Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Congratulations To Ruth Kelly!"

Cabinet Minister Ruth Kelly strikes me ( not a pretty thought!) as an earnest woman ( as in intensely serious) She surely mulls over every aspect of her life with reason and intellect.
She has usually rather irritated me. But I have to admit I admire her recent decision ( IF her reasons given ARE her true ones)
Kelly has a powerful job. Kelly also has 4 children, the eldest is 11. They're creeping up to teenagehood. This is a time when "children" still need their parents, some even more than they did. This is a time when children are testing the world and themselves. Wise parents are aware of this and stay caringly/quietly watchful behind dark glasses, so to speak.
It would be very hard to watch 4 teenagers in your dark glasses AND have one of the Top Jobs in the land.
Good on you, Ruth Kelly!!


Blogger Catherine said...

Sarah Palin on the other hand is superwoman :)
We have quite a few female politicians in New Zealand, some of whom have resigned to spend more time with their children - though one of our former top female politicians had a very supportive husband who did a lot of the child rearing tasks.
Our female prime minister is childless. That's why I don't particularly vote for female politicians just because they are women (or against them because they are women).
I don't happen to think that women in top jobs have any better idea about the lives of ordinary families, than men in highly paid top jobs do.

8:22 am  
Blogger Jon M said...

Yeah, I'm with you on that one...Ruth Kelly irritates the bejabers out of me. I also begin to wonder what kind of a job being a run of the mill constituency MP is if you can, 'retire' to it...
Teenage years can be so neglected and the time when kids need adults so much!

10:33 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

This is such a personal decision. And sometimes the reasons for our decisions are also very private ones.
We can't ( and we shouldn't) judge other people's lives ( their capabilities, their desires etc)
Kelly may be happy/satisfied/capable of working in another ( less stressful) job..
she alone ( and hopefully her partner) know what is right for them ( as do we all....through our thoughts deliberations etc etc..)
The press have commented widely. They've given a multitude of opinions.
But that's all they are..." opinions"!...

4:34 pm  
Blogger Debs said...

I only work part-time and have two teenagers. I can't imagine how hard it must be to have four children and a high-powered job.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Bee said...

I hope you are right . . . but I'm afraid I'm rather cynical about the "needing to be with my family" claim. Jeff Skilling, of Enron fame, used that one years ago . . . just weeks before Enron capsized . . . and I remember how everyone scoffed.

I do agree, though, that children need to be mothered -- especially in the dangerous time of adolescence. Like Catherine, I immediately thought of Sarah Palin. I oppose her appointment on every possible ground, but I also think she has too many children to do both jobs (mother and VP: God forbid, President) well.

12:02 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

It doesn't really sit with Govt policy of trying to get all 2 year olds into a nursery place so their single mothers can go to work though does it?

I feel for younger women today stuck trying to square the circle of the expense of modern living against the needs of parenthood -few families can can survive on one pay.

And I bet Ruth Kelly remains an MP, which in itself is a demanding job. I think it was more a case of jumping before she was pushed.

On Palin the news quiz had it right yesterday, she maintains she's pro life, and then runs around with a shot gun - it's just a shame her definition of life doesn't extend to four legged critters!

I agree most politicians loose touch, especially Ministers once they have a limo to deliver them door to door -it's the thing they miss the most when they get the chop.

12:11 pm  
Blogger Sarah Laurence said...

You make me realize how out of touch I am with British politics since I left the UK. I guess the American election is rather engrossing. Like Catherine and Bee, I can't help but think of Sarah Palin. I object to Palin's politics and lack of experience. I don't think the mother question has to factor if she has a supportive spouse.

I can also empathize with any parent, male or female, who feels that the kids need more attention. I'm lucky to have flexibility with my work as teens and tweens don't need as much attention normally, but they really need you when they need you.

4:40 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

I love Sarah's line re re them really needing you "when they need you"..
only you yourself can know when exactly that will be....and you can only really know this by making yourself aware..
And some women certainly have the emotional energies ( physical/mental ones too) to combine this "awareness" WITH a job..and some thrive on it..
Let's face it, in 2008, many women HAVE to work but families have different priorities/ambitions/goals
and what they and their family REALLY want needs mulling over..
BUT I reckon very few women can cope happily with SUCH a highpowered job as Kelly's... as well as bringing up 4 teenagers..( plus actually living with those 4 teenagers..)
All this ties in with Jon's last line too..
However:One thinks there's only ever one chance to get all this stuff right...but I tend to think life actually throws us up a fair few second chances,,,be it in different guises.

We're all so very different and I suppose it's a case of being true to oneself ...
and thus matching up your capabilities and your what your priorities really are..

9:56 pm  
Blogger Minx said...

We should all follow the path that we feel is right for us. Some women are not designed to be stay-at-home mothers (I wasn't) but you should always live with no regrets about lost time.

8:36 am  
Blogger Jan said...


3:28 pm  

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