Careers advice

September 30, 2008

The children and I were chatting idly about life and stuff the other day, when Child Two piped up. ‘I want to find a nice boyfriend at university,’ she confided.

Fair enough, I thought, and not at all difficult to achieve. University was, I dimly remember, a place uniquely well-stocked with potential boyfriends in my young day, several millennia ago – though, looking back on it, I’m not sure how many were nice.

‘Why do you want a boyfriend?’ Child One asked her. Child One has already informed me that my example has put her off men for life.

‘I want to get married straight after university, so that I’ll never have to get a job,’ said Child Two blithely.


Has it come to this? And what have I done? It’s all very well for Child One to forswear men – frankly, it’s a relief, as she is already ridiculously gorgeous and I am not looking forward to the succession of ghastly pimply suitors who will inevitably besiege Divorce Towers, as not one of them – NOT ONE, do you hear – will ever be good enough for my perfect, lovely girl. But for Child Two to be hoping to lasso a mealticket when she is still just a speck of a thing is, quite honestly, extremely disturbing. Was it for this that Emily Davison threw herself under the king’s horse at the 1913 Derby? Did the Pankhursts chain themselves to all those horrid cold railings in vain? Was Andrea Dworkin strapping on those dungarees for nothing??

But, before asking those big questions, I had to check something with Child Two. ‘You do know that Mummy works, don’t you, darling?’ I trilled. Well, it’s true. In between surfing eBay, writing this blog, fretting about my dearest darling True Love, ferrying the little dears to their bassoon classes and searching in the undergrowth for imaginary pumas (see Beast of Herne Hill and Guardian Angels entries) I have been known to knock out the odd thought-provoking article.

‘Yes, I know you work,’ said Child Two, in ‘more fool you’ tones. ‘But lots of Mummies don’t. Like X, Y and Z. And A, B and C. And they seem to have a really nice time. They shop,’ said Child Two wistfully.

‘I’m sure they do, darling. But it’s nice to do something really useful with your life, too,’ I said, bracingly, as I juggle my eBay bids. I have two promisingly cheap indoor rabbit hutches on the go.

‘I think shopping is very useful. Isn’t everyone sad because no-one is shopping enough at the moment?’

I cannot fault this excellent analysis of the current economic downturn – so much more concise than any of those endless economics editors on Newsnight. Ah well, if I can see my darling Child Two as the saviour of the British economy, I suppose I can reconcile myself to her total lack of interest in anything even resembling a career.

But it does bring it all home. I so don’t want my babies to start dating. Love can be a painful business. I’m not sure I can sit and watch my own dear treasures making this discovery for themselves. I make a mental note that I must start laying in stocks of Kleenex for the darlings – and, for their swains, a nice big Khalashnikov.

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  • Pig in the Kitchen September 30, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Well…that’s a conversation stopper isn’t it?? Post-feminism gone bonkers. Too funny!

    And i’m right with you, no-one can be good enough for our girls. You made me shudder with your pimply teenager scenario, eeeewwww.

  • rosiero September 30, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Just wait till the pimply boyish-looking boyfriends turn up with a fast car to take your beloveds on a date. It makes you go grey overnight!!!

  • blogthatmama September 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    What about those terrible, too cool for school witches that are going to break my poor sensitive boys’ hearts? I’ve seen them just around the corner.

  • DulwichDivorcee October 1, 2008 at 11:59 am

    It was a jaw-drop moment, Piggy! I am still actually quite shocked when I think about it ….and remember all those teenage boys we fought off at discos? They’ll be lunging at our daughters next!

  • DulwichDivorcee October 1, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Oh no, no, no, not pimplies in fast cars, Rosiero! I can’t bear it …..I’m sure they’ll look as though they ought to still have bikes with stabilisers. Do you let your daughter go on dates?

  • DulwichDivorcee October 1, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    On the contrary, Blogthatmama, our lovely daughters will be teaching your boys the true meaning of poetry ….possibly by breaking their hearts, it’s true, but still, omelettes do have to be made …..But maybe we should just arrange some nice blog marriages to spare all our children the heartbreak. How old are your boys??

  • blogthatmama October 1, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    What a matchmaking Jane Austen moment! The nice one, Danny Boy, has declared himself a communist since he saw black people living on one side of the street in ‘tin cans’, as he put it and whites on the other in smart bungalows on our recent African holiday – he’s 13 in January, he has a talent for poetry. The Terminator bartered street sellers down on their necklaces and then tried to re-sell them to other vendors – not so nice – he’s nearly 10. I won’t list his talents, it will put you off…Blogthatmamax

  • Hadriana's Treasures October 2, 2008 at 2:51 am

    I went out with a nice boy from Uni for 10 years…thinking it was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately the wheels, the tracks and the loco fell apart (and that was just me!) so wouldn’t venture too much down that road. A bit of variety comes in useful either that or buy ’em a convent with a moat!! Good investment for these times…

  • DulwichDivorcee October 6, 2008 at 4:17 am

    BTM, I think we’re on! Your Danny Boy sounds a total joy, my Child One is 13 in October but I think an older woman has a certain glamour, n’est-ce pas? As for your little Terminator, sounds an intriguing match for my Child Two, plus about a year younger. Still, we could give it a whirl!?

  • DulwichDivorcee October 6, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Dearest Hadriana, I’m liking that moat idea, though slightly pressed for space at Divorce Towers …mmm, will have to see if I can move the trampoline …..xx

  • Susanna January 24, 2009 at 1:58 am

    I cry with laughter every time I come here…

    One of my daughters wants to be a Princess Hairdresser, and the othe wants to write on the Internet like mummy.

    Just getting around to putting this on London Mums, should be up this week.