How do we feel about a part-time prime minister?

The advice of Australian author and working mum Natalie Ritchie to Jacinda Ardern when she returns from maternity leave is: quote.

“To ?lead like a woman? and scale her job down to part-time when she returns to work? and to reject the “timetable and conditions designed for a man with a 24/7 wife at home” and reshape her leadership role to suit the demands of motherhood.? End of quote.

Isn?t this simply a case of role reversal? Won?t Jacinda have a 24/7 man at home to care for baby Neve?

Or is there something specific about mothering that men cannot do?


Ritchie has been a contributor to Australia?s largest circulating magazine on parenting, CHILD, for the last four years so we can assume she knows a bit about parenting. Quote.

In an interview with the Weekend Herald Ritchie said the decision for Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford to stay at home was “not the solution”.

Ritchie, a former features editor at Child magazine and author of Roar Like a Woman said just switching the gender roles kept “the old patriarchy firmly in place, while pretending to do away with it”. End of quote.

Former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley was quick to jump to Jacinda?s defence saying: quote

People needed to “butt out” of others’ parenting decisions. End of quote.

I’m not commenting on Ardern’s parenting skills, or lack thereof, I’m commenting on her ability to fulfil her role as prime minister.? Quote.

Addressing Ritchie’s article, Shipley said New Zealand was “a long way further ahead” in terms of respecting women’s career expectations and accepting their capability.? End of quote.

It seems to me that no matter how far ahead Shipley thinks women in New Zealand are, we have yet to see a prime minister successfully fulfilling the roles of a mother and prime minister simultaneously.? I have a sneaky feeling it can’t be done.

Jacinda has no idea of the road ahead and it is presumptuous of her to assume she does. I really hope it doesn’t happen, but I can’t see her going six months before the wheels fall off.