Readers, meet Anonymous.
She is a very reasonable woman. And she has a best friend.
Anonymous and her best mate work together, and right now, Anonymous does not have children. Her best friend has recently switched her status from non-parent to Mum AF.
My best friend had a baby 6 months ago.
We are both teachers and she got the maternity benefits of working for Education Queensland. Her husband has a very well paid job and she has said she feels lucky that she doesn’t HAVE to go back to work. But she said she needs the stimulation and recently returned to work.
Anonymous does not judge this choice. Anonymous is down:
Staying home full-time with the baby wasn’t for her, which I fully support. She does two relief teaching days a week now which means some weeks she doesn’t get called in at all and other weeks she gets two days of work.
What’s the problem, you ask? Well, you see, for Anonymous, her new-mum friend has become, well, let’s call it what it is: Unbearable:
What frustrates me is her attitude towards my profession and career now. My job is a trivial little day job compared to her working two days of relief AND being a mum. That is the way she makes me feel.
‘I had to go to work having been up all night, you don’t know how easy you have it.’ ‘I was up from 4am and now have to go to work.’
‘I had such a busy day at school, I didn’t get to return home to visit the baby at lunch.’
Because I don’t have a child at home or because I had a full night sleep, my job is nothing. Anything I say is quickly shut down because my life is so much easier.
Anonymous is shitty. Her once-tight friendship is crumbling, a minefield of simmering resentment.
But this is her CHOICE. Do people without children get no credit for the work they do, simply because when they get home, they don’t have children to look after?
Why do we know all this? Because Anonymous wrote to Mamamia’s flagship podcast, Mamamia Out Loud, go get some wisdom on how to handle this situation from the show’s hosts: Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and Jessie Stephens.
They gave it, here:
But unfortunately for Anonymous, when it comes to answering her email in kind, in written form, she got me.
And I am not going tell her what she wants to hear (I’m assuming Anonymous is a woman, many apologies if I have mis-gendered you, Anon.) For one very simple reason.
OF COURSE YOUR FRIEND IS BUSIER THAN YOU. She has A BABY.
Let me recount a short tale, Anonymous. I had a baby once.
Well, I had a baby twice, but the first time is the revelation. I was 38 at the time. That’s thirty-eight years of living like a normal person.
A person who had a busy job, lots of friends, ate out three times a week, decided to randomly go for a drink/a run/a yoga class/let’s face it, a drink, after work at a moment’s notice.
The kind of normal person who might think that going on holiday was fun, or that a long and leisurely breakfast on a Sunday morning was a human right. That kind of person.