Linda's blog: "She's A Proper Mum"

clock Released On 16 May 2023

Linda's blog: "She's A Proper Mum"

Most of the time I don’t think much about being a working parent or the fact I’m half of a couple of working parents.  Our daily juggle is not remarkable and has been our life for over a decade.

But sometimes there are moments when I am kicked into touch. Moments when I realise some people just don't get it.  

I was out at a work event when a man about my age (early forties) asked what my husband did.  Although I could have been offended, I saw this as harmless small talk and simply answered he’s a lawyer. Without pause the man said “So you're both lawyers!  My wife stopped work when she had our first. She's been at home ever since.  She’s a proper mum. You know what I mean?”

I really hope he didn't mean I am not a proper mum.  But that's exactly how it felt.  One comment and he totally derailed me.  I was so incredibly hurt and shocked that I couldn’t even respond. 

I made my excuses shortly afterwards and as I travelled home, I became angry.  But not with him: I was angry with myself for letting the comment pass, for not asking him what he meant and for not challenging his sexist language.

I haven't worked out how I can raise his comment after the event, but I feel duty bound to do so.  Not for me, but for other women at work, especially more junior women, and for his sons as well as his daughters.  I won't write a note but if I did, I would sign off, "From Linda, a Proper Mum". 

Linda is a lawyer who has two children aged 4 and 7. She and her husband work full time and juggle the school run and everything else between them.

Leeanne Bryce - 16/05/2023 - 12:58
You have a great style of writing Linda - this really shows that both words and interpretation matter and should be challenged or queried in conversations- it could also mean to the stay at home parent the wording "proper mum" could have equally hurt or angered portraying a limitation on their potential. I look forward to the update :)

No Comments

Add Comment


We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our website. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Please read our cookie policy to find out more.