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No part time position

1
I bumped into an old school friend recently and although I was without my tribe, by the power of Facebook, she congratulated me on our new(ish) arrival. We talked kids (she has 2), people we still see, what we’re doing now, you know the script. Then she said how wonderful it was that I have given up work for the foreseeable and I can finally be a full time mum.

I laughed and asked if there were any part time positions. She didn’t laugh and we both realised we had to rush off at that exact moment. (Awkward) You see, I have been hearing the

SelfishMother.com
2
expression full time mum for coming on nine years now and, I’ll be honest, it just doesn’t work for me because it seems to imply there is a part time option.

‘When I have my baby I will stay at home to be a full time mummy…. I just don’t understand these women who have babies then give them to someone else to raise them’

‘We’ve agreed I will give up work to be a full time mum, it’s best all round for the children’

‘I love being a full time mum, I just don’t know how other mothers cope having to fit their children around

SelfishMother.com
3
their job, I wouldn’t want to do it’

I don’t actually believe comments such as these are always meant with the intent to have a dig at working mums (although from experience I know they can be). However, having had my first 2 children and then been back at work 10 months later, I can tell you they sting. And here’s why….

Since when did having a job mean you were not a full time parent? All the dad’s that go back to work after their paternity leave – still full time parents? When our babies grow up, spend more time at school and clubs and

SelfishMother.com
4
friends houses than they do at home, whether you’re employed or not – still full time parents? It gets to me because I have yet to hear of a part time parenting position –  and for me, being a parent is far more than being in the same physical space as your child for most of the day. (If a part time position really existed then there are days I might even feel like applying!)

Currently at home with three, you won’t here me disagreeing that when you’re not working you are doing to lions share of all the physical and emotional care needs and it is

SelfishMother.com
5
full on. At work you might get a lunch break and your colleagues are unlikely to cry when you go for a wee, it’s true. However, in order to wee alone at the office you have had to arrange plan A for child care (plus back up plans B & C) and take your phone with you into the cubicle just in case someone calls to say your kids need you home. Is life easier when you haven’t got your kids with you all the time? Yes. Because for a few hours your life is easier does that mean you’re not a parent during that time? No. You can’t ’turn off’ being a
SelfishMother.com
6
parent.

A dear friend of mine once told me how she explained to her little one, they they asked – What is a Dad?

A Dad, she said, is someone who thinks and cares about you all the time. They know your favourite colour, your favourite dinner, your best friend’s name and how to make you feel happy. A Dad will want you to work hard and be good. They will help you, they will make you feel better. They will play with you, make you laugh and make you feel safe. (Fab right?!)

Take out the word Dad, insert Parent and read that paragraph/job

SelfishMother.com
7
description again. Think about those things and all the other things every single one of us parents is doing, needs to know, needs to plan for, needs to be ready for, every single day. Then try to not freak out from the sheer magnitude of what we’ve all got ourselves into and ask yourself again, if someone fitting a job around it (because they want to or need to) is really a part time parent?

In the whirlwind of raising children there are so many areas where we simply just do it differently. However, the impact of other parents saying your way is

SelfishMother.com
8
‘wrong’ in some way can at best be annoying and at worst, play on all your own parenting insecurity and guilt until you’re second guessing yourself and not going with your instinct. Working or staying at home once you’ve had kids is just one example. The reality being that we’ll never really know if there is a ’best’ in this scenario as one size does not fit all.

The way I see it is if we’re giving it our best shot then there are no part time parents. Even when we think we’re ‘off duty’ because we have sneaked in a night out, we are

SelfishMother.com
9
having a lunch break at work or your other hubby has the kids so you can attend a dentist appointment alone (you have to take what you can get sometimes).

So deep breath, you are ON, 24/7, every week, pretty much forever…. Go find another Mother and hug her (or a Father but – top tip – whoever you hug, check it’s OK first) because we are working for the most demanding bosses, the job description is forever being added to and the hours are long.

Benefits are amazing though!

SelfishMother.com

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- 21 Jul 16

I bumped into an old school friend recently and although I was without my tribe, by the power of Facebook, she congratulated me on our new(ish) arrival. We talked kids (she has 2), people we still see, what we’re doing now, you know the script. Then she said how wonderful it was that I have given up work for the foreseeable and I can finally be a full time mum.

I laughed and asked if there were any part time positions. She didn’t laugh and we both realised we had to rush off at that exact moment. (Awkward) You see, I have been hearing the expression full time mum for coming on nine years now and, I’ll be honest, it just doesn’t work for me because it seems to imply there is a part time option.

‘When I have my baby I will stay at home to be a full time mummy…. I just don’t understand these women who have babies then give them to someone else to raise them’

‘We’ve agreed I will give up work to be a full time mum, it’s best all round for the children’

‘I love being a full time mum, I just don’t know how other mothers cope having to fit their children around their job, I wouldn’t want to do it’

I don’t actually believe comments such as these are always meant with the intent to have a dig at working mums (although from experience I know they can be). However, having had my first 2 children and then been back at work 10 months later, I can tell you they sting. And here’s why….

Since when did having a job mean you were not a full time parent? All the dad’s that go back to work after their paternity leave – still full time parents? When our babies grow up, spend more time at school and clubs and friends houses than they do at home, whether you’re employed or not – still full time parents? It gets to me because I have yet to hear of a part time parenting position –  and for me, being a parent is far more than being in the same physical space as your child for most of the day. (If a part time position really existed then there are days I might even feel like applying!)

Currently at home with three, you won’t here me disagreeing that when you’re not working you are doing to lions share of all the physical and emotional care needs and it is full on. At work you might get a lunch break and your colleagues are unlikely to cry when you go for a wee, it’s true. However, in order to wee alone at the office you have had to arrange plan A for child care (plus back up plans B & C) and take your phone with you into the cubicle just in case someone calls to say your kids need you home. Is life easier when you haven’t got your kids with you all the time? Yes. Because for a few hours your life is easier does that mean you’re not a parent during that time? No. You can’t ‘turn off’ being a parent.

A dear friend of mine once told me how she explained to her little one, they they asked – What is a Dad?

A Dad, she said, is someone who thinks and cares about you all the time. They know your favourite colour, your favourite dinner, your best friend’s name and how to make you feel happy. A Dad will want you to work hard and be good. They will help you, they will make you feel better. They will play with you, make you laugh and make you feel safe. (Fab right?!)

Take out the word Dad, insert Parent and read that paragraph/job description again. Think about those things and all the other things every single one of us parents is doing, needs to know, needs to plan for, needs to be ready for, every single day. Then try to not freak out from the sheer magnitude of what we’ve all got ourselves into and ask yourself again, if someone fitting a job around it (because they want to or need to) is really a part time parent?

In the whirlwind of raising children there are so many areas where we simply just do it differently. However, the impact of other parents saying your way is ‘wrong’ in some way can at best be annoying and at worst, play on all your own parenting insecurity and guilt until you’re second guessing yourself and not going with your instinct. Working or staying at home once you’ve had kids is just one example. The reality being that we’ll never really know if there is a ‘best’ in this scenario as one size does not fit all.

The way I see it is if we’re giving it our best shot then there are no part time parents. Even when we think we’re ‘off duty’ because we have sneaked in a night out, we are having a lunch break at work or your other hubby has the kids so you can attend a dentist appointment alone (you have to take what you can get sometimes).

So deep breath, you are ON, 24/7, every week, pretty much forever…. Go find another Mother and hug her (or a Father but – top tip – whoever you hug, check it’s OK first) because we are working for the most demanding bosses, the job description is forever being added to and the hours are long.

Benefits are amazing though!

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Mum of three fabulous children, wife to one very patient husband. My blogs are about anything that has popped into my head as it occurs to me. I have aspirations to write more, that are slowly turning into reality. A lover of the simple things in life - good friends, good food, good wine and of course family.

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