Single Women Vs Motherhood in the workplace.

20 08 2008

Back when I actually had a career, bills and a real life in London and wasn’t just bumming around in Spain it was known for me to pass (quite a few comments) on parenthood.  Motherhood in the majority.  It never failed to irritate me that I had to get second choice on holidays, cover meetings that weren’t mine, work the majority of unsocialable hours all because not only was I single … I was (and still am) childless.

 

There were more irritations granted, like the fact that as a single, childless person I paid more tax, had less money coming in but still had to pay my bills just the same as the next person.

 

I shared an office with 5 working Mums, four were part time and one just back to full time – it also never failed to get my back up that the full time worker often took days off because her 15 year old was sick or had a baker day – come on now, does any 15 year old really need her Mum at home with them?

 

Anyway, all the aside, I could never quite comprehend just why these women complained so much, I was told time and time again that I was lucky that I had such freedom (luck has nothing to do with it – it’s a personal choice to have children or not, and I chose ‘not!’) I was also told that motherhood is by far the most difficult thing that any women would do, and that I had no comprehension on the difficulties of juggling motherhood, keeping house and working. 

 

To the woman I was 2 years ago, these comments sounded patronising and way off the mark. I was 25, single, working full time hours in my chosen career, and also working two extra jobs (in a pub at weekends and data inputting on the evenings) just to keep my own head above water – and still I was struggling.   Being told ‘I had no idea about real life’ from women who were only working part time hours, had husbands to help them (and bring in a second pay-packet), and who got to spend much more time at home than me was something I resented greatly.  I wondered how they thought my essentials (housework, washing etc) got done as I sure as hell could not afford a cleaner and trust me when your struggling with day to day life with no support the last thing worth spending worrying about is the last time you watered your flower boxes (couldn’t afford somewhere with a garden!).  But, the core base of their argument was that motherhood is a hard job, and one of which I could not comment on.   And as I had never spent a whole day with a baby or young child on my own I kept my silence. 

 

Until today that is.

 

You see I have been thinking about this subject today and I started to think that there must be other people who think like me – so I’m after some opinions, tell me your views? Do you think single women in general are getting a raw deal? Or do you think I am completely off base and should be more sympathetic to those who chose motherhood?

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3 responses

27 08 2008
Lynda

Hi, no, I’m with you on the raw deal we single childless women get.

I’m a lot older than you but have not had children largely by choice.No wish to be a single Mother or inflict that on a child and never had a relationship in which I had any confidence in the guy to be a capable co-parenting father.

I am soooo sick of being asked to do all the unsocial hours and of being told am selfish or would understand if had kids.

I have looked after adults of all ages and stages, many of whom had the needs of children. the difference between what I do is that I tend to have charge of more than one brain damaged adult for whom I must provide for all kinds of needs, food, clothes, medication -everyhting.
This is simply not comparable with the joy of warm scruptious little healthy people who kiss you goodbye at the school gates leaving you to exchange cheerful banter with other parents.
Yet I get all kinds of resentment aimed at me.

I don’t know what else I can say except ‘don’t give these people much house room’ and get on with your life extracting every last selfish moment from it.
Having children in a world as troubled as ours, when there are so many abandoned children is an entirely selfish act and yet society accords those bearing the fruits of their own particular loins with accolades far exceeding what can possibly be viewed as concordant with the effort it takes to produce them.

Well, you did ask!

PS do visit my blog if you feel like it! Its not about this subject particularly, just everyday stuff.

12 12 2008
shortdigitalpictures

For some reason I ended up reading this post and I know it’s old but I want to comment anyways..

I think that a lot of women choose motherhood and that as you say; it is a choice.
I respect the fact that it’s hard raising a child but it’s hard living alone and struggling like you did (and still do). I think that those workmates talked about how hard it was because they lacked other things in personality and only seemed to define themselves via their motherhood.
I think you should have told them to shove it, but i’m quite aggressive so don’t take my advice to heart haha.

You know your truth and that’s all that matters. and yes single girls defo get the raw deal and the sad thing is that it is other women giving that to them.

28 02 2014

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