – but i still think its a shame.
I agree it’s a real shame she returned to work so soon whatever her reasons. I absolutely agree that it was way to soon for her to return. I suppose I just feel that she took a lot of flak when perhaps the blame doesn’t lie in her corner. More that modern society and expectations of women are unrealistic and unattainable. So I think we agree, hooray 🙂
I heard the other day that due to the Danish government paying the majority of childcare costs 91% of 1-2 year olds are in full time childcare whilst their mothers are at work. They were saying it was such a good thing that mothers were given the option to return to work full time, but I can’t help feeling that a lot fewer than 91% of mothers want to return to work full time. They are being compelled to go back to work because of the cheap childcare
All we can do is follow our instincts. mine are to slow down, to nurture and cherish and that makes me happy.
I would be a sobbing wreak going to work after 3 weeks and only the need to feed and house my child would make me, but thats just me.
I am like Fay but also realise everyone is different and what is best for one isn’t best for the other. My life choices have been what best for my two children having said that financially perhaps not the best of choices emotionally it was right for me and them. But then if I chose differently then who know’s too!!!
Go with your gut but having said that lots of people don’t have the choice and then are forced back to work with a heavy heart 🙁 old fashioned it may seem but in the grand scale of things it is a shame!
Great post. I guess 3 weeks seems crazy to me – I was in no state to be seen in public that soon after giving birth. It also seems a modern life issue that women are always very quick to have a go at each others choices when it comes to motherhood and work – that is the sad thing in all this.
Well this is a “hot potatoe” as we say in swedish. IÂ´m an old, old fashion lady, a grandmother and also a very tiered schoolcounselor with “hot” thoughtÂ´s. They may not work in the world we live in this days. I know with all my studies and in my heart how importent it is for the child to have one or two people to really get close to, when they grow up.That will have a major importance for the rest of their lifes. I wish that the gowernment would make it possible for parents to be able to be at home with their children (at least) the first 3 years of their childrens lifes. Most of all I wish that the “world” could find it as importent as I do and enjoy being with the children as a grandmother does. You see this is realy “a hot potatoes” and IÂ´m glad you took it up even if some people will “throw stones” on me now……..