Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OMG! I've become one of THOSE women!

The other week I was sitting in the last day of class in my Cert III in Children's Services and the teacher had organised for a rep from an agency to come and speak with us about signing up. The rep was very encouraging, but made a point of stating that there were minimum standards for being eligible to work for the agency and we would be required to undergo a double pronged interview process whereby we'd be pre-interviewed over the phone and having successfully passed that interview we'd be invited to attend their offices in South Yarra and undergo a more formal interview and subsequent induction, assuming we met their requirements.

I immediately thought, oh no! I need much more professional clothing for all of this! LOL - priorities!

Then she said they required all their staff to have a minimum of Certificate III in Children's Services and with that First Aid, Anaphylaxis and AT LEAST 80 hours experience in childcare settings. Luckily, we'd all ticked all those boxes.

Then she told us we'd need a Resumé tracking back 5 years of employment...

Uh-oh!

I tentatively put my hand up, "Ok, so do you get a lot of applicants who have been stay at home mums for many years?"

"Yes, we do, but just being a mum doesn't qualify you to work with us, you have to show you've worked with children other than your own, either through paid employment or voluntary work"...

Ok, I can tick that box, too, but notice how she assumed I meant women who HADN'T trained to be children's services workers, when actually I meant women who had been OUT OF THE WORKFORCE for many years...

That's when I realised, I'm one of THOSE women! By "those" I mean, the stigmatised, "Oh, she's only been a mum for many years now, she's deskilled, not valuable to us anymore..." I'd become the kind of woman that I - in my own mind, shame on me - actually thought of as a bit *old*, a bit *wet*, a bit *faded*!

How on earth did that happen? I ask, especially, because, well I'm turning 39 this year - which also seems old to me - and I just don't feel OLD, or WET, or FADED! I feel more on top of my game now than I did when I was (apparently) a vibrate 20 something!~

Hasn't society caught up? Haven't we progressed past the idea of women losing their shine the moment they give up work to care for children. More to the point, how could *I* think like that and then not realise that was *ME* I was lumpinig in with all the middle-aged housewives... LOL, jokes on me, I guess!

1 comment:

katef said...

I had one of those moments last year when I realised that I no longer new anyone to give me a professional reference.... which I must be 'just a mother and a housewife'.... he he he

Teenagers and the failing parent...