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What do you do all day?

14 Mar

Someone recently said to me “I’m so over work; I can’t wait to have kids and let other people look after me”. Once I’d picked my jaw off the floor, and wiped the piteous look of “oh love, how misguided you are” from my face I felt pretty annoyed. The truth is, if someone had asked me 6 months ago I would have chosen full time work over full time parenthood any day of the week. Looking after kids 24/7 was so much harder than any job i’d had. Even the ones i’d really hated. I read somewhere once that the constant whines for attention from a child work in similar ways to chinese water torture. Ok so this is probably a bit over the top. However I don’t think i’d be exaggerating to describe the worst days as “emotionally traumatic”.

Try and get friends who’ve never experienced it to understand. Impossible. To be fair, what do you expect when every time they ring and ask what you’re doing the reply comes back “I’m in the coffee shop” or “I’m at indoor play”? You can hear the pause as they try to reconcile the nightmarish existence you’ve told them about with their present mental image of you frolicking around the ball pit laughing maniacally.

The truth is, full time parenthood challenges you to your very being. For almost every second of a 12 hour “working” day you have to put your own needs on hold while you pamper to the demands of the most unreasonable and demanding of customers. All this while staying calm and fair. Xist I’ve had days where i’ve put off going the loo for 4 hours because my toddler just would not be put down.

So, Ms Tacoma, what do we do all day? Constantly fall short of our own expectations. And it is thoroughly exhausting. No wonder we don’t want to pick up the phone and talk to “friends” like you.

Having it all

13 Mar

Can women really have it all?

I was brought up to believe we could. A good career, husband, babies. What someone failed to mention was that we’d have to work so damn hard we might not enjoy ourselves very much. I do believe that in some way women have stitched themselves up. Of course women and men should have all the same choices in life, are equal, should have access to the same jobs etc etc. However, in my experience, if you want to work, you’ve either got to comprimise your ambition and take a job for flexibility rather than excitement, or accept that you’ll be a weekend mum. (unless you’re superwoman of course, and i do think there are some of those out there). Now a choice between those two doesn’t seem like “having it all” to me. Maybe i was brought up expecting too much…..