To Privileged men in power,
“A woman’s work is never done” unknown
When women justifiably decided they wanted equal pay, maternity leave and promotions equal to men they were being unfair. No, this is unreasonable and unheard of. What they deserve is actually MORE. Being a mother and working and sorting the food shop and sorting the child care and doing the overtime and still managing to fit in a bed time story, is and always will be harder than what men by default have to do. I am not asking that men feel guilty and I know there are some single parent males out there doing what we do and I salute you. But in general, this is utterly imbalanced (with the exception of the exceptions).
The other day I was on my way to the film set of Pennyworth where I play Bet Sykes (tormented and unhinged serial killer) and on the journey to get there at 5.30am I had bought myself something to wear to go over my pregnancy bump (second baby) for Jools Holland next week, I had completed three weeks worth of food shopping for my household, signed 4 forms for my accountant, double checked my partner didn’t forget to pay the nursery, said good morning on FaceTime to my three year old… and approved some merchandise designs.. and a new website..and agreed to do two phone interviews in the car on the way home.
I, like many working mums in all walks of business and creative life don’t have the luxury of just working, God forbid – no! I do as much mothering and home making as I can on top of my work. Yes, in addition to. This means I also buy all the kids clothes, décor, food, pay bills, housekeeping arrangements, planning of child friendly activities, extra curricular activities, growing the babies in my body, breast feeding, night waking, in addition to all my work responsibilities.
And I am not alone.
People continually tell me that I am lucky to have such an evolved man at home while I go to work who takes care of childcare and cooks me meals. But I have to say, this is still imbalanced whether he or other evolved men like it or not. Our child goes to nursery 4 days a week until 4pm. I arrange everything else, holidays, parties, social engagements, the list is endless! Until recently I was woken by my daughter every night without fail at 2am as she climbed in next to me and proceeded to kick me all night waking me between 2-5 times a night (little ones take up more space than an adult!) and as I am still working and pregnant and everything else, I made the executive decision to swap places with my partner in the bed… Now she comes in and it’s him who is woken up… After 7 days I received a text…
“I’ve forgotten what sleep is like” to which I replied
“Welcome to my world”!
I appreciate him, I know he’s better than most, but no one can underestimate what we do, the umbilical cord isn’t really cut at birth, it stays attached usually until our children meet “the one” then we have to go through our own mourning period as we feel rejected!
This work ethic and resilience extends also to the women I know who don’t have children too. All the women I know do more at work than their male counterparts and usually for less money. The only professions where women are paid more than men are in the porn industry and modelling……Can our talents not extend further?
I would never in a million years give up being a mother, or my career, or my partner, but this letter is about treating women properly. People need acknowledgement for what they do.
Husbands don’t underestimate these women.
Employers commend and congratulate them and give them a pay rise or a nice bonus.
Men, know that we are the superheroes. Whether you like it or not, don’t fear us, embrace and support us and where you can, take on some of our “stuff”.
I thank you in advance,
With love and compassion,