Sometimes I need a filter between my brain and my mouth.
This is not the way to get one.

Friday, 27 May 2011

You Are Amazing

So tell me, do you believe you're amazing?

I am currently at work - mainlining caffeine and Red Rock Deli Honey Soy Chicken chips with my office door closed to avoid the crazies I work with being a productive and valuable member of the workplace.

Or something.

Whatever. My point is that, while many of us are Schleppers working Bloggers, some are lucky and get to work from home, or don't have to work at all. And, of course, not all of us have children, either.

I suppose, in a way, it's everyone's dream to be work free, or at least be able to work from home and not have to bother getting out of your jammies. Because workplaces just don't understand how wearing jammies to work would make life so much easier.

Besides, I've had a room full of people stare down my birth canal. A little thing like wearing pyjamas in public isn't as humiliating for me as it would have been pre-childbirth. And the first 3 to 6 months of parenthood (or unemployment) simply proves how much easier it is to go through life in your jammies, and how fabulous just a clean pair of knickers can make you feel.

And while I would have preferred to be at home, our situation is as such that it's not possible. There's no point in being upset over something you knew was never going to happen in the first place. No matter how many other parents clucked their tongues at me, or shook their heads and poured pity on my poor child who was going to ' be foisted into the clutches of child care workers who are all criminals anyway'.

Yeah, that comment was my favourite.

I found that being a SAHM was more challenging, if not more traumatic, than going back to work full time.

Nothing is more likely to make you lose your hair and chew all your nails off than the thought of being picked to death by a Mum's group over all the things you're doing wrong. And I will never return to a Mum's group again without a whip and a chair. Or a bottle of hard liquor.

Some gems I recall, even now, include;

"Does your daughter always breathe like that?"
~ Are you seriously judging the way my daughter breathes!?

"I start my day at 5am, go for a run with the pram (and, one would hope, the child), come home and make our macrobiotic, organic, gluten/colour/flavour/addidtive free, recycled cardboard based meals for the day and then proceed to go through pre-school brain training with Agamemnon/Pear/Facebook/Diva Muffin. What do you do at home all day?"
~ Well, apart from give my child a name she won't have to change when she's 18, I don't roll out of bed much before 8am if I can, and then I'll drink coffee while she makes mess in the lounge and just generally has a good time. Once the coffee has kicked in and we've finished our breakfast of champions (Coco Pops for me, Weet-Bix for her) I spend time with her as a child - we play games and go to the park and just spend time together - including having naps together! I'm all about having naps - they're awesome. My child also eats whatever we've got going at the time, and if that means her lunch is a cheesymite sandwich and a choclate donut (okay, I eat the donut most of the time - but only after she's had a bite...maybe), then that's fine. I'm going to spend time with my daughter rather than being all day in the kitchen. And as for the brain training, well, someone in your home certainly needs focused attention on their brain, and I don't think it's your child.

Wow, all this quality, bonding time is wonderful. Thanks! Next week I'll bring cyanide to share.
"I make sure I do 1 to 2 hours of exercise a day. But of course, it's lovely to see that you're not too worried about getting back into shape."
~ That's the nicest thing you've said to me all day. I'll be sure to remember your compliment when you're standing behind my reversing car."

Experiences like that made me far more comfortable with the idea of going back to work. Because at work I have an office door which I can shut and the loonies just dribble and blubber on the other side. That makes it easier to ingore them.

Working, specifically away from home, has other advantages too. For me anyway.

I make way more money blogging from a workplace than I would at home (although I'm sure HR would have something to day about it). And work is more likely to get some sort of productive action out of me, by making me hoof it to work every day. Because while work only has access to Blogger and Google -home has Austar, my bed, my couch, unrestricted access to the internet and a fridge and pantry.

Working from home, for me, would simply turn into being paid to watch telly while surfing the net, eating chocolate and drinking coffee.

Hang on... why would that be a problem?

Oh, right. Focus...

Working away from home also means that I have some "grown up" time. I have conversations about things other than toilet training, what the Toddler's friends have stuck up their noses recently and, most importantly, I don't have to discuss all those things that I do differently from other Mum's and therefore I must be wrong.

But, you know, those of us who are lucky enough to not have to work, or get to work from home, and don't have children, are judged just as harshly. Because what on earth could they possibly have to fill their time without children?

And I think it's just not fair. For some reason, no matter what choices we make, there is always someone out there who is going to make a judgement and tell us we're wrong.

We're wrong for wanting to stay at home with our children. We're wrong for wanting to go back to work, in any capacity, if we have children. We're wrong for not wanting to have children at all. We're wrong for having children later. We're wrong for having children younger. We're wrong for having an only child. We're wrong for having more than 1 child. We're wrong for making any choice that is percieved to be in contradiction to our situation.

But who the hell decided that?

Whether we stay home, work from home or work from a separate building that doesn't have the luxuries of Google, we are all doing our part and doing what's right for our OWN lives. We should be proud of that!

Although if you do work at Google, then you have nothing to complain about. And you wouldn't schlep to work - you'd get there in your personalised, self driving, super car of the future. But only if the company jet was unavailable.

In the end we all have different situations, financial responsibilities and wants in life. Not a single one is better or worse than the other. If we were all stinking rich and didn't need to work then our friends would be like Paris Hilton and Donald Trump's hairpiece would be a style move.

Personally, that's not a world I want to live in.

If we all had nothing, well, chances are the world would be a more co-operative place and we'd be more willing to help eachother rather than blowing eachother up. Maybe. It could also end in anarchy and people becoming more greedy for the little that they do have.

I don't know - Russia tried it and it looks like it didn't work out too well.

But this post isn't about trying to solve the problems of the world. This is about recognising that we all make an impact on this world, no matter what we do with ourselves during the day.

We need to remind eachother that we do a fantastic job and we deserve to be proud of ourselves every day, even just for getting out of bed, because there are days for all of us where that's a mission in itself.

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
So forget the shadows and remember why the sun shines. Because it does, every day.



  1. If my mothers' group was like that I'd bring crushed glass choc smoothies - just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy.

  2. If my mothers' group was like that I'd bring crushed glass choc smoothies - just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy.


Thanks for the comment - it helps validate the fact that I'm not just talking to myself.

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