About Me

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Being a woman...

It's not easy being a 21st century woman is it? I feel pretty terrible writing that, because women fought for our right to vote, to stand up and be counted, women have worked hard to pave the way for us to be able to work, to be treated on the same level as men. It has been a struggle. Women now have it better that they ever have. Labour saving devices mean those of us who chose to do the lions share of the housework don't have to spend days scrubbing, cleaning, polishing. And as for microwaves, man how did I ever live without one?!

However with all that seems to come a whole host of pressure. Some of us chose to stay at home with the kids, some of us chose to go out to work, and yet in either situation there are pressures. If you are a woman at home you can feel marginalised, isolated, lost even. If you chose to work you can feel guilty about the time you are not spending with your children. You might even be able to afford to pay someone else to do stuff with your kids while you work.

So right now I am stuck in the midst of all this. Pre-kids I always said I would be happy to stay at home and look after any future kids I had. Yet after No.1, I was a single parent and it was necessary for me to work (I could have lived off the state but I felt uncomfortable about that and anyway it barely paid for nappies) and I found that I enjoyed working. I enjoyed being able to use my brain and being able to be someone other than 'just a mum'.
After No.2 I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mum. I loved it but I felt I needed something else so I went back to my roots and started painting again. Of course that led to organising sales for my work and selling further afield, which in turn meant more time painting. Once No.3 arrived I was planning my own business. The idea being it would fit around the kids. It didn't of course... 

So now here I am, in a whirlwind of uncertainty about my future. I have now had 7 months away from 'paid' work and the truth is I love it. I have some time to do my artwork but with all three kids now at school it doesn't take away from time with them. What's more I love being able to actually 'think' about what we will have for supper. I can try new recipes, I can plan them in advance rather than knocking up a pasta sauce in 5 mins because that's all I have time for. I love being able to sit and play with my kids, to be creative with them, to snuggle up and watch a movie together, without telling them , 'just 5 mins because I have to check my emails..', without checking my texts every 5 minutes.

I find myself thinking 'I can't get comfortable with this, I have things to do, plans for the future...' but what would be so wrong with that? Why do I feel I can't do this for ever more? Well obviously partly it's because I feel God is calling me to something, that he has plans for me. But then are those plans for now? Am I putting a time scale on things that isn't in His plan? Am I feeling the pressure to work, to earn an income (which would actually be rather helpful, currently).
So many choices... I know my husband will support me either way, although I also know he rather likes the current me, who has his dinner on the table each night, every night! I feel like I can't really plan the future anyway due to my illness, so perhaps I should be enjoying this time, and I am, but there is a part of me that I just can't switch off that wants more, that wants to know when and where and how? and that wonders if there is a point at which I say ok, enough now, I need to get out there again...
Am I a 21st century woman? or maybe I am a '50s woman at heart... but I guess it is where I draw the line that makes the diffference...

2 comments:

Nicola said...

This makes a lot of sense to me, especially your comments on timing. I have the same thoughts and it's hard to know the right way. All I know is that cuddles on the sofa with your children sounds wonderful and long may it continue!

Suem said...

Go with your gut feeling, what do you really want to do right now? (you can always change your mind later!) Don't be pressurised by any stuff about whether you are a 21st century or 1950s woman - ALL mums work and it is such a shame that women argue or feel pressurised about the issue of whether to work at home or outside of it!
But only you can choose:)