Friday, August 29, 2014

But...What do you DO all day?


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 bottles of Calpol. 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. 
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. 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? 

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.


  1. A great post Sharon, I thought her comments were absolutely scandalous!

    1. Thanks Aisling - I think her silence is worse!!

  2. Great post, Sharon.

    I read Mary Curtis' comments earlier and genuinely thought they were a wind up of some sort (not helped by the fact the inital Indo headline wasn't complete so it looked like someone hit publish when they shouldn't have) surely no-one would come out with such nonsense. To be honest, I don't think the clarifications that I have read since make the comments sound any less idiotic.

    1. Thanks Paula. I feel the same, the clarifications actually made the comments sound more ridiculous.

  3. I was so shocked by those comments earlier, the excuses afterwards just made it was both taken out of context AND a joke? make your mind up. Can't believe anyone could be so clueless, especially in a position like hers.

    1. That's exactly it. Even if stay-at-home parents were her main demographic, she should have the common sense not to alienate them all in one swoop. Implying that you have no life if you stay at home is horrible!

  4. Great post Sharon! Like the poster above, the clarification doesn't make it any better! It was said in jest isn't an excuse to publicly slag off your target demographic. I also don't like that the clarification came from the UTV press office and not Mary Curtis herself. Hasn't the balls to apologise personally.

    1. Thanks Karen! She had the balls to say it in the first place so it's about time she stood up and apologised.

  5. Fantastic. I loved reading this. I'm not a mother and I have no plans to be and even I could see how stupid and insulting what she said was. stay at home parents not only have lives of their own they are nurturing other lives on top of everything else. Your post is great.

    1. Thanks Claire, I appreciate that. That's a great way to look at it!

  6. Great post! Hats off to you, it's not easy especially with twins - twice the work! I struggle to find enough hours in the day with just one! Any me time is squished into 1 hour during naps and involves cleaning or eating lol

    1. Thanks Leanne! I'm exactly the same, minute I get them asleep I eat!! x

  7. my god you have your work cut out for you. That woman was a disgrace. What a completely condescending comment. She has not done herself any favours

    1. Thanks Sinéad! It's hectic but it's fun. She's very foolish to start off on such a bad note.

  8. I love this, and of course I love you :) You go girl! x (also, holy god, you've some mad amount of work. At least some of us get to go home and leave work behind. But you have it 24/7)


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