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Monday, March 31, 2008

Working mum

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a working mother is generally shat upon by her employer.

If a father would like to take an afternoon off to see his daughter's sports' day, everyone in the office goes, "Ahh." If a mum wants to do exactly the same thing, some people question her commitment to her job.

I don't have kids. I work fairly regular hours (with the occasional silly blip) and even so have not yet managed to fix the taps in my bathroom for over three months. There just isn't enough time in the day to organise and stay in for a plumber. So how you would manage to run a house, hold down a full-time job and raise infants is a fact that utterly boggles my tiny little brain.

So I have a genius plan. Whenever I move to my next job, I am going to tell people I have children. And then I am going to do exactly the same job that I always do - same hours, same quality... Except people should be really, really impressed at my level of commitment: how does she do it all? Did you know she's got five children?

Also, whenever I fancy a day off, I could just phone in and tell them that Tracey and Stacey (the twins) have got flu. Or there's a parents' evening. Or a sports' day. I don't think it's illegal to invent children, and you very rarely see them in the office, so I don't reckon I'd have to prove I had them. If I did, I'm sure I could borrow a friend's sprogs for the day. They'd probably be glad to offload for a few hours. I could even put their photos on my desk.

I would have to work them into my weekend anecdotes sometimes. "Ooh, this weekend was a nightmare. Little Trish got a penny stuck up her nose," I might say.

"I thought she was called Tracey?" a colleague might ask.

"Mind your own fucking business," I would say, before apologising. "Sorry. I'm just very stressed at the moment. I do have five children, all under the age of three."

And people would be so impressed at the fact I still managed to turn up at 8.30 and not leave until the end of the day. I'd probably get promoted. Genius.


Anonymous said...

One minor flaw... no-one is going to hire you in the first place if you admit to having 5 kids! They'd know you'd be skiving-off at the sight of their first runny nose or skinned knee!

Plus you haven't got the figure to blag five kids... wait - that might be another great perk! You can eat as much chips and Häagen-Dazs as you like (obviously not together unless you really were pregnant)! Yummy-mummy?

Anonymous said...

Laura, to get away with it you'd need realistic names. When was the last time you heard of a baby being called Tracey, for goodness sake? These days they have to be Chardonnay, Mercedes and Britney. The boy will have to be called Brooklyn or Romeo. And at least one of them should be a double-barrelled one, like Casey-Lee or Bobbi-Ann or Kelli-Jo. Just pick some syllables and stick them together and - don't forget - spell it in a 'new' way. I know a child called Ellie but her name is spelt Elle. No accent or anything. That's Maidstone for you.

Nice Kate x

Laura said...

Ah Anonymous, you see, I won't TELL them I have the kids until I've got the job. And legally they're not allowed to ask.

Nice Kate - fair point. How about Catie-Lin (pronouced "Sarah"), Li-Jo and Jo-Li (the twins), Corona and Bacardi-Coke (pronounced "John")?

L x

Anonymous said...

To get the real inside track on working Mums you should read 'I don't know how she does it' by Alison Pearson. You can borrow my copy if you would like to read it. She made several of the comments you did in her book about a Dad going to watch Sports Day is a hero but a Mum asking for time off is an inconvenience.

You also have some superb role models from childhood in the form of your own Mum and of course your friends' Mums (go on - kill me for the wrong use of the apostrophe - now it is dementia).
Hazel's Mum

Anonymous said...

I think you are on to a winner here - a 21st century Bunbury (pron.Skive)!