Thursday, January 04, 2007

The annual festive motherly whinge starts again

Daily Mail columnist Jill Parkin, in a piece yesterday entitled Please end this torture! starts the traditional working/school mothers' whinge about holidays. Usually these are most prevalent in the long summer break, but I knew we'd see at least one this season too.

"Soon, I shall be ushering the children back though the school gates, trying to contain my sense of relief. I adore my children, but how I'm looking forward to some adult conversation, preferably about something other than Dr Who.I'm sure the children feel the same way. My 11-year-old has knitted herself a 6ft-long scarf since Christmas, which strikes me as the equivalent of the obsessive compulsive behaviour demonstrated by caged rhinos. She needs to be set free to roam with her own kind. There's still another four days to go before Twelfth Night - the official end of the seasonal reverie - but please forgive me as I count down the remaining hours and fantasise about spending next Christmas and New Year on a desert island.
I am only just hanging on to my sanity. Unless someone blows the whistle on the festivities soon, I fear I may be outlived by a bowl of goose fat."

By way of reply, the following points spring immediately to mind:

1. I'd be dead impressed if I had an 11 year-old daughter who knitted herself a scarf. It shows productivity, creativity, perseverance. Obsessive compulsive behaviour? This from the woman who freely admits, earlier in her article, that she "cooked a whole goose just to get the fat. (The result? I still have nearly two pints of the stuff sitting in the fridge.)" to emulate Nigella Lawson. Hmmm... it's not the scarf-knitter who has OCD then, is it?

2. When your children are difficult to be with, it's not because of the holidays - it's because of the work/school schedule! People considering home ed commonly ask "But what about when you need a break? When it all gets too difficult? When you just want to leave them with someone else?" but my experience was that the more time we spent together, the easier I found the children's company. There's always a reaction to school that has to come out at weekends, evenings and in the holidays. You're not seeing your children in their natural state at those times. In fact, tragically, you probably never are.

3. And anyway, if you didn't put so many demands on yourself and the people around you, everything would be 1000% easier. Who says you have to feed 5-course meals to droves of relatives, or spend weeks of your time shopping for 'perfect gifts'? "So as the days go by, I'm feeling more and more like Herod, though my murderous ambitions range further than the firstborn. We've done all the family stuff we can possibly do - walks, clearing out cupboards, playing board games, writing thank-you letters, more walks." Poor children - they don't get a holiday either. Why not just let people be? Why must you always be haring around doing something with them? What are you scared of happening, if you don't?

4. My final, most pressing question about the article: WHAT'S WRONG WITH DR WHO?

Humph. Either Jill Parkin is missing some blindingly obvious, crucial point about motherhood, or I am.


Blogger Tech said...

Oh believe me I can see her point about Doctor Who as when your 10 year olds watch it obsessively, can quote it chapter and verse (including naming which number episode said quote or happening occurred!)it does become somewhat wearing ;-) However, the rest of her whinges are just, well, so very non HE but sadly oh so trendy. Pah, trendy schmendy, give me my life anyday!!

3:34 pm, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Em said...

"What are you scared of happening, if you don't? "

That would be a conversation.

5:22 pm, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

you read the Daily Mail?????

....and you were surprised it was full of drivel?


This Blogger Beta thing is a damn nuisance too.

5:48 pm, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hey you, reading drivel in the Daily Mail and then complaining about it is one of my favourite pastimes! Gotta have a hobby. I didn't upgrade to Beta.. did it do it anyway? :-( It kept threatening to.

Em, wouldn't it just!

Tech, yup, had those conversations and enjoyed them! Maybe I'm culturally still a 10-year old. Wouldn't be surprised ^^

5:52 pm, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

Yeah Tech, send your 10 year old round here and I can bore her to death with Dr Who reminiscences.... it was better in black and white you know.

We also have a store of "Two Pints Of Lager" episodes she can look through. :-)

6:34 pm, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Tech said...

Tim, I'm packaging them up now - there are 2 ten year olds - even better in stereo ;-)

9:31 pm, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

We can do a swap Small told me today "I like going to people's houses" and looked at me expectantly.

12:35 am, January 05, 2007  
Blogger Qalballah said...

And another question:

Er, why did she have kids???

I dont understand why people who have kids can claim they are raising them when a) they spend so little time with them and b) bitch about the time they Do spend with them.


9:45 pm, January 06, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hi Qalballah - good question! To which I have no good answer.

6:24 am, January 08, 2007  

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