Firstly, I feel like I should tell you that I'm writing this as my 10 month old twins are sitting in their high chairs, eating turkey and peas. They're safe, I'm sitting looking at them. I haven't strapped them into rockers and sat them in front of the telly with two sugar-laden biscuits. My eldest is at his Aunt's house for the weekend. That okay? Grand.
Mary Curtis, head of UTV Ireland, made some very derogatory remarks about Irish stay at home parents in a recent interview about the new channel. Here's the article from the Irish Independent, in which she is quoted as saying of their key demographic:
"It's mainly housewives with a few kids under their belt"
I have three sons. I don't think of any of them as something I'm being scored on - what an odd phrase to use. Raising children isn't a business.
"I don't think any of you guys will be watching, you actually have lives."
This is clarified by journalist Laura Slattery from the Irish Times, who tweeted the following earlier:
Said to be "jokey banter" with the male reporters, I find this horrifically insulting. Mary Curtis herself is a mother who has a high-profile job outside the home, so I absolutely refuse to believe that she was being self derogatory here. They are also claiming that she didn't say housewives, she said housekeepers. Housekeeping IS A JOB, MARY. Do housekeepers have time to sit and watch TV while attending to their duties? As far as I'm aware, housekeepers don't bring their children to work either, so we all know who she is talking about.
"We'll be going after people who have no choice but to stay at home"
Thanks, Mary. Really. I am at home partly by choice, partly by circumstance. I am not sitting here, day in, day out, on my arse, watching Daytime TV while wishing I worked outside the home. What an insulting, disgusting set of comments from a mother. A strong, working woman in a great position of power.
Do you want to know what I do all day? Today was Friday, so I'll tell you.
7am: Woke with a finger stuck up my nose. Had to take one of the twins into the spare room at 4am because he woke crying due to teething.
7:15am: Twin 1 is changed. I put him in his chair and give him a bottle, I can hear Twin 2 awake so I go down and get him, change his nappy and give him a bottle. Brew coffee. Check email while boys are drinking bottles.
7:45am: Put the boys in their playpen and call eldest to go have a shower and pack a bag for his Aunt's house.
8am: Spend the last 15 minutes helping eldest pack bag because he 'can't find' anything. Husband watching boys.
8:05am: Feed dog.
8:10am: Get a quick shower & get dressed.
8:20am: Sort paperwork for car tax, start to get stuff in the car for shopping. Put bags, changing bag, eldest's weekend bag in car.
8:30am: Put a wash on.
8:45am: Dress the babies in day clothes & put them in the car.
9am: Head off to drop eldest at Aunt's house.
9:35am: Go to Aldi. Spend 5 minutes trying to get baby trolley out before have to get staff member to help.
10:15am: Shopping done. Go to motor tax office and Argos to pick up slow cooker.
10:40am: Remember have to get school shirts & sum copies for Monday. Go to Dunnes.
11am: Check twitter while in queue at Dunnes, bit of friendly yapping for a few minutes.
11:30am: Realise that neither husband or I had breakfast so stop at petrol station and get chicken sandwiches.
11:35am: Boys see us eating in car & want some. I abandon my food & get in back to give both boys a bottle and half the chicken from the sandwich.
12pm: Get home, change nappies, put boys in playpen to play & unpack shopping. Husband hangs washing out & leaves.
12:30pm: Put boys down for a nap. Get a cup of coffee.
1pm: One baby won't sleep, keeps standing up and grabbing curtains. I decide to drop his cot to a lower level.
1:30pm: Boys asleep. I wash kitchen floor, and start folding laundry in spare room.
2pm: Start dinner.
2:15pm: Boys awake. Change them, spend some time playing with them.
2:45pm: Check e-mails, goodreads, social media.
3pm: Put bottles in steriliser and wash dishes.
3:25pm: Take clothes in off line & put on racks/radiators inside.
3:45pm: Change dirty nappy, fix late lunch for boys.
4pm: Put boys in high chairs & give them some turkey & peas.
4:15pm: Put fire down.
4:20pm: Make bottles.
4:30pm: Clean kitchen floor & high chairs, fold some more laundry.
5pm: Write this, while stopping to take boys out of chairs & put down for playtime. Husband back, so will sort dinner after this for all of us. He's mowing the lawns and then he has to go see a friend in hospital. I'm trying to dry clothes for the friend. The boys will get a bath after dinner, around 6:30pm, then I'll put them to bed before 7:30. Then I clean the kitchen after whatever food they dropped, wash used bottles & used dinner dishes, and I can usually get sitting around half 9 if one or both babies doesn't throw a wobbler and decide that sleep is for the weak. Throw in the odd dirty nappy throughout the day, and the odd fight I have to break up, and you're pretty much there. I use the night time to read, then I go to bed around 12am. Sometimes during the day I read a chapter or two of a book when I'm eating or having a cup of coffee.
What I'd love to know is - when the FUCK can I sit down to watch some tosser with no teeth being told he's not the Daddy on Daytime TV? When can I sit and watch some posh knob tell ME how to cook a casserole, or how to stretch my budget by bulking out my organic chicken tagine with quinoa or whatever the hell they think we've never heard of out here in stay-at-home land? Maybe they'll give us a nice little kitsch segment where they make an apron from an old coat, or show us how to fold our tea towels.
I haven't time to use the toilet some days. I'm not complaining about it - I love life. I love being home with the boys and I'm very grateful that I'm able to do that. But I'm not happy about being lumped into some sit-on-your-arse category just because I'm not working outside the home right now.
I won't be watching UTV Ireland. I haven't got time, sorry Mary. I'm too busy.