Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hello and Welcome!

I've moved my blog to Wordpress.

Please visit me there for all the great articles and writing on this site, and more!

© Naomi Madelin

Friday, May 3, 2013

Is Motherhood Worthy of Your CV?

At a party tonight I introduced a friend to a colleague.  When my colleague asked my friend what she did, she told her she was 'taking some time out at the moment.'  I interjected and explained that this busy, brilliant lady was currently the full-time mother of two energetic under-fives. "But it's not something you put on your CV," was the response.

Why down play motherhood?  If we were really 'taking time out;, we'd be on our back soaking up the sun in Rarotanga or the Maldives, or climbing Ben Nevis just for the hell of it, wouldn't we? Why the hell shouldn't we put 'Full Time Mother' on our CV?

Later on I mentioned this comment to my husband, who immediately agreed that Full Time Mother wasn't something that was relevant to a CV.

Well, as a pretty much full-time mother myself, this met with short shrift.  I was, frankly, shocked.

His argument was that if you're, say, an engineer, then putting motherhood on your CV isn't relevant.  In fact his words were something along the lines of "You don't put down that you've only been a mother for the past few years... Most mothers are dreadful."

Yes, and most marriages end in divorce, if you get my drift...

But seriously and without plunging off into a furious rant, should Full Time Mother appear on a CV, and if so, why?

What does it mean to be a full-time mum?

1/ Commitment
You are someone who can show full commitment.  One hundred per cent. You know what it is to give your all, and when the moment calls for it, you can be counted on.

2/ Nurturing
You care about others. You are prepared to sit and listen. You notice strengths and encourage them, you notice weakness and help others overcome them.

3/ Support
You are the backbone of your family. When the paycheck is small, you budget to feed your family and make ends meet. When someone is sad you comfort them. When help is needed, you find and ask for it.

4/ Discipline
If you don't discipline, your world comes tumbling around you. You understand the value of a strong, fair hand.

5/ Sacrifice
You have given up your personal dreams outside of having children to care for and nurture them, to support your partner if you have one, and to hold the family together through thick and thin.  When someone has to get up in the night, it's usually you.  You cook the meals, make the packed lunches and let your partner fulfil his or her career dreams while yours wait in the sidelines.

6/ Compromise
Closely linked to sacrifice.  You compromise your wants for your childrens' needs.  You compromise your dreams for your partner's career. You give up all thoughts of a 50/50 childcare split when your partner's career takes off and tell yourself 'my time will come.'


So why put Full Time Mother on your CV. Clearly being a Full Time Mum has no bearing on any other walk of life you may choose to be involved in.  Does it?

I think the one clear and outstanding reason for putting Full Time Mother on your CV and expecting an employer to respect you for it, and take it into serious consideration, is point 5 -Sacrifice.  Why, after being a Full-Time-Mum, are you now looking for a job?  Because it's time for YOU again.  Because you don't want to scrimp and save for your gym membership or that new pair of shoes.  Because you'd like to meet some adults who aren't your friends AFTER your children met their children.  What does this mean to an employer?  It means you are COMMITTED. It means your heart and your soul and a good deal of your sense of self worth will be enmeshed in this job, and in the way you do it.  It means that you ARE NOT going to waste a single minute of your precious, precious time farting about on Facebook, but will spend every moment proving yourself to you and anyone else who cares to notice. You will do a damned good job and will be worth every penny (which is why they should damned well pay you a fair wage).

Yes, it might mean you have to rush off every once in a while to tend a sick child. But bet your bottom dollar you'll be giving more than most for every minute you're at work.

Motherhood. Put it on your CV.

Here are some handy links to articles on this very subject, including tips on exactly how to play The Motherhood Element when applying for a job.

Check out this quote from this brilliant article:
"My son is dyslexic and required  educational support when younger, but my business/family stress was finally reduced  when he discovered as a teenager,  that dyslexia is an anagram for “daily sex”. That helped with his learning difficulty more than anything I ever did."

This one talks about HOW and WHEN it's appropriate to include our parenting skills on a CV. I love the part where she talks about the coaching she gave to female artists to re-frame their descriptions of themselves.  I absolutely do this - "I'm a mother to two under fives, but three days I work part-time...."    
She also says:
"A small (but related) digression: In my search for images to illustrate this column, “working mothers with children” yielded numerous photos of mothers with babies, a few mothers with toddlers, and mothers with young children – at a laptop or on the phone, but always in a home office. The images were even labeled as such, specifying “home office.” 
YES! In my own search for a photo for this blog post, I was struck by all the photos of mothers holding children while working on a laptop - doing both, or neither - or looking completely frazzled. I opted for a photo I found googling "working women" and not "working mother" at all.  

And finally, just a few good, practical tips.

© Naomi Madelin 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cold April - A Poem

Way back when I was still at school I had a bit of a thing for iambic pentameter for a while, and sonnets.

This isn't a sonnet, nor is it completely faithfully in iambic pentameter wither.  However, I remember well when I wrote it - another cold April, snow among other things...

bland white moments of loneliness i ponder
a concentrated mind allowed to wander
wings its way to far, distorted scenes -
mere creations of these frightened dreams?

tired eyes pursue each short mortality
imagination lost and reaching for reality
the sweet snow falls, these reveries to take -
your face reflected in each transient flake

© Naomi Madelin 1989 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Haiku Tea II - Linked Verse

I've had a great few weeks getting involved with a Haiku group over on Google Plus.

I watched and waited for a while, then thought "hey, I may as well plunge in and see what happens." Well, what happened was, I wrote some haiku!  It's been a while and this was a great way to get me thinking creatively again, paying attention to the small things and taking my time.

I was pleased to take part in the second of a now-ongoing series of linked poetry collaborations. In a given order we were each to write a haiku using the last line of the previous poem as our first.

This was the result of Haiku Tea II:

life has scattered seeds
waits for the memories to
grow into longing                                         Shashi

grow into longing
to relive past victories
to feel youth's passion                               Bob Hartwig

to feel youth's passion
to bring back things lost, many
many like flowers                                       Craig Volney

many like flowers
tap muddy feet, delighting
one crimson petal                                      Carolyn St Charles

one crimson petal
open wide, drink up the sun
now, tis time for fun                                   Jamer Nicolls

now, tis time for fun
and profound reflections with
tender threnodies...                                    Berteena Gaines

tender threnodies --
life's strewn seeds yielded thorns
will hope succumb?                                   Gracy Dsouza

will hope succumb?
your freedom starts at dry grounds
take it, keep walking!                                  Anna Liniacka &

take it keep walking...
it is about the journey
the road less travelled                                A.M. Frasier

the road less travelle
to where it stands, Singular,
calling the Walker                                       Gabri Rigotti &

calling the Walker...
waiting for the memories
to help me forget                                         Jim Williams

to help me forget
greener grasses, purple haze
colour yesterday                                          John Belchamber &

colour yesterday
thoughts so haunting
travelling through the air                            Tammy Wright

travelling through the air
my soul searches for love, peace
savouring the view                                      Steve Yagyagan

savouring the view
I pretend the clouds are hills
on the horizon                                              Jessica Baehr

on the horizon
dawn births the egg of fire
to sear the sky pink                                     Joe Nicholas &

to sear the sky pink
with reflections of tall birds
flaming with bright love                              Francis JA

flaming with bright love -
gazing at strangers
in this familiar photograph                        Naomi Madelin

in this familiar photograph
memories lap at your feet :
a forever flow of holy green                      Omuhuvah Otido &

all writers retain copyright of their work

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Mr Chompy Incident

If you're looking for the name for a band, you could do worse than "Mr Chompy", or "The Mr Chompy Incident" if you fancy.

So I've run a lovely bubbly bath for the two little Miss Madelins, and Miss 5 has stripped off and I'm about to help her in when she throws a completely unexpected and totally genuine fit because, apparently, Mr Chompy - the invisible chomping monster, is in there. It's true, she says, because she dreamt it. Seriously - this is a child who is not known for her tantrums. In fact, in Helensville, New Zealand, where she was born, she was famous for NOT throwing tantrums. (Oh boy, were my friends smug when number two came along - the chubby loud one!) Eventually, after many Mr Chompy checks in which my hand WAS NOT EATEN OFF. Including one check in which I pretented that Mr Chompy had got me and was trying to pull my arm down the plug hole (did NOT go down well - sense of humour failure on the part of my usually-humourful daughter), I persuaded Miss 5 into her bath.

Now for Miss 3. OH HO! She will throw a tantrum at the best of times, but with the introduction of MR CHOMPY (thanks a lot, Miss 5) she was going to throw a doozy.

In short, I got very wet. The bathroom got very wet. Miss 3 got very swiftly washed and hauled out of her bath, un-chomped, and Miss 5 gloomily 'enjoyed' having the tub to herself for five minutes. Naturally having taken ten minutes to get into the bath, she then did not wish to leave and it was, allegedly, "NOT FAIR" that I wouldn't pretend that she was a dolphin...

Never a dull day.

So - it's me on vocals, who's on keyboard?

(c) Naomi Madelin

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