At a lecture I went to where Baroness Janet Cohen was speaking, she made a recommendation to all the working women in the audience "to treasure your mother and mother-in-law". The comment got many laughs from the audience but the advice was sound. Many of the female clients I have who have some of the most difficulty in balancing the demands of children and a career are the same ones who live far away from their parents. I know my own mother-in-law, Betty, has been a godsend, as my husband and I have raised my stepdaughter. She has always been available to take care of Lee at short notice and now that Lee is older, I wonder how much Betty is looking after Lee or the house, when we are away! But the two are close and we try to make sure she knows how much we appreciate her. It is a modern phenomena of career couples living further away from their families or origin. It undoubtedly leads to greater job opportunities but also greater costs, as having support in doing the school run, take children to doctor’s visits or even greater levels of care are invaluable in a society where good quality care is expensive, if you can find it at all.
- How have your parents or in-laws supported your career?
- How much do they help with childcare?
- How well could you cope without them?
- How do you let them know how much you appreciate their support?