…. jus’ kiddin…
I’ve got a bit more to say on this topic…. left you feeling disappointed for a little moment there didn’t I?!!…
It is with painful regret that I must admit to you all …that unfortunately my ability to post a blog entry once a week is probably going to be slightly and perhaps offensively curtailed… I hear and appreciate your devastated cries… but sadly… my maternity leave is up and in a couple of weeks I will be returning to my 0.5 contract.
I’d like to think I’ll keep posting as regularly as once a week… but the harsh reality is that I’m probably going to have other crap to do before I’ll get time to blog… so don’t think little of me if the time between posts starts to eek out a little.
I’ve done a few ‘Keep in Touch’ days at work over the last couple of weeks… as a result the topic has become a trail of thought that hangs out in the forefront of mind… subsequently gaining itself a starring role in this here bloggette.
Now, as jobs go…. mine is a cracker. I teach young adults with a broad range of complex learning difficulties and disabilities at a Further Education College…. I feel privileged and intrinsically passionate about what I do. The students I get to work with are beyond awesome… and the majority of my colleagues are pretty cool too… so actually as work goes…. there’s nothing I’d rather do…
But actually. .. if I’m being honest…
I’d rather not have to work at all…
Not because I’m lazy, or because I don’t have potential to progress in a career… but because actually…at this stage in my life… I feel 98% fulfilled by my day to day life as a mother. (Add the 2% top up from excessive chocolate consumption. ..and it’s evident that frankly I’m living the dream.)
I’ve spoken to mums who have said that they “were ready to go back to work”… but I don’t think I’d ever feel like that to be honest. In someways I wish I did… because then this whole awful process… might not feel quite so…well… awful.
I agree that work has it’s valid positives. .. adult conversation… a change of scenery and of course the pay… which is actually the deciding factor for me in my return to work… after all… it’s quite nice to eat isn’t it?!… but on the whole… if I could magic shiny money tokens from somewhere. .. I’d be staying home to raise the babes in a heartbeat.
People say things like…
“It’s the best of both worlds working part time! “…
Is it though?? Is it really?!!
I disagree my friend. ..
At work… you’re a bit out of the loop only being in half the week so you feel like you’re constantly on the backfoot… you miss meetings …and it’s all well and good 0.5ing your contract but it doesn’t always feel like you’re 0.5ing your workload…
At home… you miss out on some of parenthood’s best bits because you’re physically not there or you are preparing for the mammoth task of actually going to work… Also… I can’t scientifically prove this… but both my babies appear to have been in terrible moods with me after I’ve dared to abandon them briefly over the last couple of weeks to pop into work.
Another favourite comment is…
“It’ll be nice for you to use your brain again…”
…because becoming a mother is in someway the same as becoming brain dead? !
Now. .. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet… but I am an educated person with quite a bit of brain activity. .. despite having children.. (*TOOT-TOOT*) I don’t spend all day every day sat around doing nothing either. .. I plan activities for the babies and I run the house… it’s not everyone’s cup of tea… I appreciate that… but seriously…it’s busy!!!…Raising children is hard work…it takes a lot of thought, time, consideration and effort…and I’m not one to make judgements normally. .. but if it doesn’t… and you’re not using your brain… you’re not doing it right…
(If you do consider your brain to be so massive and underused by something so menial as motherhood…then you really shouldn’t be reading his blog… as a workout for the old grey matter…this fails…massively.)
Since having children…I’ve really questioned all my previous ideas about equal rights and feminism… I went to an all girls grammar school in Plymouth. I had a great time, I achieved… I certainly felt empowered…but it left me with what I now consider a naive and slightly skewed view on’womanhood’.
My outlook and belief in terms of gender equality was challenged the second I joined the Royal Navy and frequently ever since. I guess it was the simple truth and realisation that not everyone thinks like I and the people I had been educated by and alongside did… We constantly hear about discrimination and gender inequality in society and the workplace from the news and in our everyday lives… In an ideal world we wouldn’t. .. but this is no ideal world is it?!
As a woman. .. and a mother… I feel under pressure by society…perhaps wrongly. .. and maybe I’m alone… but I personally feel pressure to: be well educated, have a good & well paid career, be a Nigella in the kitchen, be a good mother, a good wife… and do all of this without the slightest body imperfection, unsightly wobble or stray hair.
I don’t achieve all of these things… I wish this fact didn’t bother me either. .. but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. I eat far too much cake and I recently lost my tweezers.
I feel like a bit of a terrible and lazy person admitting this in today’s society too… but right now… at this point in my life… I don’t aspire to be anything else than a mother. It’s unlikely that I will be massively remembered by people because of my job… my salary, my cooking (although at the risk of a second blast on the old ego trumpet… I’m working on some signature bakes! !!)… but I do want more than anything… to be remembered by my children for being a great mum…
Don’t mistake what I am saying here…I know that having a career does not make you a bad parent… before all the career driven mamas start penning their hate mail… It makes you a great role-model for the babies, and in my book everyone should do what makes them happy and makes them feel fulfilled… if that’s work- then hooray for you… but what I’m talking about is why isn’t it socially ‘o.k’ … to not want to work and to devote yourself to raising a family? Why does it feel weird admitting that I aspire to be a great mum?
I’m sorry suffragettes… at the risk of sounding ungrateful for all your hard work…I want to stay home, raise babies and make my husband pies. .. thank you all the same.
I can dream…
I have much to be thankful for…I’m lucky and grateful to have such a supportive husband, the best in laws… the most perfect childminder in the land (actually the Mary to our Poppins!) a job I enjoy and financially to only need to work part time in order to be comfortable… I’m aware that for some people working full time is a necessity rather than a choice.
If I find a supply of magic shiny money tokens… I’ll call you ‘kay?!
I’ve been a bit waffly and opinionated… most unattractive- I apologise.
On reflection… I could probably have briefly summarised everything I’ve just written in one sentence:
I really, absolutely and tremendously heartbreakingly hate leaving my babies.
Big Love. .. as ever.
♥ ♥ ♥