WATCH: Meg's powerful response to NFL player urging women to give up careers to be 'homemakers'
The Edge Breakfast
The Edge Breakfast

WATCH: Meg's powerful response to NFL player urging women to give up careers to be 'homemakers'

"I found an anger starting to simmer under my skin..."

Our very own Meg Mansell beautifully articulated what so many of us were thinking after an NFL player's controversial speech at a US graduation went viral for all the wrong reasons.

Harrison Butker gave the commencement speech at a private Catholic liberal arts school in Kansas, telling the women in the audience they'd be happiest if they gave up their careers, had kids and took on the role of “homemaker” full-time.

Hearing Butker's ideas on how women should operate made Meg feel a special type of anger, she explained, as someone who is the breadwinner for her family, as well as being a mum and a woman in her own right.

“I quietly watched his speech and listened to his words," Meg said. "As I did, I found an anger starting to simmer under my skin, being both a career woman and mum myself."

Tackling the guilt and societal expectations mums face when going back to work after having a baby, Meg laid out all her emotions in a powerful poem called 'All Three', dedicated to her daughter Daisy.

“I wrote it to try and get the words out, knowing that I shouldn't feel bad for something that I've worked my whole life towards but the guilt does eat you up,” Meg says.


“It’s 4.10am, my alarm goes off. 

My eyes stinging red, raw paper cuts 

How many hours did I get? I try to count up

Between wakes, and feeds. It’s only been 4 months -

Since I gave birth to you and now I’m back on the job

We need the money, I know this, my throat swells to a throb.

The guilt tears me in two, am I making the right move?

I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am, so why do I still feel the pressure to choose?

To be a Mum or to have my career? Why can’t I have both? It’s never been a question for Dads. So I’ll pave the way, as I watch you grow 

I’ll be a good Mum by keeping that roof over your head, I may not be there in the mornings, but I’ll always tuck you into bed. 

You will grow up and see just how hard I worked for you, and how your Dad is a waymaker, breaking society's rules too. He will take you to playgroup, wriggle and rhyme and space. He will read books, make breakfast, do laundry, love you with grace. 

You are my whole world, going back to work doesn’t discount that. One day I know you will understand this, Mother and Breadwinner, I can wear both hats.

Because working doesn’t mean that I love you any less, it means I love you so much that I know what’s best for both of us, is what’s best. 

I’m your Mum and I’m also still me. 

A career woman, a wife, your mum. 

All three.” - Meg x

Meg's poem prompted an emotional response from so many Kiwi mums who related to her words, and from floods of other women who were inspired by her take on the situation.

“You really summed this up beautifully Meg. I’m in awe of you and watching you be you, and the most incredible mum has helped with my own ‘mum guilt’ so I really really thank you 👏❤️,” wrote one commenter.

Another said: “Wow... Just Wow... Meg, I love you even more after this!! So vulnerable.. so real!! speaking the truth!! ❤️🔥🙌”

“Meg you are incredible!! I have had this fight for the last 15 years, I've raised two teenage boys alone and I have cried on my way to work so many times because I'm consistently torn between being a good mum, but also keeping food in our mouths,” a third added. “You are an absolute queen! And Daisy will know her mum is a powerful woman. ❤️”