Tag Archives: working mother

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.

Do you know who I am?

There are some questions that I find really tricky…

What’s your blog about?

“Oh cool – you’re a blogger. What’s your blog about”? he asked politely. And my mind was blank. After taking a strategic sip of my drink, and pretending to adjust my socks, I replied “Um, just stuff I think about. Pictures of things I like.”

Loser. (Me – not him. He was perfectly nice.)

This blog really is mostly for me, rather than any specific audience. A very lazy digital diary. Maybe when the kids are older, I can pass this diary on to them and they can probably laugh and maybe wonder at the online me.

If my thoughts are little winged creatures flitting around my brain, then this blog is digital fly paper. Sometimes thoughts just fling themselves in to my sticky blog and get stuck. Sorry.

Where are you from?

I was trying my very best to be the charming corporate wife. Husband was still in Sydney, and I was in London meeting his new Big Boss. All was fine, until he casually leaned out of his bright purple v-neck cashmere jumper to ask “And where are you from?” I must have looked confused, because he followed up with “What’s your background?”

I paused and quickly scrolled through the various options in my head – place of birth, where I grew up, race, current address, culture? More mental scrolling… Big Boss and his jumper looked slightly worried that I looked worried.

“Are you working?” he asked, simply and slowly. Phew… He was just asking that other old favourite: “What do you do?” I launched in to my standard pitch – currently running a household (unpaid), and in between jobs as digital content manager/ writer (hopefully paid).

I felt as if I had just dodged a tricky interview question.

Who are you?

Along with “Release the hounds!” I have always wanted to be able to exclaim haughtily ”Do you KNOW who I am?” No need to explain or describe myself.

Actually, I do need immediately to explain myself – unless I become an arch villain with a pack of zombie-dogs, I won’t be using those two phrases in the same  encounter.

New iphone app – Mind the milk?

Before we had a microwave, we used to have a small saucepan for heating up milk. We poured the milk into the saucepan, turned on the stove and waited for the milk to heat up. I remember having to be really careful not to miss that split second when the milk changed from a calm white pond to a bubbling cauldron of unhappy calcium.

I am not bemoaning the lost art of milk-warming up. I could not imagine living without the convenience of the microwave. As an equation, “freezer + microwave = happy working mother”. However, I do find myself operating in ESMT zone (Eastern Standard Microwave Time). In ESMT, 45 seconds is a long time in which to produce a balanced family dinner.

Microwaves allow me to rush around the kitchen conjuring up meals in minutes. But sometimes I miss the excuse to slow down and watch the milk. Virtual bubblewrap has been around for ages, so could this be the next iPhone app – Mind the milk? You heard it first here …

Brought to you by the InterWeb – Virtual bubble wrap

I found the official Bubble Wrap site, set up by the manufacturer Sealed Air Corporation. Aside from the virtual Bubble Wrap game (tucked away in the “bubblewrapfun” area) Bubble Wrap had a birthday this year and, of course, you can become a facebook fan.

I wonder what lucky bubble-happy person looks after this site?