It’s 6.45pm

And I remember why I got sick for two weeks.

Here I am in the office, surrounded by emptiness, coming up to the end (I hope) of another 13 hour day. I do three or four of these a week, including my home office time. Between now and Christmas I will be lucky to get two weekends off-duty.

And I love my job (I really do) and I need the money (god knows I need the money) but I can’t help but be peeved that yet again my ‘boss’ went home at 5.00pm and I am still here, having started at 6.00am. Again. At least he’s given up making snuffy noises when I arrive in the (city)office (as opposed to the home office) at 9.45am, after getting the kids fed and ready for the day.

You know what really pisses me off though? A friend of mine who stopped paid work some time ago with a generous redundancy payout, whose choice to spend time looking after her kids and making strange art I have never questioned, was really rude to me the other day when I said how many hours I spend at work (about 60 or 70, here and home).

Not rude as in “you shouldn’t work so hard”, or rude as in “you should spend more time with your kids” – these are both acceptable criticisms I direct at myself constantly and try to balance with home-based work and taking time-in-lieu during school holidays wherever possible.

No, she was rude as in (scoffing laugh) “You don’t work that hard. Ha! As if!!”

It’s been niggling away at me, that scoffing doubt. I don’t quite know why it’s bothered me so much but it has, and I keep telling people about it and I thought I may as well do a quick blog and see if I can excorcise the niggle while waiting for an email to arrive before I can go home.

So why did she say it like that? Does she think I was pretending, or showing off? It only came up as a casual response to something else.

Does she feel defensive because she’s ‘only’ looking after her kids and making strange art? I’ve never expressed anything but sisterhood and envy (okay, maybe occasionally pointed envy, but I’m a guilt-wracked working mother, I can’t be a saint every day too).

Is she just a bitch? No. Definitely not. She’s kinda sweet and a bit wacky and I can’t believe she’d have said it on purpose to hurt.

Was she pissed? Well, derr, of course she was: I don’t keep sober friends.

Is it just me being guilt-wracked, unsaintly, self-doubting, obsessive and unkind?

Aaaaaaaah. Yes. That feels better.

Niggle exorcised. Essential email has arrived. I’m goin’ HOME.


PS – did you see Britney and Heidi Klum gave birth to baby boys on the same day? Kim – over to you for snarky compare and contrast!