Monday, 19 October 2009

On being a social liability

Have just gloomily read for the second time a letter to the weekend Telegraph, from a London lawyer who quit to be a fulltime mother: she complains of being ignored at dinner parties because people assume she will be dull. Agony uncle Graham Norton suggests helpfully that, they might be right: spending time with children "is bound to distance you from people" who are doing adult stuff.
Oh god, is this what's going to happen to me? I do remember the lovely peaceful vegetative state that was maternity leave: bliss, until one NCT coffee morning ended in a discussion of which brand of Jcloths we preferred. I was itching to go back to work after that.
Admittedly we hardly ever get invited to dinner parties any more (too many no-shows because I was working late, or we'd go and either my husband or I would end up pacing the garden, shouting down a mobile and chainsmoking over some work crisis or other). But at least we usually had some high octane gossip to share.
Now I can easily go 24 hours without reading a newspaper or listening to the news. It doesn't help that our TV's bust. I'm out of the loop: my horizons are shrinking in front of me.
The trouble with working the way I did is it distances you from your family. But in closing that gap, it's easy to be distanced from the rest of the world. Hmm.


  1. I was all set to take redundancy (from a paper) while on maternity leave, until I realised that much as I was loving being off work, I really rather liked saying that I was a broadsheet journalist. There's no easy answer though.

  2. I'm looking for volunteer work in my field so that I have an identity for myself and dinner parties - as part time paid work less than 10 hours a week seems pretty elusive.