All my life I’ve been led to believe that women feel the need to PROOVE they are Superwomen.
I’m now starting to think that like me they simply don’t know how else to be, just to get through the basics every day!
I don’t feel the need to do everything. In fact I’d like nothing better than to sit back and enjoy being a mum and forget everything else. I’m not overly house proud and I don’t feel the need to demonstrate I can rush round and juggle everything.
But I need to cook, clean, doing the washing, dinner etc. Not that hubby doesn’t help-he’s great! But as you all know the tasks are endless.
Then there’s the money thing. We have gone from 2 full time incomes to me being on statutory maternity pay and now setting up my own business. It stings a bit I don’t mind telling you.
Then there are ‘the visitors’ Now I love you all, I really do, but where is the time to sit round chatting? But then GUILT GUILT GUILT I need to let my daughter see them and visa versa, and I don’t want to cut out our entire support network. I want to see my friends; of course I do but how? When?
Just when you’ve made it through the day with baby taken care of, check! you moderately presentable to the outside world (teeth clean at least,) check! Meals are done, nappies are washed; check! Auntie Vera has been for a cuppa; check!
Work -hmm, never done but at least you’ve done something! I usually feel proud when I have achieved getting some work done followed immediately by a slam of guilt as I must have ignored my daughter to do it. I enjoy my work, don’t misunderstand me but there is noting I want to do more then be with my little girl.
AND THEN there’s ‘THE RELATIONSHIP’. Yes, I also have a husband who hasn’t even had a cuddle from me today. When Eliza was born, a relative (male btw) said to me “Don’t forget you have a husband just because you have a baby now” Well-whoosh! Another kick in the guts. Am I neglecting him? Probably, but I’m not sure I can help that. We are a team and he makes me feel great even when I’m covered in baby sick and food, and my hair has that ‘new mum look’ as he calls it. But society says I should be leaving Eliza with a babysitter for nights out, even though we’re not ready, and we should be making time for mad passionate sex 3 times a week-no comment!
But it’s more than all this because there’s finding clarity of mind when you’ve done 4 night feeds, there’s constantly justifying your parenting decisions to everyone (I was not prepared for this! weird how people quiz you on all your choices) There’s the leaking boobs, the hormones making you cry at everything, and all the other stuff that puts a tattoo on your head saying ‘Erratic Woman’ when your trying to display ‘Capable Woman’ There’s the phone ringing and waking the baby, so you’re trying to get them settled whist sounding interested in your friend’s life crisis – cause you mustn’t dump your friends just because you have kids!
This has got to be madness I tell myself but I have no idea what to cut out, how to change it.
We are fortunate enough to have family nearby and in fact my mother and father-in-law live next door. I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it really works for us. A lot of my friends have fantastic support from the grandparents with the kids including childcare. It seems to me there is strength in numbers.
With families and communities pulling together we can support each other, but are we too proud to allow the help in? Large multi-generational families and tribes offer a fantastic support network to many new parents around the globe but here in the UK we pride ourselves on our independence. I’m not sure we have it so right. I’m not sure living with these pressures is progress.