My last guest post this week is from a lovely friend of mine called Emma who blogs over at Adventures Of A English Mum.Something strange happens when you become a parent and it’s that everybody suddenly feels that they can pass judgement on your life. For me it started when I was first pregnant with Chick. As many of you will know this was somewhat of a (lovely?) surprise for me and rightly or wrongly I decided not to tell her Dad straight away. Most people assumed an automatic right to ask me questions about his identity……well that’s fine from my family but from colleagues, customers and acquaintances? What the hell has it got to do with you…..mainly sheer nosiness I expect!!!! The other thing that I hated when I was pregnant was for random people to touch the baby bump without asking me…erm…..this is part of my body guys…..would you normally touch me up on the way past???
It carries on when you have a baby and a toddler (not the touching up!!!!!!) but the passing judgment. People in the supermarket/park/street feel for some reason that they can comment on said child’s behaviour/dress sense and anything else they please as well as the way you parent. I would never dream of commenting on a stranger’s parenting unless the child was in some sort of immediate danger, so why do they feel they can comment on mine?
One of the biggest things I’ve found that people like to pass judgment on is a Mother’s right to work. The conclusion that I’ve come to is that you can’t ever win. Popular opinion seems to say that if you work full time then you shouldn’t have had children as you are never with them or if you are a stay at home Mum then where do the children get their stimulation from? Well I guess we shall all work part time during school hours then will we? I could live off the state and sit at home on my behind all day, drinking vodka and entertaining menfolk but I’m not entirely sure how this would help Chick’s development or what example this sets for her!!!
What I’d like to say to popular opinion is shut the hell up!!!!! Yes I am one of those terrible Mothers that work full time. I have to work as I am the only bread winner in the house but even if I didn’t have to work full time I would want to. I earn a decent wage that pays the bills and allows for some non essentials such as holidays and decent clothes but more than that I love my job and I’m brilliant at it. I want my daughter to grow up with a strong work ethic and to understand that she has to work hard to get anywhere in life. I want to be a Mother and a Career Girl at the same time. I know that it isn’t possible to have it all and yes some days I suffer tremendous guilt that I’m not there to pick her up from the school gates but I’ve never yet missed a sports day, assembly or parent’s evening and if she’s sick I work from home.
I could never be a stay at home Mum as I would send myself crazy however, by the same token I have nothing but respect for women who choose to stay at home and bring the children up and that’s what it’s all about…choice. So let’s stop passing judgment on the poor woman in the supermarket who has only had three hours sleep and who is already embarrassed that her 2 year old is screaming because they aren’t allowed ice cream NOW or the 6 year old that’s having a breakdown because her friend accidentally touched her arm!!!! We are lucky that we live in a world where we are able to choose to work or study or stay at home so why don’t we celebrate each other’s choices in life and stop the judgment?