Monday, April 09, 2007



So I have 'joined' Omega Women Untie because I'm not perfect, and I'm (trying to be) proud of it!

It was formed as a response to the self-labelled 'Alpha-Moms' - basically Type A women who do it all - career, family, and they do it so perfectly. Supposedly.

In the hyper-competitive 'mommy world' out there, it is somewhat of a relief to know there are other mothers, other women, out there who don't practise this multi-tasking perfectly. Rootie and Northern Girl coined the term 'Omega' moms in response to some recent articles on self-titled Alpha Moms that just tipped them over the edge.. the one who scheduled 'debriefing' time with her husband was what clinched it for NG, and I can tell you that floored me as well.

I don't know, we could have identified as Beta or Delta mums.. but Omega at the end of the greek alphabet denotes the ultimate contrast to Alpha, does it not? (Actually, so I've discovered, the term Omega literally means 'great'.. or 'o-great'... which I think is a delicious irony!)

So, I'm all signed up, because I can't cope with the Alpha yummy mummy types that make you feel inferior. Most of us have some areas that we acknowledge that we are doing ok in.. even doing GREAT in... and other areas in which we suck! These areas are different for all of us - the key is, we acknowledge that we can't do it all, and that that's OK!

So what's Omega about me?

Well, so far - for the past 14 years in fact - I've been a SAHM.. but I don't fit the domestic goddess mould of the classic stay at home mother. Oh, I've baked a few cakes and cookies in my time, and done a bit of help up at the school, but so inconsistently now I am sure I am talked about as being a slacko: "You'd think she could be up at the school more often.. she doesn't even WORK, and look at me, I work 4 days a week, and yet I come and help every Friday on my day off..."

I haven't worked since having the kids because for the last 10 years my husband has worked away a lot for his work - anything from a few nights to a few months at a time - and while I could have attempted to do the single parent working thing, I probably would have lost my sanity at the same time. (I've just about lost my sanity anyway!) I consider myself lucky that our financial situation has allowed me to not work - but at the same time I feel like a failure because I don't have a career.

I used to enjoy cooking, now I find it a chore. I loathe cleaning, and I'm crap at it. The house is out of control because while the husband and I aren't tidy freaks, the kids have just taken us over the edge- and, um, did I mention I hate cleaning!

I've refused to use star charts and the like for getting the children to do things, preferring to chip away at the idea that they will gradually absorb the concept of being contributing members to a household without being specifically rewarded for every little thing they do. So far that's not been an outstanding success, but I still can't face making the house like a classroom. And I'm so disorganised I couldn't keep track of pocket money tied to chores even if I wanted to! At any rate, we somehow managed to pass on 'smart' genes, and 'sporty' genes, so outside the house they look like high-achievers without too much alpha-input from us at all!

I'm a sook because while I didn't set out to be this way, I like being 'there' for the kids when they come home from school, and I'm still not ready for them (particularly the youngest) to be by themselves for hours after school. I'm the epitomy of the 'Mum's Taxi' brigade, because the kids do play a lot of sport and stuff after school (a reaction, I think, to the limitations put on what I was allowed to try as a kid), and anyway, where the hell would I find a 9-3 job round here? And what would I do? I've got a degree, but who would employ me?

But quite often I feel like we've gone overboard in the 'organised activities' and the kids don't know how to roam the neighbourhood and make their own fun. I now have been known to have to leave one or two at home while I drive another one to this, that or the other... so work that one out! I'm just full of contradictions.

I've had an 'average' struggle with my weight since having kids... Never a gym junkie, yummy mummy type, I never made the time to exercise obsessively when the kids were little - and I wasn't the body type that just lost the weight the minute I dropped the baby! I've mostly flirted with being around 10 kg "overweight", so I'm playing catch up now before it gets out of hand. I'm simply trying to combine a sensible weight loss with involving the whole family in the sort of activities that drew my husband and I together in the first place - hence Big bike rides that make us look like we're hyper-achievers when we really just like rising to a bit of a challenge and proving we can do it. (If 1000 others can, so can we!) And when you're doing that, you can eat whatever you damn well like without feeling guilty about it! There's a method to our madness.

So while I might seem obsessed about my weight at the moment, I am basically just wanting to get myself back into a 'normal weight range' for my height, for health reasons, and for my mental well-being. I've discovered that exercise endorphins are probably underrated in treatment for 'down' feelings, so if I can tap into that source, it's got to be cheaper than therapy!

I hate make up, high heels, perfume, bubble baths, long hair.. perhaps I should have been a bloke! I"m not even an alpha woman let alone an alpha mum!

And while I've been sitting here typing this up, I haven't put the washing on and it's already just about 1pm. We slept in again today.. what an Easter.. haven't got up before 9 am any day. The eldest needs new clothes (wish she'd stop growing, dammit!) but neither of us have shifted from the computer to go into the shops. I don't know what her excuse is.. but I've STILL got period cramps, so I'm having another non-multi-tasking sook day.

The other thing I want to mention is that of the other Omega women I 'know' so far (and I still have to catch up with others who have joined) each of them inspire me in some area of motherhood or womanhood. No, none of us are perfect, but we all still have a lot to be proud of!

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Yay you!Yay!
AS for the whole career thing- I've never had one either and sometimes wonder about it, but honestly, I'm too lazy to keep house and work.

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