Frankie Parker – My Epiphany

Frankie Parker starts off the week telling us how swapping a male orientated job for chit chat at the school gates isn’t as easy as it seems.

My Epiphany…

This week I had a bit of a epiphany and it went a little bit like this..

On Monday I went into London to have lunch with my old work colleagues, another “last team lunch” at our local pub near work.  So as we sat there discussing what was happening in Libya, the previous weekends six nation’s results and the upcoming football internationals it suddenly occurred to me that the thing I was going to miss most was their company?  Yes some of the guys in particular but want I really mean is male company.

You see the majority of my working life has been in IT, the last 5 years as a manager of a team of 16 and only two of the team were women.  So I have always worked with men and I enjoy their company so before the comment is taken the wrong way in a sexual, pervy kind of way let me explain…

Men are uncomplicated creatures.  They don’t bitch about what each other is wearing, or pass judgement on what you are wearing, they don’t try and compete over the silly things, never on diets, you never find them crying in the toilets and they really don’t care if they are having bad hair days!.  But most of importantly for me is what you see is what you get, it’s as simple as that.  If you have a disagreement over something it is soon forgotten not dragged up again next time you are having a night out (in a flood of tears).  If you think they have over stepped the mark on something you can tell them without (generally) them getting upset.  You can laugh with them at stuff that might be a little bit inappropriate but its okay as they won’t judge you over it.  So you see working with men is easy, so after 17 years in their company I just relate so much better to men than women…

So now, not only have I become a stay at home mum but I also need to learn to relate better with my own gender.  Don’t get me wrong I do have a lot of female friends and three sisters who I am very close to. But what I need to do is the small talk at the school gates, show an interest in what other people’s children’s are doing, chat to the other mums at birthday parties.

This may seem like a simple and easy thing for a lot of you to do but to me it fills me with trepidation and dread as I really don’t know what to talk to them about  AND I will have to watch my language as well..

Thanks Frankie Parker for sharing that post with me

Mari’s Freshly Pressed!

Proud moment

What an accolade! What an amazing achievement! How in heck’s name did I manage that?

Yesterday, a very normal day where I was running around trying to get everything done by 9.30am, including my blog post, in order to get to Twins Club on time – our social highlight of the week. I chose the age-old debate of SAHM v Career Girl, I found some fantastic photos on Flickr to go with it and ping, I hit the button as on checking the PC clock, I was already late. Nothing new there then!

‘Come on girls, chip chop Charlie, in the car and off we go.’

It wasn’t until I turned on my failing laptop whilst the girls were at the table eating their adored pasta in tomato sauce that I noticed I had 10 comments already to moderate.

TEN?

My first thought was Freshly Pressed, wordpress’ global dashboard where everyone goes through before clicking on their personal dashboard.

‘Don’t be so silly!’ They’re not going to choose little old you from the

“The best of 303,061 bloggers, 353,287 new posts, 377,528 comments, & 70,080,258 words today on WordPress.com.”

Well blow me they did! AND they sent an email to confirm it, maybe they thought I hadn’t seen it? Ha! I was jumping all over the place and beside myself with joy.

I tweeted, I phoned the other half, I posted my massive achievement my accomplishment on Facebook – I so need a badge to wear now. Mental note, design a Freshly Pressed badge for the parenting community – speak to Yummy Mummy, If I Could Escape and  Battling on who were so nice to Retweet and congratulate -thank you ladies x

After 8 months of writing, somebody, somewhere had finally noticed me!

How did I do it?

I apologise as I have absolutely no idea. Maybe they had nothing better to use? (Yes, I did say that to myself but seeing as they had over 300,000 to choose from I guess I can be relatively safe in thinking that is not the case) Maybe Joy – Editorial Czar WordPress.com | Automattic (copy and paste from her email – her words not mine before you think I’m being cheeky) was in a hurry and clicked me by mistake? Surely a woman used to choosing day in day out for Freshly Pressed would know what she’s looking for? But yes, my enormous lack of self confidence did lead me to question Joy’s ability to choose yesterday.

So here I sit basking in my global glory with over 70 comments and more coming in, surprisingly only a few spam including one guy who has an enormous grudge on parenthood and me being a mother, I’ve kept his words for future material and debate but won’t be giving him any publicity.

I checked my stats (a daily habit) and 1735 people passed the doors yesterday, over a 1000 alone from WordPress. And the stats are on the up today too. I am flabbergasted, speechless, overwhelmed. I know some people have this EVERY  day but I am way off that.

So the content, which has to be key in Joy’s choice, was mums who look after their children instead of having the career and the incredible response was For rather than Against which is very interesting as had the post been written in the 80’s when I was leaving school I imagine it would have been very different. Padded shoulders, bright red lipstick and enormous Big Hair went with careers – message not lost on all of us. But now we’re kicking back with our own message, some forced by the global economic crisis, some persuaded by the dreadful state of our society these days, the amount of bullying in schools, the amount of ASBO’s being handed out, the children who are having babies far too early, the boyfriends beating up their adolescent girlfriends. The increasing number of paedophiles waiting to pounce on our little ones. It makes me shudder and I want to stop it all, make the world a nicer place and maybe my small part in that will be staying home with my children and making sure they have a decent childhood, something they can look back on with tenderness and happiness.

Thank you to every single person who popped by yesterday and today, I still have a lot of replying to do, but I did read every comment before clicking on ‘approve’ and my intention is to reply to everyone AND check out your blogs too leaving my own message.

But as every mum knows, this will take time, I’m out this morning to pick up a pressie for 6 year old Oliver as we’re off to his Peter Pan party on Saturday, I have a huge pile of ironing to contend with but the weather is so good and of course the girls who despite what spamhead thinks are the fulfillment of my Stay At Home Days and I feel very sorry for him that he doesn’t recognise that.

Have a brilliant day :)

SAHM v Career Girl?

Now that the girls are two I have noticed myself sometimes thinking about work and a future career but What? How? Where? and Is it the best possible option for us? Questions that keep on cropping up day in day out.

But last night when the dishwasher had been packed after our dinner and we were sitting in front of the tv watching CSI I realised just how exhausted I was, I was ready for bed and it wasn’t 9.30pm.

Is this a twin thing or is SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) maybe more tiring than going to work?

I mean, our alarm ‘Muuuuuuummmyy!’ cries out anywhere between 6 – 6.30am the same time I’d have to rise to go out to work, I spend the entire day on the go, cleaning the house, playing with the girls, house paperwork and the list goes on, I won’t bore you with the details. 

By the time 5pm comes, it’s teatime for the little ladies, followed by bath, dry, pyjamas, milk and bed round about 7.30pm. Then my attention turns to us, dinner needs sorting and our evening unfolds where sometimes I am so tired I can’t speak and just ‘um’ or nod a reply to Paul’s questions.

If I was to go back to work and have something left in my pocket after paying nursery fees x 2 to make the effort worthwhile, I would have to go up to London. This would mean putting the girls in a nursery by 7.30am so I could catch the last coach or a train and be in ‘the office’ by 9am.

A day’s work finishes at 5pm and probably goes over a little (can’t be seen running out the door as Big Ben chimes the hour!) so I wouldn’t be back to pick them up until gone 6.30pm at the earliest. Let’s face it, after a ‘day at work’ I would just want to enjoy a cup of tea, flick the channels and get dinner on, but no. I’d have to bath the girls, dry and dress them, feed them tea, get them to bed and spend some quality time with them if possible. (When?)

All household chores would be moved to the weekend – I’d be too tired to cope during the week and more often than not, not have time or the strength so even at the weekend I’d struggle to spend time with my girls.

Now Paul and I went through a right pallaver to get pregnant, and one day I will share our story, but every time I go through all of my options I keep coming up with a screaming ‘No!’ as I face the fact I would never see my girls and when I did I would be too exhausted to play with them.

So on that note, I am voting for SAHM BUT I have a few hours a day where I can sit on a PC, update my blog, my Facebook account, write emails, surf the net and listen in to Twitter via Tweetdeck so I could turn that time into something more fruitful as time goes on.

What’s your opinion? Do you crave the career or do you enjoy a SAHM status and have you found a way to earn some cash without upsetting the apple cart? I’d love to hear your story.

Housewife photo