I love banter. I thrive on banter and I enjoy nothing better than a good old work placed giggle. However. Since returning back to work part time after baby number two. I am bored of it. Bored of the never EVER ending comments about my working hours. This is not a piece discussing which is better, full time, part time or SAHM. No. It's not about which is harder or more rewarding. It's just a polite piece to say to people. Please back the f*ck off.
Some people work full time through necessity, some through choice, some choose to stay at home and home school their children. All different choices and all subjective to that particular parent. I am part time. I work two days a week as a teacher. But I am sick to the back teeth of continuous comments "oh here she is, the part timer" "what you doing tomorrow? baking a cake?" "bet all you Mums just sit around and have your nails done". Yes, that's right. That's what we do. We have our nails done and drink Pimms whilst our nannies run around and look after our crazy, rabid toddlers. In my dreams.
All these comments have made me feel is a bit inadequate, and have made me walk into work with a little less confidence. In fact I go in already a bit on the defence sometimes, I know what's going to be said and I can feel my eyes roll into the back of my head before it happens. And believe you me? It always happens. It is banter, it is a giggle and yes I am being 'over sensitive' (like all us women are, that combined with us knitting, playing with kittens and talking about periods. Ahem).
When or how I choose to work is my decision. Whatever hours we work as mothers comes at some price, whether it be monetary or time with our children or stopping our career. There is always some cost, some guilt. And to make light of it, whatever the circumstance? Is disrespectful. And just plain bloody rude!
My decision to bow out of being a successful head of subject and take a career break for a few years did not come lightly. I thought about it. It came at a cost. I found the adjustment hard, and I still do. For those two days at work? I work as if it was my full time job. I don't slack. And the time I am not at work I work equally as hard. But just in a different way. It's not a competition. Who can work the most. Who can spend the most time with their children. Life's just not like that. We do what we want to do, which is the best for our family at that time. There are no awards handed out for longest work hours served, or Mum who stayed at home and did best crafting with their kids.
I've said this before but being a parent is really difficult, there's no guidebook, there's no rules bar keep your child as happy and healthy as you can. We should all support each other. And banter is good as long as both parties are laughing. So call me a misery. I am most probably being a bit miserable. But I am more than a comedy dig at my working hours. I am more than a comment about me always going to Thomas Land. Just take the piss out of my skirt or something. But please don't call me fat. I don't like that either.