Monday, 7 November 2011

Just Breathe

Like most women, I used to be a slave to my family, my work & society in general. I am still bound by the unspoken rule that I should look, act & behave in a certain way.  Hair is dyed & styled, nails are done and wardrobes are decent (mine is enough for someone on a budget anyway). We do what is expected of us every day, all day. So why do we sometimes feel so empty?  Because we know we are screwed.
We earn less money than men and do by far more work. Getting kids ready for school, making them breakfast, packing lunch boxes, making sure they look decent & clean before they leave the house.  We drop them off at school, go to work, pick them up, take them to which ever activity, make them dinner, dish up for everyone, eat, do homework, bath them & make sure their projects, etc is done. Before bedtime we again make sure they are clean & ready for bed. We juggle careers, kids & everyone’s needs before our own. I for one would rather spend money on my kids than on myself. I buy things for myself because I NEED them as opposed to wanting them. Only the wonderfully rich & delightful have that luxury.

We deal with our daily stresses: kids, money, homes, work & bills and then we still stress that if we don’t take care of ourselves and look our best that our husbands will leave us, our jobs will suffer & our kids will not want to be seen in public with us. The latter is very real and very true, but this strange phenomenon only occurs during their teenage years, as we all remember well?
We set such high expectations for ourselves that when we don’t meet those expectations (in our opinions in accordance to what we perceive others to think of us); we wither away & crumble in disappointment, emptiness and self loathing. Then food becomes our escape or indulgence. The thing that makes us feel better.
 Men are so lucky. Their body issues have nothing to do with self image, society’s pressures or any link to their emotional wellbeing. The get up, go to work, come home & that’s it. We resent & nag about things we want them to “help” us out with & then nag when they don’t do it straight away.
I stopped nagging and stopped asking for “help”. Instead I shared responsibilities and if my kids & husband don’t do them, I leave it. It has worked wonders, because after 8pm I am as free as a bird. I have enough on my plate & do what is expected of me, so why do I have to do their chores and get no time in the end for myself.
When all is said and done, will it matter? Children do what you do not what you say. In the end if you are anything like me, they will be a neat freak just like you. Regardless of anything, they will be fine.I eat what I want, because food is not the enemy, the enemy is me. I do what I need to. I help where I can and then I complete my day with some distressing dancing & relaxing bath and a good night’s sleep. A life fit for a mom.