Becoming a mother has been the most wonderful thing that happened to me and I cherish every moment of it. However being a mother in a society is not a pleasant experience. Still. Sadly. We are in the XXI century, fighting for equal rights to every group left right and centre, you name it. But mothers are very much neglected on the social and professional map. When you say: “I’m a mum”, depending on the situation, it’s perceived as an excuse, a plead for special treatment, nuisance, hindrance, disturbance of others’ daily life.
Your baby is not allowed to many restaurants due to a very likely noise she will be producing interfering other guests. Automatically thus you are not allowed either. Unless you leave your baby outside, tied to a tree… Like a dog. Although probably your dog has more chances to get in than your baby.
And yes, of course, I agree – I can eat lunch in most pubs, labelled “family-friendly” (are the other ones “family-hostile” and they poison each member of a group composed of a tired looking man and woman pushing a noisy buggy?)
And yes, I have even managed to dine for dinners in London with Arya present, sitting everywhere except the high chair (her personal choice). Most of them were hotel restaurants though.
But I have experienced the horrible, anger raising feeling of rejection when I was informed that babies are not permitted at the premises. And it hurt. And it exasperated me. I understand crying and all this commotion but these are HARMLESS HUMANS who did nothing to deserve this banishment.
Don’t try to argue because they will put you into a straight jacket or so their look tells you that.
It’s like it’s acknowledged that yes, you gave birth, you have kids but if you’re a mum (meaning, you are no longer a singular) you have to adapt… Adapt to the world where we don’t want you. Be a mother in a mole hole. We don’t want to see it, we don’t want to speak about it, we don’t want to deal with it.
I must admit, I was one of those people who very often thought like that – motherhood, buggies and childcare issues were like a plague. Mostly because I was going through a depression related to having no children so whenever I saw them I wished they disappeared. And I’m sure everyone else has a similarly valid argument for resenting mothers. But nope. None of them are valid. Neither my depression was.
Now I’m given the experience from the other side of the mirror and I’m really thankful for that. Not only for the obvious reasons but also because it taught me again TO NOT JUDGE IF YOU HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED SOMETHING YOURSELF.
As a mother, I cannot travel easily on the tube. And yes, as every mother I have to search for positives here, so I’ve got one: “At least I build my muscles and strength”. Every time I carry the buggy up the stairs with the speed of light I hear behind me: “Oh my God, I would never be able to do this. The buggy looks so heavy”.
And I take the compliment but really am I really not allowed to the centre of London pushing the four wheels? You can count central stations with wheelchair or buggy access on the fingers of one hand. We are simply not allowed to zone 1 or 2. Stay at home mums should stay at homes. Forever. Or maybe from time to time they can meet up with other mums but somewhere baby related so another mum’s house, a playroom attached to a church, some libraries, play soft centres and maybe a few other venues.
As a mother, I have to know when to put my first baby into the nursery and to make sure it works perfectly to not hear from the boss that this settling in process is “a little bit” long and swapping working days means I need to think about how I want to work things out in future but “no pressure”.
Thank God, I’m not a single mother, but what do they do? How do they go to work and pay for the childcare through the nose. If they can’t afford it because their salary is lower than the fees, are they judged because they don’t do enough for their children? And a single mother has such a pejorative connotations. A single mother is not necessarily a promiscuous woman who had an “accident”. My mum was a single mother – my father passed away when I was 2.5 and my mum was 9 months pregnant. Thank God she had her mum living with her, but this is such a small percentage.
What do single mothers do? How do they live? These are real troopers who will never get a medal. Even posthumously. BECAUSE THEY DO NOTHING ACCORDING TO THE SOCIETY.
If you’re a stay-at-home mum, never, never NEVER say: “I’m just a mum”!
It is a job and it is hard. Not so much because of your children, but because of the society.
You couldn’t even compare yourself to Leonardo do Caprio who is a brilliant, talented actor but who never got the Oscar. Because he eventually will.