This is a post I’ve wanted to write for quite some time, so here it is. I usually avoid controversial topics on here because I am rubbish at standing up for myself and my skin is as thick as a Tesco Value tissue. That being said, I consider myself a strong person. I am fiercely independent, [vaguely] intelligent and never satisfied with just watching life.
I am also incredibly proud to be a woman.
**Aaaaand cue the eye-rolling and rising hackles of several people expecting a man-bashing tirade (I’ll not name you, but you know who you are!) Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all Oprah on you but please feel free to stop reading if you must; I’ll keep writing anyway!**
To many, I must seem like the living embodiment of contradiction! I say I’m independent, but I live off my husband’s salary. I claim to be intelligent, yet I don’t have a job.
Let’s clear a few things up:
Just because I don’t work now, doesn’t mean I won’t work again. Raising a family can be done in a multitude of ways and me being a full-time mum is the way we chose to do it. I am so, so conscious of the messages my boys get about male and female ‘roles’ and yes, on paper Mr. BM and I fall into most of those stereotypes. Where we differ, however, is the way we talk to our boys. We don’t have girl colours and boy colours, we don’t reference ‘throwing like a girl’ or boys need to ‘toughen up’. My boys will grow up knowing that Mummy is cleverer than Daddy (!) and that Daddy is better at cleaning (!) and that none of that really matters at all.
I am blessed that my decision to not work is my own. It wasn’t forced upon me by societal pressure. It wasn’t determined by my family or my husband. It was mine. Many women aren’t so fortunate.
Am I comfortable without my own income? Not really, but I got used to it. Do I dream of my old working life? Sometimes. Did I make the right decision? YES! Being a full-time mum is the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. It has made me realise that mothers are the strongest people you will ever meet. They are like a gigantic, iron umbrellas with fluffy handles. They shield anyone under their care from the shit shower of life and provide a soft, comforting support for others to cling to.
Meanwhile, rust spots start appearing, unbeknownst to their tribe underneath. Other mothers notice. Other mothers help stop the rust. I could not be a mother without other mothers around me. It takes a village, my friends.
I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by some exceptional women (and some pretty awesome men, but this is about the ladies today!) Each and every day I find myself in awe of their strengths and their compassion. I am motivated and inspired by their achievements and the decorum with which they conduct themselves. They have taught me that femininity and strength are not mutually exclusive.
I hate the term feminist, purely because I hate that there is a need for such a term – “someone who fights for the equal rights of women”. Every single person man or woman should be a “feminist”. Every father should want their daughter to be afforded the same opportunities and rights as boys. Every brother should want equality for his sister and everyone should respect each other regardless of gender.
I am not suggesting that men and women should be treated as the same, just treated as equals.
This week plays host to International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day (here in the UK) and I will be unashamedly celebrating all things female!
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