I really shouldn’t be blogging. I have been up for three hours already, and yet the breakfast dishes are still scattered throughout my kitchen. My floor is semi-clean, but it is a surface and every surface in my house has dust. The flowers are wilting in their vase. Yesterday’s toys are still scattered outside. My ironing pile is the size of Mount Everest.
Yesterday I realised that I had yet again, forgotten to RSVP and completely missed another first birthday party. That would be about 8 now? #rude. I’m getting worried as to whether the water bill has been lost in that same pile, let alone my worrying thoughts about the amount of mail I haven’t opened since January.
My emails are beyond late. If you have emailed it has been weeks and weeks since you’ve heard from me. And I’m sorry. I would love to be in touch but when it takes me a week to reply, your immediate response kinda makes me die a little inside. Yes you have it together and I don’t. And yes, you may have gotten back to me immediately, but now I’m behind again and you once more go into my too hard basket, ready to be re-opened in another few weeks.
And yet, here I am. Blogging. It’s Monday. I usually started the week with an inspirational quote to start the week right. I’m not exactly on my way to starting it right, but maybe once 9am hits I’ll get my mojo back. #MiraclesDoHappen.
Last night, after it taking both of us over an hour to get my one year old to sleep, as we were cooking dinner late, eating dinner and cleaning up, we were watching Mad Men. God I love that show. I know we are late to the fan base, only up to season two, but I have always found the TV Series a fascinating concept, having worked in a similar office, only 50 years on. It’s odd to watch how offices were back in the day, and it’s unnerving to think how I could have coped as a Personal Assistant back then. And as I watched Joan Holloway sashaying around the office owning her role, I got my first twinge of wanting to be back at work. Now, I hate – I mean HATE hearing any of the following terms from women who have just had children:
‘I have to go back to work before my brain shrivels up with baby talk / before I go insane’
‘I just feel if I don’t go back soon, I will just be bored at home. What am I supposed to do all day?’
‘I want to go back to work as I would like some normalcy back in my life.’
‘I would like to use my brain again.’
My usual response is ‘of course, how great if you can go back to work, and day care is such a great way to teach your kids to share blah blah blah build their immune system blah blah blah toilet train blah.’
No. I don’t agree. And I find these types of comments offensive. And I find these type of comments scream Bad Mother. Yes, I said it. I’m not saying going back to work makes you a bad mother. But if you think that your brain will shrivel up with baby talk, if you think you will go insane staying at home with your littlies, then what the hell weere you doing but Mothering wrong? Finding the time to maintain a house, cook healthy, satisfying meals for my family, keep updated on where my baby is on his development, and working out what I have to be concentrating on next, and doing this on minimal sleep is a full-time job. It is also interesting, fun, rewarding, and with the right friends and support network – sane and still the hardest job I’ve ever had.
And yet, while I was watching the Mad Men episode, I got what those women are saying. A little bit. It’s not that you want to be away from your children, or that you want to use your brain again. It’s that you miss the person you were and would like a snippet of her back. That women who had it all together. Yeah, I miss her too. That women had a lunch break. How lovely. That women left her house at least five days a week, and got to wear something nice for the occasion. How would that feel? That woman for me totally had it all together, completing things in advance, was never late, and was the one waiting on emails. She had time to read chapters of a book every day, whilst staying up to date with current events, and generally told her boss where things were at and how things were going to be done. She was good at her job, She had that purpose.
On the flip side, that woman wasn’t woken by a Mum Mum Mum, and a gappy toothed grin. She didn’t get to kiss anything better, while watching her baby trying to work out this walking business. Whilst talking about business matters, she was missing out on the hilarious gibberish that comes out of a little ones mouth with such conviction. She wasn’t getting the goodnight kisses and bedtime giggles that make her the happiest person on earth.
Mums. You’re saying it wrong.
And, how on earth are you working and keeping the house tidy, and keeping up with emails and ironing and still sleeping?