Unashamedly metalhead

28 06 2014

Tonight during the Metallica set at Glastonbury I was reminded of how it was growing up a ‘mosher’ in a land of very ordinary people who like U2 and Coldplay or Elbow. Everyone has their own musical preferences. Get the fuck over it. I was naive to think that 20years since I last had to deal with such prejudices, they might have gone away. I believed either society had become more accepting of people who liked different music (yes music, ffs) or they at least had matured a bit and stopped caring what others chose to listen to. Well didn’t I get that wrong? Turns out people who like bands like Metallica are “subhuman”, an “underclass”, “brainless twats”, “angry” and “moronic” and that didn’t even start to describe how people felt about the band themselves, only their fans.

Growing up a metalhead at a time everyone else was fainting at the sight of Take That or truly believing Oasis spoke only of their personal experience and no one understood how it felt to be a Wonderwall (yup someone once said that outside a gig , wtf?), made life difficult at times. I was beaten up, followed around town by adults(!) being verbally abusive to me, threatened and had random items thrown at me (usually chips or glass bottles). All because the music I listened to was “heavy metal” for weirdos. If I wasn’t angry before, fucking hell was I angry afterwards.

Who really gives a fuck what kind of music someone listens to? It’s 2014 for christ’s sake, I shouldn’t have to, and usually don’t, feel the need to justify to others why I listen to the music I do. I get annoyed at having people judge me and my intellectual capacity because I enjoy a certain style of music. I was told by a professor that you don’t get lawyers who like heavy metal as “they don’t have the brains” and are better suited to “hanging around the sewers with the junkies”. These put downs and general abuse is deemed socially acceptable all because for many years metal fans were considered and treated as being social outcasts. No wonder they seem angry all the time. If this treatment was based on political preference anger would be not only acceptable but expected.

I was saddened to see that negative attitude hasn’t gone anywhere partly because no one can tell what I like online. I’m physically much safer behind my computer screen. Tonight surprised me, especially when the ‘it’s only banter’ response was coming from self confessed egalitarians (and no this is not aimed at any one person, there were quite a few open minded kind souls reacting like this). Equality for all… Unless you listen to heavy metal. You apparently are an acceptable underclass.

Well I am bloody proud of being a member of that underclass. I’m unashamedly a metalhead. I don’t even like Metallica that much. I do quite like Mumford & Sons. Sue me.

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Cybertwattery

15 06 2014

I’ve remained fairly quiet on the issue of internet twats when it comes to the indyref – partly because I learned a long time ago starving trolls is the best means of killing them, and partly because even mentioning the T word (troll not twat) seems to get the attention of every brainless moron displaying the extensive vocabulary of a Viz dictionary with most of the interesting pages ripped out. Who can really be arsed?

I won’t pretend there aren’t many, many abusive arseholes out there on both sides of the “debate” because I’m not going to patronise any poor bugger bored enough to read this. I’ve met my fair share of Yes and No cybertwats. I’ve been called a traitor by a member of the yes camp for not slavish licking Salmond the Hutts rotund belly every time he speaks, and I’ve been called much worse for daring to want more for the country I live in. Oddly none of it (yet) has focused on my ownership of breasts or vagina – maybe that’s why you’ve not seen my hatted head gracing the front page of the Daily Heil. I’m sure there’s time yet.

While many are quick to jump to the defence of the hundreds of thousands who don’t embark on offensive cybertwattery, there’s a huge, important issue we’re missing out. This is a huge part of Scottish culture. It happens in real life as often as it does online. It’s just much harder to document or prove when you can’t take a screenshot. I’ve been subjected to verbal abuse since the day I moved back to Scotland. This was long before indyref was ever mentioned. It’s like a cultural game for some. Insults are normalised and because abuse is ‘just having a laugh’, people struggle to see the problem. The issue here being based around the independence campaign, highlights that what was widely distributed, localised and aimed at fatties, ‘alts’/goths or people of colour, for example, has become politically focused and virtualised. I’ll be honest, being the recipient of street abuse has dropped for me personally since the growth social media. That’s not to say some imbecile with the intellectual capacity if an overripe banana hasn’t attempted to give me what for from the safety of their car, but as this anger has transferred online, it’s just not happening as much in real life.

I think we’re being awfully naive if we believe that cybertwats (regardless of stance) are a new thing and we can’t say anonymity is always a reason as some of these fuckwits don’t have the foresight to anonymise their interactions. The internet just gives those who have the ability to shout loudest to complain about it and give the mushy banana-brained twats access to big media names in a way they never had before. The goths of the country breathe a huge sigh of relief!

Talking of celebs, let’s not pretend that the whole Rowling abuse debacle wasn’t entirely stage managed either. I mean it was like a gift. She says just wait for the cybernat abuse to appear after highlighting her obvious support for No, and lo! just like an angel of the Lord before an unmarried, virgin, teen mum, it appears. Funnily enough, it just so happens she’s got a new book coming out too. A PR guru couldn’t have timed such a non-story and predictable response so well, or could they? Half of me wants to say, surely even noob trolls aren’t so daft as to fall for that invitation but I’ve wandered down sauchiehall street when there’s been a hint of sunshine. These fannies just don’t have a single brain cell between them. Poor bunnies don’t realised they’ve been played and it’s fuck all to do with indyref really, it’s just the PRs-PR machine spluttering into action.

Christ I can just see it now. Cybertwats will become the latest PR tool in the slimy arsenal of slimy arses, and they won’t have a clue. Twaty McTwatish will continue to drop the C-bomb cos he, or she, thinks it’s dead clever. Or funny. Or something. Truth is, they don’t know why they do it, they just do. Just as their father, mother and grandparents did before them. Like flies to shit they swarm and regurgitate unintelligible bullshit because that’s how it’s been for generations. Just sit in any Scottish pub and among the genuinely intelligent and engaged debate you’ll always find one or two who just cannot do it and turn to insult. They don’t understand it and unless they break free from the twatty habit they never will. These are the same people who’d rather end a pub debate with fists or jaggy bottles and call it a laugh the next day. At least online the fists are only pounding a keyboard.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with online or offline abuse of celebs or ordinary people, but someone somewhere has to recognise it’s entrenched in Scottish culture under the heading ‘banter’ and who wants to be the “miserable bastard” stopping “the lads having a laugh”? This problem isn’t restricted to the independence debate either and it won’t miraculously disappear on September 19th after the referendum. Something does need to be done about it both online and off but it’s bigger than the ‘online bantz’ suggests. The Scottish male’s (and females) acceptance of aggression and violence in every day life confuses me. I’ve asked people why they do or accept it and have been told “just cos” or “it’s always been that way”. I’m not claiming every scot is violent or even the majority of them, and I have seen an improvement in the past few decades but social media has given these people another outlet, this time using words and threats in writing, where it can be proven instead of in-street interaction.

How long before someone’s having a go at me for daring to say this? Well I’m allowed my opinion and to discuss my observations on my blog. Don’t like it? Scream into a pillow! I won’t be listening.





Ode to paxman on poetry

2 06 2014

So Jeremy paxman feels poetry’s too high falluten,
For people who eat quinoa or caviar but not gluten,
Says he, it’s “Rather connived at it’s own irrelevance”,
I guess it’s not like him to sit on the fence,
He’d probably moan however at my little piece of doggerel,
Written by a moron less pedigree more mongrel,
Says he, “Aim to engage with ordinary people much more”,
But oh the stench of working class and the poor
Can’t have the sweat of toiling man or woman among the pages,
Of the book containing words with rhythm & paying poet’s wages,
How could they keep their air of superiority,
If their words, no longer exclusive, were available to the majority?





You’re not the world’s first parent

13 05 2014

You’re not the world’s first parent
I’m sorry but it’s true
Billions of other parents
Got there before you

And no one really cares about your egg meeting that one sperm,
Or how you know everything there is to know about giving birth at term,
Or feeding.
Or changing.
Or that rash.
Or teething pain.
Everyone else is thinking here we go again.

It’s as if at once you’re lobotomised when a child falls out a fanny,
Your only topic of conversation is super fucking nanny,
But of course you can do it better, you’ve been a parent for five minutes,
You know all that there is to know.
Your knowledge now knows no limits.

You’re a master within seconds of squeezing out that kid,
Something you don’t know?
Ridiculous! God forbid!
And even if you’re the father,
your brain it turns to sponge,
All talk is birth and babies,
The minute your sperm sees minge.

From nipple cracks to blood and gore,
You’ve become that baby bore,
Just like the parents you once hated,
For gloating because they’d successfully mated.
You’re not the worlds first parent,
I’m sorry but it’s true,
The only one who gives a shit?
It’s you, my dear. It’s you.





The Yummy Mummy’s guide to coping with ‘Weird Parents’

30 05 2012

We’ve all seen them out with their children, the “Weird Parents”.

black metal parents

Beware of Weirdo Parents

They don’t quite look “Normal” like us.  They wear bright, patchwork hippy clothes or rock band t-shirts in obligatory black. They probably even shop in charity shops, that is if they buy their clothes at all, they probably steal from charities. The “Weird Parents” have strangely coloured hair with wild hairstyles, tattoos  or facial piercings. They are just not normal and this is not acceptable in our society in 2012.

Hippy Parents

Hippy Parents are Weird Parents

If we’re honest we’re probably surprised that they don’t melt in daylight either due to their vampire genes or just plain shame at the state of their appearance. How they even have the gall to leave the house in that state is beyond us. Do they even have mirrors in their home?  You would never see us looking so alternative. Even the Slummy Mummies manage to fit in to our idea of acceptable, of sorts.

Yummy Mummys

This is far more acceptable

It’s embarrassing having to pass such socially unacceptable types in the street, let alone have to share a school or nursery entrance with them. Where are we expected to look when they pass us in the street? How dare they exist to make us Yummy Mummies feel uncomfortable in our own towns. What are we ‘normals’ expected to do when they smile and try to make small talk with us as if they are equals? We all know they are actually sizing us up as main course for their next meal. Do we feign ignorance of their intended fates for us and carry on, or do we run screaming?

No! Of course not.

The best course of action with such “Weird Parents” is to ostracise them. Ignore them. Form groups of friends and exclude them. Don’t inform them of anything going on in the wider community and whatever you do, don’t let them know, you know, they exist.

If for some strange reason, avoiding a “Weird Parent” gives you a fleeting emotion called guilt, a quick smirk without any eye contact or speaking should suffice. Be warned though, they could take this to be social acceptance and try to befriend you.

ProTip:Practice smirking vs smiling in the mirror, so you can be sure you’re offering the correct expression to the “Weird Parent” and not inviting further communication.

And for added safety, how about refusing to let your cherubs play with their offspring? That should show them once and for all how we feel?

We don’t want our little cherubs mixing with the offspring of “Weird Parents”. Think of the damage that could do to little Lilli-Mae and Oliver. Rumour has it the offspring of the “Weird Parents” can be intelligent. That’s good, it means as our cherubs grow up they too will learn to ostracise the “Weird Offspring”. We can’t have them mixing with someone who is so different to them socially, intellectually and genetically.

Did you know “Weird Parents” can have their offspring toilet trained by 2 years old, and who can read and count by 30 months? One “weird parent” had their  32 month old child learning to speak in French too. Isn’t it disgusting. I bet they never let their child watch Peppa Pig or In the Night Garden even once.  It’s like they’re trying to breed intelligent children, deliberately to agitate us. Many of these “Weird Parents” are academics themselves, they have grown up from “Weird Offspring” via multiple university degrees to “Weird Parents” and are prolonging the agony of their genetic line.

ProTip: University is expensive. Ensure your cherub is not likely to become intelligent. It will only cost you money in the long run and that means fewer Mulberry bags for you!

We don’t really want intelligent children. No! We want to have popular children who fit in. Just imagine if our children caught an intelligent bug and turned into “Weird Offspring” themselves. That would never do! The shame it would bring on the family and the entire street would be too much to bear.

It’s important to let your cherubs hear you criticise the “Weird Family”. You must indoctrinate your cherubs into the ways of “Normal” and “Conformity” early on. They will be able to surreptitiously pass on this information to their peers, their teachers, other Normal Parents and more importantly,  the “Weird Family”.

There is a proverb (from Google just so you don’t worry I’m going all intelligent on you), “Children and Drunks speak the truth”, no one will frown upon the criticism, if it comes from your Popular Child, they will just think it cute.

ProTip: There is no need for truth in your criticism, the less honest the more likely it is to become social fact. Always say something damning and hurtful about the “Weird Family” as it is likely to stick with them for life and your cherub is more likely to remember to say it in their company, or that of others.

Rumour has it, “Weird Parents” aren’t always married. Can you even imagine? Can you contemplate that in 2012 people are having a family without having been married first? They shouldn’t even be having sexual relations. We know from social studies among school gate mothers, that these types would eat their own offspring too, if given half a chance.

We all know what these unmarried co-habiting types are like. They’ll try to steal your husbands, even the men. Especially the men. They’re probably unmarried because they’re gay or rampant swingers. And looking at the “Weird Mum” we can totally understand why “Weird Dad” wouldn’t want to get married to her anyway. If we were men she’d turn us gay too.

ProTip: Swinging parties are only for legitimate married couples. Never invite a co-habiting couple to one of your swinging parties (or any other social gathering) for they are guaranteed to be “Weird Parents” (even if they do not appear so on the surface) and will destroy your marriage, your lives and more importantly your social status.

“Weird Dad” has a strange sexual attraction. He’d scrub up well as a Normal if he just wore a pastel polo shirt and highly patterned surfers shorts a bit too tight for his build. We’re sure it’s the “Weird Mum’s” negative influence that makes him the way he is. “Weird Mum” is a woman of questionable morals, a manipulator. She forces her partner to be weird. She will do the same to you and your family if you let her.

We tend to think of “Weird Dad” as a bit of a novelty. We can change him, turn him into a “Normal Dad”. Tattoos on men are acceptable anyway. It’s always worth your while being nice to “Weird Dad” in case he can be turned. Fantacising about “Weird Dad” is also acceptable, his unconventionality could be seen as cute in a sordid in our mind only affair BUT DO NOT GIVE IN TO HIS WILY CHARMS, don’t forget he is still a”Weird Parent”.

ProTip: Never trust a seemingly changed “Weird Parent”.  “Weird Parents” may attempt to change to Normal but they will always be weird under the surface. It is in their genes. It never goes away.

Don’t forget to keep an eye open for your local “Weird Parents” when out and about so you can actively avoid them and condemn them in your social circle. These “Weird Families” aren’t “Normal” like we are so they don’t mind you talking about them in a negative manner within earshot. Indeed they expect it and enjoy us doing so. It leaves them feeling as if we are accepting them and allowing them into our social circle somehow.

This was the first part of The Yummy Mummy’s Guide to coping with “Weird Parents”. Further tongue purely in cheek installments to come. If you take any of this seriously then you’re in danger of being a “Normal”.





A thing is nothing, or is it?

25 03 2012

I was asked earlier, that if it was proven god existed, would I believe? Perhaps not the best framed question but it has led to loads of other interesting questions and debates on twitter. Most of which I am too lazy to resurrect and cannot remember.

The simple answer is obviously I would believe in the existence of god if there was proof before me. That does not mean, however, my stance would change. I would not follow this being, I would not worship this being, nor would I join any religion. If I am blatantly honest, I would not care.

I have never doubted the existence of Jesus or Mohammed, that does not mean I will follow the religions that live by the teachings of either prophet. To me the existence of god is irrelevant. There are far too many religions claiming ownership (if that’s the right word) to god to know which is the one who got it right. What if none of them have it right? What if god exists but isn’t the creator, what if god is just the caretaker, the toilet cleaner, a bored househusband, a nasty virus?

Interestingly enough, no one who does follow an organised religion can answer this resulting question, “if god existed but stated the only religion to be followed was that of e.g. the flying spaghetti monster, would you convert?”

One person took exception to my using the descriptor, “she” for god avoiding the question, another quite blatantly refused to acknowledge their god would find a different “religion” a more appropriate means of worship than their existing religion or denomination. And I guess this is where my issue with organised religion, belief and faith lies.

The unfaltering belief that their way is the right way against all others, the inability to consider that their way could be the wrong way or the not quite right way. Even the differences between followers of the same religion but different denominations appear to condemn each other to various nastiness. These modern christian denominations rarely take into account some of the earlier beliefs of Christianity, or that the evolution of Christianity for example will continue, so that in another 1000 or 2000 years only the names of the big players remain the same. I have real problems with this black and white view of right and wrong, this and that, the light and the dark etc. What about the next big rewrite of the bible? What then?

I respect those who choose to believe in an unprovable entity, providing they respect my choice not to. I cannot say I agree  with their beliefs and even if there was proof of existence, I know that it would not change my mind about following a religion. I am happy with myself and happy with knowing there is no deeper meaning to my existence. I am merely a spec on the face of this planet, my existence not accounting for even 1 second in the life scale of the planet.

I tried religion by attending Sunday school when I was 5. But if I’m honest I only went for the free lollipop at the end and they asked me not to return after my second visit because I had trouble believing what they were telling Me, I had to believe unquestioningly. I’m not sure if I’ve ever admitted that to my parents. I have attended many Catholic masses in my years for various relatives, and while I can appreciate the beauty and the boredom of the singing and togetherness, I can find those experiences elsewhere without associated guilt or lectures.

As a child of 7 I contemplated that perhaps life was where we were all acting out the imagination of some other person. I concocted a scenario whereby the events in my life were merely the thoughts of another human being. I wondered if perhaps i and everyone else on the planet was controlled by the thoughts of another, existing only inside their head. This was the closest I came to believing there was higher being but never attributed a god like status. I felt this was just an ordinary human being with some rather dull fantasies. I worried at this tender age about the lack of control I would have over my life if this were the case. I even considered if perhaps we were just cells floating around a body and interactions were just chemical reactions, normalised as social relationships to explain or appease us. I should point out neither of these theories lasted long and I was not on any anti-psychotic medication for thought interferences.

I was 7 years old. It prompted me to write a poem, it was very short and for the life of me I cannot remember the ending but the first two lines were, “a thing is nothing, nothing is a thing”. I still have the original in the attic and I do know beyond those two lines it all goes a bit existential. I was 7 years old ffs. No seven year old child should be having an existential debate with themselves. I worry that my daughter will have a similar existential crisis at such a young age. I do have concern that she will worry about her existence before she is able to understand or come to terms with it, or worse that at age 6 or 7 she feels she has to come to terms with it all.

If my daughter chooses to believe in a god, then that is her decision, I would however, discourage her from following an organised religion. Faith and religion are not mutually exclusive. Organised religion is where the trouble lies. If she chooses not to believe in god or organised religion then I can support her to accept her existence and be happy with it, to have faith in herself and to worship no one. Whatever she chooses to believe is personal to her, no one else’s business and it should not be a source of discomfort. That doesn’t mean its wrong, giving her hypothetical questions to mull over when she is mature enough to do so, or to allow her to question her environment in an appropriate manner. Belief or not she will have an open and enquiring mind. I hope she learns to question everything and not to blindly accept anything. Should she do otherwise, I will feel I have failed her.

EDITED TO ADD>>>

I worry when I see people blindly following faith, none more so than those who believe prayer alone will heal all ills. I hope that, should my daughter choose religion, she will never follow blindly and unquestioningly to that extent. When  I read of a letter from a cross party group of MPs demanding an Advertising Standards Agency decision be reversed regarding the efficacy of faith healing, I nearly choked. First with laughter and then on the collection of flies gathering in my gaping mouth. After successfully reattaching my jaw to my skull, it confirmed for me that organised religion is really quite dangerous and all it takes are a few nutters in a position of power to cause immense problems for the rest of humanity.

These three MPs, representatives of tens of thousands of British citizens in what can only be termed a comedy letter asked the ASA, “On what scientific research or empirical evidence have you based this decision?” It should be noted the decision was to stop a christian faith group claiming god could heal people today. If such people demand empirical proof that god cannot heal, will they then succumb to demands to provide empirical proof and scientific research on the existence of god or that god can and will heal. For examples, in insurance policies, “Acts of God” are often exempt from coverage, if we could prove god did not exist, could we then remove such ridiculous spiritual elements from business? If it was proven god does exist and will heal people, would medical insurance have an act of god clause, whereby if faith healing had worked for anyone in the past, it would not be covered by the insurance? Would the NHS have similar clauses in its impending privatisation? The phrase I keep coming back to is, “are you fucking serious?”

In this day and age it is unthinkable, that three representatives of the people, in positions of power, running our country and paid for by the long-suffering taxpayer can with straight faces not only claim an unprovable god can heal ailments but feel they have the right to threaten an independent agency designed to protect the public from advertising fallacies. To consider they want to raise the issue in a parliamentary debate makes a mockery of the entire British political system. There is nothing wrong with saying a prayer, if you’re so inclined, to benefit someone who is sick in additional support of modern medical methodologies, but to claim that faith healing alone can heal ailments is naive and dangerous. To have people, who are responsible for the workings of a nation, argue that the right to claim faith healing alone can resolve illness or ailment is very dangerous indeed.  There is a distinct need to separate spiritual faith from the workings of the state, especially when dangerous claims are being made. There is a scary resurgence of faith-based governing in the United Kingdom and something needs to be done to stop it from doing real damage to society.

 





The celeb cult of stay at home dads

6 03 2012

This is a totally judgemental post of the day and is likely to offend somebody or other… meh. If you do not identify with the people being discussed, there’s a very good chance it’s not about you.

Why should men who stay at home to look after their children receive more praise and celebration than a mother who does the same or parents who chose to/have to work? I’ve seen quite a few new twitter accounts pop up recently where the owner claims to be a stay at home dad, *insert witty comment here* *insert manly statement to prove they’re not gay here* *insert comment looking for praise or sainthood* The Biog’s and blogs appear to be searching for praise or a special shiny ‘I’m the worlds best human being ever’ badge for doing what a parent should be doing when they have time with their children.

Now I have two issues with this. 1. SAHDs looking for special praise and 2. the Stay at home parent/working parent stand-off.

The first issue is with men who have chosen to or have to stay at home to look after their offspring while their partner works, and who are looking for praise or celebrity for doing so. Without getting into a mud-slinging, name calling session, the number of middle class dads who have stayed at home to look after their kids, making money out of doing because they are doing so, is rather alarming. There are tv shows, chef’s selling cook books,  others writing parenting for men books, ‘look how fucking amazing I am’ websites and blogs popping up left, right and centre. It’s as if virtual and media society is overly celebrating a man actually being a father and taking an active role in their child’s upbringing. What’s wrong with just enjoying your time with your children?

Now forgive me if I’m wrong, but are all fathers not supposed to do that by default? Why does it have to turn into a money-making or ego massaging session? Are we expected to celebrate men for doing what they should as soon as their wee spermies lose their head to the ever seductive egg? Why is it, the thing that women have done for millenia, often while tending house, care for elders, holding down jobs etc is to be revered in men? Are we saying they are saints for doing so? Are we actually highlighting than men generally are crap at parenting and those who can do, need to be celebrated? Or have these SAHDs just found another means of having their masculine egos massaged? According to the blogs I’ve read today alone, they find it easy, a walk in the park, in fact I’ve even read, “I don’t know what stay at home mums are moaning about’. Of course the last blogger had a cleaner and was only a part-time SAHD, but don’t let that get in the way of a good ego massage and celebratory wank.

And another thing that annoys me is when I hear of mothers “asking” their partners to “babysit” their own child for the night. While some may feel it’s a courtesy, I feel the language suggests differently. I don’t think I’ve met a man yet who asks his partner if she minds looking after their children while he goes out, and he sure as hell doesn’t use the term babysit.

When I became pregnant, Grumpyhatman offered to be a “house husband”, he revelled in the idea of lounging about playing with the baby. A week or so into parenthood, he had changed his mind. Even if I was bringing in more money, which is likely, I’m guessing he’d still find reasons to put jr in nursery.  His sanity being one of them. Not sure my sanity could take it either. A better father I have not met, and he does not want a badge or a tv show for his efforts. There is no element of parenting he cannot turn his hands to, from washing the shitty cloth nappies to cooking and cleaning. His answer to why, “why wouldn’t I, she’s ma daughter”.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a male thing. There is a whole industry of mumpreneurs who have taken parenting to a new level of money-making and I feel for some of them too, that the issues above are as relevant. I rarely go a day on twitter without meeting some mum writing a parenting book or other. However, it is now trendy for men to be doing the same and from what I see they are expecting and often getting far more notice and publicity than the women ever did for doing so.

I have a lot of respect for stay at home parents, whether they have one or ten kids. It’s more than a full-time job, its a lifetime job, doesn’t start at 9am and switch off at 5pm. When I was pregnant I joined a baby and parenting site where daily there would be a fight about SAHMs v Working mums. Now obviously this debate can be applied to men too but as it was a site populated by women that’s what I’ll discuss here.

There were a few different sides to the argument, but mainly the working mums saying the stay at home mums were smug for staying at home with their children all day, and the stay at home mums saying the working mums were smug for looking down on them. A very odd state of affairs. There were the working mothers who envied the SAHMs for being able to stay at home and the SAHMs who envied the working mothers for ‘affording’ to go out to work but often these people were drowned out by the smug-sayers. I never quite understood why it was smug to stay at home or to work. Either could be a necessity or a choice. It just seemed that either people felt inadequate or uncomfortable with their choice or that if there was no choice, they were vocally jealous of the other. There was no acceptance of choice or difference, no respect.

I hated how parenting became right or wrong. I mean there were methods discussed that were just plain weird and dangerous, and no parent in their right mind would try them. I said right mind. On the whole alternative opinions and methods when shared were pounced upon by one clique or another with such violent vigour that anyone not completely comfortable with their choices would end up questioning their parenting ability. SAHM v Working was one of the most violent and offensive debates you’d witness.

Now there’s the whole new element to add, the middle class stay at home parent who is actually outwardly smug. These aren’t usually single parents with no choice, oh no! the single parents generally don’t get celebrated and rewarded with book deals and tv shows praising their skills and they bloody well should be. Single parents, if they are lucky will be lumped in with the rest of society, who generally do the necessary parenting, and who find it hard and rewarding in equal measures but it’s what they have to do. It’s what we all have to do, male or female, working or not.

I don’t need a badge or book deal to make me feel good about my parenting. Seeing my child smile, learn a new phrase, using swear words in appropriate ways, learning to stick her fingers up at passers-by – these are the things that reward me most. Perhaps I should start feeling smug about that. So who wants to give me a tv show then?