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CBC Doc Zone Examines The Motherload
By Staff
;The Motherload, production still, CBC;
(January 6, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The value of the public broadcaster, since the present government seems to be asking, is that it consistently shines a light where there is often darkness. A new documentary, which will have its world television premiere this Thursday, is just such a case. It is titled The Motherload and no that`s not a typo. The word motherlode usually refers to a rich mineral find somewhere. Motherload shines a light on working woman and what happened to the promise of equality all those years ago. As the director/producer Cornelia Principe stated, “I made this documentary, in part, because it was only when I had a child 5 years ago did I realize that things were not the same for men and women. And it was – strangely – shocking to me.”
You may recall that a recent article in The Atlantic titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” created an international sensation. You may also recall when a new CEO was appointed to run a Fortune 500 company it made headlines because she was also pregnant. Then there`s the story of the billionaire Facebook boss Sheryl Sandberg who was afraid to admit;The Motherload, production still, CBC; that when she leaves work at 5:30 pm, it’s to have dinner with her kids. Why all the fuss?

Perhaps it’s because it was all supposed to have changed by now. Dads were supposed to carry more of the load. Motherhood was not supposed to become so idealized. Employers were supposed to be more flexible. Women were supposed to climb higher up the ladder, but feel less guilty. Society was supposed to live up to the promises our mothers made. From single moms to CEOs – a generation of burnt-out, disillusioned moms are waking up and smelling the coffee. Forget having it all – today’s working moms are doing it all. Call it “The Motherload”.

Joan C. Williams, Law Professor and advocate for better workplace practices for both women and men is just one of the contributors to The Motherload. She states quite plainly, “If you ratchet up the standards at work, and you ratchet up the standards of motherhood, you’re gonna get to be overwhelmed.”

The Motherload takes an in-depth and new look at the subject of working mothers – the current issues, challenges and triumphs that come from trying or having to do it all. It compares Canadian women’s lives to their even more troubled American counterparts – where women are struggling with work-life balance and paying a heavy price with their health. And it doesn’t stop with women, as now men are starting to feel the weight of “The Motherload”. As writer and ;The Motherload, production still, CBC;Washington Post reporter, Brigid Schulte says, “this is not just a mommy issue. This is a human rights issue.” Schulte is, by the way, working on a book called “Overwhelmed” about her struggles to maintain a demanding career and be an attentive mother of two.

The Motherload also profiles several working mothers struggling to just keep working – much less advance in their careers. For example, Emilie, a prosecutor for the federal government and mother of three, who has just returned to work after her third and final maternity leave (Emilie also happens to be the daughter of former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour). Kimeiko is also a mother of three, but she`s on a year`s leave from her job as a college professor. Then there`s Helen, a divorced mother of two, who chose to be let go of her position as a plant manager instead of continue to strain under the high expectations at work while trying to care for her kids. The ultimate in doing it all mothers just might be Cathy. She is a divorced, single mom who works two jobs her while also caring for her two young sons.

All this, and more, on The Motherload, airing on CBC-TV’s Doc Zone this Thursday, January 9 at 9:00p.m. (9:30 NT).