I was sat at the kitchen table at nine o’clock this morning, minding my own business, making my way through my second cup of coffee of the morning, when a new email pinged into my inbox.
“Morning Jo!” said the subject line.
“Morning email!” I thought to myself.
The email was from the producer of a programme on BBC Radio Kent, asking if I would be available to comment on a story in The Daily Mail today about whether or not it is OK to ask people to take their shoes off when they come into your house. Clearly someone has been spreading rumours about my lack of enthusiasm for housework and my generally filthy carpets.
This evening I have been listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
There are certain songs or albums that always trigger memories for me. I can’t listen to Tap on my Window for instance without thinking of a certain man, and if I hear Run DMC vs Jason Nevins, It’s Like That, I’m 19 again, getting ready for a night in a crappy club, drinking peach schnapps.
Lauryn Hill reminds me of a particular time during my second year of university. I was 20 years old, a single mum of a three-year-old, commuting two hours a day to get to lectures. I didn’t get to do any of the social stuff, or even really get to hang out much, so there was very little opportunity for any sort of drunken debauchery.
However, I had my eye on a boy…
I am proud to call myself a feminist. I support the Fawcett Society, I co-edit Women’s Views on News, I try to be a positive female role model for my daughters… basically I do my bit.
Sometimes I find it a tiny bit depressing.
It’s not that I don’t care about equality – I absolutely do. The fact that women earn less than men isn’t right. Underrepresentation of women in politics and business bothers me. Sometimes though, feeling passionate about an injustice means you focus on the negative, on the things you feel are wrong and that you want to put right, and this sometimes makes me sad, because I become so tied up in all the things that aren’t fair, that I forget all the good things.
So today, when I read in The Daily Mail that men are losing out to women in many areas of life, I ignored my first instinct, namely to rubbish everything the Mail says, and thought instead about how lucky I am. This doesn’t mean I think there isn’t anything left to fight for, just that I’m not in a battling mood today.
The Daily Mail are reporting on the findings of the ‘How Fair is Britain?’ report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and highlight the fact that women are less likely to lose their jobs in a recession, more likely to eat well and look after their health, less likely to be victims of violent crimes, and so on. Well that’s all well and good, but you can read that anywhere can’t you? So, instead I’ve decided to come up with my own list of reasons why it’s great to be a woman:
This week I had a smear test, an event that is surely the highlight of any woman’s calendar? Working from home, I don’t get out much, so when I do I make the most of it, changing into proper clothes, brushing my hair and everything.
“You look nice!” said the nurse as I walked into the room and she ominously locked the door behind me.
“Thanks,” I replied, “I like to make an effort for a smear test.”
I must say I am VERY excited about this competition. I have never owned a handbag worth more than £40 and am quite sad that this in on my blog, and that I’m not allowed to choose myself as the winner.
So, what’s the deal?
Well, the race is on for the coveted title of Bounty Celebrity Mum of the Year 2010 and with competition tougher than ever this year, it’s even more important to make your vote count. Celebrity mums like Coleen Rooney, Tess Daly and Charlotte Church have faced a tough year but have come through the other side – putting them all heavily in the running for this year’s official Bounty Celebrity Mum of the Year award.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘since when did slummy single mummy care about Coleen Rooney?’ OK, so maybe it’s a little off topic for me, but we are all mums after all, we’ve got to stick together. And did you not see the words ‘win a designer handbag’ in the title? I’m doing this for you.
Belle wants a sleepover.
She’s never had a friend from school sleep over before, or been invited come to that. I don’t know if it’s just that at eight, she is a bit young, or if all the other kids are doing it but just not inviting her. I hope it’s the former, otherwise that would be a bit sad.
She’s never really been a ‘sleeper’. She relegated her dad to a mattress on the bedroom floor for several months when she was a toddler, sleeping in bed with me, waking every hour or so, and it wasn’t until she started school that she began to properly sleep through the night.
How many days do you leave it before you call?
How long should you leave between relationships?
Can love survive over long distances?
How many dates before your first kiss? How many more before you sleep with someone new?
How big an age gap is too big?
How many sexual partners should you aspire to as a man? How many is it acceptable to admit to as a woman?
This morning I was listening to Tom Jones on Desert Island Discs. I love Desert Island Discs, a fact that leads me to believe I am officially middle-aged, and that it’s time to crack open the slippers and sweet sherry. But that’s another post.
Tom Jones is a man who has built his life around his voice. His voice is powerful, deep, commanding. When he talks, you take him seriously, he sounds wise. I on the other hand, do not.
When I talk, I do not command respect. My voice is high-pitched and childlike, adding to the general image I present of a teenager dressing up in her mum’s slightly out-dated clothes. It’s another reason why writing works so well for me and why I will never work in a call centre.
OK, I admit it! I’m a terrible mummy! I’ve been too busy working to even notice my poor baby lying unattended and unloved in a quiet corner of the study. For a while it whimpered quietly, hoping to attract my attention, but eventually it gave up, the tears dried on its cheeks, and it fell silent…
I’m not talking about my real children of course, don’t call Social Services, they are used to a bit of healthy neglect. It’s good for them. It teaches them to be independent.
I’m talking of course about my blog.
Recently I seem to have developed a rather worrying and shameful habit.
I think I have become addicted to Sex and the City.
As you can read here, I was a late starter when it came to Carrie and her oh-so-stylish chums, and have always felt slightly guilty about watching, but lately, thanks to Sky+, I have been making up for lost time, to the point where it’s almost a daily fix.
I was recently asked to write a series of posts about parenthood for Bounty. The idea was to provide a realistic, honest account of motherhood, that wasn’t all about introducing home-made, organic purees at six months on the dot and leaving your contented baby to settle themselves to sleep at 7pm every night.
They came to the right place.
I really enjoyed writing them – I am a blogger after all, of course I love the chance to bleat on about myself – but I did struggle at times with exactly how much information to reveal about myself. Visitors to Bounty are mainly new and expectant parents and I didn’t want to scare anyone, or have people actually follow my example of giving nutella as a first weaning food.
Do you remember a few months ago me banging on at you to vote for me in the MAD blog awards? Well last night, after months of nervous nail-biting, I travelled to the surprisingly funky Butlins in drizzly Bognor Regis for the awards ceremony.
And guess who won the award for ‘Best New Blog’?