To mother or not to mother

I have a friend, a smart savvy professional woman. She is younger then me, 31, but she has made a decision that she doesn’t want children. My immediate reaction is omg – you’ll get over it, your biological clock will start to tick loudly and you’ll change your mind. Then I stopped and thought – what a huge amount of courage it takes to make that decision.

It actually isn’t selfish (another of my initial thoughts!). Her reasoning is that whatever she does she wants to do wholeheartedly. For her, her professional career is an extremely important part of her self. Having a child would require compromise on both being a professional and being a mother, she isn’t prepared to be half hearted at anything.

In todays society we are often damned if we do and damned if we don’t. There is so much pressure to be a mother and yet we are also expected to participate in the workforce. For many of us financially we have no other choice but to reenter the corporate world after children, often in male dominated careers where it is difficult to break into the boys club when you have to make sure you get to child care by 6pm and then spend the evening cooking, arbitrating, educating and soothing.

Honestly, the more I think about it the more I applaud her decision. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids but I know I’m not a perfect mother and they have had to make sacrifices for my career. Unfortunately for them they didn’t get a choice. Hopefully, regardless of my intense mother guilt, they won’t spend years in a therapist office talking through abandonment issues caused by having a selfish career orientated mum. Instead they will celebrate the fact that they had a strong, inspirational mother who pushed them to be self sufficient and showed that with a bit of determination you can achieve.

Life List

I’ve decided that I need to make a list of things I want to do on a regular basis – soul food things. A bucket list is all good and well but I need a list to live by so here is my list at the moment:

  • See, participate and enjoy live music at least once a month
  • Eat a new taste/ cuisine at least once a month
  • Cook something new at least once a month
  • Get a massage at least once a month
  • Read one non fiction book per month
  • Read at least one fiction book per month
  • Try to have breakfast with Cranky Pants at least 4 mornings per week – this is present breakfast no tv, laptops etc
  • Make everyone sit down to a meal together at least twice per week – again being present
  • Find something to make me smile and laugh EVERY DAY!

This is my living list, I’m sure it will grow and change but it’s a starting point.

Gosh – I’m fat?

Really there is no need to point it out. I’m well aware of my size.

What makes people think that those of us who are larger haven’t noticed? I find it quite insulting when doctors, friends etc point out that I’m overweight. I’m fat, not stupid.

My husband is one of the worst. I know he stresses about my health and the effect my weight has on it but looking at me and stating “my god you’re huge” really isn’t helpful, or, “if you would just lose some weight” which I get often from my mum.

I know that my weight has an impact on my health. I am a well educated woman and am quite literate so I can read the studies on health issues that arise from being obese.

Yes, I do have health issues that my weight complicates but some of them are genetic defects that I’m stuck with. Not making excuses, just stating facts.

I’m learning to love myself however I look – that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be healthier. I do have to find the program that works for me and one thing I’m sure it isn’t is lapband so doctors stop pushing that barrow.

At this stage in my life it is what it is, fat chick walking.

 

 

Fab 40

Yep the big Four O. Researchers from the University of Melbourne have just completed a study in conjunction with British researchers that seems to show that woman are the least happy in the first few years of their forties. It actually said their unhapiness peaks in their early forties.

As that is exactly where I am at the moment, as well as having a lot of friends at the same age or a bit past it, I’ve been pondering why this is.

I think the researchers are partially right that this sadness is due to family pressures, but I think it goes deeper than that.

I have noticed that many of my girlfriends end their marriages in their late thirties and early forties. This would obviously cause a lot of stress and unhappiness but they are ending their marriages because they are not happy in that situation anymore.

By forty, for many of us, our children are all at school and we may be reconsidering reentering the workforce or taking on more work outside the home. I think it is a time in a womans life when her outlook is changing. Our most fertile years are behind us and menopause is looming. I think it is a time when we feel least appreciated for all we do.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. It seems to be a time when we decide to do things for ourselves. When our children are young everything revolves around them and a s a mother your own wants and needs tend to be put on the backburner. By forty the load seems to lighten, children develop their own interests and start to become more capable. Although, I have to say parenting teenagers is hard work but that’s a blog for another day!

For me, this year brings a lot of changes. My eldest started uni (yes I was a child bride), the next one down is in his last year of high school, number three started high school leaving my baby in grade four. This December I will have been married twenty years.

I’m not unhappy at the moment but I wouldn’t say I’m content either. I am more determined to voice how I feel and what I want – this may cause unhappiness for the people around me but I do think it’s my turn in the spotlight.

 

Comfy Undies

I don’t know if it’s a middle age thing or just a difference in priorities but I’ve come to the decision that functionality is more important than looks in my underwear.

I had a time in my mid thirties where I spent up big on sexy undies and lingerie. Yep they were gorgeous, lace and satin, covered the curves beautifully. After an hour I was ready to rip them off. They where either scratching, pinching, riding up or falling down.

I’ve experimented with thongs but really why would I want to wear undies that give you a constant wedgie?

This year I discovered bonds cotton tails. My husband says they are the ugliest underwear he has ever seen and is embarrassed by them on the line.

Me, I’m proud of my comfy undies. Good underwear is the basis of any good outfit. There is nothing worse than constantly readjusting your nether regions, not a good look.

So next time you see large cotton undies on a clothes line know that there is a woman who is confident enough in herself to know undies don’t make you sexy but being comfortable in your skin does.