Jacinda simply cannot do it all

When Jacinda Ardern was offered the Labour leadership last year, she said she didn’t want the job, because she wanted to start a family.

Well, we all know how that turned out. Although the world media has gushed endlessly about how she is changing the global political landscape by having a baby while in office, the truth (as we all know) is that she isn’t actually doing a very good job.

She isn’t being a very good mother, she is no role model for working mothers and she isn’t doing her job as prime minister either.

Forgive me, but you can’t cart your baby and partner around everywhere you go if you are prime minister. First and foremost, it isn’t good for the baby. Studies around the world have shown time and time again that babies need a routine with regular feeding and sleeping times in a safe and warm environment. Baby Neve is being dragged around the country while her mother attends political functions.

It also takes away the gravitas of the role of prime minister. How can you walk into a room clutching a baby in a blanket and be given the respect and dignity expected of the role? It is hard to be taken seriously at a public forum when you go to shake hands with a dignitary, knowing that the baby just might vomit all over them. Let’s just say it is not a particularly good look.

Gushing journalists may refer to her as the ‘first baby’ and comment on how Neve is healthy, therefore so is the country, but the reality is a long way from that. The country has a prime minister who is failing at her job, and also failing as a mother. There is nothing good about this, for the country, or for Jacinda and baby Neve.

Jacinda’s promise to us when she announced her pregnancy was that she would take 6 weeks maternity leave and then Clarke would take over the caregiver role, she would go back to work and it would be business as usual.? If she did not consider significant issues like breastfeeding at that stage, then she is stupid. But it is becoming clearer by the day that she had no idea what she was taking on by having a baby, and certainly no idea how hard it would be to carry out both roles simultaneously.

She has made the most out of every possible photo opportunity.

You have to admit though, that this doesn’t look like a photo of the premier of a western country, does it?

Nor does this.

Jacinda Ardern nurses baby Neve

I think it is tragic that she feels she has to do this. Clearly, she should have stayed home with the baby. In the end, what is really more important?

Most of the readers of this blog are parents, and we understand how important it is to take the time in those early months to do things right. The really sad part is that all those journalists who gushed about how Jacinda can do everything and is an inspiration to all working mothers have been proved, embarrassingly, wrong. She is demonstrating, without a doubt, that being a working mother is a tough call and a juggling act. Most working mothers already knew that. Even in spite of the extra help and extra money at Jacinda’s disposal, there are some things that only a mother can do, or that a mother wants to do and nobody should ever underestimate that.

Those who asked the question about how she was going to manage and were shot down in flames by angry feminists have been proved right to question her ability to cope. She is not coping at all.

Jacinda can’t do it all, and therefore, she can’t have it all. She needs to decide which role she really wants.

The recent debacle over the Pacific Islands Forum is a perfect example of why she is not doing a good job. If she cannot be separated from her baby for more than 36 hours, for whatever reason, then she has a problem being prime minister. The role requires her to be able to travel at short notice and for indefinite amounts of time. Instead, the taxpayer is forking out over $100,000 for a special plane to take her there and fly her home within the required time frame.

I’m sorry, Jacinda, but that simply isn’t good enough. The New Zealand taxpayer has not given you a blank cheque for your childcare needs. You said you could handle this. Clearly, you can’t.

Today, we have found the sort of thing that Jacinda really likes to do.

Inspiring children’s books?may be far more up her street. Really, it is all she is up for but at least she could stay home then.

Those of us who have had children know that nothing can prepare you for that moment when you become a parent. It’s okay Jacinda… you can just admit that you bit off more than you could chew, and no one would think anything less of you. In fact, you might actually get some credibility back if you did.