Not the boogie, I meant the Mummy. This post is not in accordance with the season of goodwill that has just passed, it is a vent. I really feel that Mums get the blame for everything, both from our children and from society.
Just as an example, when something for school or football is forgotten or if a child goes out looking a bit on the scruffy side, I always believe that the Mother is going to get the blame. This perhaps stems from my own upbringing when my Mum always maintained that if we went out with bits on our clothes it reflected on her. It’s difficult to say whether or not this was true. As a child and especially as a teen, I naturally thought that this was a load of rubbish and “blamed” my Mum in the sense of thinking her ridiculous. Now I understand all too well, especially when I am challenged daily by offspring who have a somewhat cavalier approach to cleanliness. They regularly end up going out looking like back street kids and I’m pretty sure that at times people have asked how their Mother can let them go out looking like that. What I ask is this, why not their Father? Why not the boys themselves?They are going on 8 and 11 after all. In my book these are definitely ages whereby kids should be learning to take responsibility. My boys however still believe that everything is my job and one of my many new year plans (sorry I cannot bear the “r” word) is to turn this round.
Where does all this blame come from? Is it society’s view that the Mother should do it all and therefore be blamed as soon as a plate gets dropped. In my mind this has only got worse for our generation, it sometimes feels as if we are expected to do all the household and admin work and bring in the equivalent of a full-time wage, in less than full-time hours. Work is yet another area where a Mum cannot win. If she works full-time, she gets status and obviously some financial reward, but she feels guilty and obviously there is less capacity to do all the other work. If she is a stay at home Mum, she may feel looked down on and guilty for not bringing money in. Furthermore she may feel that all of the household and other work needs to be done perfectly as this in is affect her full-time job. If on the other hand she opts for part-time work, she is likely to feel that she is doing neither job properly. That’s something my Mum once said and unfortunately I think it’s probably true. I work from home (although I am out of the house doing field work a lot) and personally feel as if I am straddling an extremely thick fence, to the extent of almost doing the splits. Furthermore, my boys don’t think that my work counts for very much and certainly don’t understand that one advantage of working the way I do is that I am there to fulfil their needs, in other words I am there to serve them.
So what’s the answer to all this blame? I could say that it comes from within ourselves, but that s a bit cheesy and far-fetched. I think its more likely to be a change in attitude which will take a long time and will need to happen for several generations. Aside from this, I think that children blame their Mums for things less once they have children themselves. Obviously as well as this involving a big if, it necessitates a huge dollop of patience. Thinking long term, just maybe as we approach old age, we Mums will stop feeling that we are always to blame.