A Radio 5 show made me fume this morning. After Cherie Blair’s comments last week on stay-at-home mums, they’d dutifully tracked down the public in the form of a 21-year-old woman who didn’t see that staying at home doing nothing all day could make someone a good role model. Well thanks for that, sis! Actually I don’t object to the comment. Why would she know any better? But I was disappointed that the presenter didn’t pull her up on it. The media will drag this subject forwards and backwards through the bushes until the cow’s come home, and there still won’t be a right answer because everyone’s different and everyone’s circumstances are different.
Cherie’s underlying point is worth another look though. Basically you can’t rely on your man in case he leaves, gets sick or dies. (I’m grossly para-phrasing here.) I like the idea of women being able to be independent, but I’m not sure that having a suitcase full of clean underwear and fifty pound notes is the answer. Family isn’t what it was in the 1950s. Being a stay-at-home mum isn’t what is was either. It’s about sharing responsibility and recognising that the playing field changes so what you do now doesn’t have to be right forever, it just has to be right for now. Anyway Cherie, we’re pretty privileged to be having this conversation. For most women in the world, there isn’t a choice.
I’ve been re-evaluating my situation now that my son is at school. He’s only out of the house for a few hours though, so not much has changed. It’s important to me that I’m there to collect my son from school and I’m there in the school holidays. Ok, something might happen to force me to change my tack, but I’m not going to deprive myself and my son of this precious time that we can never get back, just in case of something that might never happen.