And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
Second verse of the satirical song ‘Little Boxes’ by Malvina Reynolds (1963).
The singer Annie Lennox recently suggested that the word feminism has ‘connotations of stridency’ and has been ‘devalued’ and she went on to reveal that she is ‘appalled the word feminism has been denigrated to a place of almost ridicule’. (See the Guardian article here) But it is women who have allowed this to happen despite the fact that many of us are unhappy with our situation. Rather than uniting, we choose to moan and turn on each other.
As a mother who is happily embracing the role of being a stay at home mam, without feeling like I need to boast about knitting my own cakes, I wonder why it is that we mums can’t support each other more? I appreciate when we’re having a bad day we like nothing more than being able to drop into a baby group and smugly watch while other mums struggle with unruly offspring, but perhaps if we treat each other with empathy rather than competitiveness we might achieve more.
We don’t do ourselves any favours by continuously putting ourselves down. Living in a time where we have oodles of information but very little innate knowledge, we seem to happily defer to ‘experts’ and have ended up feeling inadequate. Hence the need to be competitive perhaps? Are we suffering because we give ourselves a hard time and need to take a step back and think more positively? Dare to think outside the box and stop worrying about staying at home with our children and being pushed out of the work place. Instead congratulate yourself on the fact that while you’re with your youngsters (who grow up all too quickly) you are using a multitude of skills that are transferable. We might have to go back to basics when we start back in conventional work, but put your pride aside and accept that re-learning stuff isn’t a bad thing. Revisiting past projects builds confidence as it reminds of us what we already know. Be positive and those around you will be forced to be positive too.
Oh and to the mam who told me her children never had any problems adjusting to a new baby sibling, to whom I snapped ‘well your children must be emotionally stunted’, I am truly sorry. I was knackered and dropped into the group for a bit of non judgemental sympathy!
Happy International Women’s Day [Tweet this]
Guest Post by Leah