Let’s make something absolutely clear, when we have children they become our entire world.
But that doesn’t mean the world revolves around them!
I was absolutely fuming when I read people criticising Holly Willoughby for having a well-earned night out with some friends.
In case you missed it, the This Morning presenter shared pictures of herself in a club watching The Streets singer Mike Skinner perform. When I saw the snaps it only made me wish, for about the millionth time, that I was mates with Holly. She always seems so fun!
I was stunned when I read that fellow mamas were actually criticising her for this. Fellow mums! Women who know how bloody hard it is raising children, how monotonous it can be and how you can be left questioning your own identity as you struggle with the new “mum” tag.
There were people commenting on Instagram, saying she should be at home “watching her children sleep”. Now I don’t know about you, but I haven’t watched my kids sleep in at least six months.
And the last time I did watch them sleep it wasn’t out of choice, it was because my baby refused to sleep anywhere but on me.
If it’s not acceptable to go out when your kids are sleeping – providing you’ve left them with a responsible adult of course – then when the hell is it ok to go out? And how long does our period of incarceration continue, until they’re 18? Until they can be arsed to move out, which in today’s economy will likely be when they turn 40?
Others remarked how Holly already “works all of the time” and it was shocking she dared to have a night out on top of that.
Ok, so let me just try to put my backward arsehole hat on so I can comprehend this. Holly dares to have a career, at which she works hard, in an age when men and women take on equal responsibility for raising kids they both chose to have – and we are judging her for it?
Not only that, we are saying she shouldn’t ever let her hair down, because she has a busy job and kids to care for?
Wow, talk about sucking the joy out of life!
Let’s get one thing absolutely straight, women can be mamas and have a busy career. That’s not only acceptable, it’s also something to be celebrated!
We want choice, the choice to be a mum and something else too – whether it be a banker, a baker or a sodding candle stick maker. To see fellow women actually using the fact that a mum is working – earning money to care for her kids – to criticise her is so utterly deflating.
And here’s an incredible thing, having a career makes us better parents! We have something that we take pride in – yes we take pride in our kids too but it’s not the same. Having a great day at work may include being given a promotion after completing an exemplary project. Having a great day at home with the kids may mean there have been zero shits on the floor.
It’s not that our kids aren’t rewarding, it’s that being at work engages our brain, gives us that sense of grown-up achievement that’s just different to the parental feeling of achievement that comes from successfully getting the kids into bed before 8pm.
I can guarantee you that if you speak to Holly’s kids in 20 years time they will say they are bloody proud of their mum for working hard, juggling career and motherhood and being such an amazing mum, which she obviously is!
Career does not become a dirty word just because you’ve had a baby!
And so to the going out. This one is simple.
You cannot pour from a cup that is empty. Going out, having a hobby are the things that give you a mental break, that add to your happiness.
I know I’m lucky that I have my parents nearby and so they babysit for us overnight at least once a month. It’s amazing, and I worth it’s weight in gold!
When I see my kids again, I’m thrilled and full of energy (albeit with a bit of a hangover from the night before).
So leave Holly alone, please! And remember we are all in this together.