Yes! I know! I am a terrible Mother!!!

phone-call-from-school

I have never felt that I would ever be a serious contender for a Mother of the Year Award… because let’s face it… I’m not naturally gifted, I had zero training, have no qualifications in that particular department, often fall asleep on the job and frequently catch myself glancing at my brood and thinking that they’re lucky that I’m not a hamster or I would have eaten all of them alive by now…

And throughout the last quarter of a century, there’s been no shortage of unsolicited advice from people queueing up to tell just exactly how they think I’m doing things wrong… I’ve been too young to be pregnant… I’ve been too old to be pregnant… I’ve been deemed unfit for being a working mother and I’ve had the finger of shame pointed at me for being a stay at home mother… you get the picture… basically if you start taking on other people’s lopsided views from their little worlds then you’re always going to find yourself to be deemed as some kind of loser…

Today I felt that mythical M.O.T.Y.A. slip even further towards vanishing over the horizon…

I now inhabit yet another category that unfit mother’s dwell in… These days, I’m self-employed and it seems to be that there are people out there who either view that as oh she has a bit of a hobby or as oh she has nothing to do all day… and when I say people, I’m mostly referencing the outstanding professionals that teach my youngest son…

What are we? 3 weeks into the new school year? Something like that… like I say… I’m often somewhat lax… but yeah… we’re certainly much nearer to the start of the academic year than the end and this is not boding well as my phone is constantly ringing… Now you can call me a cnut if you like but I have practically zero tolerance for people who call me to whine about their bad day and that falls to a very chilly absolute zero when they call me out of the blue on a number given for emergency use and expect me to drop everything to listen to them…

Today, I’m doubly annoyed as it’s less than a week ago that I had a lengthy conversation with a Head of Department after putting in a complaint about this type of disruption and I was assured that I would only be contacted from now on in an emergency and that it was noted on the system…

But no… it appears that somebody didn’t get the memo… and I find myself on the end of another lengthy tirade from somebody who is allegedly highly qualified and paid to do a job… telling me that her whole class was in disruption… who then starts screaming and shouting at me when I suggest that she focuses on her classroom management skills… but… apparently… her ringing me about other people’s kids is classroom management…

Ok… whoa… M.O.T.Y.A. finally falls completely out of view and won’t be seen again in this lifetime or maybe even the next…

So… another conversation with a head of year ensues and he assures me that she is the nicest person he’s ever met so I must be mistaken that she shouted at me… I advise him that he needs to meet more people and also comment that well obviously you see a different side of her, you know, what with you being her line manager… but the way she spoke to me conveyed none of the qualities that you have been privvy to and also not the merest trace of professional conduct and I’m not having my working day interrupted to be spoken to like that…

There’s some huffing and puffing and blustering that they need to be able to speak to me when they want to and obviously there must be some problem at home that we need to work together on as your child is not happy in class and this is out of character and that my role as a caring  parent is…

Oo…Oh.. Oh… HO! HO! HO!!! OK so in future if something is important and you actually do want my view or opinion then why don’t you email me so I can read it when I have time to focus clearly, ask my son about it and then get back to you with a response?

Apparently… that has been put on the system now also… though I’m going to be lessed than surprised of my phone starts ringing again tomorrow or the next day…

So later I finally get to speak to my son and I ask him – what’s going off at school?

It’s not a pretty tale but given my experince with the rudeness of teaching staff and my son’s natural tendency to tell it how it is, I find little call to doubt his account…

He says to me… OK!!! THIS is the problem!!! I’m TOO BLOODY HONEST and I just can’t hold it in! They don’t like it when you’re honest… OK… so one teacher, she was shouting at the whole class then started picking on a boy and kept shouting SHUT UP! SHUT UP! at him and I said – you can’t do that! She said why not? And I said that he has human rights and freedom of speech and expression and she just told me to SHUT UP as well and gave me a warning…

I bite the insides of my cheeks to contain my rising smirk… and then ask him… so… is there anything else that I need to know about?

Yeah… this other teacher, she doesn’t like me being honest either she asked me what was interesting about the camera angle in the film we watched and I said there’s nothing interesting… I know she wanted me to say that it was kept on the same focus throughout the whole clip and that it took in the whole view of the scene but that’s not interesting… it’s boring… then she asked me what the advert was for and I said, some kind of car… she got really mad and shouted that is was for a Honda! and that I hadn’t been watching… I said I was watching and I know it was a car but it was boring so I don’t know what type of car and so she put me on a warning for that…

By now the insides of my cheeks are very close to bleeding…

I say to him… ok… In Japan, they have a saying…

deru kugi ha utareru – ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered down’.

Ok son… the choice is yours… you can either keep your head down or brace yourself to be hammered…

He says… yeah but… I can’t help being honest!!

So I say well in that case son you’d best learn to stand out big enough and strong enough that the hammer bounces off…

Yes! I know! I am a terrible Mother!!!

But you know what… I’m also getting very long in the tooth and I can’t see me becoming a good mother anytime soon… besides… life’s too short to polish a M.O.T.Y.A. 🙂

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