I have a secret to reveal. One that I'm slightly embarrased about. In the last couple of years I've become a bit of a fan of one particular daytime TV programme. I've thankfully managed to avoid the Jeremy Kyle style shows, but instead have a bit of a weak spot for soaps and in particular the BBC's Doctors.
A bit of background if you're not familiar with it – Doctors is a lunchtime daily drama all about the goings on in two partner Doctors surgeries set in the fictional town of Letherbridge in the Midlands. There are several doctors working there, along with a couple of receptionists, a nurse, local police man (who happens to be married to one of the receptionists) and a few other family members. Each programme usually has a central storyline based (losely sometimes) around a medical issue. As you'd expect in a soap one of the doctors is married to the practice nurse, two other doctors are in a long term relationship and of course nothing in their lives is straight forward.
Now, you wouldn't normally find me writing about a soap, but the reason I want to draw attention to it is one ongoing storyline that they're currently running. In Doctors two of the doctors (Zara and Daniel) have just had a baby together. In the usual non-straightforward manner this baby was their last chance at IVF and baby Joe was also born 4 weeks premature in the middle of the doctors surgery! Where I'm finding it interesting is how they are covering Zara's transition from a career woman to a mummy.
We saw her dissolve into tears at the simplest of things whilst pregnant – not something that many hard-nosed career women imagine themselves doing, but something that all women who have been pregnant can relate to. Before having the baby she was convinced that she would return to work as soon as possible after the birth and that their baby would go straight into childcare. A period of forced maternity leave is proving to be tough for her. The lack of adult conversation during the day time, combined with disturbed sleep and a 4-week baby that won't follow a routine yet means she's currently climbing the walls.
A visit earlier this week to a parent and child group has shown her just how pushy some parents can be with their kids. I had to laugh when they had toddlers doing spanish lessons, but then I also know that it's something that is offered in local nurseries! Zara making a statement about how all babies need is "food, warmth and love" is something that I believe many new mums could do with remembering. There really is no need to have to enrole them in numerous activities, but at the same time many new parents do need to get out of the house and socialise with other adults for their own sanity.
I'm fascinated to see how they cover the rest of Zara's transition and hope that they do continue to do so rather than the baby going into childcare and being "forgotten" about. There must be a huge number of new mums who watch Doctors whilst at home with their little ones and I'm convinced that seeing a frank and honest account of how difficult it can be for a career woman to turn herself into a mum is a valuable thing.