Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ms Paltrow

As much as I need the time off, when I am away from my children for more than 24 hours I tend to start missing them. By the time I come back home from wherever I am, I tend to wonder why I needed to get away from them so desperately in the first place. But I am a firm believer that parents and children do need time off from each other - absence makes the heart grow fonder, that is very true.

The British paper Guardian slammed Gwyneth Paltrow for one of her recent quotes. The mother of two told a reporter that being away from her children is often the within the nature of her work, and that she would miss her children like crazy. She added that she would cry in her trailer thinking about her off springs taking a bath at home. This is what got the columnist Deborah Orr's back up: it is OK to say that we miss our children, but crying - but admitting to cry (this detail is unclear) is over-indulgent, and only feed in to the belief system that women become weaker and less dependable in professional situations after they have children.

Fair point or harsh criticism?

I myself don't tend to cry when I think about my children. I am not consumed by over-whelming, gut-wrenching guilt if I happen to miss my children's bed time routine for a few days. The thought of them usually makes me smile, not cry. I am confident in my abilities as a mother, and 100% sure that my children are happy even when I am not around.
But was I so inclined, like Ms Paltrow, to break down in the lonely company of myself, every time I thought of my children, and if me missing them became such an over-whelming feeling of sadness, I would probably choose to try to arrange my work-parenting situation accordingly.
I hate to say this, but Ms Paltrow is fortunate enough (and this is a huge privilege) to afford a certain flexibility in her life choices, something a lot of us simply can't do.

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