Another blog-light week this week as real life intervened and I spent more time reading and thinking than writing. Annoying week at work derailed things more than I would have liked but I’ve read some great stuff that either took the edge off, distracted me or entertained me on the interminable purgatory of commuting.
Some more great writers for you across a range of topics. Go!
Admissions of a Working Mother
An honest post about being complicit in making a return from maternity leave more mundane and what it feels like to be on the receiving end.
“Many years ago I sat in on a meeting with my Director and another Department Head. There was a mini white board in the room and the idea was to fill it up with tasks for an employee who would soon be returning to work part time, from maternity leave.
It was very promising. I was in my early twenties, overworked, underpaid and chomping at the bit for someone, anyone to take some of the pressure off. So there I sat, reeling off mundane task after mundane task – filing, opening the post, basic data entry etc etc. There were plenty of other contributions and together we created a mish-mash job of crappy tasks for this very lucky lady.”
The Secret Barrister
“That “something” is to create a particular class of justice for a particular class of defendant against whom Mr Porter has a particularly sharp axe to grind. It’s a leaf out of Michael Vaughan’s book – justice means the outcome that conforms to my prejudices. It’s the last thing one would expect from anyone remotely acquainted with the justice system.”
Single Mum Speaks
This post about unsolicited public appraisal of parenting is the best kind of funny and thought provoking.
“But why is it that we feel that we need the approval of others to validate our own status as parents? Why do we need that constant reminder that it’s OK, we’re doing a good job, we’re all still intact, it’s going to be OK and we’re probably not raising a monster? Is it because as women we are encouraged from childhood to seek the approval of others, to be liked, to be the popular girl with the impeccable manners and great hair? Being a mother is a high stakes job, and we wouldn’t want others to think we’ve got it wrong.”
This beautiful melancholic post. There’s so many great lines and themes here it’s hard to avoid just copy pasting the lot:
“Whilst I am excited to see you grow up, witness your first steps, your first walk through the school gates, the first time you’ll meet that someone special, to see all these ‘firsts’ i’m also saddened to think about how transient life feels. There is no doubt that you are growing up too fast. Your first baby grows- what once hung on your small frame now lay redundant in an unused basket, ready to be given away. Your eyes, which were once unable to focus, now follow me obediently as I move around the room, like an eighteenth century oil painting, never missing a step.”
Stop reading my blog and read hers. Now. CLICK.
As soon as I saw this post I knew it would be blog of my week. I will not rest until there are Chickydoodle brand sympathy cards at all of the finest card retailers and the crappy ones too.
This post manages to cram all of the well intentioned but ultimately painful Hallmark sanctioned platitudes around grief into one handy letter and then translates them to show what’s underneath.
“I’m so very sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine the depths of your sorrow. In fact, if I were to be faced with similar circumstances, I don’t think I’d survive.
I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’d rather not try to imagine your pain and suffering, as your circumstances are beyond horrendous, and to think about them for too long leaves me with uncomfortable sensations comparable to those resulting from a giant wedgie, which I generally try to avoid with smart underwear decisions. In fact, if presented with the choice between death and what you’ve experienced, I’d choose death every single time.”
Life with Baby Kicks
A majestic post.
“Both my boys were born by emergency c-section. Both births were filled with drama for different reasons. Both births lives were at stake, both theirs and mine. For a time they made me less of a woman, less of a mother, until I realised that they don’t make me any less of a mother.”
This Mum’s Life
Impassioned assault on the mixed messaging around motherhood and a call for ceasefire on mummy shaming.
“During my now 3 years on the job, in this overwhelming crash course in crazy, existing in this realm of tiredness induced hallucinations, attempting this thing called ‘motherhood,’ I have noticed that if I were to be asked for one word to sum it up, it would be… ‘contradictory.’ I have never felt more proud of my accomplishments, yet ashamed of them, all in the same confidence destroying minute. I have never felt so sure of my convictions one day, then utterly devastated by them a week later. I’ve never felt so supported by my peers, yet feel judged by them at the drop of a hat”
Pouting in Heels
Great quote and post questioning the limits and value of being nice.
You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
“And so over the years, this ‘always be nice’ message has meant that I’ve tolerated some truly dreadful behaviour from others.
I’ve ignored slights, put downs and sarcastic comments. Silenced my gut instinct. Allowed others to cross my personal boundaries. And caused myself nothing but pain, drama and misery in the process.”
Special mention for not-quite blogs in the normal sense but still have blog in the URL so I will count them anyway
Everyone loves TED. This one has a deceptively innocent title Why boys should read girl books but covers a much darker area far beyond simple double standards.
“Then I heard a disturbing story, about a writer who had also written a book that featured girls. When she attended a school assembly to speak to the kids, she saw that many of the seats were empty. Boys, it turned out, had been excused from the program.
The writer in that story is Shannon Hale . She wrote about her experience here. Both blogs are worth reading.
A thought provoking and for some what may be an uncomfortable post about the importance of talking about death. Not just good for combating stigma but good for living (even if that may feel counter-intuitive):
Basically, the more mindful we are of our own death, the less fear and anxiety it will give us.
As ever, these posts are about sharing great reads and writers and encouraging you to share any you have found or to discuss what you thought about the posts listed.
Your turn now!