Over the years I have employed a number of mothers in my lawfirm. They inevitably have one requirement, flexibility so they can manage child care arrangements. Flexible working hours, an understanding that on occasions a child’s illness is going to take priority and that during school holidays they may have a greater desire to take time off are their basic expectations.
I have always been happy to comply. And there is no downside as far as I am concerned. The mothers I have employed have invariably been very organised, focussed and willing to go that extra distance in getting the work done.
Which is why the media beat up about Jacinda Ardern’s shortened visit to the Pacific Islands Forum being held at Nauru is so strange and, dare I say it, somewhat misogynistic.
Let us put things into perspective. By going late Jacinda:
And the downside?
There is a subtext to the criticism of Jacinda and that is that politics should be the preserve of people without personal distractions so that they can completely immerse themselves in the job.
I can think of nothing worse than to have leaders that are completely removed from ordinary day to day life.
And there is a further subtext that someone else, presumably Bridges, could do the job better.
Jacinda is streets and streets ahead of all of her challengers for the top job in terms of her competence and her compassion. And she has a young child.
It just goes to show that women can do anything.