I thought Kim Clijsters winning the US Open was a real sign of hope. A lot of mothers end up with lower end jobs just on account of being mothers. They either lose their jobs on becoming pregnant or lose positions within companies and in some cases women aren’t hired because they might become pregnant. Worst of all if you’re a mother there seems to be a rather widespread feeling that their real focus is in the home and not at work.
A real problem seems to be that a majority of dads (and others!) believe that it’s the mother’s job to look after the house and the children. So it is often the woman’s choice whether to continue working or not, and it’s the woman’s struggle to manage all the pressures of home management and work. Though I’ve been a firm believer in the equal personhood of women it’s taken me many years to even start taking up my responsibilities as a member of the household. It was quite a shift to realise that washing up was my responsibility and not me helping out. It’s been a slow change since then much to Luiza’s bemusement but I can only say that I’ve changed in whatever small way I have changed.
So I think that the fact that a child is born into the family should affect both the parents in similar ways at least in the magnitude of change. Now I know families who are like this. Full on admiration for them. This is why I like the move towards shared parental leave. It means that employers now will have less of a chance of discriminating against women just because a child is on the way.
Coming back to Kim Clijsters I think it was an awesome victory to beat both the Williams sisters and that too in just the third tournament in her comeback. To see a mother and child in that context was amazing. It allowed a loving relationship to enter a highly competitive sporting event at its pinnacle.
The God of mothers must’ve smiled