Ok, That’s it. That’s enough. Look, I know that parenting is the spawning ground of a thousand ludicrous debates but there’s one argument that needs to be kicked in the bollocks and left for dead. No, it’s not whether Cbeebies’ Mr Bloom is shaggable, it’s whether there really are such creatures as part-time mothers, a label that’s so heinous that it resembles a bucket of confetti pissed in by terrified clowns.
What in the living frig is with the continual assertions in that mothers are either ‘part-time’ or ‘full-time’? You mean us mothers have a choice of the two? Well the midwife never told me that. When Kraken Junior burst from my vagina like a fire engine through a cat flap I was under the distinct impression that my responsibility to her was permanent and forever. No one said that I could flip my mental trip switch to off whenever I couldn’t be arsed with whipping out a milky tit.
That’s why the distinction between part-time and full-time mothering is really pissing me off. I know that these labels are short hand for how any given mater spends her days but from where I stand there is no such thing as a part-time mother. Believe me, if there was I would be one because, after five years of child rearing, my brain is begging for merciful release. Really, I don’t give a shit if a woman spends her days baking cookies with her personally conceived football team or if she skips from her single child at 8am to play the stock market for the next twelve hours. They’re still mothers so who cares how many hours chuck at the task of arse-wiping?
See, the term ‘part-time mother’ suggests that a woman stops being a mother when she is separated from her offspring. Well that’s a load of suppurating cock for a start. A mother never actually stops being a mother regardless of whether she goes to work. Do the people who believe in these labels think that when a woman gets onto that commuter train in the morning all memory of her children is somehow bleached from her mind until she takes the return journey? Really? So does that make stay-at-home parents part-time too, when they leave their kid to play at their mate’s house for the afternoon? No, thought not.
Which means the issue is really about mothers who work and the term ‘part-time’ is the stick with which society likes to irrationally, hysterically and ignorantly beat them.
In fact this faux-division reminds me of those parents who think that because they have more kids than you do, they know more about parenting. Well, if you’ve seen your nipple disappear into an infant’s gob, scraped toddler shit from your hands and broken the speed limit on the way to A&E at 3am it really doesn’t matter how much progeny you’ve produced. And the same applies to the whole hysteria about whether you do these tasks part or full-time. You do it. That’s all. End of.
Worse, these labels are so divisive that if they were applied to, say, black people (dependent on how black they were, for grim example) they’d quite rightly be decried as inciting racial hatred. So why in the frig do we not just accept the maternal part/ full time divisions but perpetuate them too? Are mothers really that desperate for one-upmanship?
So no, I’m not a part-time mother and I’m not a full-time mother. I’m just a mother, a mother who is doing whatever the fuck she can to get through the day without being hysterical/ panic-stricken/ arrested. You want to label me? Go ahead and try. No really, I dare you.