Admitting motherhood can be boring … AKA First rule of fight-club
Posted Tuesday 23rd October 2012 By Ericka Waller
What mums say, and what they actually think can be two very different things.
The mums I spend time with are always spouting off about how amazing each second of motherhood is.
I’m convinced that it’s sometimes a front. Who wants to admit they are unhappy? Who wants to admit that their children and housework are not enough to fulfil them? What terrible, awful, heinous mothers it would make us if we did.
Of course parts of motherhood are amazing, but other parts are dull and boring. Can you imagine the job description for a stay-at-home mum?
Full time HR manager/cleaner/waitress/peace-keeper/site-manager/nurse/chef required.
168 hour week.
No holidays, no sick-pay, no time-off, no time-in-lieu. No pay at all actually.
Rubber gloves and a strong stomach essential.
Society has changed. Years ago, people tended to stay around the area they were born in, and raising children was more of a collective effort – shared by mums, grandparents, cousins and other relatives. They all pitched in. Diluted the monotony. Were also safe to confide in on the darker days. Less important to try keeping up with the Jones’ if Mrs Jones is your mum.
Nowadays many of us mums are far-removed from our family. We’ve had to make new friends and often the only help we get with our children comes from paid sources such as childminders or a nursery. Hard to justify the cost of paying for childcare when “technically”, you have nothing else to do all day than look after the kids however.
(I’ve also found that using paid childcare is met with negativity from fellow mums who “Can’t bear to be away from their little ones for a single second. “ It’s another way to feel a failure.)
It seems to me, that in “giving up work” to have children, we also give up our identity. I adore my children. I feel blessed to see their first milestones first-hand… but I still have a brain. I did not push it out with my placenta. My grey matter may have lost its pelvic floor, but it’s still there.
I want to have things to think about other than packed lunches, loads of washing, bed-wetting, and playgroups. My to-do list is the dullest thing you ever read. I might as well just write “Find yourself mindless boring jobs that no one wants to do and do them all day.”
This is where I start to get a bit bra-burny (I make up words – something to do) and resentful that the husband has three beautiful children, a challenging and rewarding career, no stretch-marks and a company Starbucks card.
It’s not his fault of course.
It’s just how it is… Two weeks off then back to “real life” while us stay-at-home mums remain in a weird alternative universe for the next five years where we do the hardest unpaid job in the world, but much like fight-club, we must never talk about fight club.
See my blog on “non-working” mums.