I think being a woman in today’s world is complex, to say the least. The older I get and the longer I spend in my starring role as a woman the more depleted and mystified I feel (some days anyway). Yes and that’s with all of the yoga and meditation. Maybe it’s a side effect of so much stretching and soul searching; of craving wisdom and wanting to have it all sussed out. I have this strange desire to not judge and overreact and I very much want to be calm and peaceful and Zen but it’s tricky. Some days it is very tricky. Would being a man be easier? I am talking emotions here. Would being born male make me more detached, less sentimental? Less of a fixer and carer. Less of a mum. (Obviously, he he).
I’m way past the sleepless nights stage of motherhood (which lasted for about fifteen years!) and when other parents used to look at my brood of small people and inform me that this really was the most amazing time (wait until they are bigger!)I’d think “they are joking right?” Gets easier doesn’t it, please tell me it gets easier!!!!!!! It does get easier and it gets harder. (And it goes by SO quick, and it is actually rather magical so enjoy). Here is the shocker, wait for it… they grow into people! People are complicated. Our attachment to our little darling’s happiness is never going away; not even if they are six foot two and know everything. That need to protect isn’t leaving any time soon. As a mother it isn’t farfetched to admit that I can and do feel a massive responsibility to raise good, happy humans. Am I a failure if that doesn’t happen? I hope not because I live with a cross-section of sexes, ages and personalities and it’s a rare and beautiful thing for all of us to be loving life on the same day. Should their youthful idiotic indiscretions reflect your parenting skills, surely that would mean a lot of beating yourself up if that were a fact. Surely that isn’t bloody fair! Being a wife is also complex, to be in sync all of the time just because you love someone, it’s impossible. You are joined in holy matrimony not joined at the hip. I started writing this in the midst of a powerful super full moon and who knows where my hormones were at and it was half term but sometimes the full responsibility of keeping a house full of people happy, nurtured, well fed and cared for whilst trying to work and have your own life can feel like a complicated juggling act. The funny thing is that what I am beginning to realise is that nobody that shares a bathroom with you is too aware or concerned about the state of your sanity. Because if they were they would occasionally replace the toilet roll or even just bin the empty tubes. Seriously you could make a modern art installation out of ours, who made that a mum job anyway? Obviously they prefer it when you’re not ranting. (I prefer it when I’m not ranting!)What is required is a simple checklist of food, clean clothes, money and WIFI. I think Buddha probably lived alone. That all being said, my numerous offspring aren’t allowed to leave home (ever). I would miss them too much.
We are so attached to our nearest and dearest and our demands and requirements that we forget to acknowledge that we are people just trying to do our best here. We stop seeing the person, we see a provider. Even as adults we still have expectations of what our parents should do for us. News flash they’ve been doing it so long they are bored now and by the way, they have a life too. We didn’t get manuals, did we? We should have been given manuals! Not just for parenthood, we need them for living with all other humans and navigating this crazy existence. World peace is a bit of a long shot if we can’t manage it within our own homes in our schools in our offices. That’s the thing about most women, we are managers of the family, I am not necessarily talking finances I am referring to the long list of chores that make up emotional housekeeping, like a fairy Godmother we take on that role of thinking ahead, anticipating needs, remembering everything and fulfilling wishes. It’s a job that requires a vast array of skills and a selfless attitude. How many times have we fed others first? That is a basic need we are willing to forego in order to show we care. Often we are the last ones to sit down and relax.
I think that what happens in our relationships with the people that we love the most is that we get very comfortable with taking. When somebody is just there offering to make your life easier why wouldn’t you take? I think as women we are naturally good at giving. It makes us feel that we are nice. Sugar and spice and all things nice as the saying goes. Multitasking superwomen, we got this. It is somehow bred into us, years of watching other women before us just naturally doing it. Maybe it’s just genetics? Thing is we wanted more and thankfully we got it, why shouldn’t we as women be capable of anything and everything. We are more than capable. But and there is a but and I know this from when I’m extra busy sending out Yoga Leggs and still have all of my other real life stuff to do that you can be overloaded. I don’t think that I know any woman that aren’t having it all and aren’t a little bit overwhelmed on a regular basis. (You should try yoga, seriously it does work. Maybe not on a full moon though). Having it all is hard work. I am a naturally nurturing over feeder type of a person, could I be any different or did I just learn this habit from my nurturing mum and her nurturing mum before her. Like putting on makeup every day. I have a feeling my Nan’s wouldn’t be too impressed by so much rushing around, I think it would make them dizzy.
I sound like I don’t enjoy my role as chief carer, but I do. I am just saying it’s a fact that the hours are long and there’s no retirement plan. I wouldn’t not have my children I love them more than life, and I know they are blessings. I am just acknowledging the demands. If I am honest I think its just fear that makes me a little crazy at times. Everything comes down to love and fear. The love part is easy. You have to remember that we don’t own our children. I do think they own us though. I wouldn’t not be married, I said I do and I do but sometimes I do want to kill you Spence (love you). I am wondering out loud if in years to come women will feel less inclined to change the empty toilet roll, remember the birthday of everyone they have ever met and care less about what’s for dinner. Will we ever put our wands away?
What I will say about being a woman is we are incredibly fortunate, we are allowed to admit that some days the burden of the emotional over thinking that goes into running a household and keeping the little people and the big people and most importantly yourself happy isn’t always easy. It is okay for a woman to show vulnerability. Its strength to be able to admit you may be struggling, how else are we going to learn and grow and most importantly ask for help. I am not good at asking for help, I share my body with a very capable over emotional control freak. (I need to have serious words with her). I think that our daughters need to know that as fabulous as being a woman is, it’s bloody hard work and it isn’t a crime to admit out loud that we get fed up, worn out and scared. That often we are just winging it, that we can open up and we will be received with a sense of I hear you, I get you, it will be okay. We can do this over a cuppa, a glass of wine, after a yoga class or on a giant WhatsApp group of mum friends. Putting the world to rights normally leads to laughter. We can even cry because we are girls, no shame what so ever. Women nurture other women, and that is a beautiful thing. Equally, we can laugh together and be very stupid especially whilst drunk. We can say to our friends I love you (even when sober); we can buy them a bunch of flowers just because. We can show them that we care. We can help them be superwomen. We can blame things on the Moon. Most of this behaviour would be considered odd amongst men, Shame they are missing out there. Still, they have beer and football. Here’s to the men holding it together too, it’s not easy. Remember we are all the same, just souls, with different body parts, trying to live our best lives without instructions.
Go and appreciate anyone that gives big bits of themselves to you and changes the empty loo roll. Give them thanks and give them love. See them.
Happy international women’s day wonderful women everywhere.
Ps. Yoga really does work; also my research is based purely on spending a lot of time in my own thoughts and many years in the company of women. It is very scientific.
Awesome blog! You’ve managed to effortlessly articulate the profound complexities and hard-wiring of such a complicated and multi-faceted maelstrom of all our obligations that are emotionally, mentally and physically demanding – but that we seem to embrace selflessly and unconditionally anyway. Totally resonated with me. xxx