Have you ever used this phrase?…
“If I had a quid for every person who asked me that, I’d be a bloody millionaire!”
Yeah, me too. I specifically found myself saying it only yesterday actually whilst having steam coming out of my ears and fire out of my nostrils. Why I hear you ask? I’ll bloody tell you shall I?
Now where is that soap box of mine? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin….
I have had the delight of spending a few days a week over the last few months coaching in a large, well known, blue chip corporate, who shall remain nameless – although I must say, on the whole, it has been a surprisingly pleasant experience. But yesterday I was in a conversation that added another proverbial quid to my millionaire makers jar.
Often, as I generally work away from home, and have 3 darling daughters gracing the ages of 13, 11 and 5, people (both men and women) repeatedly ask me….. “So, who has your children while you’re away?”
AARRRGGGHHHH!!! I want to scream! It takes every ounce of self restraint I possess to respond in a calm (albeit friggin sarcastic) manner.
(Voice in head shouts… “WHO THE F**K DO YOU THINK HAS THEM?? I LEAVE THEM TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES! THEIR BLOODY FATHER HAS THEM FFS!!!!”)
Surely in this day and age people have got the hang of the idea that women/mothers do actually go out to work most days? It appears not. I quite often get “the look” after I explain that daddy does a 9-5 and we engage some wrap around care in the form of haribos and CBBC.. no, seriously, I mean after school club.
The next question is usually “Don’t you miss them?” at which point I begin to howl and chuckle with laughter and then with the utmost honesty I reply “No, I come to work for a rest”. Now that sounds harsh doesn’t it? But hear me out on this one…… I’m pretty confident there’s loads of women out there reading this and thinking, “Yeah, I feel like that” and there’s a reason. What I “choose” to do, and have done for all of my offsprings lives (so they know no different), is to define very clearly work and home. In doing that, whichever one I am at, I give it 100% welly. So work gets the best version of me when I’m there (and I bloody enjoy it!) and the family get the best version of me when I’m home. You’d probably be surprised to hear that this way, I actually spend more time at home that I did when I had a 9-5 job.
Quite frankly, I am sick of this regressive, retro-sexism, bollocks. I thought the world was moving forward, not backwards. Now with my “confirmation bias” hat on, the lens in which I currently view the world is beginning to find more and more evidence surrounding me to beef up that belief e.g.
Donald fecking Trump doesn’t help
A continuing gender pay gap – now c’mon, what’s the score there? It was bloody decades ago that the Equal Pay Act was passed wannit?
And just to top it all off, apparently there are twice as many CEO’s in the FTSE 100 called John as there are women – full stop!
Now before I sign off and dismount my soapbox, let me be very clear on where I stand. I am not the bra burning stereotypical feminist that you might imagine – far from it. Where I’m at just now is in a state of utter disbelief that we still live in a world and society where we are not all equal. It’s not about launching a “Mother Teresa mission” that women are better than men, it’s just about taking the fanny & tits and the dick & beard out of it – end of!
So, can we all please just be humans living in harmony that happen to have offspring and collaboratively put food on the table?
Right, on that note, I’m off for a G&T before the kids get home from school! (Just kiddin)
If you know someone who has had a similar experience then please share and if you yourself can relate to this and would like to make some positive change to either your own behaviour or the situation you find yourself in then one of our secrets – You’re pretty on it – is right up your street so check it out.