Sssh… some days… being a stay at home mum is a piece of piss

I am all about the moaning! I love a whinge! I am the first to complain (well..I’m very good at tutting). And it is generally very accepted (in life, as well as blogging) to have a right old grump about parenting: How hard it is, how draining it is, how much sleep you don’t get, the list of negatives just roll off your tongue. No one ever has a pop at you for complaining about being a mum (so far).

A couple of Tuesdays ago; the day usually reserved for doom, gloom, laundry and self loathing (which I have just decided will be the title of my autobiography), I woke up in a good mood. Maybe it’s the change in the weather. I put on my new maternity clothes (getting out of my pyjamas is a major milestone). I got the toddler ready and we went out.

But just before I left the house I read a tweet from that woman. You know the woman. I won’t name drop her. The woman who likes to upset people – it’s her career now. I followed her after she swayed me briefly on Celebrity Big Brother. It read something like

Stay at home mum? This just means you’re unemployed.”

I read it a couple of times, unfollowed her and heaved the three of us out of the door.

We went to the park just next to us. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The flowers were in bloom. I watched my two year old stampede through the park, pushed him on the swings, lifted him up onto the slide. I then walked with him to our local collection of shops. I bought him two little cars. We walked to a local bar and he had the children’s fish and chips.

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I walked him half way home before he decided walking wasn’t for him anymore so I carried him the remaining half a mile. Once through the door he napped and I cleaned and caught up on TOWIE (don’t judge me!) I thought about the tweet again.

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The toddler woke up and we played together until Dad came home. Dinner time, bath time, story time, bed time. I sat down with my partner and he asked the usual:

“How was your day?” I shrugged ‘alright’. Not wanting to admit to him the truth:

that that Tuesday, that day – being a stay at home mum had been a piece of piss.

I never want to admit this to him – and it is an extremely rare occurrence – don’t get me wrong. But the day had been sublime. I felt organised, sun kissed, happy, stress free, a good mum, relaxed and accomplished. This doesn’t happen all the time. But it does, sometimes happen.

It reminded me of the summer when my son was only a few months old. I sat in the garden one day because we were experiencing a heat wave. My baby fell into a slumber in the shade. I poured myself a Gin and Tonic (just one) and I felt utterly at peace. My working partner returned home (sweating) and eyed me suspiciously, slightly angrily – I knew he was thinking

“I knew this stay at home mum gig was a piece of piss!”

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I threw the Gin in the paddling pool and started folding some washing off the line.

But – really, some days, being a stay at home mum is a piece of piss. And I’m admitting it. There.

Most days involve me pulling the covers over my head at least once and weeping silently or shutting myself in the bathroom for longer than it takes to do a wee and just shaking with frustration.

I honestly never felt worked up enough to respond to the tweet about me being “unemployed” – I could have written a post about how hard it is, how my Further Education Teacher’s pay doesn’t equal nursery fees plus travel, that I don’t receive any benefits (as I would if I was unemployed) but I don’t feel strongly enough about it. About her.

What I do feel is content – pleased, grateful and lucky that I am able to have these years at home with my son and also blessed that some days (at least 1 out of 34) are a piece of piss.

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ps. Post July I will have two children – and if you ever, ever insinuate that it is a ‘piece of piss’ or that I am ‘unemployed’ I will kill thee.

 

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What it feels like to be intimidated by a man

mummy's writing darling

On my way home from work yesterday the news was on in the taxi. The continuing news about the Movie Producer rumbled away in surround sound before the driver angrily switched it off. He announced,

“If these women didn’t want this to carry on then they should have said something at the time! Look at them all now coming out of the woodwork!”

“mmm…” I offered out of politeness. Politeness; sometimes our downfall.

“I think it’s hard when a man is so powerful and intimidating…” I continued.

He continued to disagree with me all the way home and I tried to block most of it out because that very day, at the age of thirty five, a mother of two – I had been intimidated by a man to the point it had made me cry – at work, in front of an even more powerful man.

The man, who was significantly taller and wider than me had been rude, passive aggressive and continued to express his displeasure at me being there. My back was to him, and his colleague (bullies are always better off with an ally) as I heard him talking about me, disgruntled. I daren’t turn around.

In that moment I hated that I was five foot three. I hated that I was wearing flat shoes which made me sink even further into the ground. I hated that I was blonde – I imagined them looking at me like I was some dumb girl. I felt like I had zero status.

Out of God knows where I found myself complaining about him to his manager. There wasn’t any courage in this – it probably came from myself finding more and more truth falling out of my mouth the more stressed and exhausted I get nowadays.

And then I knew they were coming, I felt the heat in my neck. I choked and there they were. Stupid tears. Always letting me down. Always making me look even weaker than I am. The man looked horrified.

What the man in the taxi, another large in stature older man, could never comprehend is how it feels to be intimated like that.

I told the taxi driver a man had made me cry at work to which he replied:

“my daughters wouldn’t let a man do that … they’re strong.”

Unfortunately I am not that strong. I could fight a lion for my children … but myself? On a bad day – I would lie down and let it start at my feet.

The little girl in the photograph was told to say yes, respect her elders, respect her superiors, always be polite. Too polite.

The news over the last few weeks has made me think many things. The most honest and disturbing thing being – I can’t say if that movie producer had asked me to get into his hotel room with the aggression he did to that model on the recording –

I’m not certain I would have had the courage to have said no.