Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Part-Timer

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.

19 comments:

  1. Great post bab. People really need to think before making comments about women working too much or too little. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your work folks sound like small minded, nosy nobbers! I always find it so odd that people care so much about other people's life decisions. I am due back from mat leave in 2 months into a job I love but with a culture of bullying toward women with caring responsibilities, all dressed up in a similar fashion of "banter".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said! I am back to work on Friday, part time, and am already dreading this sort of thing! x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well said! I'm quite shocked that people would come out and say this sort of stuff. I worked part-time for many years and was always made to feel shit about it, but it was subtle. Nobody ever came out and said anything bad. Like you, I worked as hard as ever when I was in work, but it just wasn't eight hours a day, five days a week. And that was my choice, and people should have respected that, just like they should respect you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This type of crap makes me really really angry. Ever since I had H I see this type of stuff all the time and I am so sorry you have to put up with it. It also aggravates me when people say insulting things and pass it off as "banter" when we all know it's what they really feel. You're doing the right thing for you, and that's all you can do my pet xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep, this isn't banter, it's annoying. I've been told that I sit around colouring all week. Yes, that's what I do. People need to concentrate on making the most of their own lives and leave others to do as they want. Well said x

    ReplyDelete
  7. It stops being "banter" when it upsets you, now it's rude, insulting and bullying. Tell them to bugger off and enjoy doing what is best for you and your family

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are not being a misery and this situation is wholly unacceptable. I'd be tempted to have a word with the head and explain exactly how you feel. This is discrimination.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree so much, I am not yet a mother but soon plan to be (fingers crossed coming off the pill next month) and I will be having a year maternity leave but unfortunately after that I will have to go to work full time while my husband either stays at home or goes part time as I earn more money. I would love to have been the one to stay at home but we have discussed it at length and this is the only way we can afford a baby which we very much want. My husband will probably get some grief for being a 'house husband' and I will probably get grief for not staying at home so really we can't win.
    I am aware of how hard full time mothers work, and people who go to work part or full time and I do hate it when people say being a mother isn't real work or similarly going to work while you have a small child is a way of getting out of responsibility (I have heard this). As far as I am concerned as long as the parents and the children are happy, loved and content then nobody else should comment or insult.

    X

    ReplyDelete
  10. Is it men making these comments? Or maybe older women who have forgotten what its like to have toddlers? To be honest I think those that make this kind of comment are secretly really really jealous because, from the outside, without really knowing what parenting is like, it might look like a bit of a jolly. We had a forum at work where people discussed flexible working and one man made a comment about feeling a bit resentful because he'd quite like to be able to ditch work every friday to go fishing. Well right now, the rules around flexible working hours have been changed so that anyone can ask for it regardless if they have children or caring commitments. Next time someone makes that kind of 'joke' why don't you mention this and tell them to put their own business case in - if they can make do without the money, the loss of pension payments and ravaged career progress then why not take some time off to go fishing? X

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can I ask, is the banter normally from people without children? Great post and a real shame you had to write it. It would be nicer all round if these people could just be brutally honest and say what they really think to get it off their chests, then maybe you could all just get on with your lives!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Really well said - I can't tell you how often I've wanted to utter those words. Although I work full-time, it's from home, and can tell you this isn't just aimed at part-timers. People's favourite comment to me is "must be great to have time to get your washing done"! A lot come from men but also women, which I think is a shame because how mothers choose to work - heck, how anybody chooses to work - is up to them and, you are right, no decision is made lightly (mine was to not take a promotion so I could work from home, allowing me to do the school run because my husband works shifts). Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to say F*** Off. For now I just smile through gritted teeth. Emma

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this post. I work three days and don't get it too often but I think people do think I have it easy and that I come into work socially. It's hard work balancing absolutely everything always.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hats off to you ! I only work part time as well !

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post. It's so hard for working parents and there still seem to be so many people out there who don't seem to understand. I've always maintained that looking after little ones is the hardest job in the world (but also the best, of course). Anyone who manages to juggle that role AND a job gets nothing but admiration from me. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey my love, i commented via twit-twoo, but thought id pop a thought on here too. It's a no win situation sometimes- you're damed if you do & damed if you don't. You're doing the best you can, & thats the most important thing. Just look at your gawjus children-you're clearly doing something right!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ha! Well said. But you know what's WORSE than these sort of comments? No comment at all... Sometimes that 'look' between your colleagues as they just about stop what they were going to say and stumble and trip on their hot cuppa (because you've already drunk yours as you don't always get to drink it hot...), they should be more concerned with their health and safety at work and look out for those trip hazards. Like their tongues...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh yes, been there. And I echo what mummybear says above-sometimes it's what isn't said too. You're absolutely right, everyone makes their own choices based on their circumstances and no one has the right to judge unless they have 'walked in the other persons shoes' or something like that-I'm an English graduate, can you tell as I destroy a really meaningful quote?! Anyway, don't feel inadequate lovely-you do the best job you can both in school and at home x

    ReplyDelete

leave me a comment! they make me happy bab...