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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I had a baby...not a lobotomy...

That's right world...I’m still the same person. I still have brain cells...I haven’t turned into an absolute idiot just because I happen to have given birth to a child.
So why do people take that try to treat you like one?
When I was at work and pregnant this never happened. People were almost too polite (or scared) to mention the fact that I had a large bump. Either that or they thought that I was just gaining lots of weight... Either way they still listened to me and respected my opinion.
Why wouldn't they now that I'm on maternity leave?
Its not just strangers that are prone to this presumption wither. Friends and family have also fallen foul of the rage for this misdemeanour.
I am in fact still supremely intelligent in every way... I'm joking. But my point is this; You thought I was reasonably clever before, why doubt me now?  What happened to make your opinion change? The simple fact that I had a baby?
People have such short memories. They seem to forget that you existed before you became a mother and that the same person still exists now that you are.
Before going on maternity leave I regularly worked 70 hour + weeks. I never had holidays of more than a day at a time and had never called in sick. I was obsessed with work. If I hadn’t had a child then I probably would have had a premature heart attack or breakdown, it was that bad.
Talking to some of my friends now though, you would think that I had never even done a days work in my life! They frequently throw the ‘some of us do have to work...’ line at me. Geez! I'm on maternity leave guys, not the dole!
I've worked long days and nights, weekends and had no break in between. At times I've literally worked 24/7. I can quite honestly say that raising a child is the most challenging job to date. Its a job that requires hard work, stamina, patience and love.
There are no holidays from being a parent. If your sick you just have to get on with it. If your down, it really is a case of picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and carrying on as if all is fine.
I know its the hardest job because I have a background in one of the toughest professions on the planet. It beats that hands down. So how dare people make it seem like an easy option?
When I go back to work, not only will I have the same responsibilities there as I did before but ill also be a mother. And that's a full time job on its own.
 I'm sure one day those that scoff will appreciate that its not an easy ride. By then I'll be in a position to help them and advise. Not to say I told you so...
Believe me i would have joined the scoffing before. Seeing really is believing. You truly need to look after a child to realise the level of dedication and responsibility required.
The other thing is that people feel the need to employ a degree of condescension when speaking to me.  This is particularly infuriating. Especially as I'm used to standing up in court and commanding an audience! (I'm not saying that they are always enthralled by what I have to say but they do at least listen!)  
 Some people find it necessary to  explain even the most basic things to me in step by step method. Quite frankly it makes me want to punch them in the face. And that's punch hard.  In the face.
Believe me I understand. I have a degree to prove it. It did not become void the moment I entered motherhood.
I’ve always been interested in current affairs (it’s in the law school training) and I like to discuss things in the papers and on the news.
The problem is that I seem to no longer have any willing sparing partners for a lively debate on political issues. I think they think that I might start to cry. It won’t happen guys! Under this motherly home making exterior is still a hardened battle axe willing to take on the world!
This never happens though. People just fob me off.  
I’ve tried to start conversations with people, who cut me off mid way in a patronising “you don’t need to trouble yourself with all that“ tone.....erm yes actually I do! I really, really do.
I wonder if all will revert to normal when my maternity leave ends and I return to the grind. Hmmm we will see I guess. If not, the rage may stay around for a lot longer than I or anyone else had anticipated.... a lot of people probably just wont feature in my life any more...
What I always try to remember is that having a baby is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She probably saved my life. Raising her is without a doubt the hardest job I have ever done.  On top of that I am able to do it with a smile because I know that it is the most worthwhile thing that I will ever do.
People generally react from jealousy. I'm not going to let it get to me...honestly I'm not!



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