It’s easy to whine when you’re a full-time mum. Our job often seems a relentless onslaught of menial tasks: wiping noses and bottoms, trying to catch disasters before they become catastrophes, and patiently explaining the necessity of trousers (again).
I probably should stop here and mention I don’t buy into that whole debate of stay-at-home versus working motherhood and who works harder/ loves their kids more/ has the most valid existence/ is the best variety of human being. I think we all try to do what is best for our family according to our specific circumstances and anyone who suggests otherwise is generally trying to sell you something. I say “full-time mum” sometimes because I don’t like the passive sound of “stay-at-home mum”, but I’m in no way suggesting that working mothers are “part-time mums”! OK, end of disclaimer, back to the point.
I used to put a lot of energy into justifying my full-time occupation: my job is so HARD, nobody underSTANDS, I work and work all day and yet have nothing to SHOW for it. I was a victim of motherhood. Somebody needed to call me a waaahhmbulance.
Anyway, one morning I had a bit of an epiphany (it was one of those magic mornings when I actually had time to pray) It went like this:
- I chose motherhood, and if David Tennant offered me a ride in his Tardis (back in time, I mean, for those of you who are not also tragic Doctor Who nerds), I would choose it again.
- I need to own this choice, and put the same amount of work into mothering as I would a “legitimate” job.
- So many couples I know are struggling with infertility and would give anything to be knee-deep in nappies every day.
- Those who “get it” (how mothering is a tough gig, I mean) already get it and those who don’t “get it” aren’t going to be convinced by my ranting, so I might as well save my energy for better things.
I reckon I came back from my morning walk looking all beatific and saint-like. Since then, I’ve tried to make a point of focussing on the positives of my job and not be so defensive (though I still manage to forget this and regularly host a local whine festival)
So now, when some well-meaning lady in the supermarket gushes about how lucky I am to be able to stay at home and play with my children all day, I smile and agree with her. I am lucky. I am so blessed. My job is intense and it’s hard work and my basic needs for sleep and privacy in the toilet aren’t always met, but it does come with plenty of perks.
All of which has been a convoluted introduction to my next post (which I’ve posted first, so that people like my mum can read the posts in the right order)