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Thursday 20th October 2016

Should working mums be judged?

17th June 2010

Editor-in-Chief of fashion magazine Elle and a mum of three, Lorraine Candy reveals what life is really like for working mothers.


Due to a quirk of the diary, I was able to pick my eldest two up from school several times one week, rather than the normal once.

On the days I don't pick up, I'm out of the office and in the kitchen by 5pm.

This balance feels right to me, though that is "a personal thing".

While I love the school pick-up what I found a little dispiriting is the comments from some mums at the gate about my presence such as "are you on holiday?" or "this is a treat for you".

How would a non-working mum feel if I said: “Blimey not you again, you're always here. What have you been doing all day?”

I do not think the above, but say it only to illustrate how disappointing it feels to be greeted like this as a working mum.

But the parents who may feel my place is at the school gates everyday are the ones who want to see their daughters well educated and getting great jobs – the sort of job they may not want them to give up to be home in time for the daily pick-up.

This point was perfectly illustrated by former cabinet minister Virginia Bottomley, now a headhunter, who said the middle-class, middle-aged men who dominate business and politics finally understand their own offspring could be thwarted by their traditional and often sexist attitudes.

My daughters may take advantage of this new attitude, or they can stay at home and do the school run. It’s up to them.


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