The internet here in Ireland is buzzing tonight, and the reason behind it?
Katy Hopkins. A British upper class “lady” who makes her money in some small measure by courting controversy.
She is very opinionated, and has a most unusual take on a lot of women’s issues.
The rumours tell us she will be speaking tonight to the Irish nation about stay at home mothers.
Her opinion, as per the rumours, is that we are just too lazy to get jobs.
Can you picture the twitter meltdown as she gets going?
I am not sure if I will actually watch her.
I have seen plenty of her in the past and my own personal opinion is she is more than a little bonkers.
As a result I cannot take her seriously and in a sick way I can sit back and enjoy watching “car crash” tv.
However in anticipation of her madness I will give my own opinion on stay at home mothers.
As my opinion is and should be just as valued as hers.
I am a clever, smart articulate woman. I qualified as a nurse and loved my short career.
Then at a young age I became a mother.
From the moment I became pregnant I knew I would be a stay at home mother.
I gave up my career, my friends, my financial independence.
It was my choice.
From the day I “finished work” I struggled with my new title.
It stuck in my throat. There was no word or phrase acceptable to me.
I had to fill in forms with “occupation” written on them.
What would I write? There was usually only room for just one word.
“Housewife”, definitely not. I never married my house and if the state of it was anything to go by,
I was guilty of neglecting it.
“Nurse”, yes but I was no longer working so was it really my occupation?
As for “homemaker”, pass me the bucket, I was not the one who made my house a home.
Sometimes I wrote “mother”, other times I left it blank.
What was I?
As I look back on that time I can now smile.
I am now a stay at home mom for over twenty years and it is only in the last three or four years I have found peace.
I no longer feel I have to justify what I do all day.
I no longer feel I have to prove I am not lazy.
I no longer feel I am less of a person.
I no longer feel I might have made a terrible mistake.
My children began to grow up. As they did I realised how close we were.
I began to view my role as one of value.
It was then I understood that for me the issue all along was not so much that society undervalued me,
but that I undervalued myself.
I have reared one boy and three girls. How would I feel after getting them through school and university,
if they were to stay at home?
That I don’t know. However I do know I want them to have choice.
I want them to know that if they did work that would not mean they were terrible mothers,
nor would it mean they were extra special mothers.
Equally if they were to become stay at home mothers full time, that would not mean they were amazing mothers,
nor would it mean they were lazy mothers.
As I look back on my choice I am content.
I can happily look the sceptics in the face and answer,
“What do you do all day?“, or “Don’t you have the great life””,
by saying I like to watch a lot of TV in between coffee dates.
Because there is no need to justify what I do with my life.
When my Dad died he left a note to the family.
On it he wrote “When I get to the pearly gates and I am asked,
“John what have you to show for yourself?”,
I shall say, “look at my family and that should qualify me for whatever goes”.
My family seem happy, healthy, and close.
As a mother that is all any of us want to achieve.
Whether we work outside the home or not.
So Katy Hopkins or anyone else who has an opinion on this I say, to each their own.
We thankfully have choice. I hope that is never taken away from any of us.
photo credit: Jane Costa Lima via photopin cc
zippaparazza! via photopin cc