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Sunday, 21 January 2007

Mrs not Ms

Every month I attend a board meeting with the Top Man from our organisation and every other strategic person in the company. We all sit around a perfectly smooth and shiny French polished table keen to give the impression that we know our place.

Every month, at the outset of the meeting, the minutes from last month are scrutinised for flaws. The harassed Personal Assistant to the TM 'jumps to it' with her spring backed note book and her pencil.

Month after month I am referred to as 'Ms' and not 'Mrs' in the attendance list.

'I am Mrs' I have wanted to tell them, but they assumed (I know) that if I am at work, I have left my family behind, and they don't want to know my marital status or that I have children. My family and lovely husband define me - so yesterday - I had enough, and I pointed it out!

'Actually, Heidi - I am Mrs Alleyn-Ruskin-Guinness'.

TM put his nose in the air purposefully, lifted his glasses and asked:

'Is that significant?'

'Yes it is', I said, without justifying myself further.

If he knew the manipulative lengths I took to ensure that James proposed to me, he would understand, but a board meeting is just not the place. Being James' wife is one of my proudest achievements to date and if I feel cheeky enough at one of our various social events, I will tell TM why.

Not only am I a Mrs, but I am a mature, graduate, high achieving aspirational mother - I stress about everything - from school selection interviews, organic vegetables and phonics to fish oils and vaccinations. If I don't turn up for work on time one morning - it is because my family will always take priority over work.

I am one of a newly evolving breed of mum - (hey, not mature) a vintage mum, I suppose a posh mum and part of an international phenomena 'The Dulwichmum'.

Oh dear, has Dulwichmum has hit a nerve?

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