Dear Sophie Gregiore-Trudeau,
I am a teacher and freelance writer. I once worked in Canadian television and, up until recently, I taught weekly dance classes for women in my local community. Although my career does not have your level of influence, our lives have similarities. I write when my child sleeps, tend to my child in the middle of the night, devote my time to helping children, hope to inspire people through movement and still support my husband emotionally, plan meals, keep the house in order, play with my child, kiss the boo-boo’s and guide my family to be valuable members of society. We have many things in common.
Canadians are talking about the administrative support you need. Neil Macdonald’s article on CBC News.ca “The hacking of tall poppy Sophie Grégoire Trudeau” has been widely discussed.
Do I believe you should have staff to help you? Yes, absolutely.
So why are so many people in an uproar over this? Because every working mother in Canada should have similar support to help her continue her career, contribute meaningfully to her community and raise her family. But we need someone to fight for us.
Twice this year, you have proven that working mothers need support. First, when you needed a nanny and an assistant, and now, when you need administrative assistance with your work. Canadians want to support you and your family – we see ourselves in you and we want you to succeed for Canada’s sake.
But millions of us working mothers in Canada also want to reach the success that we dreamed of as young girls and yet, every new mother has reached the same disheartening realization: how do I do it all? How do I do it all well?
We try to build our village but descent daycare is expensive, preschool is a lottery in some areas of Canada and maternity leave income is taxed; families need more than two incomes just to get by and the schools are too resource-strapped to be of any more help their communities. The realization that we cannot do it all effects each of us in different ways. Many of us suffer from postpartum depression, hardly sleep or work ourselves sick. To cope, we self-medicate with wine, obsessively plan healthy meals and budget our time down to the minute while living paycheque to paycheque. The average working mother in Canada is stretched to the max everyday. We need help.
I am glad that you are a feminist and that you rally for women and girls to dream big, overcome obstacles and reach inspirational goals. The problem is not that we aren’t inspired to do great things. The problem is that we cannot do it all without help once we become a mother. For so many women, motherhood has dashed our big, world-changing career dreams because we lack the village and resources to be able to do it all. We struggle to make lunches, attend business meetings, pay the bills, drive to soccer practice and put dinner on the table each day. But it doesn’t have to be so stressful and frustrating. If you were to champion a cause to support all working mothers so they could raise their children well AND change the world too, we would support you to the ends of the earth and back. We know our families would be alright if we were alright.
Sophie, the Universe has handed you a cause to fight for Canadian working mothers. Heed the call to help us working mothers get the support we need to raise our children well and continue our big dream careers to make the world a better place too.
On behalf of all working mothers in Canada, please, see us. Fight for us.
Image Source: Pete Souza