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On being judged

by Alison Bradford

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So every week there seems to be some new survey suggesting that it’s better for children if:

  1. Mum stays at home to look after them full time
  2. Mum works outside of the home full time
  3. Mum works outside of the home part time
  4. Mum works at home (part time or full time)
  5. All of the above!

Take your pick as to which one’s the flavour of the month right now.

In fact, what I suggest is picking the option that applies to you right now.

Because I don’t believe there is any right or wrong answer here.

There seems to be a culture of judging mums, in particular in terms of what career choices they make. (I talk about Mums here because I can honestly say I’ve seen very little reference to Dads in the articles I’ve read or discussions I’ve listened to.)

Personally I think that Dads are just as important in their children’s upbringing but somehow they appear to escape lots of the judgements going round.

Here’s another one for you – what is the right amount of maternity leave to take?

The answer you give is probably the one that you decided was right for you.

Feminism = Choices

Without wanting to go all serious on you, I believe that feminism is all about women having choices.

Choices in having children or not.

Choices in careers.

Choices in childcare.

Choices in maternity leave.

By having the choices we have in our society, it seems to have opened up lots of room for judging people who make different choices to ourselves.

Whether someone wants to return to work 2 weeks after having their baby or take a few years to to be a full time mum – that is the choice that they are entitled to take for themselves and who are we to judge them for it?

The same goes if a woman chooses to return to an employed role or set up her own business to fit around her family – neither is right or wrong as a general assumption. Just right or wrong for the individual and their family.

I’m a big advocate and supporter of women in business. But at the same time I hope I would never encourage someone to do this just because I think it’s a great thing to do. It has to be the right thing for them and their family.

There’s no ‘bandwagon’ to get on here. Just lots of choices available. These choices may be easier or harder, influenced by where we live, our family and friends, but they are there for all of us. Some of them may just be harder to see.

We are all unique as individuals and I firmly believe in the mantra ‘Mum knows best’ – you know what is best for you and your family and I hope that you are able to make the choices that support this.

If you are struggling to see the choices you have right now then please contact me for a ‘find out more’ session by booking 30 minutes with me here to discover how coaching can help you.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Beckie August 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

What a great article. I think all mums out there will agree that they’ve felt judged over the decisions they’ve made at one time or another. Personally, it’s the guilt that seems to play a large part in every decision I make as a mother, that can feel crippling…. Guilt that I have to leave my children in childcare when I work, guilt that my employer/client will be let down if I have to take time off occasionally and guilt that I ENJOY working part-time! Returning to flexible, freelance working was definitely the best, most guilt-free option for me & I now feel that I’ve genuinely found my own, personal happy medium 🙂

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Alison Bradford August 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Thanks so much for your comment Beckie. I think us Mums can all relate to feeling guilt whatever choices we make – the day wouldn’t seem complete without feeling guilty at some point! So glad that you’ve managed to find your happy medium.

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