It occurred to me recently that motherhood is a lot like my career in the law. When I was working as a junior lawyer in a large firm, my peers and I were entrusted with an even larger number of documents through which to trawl. We would find ourselves in a room with 200 boxes of paper to read and record. It was menial, it was tedious and regardless of how dreary the subject matter (the chemical components in freezer fluid, sale distribution of bricks) it required agonising attention to detail. Motherhood is much the same. Menial, sure; tedious, ditto, but turn your eye for one second and your child is eating a snail.
The hardest things about motherhood is that there are no weekends (like the law), late nights (like the law) but absolutely no chance of career progression -- unless you count grandparenthood which is no absolute for our generation and in any event, seems to entail minding the grandchildren anyway (in all families bar mine). But for all the downsides of a career in the law, there was always the annual Christmas Party. Sure, the smaller the firm the more likely it was to end with somebody dry-humping the receptionist on the dance floor, but there was much to love about those Christmas parties too. Dressing up, for one. Accessorising with Christine's rather than dusty documents (then) and pumpkin (now). A lovely drink; not too much, but just enough to make the evening fizzy fun.
And so, in the spirit of the Yule, a group of mothers and I are having our own Christmas party tonight. There won't be sex on the photocopier but there will be a chance to tinsel up, dissect our partners' psychological makeup (could be a law firm) and toast the end of a year hard worked. Can I suggest you and yours do the same.