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Time for Parenting...

...because raising children is a full-time job

May 2002 Newsletter

From the chair; New members write; Then and Now; A Mum's CV; Women's National Commission; What the papers say; What the committee does

What does the committee do?

Kerry Chodera - mailing/leaflets

What I do for FTM

After trying to establish a local group several times near by to where I lived without success, I felt I should at least help with the admin. of FTM even if I did live far away from the centre of things in London.

Here's what I do:

- send welcome letters to new members together with a copy of the current Newsletter and any leaflets they might request
- send letters and a recent Newsletter to enquirers who would like to know more about FTM before they decide to join
- send subscriptions, donations and standing order mandates on to Pat, our Treasurer
- send membership forms to Janeen in Salisbury who maintains Full Time Mothers expanding database
- write e-mails to Maura in Didcot listing members who would like to be included on our next Contact Spot in the Newsletter
- post the new members' slips to Alison in Inverness so that she can include opinions of new members in the next Newsletter

I've had lots to do recently with many new members joining after Full Time Mothers recent association with Natural Parenting magazine.

February and March are busy times with members' subscription forms coming in thick and fast. My part is made infinitely easier by Sandra Smith-Gordon who does a wonderful job of picking-up and sorting through mail received in our PO Box and ordering everything very methodically before sending it off to the relevant person to deal with.

What FTM does for me!

I like being in a group with a common goal and although I don't really meet with like-minded women very often, I do feel part of the general community of mothers. I like the contact I have with other FTM members through the mailing that I do and with members on the committee whom I e-mail and talk to on the phone from time to time.

Although I'm attending a full-time art course I still feel more like a full-time mother as my two children (aged 10 and 7) come first. This means that I'm there at school time and home time, holidays, evenings, weekends and periods of sickness. I'm doing a course because I know the time will come one day when my two will not need me in quite the same way as they do now, and I have to prepare for that.

My motivation is the overwhelming love of my children, and a desire to maintain and develop our family life together and despite the above sounding rather done and dusted, my present way of life has been forged out of several struggles. When I was at college (the first time) I assumed a career was important and that children could be fitted around one. Status and money were the requirements of success, I thought.

After actually working for a few years, I wondered what all the fuss was about, and when I eventually had our children I realised I did not want anyone else to look after them for me. I was doubtful about my ability to be a good mother particularly as my own mother left our family when I was quite young. Happily for me there grew a strong bond between myself and each of my children.

I found having young children was very physically demanding and socially isolating. I have suffered from depression like many mothers and the indignity of family break-up. After experiencing our family split apart and the sad effects it had on our children I could appreciate all the more the benefits of a two parent family when we were eventually able to reconcile. Now I'm viewing family life as a short phase that I should savour knowing that life moves on and our children will grow up.

The growing injustice of the tax and benefits system makes me angry and being a member of FTM gives me hope that things might change eventually for my daughter at least.