(stand back… I feel an attack of intolerance coming on!)
If I was a bigger troublemaker, which I am not, when I met somebody with young children who was working outside the home, here’s what I’d say:
“You must do something terribly important for it to take you away from your kids so much of the time!!!”
Because 9 times out of 10, they are something that is, okay, maybe kind of interesting, but not really life-or-death, like, say, an editor.
I don’t buy the whole second-income thing, as I’ve said before. Skip the bit that follows in parentheses… it is way too intolerant, even for me.
(Even if you are making more than the nanny by a whole lot of money, how much would it be worth to have those extra hours a day with your child? There is no such thing as “quality time”: it’s a myth. You can’t schedule your kids’ cuteness: their first learning-to-walk; their first underpants; their first cutting-with-scissors (on that brand-new turtleneck!). Is your husband earning NOTHING, that you absolutely must have two after-taxes, after-nanny/daycare, take-home paycheques?)
Okay, you can keep reading now.
I have one friend who’s an oncologist. I won’t use the line on her. Not that I would use it on anybody, because in person I am kind of mild-mannered (understatement!!!). Unopinionated to the point of wallpaper paste.
Anyway, oncology is terribly important. I’d feel dumb asking. “What are you doing there everyday, away from your kids? Curing cancer?… Oh, yeah. Right.”
(though I did read last week that they are going crazy treating pre-breast cancer and that most of those “pre-cancerous” things they’re hauling out of women would never have become tumours or anything life-threatening at all)
Do I believe someone like an oncologist should throw her entire career out of whack and get mommy-tracked so that she never recovers, professionally, even after her kids graduate from high school, because she’s so many years behind that she retires way behind her male and childless colleagues?
Maybe, if the mommy did have a really important job, I’d hope for an abba who was willing to step in and be home with them as long as possible.
And what if they were both rescuing endangered turtles, curing cancer, launching space shuttles, or whatever?
A young, hip bubby; maybe. Maybe they could call me to rescue their children.
Ha ha ha ha ha. Maniacal cackle. Did I mention I hate other people’s kids…???
Did I mention I don’t have any answers? Just some big, big questions, like everybody else.