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 want this day (International Women’s Day) not to matter anymore.
But the truth is, it does.

17/365 - knitting

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.


Kristina said...

love your post clare! and I am sure that you will achieve some of the wishes on your list. but it is hard! and sometimes unfair! have a lovely women day (and go to town and get drunk!!) :) xox

amanda {the habit of being} said...

i agree. it's hard to get it all in and there is sooooo much i want to squeeze in, to suck the marrow from. i've been a mother for a while now and i still don't have very clear answers. working for myself from home has it's own set of issues ;-)

Susan said...

Dreaming big. I like that you put down your thoughts on these things you want. I hope you get to have your cake and eat that cake too. Why shouldn't you?

Suki said...

Life is hard. I think a life of a mother is even harder because you ultimately have to choose between yor kiddo and stuff you do for yourself. the decision is never easy.
I know how hard it is to work with a little kid. Keep your head up.
I am not saying it gets better, I am not saying it will all pass soon, eventually you have to make a decision and be okay with it.
NOW, let's celebrate being a woman. :)

Bells said...

i hear you.