A letter to Employers

  • This week's blog entry is from our Little Things in Common member, Sarah.

    Sarah is a 26 year old mother of two little girls (3 yo and 5months old), who finished studying a few months ago. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies and Anthropology.  

    Sarah is originally from France but has been in Australia for 7 years.



    Dear Employers,

     

    Please take note of the following comments when considering my application.

     

    We read it everywhere. Mums are heroes. They do it all, they multitask, spend sleepless nights caring for little ones, all under the “work for free” banner of motherhood.

     

    The reality is that society needs us. It needs us to create and raise healthy little people with strong little brains to be able to run the world after us. Yes, we read it everywhere, hear it everywhere, mums are heroes. But this does not make our situation any more rewarding or recognised in the end. The more we read it, the more it is considered as normal. Mums have to be heroes and don’t need to be rewarded for it. By reward I mean acknowledgement that what we do as mums should have the same value on a resume as work experience. It is life experience.

     

    Of course the best reward there can be is to see the smile on your little one’s face when she discovers you made her a very special birthday cake, or just when you are taking him to his preferred playground, “I love you mummy” and all those special moments that just make a whole day of cleaning the house and cooking worth it in the end. And yes, we have Mothers day! Don’t get me started on this! In a dream this would make my world go round. But this is not a dream,  that electricity bill is waiting to be paid on the kitchen table and I am getting scared of answering private number calls on my mobile phone. What we want is not a special day, although it is part of it. What we want is to be recognised for what we are, for what we do everyday, our life experiences.


    I had my first child half way through my degree and I knew from the start I was going to go back to my studies as soon as I would get the chance. And I did. I finished my degree, had another child and started another degree. I thought this would get me a good job, and provide a bright future for my children. I am a hero!

     

    Or at least I was, not anymore. Not now that I am looking for a job to pay for that damn electricity bill, and food, eventually. Now I am just another head on the market with written “degrees but no experience” on it. Because no, I don’t have experience. I was too busy writing assignments, changing nappies and cleaning the house.

     

    Oh, and did I mention writing assignments too!

     

    But being a mum, a woman, with children, even with a degree does not make me a desired person to employ. I have been refused work in supermarkets for being ‘overqualified’, and I am refused other jobs because of my lack of work experience. What on earth does that mean? It just means that this electricity bill will have to wait because when you don’t have work experience you don’t get to have a chance to have job and get some experience! What about life experience? Surely this counts? I am a hero. Or am I? I am starting to doubt myself.


    So consider this an open letter to all the employers out there trying to find the best person for the job.


    Dear employer, the best person for the job is me. Because I am a woman and I have children. My motivation to succeed in life goes far beyond personal satisfaction and a nice pay check at the end of the month. I want to be a good mum, a mum that can provide for her little ones, a mum that is proud of herself for being a mum but also for being a woman and being successful at what I am doing. You will never find someone more able to multitask more brilliantly than me, than us, the forgotten heroes.


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