Thursday 21st March 2013

Following The Budget yesterday there was a lot of 'insightful' commentary on morning TV. Contrary to what this blog may suggest, I honestly don't sit down in my pjs to watch Daybreak and the programmes that proceed it. It's on in the background whilst I'm running around like a Whirling Dervish trying to make sure that everyone is happy and nothing can rock the apple cart.

I didn't pay attention to The Budget myself as it's a load of white noise in my ear. Listening to George Osborne trying to speak over lots of old blokes and a couple of women who are trying to out do each other in the 'Yeah, yeah' stakes is a complete waste of my time. In fact, Daddy Pig and Peppa often make more sense than some of these politicians because the Pig household keep it simple. Having said that, Daddy Pig would be a target for the NHS because he is so overweight and at risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes; so actually, maybe using the Pig household as an analogy for the post-modern ideal of the nuclear family is a bad idea.

Anyway,the BBC will summarise The Budget for me with the following headline (in my seductive Fiona Bruce voice): "There is no money. We will take off Peter to pay Paul. That is all, and now for the rest of the day's news..."

So I started to think to myself, "Let's move on; the weather is crap; the economy is in free-fall; I sound like fag ash Lil oh yes, and I chopped my thumb with a pair of scissors instead of using them to open a packet of instant porridge. Never mind, I have all the love in the room that I need and I am trying to work on happy vibes".

This positive approach was working until, on the TV,...that bloody woman from The Apprentice appeared. (I have since learned she is called Katie Hopkins). She was on Phil and Holly's sofa basically routing for the plight of full-time parents who work their arse off at home looking after their kids...NOT!!! I'm really not sure whether this woman truly believes in the points she makes or whether she just loves being in the media limelight and enjoys being basked in the controversy of 'her beliefs'.

To be fair, Ms Hopkins' views may (I emphasise the word may) sometimes have credence. That is until she completely batters the debate by making inflammatory comments such as "Parents who stay at home wear it like a badge of honour!" and  "Why should we pay parents to stay at home? They just hang around in their pyjamas all day (or something to that effect)". At that point Holly and the woman who embodied the counter-argument went off on one; fair play to them. Holly says that she has all day Friday 'off' to stay at home with her children and openly admitted to it being the hardest job of the week. I couldn't agree more. I feel like I work part-time and have a full-time job at home too.

As a mother of three children, I'm not sure why Ms Hopkins doesn't get this; all I can think is that she has had an easy run of it because as much as I love and adore Bethan and James, I find it incredibly hard work when I am at home with them. James is into absolutely everything and Bethan is constantly craving my attention - there never seems to be any 'down time' for me. However, if you are blessed enough to have children, I do agree that is what you subscribe to when you become a parent. You can have your beliefs Ms Hopkins about people not being paid to be full-time parents. Nevertheless, you are on controversial territory when you suggest that for a parent, whether they work full-time, part-time or not at all, it is easier to stay at home than it is going out to work.

Later in the day I was in the car with the kids and as ever, karma put all of the above into perspective as there was an announcement on the radio. The DEC are launching an appeal for the 1 million or so Syrian refugees who have been ousted out of their homes and who have had their daily lives shattered by Civil War. One moment they are leading a 'normal' life like Western families and the next, it all disappears. "Bloody hell", I thought to myself, "What am I and Ms Hopkins moaning about? Why does parenting in the world that is lucky enough to have Peace on a daily basis, have to be so divisive?".