It’s not the first time this month I have been told I’m irresponsible and neglectful.
I have killed more than my fair share of potted, although I do much prefer to go with the theory that they are more ‘dried’ than ‘dead’, and that ‘dried herbs’ last much longer than fresh.
They must. They did sit on the balcony for quite a number of months, not getting any drier or deader. Thus, I vehemently dispute the alleged title of irresponsible and neglectful.
Although, admittedly, upon mentioning to a fellow mum that I had to accompany a bunch of teenagers to the movies because they needed a “responsible adult” to accompany them, my then thirteen year old did wander off, muttering “well, we’re fucked”.
In my many, many years as an advocate for maternal health and wellbeing, and of mental health, I have also heard far more often than I would like of all the ills of the Working Mother.
She is, according to all reports (by which I mean, the mainstream media, so not “all reports” at all, but a somewhat biased perspective) that the Working Mother is little more than the bane of society.
For it is the Working Mother that is responsible for unruly children.
It is the Working Mother that is the reason obesity in children is on the rise.
It is the Working Mother that has lead to a rise in crime, drug abuse, and all manner of social ills.
Although I have been a Business Woman Who Also Happens To Have Children (a.k.a a WAHM, or “work at home mum” and not at all “what a hot mamma” as I originally though then I was first referred to as a WAHM – damnit!) much of my work for others I have been able to conduct from my home office.
With the odd travel interstate for a day here and there, or a meeting I’ve generally been able to schedule inside of school hours, my work was done in the home.
Until recently, where this contract I have attained has me working outside of the home. Not just for loooong hours, but also for most days of the week.
Whilst we are mostly managing it as a family, getting all our routine and schedules and shit into some sort of order, I am away from the home quite a lot.
And bringing some work home.
And I am very much feeling the chaos and time restrictions that many working mothers feel.
My work also requires I attend numerous meetings, and focus on my tasks at hand, answering questions and training others.
Thus, my Internet and email access is switched off on my phone, as is the volume.
It was no surprise then that I missed the four phone calls my fourteen-year-old made to my phone.
By the time I got to it and realised I’d missed all the calls, he had given up and sent me a text. Ironically, this is the very thing I have requested he do on many an occasion, complete with the explanation about multiple meetings, silent phone, and my undivided attention required elsewhere.
The text – the first one, anyway – was to advise I had a package to pick up at the post office.