Happy International Woman’s Day!
What does my experience of being a woman in 2018 feel like? It feels weird, a tad frustrating, sacrificial, busy, fulfilling and yet mundane.
It has a lot to do with my ideas on what success looks like and if I feel like I’m achieving those goals.
We live in an exciting time for women. I mean just take a look at Jacinda Ardern, isn’t she amazing! Part of me feels like she should stop being so amazing and just tell us all that she feels like a whale, she has swollen ankles, and she can’t think straight. She’s making the rest of us look bad.
I’ve always thought a successful woman was one who could manage a career, earn good coin, run a household and continue her education. Everything that my mum has achieved. Success to me is contributing to society in a skilled and intelligent way. But I have discovered that I just can’t do it.
I mean its a miracle I’m even writing this blog.
Honestly, since I sat down to write I’ve been interrupted every 3 minutes, I’m not exaggerating, I got so fed up that I timed the interruptions and wrote down the reasons, which were:
‘I’m bored.’ (x 5)
‘I’m hungry’. (x5)
‘I have chalk on my shirt.’
‘Is there any toilet paper’?
‘Can we go somewhere’?
‘Are there sharks in NZ’?
‘Muuuuummmm Izzy sat on my lap and Farted’.
‘This day is the worst day of my life; it’s so boring!’.
‘I have no-one to play with me’.
‘Have those bloody kids got that T.V on again’?
I have a good education, but I don’t earn money.
Dan earns way more than I do, or ever could. Because we have 5 kids, right now, I can’t focus on a career.
Last year I put a lot of pressure on myself to learn new skills so that when the kids all reached primary school age, I could start contributing to the financial side of life, and feel successful.
I was going to work from home so that I could be there for the kids and all of the rest of the general bullshit that needs doing. However, when I started working, I learnt very quickly that, something had to give.
It was difficult to find the balance, to see where I should focus my priorities. I felt the pressure of completing tasks for clients, and sometimes I put those tasks above my family. I was experiencing the push-pull of career vs family.
My husband and I butted heads majorly until I threw in the towel, I gave up and stopped trying to earn money.
How did that make me feel? ….Initially, I was upset, resentful even, but as I started to chill out a bit I felt relieved, less stressed, maybe a little bit happy (shhhh don’t tell anyone)
So I’ve decided to rearrange my thinking. I need to change my expectations of what success looks like. I feel I’ve set that in motion well. For example, we’ve just purchased a new dining room table; I actually said to Dan “Gee I can’t wait to fold washing on that.”
My new success goals are
Getting through 10 minutes of irritating behaviour without losing my shit.
Getting through Izzy’s home reader every night without scratching out my eyeballs.
Not getting shitty when someone poos in the toilet straight after I’ve cleaned it.
Bringing a smile and a sparkle to other peoples day by trying to be kind and contribute positively to any situation I might find myself in.
My identity and ideals may change as I move through the different stages of life, adaptability and resilience are essential characteristics.
It’s impossible for me to achieve it all.
Now is not my time to focus on a career.
I’m settling for re-inventing myself later.