Am I more than a mother? Am I a stay at home mother? Effectively I am a stay at home mother but I see myself as an unemployed mother. Of course there is a whole lot of ‘stuff’ about being ‘unemployed’. The amount of time you’ve been unemployed. What you do while your unemployed. People have a view about being unemployed. To many people it implies some negatives. It’s easy to judge.
My current situation is also of my making. I haven’t looked for a job for months because we’ve made a decision to relocate. My priority is organising that and then settling my son in a new place. I’ve enjoyed being able to settle him into school without juggling work. I recognise that work and school are odd bedfellows both arguing over the share of the duvet. I’ve come to appreciate that to effectively move my son 160 miles I need to be around, I need to have time for him and his needs. That keeps me unemployed, out of world of work and employed it’s a legitimate role.
I know that’s not doing my CV any favours. I am more than an unemployed mother. I know I am very lucky and many parents. Men and women have no choice about working.
As the distance from my last working role grows I feel as if my working skills diminish and yet I have a long work history. A lot of what makes me a good employee, the organised part of me, the communication and managing things and people, is like riding a bike, it comes naturally now. I’m doing it all the time anyway. Except childcare and running a household isn’t recognised as a skill set worthy of management CV.
Part of reason for creating this blog was to have a space (at the time outside of work) outside of being a mother. Some of this blog is about; me, me, me (more than a mother). Society judges mothers in a way it doesn’t fathers. Being a mother becomes an all-encompassing and somehow, and I appreciate not everyone will agree, for men it is less so. Society doesn’t view fatherhood in the same way.
I know many climbers and mountaineers. In 1995 Alison Hargreaves left her two children to climb K2. She died in her attempt. The media portrayed her as selfish and more. In 2008 11 people died on K2. How many of them were fathers? It didn’t get a mention.
I sometimes wonder if I were a man, a father even, who had taken 18 months away from work and what I had to show for that time was a blog. Would that be judged differently?
I am a mother and that is intrinsically linked to who I am now. I am not just a mother. Employed. Unemployed. I am me. Two women on the London Eye. Really how much difference is there?
I wrote this post inspired by Kate at Kate Takes 5. There’s much more to Kate pop over and see.