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What I’m thankful for May 26, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.
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Busy mummies are not only that.  Obviously.  We are also women, wives, colleagues, sisters, daughters, friends, etc.  And being human (I hate being apologetic here, but somehow when one becomes a mother, other roles tend to become secondary) we also get our full share of different emotions.  Among which that pesky feeling of being ‘down’.  Now when does a working mother of 3 little girls have time to feel down?  But you know, sometimes it happens.  The reasons could be various.  For me usually it happens when I make comparisons.  I know they are odious but I guess they are also part of human nature. This time the comparison was with my single younger colleagues.  And I got a general feeling that I was born too early.  I started missing the freedom to do as one pleases on the spur of the moment. 

And then a friend notices my ‘face’ looks different and after a few days of seeing this ‘face’ asks me “do you have something missing in your life? Why are you sad?”

The question shocked me.  I wasn’t expecting it and anyway it took me some time to give myself an answer.

In reality what is missing in my life?

The things I listed are not worth mentioning here. 

My friend then surprises further me by sending me this poem:

Die slowly by Pablo Neruda

He who becomes the slave of habit,

who follows the same routes every day,

who never change space,

who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,

who does not speak and does not experience,

dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,

who prefers black on white,

dotting ones “i’s” rather than  a of emotions,

the kind that make your eyes glimmer,

that turn a yawn into a smile,

that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,

dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,

who is unhappy at work,

who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,

to thus follow a dream,

those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,

die slowly.

 He who does not travel,

who does not read,

who does not listen to music,

who does not find grace in himself,

she who does not find grace in herself,

dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,

who does not allow himself to be helped,

who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck,

about the rain that never stops,

dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it,

who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know,

he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,

die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,

reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

Then reality hits in and I realize I have nothing missing.  Instead I have a lot to be very thankful for.

And this list is definately worth listing here.  The order is not in order of importance.  It would be too difficult to put an order….

I am healthy.

I have 3 beautiful, healthy girls.

I have a husband who loves me and is fully dedicated to our family.

We have two jobs, a house and food on the table.

 …

 

It’s not a long list but it is a lot to be thankful for and enough to blow away any ‘down’ feelings.

Thank you for reading.

 

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Pride and Prejudice March 23, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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TS was unwell yesterday.  So I let her monopolize me all morning… and in between her napping and occasional coughing bouts I watched the film Pride and prejudice with Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen that I had been postponing for a number of years!  But I can’t say I enjoyed it.  The Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth BBC version will remain my favorite. Probably the film is closer to how things looked in reality then but somehow I prefer the ‘cleaner’ more romanticized version of the mini series.

How much simpler life was then.  In reality, how much simpler life was not that many years ago.  I’m obviously referring to girls’ life expectations.  In terms of everything else, I believe life then was difficult without the whole plethora of machines and gadgets we have today to make tasks about the house easier.  But girls just had to get married, have babies, bring them up and marry them off.  Along the line they cleaned and cooked and shopped and were wives and of course got older (until they died).

Now it’s different.  Our new freedoms allow us to study and work, start off careers and buy property, travel and generally have more fun. We have choices thanks to the different movements that have fought to give women rights equal to those enjoyed by men.

My trail of thoughts today follows this freedom juxtaposed by the frustrations when circumstances limit it, when it feels that these freedoms and rights were won for others but not for me.

Choices are real when one can actually choose them.  If choices are not real options, they stop being choices and become myths.

Being a stay home mum is admired by some (usually by members of a generation or 2 or 3 older than me) and frowned upon by others (usually by my generation and 1 or 2 younger).  We the younger generations (i’m in may late 30s) seem to now be programmed in a way that makes a stay home mum seem like someone who has opted out, given up, ‘chickened’ out even.  We seem to believe we are superwomen and can do what that, that other women before us have failed to do or understand. So while we want to be proud parents (of 1 or maybe maximum 2, well spaced, also well-timed kids), but we also want/need to:

  • keep climbing the career ladder;
  • keep adding on to our academic achievements;
  • have perfect figures well dressed in the latest colours, trends, labels;
  • travel;
  • sport well-kept stylish hairstyles/hair colours;
  • be well read and up to date both with news that matters and trivia;
  • have healthy relationships with our partners;
  • keep old friendships, make new ones and  entertain  both sets ‘stylishly’ and regularly; 

And on and on I could go. Lest we be seen as not quite, je ne sais quoi. 

Caught in between the prejudices of my family, friends and acquaintances as well as my own preconceived ideas of wife-cum-stay home mom, I often feel not quite here and not quite there.  I know the princesses will soon grow and I will be able to have a full-time job again but in the mean time I feel so caught in a time warp.

Let me explain: Last May, when TS was 4 months old, I left the house quickly to get milk from my corner convenient store, conveniently situated 50m from front door.  I was wearing one of my tracksuits, my hair held in place with my sunglasses. The lady behind me in the queue kept trying to get TS to smile to her.  When I acknowledged her asked me if I was the grandmother or the mother of the baby. I was too taken aback to answer… just mumbled something like “I’m in hurry” and came home and had a good cry. After which I asked my man to take the afternoon off and booked myself an appointment at my favourite hair salon for that same afternoon. 

This incident comes to mind very very often.  I know that technically I can be TS’s grandmother but I most definitely don’t want to look like my kids’ grandmother!

Since then, because the princesses are older (anyway a little more manageable), because I took to listening more to my older Italian friend whom I’d like to look/be/behave like when I’m older and because of something else that for now I’m keeping as my secret, I’m taking more care of what I put on and what I look like when I walk out of the door.  And mainly, I’m doing this because it generally makes me feel so much better.  I don’t go anywhere much. During the day my outings are to the supermarket, to pick up the kids (apart from the occasional coffee with my journalist friend) and sometimes the playing fields but I still take time to dress up.  Somehow I walk taller when I’m not in tracksuits and running shoes. 

Now the other stay home moms at the school gate are starting to ask me if  I’m working again or if I’ve been out during the morning just because I turn up in black pants, a nice top and lipstick!