Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Doing a Monica

So we are in the cheese aisle in Sainsburies. Sproglette is covered - I mean covered - in biscuit gunk and is hollering as she cannot stand how laid back the bloody kid seats are in the trollies. Agree with her actually - can't they just raise the damn things two inches? I mean two inches aint much is it? She strains her neck to nosey at other folk's trollies - as she has to know everything. Must get it from her Father. Sproglet was demanding to go to the car as 'I am tirrrreeeddd.' My god, he has morphed into a tweenager overnight. Sulky - check. Stroppy - check. Zits - not yet. Anyway, there we where in the cheese aisle, having another 'debate' about money - about whether or not we should go Belfast at the end of the month as if we don't I won't get 'home' this year... But as my Dad STILL hasn't spoken to me since I sent him a letter at the start of June - is there any point?

But I want to go, to take the kids to my other families, to see the sea, to relax, to have some help with the bairns. But that isn't really relevant. Because it all came down to cash. Lack of. Air prices are crazy and it just seems a lot of cash for a wee one hour flight. For 4 people now. Husband muttered that he has to shoulder all the financial responsibilities at the mo and shouldn't I really be thinking about heading back to work, even if it was full time?? All of a sudden I felt hot tears prickle at the edge of my eyes. There, he'd said it. It was time to get back to work. All out in the open now.

He doesn't seem to get my industry at all. That my friends who were script eds have had to put in punishing hours in their subsequent jobs - post soap that we all worked on together - as working in TV production is LONG hours and no one gives a stuff about your child care issues at all. They don't have kids, so they can do this. Even though they hated it. So you can either give your life over to telly, and accept it, or dry your eyes and move on to new pastures. One ed moved oop north for 3 months and barely saw her Husband. She had one day off every two weeks and often filmed until 2am. She was exhausted and stressed and hundreds of miles from home. I admire her as I simply couldn't do it. It is impossible for me.

So as Husband picks up a ball of mozzarella and announces that I should go back to work, I want to scream at the top of my lungs 'I fucking want to go back to work but I have no idea how to!!!!!!'

Next day I visited a good buddy and old colleague of mine (from said soap) and ended up crying on her shoulder. Poor woman had only invited me over for lunch and a gossip and there I was asking her to solve my life problems for me. She told me to either A. Get a job - any job. 'The kind where, when folk at parties ask you what you do, and you tell them, their eyes will glaze over...' OR B. Get a nanny at a huge cost and give your life over to the devil. I mean TV. Then hope at the end of it that the TV company will reward you with a cushy little development job part time. She then said 'what about your blog, can't you somehow make that a job for yourself?' It made me think of the wonderful Monica Bielanko, who has realised her dream to write for a living and now writes for Babble amongst others...

Bless my friend, she has no idea that I have a small, but amazingly loyal audience and that not that many folk know I am here. Meanwhile, Mum blogger that I was cyber introduced to sent me links to all kinds of blogging events for Mums and it made me realise there are MILLIONS OF US OUT THERE!! I aint special! I mean half these women tweet nonsense about 'we are all wonderful in god's eyes' and 'great picnic today, now what for tea' which makes me want to open a vein - preferably theirs. I have no clue how to 'publicise' myself - (bloggers as great as Monica don't have to) and it also makes me feel a bit icky. Like, I write this for me, and well you guys, but not for the sole plan of getting more readers. I started it in 2008 - as I was so freakin' lonely I just wanted one other person to say to me 'yeah, I get it, I feel like you.' I felt so guilty for not loving motherhood with all my heart, I jsut wondered if anyone else felt like me. You know, freakish. Anyway, it is a nice idea - but even the thought of having to 'tweet' regularly makes my heart thump with the sheer PRESSURE of it all. Be funny. NOW doggy - jump!!!

So what to do, what to do. I feel like Husband just sent me on some Indiana Jones style holy grail discovery trek. A trek through countless rejection letters, media wankers, endless harping about 'favourite writers' and 'loving your show' (when in reality I watched half an ep on You Tube) futile meeting after futile meeting, sipping badly made tea or crap coffee and endlessly smiling and bolstering egos of tired execs, as people laugh in the face of the girl who wants 'part time work - in telly!!!' Yes, good joke, ha ha. Oh sorry, you were serious??' In truth there isn't even a single British Drama I'd like to work on (some are good of course, but just not my thang). Honestly - nothing excites me on TV at the mo... Except drama from the US - they always do it best. Or maybe the Danes. (Desperate to see The Killing - desperate! The Danish version I mean). So do I want to give up my life and never see my kids for a job on a series that I hate, just for my CV? In the hope it will lead to good things... And how on earth would that work with my kids and Husband working nights?

When I try to explain to any people in my industry what I am after - they all look at me as if I have asked for Brad Pitt's hand in marriage. It aint gonna happen. Not when Angelina is a super mum who looks super hot AND manages to take her brood for a painting session at some cute 'Art For Fun' type place in swanky Richmond. In heels. With no vomit on her shoulder or make-up running down her face. You see what I want, what would work for me and the family - the nightmare gang in the friggin cheese aisle - it just doesn't exist.

So now what? Would I love to 'do a Monica'? You betcha. But it aint likely, as these US bloggers get major traffic to their blogs and that is why folk love 'em. And also - they are damn talented writers to boot. That goes without saying. I don't quite know what to do.

So, back in the aisle. I picked up some red leicester cheese and marched on, my hands shaking, white knuckles holding the crappy list that takes me hours to do - when I do the sodding 'meal planner' every Saturday morning and try and work out meals for Sproglet 'I don't like that', Sproglette *slams mouth shut and refuses to eat any jar or packet - only freshly cooked mush for madame* and myself. In that moment I feel such fear, such terror of what is expected of me, and how the hell I will ever achieve it, I feel sick. Cheese aisle and nausea - not a good combo.

We finish the shop in silence. This feels like my burden to work out. Not his. I stare out the window on the journey home, as Sproglet demands a drink, Sproglette howls with hunger and I howl too, just on the inside.

1 comment:

Keenie Beanie said...

Oh, CM, I have no great advice to give you. I just wanted you to know that I understand your frustration. I'm sorry it is so difficult and that you feel alone in this particular journey, rather than part of a team with your husband. Though, truly, I know what that feels like too.

My one small piece of buttinsky advice: it seems to me, as I've read your blog over the past couple of years, that any real passion for the TV business has long since fled your psyche, so I'm not sure that throwing yourself back into that demanding (demoralizing?) career is the best move. Are you sure there isn't some other, any other, field (as your IRL friend suggested) in which you can find gainful employment? One that truly allows some kind of work-life balance?

Hugs to you - I hope you can suss a solution to your dilemma.