Why it's time to stop childcare shaming working mums like Holly Willoughby and Kate Silverton
ICYMI Holly Willoughby has been announced as Ant McPartlin’s replacement on this year’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
The ‘This Morning’ presenter will host the Australian-based show alongside Declan Donnelly.
But while we should be giving Holly all the clapping hand emojis for landing what has to be one of the most brilliant presenting gigs in TV, instead the world is getting it’s knickers in a twist about who will look after her three children.
“What??!! Ffs!! Stay at home and actually spend time with your kids,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“Won’t be watching! Isn’t she on telly enough already? Is she taking her kids or leaving them while she gets a bit more airtime?” another commented.
OMG NOOOOOO SICK OF HER SILLY LITTLE GIRL GOINGS ON SHE A GROWN WOMAN WITH KIDS MILES AWAY FROM HER KIDS AGAIN MMMMMM
— Diane robson (@dianerobson2012) August 29, 2018
Won’t be watching! Isn’t she on telly enough already? Is she taking her kids or leaving them while she gets a bit more airtime?
— sally parker (@sallyparker5) August 29, 2018
A Yahoo Facebook post about Holly potentially taking over the role received the same kind of comments.
And Holly isn’t the only working mum who’s childcare arrangements have suddenly become the world’s focus.
Earlier this week news presenter Kate Silverton hit back at claims on social media that she was “ditching” her kids because she is taking part in ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
The broadcaster, 48, who is mum to Clemency, six, and Wilbur, four, was responding to a Twitter user who wrote: “Parent of the year now eh Kate. You’ve ditched your kids for three months with Strictly.”
Clapping back in style at her anonymous critic, Silverton retweeted the original tweet and wrote: “Mr ‘anonymous’ I take my time with my children very seriously – my children will both be at school when I am training – it’s the reason I have agreed to do #Strictly this year. I agree mothering is the most important job — but I would never seek to preach.”
Mr ‘anonymous’ I take my time with my children very seriously – my children will both be at school when I am training – it’s the reason I have agreed to do #strictly this year. I agree mothering is the most important job — but I would never seek to preach https://t.co/sHitsgcu8J
— Kate Silverton (@katesilverton1) August 30, 2018
Well said Kate.
But the fact it needs to be said in the first place is the real issue here.
Will her co-presenter Dec get similar criticism for leaving his newborn daughter to fulfil his jungle duties? Will any of the male dads taking part in this year’s Strictly face similar scrutiny.
And nor should they, because the fact is people don’t stop being people the minute they become parents.
The solution to the problem isn’t to suddenly start questioning all working dads about their childcare arrangements, but to cut parents, particularly mums, a bit of slack when it comes to making decisions about their careers and their family.
Happy Father’s Day baby… they love you… I love you… totally blessed 💕
A post shared by Holly Willoughby (@hollywilloughby) on Jun 17, 2018 at 4:22am PDT
It has been reported that Holly, her husband and their children are decamping to Australia for the duration of filming and may actually move in with new dad Dec and his wife Ali.
But whatever way the pair have chosen to divide the childcare, it shouldn’t really be of any concern to anyone else but them. And it certainly shouldn’t have any bearing on their ability to do the job at hand.
Thankfully, that’s something many people on social media have recognised, with both Twitter and Facebook being flooded with messages of support to both Holly and Kate.
Would the same question be asked about a man? I think not! Whatever plans @hollywills has in place I have no doubt her children will be well cared for and very proud of their successful mum. https://t.co/ZbkojPSbtm
— Kelly Preston 🏴 (@Kelly020479) August 30, 2018
Well who’d have thought the news of @hollywills cohosting @imacelebrity this year would provoke such sexism in the British public?! Next person I see commenting on her family life and what she does with her kids are getting a swift cyber kick in the genitals #sexismisalive
— Ceri (@CeriDacey) August 29, 2018
Surely the message we want to pass onto children is that your career needn’t end when parenthood begins and that it is possible to continue following your dreams post childbearing.
And for that we should certainly be thanking, and supporting, the Kates and the Hollys, not tearing them down.
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