How do you feel as a woman?
I saw a journo request via twitter on Tuesday asking how becoming a mum had changed how you feel as a woman. I was about 300 characters over my limit before I gave up and decided to just write a post instead.
Until I started writing this, I’d never really considered how I feel as a woman. Thinking of all the things that women are ‘supposed’ to be these days, I can’t say I’ve ever fit into the boxes. I’ve never thought of myself as especially feminine.
I’m not really into any media stereotypes like shopping or fashion or make up or wine. I’ve never seen or read 50 shades of Grey, I don’t really even watch chick-flicks (all these things are excruciatingly stereotypical, I know, stick with it) but then I’m not really into anything that might contradict the stereotype either. I don’t have a career as such. I’m not into sports or cars, I’m not political. I don’t see myself as much of a feminist or activist. The request used ‘never wearing clothes without sick on them’ as an example of something I might feel different about, yeah OK, perhaps I don’t care if they have sick on anymore (ooh may be I’m a strong woman, hate that term, were all strong, not one woman on this planet would describe themselves as weak out of choice) and some days there’s no sick on my clothes anyway (shock horror). I like being outside, I like listening to plays on the radio, I like painting and I love spending time with my family but I couldn’t say that these are things that would define me as a woman.
It’s made me invisible
While I’m not mourning how life’s changed for me, some days motherhood can be the only thing that defines my existence in the eyes of other people. I am here only to survive and raise young to ensure the survival of the species (if you look at it like that I’m more woman now than I ever have been). I feed and shelter. I proceed with societal norms such as shopping, and socialising but for the most part I am ignored as a person with feelings and opinions. My gender is insignificant. I am the one taking up the space on the footpath or in the car park. The one wheeling mud all over, the one mopping up baby sick from the supermarket floor. I am the one taking too long to self check out or the one who cant cross the road quick enough. The one knocking over the display with her arse whilst trying to prove shes not shoplifting (no joke, perfume everywhere). Today I was the one trying to get into her car while other vehicles tried simultaneously to get into and out of the adjoining spaces (*eye roll* have some patience!).
How I feel as a woman has changed very little really, but then it all depends on how we are defining ourselves as women doesn’t it? I think if you’re looking for superficial arguments like I’ll never wear clothes without sick on them again, then you might want to reconsider how shallow you think women are in the first place. I would say how people see me as a woman has changed, a guy doing a survey in the street thought the best way to get me to participate would be to shout ‘baby wipes’ at me, his chain of thought was mother-baby wipes, not woman with interests outside of raising her young.
Inner-core me, mother, woman, wife whatever you want to call it hasn’t changed that much, if at all. I still feel pressure to look a state of perfection that no regular person can achieve, I still ignore it and be my own ideal. I still feel like I have to live through a series of photographs to prove my worth, I still refuse to compare my life to that of the insta-crowd. I’m still eternally thankful for the things and experiences that I have had. I still learn from my mistakes, let go and move on. I am patient and kind and sometimes a bit of a bitch (we all have our moments, in jest or for real) I love, I hurt and I forgive. These are the things that I think make me the woman I am, and no, becoming a mother will not change that.