Today is a very important day. Today signals a huge shift in my life. It is a day of change. Today… my baby has gone off to school. It is the end of the preschool years for me. And with this change in my life has come the most unexpected reactions from those around me. I never knew we were still living in such a chauvinistic era! Let me explain…
For many months now it has been a hot topic of conversation. “So, your baby goes off to school soon!” But even more recently this has turned into “So your baby goes off to school shortly… What will you do?!” As though when the day would come, I may curl up and die. Or maybe go into a state of mourning for a few months and not get out of bed. Or as my children suggested, I now need to train as a teacher so I can work at school! Yes, I do agree that I will miss my one on one time with my baby dearly, but here comes the most surprising part. When I reply that when he goes to school I will continue working, people are so taken aback! “Oh, what kind of work?” “Well, you know” I say “running The Birthing Room”. These are not random strangers I am talking about… but my nearest and dearest. My close friends and family. My husband. My children. My village that has supported me over the last 4 years whilst I have run The Birthing Room.
It has never occurred to me before this new season in my life that in this day and age a woman’s work would be seen as less valuable. I considered the Jacinda Ardern question merely a reflection of a poor reporter, not an accurate reflection of our society’s views. But maybe I was wrong. Maybe people do see a woman’s work as more like a hobby that she does each day instead of actually ‘working’. Strangely enough no one has asked my husband what he will do when his baby goes off to school, and yet we have shared being the main caregiver for the last 4 years.
So to all you beautiful women reading this today, whether you are working full time, part time, or are a full time parent, I applaud you. Your work within the home, and outside of the home is valuable. You make a difference. You contribute to society. Don’t let our culture tell you any differently.