The Dream [And Who’s Living It]

March 25, 2022

Mothers and fathers have found themselves at the centre of a fierce political debate.

Beneath the explosions of pay gaps and parental leave, child care and unpaid labor – the cries of ‘women are trapped at home!’ and ‘Men are forced to work!’ Ring out loud and clear.

In yet another war of the sexes, mothers become handmaidens, entrapped by their male oppressor. And fathers morph into bread winning machines, a cash cow to provide and support the family from which he is increasingly estranged.

Each a pawn to be thrown around a political chessboard, for which everyone has an opinion… except for mothers and fathers themselves.

Because has anyone even bothered to ask what they want?

And why is the goal so often set as ‘career’?

Maybe dads don’t want to spend nine hours a day, working for some inner city asshole, commuting an hour each way, for a job he hates?

Is that the dream?

Maybe the part time mother is living her ideal life already? Maybe she doesn’t want to return to work full time? Maybe she’s willing to take the hit to her pay packet, to become richer in family life?

Maybe, heaven forbid, she wants to be a full time parent?

Maybe the father does too?

Maybe we should stop telling these people what they want, and stop seeing those who fall outside of our expectations as brainwashed, or oppressed?

Maybe being a full time mother or father is no less empowering, challenging or rewarding as being a CEO?

Maybe we should ask the mums and dads: What is the dream?

And who is closest to reaching it?


NYT – Working Parents Want Fewer Hours

WaPo – Many More Men Say They Want to Be Stay at Home Dads

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Images by Volodymyr Hryshchenko, Arifur Rahman, Austin Wade, Humphrey Muleba., from Unsplash


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