Double Standards: Why do we say working mums but not working dads?

For our whole lives we are living to a title.

From the minute we are born, we are defined by our families; daughter of, sister to...

You have friends, you are a best friend. Then you leave home, I became a student and then a teacher. I met my husband and became a girlfriend, fiancee and wife. And then the most important title I have ever been bestowed, a mother. 

But the reality of its importance only kicked in when my eldest son's first word was "Mama". 

I loved it. I adored this new role, so much so that I almost forgot about all those other titles I had. I left my career to be a stay at home mum. I lead a somewhat insular life focused on my kids and everything else fits around it. I have almost forgotten who I am. 

But by becoming a father, men don't ever seem to lose their sense of self. My husband is not described as a working dad as I would be a working mum if I had gone back to work. Men can maintain a career without being described as career orientated or questioned on how they balance being a dad with having a career. 

I was happy to delay my career because I know how quick these years go. But it irks me that women are described as "wanting it all"; the marriage, children and career. We are pitted against each other and we try to define which is best. All the while men are just being men. 

Do you think this would change if more men decided to be "stay at home' dads?


Michelle Greaves: mum of two boys, writer, photographer, traveller, secondary school teacher.

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