I haven’t really become a regular poster/blogger on this website of mine and I guess that is because of 2 things: 1. I often don’t feel I need to contribute my words and thoughts to a world drowning in opinions and 2. much more pragmatically, in the last year I’ve started the journey towards motherhood and life has found a different kind of rhythm.
I am now a week away from my due date and my belly feels as sketched as it can possibly go. These past few weeks, since I finished work, have been challenging: becoming a completely biological creature, as opposed to an intellectual one, has been quite confronting at times. Us women who were brought up in an era that didn’t think much of being in the kitchen and certainly didn’t see ourselves raising hordes of kids find it harder to come to terms with this change in the direction of our lives. I remember writing a list of things “to do” in my life and quite far down the list was the item “have children” and then the word “children” was crossed out and replaced by the words “a child”.
Even though we have now entered the age of a shift back towards the veneration of the mother – to the point where successful women haven’t really made it unless they’ve also had biological children (eg. witness the headline news reaction to Nicole Kidman giving birth, as if her adopted children didn’t really count), I still think women of my ilk – in their 30s with some degree of a career developed – find the shift a bit uncomfortable. Do I really want to go to a morning dedicated to talking about the benefits of reusable nappies? Am I really content spending nights making felt decorations for the bassinet?
It is a strange conundrum because often when I ask myself these questions, I find, deep inside, I can answer with a “yes”. I was very happy when the corner of our bedroom dedicated to the soon-to-be arrival was transformed by a butterfly mobile I had made myself and teddy-bear stickers I spent a day tracking down. Things that, five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at and seen as a waste of time.
It is a shame really that “educated” women have so often been taught to look down at the basics of life: cooking, cleaning, caring for others. For the majority of my life, the three ‘c’s have been pushed aside for that other big ‘c’: the CV. One must always be achieving for the sake of a line on your Curriculum Vitae.
Not to say that career isn’t an important part of one’s life but I am glad to have been given the opportunity to see things a little differently now: to strike out towards a bit more balance.