JCT

#46 Kids

In Jobseeking, Kids on May 14, 2010 at 8:42 am

‘I mean I like spending time with you, Mum, but it would be good if you could get a job.’

Great. Not even your children respect you when you’re unemployed. You spend you working life feeling guilty that you aren’t spending enough time with your children, give up your job even, and it turns out they’re not even that bothered.

My eldest (the one, above, who is sick of me kicking around the house) won’t even let me pick her up from school any more now she’s old enough for an Oyster card. She’s already cut her own door key and we’ve given in and got her a mobile phone so we can keep tabs on her. My youngest still holds my hand on the way to school without realising it, but dumps me as soon as he hits the playground.

Between them they work the Sky+ by themselves, get dressed by themselves, go to the skatepark by themselves, change library books by themselves, cook their own pancakes (which are better than mine), even order takeaways by themselves. They are on top of current affairs thanks to Newsround, and on top of technology thanks to just being young.

It seems I’m only required for handing out cash, getting things from high shelves, and knowing where everyone’s stuff is when they think they’ve lost it.

When my children were really young, I worked full time in an actual office and packed them off to a childminder. I had a great time working, but felt really bad about it. When they got older and more interesting, and could be handed over to school till 3.30pm, I started thinking I should ‘be there’ for them. So I gave up my job and now I am, whether they like it or not. When I have work, I try to blast through it during school hours and in the evenings; in between times I’m mostly wearing a pinny or driving people places.

Though it does seem that the older children get, the more they need you for emotional guidance, I notice that a report earlier this week (a proper scientific one) posited that ‘a call is as good as a hug‘ – in a group of girls aged 7-12 faced with a stressful situation, the effect of a phone call from their mum was a calming as actual physical contact.

I love my kids, and on form they are brilliant company – as insightful, witty and entertaining as any adult. But let’s face it, most home life is just the dull practicalities of getting everyone through the day’s routines.  Being around each other 24/7 is really boring – even your kids think so.

Legally you can’t just abandon the kids while you go off and do your own thing – an adult is generally required to be around for health & safety reasons – but you can get mobile phones surprisingly cheaply these days.

'Do you think if we just ignore her for long enough, she'll eventually go away?'

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