Stella Creasy: Yes, the ‘motherhood penalty’ really does exist, so deal with it…

All I said was I wanted to make it easier to be both a present parent and a fully committed work colleague, says MP Stella Creasy. And Twitter went into meltdown…

Monday 18 December 2023 19:21 GMT
‘Mums are humiliated into a regal approach – don’t complain, don’t explain’
‘Mums are humiliated into a regal approach – don’t complain, don’t explain’ (PA)

There are many issues on which everyone has an opinion – weather, Christmas decorations, pineapple on pizza – but few as vitriolic as motherhood.

Commentators both on Twitter/X and outside it have been aghast at my cheek of wanting it to be easier to combine being a present parent with also being a committed colleague. Debate about whether there’s a “motherhood penalty” isn’t just end-of-year silliness – it is a backlash in the fight for equality we ignore at our peril.

Being a parent brings both joy and frustration – you can adore your children and bore others with your fascination with them, while also resenting how society now sees you as less capable for having them and want to do something about that for the benefit of all concerned.

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