What's all this then?
I tweet too much. So I needed somewhere else to start storing all the words. This is it. Think of it as the external hard drive for my thoughts.
I don't have an obesssion, a dream, a fixation or a hook, so don't be expecting a focus here. It's like great big lumps of my twitterings. You may see teaching stuff, rants, maternal anxiety and occasional sojourns away from reality.
Anyway, I like a nice chat so we should talk. By we, I of course mean me...
Friday, 18 February 2011
An open letter to Schoolgate Mums... with love, honest.
Nice to see the sun isn’t it? Yes, dinner money was due in this week. Well, that’s the chitchat done with. Let’s get down to business.
Being a parent can be difficult, yes? It’s tiring, it’s trying and sometimes you might find yourself sat on the stairs at 2am with a blanket over your head wondering what happened to your life. What? No, that wasn’t me. It was a friend. Anyway.
The point is, we all know what we’re up against trying to raise children in this rather peculiar century. So why are we making it harder for each other? Parenting really isn’t a competition, and this playground isn’t a dojo; you’ve no need to be giving me the steely glare, we’re not going into battle. What I’m saying is, shouldn’t we be a whole lot more supportive of each other?
I’ll be honest: your children, whilst excellent examples of the form, do not interest me at all. I’m sure they’re lovely, but I’m indifferent to their spelling scores and housepoint acquisition. And I’m a bit bemused as to why you’re worrying about my kids. They’re no threat to yours: they’re different and they’re not in competition either. They’ll probably barely remember each other in 30 years, let alone be fighting it out for that dream job or the affections of a literary hero. So let’s stop comparing them.
Look. Remember labour? The sweating, the quantities of fluids, the desperation. And then seeing your baby? Your actual brand new person. Well, imagine the midwife had come in and said,
“Look, I know that’s your baby, but look at THIS ONE. This one will be reading ‘The Masked Cleaning Ladies of Om’ in Year 3 and I’m afraid yours will still be on ‘Biff and Chip’. Wouldn’t you rather have this one?”
You’d probably say something like,
“What the bloody hell are you on about? Biff and who? I don’t care about that. I couldn’t give a monkey’s about reading books. It really isn’t important. Now kindly do one.”
And you’d be right. It isn’t important. It wasn’t then, and it isn’t now. Let’s remember that. You love your child: the rest doesn’t matter.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about us. No, not like that, I mean all of us. Us women here on the playground.
We’ve all been in the wonderful world of work, even if we’re not now. (Unless you’ve been living in a mansion on a trust fund, in which case we should really be better friends.) At work, if you’re no good at something, or a job comes up that you really hate, you rush to palm it off on someone else, don’t you? Come on, I know it’s not just me. If someone else can do the work you loathe better than you and they actually enjoy it, then yeehah! Time to breathe a sigh of relief and head down the pub.
It really shouldn’t be any different now, at school. For example, I like making cakes. I’m not too bad at it. Look! http://twitpic.com/1pqqwj But just because I bake doesn’t mean you should have to if you hate it. It’s not a competition. Leave baking to the master bakers (sorry, I had to). Similarly, I will not be running in any parents’ races at Sports Day, but if that’s your kind of fun, you go for it. I hope you win. If you can hear Readers without needing to swig from a hip flask of gin, then great. I can’t. Again, it’s not a competition. Let’s just be relieved that we can, as a body, fill all the roles the school has for us. Let’s be grateful someone else can do the facepainting at the Fayre when we don’t have the skills, because 200 kids all done as “A Tomato” doesn’t look good.
In short, let’s be nice. Let’s be supportive. Let’s tread gently, because we never really know what’s going on behind someone’s polite smalltalk face. Let’s save that fearsome maternal fighting spirit for those that deserve it. No, not the school down the road. The politicians who would take our school funds, the companies who would brand our kids, and last but not least, those unbearable parenting gurus who make us feel inadequate so they can sell their books. Let’s get them first.
Now, time to go, the best kids in the world are coming out of school. No, I meant mi…. oh never mind. See you tomorrow…