Motherhood, Work/Life Balance, and David Beckham’s Pants

First published in The Portsmouth News, 29/04/14


Last week, Victoria Beckham turned 40. The media got in on the celebratory mood and printed photos galore of how she has changed over the years; and change she has.

From normal Spice Girl (an oxymoron) to fashion designer, VB has morphed into a memory of her former self. And I am intrigued to note that she also seems, in recent photographs, to be attempting something that facially resembles a smile.

At the end of her fashion shows, VB creeps out from behind an edamame bean, looking not unlike Morticia Addams, the corner of her mouth twitching at an opposing angle to that of her jutting hipbone. The overall effect is still one of a small mammal trying hard to expel wind, but brownie points to her for trying.

In the years since we have known Posh, she has sported myriad horrendous hairstyles (I feel a kinship with her), and she has shaped her life around trying to juggle work with children. Again, I feel a kinship. (Although, I admit, not on the scale of an international popstar turned seamstress.)

Once upon a time, before my ovaries began pulsating circa 2005, I had a career. I worked full-time after I had India, and by 2008 I was a Head of Department. I was driving 40 miles a day to and from work, writing my second book for a well-known publisher, and pregnant with my second child. Then I gave birth.

“I can always stay home and look after the girls,” my husband lied, smoothly, as I penned my resignation. Subsequently his career, due to having been bestowed with a pair of testicles whilst in the womb, has soared. Mine on the other hand, stalled.

Fortunately I was able to tutor part-time and I wouldn’t change my years at home with my girls for anything. However, it’s hard work being the person who gives up independent sentience, thriving off the buzz of work, in order to wipe bums and clean pants.

Interestingly now that I am back at work, I am still Chief Wiper of Bottomsville, and High Governess of Pant Cleaning. Funny that. Obviously I have sprouted an extra hand from my posterior in order to help me juggle my career, home and life.

Something tells me that VB sees very little dirty washing, but then again, if it were David Beckham’s pants I was faced with, I probably wouldn’t be complaining.





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