Actually quite a large bit grumpy.
I’m not feeling terribly well (picked up a tummy bug from the girls… oh joy), work is a pain in the proverbial at the moment and because the girls haven’t been well I haven’t had enough sleep.
But I’m still irritated.
Irrationally irritated by throw away little comments made by people who I should probably ignore rather than spend time sitting and festering and fuming over the things they say.
But I am fuming.
I am actually sick to the back teeth of the little fly away comments that people make that condemn my choices. I’m expected to respect how other people choose to live their life but it appears that nobody is going to respect my choices. It appears that several of those choices leave me wide open for thinly veiled criticism, judgement and quite frankly irritating assumptions about how I live my life.
I’m sick of the comments people make about how its the proper thing for their wife to stay at home with their children because they feel its far better for the child in question than being looked after by strangers. How they feel that a mother should be there full time.
No mention about whether the father should be there full time.
No mention about how happy and fulfilled parents are best for children.
And these are people who know I work full time. Thanks, just judge my life choices and tell me that you think I’ve gone and made a whole bunch of wrong decisions that are undoubtedly going to come back and mean I have to spend a small fortune on therapy for my children in the future. How about you actually think through the reason behind my choices and challenge your own assumptions about what constitutes the ‘right’ way?
I’m sick of people assuming that if we just stopped having flash holidays, a smart car, an iphone that I could give up work and be with my children all the time. A comment that misses the fundamental point that I don’t really fancy being at home with the girls all of the time and that I don’t think the Isle of Wight really counts as a flash holiday… Try doing more than making a snap judgement based on incomplete information before you tell me how to live my life.
I’m sick of the assumption that all women want to be thinner – I don’t. I’m thinner than I was before babies and very happy in my size 10 shape thank you very much.
Or that all women want shiny hair, or a new handbag.
What I really want right now is someone to stop all the horrid things happening in the world – I’d like someone to fix the nuclear reactor at Fukushima Daiichi reactor, I’d like someone to help all those hit by the tsunami and I’d like the awful situations in Libya and Bahrain to be resolved without more bloodshed.
I’m sick of the whole tone it down, talk down to the little woman thing that goes on day in, day out – I’m sick of being called ‘love’ and ‘darling’. I’m sick of garages that call my husband about my car – a car I have paid for, I drive and I have arranged to have them deal with.
I’m sick of everything around where we live being set up for stay at home mums and the continuous surprise that I work and the struggle to get anything to fit in with a working mum. 70% of mothers in the UK work and yet around us you’d think that I was rarer than hens’ teeth. Get over the fact I work – I’m providing my daughters with a role model that shows that women can have a career and that they should set their sights high.
I’m sick of colleagues assuming that a pregnancy means a woman is effectively written off and that any form of flexible working means you need to be shunted into a side tracked, non-client facing career and yet they find it in themselves to allow one man (in the whole advisory business) to work a 4 day week and then trumpet it from the rooftops, patting themselves on the back for having done a bit for diversity and flexible working.
I’m sick of meetings set up early or late at short notice and not taking into account that in a two working parent household some of us need a bit of notice to sort out childcare.
How about my employer realises the danger of letting motivated mothers get exasperated by a system that seems to benefit working fathers over working mothers and that gradually drives them out of the workplace. There is a limit to how much one person can say before they just walk away from an unsupportive situation.
You know what, here’s the bottom line.
I’m sick of biting my tongue and letting you say these things to me – I’m sick of having to suck it all up and to take it on the chin.
In future how about you disapprove silently from the sidelines whilst congratulating yourself on how much better you have arranged your life – me I’m going to get on with living this life the way I and my family have decided to.