You just undermined your own argument Sweetie

The headline was fantastic click bait and even had a swear word in it but the final line in the article was the journalistic equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

Working mothers make great employees, so stop being an asshole about them

Before we even have a look at the writer’s argument for why working mothers make great employees or are as good or even better than those without children, let’s first read her byline.

 

Sarah Stewart is a freelance journalist, former TV reporter, and mum of two little girls. One day she hopes to get a full night’s sleep.

And there, in a nutshell, is the flaw in her argument. ” Working mothers” have to be superwomen because they are attempting to do what are independently two full-time jobs.They might outsource most of the childcare to others but they still have to work early mornings and evenings on their “second job” which is why getting enough sleep is such an issue in Ms Stewart’s life that she felt she had to mention it in her byline.

Jacinda Ardern’s plan to be both PM and a mum has prompted shrieks of outrage from some. What better example of the prejudice that many mums face when they go back to work, writes journalist and mother of two Sarah Stewart.[…]

Babies. They’ll melt your heart and stretch your body. Few would disagree with that. But suck the IQ from your brain cells? It’s a frighteningly common insinuation. So on behalf of many working mums, I want to argue that growing a baby doesn’t shrink your mind.

Oh really? When I was pregnant with my first child and still working as a high school teacher my memory was very much affected. Students whose name I had known in term one and term two by term three I was struggling to remember. One or two I forgot completely and a study backs me up on this phenomenon.

Recently I wrote a story about pharmaceuticals and used the more common word ‘drugs’.’ A PR man wrote an email to my boss, explaining the industry prefers ‘medicines’. Then he felt the need to add this doozy: “But all OK we completely understand as Sarah is on maternity leave and juggling life as a new mum.”

Actually, this is not “all OK”.

It is completely patronising.

I agree but then if the same guy had been understanding when you rocked up late to an appointment with baby vomit on your shoulder because you had just got back from maternity leave and were still adjusting to the new routine of dropping the baby off to daycare that would be considered perfectly okay and not patronising at all.

[…] Sure, my beloved child – awake from her nap early, covered in banana and trying to vault out of her high chair – did her best to derail my interview with the CEO but I managed to maintain an adult conversation, asked appropriate questions and wrote a piece you otherwise described as “fantastic”. All this on no more than four hours sleep straight for A YEAR. Comments like this belittle working mums, when they should be given giant bouquets for doing their jobs while keeping a small person alive.

So employers should be grateful that you take their money while doing the job while sleep deprived because you are also working for another much smaller employer on the side?

[…] One news boss memorably told me that no matter what shit hit the fan at work, getting his children out the door in the morning was always the hardest part of his day.

[…] Sure, the early days with wee ones are bloody difficult, and some days it’s hard to give anything 100%. But please remember those of us who go back to work have the same talent, smarts and ambition as we did before. In fact, many of us now have even more.

You might even find Jacinda is a better PM for being a mother. Just you wait.

-thespinoff


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