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March 21, 2007


Jane Henry

Hmm Dave, I guess I count as an opter outer. I didn't want to be, but the combined weight of corporate crap that fell on my head once I had one baby (let alone two) coupled with some really serious family dilemmas meant that I did opt to stay at home.

In that time I have struggled to keep my freelance career going, run a marathon, self published a book about it, written three adults and two children's novels, eventually got a book deal and oh, yes... kind of the most important bit, brought four healthy and fantastic children into the world.

I do hate the way women have to turn this into an either or. You stay at home mums how crap you are, you've let the rest of us down. Whereas from my side the mums in the playground sneer at the career women who never see their children.

I am really lucky that I work in an industry that does allow me to opt out to the degree that I don't have to work nine to five. I am also lucky that my husband earns enough to support us (though it has been touch and go at times).

I know that there is no way I could now hold down a full time job and commit myself adequately to my childrens' needs. Something would have to give.

In my case it has been my career. And often I deeply regret it. But I would regret far more the missed opportunity of seeing my children grow. I blogged about it recently - we watch them grow and then we watch them go. Already it is happening too fast. I am going to have a whole lot of life without them, and maybe then, if I am not a bestselling author, or haven't set up a publishing company of my own a thought that comes to me in my madder moments, I may jump back into that career somewhere....

Sorry that was rather long, but you touched a nerve.

I don't see this as Marxist, but about people making realistic choices on the basis of what works for them.

Dave Hill

Hello Jane. I've linked to it only because it's an interesting article, not in order to make A Point about what mothers choose to do. Me, I'm all for choice without prejudice in these things for parents of either sex.

Jane Henry

Hi Dave, Didn't actually think you necessarily agreed with it, and you're right, what I've read is interesting. I do think it fascinating the way this debate is always applied to women but never to men though.

And I can't help but get cross at the phrase "opting out" - staying at home with kids is incredibly hard. I'd STILL much rather go to work!


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