Minister Helen McEntee still finding the “balance” with mammy guilt

Pic: Instagram/Helen McEntee

Every working mother knows the feeling of guilt when you leave your kids for work.

And Justice Minister Helen McEntee is no different.

She admitted that she is still trying to find that balance between her work-life balance. She is the proud mother to two little ones.

However, she is still completely “committed” to her cabinet.


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A post shared by Helen McEntee TD (@helenmcentee)

Speaking to The Baby Tribe podcast, she said: “I think I’m still absolutely committed but you are always grappling with ‘how do I get that balance?’

“It’s a struggle to try and make sure that you get that right balance, and it is a challenge. Often some weeks, I just feel guilty half the week because I might not have been home for two nights, or I’ve only seen them for half an hour in the morning or I’ve only seen them on Zoom all day.”

She joked: “I don’t know what people did before Zoom – at least I can see them when I’m not going to be home before bed. But it is a challenge and there’s no point in saying it isn’t.

“My outlook is still the same: we should be able to do all the same things as a man can do but it is difficult and I think sometimes responsibilities still fall on women in a different way than they do on men.”


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A post shared by Helen McEntee TD (@helenmcentee)

She went on to praise her co-workers including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for being a great support to her especially during her two maternity leaves.

“To be honest, I hadn’t even I hadn’t even considered or thought how it would work before then. Nobody had taken maternity leave before, particularly at cabinet,” she explained.

She admitted that there has to be a change when it comes to politics and maternity leave as “there was no such thing as maternity leave from a political point of view”.

“So, we’re still working through it. There’s no quick solution to it. There’s possibly a referendum needed to change it, which is not the norm for most work environments but I think what it shows – even if it is an arrangement for now – is that it can happen and that it is possible,” she shared.


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