The (ever expanding) CV of a Mother

As I embark upon the soul-shattering mission to return to work after a baby I am reminded of the difficulties of doing so on an Island where the vast majority of vacancies probably receive 100’s of applications. With merely a handful of GCSE’s to my name and an ample amount of work experience and life experience it has hard to snag more than a ‘thank you for your application, unfortunately….’ let alone even an acknowledgement of my interest and effort or even an interview. Let’s face it gaining employment is hard especially when there is not as much appreciation for the endless tasks that motherhood throws at you that happen to demonstrate your ability to pretty much cope with anything.

Breastfeeding; whilst something that I am no longer doing and certainly do not wish to do ever as means of securing a job this particular hurdle that I conquered for a whooping 6 months shows a huge amount of dedication. Breastfeeding a child is a difficult job, it requires determination, perseverance and a lot of independent working because actually no one can take that night shift for you. It requires a great deal of sobriety, care, comfort and love to do this 5 million times a day. It takes confidence to do this in public, it means being creative with a wardrobe that is lacking after you are likely to have expanded making most of your clothes redundant.

Attention to detail: a mother literally has to have eyes everywhere, you cannot barely blink without a toddler trying to do some death defying stunt. Nothing can be left, no tea or coffee, there is a place for everything and everything in its place. There is little spontaneity when you have a climber, the sudden urge to pee can often leave you vulnerable to finding your child dancing on the table.

Organisation: if I have to do anything I have to be quick and precise, I need to have a plan. I need to arrange nap time so that I can clean away everyone else’s stuff because they lack that ‘attention to detail’. I must ensure that nap is at the right time and lasts for the right amount of time as not to have a very unhappy toddler even more prone to damaging himself because he has become ‘dangerously tired’.

Multitasking: I have the ability to cook three different meals and serve them all at the same time without burning anything to make sure that everyone eats. I can then eat mine whilst feeding the toddler and catching the food that he has refused to try before it touches the floor.

Management: I can command a room, sometimes with just a stern yet gentle look, I can get an eight year old to tidy her bedroom (to a somewhat questionable/acceptable state), I can get that homework done using my abilities as a negotiator.

Time keeping: I have a tidy home, I plan my washing around the ever changing British weather and we all have clean pants. I can make sure that the milk man’s delivery comes at just the time the last smidgen of milk is used. I make sure this house is clean despite the toddler, the eight year old who likes to make sure that there is at least three cuddly cat toys of hers in each room, a partner who refuses to throw even his own contact lens wrappers in the bin himself, a rather large brown hound and a fat (forever shedding) ginger cat lives here. I sweep the floors about three times a day.

Strength: I functioned for nearly a whole year on about 4 hours worth of broken sleep a night whilst juggling everything else, how you may ask me? Literally couldn’t tell you for a million quid. It happened, I, and everyone else is still alive. Miracle.

Working with people: I have been able to sustain the very lives that have made mine harder, through love, care, comfort and nourishment. I am the one that feeds imagination, gives hope to the daughter that is bullied, encourages dreams and vanquishes nightmares and monsters. I play, I laugh, I jump and dance even when I don’t want to get my children to be happy. I am committed and loyal.

A mother is more than just someone that is able to stay at home and look after an infant, that infant is continually changing and as a mother you have to adapt to survive. There is a list as long as my arm of all the things that I would bring to a work a place that would be happy to give me the opportunity.

 

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Daily Mail Mother Hating.

I read an extremely rude article (obviously a daily mail special) about how fashionable it is to be a selfish mother, drink a lot of gin and confess to the moments your mothering has been a little under par. I get it, I write openly about how hard parenthood can be and I want so desperately to remove the stigma that plagues us all with having to be the best at something that is so notoriously hard for many of us but we need to do this with a degree of restraint because glamourising dysfunctional behaviour can be very damaging. The ‘instamum’ fad is something that I follow because it’s somewhat interesting but it is far from my life, I often blog about the difficulties of every day life with a baby and child and all the washing and the bloody bottles and before that the problems I had with boob feeding but it is all required to raise my little humans. I laugh at the size of my butt and the hangover I may have once a year when I dare to make that trip back into normality, BUT to me and many other mums it is not normality! I cannot afford to drink fancy gin infused with the flowers from a Beatrix Potter like garden, I cannot afford the beautiful shoes and all the fancy clothes, I cannot afford to resume my previous job and benefit from some of the freedom that may allow. I am not bitter, I have two gorgeous children and the last thing I want to do is be judgemental but what we should do is take the things we see with a pinch of salt because these mumma’s with the thousands of followers on social media may not be portraying the reality of their life (barely anyone does these days) and in allowing others to see what makes them popular as the norm of their life may lead to the imitation of this and it could become dangerous. Let’s face it all that gin they apparently consume may be a lie, and if it isn’t they may have a really good support network of people that help them out with their busy social life.
Essentially what I am trying to say in the most nonjudgmental way possible is that for the vast majority of us parents we cannot simply (and I do not believe we should either) slip children into our lives, we need to adapt and change to what they need. It is hard to retain your original identity when you have children, and I am not saying that you will never get it back or that at times it is not okay for it to make a comeback whilst you are at the bar drinking shots but that is not the reality your children need as a common occurrence. Children need to come first, that’s right I have to take a back seat with my own needs and wants to fulfil what I want for my children. I choose to populate, I need to ensure that I do it to my best abilities.
I also am suffering from postnatal depression and anxiety and whilst I do my best at as mum I can sometimes see the lifestyles of others who are more confident, outgoing and relaxed mothers and want a slice of that, I know my limitations and I cannot afford myself to slip into the bad habits of lazy parenting because it would be so detrimental for me. Remove the stigma of accepting that some days are a little shit, some weeks, some months even, do not glamorise the notion of being a mother that doesn’t care (not saying that they don’t) is okay. You get me?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4508726/Why-women-boasting-slummy-mummies.html

 

I just don’t get it.

I guess I don’t get it, there is more I don’t know than that of which I do, I’m not going to pretend I understand, nor that I have any answers. We face an election that has come during a time where world events are rather scary, and with this in mind that many people look to the strong who say they are not scared of the fight, or those ready and willing to take the lives of others. There are no winners in nuclear wars, so why is there such a fixation on them? People talk about the environment (and rightly so) they fear for the extinction of animals, for the devastation of the rain forests, the melting of the polar ice caps, but if we embark upon a nuclear war then these ice caps won’t even have the time to fucking melt. If we allow those we don’t know to have their identities scrutinised over their religion and the actions of few we encourage the segregation that they are already facing.  When we take from our children we make their futures unpredictable, their education unstable, their national health service questionable. When we argue over what unskilled workforces should have we underestimate what they need, what they could be, what they want to be. I have said that I do not have the answers, I don’t even know what questions to ask but here are a few circling my mind.

Why would you risk the continuation of the NHS?

Why would you make unnecessary changes to the education system only to benefit the elite?

Why cannot we give more to those who don’t have?

I don’t know the cost of securing the future of the next generations, I don’t know what the costs would be to raise the living wage, I don’t know what the cost would be to save the NHS, but I do know that these things are important to so many and maybe it might be worth finding out. I’m not about concentrating on what I have, my concern is for those that don’t have or won’t have.

When you take from people who have less so you can have more that’s an issue.

When your concern is how much is being given to those that have less that’s an issue.

If your biggest fear in this election is what you get when there are:

Homeless people living on the streets.

Refugees fleeing from bombs.

Children living in poverty

If we changed the mindset from ‘it’s their own fault’ to ‘what can I do to help?’ What do you think would happen? The welfare system is always being challenged by those who feel they don’t need it.

The way I see it is it’s not what the politicians can do for me it is what they can do for people who need them more.

These may not be your wants but they are the sentiments of the party you support.

13st 10Ilbs

Before lunch.

I don’t know what it is about these numbers that cause me so much upset but if I am being honest they really do. My body is an issue to me, I don’t like it and I’m almost certain that I never will. This is not a blog that is going to inspire self acceptance or give you some bullshit speech about how perfect you are because quite frankly I’ve just told you hate my body, it’s also unlikely I’ve ever seen your’s, you don’t need my validation it won’t help you at all and lastly it is none of my business. But it is a business, a very lucrative one and if we consider that then maybe we can jump to the conclusion no one has a perfect body because how the fuck would they continue to make money out of us. We are not encouraged or allowed to feel good about ourselves.

Take plus size models for an example, how fucking fabulous do they look? They have their cellulite airbrushed out, they have their hair and makeup done professionally and they have a perfect skin tone all over. So is that the reality of being plus size?

I have never been happy with my weight and the acceptance of it hasn’t been in short supply, my partner loves my body and the way I look but it’s just not enough and I don’t think I’ll ever know what is enough. Some preach self love and I’m not saying that doesn’t work and many of you may have this but I don’t think that the confidence it takes is in huge supply. In short I’m trying and it’s not for me it’s for my daughter, a 7 year old I never want to have the internal conflict and struggle of who she is. I don’t want my son to grow up to become a man not only aware of this type of self doubt but who may use it in an emotionally damaging way.

There are women who work out 7 days a week, there are some that skip meals, there are even some that try to put on weight and those who are happy are often fucking shamed for this. We don’t value confidence but we strive for it

Basically there is no right just wrong, my favourite example of this is shaving adverts where the model shaves a hairless leg because the existence of hair means you’re lazy or dirty or unkempt. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m trying to feel right about being wrong. I’m sharing this not to tell you what you think you want or need to hear, I’m doing it because you’re not alone

Below, I never wear matching underwear, I have a hole in these pants and the red line around my tummy is from my tights. My legs stick together. My skin is blotchy. I don’t like it but I’m going to do what I can to like it.

International Women’s Day.

It’s international women’s day and I’m going to take this opportunity to be brutally honest about what it’s like being a women, this obviously differs dependant on everyone’s social backgrounds and their lifestyles and careers etc.

I have never been held back by a man like I have by women, I have never been made to feel as horrendous by men as I have by women and so when I think about equality my first thoughts are how we need to first obtain mutual respect for each other as women before we can gain what we want from men.

I don’t wish to dismiss the pressing requirement for equal pay, equal opportunities, as well as freedom over our bodies (amongst other things) but on a day like today when we share bullshit sentiments of sisterhood I laugh at the notion this exists in the way that we portray it.

We have our girlfriends but many of us (if we’re being honest) view other women as a threat, whether that be physically or intellectually. I have a friend who makes me feel like shit every time I see her, on every occasion she does what she can to make me feel stupid, uncomfortable, and often less of a mother than her and however much I search I cannot find the reason for this. Girls at school were mean to me for countless reasons, I wasn’t popular, I had to work hard for the merely average grades I got, I liked different music, I read, I wasn’t as pretty as them, let alone all the reasons I didn’t know.

Sexual freedom and expression of sexuality is something women champion but I have been called a slut by women, never men. I have been made to feel bad about my body and sexuality, I have heard horrible rumours and the nasty things said about me.

At work I have been held back and stripped of my confidence by women. I have had my mental health laughed at by women, I have heard the things they have said about me and the jokes they have made behind my back. I have had all my hard work knocked out of me and all my knowledge used and never thanked for. I was called ‘unmanageable’, I was told not to try too hard, not to have passion. I was told to be 6/10 to make me less threatening and told to be less dedicated, take work less seriously. I was hated by some and laughed at by others.

I remember a set of friends making me feel so bad that I pretended to be ill for a week so I could have a break from them.

More recently I remember another women’s glee in telling me about problems in a previous relationship alluding to issues with my weight that has scarred me for life.

By women I have been called a slut, a cunt, ugly, fat, dirty, average, boring.

So if you learn anything from today please let it be to either become the women you post about and support your ladies like you claim to or skip celebrations of a international women’s day.

please consider helping a sister out with education and the ongoing education of children, please donate and share:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rebecca-goozee

Won’t Somebody Think Of The Children

When raising the tiny little humans that can quite honestly drive you to the brink of insanity at least 3 times a day it is easy to forget the huge affect that external influences have upon moulding them into the adult they become. Often we cannot control the impact that others have on them, on their attitudes, on their success and on their failings but there are very important people that don’t get the credit that they deserve when it comes to the raising of our children, their teachers. I understand that a teacher is never constant but with any good, loving teacher their aim certainly is and its to nourish the mind. I was shocked when Millie became such a wiz with numbers and equally devastated when she told me she doesn’t like literacy but with the help of a fabulous teacher she can excel in the subject she loves whilst reaching the massively important milestones in the subject she hates.

I have no predetermined plan for my children, although if they can become millionaires that would be preferable, I just want them to succeed in what they love and do the absolute best that they can. When you ask those who have gone on to obtain higher education, to maybe teach themselves who have been the great influences in their lives many will sight their favourite teachers, and many of those will be the teachers that had accrued so much knowledge in their lifetimes that they truly grabbed and guided the minds of others.

The reason that I am writing this is with an agenda, my sister is one such teacher, she has taken children and helped mould them into what they want to become, she has helped children through gruelling GCSEs, she has received the wonderful letters from them and their parents. My sister is doing the last year of her masters and is on the edge of leaving due to funding and so I am imploring you to please give, give lots, give a little, give only what you can because my sister is the teacher I want my children to know, the fiercely knowledgeable guide that they deserve.

We give our children so trustingly into the hands of teachers and we hope that they will assist them on the journey of life and help them find the callings that maybe we will miss. Please give and please share.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rebecca-goozee