Putting your job ahead of your children is “absolutely the right way to go about life”, according to an Irish Independent columnist.
In her column this morning, Tanya Sweeney argues that putting your career first is actually good for your children – noting that research shows that children of working mothers have just as good if not better outcomes.
On Newstalk Breakfast, she said the idea of ambition is sometimes viewed as a “toxic thing” when it comes to women and parenthood.
“There is a sense that if you love you job over your kids, you are doing it wrong,” she said. “That you are providing a negative role model for your kids whereas the research actually plays out opposite to that.
“You are providing a positive role model for your kids and there is no evidence they are going to turn out any worse than a parent who stayed at home the whole time.”
She said it has gotten to a stage where it is “a complete no-no” for a woman to say anything but that motherhood is the best thing they have ever done.
“Sometimes, the fact of the matter is, with my work, my writing is my comfort zone,” she said.
“It’s where I’ve been comfortable for so many years. I find parenting really hard – or harder I should say.
“There is a situation where parenthood is supposed to be your number one preoccupation, your number one passion and work is just sort of an incidental thing you do for money, but sometimes you end up in a job or a vocation that makes up such a huge part of your self-worth and your self-identity.
“The idea you are just going to put that under the bed and play with Legos and enjoy that? You know, let’s face it, Lego is boring.”
Ms Sweeney noted that the modern idea of motherhood is “quite didactic” with women expected to be exclusively devoted to their career and their children.
“There is only really room for your role as a mother or your role as a worker and they have to kind of work in tandem with each other,” she said.
“There is absolutely no room for yourself for having hobbies or anything like that. I mean, anything that is a personal passion of yours as a mother or as a working mother really does come a very distant third.
“We really do need to re-write this script.”