I picked up this book from the library when I was wandering around in a confused kind of state. If I were a tapestry maker in 16th century France I would pretty much know who I was and my role in life. But I’m not, and I sometimes work and I mostly look after children. I love looking after children but sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t be doing something more, with the children. That is whether I and the children ought to be more a part of a greater whole, rather than just boddling around on the floor together.

Anyway I digress. The book, I mostly disagree with. I was quite keen to read it because according to the jacket, it discusses “how motherhood changes everything” well I couldn’t agree more, but I thought it was going to talk about some of the beneficial changes. It’s also written by an Australian academic, which I found promising. I think this book is thought provoking and raises some very good points, and almost comes close to explaining certain issues about motherhood in a contemporary context. I also think it is quite interesting to write a response to a book you disagree with about a subject you care about.

One very sad comment inside this book is that “Motherhood is not intrinsically rewarding”. Mostly, that is sad for the children of the author, I hope they don’t read it. And her conclusions are overwhelmingly negative. She doesn’t have much positive to say, and I am afraid that just reflects her own issues rather than any “objective’ scientific research. I am coming to realise more and more that people generally create their research to back up their original view and then say it’s objective.

Here’s a few reviews of the book on amazon to start wtih.

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chucking a sickie

August 9, 2006

For all you non-Australians out there, translation would be “taking a sick day” I suppose!

So today the collective mucus count in this family is high, too high. The stockpile of tissues in the cupboard is rapidly being consumed. Even the dog tried to escape to avoid the cloud of germs swarming in the air.

But when your main job is “mother” unfortunately your rights are not the same in the land of the great Australian sickie. There’s no one to call to say you’re sick, and you’re not allowed to miss work or stay in bed. You still have to “turn up” at about 6am. Actually you’re more likely to be required to do shift work, say hourly or two hourly on-call during the night because if you’re sick – chances are your little charges will be sick. And the fact that they can’t even blow their own noses, means that their ability to sleep on their own is negligible.

But being self-employed, you can also choose to shirk certain responsibilities like housework, cooking dinner, paying bills, making phone calls, walking the dog, going to gymbaroo or leaving the house at all. You can allocate your own special rewards like surfing the internet, chocolate mousse and watching Dr Phil. You can watch the miserable joggers outside from the warmth of your own lounge room without feeling guilty.

Haven’t we all had times when we’re glad to be sick? We have a cold and stay home, we eat comfort food and watch tv. We surf blogs and buy stuff on ebay.

It certainly beats turning up to work in a psychiatric ward, in any case.