Saturday, July 05, 2003

I came of age in the seventies, but finally grew up in the eighties. In those days, we career girls were told we could have it all - the job, the partner and the kids. All at once, successfully, with no hassle. Easy peasy - just take a deep breath and off you go.

Well, the eighties came and went. I bought the philosophy, married the husband but hadn't quite got round to the kids. By the nineties, I was beginning to realise that I'd be a geriatric mum or no mum at all! But I still clung onto that supermum myth.

"You won't manage it", said the Prophet of Doom. (My mum, that is.) "It'll all be too much for you."

Sniff. We needed my job if we were to contemplate having a family. No choice, believe me.

Somehow I've come through the sleepless nights, the anxious calls from childminder ("he's been a bit sick - would you like to come and take him home?"), and the notes from nursery ("Next week we are having a fancy dress party, and children are asked to bring a costume ..."). Our third son starts school in August.

But supermum? I think not! The ironing basket sits on top of the freezer, with a nasty menacing smirk on its face. The fuller it gets, the worse its expression. There's a huge pile of washing sort-of-folded waiting (for me, of course) to put it away. A load of laundry in the machine, another load waiting to go in, huge piles of mail waiting to be dealt with or filed, and to top it all, it's going to be a wet weekend.

I might present a public image of Supermum - but privately, it's more like controlled chaos!

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