The Hardship of a Mother, Sigh…

I felt driven to write this as a result of mostly going stir crazy without the tap tap tap of my keyboard, but mainly after reading a blog set up by a fellow literature graduate from my course. The topic of the day was juggling a career with motherhood, and how difficult it must be. The end. It didn’t so much address the issue, but instead went along the lines of, ‘Wow, I want a career but I want babies too… however will I do it? Ho hum.’ I’m sorry, but surely some small aim of writing is that you have a purpose, rather than considering the multitude of obstacles you would have to overcome IF you were in either situation. I’ll order my saucer of milk now shall I?

Now we all know, you didn’t have this fantastic option before. The two choices laid out for women as the media would have us believe is that you could be money hungry power-bitch, or join the Von Trapps. Think Miss Trunchball or the sappy maternal one, Miss Honey, either Matilda feminine role works and is of course completely unexaggerated and realistic. It has been historically drummed into the female population, especially our Grannies, that you don’t yearn for things like employment, and to be valued; having a small being with some sort of mini incontinence pad strapped to its behind should be enough. What do you mean you want to feel challenged, Ten hours of non-stop on-call entertainment not enough for you? Some people are never satisfied….

Is it that it’s now acceptable, but not physically possible to become both mother and woman in control? We’ve shifted as a gender from accepting our limitations to fighting for perfection. The woman of the fifties was satisfied to make a casserole that would last a week and adopt the job title ‘homemaker’. Now, we’re instructed, ‘look younger! get thinner! eat your five a day! bake black olive and sun-dried tomato bread! Gym it up three times a week! Oh, don’t forget the kids, they need to be wholesome too!’ Jesus. You realise people don’t live like this right? The photos you see in Good Housekeeping are FABRICATED. They do not spend thousands of pounds on customised pieces of furniture for their little monsters to customise further with their Haribo hands, and don’t swan around in Whistles frocks and Marc Jacobs slacks. Now, hold you hands up and be truthful now, and I too will be happy to come clean. I think about baking bread, a lot. However if I eat all that bread on top of all that dairy milk I’ll never be thin. Yes, my child watches television and gets terribly excited when ANTM comes on, as the theme music has been instilled in his brain since day dot. I would go to the gym, but I don’t have the energy, because by the time I’ve knocked up an evening meal a la Ramsey after two hours of chasing a child round one playgroup or another, I’m bushed.

Perhaps its the public glare that ensures we pick one or the other, but never both. Where we like to think that we now like in a thriving modern society where all are equal and anything is achievable, boy do we like to scorn the women who fight the ‘urge’ (I’m still awaiting mine, Royal Mail have a backlog) to stay in the four cosy walls of the home. If Peter Andre had moonwalked into the jungle, we wouldn’t be sneering behind his back about staying within spitting distance of his three little munchkins. Victoria Beckham gets snarled at for even attempting a half arsed fashion career, and Britney Spears… well, I hear Iceland is looking for a Katona replacement so I’m sure Brit’s sat nervously by the phone. Our attention isn’t drawn to bad mothers by the press, its the mothers that have chosen to do something other than absent-mindedly babble ‘twinkle twinkle’ with her day. Although I’ll reserve judgment on Ms Spears, give her the best shot.

I just like to believe that having another focus besides your children can be viewed as both a possible, and positive addition to your role as Mum, Ma, Mother, Mommy, the Old Mare. People do it, I’ve seen them! For the crazy perfections, think how much more organised you would have to be with a sideline- what a challenge! To the more sane folk who enjoy an ocassional (ok, every other) day on the sofa with your new found friends Phil, Hollie, Jeremy and Coleen, find something to battle with the deadening brain cells. At least you’ll get to wear something that isn’t nightwear. If only we could all realise that we don’t get a certificate for how many different homemade chutney on our shelves, or how many hours kiddy-time we’ve notched up this week in comparison to next door, who is out back with her children, creating a mural on the side of the house of the various CBeebies characters. Give yourselves a break, we were all raised on fish fingers and chicken nuggets and we turned out just fine!

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~ by Scarlettice on November 18, 2009.

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