International Women’s Day. I nearly let the day pass. My womanly soul is weary and celebrating womanhood somehow feels disingenuous. I feel a bit battered and bruised and probably – while I’m being honest - a little bit confused about what this womanhood/motherhood caper is all about.
I’ve been back at work a month now. I’m not enjoying it. My working days have become so full of the ‘everyday’ that I have almost no time for anything else. I read this week in the newspaper that a study recently found that most women have less than ½ hour “me time” built into their days. I found myself nodding in agreement. I find myself choosing between sleep and just a bit of time for me– half an hour of knitting or five minutes more in the shower.
And I was so hopeful last year. Standing on the cusp of motherhood I was so optimistic and assured of my rights as a woman and mother. I was so sure about what I thought I wanted and I was quietly confident that society would help me out; turns out that I didn’t have a clue.
So in no particular order, here’s what I want: I want a career. I want to be heard. I want to cuddle Emilia and have her shower me with her sloppy, open mouth kisses a hundred times a day. I want equal pay and the rightful acknowledgment of my experience and qualifications. I want to stay home and nurse my baby and not send her off to childcare with a bottle. I want to make things; big vintage quilts, knitted cardigans and woolly hats. Mostly I just want to make things and give them to the people I love. Occasionally I want to sell them too. I want to dream; big dreams that might one day come true; dreams of a ‘forever house’ in a ‘forever town’. I want the sun to shine and the rain to stop, just for one day. I want to watch Emilia take her first steps and I’m terrified it might happen while I’m at work. I want to hear her say Mama and Papa and Ja und Nein. I want a full night’s sleep and a drunken night on the town. I want to wake up and be excited about my day. I want to lead. I want a clean house, fresh sheets and the ironing basket empty. I want Emilia to grow up knowing that she is enough; that she can say no (or yes) and that’s okay. I want Emilia to grow up knowing that she is a she and Australian and Austrian with white skin, blue eyes and dumpy legs and all of these things are as relevant and irrelevant as the next.
I know that was a rather abrupt end to this post, but it’s kind of how I feel about the issue today. And yes, I know that I can't have everything that's on my list. Well, at least not all at once. But still, a few of those things should be possible, no? So, get out and celebrate being a woman today; a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mother. Talk about it, think about what you want. Dream big. It’s only by doing these things that we can hope to finally get want we want.