Tag Archives: mothers

Kids – sorry the grown-ups broke your EU

Dear kids

Yesterday some grown-ups broke your European Union. Sorry about that. They didn’t really mean to. I hope that you can fix it when you’re older. Remember to vote 🙂

Love, mum

Post-Brexit, I’ve been doing some metaphorical soul-searching. Rummaging around in my drawer of tidy private political opinions. Well, I’ve tipped that drawer on the kitchen table and this is what’s come out. (Some swear-y bits follow below. )

Kids' guide to the EU

This kids’ guide to the EU recently appeared in our kitchen. Great timing.

 

Age-appropriate socio-economic context

I explain the world to my kids with a pinch of age-appropriate socio-economic context. Mentioning background, life opportunities, education, bad luck. I follow up with: “In our house, dad and I think [*insert appropriate liberal metropolitan educated employed opinion*], but there are people who don’t agree. That’s OK.”

Today, a day after Britain voted to leave the EU, bollocks to that nuanced ‘two-sides’ approach. I think that 51.9% of the voters made the wrong decision about the EU referendum. I’m telling my kids that I voted Remain because I wanted them to have the same opportunities that British kids had before them.

Unfortunately, more scared, confused, mean (sorry), arrogant (apologies), wrong (not sorry) people voted Leave. They probably damaged the economy for a lot of us, and they definitely stuffed up the European future for my kids.

More immigrants? No thanks, I’m full.

I’m telling my kids that a lot of nasty people supported a Brexit because they don’t like immigrants. (Of course, not ALL people who voted to leave were bad. Aaaaah – can’t help myself … Sorry.)

Our family is stuffed-full of immigrants. We like to get around, so I’m horrified and disappointed that this debate was so racist and fearful.

The Leave campaign was supported by famous arse-hats. Farage, Trump and a dirty pile of right-wing European leaders talking up the anti-immigration bullshit. These are not my people.

My reactions on Facebook yesterday

1. First thing in the morning – unfiltered emotion.

Went to bed in the United Kingdom and woke up in land of hate and glory. I slept badly, hopefully dreamed that the Remain side would ‘edge’ ahead… Instead I’m now living in Little Middle England.

This morning I had an unexpected cry over politics and unexpected need to share my sadness on social media. I’m not angry. There are apparently enough angry haters out there already and more of them voted. Just sad that being moderate and reasonable and compassionate isn’t good enough anymore.

I’m still glad I supported and voted for Remain. I can tell my kids that.

2. A bit later – after too much information, emotion and social media

My knee-jerk metropolitan liberal elite post-Brexit strategy: combination of stay within safe bubble of left-y urban multicultural suburbs + make sure our kids give a fuck.

European Union 2

Smiling daughter within the European Union. 

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Keep the water in your mouth   Yesterday I found a Post-It note in the kitchen with these words of wisdom: Keep the water in your mouth.

Where do you go when you press Home?  Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home). My old house is empty and my new house is waiting for me.

To all the ladies in the house

Mother’s Day had serious expectations heaped upon it, such as handmade cards and someone else replacing the toilet paper for once. International Women’s Day? Just the same old fluff – gender parity, equal opportunities, more women in leadership, less violence blah blah.

Here are some words for the important girls and women that I know.

My daughter. I will never be disappointed in you, even if you don’t become the first female astronaut on Mars. (It would be VERY cool if you did though.)

My nieces. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of your big lives starting. Enjoy. I watch with hope and interest.

My female colleagues. You are smart and funny and interesting and ambitious. Please be kind to yourselves.

My lady friends. Thanks for not judging. We’ve got enough to deal with, without kicking each other behind the knees. We do not fight dirty.

My sisters in law. The paid work, the unpaid work, the family, the friends, the home decor – you are totally smashing it. All of it.

My mum. If you don’t want to live with me later on in life, I’ll pick a really good retirement home.

My mother in law. You are the head of a very impressive family of women. You can never have enough X chromosomes.

Pair of finished lipsticks

Finished two lipsticks in one week. Not much comes close in the ‘achievement’ stakes. 

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Judgemental as anything. It’s not cool to judge, unless you are a legal official or preside over hotdog-eating competitions.  Women and mothers – judge me not.

Let there always be kittens. One day I found myself hopping with a clickety click of the mouse from pictures of vintage French cheese labels, to a pro-anorexia, self-harm Tumblr site.  I have never seen one of these before because I am neither interested in anorexia nor self-harm.

 

 

 

 

Judgemental as anything

It’s not cool to judge, unless you are a legal official or preside over hotdog-eating competitions.

Women and mothers – judge me not

Women, and the subset ‘mothers’, are the most judgemental people I’ve met. The sisterhood is not always a friendly suburb of tea and sympathy. Motherhood is a place where sometimes I roll up my windows, lock the doors and drive through really fast.

I don’t like the gently shredding comments about other women’s choices. Casual dismissal of circumstance and background. Little packets of superiority sliding across café tables.

My close lady friends are, of course, excellent people. I have ‘binders full of women’ who I like and love and would share a Twix twin bar with.

Nerds and geeks – free hugs!

Nerds and geeks are the least judgemental people I’ve met. I recently had to say goodbye to a charming group of them. I said that it was ‘one of the most diverse places that I’d ever worked at’. This wasn’t a euphemism for unpleasant weirdness, but an appreciation of difference.

Aside from the obvious differences (gender, race, sexual preference, age etc), in the team there people who:

  • Liked a screen of neat code or fat book of chick lit
  • Changed hair colour on any day of the week ending in ‘day’
  • Enjoyed noisy gigs (yo there thrash piggies!) or throwing pottery shapes after work
  • Were proudly working class or mildly middle class
  • Could dance like Justin Timberlake in a tumble-dryer
  • Didn’t eat carbohydrates or food with faces or didn’t drink alcohol
  • Wore tweed in a non-ironic way
  • Could discuss non-intersectional feminism or Grand Theft Auto cheats.

A basic level of mutual respect (and sharing of kitten videos) kept this mixed bunch together.

(BTW – I found this intriguing empirical analysis of the difference between nerds and geeks.)

So don’t judge a book by its cover. I was once too embarrassed to read a Dr Who novel in public, so I hid it under a fake book cover titles ‘Mother truckers’… Was that any better? 

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Slightly ranting about kids, technology, good and evil I can’t decide. Internet = evil cesspit of narcissistic idiots chatting to gambling-addicted paedophiles? Or Internet = global community of inspiring humanity sharing knowledge and joy? Depends on which parent I am talking to … 

Will you be my friend?  The fastest way to make friends is to have a brief chat, run around a park for a bit, then exchange phone numbers. This method seems to be working quite well for my son.