‘Guilt behind every door’: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern on her dual roles

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford pose for a photo with their new baby girl Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford on June 24, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 38, officially returned from maternity leave on Thursday, just six weeks after becoming only the 2nd sitting leader in modern history to give birth while in office. Upon her return, Ardern spoke candidly with reporters about the need to balance her official duties with her parental ones.

“I might be at the odd press conference with a little bit of spill on me,” she said bluntly, adding that her partner, Clarke Gayford, would become a stay-at-home parent and “not a babysitter” in order to take care of their young daughter, Neve Gayford.

“There is guilt behind every door,” she continued in comments made to New Zealand media outlets. “I do not have a monopoly on guilt. Women from all walks of life will feel to some degree like if they place more emphasis on this area, they are sacrificing something else over here.”

In the future, she added, she hoped that society would become better about supporting mothers, so that they could “make choices and feel satisfied with doing the best we can, both in the workplace and with our families.”

Ardern became the country’s 2nd youngest ever leader last October after a remarkable campaign during which she famously hit back at reporter’s questions about her gender and the possibility that she could become pregnant while in office.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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