It doesn’t have to be good – but it should be good enough to make you happy…

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It’s especially true if you work in a digital media role that you never escape the office.
I could quite easily do all my work on my smartphone and / or tablet. I certainly did when I started Sophie’s Voice as It Took Two 18 months ago.
Now I almost always do a little work in bed as Mr Sophie’s Voice slumbers away next to me.
Today, I’m thinking Instagram – yesterday I wrote two posts – both scheduled for next week. It’s insane really but also a reality for lots of people.
Especially women, I’m afraid. Typically we’re the primary care givers in any domestic environment. The yoke of social expectation is horrendously hard to shake off.
I’m a stay at home mum. I’m also a writer, digital marketing and social media consultant and student. That’s a lot of shit going on.
I’m not exceptional either – I can name countless other women (all friends) who are either in the same boat or who work and struggle with childcare. They struggle to get from the school gates to work on time. They struggle to get from work to the kids’ pick up on time. They struggle to find the energy to help with homework, cook a meal and then – possibly – get back to work after dinner.
If I put that in the job description for ‘mother’, you wouldn’t apply. I get paid fuck all, frankly. I’m lucky that Mr Sophie’s Voice can subsidise me if I have a bad month. If one of my little darlings is ill, I am called upon – I suppose that I should be flattered that it’s by them – and I still get up in the nights, if required.
The feeling of being depended upon to the extent where you have little or no personal freedom – where every choice involves considering others first – is, to me, oppressive.
For many women it’s their raison d’être. I’m happy for them but I couldn’t care less. I have to think about myself and – before that (of course, as always) – my children. I don’t want them to see me as Susie Homemaker.
I want them to have an immediate role model who is dynamic, capable, smart, confident and funny. I can’t be any of those things without the stimuli offered by all the things I do – that aren’t parenting.
I tried being a ‘good mother’ – it didn’t stick. Because it didn’t fit. It was too small for me. And too big.
After being a competitive over achiever for years, I discovered something that I am truly shit at. Utterly crap. I couldn’t stop and enjoy it. I got wrapped up in how boring, mundane and stultifying it all is.
Seriously, I started to find things that reminded me that I have a brain. I had 2 years to absorb all the news about the global economic downturn. Ask me anything about it – I was saying ‘Grexit’ 3 years ago.
Of course, I never got to show off my knowledge of current affairs – who wants to talk to a housewife at a party? We’re dowdy little doormats. Each and every one…
Except we’re not. I have plenty of friends who are stay at home mums. They’re as educated as I am. As funny. As informed. Much more charming. And, yes, often just as overlooked as I was.
But the difference between them and I is that they’re happy doing their job – and usually they’re good at it. I’m happy doing my many jobs – because I’m good at them. My friends who work and struggle to pick up their kids are happy – because they’re good at it.
Or – and here’s the kicker – we’re as good as anyone can be expected to be. We all fuck up sometimes. We all have great days too.
So I’m not going to feel guilty that I occasionally look at my phone when I take my kids to the park. They’ll cope as they merrily ignore me anyway.
What I’m going to do is be proud of the fact that I can show my children a happy me – the best me that I can be. At the moment. Who knows what the future will bring?
And look – I was going to pin a few bits and bobs. Instead I’ve written a piece that’s pretty good. Okay, that probably counts as evidence of my rather unattractive capacity for workaholism but it makes me content – and that makes everyone else calm and comfortable.
We’re not always a happy family but we’d be miserable if I had nothing to do all day but worship my offspring.
Now I’m finished, I think I’ll read Vogue. Pinterest sounds a lot like work.

Pictured is my eldest daughter ‘working like Mummy’.

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2 thoughts on “It doesn’t have to be good – but it should be good enough to make you happy…

  1. What a great post! I love this! When I first had Holly I was living on a RAF camp with my (now) ex-husband. The other women there were so cliquey and judgemental. I was never the maternal/homemaker style so it was hard to fit in with these women. One of them used to judge me for getting my nails done or going back to work when Holly was only 3 months old. But that was what made me happy. Now I’m studying for a degree in my thirties and working from home. I don’t want to dedicate my entire existence around “home” because thats not me. It isn’t selfish at all because now that Holly is ten she’s a strong minded little lady who knows what she wants in life. She’s a self proclaimed feminist (I’m not sure she knows what that actually means but go Holly) and so creative. She has never shown interest in playing house with her dolls because she’d rather be out taking photos or learning to code or drawing. I know my daughter is going to go far in life and she knows that she can do it on her own. She even did a project at school to write about their heroes and she chose me!!! Despite my house being a mess, we’re always broke while I build my business and my constant melt-downs that kid still aspires to be just like me. Poor kid… she’s screwed isn’t she??? lol. I’m probably going a little bit off topic but what I’m trying to say is that not being the “susie-homemaker” stay at home mum stereotype is okay. Some of us just aren’t made that way and it’s cool. Let the other mums judge. If they’re able to raise children, keep their homes immaculate and still have dinner on the table when their husbands come home then thats awesome for them. I respect that. Everyone has something to offer the world. Our calling in life is just a little different. 🙂 Ramble over lol

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  2. What an absolutely entertaining and relatable entry. I’m feeling much more prepared for the realities of motherhood, when I step in, now that you’ve posted signs pointing to the reality of it all.

    Like

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