Forgive me while I procrastinate….

I feel like quitting at least 167 times a week. And right now is one of those quitting moments. I look at the pile of to do lists on my table (one of my to dos is to collate my to do lists) and nothing on them looks in the least bit appealing. Or important in fact. I’ve got that ‘meh’ feeling and I just can’t conjure up the necessary gazumpf to get started on anything today, and yet the ‘Mother’s guilt’ is making me feel uncomfortable with having some much needed down time. So the day fritters away. As does the next.

In fact in general I only seem to be able to get motivated at 10 to 5 on a Thursday, which is precisely 50 minutes before I need to leave to pick my children up from nursery for the final time each week. It’s amazing how productive I am for that 50 minutes… just a shame I couldn’t have tapped into that productivity for the previous 3 days.

Now or Later

(iStockphoto)

The trouble is that once I get back to my house having dropped the children off at nursery on a Tuesday (I say that casually, it’s usually a battle that lasts two hours and leaves me looking like I’ve just come out of a couple of rounds with a balrog*) I either feel like collapsing back into bed and sleeping for 3 days, eating chocolate (for 3 days), watching telly (for 3 days), having a loooong bath (for 3 days) or all of the above (in as much as they can all be combined) (for 3 days).

And why can’t I think of a single thing to do in that first few minutes of my working week? Even my umpteen to do lists don’t seem to point me towards the thing I really do need to do this week leaving me to realise that I need to do it at precisely 4:50pm on a Thursday.

Me post balrog

Me post balrog. I.e. approximately 9:15 a.m. on a Tuesday.

I think the issue is down to the fact that children are draining, both physically and mentally so we can be left in a state of mental and physical paralysis the minute we actually get the time to catch up. For me, mindfulness and yoga are key. In fact I was sent a useful link on mindfulness the other week. I shall dig it out and schedule 300 reminders to look at it first thing on my next working day. Unless I get distracte…

*the big fiery thing that Gandalf fought in Lord of the Rings

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The art of present buying (for those of you who haven’t a clue)

If you’re struggling in the run up to V-day then look no further for some top notch present buying hints and tips..

Hovering Close to Insanity

There are those people who have a talent for present buying, and there are those people who think presents are a bit of a nuisance. This post is targeted at the latter.

First things first. I am a heterosexual girl so this is very much written aimed at a male significant others. That said, the points are fairly general, so whoever you are you should find some nugget of inspiration for that special present giving occasion. Read on my people, read on.

The fourteen (yes fourteen, get over it) basic rules are:

1. If you think you should possibly be getting someone a present, then you definitely should be

2. Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, Valentine’s day and Mothering Sunday are present-buying occasions

3. The sorts of presents a person gives shows what they would like to receive

4. Girls like to be spoilt

5. Buying someone more than one present is perfectly normal and…

View original post 2,171 more words

An Open Letter to the BBC on Gender Bias

Dear BBC

There are plenty of things that annoy me about our society but there is one thing that really gets my goat and that’s inequality. As a female IT nerd person it is the gender inequality strain of this that affects me the most. And today my rage is pointing firmly towards you. Why is it that in 2015 we still can’t get females equally represented in BBC broadcasting? I am, of course, talking about the shameful display of gender inequality in the CBeebies program the Octonauts.

This sexist fleet of under water heroes is the current obsession of my three year old girl/boy twins and in turn it is a current obsessional annoyance of my own that the 3 main protagonists in it are all male. The program starts off thus:

Octonauts to your stations!
Barnacles! (male)
Kwazii! (male)
Peso! (male)
Ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba ba ba, ba-ba-ba ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba ba ba!
Ba ba-ba-ba-ba…  (you get the idea)

Bam! Right from the get go we’re shoving three male heroes in our kids’ faces. Why did you decide to make all of them male? Why is the most highly educated Octonaut, Professor Inkling, male? And indeed, why is that only 2 of the 7 gendered characters (the Vegimals appear to be gender neutral) female? The only female characters that appear in the program are Dashy, who apparently ‘oversees operations ..monitors the computer systems and manages all ship traffic’, but in reality is seen taking the odd photo and pressing a few computer buttons occasionally. And Tweak, the ‘ship engineer’ who has the most annoyingly bad fake american(?) accent you’ve ever heard, making you want to kill her whenever she appears fleetingly to say “you got it Cap!” dutifully to Captain Barnacles. It seems you’ve tried to give the females non-gender biased (perhaps even ‘stereotypically male’) roles (computers and engineering) but in excluding them from the opening sequence and giving them less air time you’ve effectively relegated them in the ship’s hierarchy. It feels like you think you’re ticking diversification boxes by having females with techy jobs (and I’m not belittling those jobs), but why isn’t Captain Barnacle female? All you’ve got to do is lose the tache, give her a female voice and maybe a bit of hair and you’re done. Professor Inkling? Lose the tache! Do you see how easy it is? And surely it’s a no brainer to always have equal numbers of male and female characters?! I mean come on.

Our society needs more women in higher roles within organisations for it to work as well as it can and as a key source of education and influence it is the BBC’s responsibility to promote that through role models in your programmes. This is so obvious to me, and I’m astounded that in this day and age the BBC still fails to hit the mark. Through programmes like these you’re still setting poor stereotypes early on in a child’s life. If we can’t get it right there, what chance have we got of changing the order of things in society as a whole?

Please do better. Now cue the race and sexual orientation inequality police for their take on things.

Yours, Kate Woodroffe.
An infuriated Mother of boy/girl twins who is trying desperately (against the tide) to raise her children with equal expectations of what they can achieve.