I was at the GoMA museum with the kids when Radio Scotland phoned me to ask if I'd take part in a radio discussion on Stay at Home Mothering and Working Mothers.
Pause for initial slight angst as I don't want to be locked in some battle of judgments of working mums. Eh, let me think. Then, irony, I had to say I couldn't do it, as I am scheduled to do a training morning for a forthcoming short-term, yet very welcome, health data collection job. (Francis, the kids' dad will look after them).
A while afterwards, I realised I had got my days muddled and I was free, but I think it's a sign of my commitment to the weans that I was unable to phone the show back, because I can't get online on my phone and had no number for them. Activating phone surfing is the kind of thing working people do all the time, but after repeated technical hitches, I waved the white flag and realized that the only proper time for casual internet-ting was when the kids are in bed. Like now.
With young kids, smart phones just stop the flow of interaction and I prefer to limit the phone-picking as much as possible. Thanks to that and the rare sunshine, we had ourselves a beautiful day.
I love the intimacy that builds with just hanging out with them: having a packed lunch in Princess Square; negotiating the station and hopping on a train home. Dandering to the park, answering their random, surreal questions (Is a hedgehog a kind of squirrel?) Being there for their every up and down. Hugging them every time they cry.
People ask if SAHM's get bored, and yes, there is that aspect on dreich indoor days, but days like today? Just a joy.
I understand and accept staying at home is not for everyone. But I do wish the government would stop penalizing single earner families and realise, that by raising the next generation with round the clock active devotion, we are doing an underestimated and undervalued good.
We are giving our all to prevent them becoming criminals and general corporate meanies. We are helping them grow towards being kind and compassionate adults who will want to parent their kids as best they can. Pious? Obvious? Maybe. But why do I feel I have to say it?