Another day, another celebrity weighing in on working motherhood. This time it’s Emma Thompson’s turn to give her opinion about having both a child and a job. And what she has to say is kind of disappointing and out of touch. Oh, Emma, why can’t you go back to acting goofy at award shows? We could have had it aaaaaall.
In a new interview with The Daily Mail, Emma, who has a 14-year-old daughter, said, “You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time.” She continued by talking about the fact that she took a year off to spend more time with her family as a “birthday present” to herself, during which she “was just a mum.” She added, “I highly recommend that others do the same if they can afford it.”
It’s good to see Emma isn’t totally out of touch with how normal people live, since she did add “if they can afford it,” but only after implying that women who can’t afford it won’t end up being good mothers. Here’s Emma’s reasoning for why women can’t have it all, so to speak:
“Sometimes in life you’ll have some things, at other times you will have other things. You don’t need it all at once, it’s not good for you. Motherhood is a full-time job. The only way I could have continued working would have been by delegating the running of the home to other people. I never wanted to do this as I find motherhood profoundly enjoyable.”
Actually, sometimes you do need it all at once if you’re faced with raising a child on a low-income and/or as a single parent. It’s great that Emma was able to raise her children without outside help, and it’s also great that she was able to enjoy motherhood without worrying about how she would support her children. If taking time off to be with her family worked for her, awesome. But not all mothers have that luxury. Angelina Jolie gets that. Gwyneth Paltrow does not.
It’s also frustrating to constantly hear this kind of talk about working motherhood, when working fatherhood is rarely questioned. When was the last time you heard an argument over whether it was acceptable for a father to work? In that case he’s just supporting his family and being a good provider. But if a woman does it, it sparks debate. Parents are parents, no matter their gender. Some parents work, and some parents don’t. And some parents don’t have a choice in the matter.
(Photo: Awais/Pacific Coast News)