This weekend Tim Lovejoy was interviewing Kelis on Sunday Brunch and said,
“I’m a dad. I look after my kids 50% of the time but no-one ever asks me, ‘How do you juggle career and children?’. But… How do you juggle career and children!!”
Yes Tim! Spot on.
Why do interviewers (or the people who write the questions for them) think that when interviewing a woman who has a job and small children, then this is an essential question? And yet when interviewing a man in the same situation, they don’t.
This is a question that I’ve pondered for a while, and I have become quite frustrated that it appears to still be considered a ‘Women’s issue’. It really pisses me off.
But I also want to add another point …. It’s not just parents, and it’s not just workers that need to juggle or balance their lives.
There seems to be a magic equation of :
Woman + Kids + Job = “How do you find a balance?”
I started my Unbalanced Woman blog a while back because I was having to make some changes to get my balance right. And it struck me that all types of people feel they are trying to juggle or balance lots of different things in their lives. Not just when they have kids. People feel ‘Unbalanced’ for many different reasons. In my blog I consciously talk about some elements of being a mum, some of having a job, and some about totally different things. That’s MY life equation and my (happily) busy and Unbalanced life.
I know plenty of people with different life equations who are equally busy and therefore may sometimes feel ‘Unbalanced’:
- Man + Job + Parents needing care = Juggler
- Woman + Kid + Another Kid = Juggler
- Woman + Illness + Part-Time Job = Juggler
- Woman + Retired + Grandparent child care + Social commitments = Juggler
Many of these things are wonderful aspects of our lives, but they still need juggling. And when we can’t find a balance we ask for help, or we strap on our boots and crack on as best we can, accepting that sometimes we drop a ball or occasionally we totally fuck everything up.
So I’m with Tim – if we think it’s important to ask working mums how they balance their lives, let’s give equal interest to working dads, non working parents and non-parenting adults.
Or just join me in accepting that ‘Unbalanced’ is a way of life, for all types of people, and it’s to be celebrated.