THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis
So, I get asked all the time “What do you do now that you don’t work?” and it got me thinking…out of all the jobs I have done in the past, there is one in particular that I favour, that began when I was in my 20’s.
All my training was on the job. I was thrown in at the deep end, being made managing director of a company that grew steadily. The daily tasks were endless, often thankless and initially involved the jobs nobody else wanted to do. Don’t even get me started on the pay…
I endured 18 hour shifts, sustained only by prayer and toast. I took multitasking to a whole new level, managing to make lunch, whilst speaking to an older person within the company on the phone, who was asking advice about their medication, interspersed with me barking orders to the new recruit as I Googled the symptoms of gout…
I learned the art of negotiation, particularly between those who had been a part of the company since the beginning and those who joined later , trying and often failing, to get the best deal for everybody involved.
Back then, I studied nutrition in great detail and can now tell anyone the calorific content of most foods, much to the annoyance of my children and other customers in the queue at Costa (other coffee shops are available):
“450 calories for a muffin?! You could have 9 apples for that instead!”
Recently, the company changed as the client base grew. I now attend occasional counselling sessions, listening to the tears of my clients as they explain how unkind other people can be and how annoying their parents are.
I developed ninja like reflexes, due to years of unexpected visitors onsite, where I would “case” a joint, as in throw into a suitcase, the entire contents of a room; these only being discovered again when I took annual leave.
I have regularly attended evaluation meetings with Mr Cadbury, often going on late into the evening during which I would question every decision of the day, often ending with me feeling more wretched and unable to maintain my position.
You won’t find any of this experience on a CV, even though on paper, it looks impressive.
Being a mother is the toughest, most rewarding job I have ever had; I have so much respect for single mothers, who have all the same challenges that I have, but without the support of a partner…even more amazing are the single mums who work…I genuinely don’t know how they do it. Some of my closest friends are in this position and often, when another ridiculous scenario comes up, we get together and drink our cups of tea and eat chocolate Hobnobs (other biscuits are available) and encourage each other that we are doing okay.
Whatever type of Mum you are, whether it’s one who is super organised or super scatty, who always cooks from scratch or always cooks from frozen, whether you have an additional job, or are “just” a mother, be encouraged…you are doing a great job.
Unpaid. But worth it.