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.

 

Advertisements

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.

Mothering By Mothers (3)

I’ve spoken about work with lots of mums, some do and some don’t. Childcare cost are so high that it can mean if you are not returning to a career than you may even be worse off. 

But what fucks me off is that I have a ten month old baby, my previous job has moved further than I can go, my notice period isn’t even up and some think it’s totally acceptable to ask me questions about work and offer their opinion on how I should be working because my partner does. The logistics of working are mental hard when you have kids, I’m going to find a job but it will have to be one that pays enough to cover childcare, is conducive with the school runs and is possible on 4-6 hours sleep. My baby doesn’t sleep, and whilst I will return to work this particular moment is so fucking scary and full of pressure you might need to give me a bit of time. 

Just think, do I ask you when you are going to have babies? Do I then assume knowledge of your home/professional life and then to convince you that in fact you are ready? No. Also if I ever hear that my partner goes to work on the same amount of sleep I get and he copes so why can’t I again I’m going to stab him.  Well firstly he doesn’t, secondly he doesn’t keep the house, thirdly those words clearly came from his mouth and he chats shit. 

Working mumma:

I was delighted to get to talk to a working mum Bex that I had the pleasure of actually working with! Fresh out the shower we shared the notion of ‘mum guilt’ and just hearing it from someone else reaffirmed that this shit is real. 

Bex has two boys and between working full time she spends all her ‘mum time’ doing the practical stuff instead of the fun stuff she’d like to be doing. For many mum’s it’s all getting dressed, getting off to childcare, picking up, dinners, bath, and bed and man can that feel sucky. 

It was hard to hear that Bex eldest has noticed the differences his lifestyle has from other children who have at least one stay at home parent, and being someone previously in this boat it really rang true, it was nice however to have the reassurance that he too understood why he went to a childminder. It’s more than understandable that children want to spend time with their family and juggling their wants and the needs of family finances can be hella draining. 

Childcare was another subject we touched upon and the worry that has plagued families for years, yep you know it, the cost! With additional funding being available for older children with two working parents there has been a massive step forward to help with this but as Bex confirmed this funding will not be available to her for another 18 months. 

Another factor is that kids get ill, and as I have been told by the doctors it’s likely to be a fuck load more than an average adult which only leads to more mum guilt. As Bex noted it becomes a job in itself to negotiate the requirements of her work with the demanding regular health issues children pick up from everywhere! As her partner earns more the sensible thing is for her to stay off with whichever sick bug is ravaging her boys, the youngest of which she refers to as ‘sick note’. 

Regardless of all the guilty coming from so many directions Bex has two not only incredibly cute but also happy boys who benefit from her working. 

Basically we have working mum’s and stay at home mum’s both of which are effected by some sort of guilt. There is no changing that, it sucks, regardless of which one you are your mumming it up!