Celebrity Mother Guilt

Last night I ventured in to my summer reading collection; The Andy Warhol Diaries, some Hunter S Thompson peppered with fashion magazines. The first thing I pulled from the pile by my bed was free street mag SA Style.

Normally a quick read with lots of skinny models, one off vintage outfits and the latest spread on whoever spent the most advertising. However I could not go past two feature pieces in this year’s summer edition. One on IVF and the difficulties of conceiving and a profile on celebrity mums Chrissie Swan and Yumi Stynes from The Circle.

So pleased was the Editor with these pieces she decided to dedicate this edition to mums everywhere. Bless.

Now as a working mum I am never home to watch The Circle, so how inspiring they are to other mothers I really can’t comment. However since they were being profiled to inspire us working mum’s I read with great interest.

Sure like all working mums they have demanding schedules. To prove it the reader is given a breakdown of a day that starts at 6:30 with the ‘babysitter’ (aka the nanny) arriving before they leave for work.

So there go the demands of children’s breakfasts, dressing, lunches or packing of bags. Nor any childcare or school run, which depending on what kind of morning our children are having can take anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes.

All this before you have even looked at your phone nor glanced at an email. (I’m sure I am not alone in saying some days you feel like you have lived an entire day before you have even arrived at work.)

But back to our inspiring working mothers. Chrissie’s and Yumi’s schedules are tight, they have to be at work by 7am so they can knock off by 2:30. It is a full day of recording the show, production meetings, emails and personal trainers.

We can read how they find time to cook their own meals but I noticed the omission of any housework or gardening. I can only assume these chores are also taken care of.

Now don’t get me wrong, if money can afford it why wouldn’t you get help. What bothers me are Editors who think a working mum needs validation she is doing a great job by profiling celebrities who can afford whatever help they need.

Some celebrity mums are inspiring. I follow Jessica Rowe, Mia Freedman and Annabel Crabb on twitter. Occasionally they share glimpses of their domestic life and it makes me smile as it reminds me they’re working hard too.

Yet they spare us the cleaner, the nanny and gardener – if there is one – and it is appreciated. But for me nothing beats hearing from my fellow working mums who are attempting to be Wonder Woman every day of the week. They’re not celebrities to us, but they are to younger members of their household.

Why don’t Editors do profiles on them? They are just as inspirational, and aspirational as the rest.


  1. Hi Louise
    As one working mother to another, any woman, celebrity or not is not any better or worse off than another when it comes to emotionally caring for a child. What i find most frustrating is women comparing themselves with each other on who works the hardest or has it tougher.We are all in the same boat and should support and encourage each other. Light hearted inspirational reads about any successful woman working hard is inspiring. The fact you choose to belittle other working women in an effort to make yourself feel better is my biggest pet hate. Why are you any better or think you work harder than them? No woman needs validation but sometimes it’s nice to take a peek into the lives of others to see how they make it work. So maybe put down those fashion mags … Bless ….and write about things that don’t involve putting other sucessful women down.

  2. Thanks so much for your response to my blog. As a working mum you should be applauded for the way SA Style has grown in such a short time.

    As this may be your first visit to my blog I just wanted to clarify that I choose to write about what I see or hear in the media. It is a range of subjects that make me question our role as journalists. One thing I am passionate about is how women are portrayed.

    In your article’s opening paragraphs it asks, “how much pressure is there on working mums and how do they really cope?” My blog were my thoughts on how well that question was answered.

    While there were statistics on when working mothers return to work it did omit the ABS stats that despite women’s advances in the workforce, we still spend up to 33.5 hours a week on household and domestic duties (including childcare). Almost twice as long as our partners.

    I was not implying I work harder than any other women, hell I know other women out there who are doing it tougher than me! I just feel as a member of the media we have a responsibility to be honest and fair, two key points of the journalist’s codes of ethics.

    As a member of the union, they are ethics I take very seriously.

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