Caring About My Career Does Not Make Me a Bad Mother!

Em Rusciano, you are my hero.

Yesterday morning 2Day FM breakfast radio show host Em Rusciano hit back at controversial columnist, Miranda Devine regarding a RendezView article she had written entitled “Don’t let your career make you a bad mother”, a title that personally makes my blood boil before I even read the column. Devine demanded that women should prioritise family over career and that mothers of today are encouraged to put their happiness first and be selfish at the expense of their family.

Rusciano, God bless her, came to the defence of women everywhere with her strong and inspiring words that challenged Devine and her twisted view of motherhood in modern times, urging her to “come at me, because I am not afraid of the postal lady for men’s rights activists of Sydney”.

She reassured women who had read these “poisonous and harmful” words not to be made to feel even more unwarranted mother’s guilt than we are already exposed to, as despite what Devine believes, the women of today have to work and have careers in order to give their children the lives they deserve. This doesn’t mean that because we’re not sitting at home monitoring our laundry piles and consistency of our children’s toilet patterns constantly that we are any less of a “good” mother…whatever the hell that is anyway.

I had been waiting for someone as awesome as Em Rusciano to take on someone as deluded as Miranda Devine regarding this particular issue for so long. I know how important Rusciano’s words are to so many women because not only has her video currently had over 14,000 reactions and over 6,000 shares on Facebook, I am one of those women who has felt personally victimised by those who criticise my choice to have a career and be a mother.

On more than one occasion, I have been speaking to someone regarding my career as a writer and because I am one of the lucky people who get to do what they love for a living, I can’t help getting excited when I am talking about my work. However, all of that enthusiasm comes crushing down with six simple words by the listener:

“But remember, you are a mother”

Oh really, am I?

Of course I remember I am a mother! How could I possible forget about my son and daughter who are constantly on my mind no matter what I am doing?! And most importantly, who do you think I am doing all this work for?

I’ll admit, part of it is for me as I do truly love writing and it is my happy place that keeps me sane. However, I never took it seriously until I had my son. This isn’t because I felt like the need to run for the hills, it is because I looked at him (and now also his sister) and I wanted to be the best possible role model that I could be. I want my babies to grow up reaching for the stars and following their dreams because they saw that their mother never gave up on hers. Rusciano became my champion when she said during air time:-

“I want my daughters to dream big and have adventures in life so it’s really important that they have some role-modelling on that front”

She hit the nail on the head right there for me. I want the very best out of life for my children and that isn’t just financial. I want them to see the world, achieve great things, be passionate about life and chase their dreams. We as parents have the opportunity to be heroes in the eyes of our children and that is what drives me to go after my dreams and, shock..horror, be a mum and have a career.

The other valuable lesson to take away from Rusciano and reason to completely ignore Devine’s harsh words is the financial pressure of being a parent in 2017. There are people who love to romanticise about the past and tell of how their father was the breadwinner and their mother comfortably stayed home cooking and cleaning. Well, those days are gone. 2017 is expensive and let’s face it, life isn’t going to get any cheaper in years to come.

According to her column, Miranda Devine has the strange idea that women heading to work rather than staying at home with their families is part of the feminist movement….is there any way we can all just picture Winona Ryder’s bizarre facial expressions from the Screen Actors Guild Awards here? Again, Rusciano says:

“As if anyone’s motivation is to be a feminist activist. I am not up a 4am every morning to make a political statement”

No mother is working to make a political point in 2017. That’s just pure lunacy. It is more common for a mother to work than not because of the financial pressures of family living nowadays. I would love to say I just work because I want to be a good role-model, but the reality is that life is easier for my family as a whole if I work. I am lucky because I have a working husband, but what about the single mothers out there who have to work because they are the only ones who can provide for their children? I would love to hear Miranda Devine have a chat with these women.

So to Miranda Devine and anybody else who chooses to challenge me, caring about my career does NOT make me even close to being a bad mother. So get over it and remember it is 2017.

Avatar of Nicki Newton Plater

When she isn't chasing after or car-dancing with her four year old son and one year old daughter, Nicki is a writer who has written for various websites and runs her own site specialising in film, Movie Critical. She loves Disney more than her children, was probably married to Charlie Chaplin in a past life and probably needs a coffee right now.


  1. Avatar of Sara

    I wish my mother had cared more about her career and her own needs. Then I wouldn’t have so many hang ups about becoming a mother myself.

  2. Avatar of Yakka

    Sara, did your father care about his career and his own needs?

    I had the experience of my dad falling ill and mum couldn’t get a job due to so much time out of the workforce and I can tell you it was no picnic growing up poor and struggling. That’s why I will always remain in the workforce as security against losing an income altogether.

    But anyway, fantastic article. Absolutely spot on with the comment ‘ who do you think I am doing all this work for?’ you’ve nailed it Nicki ! Will be reading more of your work for sure.

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