Article written by Natalie Walker, CEO at PartnerSPEAK.
Single, working mamas, I see you.
It’s my four year old’s birthday tomorrow. It’s five past six in the morning and I’m at the airport on my way to meet senior bureaucrats in Canberra to advocate for the families PartnerSPEAK supports. My family is hopefully still asleep.
Last night I was working until 11pm. I was simultaneously printing proposals for Federal Government and animated numbers 4s with eyes and legs ready for the big day. Proposals and birthday celebratory pages were spilling out of the printer all mixed up together. I hope I’ve packed the right papers for my meetings.
In the Uber on my way home last night I made a Coles online order that I hope arrives in time for birthday camping. I try to convince myself that a number 4 candle stuck in a pile of hot cross buns will suffice as a birthday cake.
At the airport I buy a ridiculously overpriced plush My Little Pony because I haven’t had time to buy a birthday present prior.
When I alight my plane I will meet with bureaucrats and other stakeholders and work all day as if I haven’t only had four hours sleep.
When I get home I will pack for camping like I haven’t worked a fifteen hour day.
It’s not my quote but it resonates: “Today I will work like I don’t have children and then I will parent like I don’t have a job”. As will millions of mothers around Australia and the world, including many of the women I meet with today.
One of documents I’m carrying is the report from my recent Churchill Fellowship which I dedicated to single mothers. I dedicate today to me. To #goodenough. To hot cross buns as birthday cakes, to last minute My Little Pony presents, to advocating for families who are in trauma because their dad has been offending against children online.
Single mothers, I see you.
Working mums, I see you.
Families affected by child sexual abuse material, I see you.