What the hell am I doing?

Outside of the fields of lap dancing and Page 3, women tend to earn less than men for doing the same jobs.
This is widely agreed to be wrong, but the male-dominated boards of established multi-nationals are understandably reluctant to admit that the phenomenon is down to anything as sordid as sexism. Instead they offer the excuse that any imbalance is an accidental by-product of a biological inevitability: that it is women who have babies, women who take maternity leave and women who are subsequently left behind by male peers who keep advancing their careers while the women are forced to put theirs on hold.
Despite widespread recognition of this injustice and acknowledgement of a significant cause behind it, nobody has ever done anything about it.
Until now.
What the world’s women have clearly needed is a hero, someone to strike a blow for equality. And I have decided it should be me.
I, a man, have decided to handicap my own career progression, purely in the name of equality and in no way motivated by a desire to spend time with my children.
And so it is that today I start three months’ of my share of parental leave while my other half goes back to work in the hope of earning enough to keep us in gin and nappies (in that order).
As soon as I realised that my company was offering shared leave before it becomes law next year, taking three months off seemed a great idea. As well as Baxter, who was then imminent and is now nine months, I have a three-year-old daughter, Minnie. They are both brilliant and find new ways to delight me every day. The opportunity to take more involvement in their formative years seemed too good to be true.
The decision to take the leave was made in seconds. That was almost a year ago now though and – I won’t lie to you – right now I am terrified.
There has been the odd day where I have been in sole charge of both children and these brief dummy runs have been a success. Well, nobody has died. Three months will obviously present a few more challenges than individual days but a lack of fatalities will remain the benchmark by which I judge the whole thing. Nobody dying is essentially the limit of my realistic ambition.
Hopefully I will continue to update this blog with reports of non-fatalities. More likely, I will find this childcare thing is actually quite involving after all and the next update will be in March, from the comfort of my desk, when I am safely ensconced back in the comfortable embrace of the office and, more importantly, my children are safely ensconced in the care of someone who knows what they are doing.

3 thoughts on “What the hell am I doing?

  1. Heya, it’s cousin Lindsay (Little Lindsay, not Aunt Lindsay). I’ve added your blog to my blogreader, and look forward to hearing how you get on! Lots of love to you all.

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