All hail Bryony Gordon, Queen of the working mothers. For Bryony has treated us to the delightful feeling of what it is like to drop your 12-month-old daughter off at a nursery and return to work in media land.
It was a joyous occasion, she was finding it “hunky-dory” and “utterly fabulous” as it meant that she had the “ability to go to the loo without the door open, the fact that I can just pop out and have sushi (sushi! So sophisticated!) whenever I damn want… what’s not to love?” What’s not to love? Well the bit where you have to dump your daughter at a nursery for the whole day is what’s not to love.
Now normally I would just ignore such a piece and file it under “it’s a matter for her”. However, my filing came to an abrupt stop when she also decided to – in the midst of her joy – take a pot shot at full time mothers.
For, Bryony flushed with the wisdom that can only come with being a working mother, has suddenly been infused with supranormal powers that allow her to see what we full time mothers get up to day in day out.
She says the other reason that she does not feel guilty about returning to work “and it’s one I am sure stay-at-home mothers feel guilty about, is that I believe my daughter gets far more social stimulation from nursery than she would from a woman with one eye on her, the other on the washing machine.”
Yes indeedy. She really did say that. First, look at the subtle switch from “mother” to “a woman”. You may have missed it but I did not. That “woman” is a mother, not just some random stranger.
I am told I cannot provide the stimulation that a nursery will provide to my own flesh and blood because I will have “one eye on the washing machine”.
It is true, I admit it. I frequently like to pull up my chair, plumb up my cushions and plonk down in front of the washing machine and watch it go round and round, while ignoring my children.
Bryony, the thing about washing machines, dishwashers and all the other machines is that they are as liberating for stay-at-home mothers as they are for working mums.
They require very little human input. That, Bryony, is why they are called machines. We don’t have to do that housework at least because the machines do it for us.
So instead we can play with our children. Or pick them up if they are crying and give them a hug. Or feed them. Or – now you might want to sit down for this – leave the house and meet up with other mums and their children.
This isn’t the first time the ladies over at The Daily Telegraph have sniped at us mums indoors.
For it was Sally Peck. who said “the same parents who lecture on the dangers of hiring a nanny (“Why outsource parenting? To a stranger!!!?!?”) acquire the latest parking spaces for their children and outsource the work that way.”
Well I am sure some mothers use bouncers for the short time it takes to get the breakfast, or make a cup of tea for ourselves (are we allowed do this – working mums please let me know?) but generally we do not use them all day long.
We take care of our children and we give them our time. We do what you pay others to do – care for your kids. Only we do it out of love, not money. Enjoy the sushi.